March 2016
February 2016 - In This Issue
Transportation Policy Council - February 26, 2016
Technical Advisory Committee Recognitions
Gulf Coast Regionally Coordinated Transportation Plan Suggestion Box
Greater West Houston Mobility Plan
End-Of-Trip Facilities Guide Offers Tips for Companies to Make Biking Easier
Houston Bike Plan
Pedestrian-Bicyclist Counters Available
Commute Solutions Outreach Events
March Brown Bag Lunch Series
Texas Students Receive EPA Grants for Sustainable Projects
H-GAC Working to Bring Electric Delivery Trucks to Houston
TCEQ Offers Grants for Natural Gas Vehicle Conversions and Purchases
Area Emission Reduction Credit Organization
Did You Know....
H-GAC In The News
Join Our Mailing List!
Save the Date
Air Check Texas
Drayage Loans
We Are Social!
Transportation Policy Council - February 26, 2016
Amendments to the 2015-2018 TIP and the 2040 RTP

The Transportation Policy Council (TPC) approved approximately $1 million in funds to conduct five Livable Centers Initiatives Studies. These studies were selected through a competitive call for projects that began in summer of 2015. An interlocal agreement will be executed between the selected study partners and H-GAC prior to commencement of the studies, and refinements will be made at that time.
Studies include the City of Fulshear, International Management District, City of Mont Belvieu, Spring Branch Management District and Westchase Management District.

Staff also briefed the TPC on administrative modifications to the TIP. 

The Urban Area Reliever Route Freight Study, also known as the Ports Area Mobility Study, is expected to begin in 2016. This Study will examine opportunities to expedite goods moving to and from the ports and manufacturing areas of our region. 


Approval of Amendments to the 2016-2017 Unified Planning Work Program

Amendments to the 2016-2017 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) included modifications to the descriptions of three UPWP work products, but results in no changes to the UPWP budgets. Revisions were made to descriptions for the Fort Bend County Transit, Traffic Safety Public Outreach, and the Pedestrian/Bicyclist Special Districts Study which were requested by the FHWA. 


Presentation on Re-establishment of the Regional Safety Council

Mr. Jeff Kaufman of H-GAC, briefed the TPC on background of the first Regional Safety Council (RSC) and the need for its re-establishment. Mr. Kauffman stated that 2014 was the best year of available traffic safety data for the Houston-Galveston Region, and highlighted the number of serious traffic crashes, serious injuries, fatalities and the cost to the region that includes service responders, repairs, medical costs and lost income. The purpose of the RSC is to advise the TPC on the development of its safety program, as well as to promote a coordinated response to safety issues such as enhanced safety enforcement. 

In re-establishing the RSC, H-GAC  will work with the TPC Nominating Committee over the next few weeks to select a slate of candidates for consideration at the March TPC meeting. 


Presentations and videos of this TPC meeting in its entirety can be viewed on the H-GAC website HERE.
Technical Advisory Committee Recognitions
The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) recognized outgoing members Ms. Perri D' Armond and Mr. Charles Dean, P.E. for their commendable service to the TAC and related subcommittees. Ms. D' Armond represented Citizens and Business Interest and Mr. Dean represented Harris County.

From left to right: Mark Loethen, P.E., TAC Chairman, Perri D' Armond, Eulois Cleckley, H-GAC Transportation Deputy Director.

From left to right: Eulois Cleckley, H-GAC  Transportation Deputy Director, Charles Dean, P.E., Formerly Harris County, Mark Loethen, P.E., TAC Chairman. 
              
Gulf Coast Regionally Coordinated Transportation Plan Suggestion Box

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Our new Suggestion Box is now available for you to submit your comments and ideas on how to improve community transportation services.

The purpose of the Regionally Coordinated Transportation Plan is to provide more efficient and effective public transportation services, especially for seniors (65 and older), persons with disabilities, persons with low incomes, veterans, youth, and others who need an alternative to driving.  

Submit your comments and ideas on how to improve community transportation options today!

Use #RctpHearMeOut on Facebook and Twitter 
Call toll free 1-855-363-2516

Background information and a "Suggestion Box" are available on the project website at www.ridethegulfcoast.com.
Greater West Houston Mobility Plan
The Greater West Houston Subregional Planning Initiative, also known as the West Houston Mobility Plan, was completed in October 2015. The study area covered an approximate 180-square-mile section of greater Houston.

The study identified transportation investment priorities for the funding partners and developed projects for the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan. Recommendations included capital improvement projects, new or expanded transit service, and transportation and land use policy changes.

The full report and executive summary for the West Houston Mobility Plan are available on the H-GAC website HERE
End-Of-Trip Facilities Guide Offers Tips for Companies to Make Biking Easier
Although more places are connected to the region's growing bicycle network, cyclists may be unable to store their bikes, fix a flat tire, or freshen up once they reach their destination. H-GAC released End-of-Trip Facilities: A Planning Guide for the Houston-Galveston Region, which identifies different types of end-of-trip facilities public and private entities can provide to make it easier for visitors and employees to arrive by bike.
 
The guide is organized into three sections which address bicycle parking (Lock Up), bicycle repair (Tune Up), and changing facilities for cyclists (Clean Up). Case studies from our region and beyond demonstrate how companies are successfully making end-of-trip facilities available for their employees and visitors.
Houston Bike Plan
The City of Houston Bike Plan was released on February 15, 2016. To view the plan and provide your comments,visit  www.houstonbikeplan.org.

An interactive mapping tool is also available to view bike network recommendations at a more detailed neighborhood level. The Houston Bike Plan team will continue to attend outreach events across the city through mid-March to present the plan and answer your questions. 

Be sure to visit the website for information on future meetings and to sign up for email notifications.

Pedestrian-Bicyclist Counters Available
Walking in a cross walk
H-GAC has temporary pedestrian-bicyclist counters available for use by local governments to count the number of people using sidewalks and/or trails. This gives implementing entities and H-GAC a better understanding of the demand and use of these facilities.
 
For information about borrowing the counters, contact Andrew Pompei at 832-681-2598.

Commute Solutions Outreach Events
H-GAC teamed up with Rice University and the University of Houston to educate event attendees and students about various commute alternatives. Commute Solutions encourages fans to try a commute alternative at least once a week, whether it's riding the METRO bus or joining a colleague in a carpool. Alan Clark, MPO Director and Deputy Director, Eulois Cleckley took to the center court during half-time at both games to be recognized as a sponsor of the universities' basketball games. For more information about Commute Solutions please visit www.commutesolutionshouston.org



Rice University vs. Southern Miss: 
W 72-65 Final


U of H vs. University of Central Florida: 
W 82-58 Final

Any questions surrounding these events or future Commute Solutions events should be directed to chrese.jackson@h-gac.com
March Brown Bag Lunch Series
You are invited to H-GAC's upcoming Brown Bag Series presentation on "TxDOT's Freight Mobility Plan" by Caroline Mays. 

As Freight Planning Manager, Ms. Mays is charged with developing and managing TxDOT's multimodal Freight Planning Program, including       carrying out the strategic vision for addressing freight issues; developing the first multimodal Statewide Freight Mobility Plan; overseeing the Texas Freight Advisory Committee; and coordinating with internal and external stakeholders.
 
Brown Bag Lunch Series
Monday, March 21, 2016
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Houston-Galveston Area Council
3555 Timmons Lane
2nd Floor Conference Room B
Houston, TX 77027
 
Texas Students Receive EPA Grants for Sustainable Projects
On February 23, 2016, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a press release acknowledging People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) grants that were awarded to three teams of university students in Texas for their proposed projects to develop new, sustainable products and strategies. The students are from Lamar University in Beaumont, Southern Methodist University in Dallas and Texas Southern University in Houston.

EPA's P3 Program is a unique college competition for designing solutions for a sustainable future. P3 offers students quality hands-on experience that brings their classroom learnings to life.

To view the complete press release click HERE.
View the P3 winners HERE
For more information on the P3 Program, visit HERE. 
H-GAC Working to Bring Electric Delivery Trucks to Houston
H-GAC is working to bring all-electric delivery vehicles to Houston's roads through a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This program has already resulted in a partnership with United Parcel Service (UPS) to provide assistance for 18 new delivery vehicles. This effort is part of an attempt to accelerate the introduction and deployment of electric vehicles in the cargo transportation sector within the Houston region. 

"Meeting today's complex sustainability challenges requires public-private partnerships," said Shelley Whitworth of H-GAC. "These zero-emission vehicles will help improve air quality in the Houston-Galveston area."
 
H-GAC is searching for additional fleet partners who would like assistance in adding several all-electric medium-duty delivery vehicles to their fleet. For more information, please contact Andrew DeCandis at 832-681-2589.
TCEQ Offers Grants for Natural Gas Vehicle Conversions and Purchases
TCEQ logo
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announced that applications are now being accepted for the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program to improve air quality. Grants are available in one or more of the counties listed under the Clean Transportation Triangle (CTT) program, to include non-attainment areas, affected counties, and other counties inside the triangle area.

These Texas Emissions Reduction Plan grants provide up to $37.8 million to entities that own and operate heavy-duty or medium-duty motor vehicles to replace vehicles with a natural gas vehicle or re-power the vehicles with a natural gas engine.

Applications will be accepted until May 26, 2017, at 5:00 p.m., or once all funding has been awarded, whichever occurs earlier.

For more information click HERE.
 
Area Emission Reduction Credit Organization
H-GAC's Clean Vehicles Program in conjunction with Area Emission Reduction Credit Organization (AERCO) has $200,000 to allocate toward the purchase and installation of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or California Air Resources Board (CARB) certified retrofit and idle reduction technologies. These Supplemental Environmental Project funds (SEPs) will be spent for technologies installed on school buses in Harris, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Waller, Galveston, Liberty or Montgomery counties. For more information, please contact program staff by calling 713-993-2488 or via emaiat cleanvehicles@h-gac.com.
Did You Know....
H-GAC In The News
Houston-Galveston Area Council, PO Box 22777, Houston, TX 77227-2777
Sent by mike.fuller@h-gac.com in collaboration with
Constant Contact