Planning for the Future
Preparing for the Future: Advanced Transportation Technologies
Technological innovation is occurring at a lightning pace and reshaping nearly every aspect of our lives. Our region’s ability to thrive and compete depends on our preparedness to embrace what’s next. To ensure the success of our region, OKI must be well-informed to predict the impact of technology not only on transportation, but on our lives. However, OKI’s focus is not technology for technology sake. OKI remains a public service agency committed to planning and investing in technological advancements that best address our pressing current and future transportation needs. In 2017, OKI took several important steps to meeting this challenge.
OKI Prioritization Process Update
OKI’s Prioritization Process is well known for its robust, data-driven framework. Staff have consistently refined the Process with our members’ support as new data has become available and new multi-modal transportation needs have developed. With the goal of adding elements to the process that encourage the application of new technologies that promise to address critical transportation problems more effectively, staff began working in 2017 to draft a scoring mechanism that would encompass innovative solutions. The updated Process places value on technology ranging from high performance materials to Connected/Autonomous vehicles. As good public stewards, applicants will be required to demonstrate early and effective communication throughout their project development process with their State DOT and FHWA and FTA representatives to review any potential proprietary and/or sole source vendor issues associated with proposed new technology elements. In addition, projects may receive points in the Process for making future accommodations that avoid or reduce the risk for expensive retrofitting. As always, the OKI Board retains final approval on all projects to be funded. This Process update is intended as an initial step based on the knowledge and resources available today. OKI is dedicated to the continued amendment and enhancement of the Prioritization Process as new information and understanding is obtained.
Referred to as “The People’s Plan” by Judge/Executive Gary Moore due to the immense level of public engagement and its dedication to the needs of the community, the Boone County Transportation Plan provides a strategic action plan for Boone County transportation investments, now to 2040. Boone County requested that OKI manage this year-long county-wide transportation plan to identify the most critical needs and develop the transportation recommendations to address them. It had been over a decade since the last comprehensive study of Boone County transportation needs had been conducted.
The OKI Strategic Regional Policy Plan continued to inform communities and decision makers across the region this year. OKI maintained the plan, housed at www.howdowegrow.org by updating several issue area infographics with current statistics and posting them through the year on OKI social media outlets. To stay up-to-date please visit the plan and keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter feed.
The Land Use Commission Steering Committee led a social media campaign during the fall of 2017. Campaign posts received 77,227 views; included 4,248 responses to 9 survey questions; and generated 124 comments informing the Committee on areas to address in the SRPP. Looking ahead, the www.howdowegrow.org will begin considering the potential impacts and opportunities of new technology on community development and land use patterns. Staff will integrate this focus into future Regional Planning Forums.
OKI Regional Planning Forum:
OKI’s Land Use Commission Steering Committee hosted two informative and engaging Regional Planning Forum events during 2017. The Forum is a regional outlet for sharing information, experience and expertise among planners and those in related disciplines throughout the region. Featured topics in 2017 included future of retail development and potential impacts of autonomous vehicles (AVs) on community development.
OKI Staff Conducted a Field Review of the Wasson Way Trail Project
Bike & Pedestrian Planning
OKI’s regional bicycle program encourages bicycle use for transportation purposes beyond just recreational. The Regional Bicycle Plan focuses on making the roadway network more accommodating to cyclists by including the appropriate on-street facilities. Trails and the suitability of streets for cycling are illustrated in the OKI Bike Route Guides for Ohio and Northern Kentucky counties and the city of Cincinnati. This information is important because the majority of cycling takes place on ordinary roads which often lack a dedicated space for cycling. OKI provides funding for numerous trail and bike projects to communities in the region.
The regional pedestrian program similarly encourages the development of a more walkable region through the recommendations and resources outlined in the plan. In support of the walkability concept for communities, OKI supports Safe Routes to School projects and the Bike Share Program through the award of Transportation Alternatives Funds.
Coordinated Public Transit
The Coordinated Public Transit – Human Services Transportation Plan (Coordinated Plan) is a unified, comprehensive strategy for public transportation service delivery that identifies the transportation needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities; lays out strategies for meeting these needs; and prioritizes services for these target populations.
Through 2017, OKI continued to engage seniors, individuals with disabilities, the general public, private and non-profit transportation providers, human service agencies, passengers and their advocates, and other stakeholders with online and hardcopy questionnaires, public meetings, and various workshops to discuss needs and gauge the most effective and feasible strategies for addressing them.
Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program
OKI awarded just over $1 million to agencies across the region in 2017 for vehicles and activities specifically for improving mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities. These funds were invested in a total of 9 paratransit vehicles; funds to offset vehicle maintenance expenses; 1 mobility management program serving residents in Northern Kentucky; and operating costs for 2 transit agencies serving portions of 4 counties in the region.
OKI has twenty vanpools in operation throughout the region.
OKI’s RideShare program continues to remove single occupant vehicles from the region’s roadways. The goal of the program is to make trips to work easy, less costly, more environmentally-friendly and more convenient. RideShare is committed to improving the daily business commute for everyone in the OKI region with innovative transportation solutions such as carpooling and vanpooling.
RideShare provides commuters an opportunity to save money on the normal “wear and tear” of a vehicle including gas, tires, mileage and maintenance. The program also offers flexibility that fits commuters’ lifestyles by allowing them to share a ride as infrequently as once a week or as often as every day.