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Congestion Management 

in the Greater Memphis Region


congested interstate traffic
 
The MPO is in the process of updating its Congestion Management Plan (CMP) to identify congested roadways and propose a variety of solutions in order to improve mobility across the region. Both the MPO and its consultant share a commitment to a Congestion Management Process that emphasizes the need to link the effective management and operations of transportation systems to the planning process, environmental review process and travel demand management. In an effort to accomplish this, the MPO will be reviewing ways multi-modal transportation, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and local land use planning initiatives can help alleviate congestion and improve travel demand patterns. The MPO will be developing a strategies toolbox to share with municipalities across the region in order to help combat congestion utilizing a variety of interdisciplinary methods.

  

Part of the planning process will include a Mobility Summit with local and regional stakeholders as well as the general public. Additionally, interested citizens may use an interactive online forum to identify congestion and safety concerns, review problematic corridors in the region and provide input regarding potential solutions. Both the Mobility Summit and the citizen interaction will help aid in the development and selection of 'Livability Corridors,' an important feature of the MPO's next Regional Transportation Plan.

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Intelligent Transportation Systems Architecture Update

 

The Regional ITS Architecture Update and Deployment Plan is in full swing. Over the past few months, the consultant has conducted individual stakeholder interviews with regional Memphis MPO members. These stakeholder interviews were done in person or by phone to review how their agency currently fits into the Regional ITS Architecture and to identify changes that should be made in the update to improve the Intelligent Transportation Systems in the region. Upcoming tasks include updating the conceptual infrastructure layout for regional ITS projects as well as developing and documenting a procedure for maintaining the Regional ITS Architecture and Deployment Plan. The completion of the Regional ITS Architectural Update and Deployment Plan, a required document ensuring coordination among projects, is expected this fall.

 

Regional ITS Architecture provides a framework for implementing ITS projects, encourages interoperability and resource sharing among agencies, identifies applicable standards to apply to projects, and allows for cohesive long-range planning among regional stakeholders. Regional ITS architectures are living documents that need to be continuously updated in order for them to accurately reflect the ITS needs, plans, and visions within a region.

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The Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Update

bicyclists along the mississippi river
As reported in the last issue of Travel Times, the MPO has launched an update to the Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. Since the kick-off meeting on March 26, 2014, MPO planners have continued to meet with officials and community representatives from the region's counties and municipalities. Concurrently, data collection projects are underway. These efforts include counts of pedestrians and cyclists at key intersections and the analysis of stress levels felt by cyclists along the area's roads. As a component of the Household Travel Demand Survey, the MPO has collected 1,122 Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan surveys to get a better understanding of how people currently use bicycle and pedestrian facilities.  
 
This summer the MPO has started to conduct public meetings throughout the region with over a dozen meetings remaining. Citizens are encouraged to attend and provide their input towards making the region more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly. A timeline of the update process can be viewed at http://memphismpo.org/plans/multi-modal-plans/bike-ped-plan. Those interested in attending a public meeting should navigate to the above link for upcoming meeting dates and times.
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The Midtown Alternatives Analysis Study

 

The MPO is assisting the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) with its efforts to improve public transportation in Midtown Memphis. During the last few years, Midtown has experienced a surge in both private and public investments, especially noticeable in areas such as Overton Square and Cooper-Young. As infill development- and the corresponding residents and businesses- increase in Midtown, MATA sees an opportunity to improve transit service and better connect the district's assets.  In the last few months, MATA successfully applied for a grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to perform a so-called alternatives analysis study in Midtown, which allows MATA to examine current needs, forecast future demand, and plan improvements.

 

More specifically, MATA intends to study the implementation of high-capacity transit service in Midtown. These potential routes would act as MATA's new signature service and provide a fresh face for the transit agency. At this point, a wide array of transit modes and technologies are being considered, including traditional bus, bus rapid transit, modern trolleys and light rail.  Also included in the study is a branding strategy for this potential new service to attract new ridership. The study's Steering Committee, of which the MPO is a member, held its first meeting in early June. Public meetings, where citizens are encouraged to provide input, will follow later this summer.

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Municipal Cooperation in Mississippi to Ease Congestion

 

DeSoto County and the municipalities of Southaven, Horn Lake and Olive Branch, along with Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), are working on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to help reduce traffic congestion along Goodman Road. The municipalities are working together in order to improve air quality and congestion levels thanks to funding from the federal government's Congestion Management and Air Quality program via MDOT. The $9.5 million project will synchronize traffic lights on Goodman Road between Walls and Olive Branch. Recognizing that Goodman Road is a key corridor in DeSoto County, local municipalities are coordinating their planning efforts in a model of regional cooperation to help alleviate congestion in northern Mississippi.

 

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How Does Extreme Weather Impact Transportation Assets?

 

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) held a series of regional meetings regarding the vulnerability of transportation assets to extreme weather events in Tennessee. On June 10th, practitioners from a variety of disciplines in TDOT Region 4 (West Tennessee) met at Christian Brothers University to provide expert knowledge on the subject. Local engineers, meteorologists, transportation planners, and emergency management officials were in attendance. The information gathered from the meeting will be used to assist TDOT's pilot project, which is to conduct a statewide assessment of the vulnerability of the state's transportation system to extreme weather. TDOT is working in partnership with Vanderbilt University to identify critical transportation assets, develop plausible extreme weather scenarios and identify and characterize the vulnerability of critical transportation assets to potential extreme weather events. TDOT plans to use this information in developing a risk-based transportation asset management plan mandated by Congress in MAP-21, the federal transportation law passed in late June 2012. For further information regarding the study, please visit the project website at:

http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/longrange/researchweather.htm

 

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MPO Planners on the Move

Education, Outreach & Events

Memphis MPO participated in the following activities:

April

April 1: Tennessee Freight Advisory Committee

April 8-11: MDOT Quarterly Meeting

April 9: Environmental Justice Workshop

April 14-16: ITS Architecture Stakeholders Meeting

April 17: MDOT STIP Meeting

April 25: Stakeholders Roundtable with the Secretaries of DOT, EPA and HUD

April 28: Aerotropolis Stakeholder Meeting

April 28: Public Participation in Transportation Planning: Sierra Club Panel Discussion

April 30: ATAC Meeting

 

May

May 1: ETC Meeting

May 6: MPO 101 Presentation

May 8: Local Public Agency meeting with FHWA and MDOT

May 8: Tennessee Modelers Users Group

May 13-15: Annual MPO Conference with TDOT

May 20: TDOT Local Programming Training

May 20: Intermodal Freight Technology Working Group Meeting

May 23: WKNO Interview about Transportation Issues

May 29: TPB Meeting

May 29: Midtown Alternatives Analysis Meeting

 

June

June 2-4: Strategic Research Highway Program 2

June 4: Statewide IAC Conference Call

June 10: TDOT Extreme Weather Pilot Project - Regional Meeting

June 19: Fite Road Groundbreaking

June 23: MATA Board Meeting

June 24: FHWA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Webinar

June 25: Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Stakeholders       Meeting  

June 26: Freight Planning Webinar

MPO Quarterly Newsletter
Volume V, Issue II
July 2014
In This Issue
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New MPO Members

Nicholas Oyler
Nicholas Oyler

Transportation Planner

Nicholas joined the MPO in May 2014. Before returning to Memphis, his hometown, he worked as a Robert Bosch Fellow for the German Federal Ministry of Transportation, Building, and Urban Development and the Rhine-Ruhr Transit Association. Nicholas is a graduate of the Master of Urban Planning program at Texas A&M University. He is thrilled to be back home practicing planning.

 

Peter Jenkins
Peter Jenkins

Transportation Planner

Peter joined the MPO in June 2014. He received his Masters in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and his Masters in Urban Design from The City College of New York. Peter worked as a Transportation and Maritime Intern at NYCEDC and as a Research Assistant at Terreform: Center for Advanced Urban Research.

 

Jonathan Spencer

MPO Intern

Jonathan joined the MPO in June 2014. He is a graduate student at the University of Memphis seeking a Masters in City and Regional Planning.  His undergraduate degree is from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a double major in Cartography and Human Geography. His graduate project will focus on social and inter-generational equity based on spatial, GIS and data analysis.

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MPO Projects
& Tasks

teamwork, close-up of hands on a table planning

LIVABILITY 2040: Regional Transportation Plan

Mid-South Regional Travel Survey

 

2014-2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

 

Travel Demand Model Update (TDM)

Land Use Scenario Model Update
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MPO Staff

Pragati Srivastava
Administrator
901.576.7190

Sajid Hossain
Transportation Planner
901.576.7183

Kate Horton
Transportation Planner
901.576.7128

Andrew Ray
Transportation Planner
901.576.7216

Mitchell Lloyd
Transportation Planner
901.576.7146

Kwasi Agyakwa
Transportation Planner
901.576.7189

Nicholas Oyler
Transportation Planner
901.576.7130

Peter Jenkins
Transportation Planner
901.576.7156

Kyle Wagenschutz
Bike Pedestrian Coordinator
901.576.6918

Notimba Brooks
Grants Coordinator
901.576.7227

Linda Lawrence
Administrative Tech
901.576.7229

Ann Deberry
Administrative Assistant
901.576.7190








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MPO Calendar
(July through September, 2014)
summer 2014 calendars
*Meetings will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the UT Health Sciences Ctr. -Student Alumni Bldg., 800 Madison Ave.

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125 North Main St., Suite 450, Memphis, TN 38103 | Tel: (901) 576.7190 | Fax: (901) 576.7272

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