borderless transit / borderless region

Transportation at the Ballot Box: Portland’s Get Moving 2020 Initiative

On November 3, in addition to the presidential race and slew of gubernatorial, state legislative, and mayoral elections, voters across the country will weigh in on dozens of transportation-related ballot measures. Among the major transportation measures on the ballot this year is the Portland region’s Get Moving initiative. The initiative would fund hundreds of transit, safety, and roadway improvements, including a new light rail line, rapid regional bus network, bridge replacements, and pedestrian-bicycle infrastructure along 17 primary corridors.

In this webinar, Tyler Frisbee, Transportation Policy and Federal Affair Manager at Oregon Metro, will provide an overview of the history of the Get Moving initiative, details on proposed projects and funding mechanisms, and discuss how COVID-19 factored into the region’s ballot measure planning.

Tyler FrisbeeTransportation Policy and Federal Affairs Manager, Oregon Metro
Romic AevazPolicy Analyst, Eno Center for Transportation

2020 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDOR)

BikeWalkKC invites you to join us in Kansas City’s participation in the 2020 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDOR). WDOR is commemorated on the third Sunday of November each year “to remember the many millions killed and injured on the world’s roads, together with their families, friends and many others who are also affected.” Further, observers use the occasion to “thank the emergency services and reflect on the tremendous burden and cost of this daily continuing disaster to families, communities, and countries, and on ways to solve it.”

Originally created and first observed by the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims, the day and its importance as a means of remembrance has spread across the world. 2020 is a milestone year for WDOR, as it will mark the 15th anniversary of its official adoption by the United Nations.

Alternatives to Policing

Black people experience disproportionate policing, which can create fear of violence as they use transit, walk and bike in the streets. As transportation agencies move to better understand how systemic racism and bias show up in the built environment, what alternatives to policing can transportation professionals use to ensure a dignified and safe mobility experience?

Join NACTO to hear U.S. precedents to decrease reliance upon policing, and reduce opportunities for police interactions. Examples will focus primarily on reimagining safety on transit and in public space, though lessons will be applicable to rethinking traffic enforcement in safety programs such as Vision Zero.

Financing America’s Infrastructure Virtual Event

There’s no “right” way to procure much-needed upgrades to America’s infrastructure.

America’s states, cities and localities all make decisions in the best interest of their citizens. But there is best practice in financing infrastructure. This involves allocating risk properly, choosing the right partners, and picking the best financing markets.

Proximo brings you the 2020 Financing America’s Infrastructure event. It will cover all assets and all financing markets. Whether building a new university campus or selling a container port to another private investor, whether accessing the term loan B or tax-exempt municipal market, this event will cover the latest financing trends with the leading investors and contractors in their segments.

This virtual event will look at what makes assets bankable, bond market-ready or investible, depending on who’s looking. It will discuss at how lenders will tackle direct-procure, build-finance, design-build-finance, design-build-finance-maintain, P3, non-profit or fully private structures, with a heavy focus on the deals that are AT or NEAR market.

Sustainable and Equitable Funding for Pedestrian Infrastructure Maintenance

Walking as a means of transportation has health, environmental, and economic benefits. Well-maintained sidewalks are important for communities to meet their active travel goals. But pedestrian infrastructure in many communities is discontinuous, inaccessible to those with physical disabilities, and poorly maintained – particularly in lower-income neighborhoods. The availability of an adequate, sustainable, and equitable source of funding is a major challenge for maintaining sidewalks in a state of good repair.  Governments across the nation maintain and repair roads and highways, but most cities require adjacent property owners to maintain the sidewalks. In this presentation, researchers will share findings from separate studies regarding alternative approaches for funding sidewalk infrastructure and whether these approaches could lead to more sustainable and equitable outcomes when applied to the cities of Atlanta, Georgia and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Between Two Futures: How Can Transit Investment be a Tool for Equity?

Transit systems around the country are struggling to maintain vital services in these unprecedented times. How are transportation leaders using the equity lens to make critical investment and policy decisions? Join us as we talk with leaders of transit systems in Delaware, Columbus (OH), Las Vegas, and Philadelphia.

Shailen Bhatt, President and CEO, ITS America

M.J. Maynard, Chief Executive Officer, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada
Joanna M. Pinkerton, President/CEO, Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA)
Leslie Richards, General Manager, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)
Veronica Vanterpool, Chief Innovation Officer, Delaware Transit Corporation

Vision Zero: A Regional Priority

Today there is a resolution before the Kansas City, Missouri Transportation & Infrastructure committee to consider the adoption of Vision Zero as a policy. The KCRTA has been actively advocating for such a policy in KCMO and across the region and we’re eager to support KCMO in its effort to make the roads safer for all users. Outlined herein is our formal position on Vision Zero; the KCMO resolution is a start but we have a long way to go and we’re here to help.

Our Position

The Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance (KCRTA) supports regional adoption of Vision Zero because it will make our roads safer for transit riders and all road users. Vision Zero will enhance regional accessibility and quality of life for all, particularly our most vulnerable populations. KCRTA believes a regional approach is necessary to not only help with the standardization of data collection and reporting, but to help leverage best practices, action planning, potential funding, and implementation as Kansas Citians do not live their lives within a single jurisdiction. The KCRTA will support Vision Zero through advocacy and partnerships that encourage the adoption of policies, convene stakeholders to support action plans and projects, and through celebrating the success of jurisdictions as established goals are met. 

The Problem

Every year in the United States, more than 40,000 people are killed on our streets and thousands more are injured. Nationwide, the numbers are disheartening:

  • Crashes cause 1 of every 4 unintentional injury deaths among children ages 13 and younger. (USDOT Fatality Analysis Reporting System (2018))
  • In cities such as Los Angeles, that have analyzed safety across its street network, identified that 65% of severe and fatal collisions involving people walking and biking happen on just 6% of their streets. (City of Los Angeles Vision Zero High Injury Network (2018))
  • Pedestrians are killed at disproportionately higher rates in the nation’s poorer neighborhoods. (Governing Magazine, 2013.)

Without proactive intervention, the problem is likely to get worse before it gets better. Americans are driving more, with 3.225 trillion miles driven in 2018 (FHWA, 2019), and distractions have increased as the number of personal technology devices quintupled between 2010-2017 (American Driving Survey, 2016-2017).

While the complete landscape of safety is not clear because of fragmented data collection and public information on traffic violence, the staggering truth is that Kansas City currently ranks tenth in the nation with the most speed-related fatalities; these deaths are entirely preventable. In 2018, Kansas City failed to meet targets for reductions with 251 fatalities. This was a 14% increase from the five-year YTD average, with Jackson County leading with 89 deaths; Clay County with 26 deaths; and Johnson County with 23 deaths (Destination Safe Coalition, 2018 Quarterly Fatality Report). Kansas City also has 64 of the 200 most dangerous intersections in the state. Every single death and injury comes at a considerable cost to our region, with both considerable individual and societal impacts. This traffic violence ultimately creates a fearful and unsafe environment where Kansas Citians lack true freedom of mobility, discouraging transit users, cyclists and pedestrians. Traffic violence is a pressing, but preventable public health issue that is adversely shaping our quality of life in Kansas City.

Vision Zero

Vision Zero is a multi-dimensional framework to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. “Vision Zero acknowledges that many factors contribute to safe mobility — including roadway design, speeds, behaviors, technology, and policies.” As a strategy, Vision Zero has been successful in Europe, starting with Sweden in the 1990s, and has been adopted in cities across the United States to proactively address traffic violence. It values the importance of safety for all people to move in their community and focuses on a shared responsibility by both system designers and policy makers to ensure safe systems. The cities that have adopted Vision Zero publicly acknowledged that the status quo is no longer acceptable and are actively working to improve leadership, collaboration, and accountability to address traffic violence with every public realm decision.

Vision Zero begins with policy adoption by jurisdictions across the Kansas City region, supported by diverse stakeholders, including transportation professionals, policymakers, public health officials, police, and community members. These policies should include a clear, time-specific commitment to the goal of improving road safety for all users. Since Kansas Citians do not live their lives within one city or county, it is important to have broad regional adoption and collaboration.

Upon adopting Vision Zero, many U.S. cities have found through data collection and analysis that traffic violence disproportionately impacts our most vulnerable communities who rely on transit, walking or cycling to move around, as well as children and the elderly. Vision Zero should be supported by a region-wide data approach to understand trends and identify areas of greatest need for improvement and complemented by a commitment to equity and community engagement. Culminating in local action plans, local jurisdictions can begin working towards reducing traffic violence by curbing speeds, improving roadway design, and educating communities on road safety.

KCRTA Call to Action

The KCRTA supports the adoption of Vision Zero region-wide because it will enhance and improve safety for all transit users and all Kansas Citians for better regional mobility. In its commitment to Vision Zero, the KCRTA will commit to the following actions:

  • Convene and encourage multi-sector stakeholder support to advance Vision Zero policies region-wide. 
  • Connect policy makers and other advocates with resources such as model ordinances, action plans, and key insights.
  • Draft a letter of support and advocate for adoption of Vision Zero for jurisdictions region-wide with other stakeholders.
  • Convene an annual discussion among stakeholders, as desired, to share best practices and exchange ideas on how to advance Vision Zero goals.
  • Celebrate progress in meeting Vision Zero goals at an annual convening.