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  • Transportation Planning Certification Review

    for the Metropolitan Transportation Planning Process for the Providence Transportation Management Area

    FederalHighwayAdministrationFederalTransitAdministration

  • TableofContentsPartI:SummaryofFindings................................................................................................................................1

    PreviousFindingsandDisposition.............................................................................................................................1

    SummaryofCurrentFindings....................................................................................................................................3

    PartII:CertificationReviewFindingsbyTopic....................................................................................................8

    Section21:MPOOrganizationalStructure..............................................................................................................8

    Section22:MetropolitanPlanningAreaBoundaries...............................................................................................9

    Section23:AgreementsandContracts....................................................................................................................9

    Section24:UnifiedPlanningWorkProgram(UPWP)............................................................................................10

    Section25:ConsultationandCoordinationinthePlanningProcess....................................................................11

    Section26:MetropolitanTransportationPlan......................................................................................................11

    Section27:FinancialPlanning...............................................................................................................................12

    Section28:AirQualityConformity........................................................................................................................14

    Section29:TIPDevelopment&ProjectSelection................................................................................................14

    Section210:PublicOutreachandPublicInvolvement.........................................................................................15

    Section211:SelfCertifications.............................................................................................................................16

    Section212:TitleVICivilRights&NonDiscrimination.........................................................................................17

    Section213:CongestionManagementProcess.....................................................................................................20

    Section214:ListofObligatedProjects..................................................................................................................21

    Section215:EnvironmentalMitigation................................................................................................................21

    Section216:ManagementandOperationsConsiderations..................................................................................22

    Section217:TransportationSafetyPlanning........................................................................................................23

    Section218:SecurityinthePlanningProcess.......................................................................................................23

    Section219:IntegratingFreightintheTransportationPlanningProcess.............................................................23

    Section220:IntermodalTransportationCoordination..........................................................................................25

    Section221:EnvironmentalJusticeandLEP..........................................................................................................26

    Section222:VisualizationTechniques..................................................................................................................27

    Section223:LivabilityandSustainability...............................................................................................................28

    Section224:TravelDemandModelingandForecasting.......................................................................................29

    Section226:IntelligentTransportationSystems..................................................................................................30

    PartIII:Appendices...........................................................................................................................................31

    AppendixA:CertificationReviewAgenda...............................................................................................................31

    AppendixB:CertificationReviewBackgroundDocuments.....................................................................................32

    AppendixC:OnSiteReviewAttendeeList..............................................................................................................34

    AppendixD:PublicHearingNotices........................................................................................................................36

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    PartI:SummaryofFindings

    PreviousFindingsandDispositionThissectionsummarizesthe2010ProvidenceTransportationManagementArea(TMA)FederalCertificationReviewfindingsandtheirdispositionbytheStatewidePlanningProgram(SPP),whichisthestafffortheStatePlanningCouncil(SPC).

    CorrectiveActions

    FiscalConstraintinTIPTheMetropolitanPlanningOrganization(MPO)shallincludetherequiredcategoriesforfundinginthenextTransportationImprovementProgram(TIP).StatewidePlanningProgram(SPP)staffshouldworkwiththeRhodeIslandDepartmentofTransportation(RIDOT),theFederalHighwayAdministration(FHWA),andtheFederalTransitAdministration(FTA)officialstocreateanewformatfortheTIPthatbestmeetsRhodeIslandsneedswhileconformingtotheFederalregulationsforfundingcategories.

    UpdatefromSPP:AstheStatepreparedtoupdatetheTIP,RIDOTandMPOstaffmetregularlywithFHWAfieldstafftoagreeonanewformatforthedocumentthatwouldincludetherequiredcategoriesforfunding.BarbaraBreslinoftheFHWADivisionofficewasexceptionallyhelpfulinassistingtheStateinmeetingthisrequirementbyprovidingfeedbackandexamplesofotherTIPdocuments.Asaresultofthiscollaboration,thefiscalyear(FY)1316TIPexpandsandimprovestheformatandcontentoftheTIPfundingtabletoprovideadditionaltransparencytothegeneralpublic.TheTIPtablenowincludesafundingcategorysoitisclearwhattypeoffederalfundsareproposedtofundeachindividualproject.

    Recommendations

    PriorYearExpendituresSPCshouldincludetheprioryearsexpendituresintheTIPtoprovideanadditionalleveloftransparencytothepublic.Theprioryearsexpendituresshouldbepublishedasaseparatesupplementonanannualbasis.TheSPCshouldworkwithFHWAandFTAtofindamutuallyagreeabledatetopublishthissupplement.

    UpdatefromSPP:SPPhasworkedwithRIDOTandtheRhodeIslandPublicTransitAuthority(RIPTA)topublishprioryearexpenditurestoprovideanadditionalleveloftransparencytothepublic.RIDOTsFY13TIPStatusReport,whichshowsfederalprojectauthorizations,isavailableathttp://www.planning.ri.gov/documents/mpo/TIP_Status_2013.pdf.Inaddition,RIDOTalsocompiledaFY13TIPStatusReportwhichshowsRIDOTprojectexpenditure.ThisDocumentisavailableat:http://www.planning.ri.gov/documents/mpo/Expenditure_By_Project_by_Type2013.pdf.

    RIPTAsexpendituresforFY13byTIPCategoryareavailableat:http://www.planning.ri.gov/documents/mpo/RIPTA%20_expenditure.pdf.

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    StaffingTheStateshouldexaminewhetherthelevelofstaffinginkeypositionswithintheStatePlanningProgramisadequatetomaintaincontinuityoftheprogram.

    UpdatefromSPP:Atthetimeofthelastcertification,staffingconcernswerefocusedonthenumberofvacancieswithintheSPP.With23fulltimeemployees,theProgramisnowfullystaffed.Afullorganizationalchartisavailableathttp://www.planning.state.ri.us/about/.

    TransitPlanSPP,RIDOT,andRIPTAshouldworktogethertomorefullyintegratepublictransitaspartofregionalmultimodalsystemsplanning.Onepotentialmechanismtobringtheagenciesandmodestogetherwouldbeaconsolidatedplanninggrant(CPG),whichallowsFHWAandFTAplanningfundstobecombinedintoasingleconsolidatedgrantadministeredbyoneoftheagencies.

    UpdatefromSPP:RhodeIslandhasbeencombiningFHWAandFTAplanningfundsintoconsolidatedplanninggrantssinceFY12,atwhichtimeallavailableFTAplanningfundswererequestedforconsolidation.Sincethattime,anannualrequestforconsolidationismadewitheachUnifiedPlanningWorkProgram(UPWP).Inaddition,theMPOhasundertakenseveralprojectsintheUPWPinanefforttomorefullyintegratepublictransitasapartoftheregionalmultimodalsystemsplanning.PleaseseeTask1050ofthecurrentUPWPforexamples:http://www.planning.state.ri.us/documents/fy14.pdf.

    Since2012,theCPGprogramhasbeenworkinggreat.RIPTA,RIDOT,andtheMPOhaveincreasedplanningcoordination,coordinatedfundingsourcesmoreefficiently,andfounditeasiertoimplementmultimodalplanning.

    MaintainFreightAdvisoryCommitteeSPCshouldmaintaintheirFreightAdvisoryCommitteeasastandingcommitteetoguidefuturefreightplanningeffortsandmaintainahighlevelofactivityandattentioninthisarea,includinginTIPdevelopment.

    UpdatefromSPP:AFreightWorkingGroup,consistingofstafffromFHWA,theMaritimeAdministration(MARAD),RIDOT,SPP,theRhodeIslandEconomicDevelopmentCorporation(RIEDC),theQuonsetDevelopmentCorporation(QDC),andtheUniversityofRhodeIslandTransportationCenter(URITC)hasbeenmeetingsince2012toaddresstheneedforcoordinatedfreightplanninginRI.Overtime,severalotherinterestedagencieshaveactivelyparticipatedinworkinggroupmeetings:RIAirportCorporation,FederalMotorCarrierSafetyAdministration(FMCSA),RIResourceRecoveryCorporation,RhodeIslandEmergencyManagementAgency(RIEMA),andRhodeIslandDepartmentofEnvironmentalManagement(R

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