USDOT Launches BUILD Transportation Program

April 26, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Transportation has launched its new Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD)
Transportation Discretionary Grants program.

BUILD Transportation grants replace the pre-existing Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.  The new grant program is for investments in surface transportation infrastructure and will be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. 

ELIGIBLE PROJECTS - BUILD funding can support roads, bridges, transit, passenger or freight rail, ports or intermodal transportation.  Rural broadband is eligible as part of a transportation project.

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Complete Streets Workshop - May 22, 2018

April 16, 2018 – Bi-State Regional Commission is holding a free Complete Streets Worshop on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Rock Island Public Library, 401 19th Street, Rock Island.

This short, half-day event is going to be packed with great speakers and ideas to take back to your community. Highlights include:

  • Keynote speaker Michael Divita from South Bend, Indiana, a town of 101,168 whose streetscape improvements were recently named one of the Best Complete Streets Initiatives of 2017 by Smart Growth America.  Learn about project implementation, key takeaways, and demonstration projects that helped South Bend gain the support of local residents and business owners.
  • Presentations from Scott County Public Health, Healthy Hometown, and the Illinois DOT about opportunities to get free, expert assessments of your pedestrian amenities, followed by a short demonstration “walking audit” to give you a feel for the process.
  • A guided brainstorming session with Heather Schady from the Active Transportation Alliance following a presentation on low-cost pop-up projects (involving such simple materials as chalk and duct tape) that have been used in other communities to explore the benefits of Complete Streets initiatives.

Parking is at the library.  Wear walking shoes for the walking audit demonstration over lunch.
Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-bi-state-complete-streets-workshop-tickets-45040020915.

 

Transportation Work Activities for Fiscal Year 2019

March 28, 2018 – Annually, the Quad Cities and Region 9 FY2019 Transportation Planning Work Programs (TPWPs) reflect Bi-State staff transportation work activities and budget funding to accomplish that work for July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019.  Gena McCullough, Planning Director, described the tasks and activities to be undertaken by the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and Region 9 for FY2019.  She identified four work categories in the TPWPs and highlighted these areas: program support and administration, general development and comprehensive planning, long-range transportation planning, and short-range transportation planning.  Key issues include improving river crossing capacity, reducing congestion, integrating safety and security into processes, coordinating modes and connectivity, and helping local jurisdictions implement planned projects.

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CEDS Progress Report 2018 Draft Presented for 30-day Review

March 28, 2018 – Lindsay Whitson, Senior Planner at Bi-State Regional Commission, presented a draft of the 2018 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Progress Report, highlighting a few economic trends seen in the Quad Cities.  She also provided a list of the strengths, challenges, opportunities, and threats and emphasized the importance of each community’s economic-related projects.

The CEDS is the result of a locally-based, regionally-driven planning process designed to enhance the economic growth of the Bi-State Region.  Components of the CEDS Progress Report include a detailed overview of the people, economy, and sense of place of the Bi-State Region; a description of the strengths, challenges, opportunities, and threats; and a list of performance measures to access the progress toward the region’s goals.

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Iowa MVE and Trucking Industry Combat Human Trafficking

March 28, 2018 – Human trafficking, or modern-day slavery, is the exploitation of human beings through force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of commercial sex or forced labor.  Human trafficking generates $9.5 billion per year as reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and there are approximately 40 million slaves around the world, according to Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT).

Sergeant Neil Suckow with the Iowa Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Enforcement (MVE) reported that the MVE has teamed up with Truckers Against Trafficking to bring awareness to this problem.  Together, they seek to educate, equip, empower, and mobilize members of the trucking industry to spot and report suspected cases of human trafficking.

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