Rural Transportation News

December 2021

Photo of river bridge under construction
Image: I-74 Mississippi River Bridge between Illinois and Iowa, The Illinois-bound bridge opened to traffic on December 2. Image: Bi-State Regional Commission.
Infrastructure Information

NADO hosted a December 9 webinar focused on the bipartisan infrastructure law (BIL). Hal Hiemstra, partner at Summit Strategies, provided an analysis of the intricacies of the law and discussed funding opportunities for regional and rural organizations. Listen or view the recording.
Looking for additional resources on IIJA/BIL? The U.S. Department of Transportation website includes summaries and fact sheets for existing and new grant programs.

Federal Highway Administration

FHWA has invited public input on the implementation of highway-related portions of the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act. Comments can be submitted here.

Federal Transit Administration

FTA will host an informational webinar on January 7 at 2pm ET highlighting the public transportation program changes authorized under BIL. Register to attend.
NADO Resources
Planning and Environment Linkages
The NADO Research Foundation is collaborating with the Federal Highway Administration to enhance professional expertise and training for rural and regional transportation planning organizations on Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL).

PEL is a collaborative and integrated approach to transportation decision-making that considers proposed transportation improvements in relation to the environment, community, and economy.

Read NADO’s latest PEL posts featuring a Pennsylvania DOT alternatives study and PlanWorks, a web resource for planners.

November 2021

October 2021

Image: Sweetgrass Development, North Central Montana
Intelligent Transportation Systems in Rural Regions and Communities

Whether communities in your region are deploying dynamic message signs for detours and special events, adding a pedestrian signal at a Main Street crosswalk, or alerting motorists about wildlife crossings, intelligent transportation systems (ITS) has a role in rural areas!

If you are planning ITS projects or would like to hear from peers who are operating and maintaining transportation technology, the USDOT ITS Joint Program Office offers free, short-term technical assistance and training through the ITS Peer Program and Professional Capacity Building Program.

Agencies eligible for the peer program include rural and regional transportation planning organizations, MPOs, transit agencies, and state, county, and local transportation and public works professionals. The types of ITS challenges that have been supported through the program are listed on the Peer Program website.

The Intelligent Transportation Systems Professional Capacity Building Program provides online resources, training modules, and webinars based on the latest research. ITS PCB is a way for transportation stakeholders to stay informed about advances in ITS technologies and learn how they can be applied to solve real-world transportation challenges.
Rural Development Technical Assistance Reports

The NADO Research Foundation and the Small Urban, Rural, and Tribal Center on Mobility (a consortium led by the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University) have prepared several technical assistance reports related to rural mobility. This work is supported through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. USDA is an equal opportunity provider.

Reports published from 2018 to 2021 include:

Economic Development Writing
and Lecture Series

In 2021, the NADO Research Foundation sponsored the creation of ten issue briefs and accompanying short videos that focus on the practical elements of doing economic development. The briefs touch on current and emerging economic development topics, especially in small metros and rural regions.

This series was designed specifically for Economic Development District (EDD) staff and leadership who maintain a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) but should be of interest to a wider audience of practitioners working on community development, housing, mobility, recreation, technology, and workforce.

Image: Northern Maine Development Commission
Funding Opportunity
National Safety Council and Road to Zero Grants

The Road to Zero Coalition has opened applications for a new round of Community Traffic Safety Grants. The focus of the grant program is on innovative and promising approaches for implementing evidence-based countermeasures, supporting a Safe System approach, and performing necessary research to address traffic fatalities and improve traffic safety. Applicants must be a Road to Zero Coalition Member. Non-profits and government entities are eligible.

Grant applications are due January 7, 2022.
2022 NADO Conferences
NADO plans to hold in-person conferences in 2022. We are committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment. We will monitor and update safety precautions regularly to coordinate with federal, state, local, and host hotel requirements. NADO may implement COVID-related safety requirements during the conferences.

We look forward to seeing you at the Washington Policy Conference! Save the dates for the July National Regional Transportation Conference and October Annual Training Conference.

NADO – DDAA Washington Policy Conference
March 13 – 16, 2022
Crystal Gateway Marriott
Arlington, Virginia

NADO and the Development District Association of Appalachia (DDAA) are hosting the Washington Policy Conference this March. Conference sessions will focus on regional development, the federal landscape, and the programs and policies of interest to regional development organizations and their stakeholders. Registration is currently open.

Save the Date

National Regional Transportation Conference
July 19 -21, 2022
Marriott Country Club Plaza
Kansas City, Missouri

The National Regional Transportation Conference provides peer-to-peer learning for regional transportation planners, state DOT representatives, and their local and private sector partners working in multiple transportation modes. With hands-on workshops, best practice panels, and facilitated networking sessions, the conference offers training for organizations and individuals just beginning to work in transportation, as well as those with more experience. Look for registration, proposal submission deadlines, and agenda updates in Winter 2022.

NADO Annual Training Conference
October 14 - 18, 2022
Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

We will share more information about the 2022 Pittsburgh ATC in the coming months!

Happy Holidays!

We wish you a magical season
and a bright New Year!

Over 270,000 visitors went through Kentucky's Madisonville City Park in 2020 to see the "Deck the Park" lights.

The city transformed the park for its first-ever drive-through Christmas light show. For 11 days, residents could experience the free event from the safety of their cars and feel hope and joy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pennyrile Area Development District
and City of Madisonville, Kentucky
Thank you to our NADO members for their eye-catching photography!
The images in this newsletter include entries and winners from the 2021 NADO Photo Contest.
Follow RPO America on Facebook and Twitter!