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MEETING NOTES DES MOINES AREA METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION (MPO) CENTRAL IOWA BICYCLE-PEDESTRIAN ROUNDTABLE (ROUNDTABLE)

September 20, 2011 12:00 PM

MPO Office, Conference Room Des Moines, Iowa

Roundtable Attendees Present:


Marco Alvarez, City of West Des Moines Mark Arentsen, City of Bondurant Andrea Chase, Natural Heritage Foundation Dana Conn, Transportation Management Assoc. Heath Ellis, City of Pleasant Hill Joe Galloway, Des Moines Park Board Lisa Hein, Natural Heritage Foundation Jim Lane, City of Norwalk, Chair Loren Lown, Polk County Conservation Butch Niebuhr, City of Perry Ruth Randleman, City of Carlisle/MAC Todd Redenius, City of Ankeny Carl Voss, Trails and Greenways Committee Ron Ward, City of Johnston Vern Willey, City of Altoona Karl Wirsing, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Roundtable Staff Present:


Nathan Goldberg, Senior Transportation Planner Zach Young, Associate Transportation Planner

1. Call to Order
Chair Jim Lane called the September 20, 2011, Roundtable meeting to order at 12:00 p.m., at the MPO Office Conference Room, 420 Watson Powell, Des Moines, IA.

2.

Introduction
Participants introduced themselves.

3.

Approval of Agenda
Participants approved the October 18, 2011, Roundtable meeting agenda.

4.

Approval of the Roundtables September 20, 2011, Meeting Notes


Participants approved the Roundtables September 20, 2011, meeting notes.

5.

Des Moines Area MPO STP Scoring Process


Staff updated the Roundtable concerning the MPO Executive Committees request for the MPO staff to review the Surface Transportation Program scoring process and to meet with the STP Funding Subcommittee to develop potential revisions the to scoring process. Staff noted that this would be an opportunity for the Roundtable to provide some recommendations on updating the scoring process to include more incentives for including bicycle and pedestrian features

in STP funded projects. Staff noted that the Central Iowa Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Plan (Connect) calls for updating the STP scoring process to include more points for bicycle and pedestrian features. Staff asked the Roundtable to share their thoughts on providing more points to projects that incorporation bicycle and pedestrian features. Chair Lane stated that perhaps the points provided for bicycle and pedestrian features should be at least four points for a project that complies with complete street policies. Chair Lane noted that this would require the Roundtable/staff to create some guidelines on what features constitute a complete street. Chair Lane noted that it is important step for the Roundtable to provide a thoughtful recommendation to the MPO Funding Subcommittee. Ruth Randleman express some concern over the possibility of the MPO making some major revisions to the STP scoring process to account for the potential changes to Federal funding. Ms. Randleman noted that it might become complicated if the Roundtable provided a recommendation at this time. Ms. Randleman noted that perhaps the first priority of the Roundtable is to advocate for maintaining the current percentage allocated to Transportation Enhancements (TE). Staff noted that at this time it is unclear what the Federal Government is planning to do regarding transportation reauthorization and the TE set aside. Staff noted that despite what is done at the Federal level, the MPO could decide on its own to maintain TE funds at their current levels. Staff noted that TE funds predominately get expended on trail projects. Staff noted that if there was an incentive in the STP scoring process to provide on-street facilities like bicycle lanes it is possible that more of these facilities would be included in STP funding projects. Vern Willey noted that revisions to the scoring process were made in the past to include some points toward project that adhere to complete street policies. Staff noted that only one point is awarded for including bicycle and pedestrian features and that one point doesnt provide a strong enough incentive to include complete streets elements in STP projects. Chair Lane noted that this subject has been discussed on numerous occasions and now is a good time to discuss ways to get bicycle and pedestrian projects done through the STP scoring process. Andrea Chase noted that it is importation to establish a recommendation now to create the precedent that the Roundtable wants a change to the STP scoring process. In the future the Roundtable can show that this is something that the committee has been working for a period of time. Lisa Hine noted that since updating the STP scoring process to include bicycle and pedestrian features is in Connect the Roundtable should be proactive and make the STP Funding Subcommittee aware that it is something that the Roundtable wants to see changed.

6.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Facility Gaps Definition


Staff informed the Roundtable of concerns relating to the definition of trail gaps in the Central Iowa Trails system. Staff noted that several member governments had expressed concern over the use of this term and how gaps are prioritized. Staff informed the Roundtable that the Horizon Year 2035 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) includes a map depicting trail gaps in central Iowa. Staff noted that this map is the official gap map that should be referred to when justifying trail connections on a grant application. Ms. Randleman noted that the Metro Advisory Council was approached by a member of the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Board, who requested to see a gap map identifying the trail

priorities in the metro area. Ms. Randleman noted that the gap map does not necessarily depict what the trail priorities are in central Iowa. Ms. Chase asked if there was a goal/objective in the plan to prioritize trail gaps. Ms. Chase went on to ask how goals/objective in the plan relates to the project the Roundtable completed this past summer. Chair Lane noted that he was unaware of a specific goal or objective in the MTP relating trail prioritization. Chair Lane also noted that the purpose of the gap study this past summer was to identify places where trail connectivity could be improved and was not meant to produce an official gap map. Ms. Hein noted that it would be helpful to have a map distinguishing between what level of trail (level 1, 2, 3, or 4) the gaps are located along. Staff agreed that this would be useful information to have available. Ms. Hein noted that the gap map could distinguish between the status of the gaps.

7.

Central Iowa Regional Transportation Planning Alliances Federal Fiscal Year 2013 Transportation Enhancement Applicants
Staff informed the Roundtable of CIRTPAs FFY 2013 Transportation Enhancement applicants.

8.

Iowa Clean Air Attainment Program Applicants


Staff informed the Roundtable of the ICAAP applicant with projects relating to bicycle and pedestrian projects.

9.

Project Solicitation for FFY 2013 Transportation Appropriations and the Greater Des Moines Partnerships 2012 Washington D.C. Trip
Staff informed the Roundtable of the Greater Des Moines Partnerships 2012 Washington D.C. trip noting that those interested in submitting a project for consideration should provide letters of intent by Friday, October 21, 2011.

10.

National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project - Update


Roundtable members provided staff with an update on the results of the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation (NBPD) project. Marco Alvarez noted that West Des Moines counted at four different locations. Mr. Alvarez noted that the data was collected but has not been analyzed yet. Loren Lown noted that Polk County also participated in the NBPD project. Ankeny, Pleasant Hill, and Des Moines were not in attendance to comment on their participation in the project. Mr. Lown noted that the Roundtable needs to consider what kind of data needs to be collect to analyze the economic impact of the Central Iowa Trail system. Mr. Lown noted that the Roundtable needs to find out how to determine this impact. Ms. Chase noted that the Iowa Bicycle Coalition hired University of Iowa to complete an economic impact analysis of trails in Iowa. Carl Voss note that it would be a good idea to put out a press release covering the data collected from

the NBPD project. Chair Lane questioned the timing of the press release, asking if it should be release this fall or if it would be better to wait until closer to the beginning of the legislative season. Ms. Chase noted that, if we wait until the beginning of the legislative season, the press release will be competing with many other issues and might not get the attention the Roundtable would like for it to receive. Ms. Randleman noted that the Roundtable needs to focus on jobs, economic development, and health when targeting legislature.

11.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Related Funding Application Deadlines


Staff informed the Roundtable about upcoming funding deadlines.

12.

Bike-and-Ride Data
Staff updated the Roundtable on Bike-and-Ride Data for the DART and CyRide.

13. 14. 15.

Other Items of Interest to the Roundtable Future Agenda Items Next Roundtable Meeting Date
The next Roundtable meeting is scheduled for October 18, 2011, at noon.

16.

Adjournment The September 20, 2011, Roundtable meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.