From: WILMAPCO [rnovakoff@wilmapco.org]

Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2012 3:02 PM

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Subject: News from WILMAPCO

 

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Transportation
 News from the Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO)

January 2012 E-News

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WILMAPCO Meetings

All meetings are open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, meetings are held in the WILMAPCO Conference Room.   

 

In case of inclement weather, please call  (302) 737-6205, or toll free from Cecil County at (888) 808-7088 for cancellations or postponements.      

 

Data and Demographics Subcommittee
January 9, 10 a.m.

 Air Quality Subcommittee
January 12, 10 a.m.

Congestion Management Subcommittee
January 12, 1 p.m.

WILMAPCO Council
January 12, 6:30 p.m. 
 

January 19, 10 a.m.

For updates or more information on upcoming WILMAPCO meetings, please visit www.wilmapco.org.

 

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In this issue...

 

walkerWILMAPCO News

 

MPEMOUNT PLEASANT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PARK AND WALK EVENT A SUCCESS

Parents, students, and community leaders participated in Mount Pleasant Elementary School's first "Park and Walk" Event, which is part of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program, on November 18. During the event families met at Bellevue State Park and walked the half mile to school with their children. The event offered the opportunity to practice pedestrian safety skills, reduce pollution, congestion, and speeding near the school. The long-term goal of the event is to increase walking and make the neighborhoods safer for kids to walk and bike to school. WILMAPCO is also working with Thomas Edison Charter School, and Claymont, Maple Lane, Elbert-Palmer, and Mount Pleasant Elementary Schools on Safe Routes to School programs.  For more information, please visit http://www.wilmapco.org/school-children/.

 

trainMember Agency News

DartDART FIRST STATE SERVICE CHANGES BECAME EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 4

According to a November 29 DelDOT press release, "Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC) announced that changes to DART First State fixed route bus service will become effective December 4, 2011.  New bus schedules are available on all buses and online at www.DartFirstState.com. The new route 17 will provide 48 weekday trips and 15 Saturday trips to the Christiana Crossing Shopping Center allowing approximately 1,600 South Wilmington residents access to retail shops including the ShopRite grocery store and other merchants."

 

DECityDELAWARE CITY GETS SATURDAY BUS SERVICE

According to a December 5 DelDOT press release, "This past July, DelDOT, DART First State, and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) announced public transit service to Delaware City, the first scheduled bus service to the city in four decades. Beginning Saturday, December 10, the existing Route 25 has extended all of its 12 Saturday trips to Delaware City. The extension is part of the original one-year pilot service that was made possible through a grant from the DNREC."

 

According to WILMAPCO's Delaware City Transportation Plan," in 2009, 64 percent of city residents cited the lack of public transit as their top transportation related concern. The plan concluded that introducing transit service to Delaware City will provide a much needed alternative to car travel, enhance social equity, improve regional transit interconnectivity, lessen traffic congestion, and improve air quality." WILMAPCO helped DTC to secure the DNREC grant this year.  Ridership on the new service has exceeded expectations, and continues to increase.     

 

WilmServiceChangeSTUDY FINDS NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT OF PROPOSED BUS SERVICE CHANGE IN WILMINGTON 

According to a November 17 DelDOT press release, "DelDOT has announced that an outside third-party expert has concluded that downtown Wilmington bus service changes proposed by DART First State in March would have no significant safety or traffic impacts on the Shipley Street area.  

 

DART had proposed alleviating congestion and pedestrian safety issues at Rodney Square by diverting 18 weekday bus routes to a route that takes them north on Orange Street to either 9th Street or 10th Street, and then south on Shipley Street. Currently, 1,170 buses a day stop at Rodney Square. DART's proposal would reduce that number to 787. The study found 'no significant negative transportation-related safety findings' associated with the proposed route changes. To view the report, please visit http://www.dartfirststate.com/quicklinks/DARTServiceChangeSafetyReview.pdf.

 

 

bikeLocal News

NBPNEWARK BIKE PROJECT

According to the Newark Bike Project webpage, "Inspired by the Urban Bike Project (UBP) located in Wilmington, some Newark-area UBP volunteers wished to spread the benefits of a UBP-style shop to Newark. In November 2011, Niki Suto, a graduate student at UD, started to formalize this interest by gathering various Newark biking advocates to brainstorm ideas for a community-led bike organization. The Newark Bike Project is just getting started, and this website will be a source of all information related to the project."  For more information, please visit http://www.newarkbikeproject.org/home.

 

NYCBusBUS LINE ORDERED TO HALT DELAWARE TO NEW YORK CITY SERVICE

According to a December 30 News Journal article, "Delaware State Police vowed to impound any buses ferrying passengers between Delaware and New York's
Chinatown for a company that received a federal order to shut down. The U.S. Department of Transportation issued an order on Dec. 23 for Double
Happyness Travel Inc. to cease operations, calling the carrier an 'imminent hazard' to public safety.  According to the department's order, the company repeatedly filed false reports detailing the hours drivers had worked, failed to regularly inspect and maintain its buses, hired two drivers before receiving their failed pre-employment controlled-substance screenings and failed to keep current driving records for its employees. The bus line has been popular for its low fares, but "Chinatown buses" have experienced several high-profile problems
in recent years, leading the federal government to employ more stringent
safety reviews."  To view the source article, please visit www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011112300332.   

 

car graphicNational News

 

FatalitiesU.S. TRANSPORTATION FATALITIES ESTIMATED AT 34,925

According to a December 16 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) press release, "Despite an overall downward trend in transportation fatalities in the United States, estimates for 2010 released by NTSB, reveal a rise in several categories, including motorcycles, medium and heavy trucks, buses, and rail.

 

The data indicate that overall transportation fatalities decreased to 34,925 in 2010 from 35,994 in 2009. The total number of fatalities on U.S. roadways dropped by about 1,000 (33,883 to 32,885) with the majority of vehicle-related deaths involving passenger cars and light trucks and vans. Motorcyle-related deaths saw the largest increase (4,469 to 4,502), but deaths also rose for occupants in medium and heavy trucks (499 to 529) and buses (26 to 44). Rail fatalities increased from 742 to 813, with the majority at grade crossings, though deaths on light, heavy and commuter rail rose from 229 to 253." To view the press release, please visit http://www.ntsb.gov/news/2011/111216.html.   

 

TransitRidingRIDING PUBLIC TRANSIT SAVES INDIVIDUALS $9,797 ANNUALLY 

According to the American Public Transportation Association's (APTA) November Transit Savings Report, "Individuals who switch from driving to riding public transportation can save, on average, $816 dollars this month, and $9,797 annually. These savings are based on the cost of commuting by public transportation compared to the Nov. 18, 2011 average national gas price ($3.38 per gallon- reported by AAA) and the national unreserved monthly parking rate. Currently gas prices are nearly fifty cents a gallon higher than this time last year, APTA notes riding public transit is a smart way to lower transportation costs. APTA releases this monthly Transit Savings Report to examine how an individual in a two-person household can save money by taking public transportation and living with one less car."  For more information, please visit http://www.expertclick.com/NewsReleaseWire
APTA_Riding_Public_Transit_Saves_Individuals_9797_Annually,201138436.aspx
.

 

PedSafetyPEDESTRIAN SAFETY HANDBOOK

According to a December 7 Express Stop Blog entry, "The American Council for the Blind (ACB) has released an updated Pedestrian Safety Handbook, a publication that informs the visually impaired and blind communities about contemporary approaches to assuring safe paths of travel for blind pedestrians and effective ways to advocate for accommodations like accessible pedestrian signals, tactile warnings at the edges of curb ramps, and mechanisms for routing travelers safely through problematic intersections." For more information, please visit http://express-stop.blogspot.com/2011/12/what-it-takes-to-walk-when-you-cannot.html.  

 

AginginPlaceAGING IN PLACE: A STATE SURVEY OF LIVABILITY POLICIES AND PRACTICES 

According to the AARP website, "The vast majority of older adults want to age in place, so they can continue to live in their own homes or communities. As the older population grows, the degree to which it can participate in community life will be determined, in part, by how communities are designed. This report examines state policies that are needed to help older adults age in place. These policies include integrating land use, housing and transportation; efficiently delivering services in the home; providing more transportation choices, particularly for older adults who no longer drive; and improving affordable, accessible housing to prevent social isolation."  For more information, please visit http://www.aarp.org/home-garden/livable-communities/info-11-2011/Aging-In-Place.html.  

 

NatReportNATIONAL REPORT SHOWS MORE STUDENTS DRIVEN TO SCHOOL

The National Center for Safe Routes to School has released "How Children Get to School: School Travel Patterns from 1969 to 2009," a research report which provides insight into national trends in U.S. school travel. The report shows that from 1995 to 2009 among those students living within one mile of school, there were no significant changes. When all students are considered, regardless of distance, the percentage of students driven to school in personal vehicles increased while walking and school bus use dipped slightly. The report also indicates that parents driving students and teens driving themselves to school accounted for 10-14 percent of all the personal vehicle trips made during the morning of the school year. To view the report, please  visit www.saferoutesinfo.org/program-tools/NHTS-school-travel-1969-2009.

About Us
The Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO) is the regional transportation planning agency for New Castle County, Delaware and Cecil County, Maryland. As the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), WILMAPCO is charged with planning and coordinating transportation investments for the region based on federal policy, local input, technical analysis, and best practices.  For more information, please visit our website at www.wilmapco.org.

 

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