During its meeting on May 19, 2016, the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) Board approved the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) for Fiscal Year 2017, which begins on July 1, 2016 and runs through June 30, 2017. The UPWP describes regional transportation planning work to be carried out in Hampton Roads by the HRTPO, Hampton Roads Transit, the Williamsburg Area Transit Authority, and the Virginia Department of Transportation. The draft UPWP was made available for public review and comment from March 4, 2016 through April 15, 2016. All comments received were acknowledged by HRTPO staff and are included in an appendix of the final document, including staff comments regarding how each submitted comment was addressed.
Notable planning activities in the FY 2017 UPWP include:
- Scenario Planning,which involves the development of various alternatives to meet the needs and goals of the region. Each alternative accounts for a number of issues (health, transportation, economic, environmental, land use, etc.) that affect growth. Comparing the alternatives and their trade-offs helps decision-makers select the scenario that best meets their goals and the selected scenario guides the development of the Long-Range Transportation Plan.
- Resilience of the Transportation System, which refers to the capacity of a system to survive, adapt, and grow in the face of significant changes or events. Such changes may be foreseen, such as the expected impacts of sea-level rise, or unforeseen, such as a catastrophic event. It is important that regional transportation planning take resilience into account to help ensure that the transportation system has the capacity to overcome disruptions and keep people and goods moving. The new Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act added “take into consideration resilience needs” to the scope of the metropolitan planning process.
- Active Transportation, whichrefers to any self-propelled, human-powered mode of transportation, such as walking and bicycling, and is an integral part of a multimodal transportation system. Improvements to the active transportation system – the network of sidewalks, crosswalks, and bicycle facilities; as well as its connectivity to other modes like public transit – can encourage people to use non-motorized options to reach their destinations.
- Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. Connected vehicles use a variety of technologies to communicate with the driver, other vehicles, roadside infrastructure, and the internet. Autonomous vehicles are capable of navigating the roadway system without human input. Such vehicles detect the surroundings – obstacles, signage, other vehicles, appropriate navigation paths – and interpret that information to allow the vehicle to safely drive itself. Although many issues and questions will have to be resolved before connected and autonomous vehicles become commonplace, it is important to take the potential effects of these technologies into account in regional transportation planning.
- Complete Streets, whichare designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities.
- Military Transportation Needs, which will update the Hampton Roads Military Transportation Needs Study approved by the HRTPO Board in September 2011. That study included determining the transportation concerns of the military and identifying roads, in addition to the Strategic Highway Network, that serve military sites and intermodal facilities.
- Regional Transit Planning, which will continue ongoing work with local transit providers on strategies to encourage the use of public transit.
- Transit Extension Studies being administered by Hampton Roads Transit:
- Virginia Beach Transit Extension Study – will include the completion of the Systems Design and Preliminary Engineering of the Locally Preferred Alternative for the project to extend fixed-guideway transit service between the TIDE light rail system and a point in Virginia Beach.
- Naval Station Norfolk Transit Extension Study – will include the initiation of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) associated with reasonable alternatives for extending fixed-guideway transit service between the TIDE light rail system and Naval Station Norfolk.
- Peninsula Multi-Modal Development Corridor Study – will continue the study of possible fixed-guideway transit corridors on the Hampton Roads Peninsula.
The total budget for the FY 2017 UPWP is $27,734,715. The breakdown of funding by source and funded entity are summarized below.
1 HRTPO Funding ($3,066,562) is made up of the following:
- $2,512,013 in Federal Highway Administration PL funds
- $346,049 in Federal Transit Administration Section 5303 funds
- $136,000 in Hampton Roads Transportation Funds (for HRTPO staff support to the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission)
- $72,500 in State Planning and Research Funds
2 HRT Funding ($23,921,503) includes the following for three transit extension studies:
- $11,760,000 in Regional Surface Transportation Program funds
- $10,640,000 in other city/state funds
Click this link to access: HRTPO FY2017 UPWP.