News from the Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO)

September 2015 

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WILMAPCO Meetings 
All meetings are open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, meetings are held in the WILMAPCO Conference Room.   
In case of inclement weather, please call (302) 737-6205, or toll free from Cecil County at (888) 808-7088 for cancellations or postponements. 
Air Quality Subcommittee
September 10, 10 a.m.

Congestion Management Subcommittee
September 10, 1 p.m.

September 10, 6:30 p.m.

Data and Demographics Subcommittee
September 14, 10 a.m.

Technical Advisory Committee
September 17, 10 a.m.

Other Events

October 29, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Chase Center on the Riverfront
WILMAPCO will be closed on September 7 for Labor Day. 
For updates or more information on upcoming WILMAPCO meetings, please visit

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In this issue...

Mid-AtlanticRegistration is Open for the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Roundtable
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Roundtable, hosted by WILMAPCO, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and Baltimore Metropolitan Council, will focus on mobility, sustainability, and economic competitiveness in the Mid-Atlantic region. The event will take place on Thursday, October 29th at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, DE. The Roundtable allows agencies with common goals to share resources and collaborate on plans, projects, and a variety of contemporary issues. This year's topics will include: Federal Rail Administration's (FRA) Northeast Corridor (NEC) Future Program, Every Day Counts (EDC) Initiative, Planning Emphasis Areas (PEAs), federal authorization, regional transit projects, sustainability, and interregional freight planning and operations. Planners, elected officials, and the public are invited to participate in the free event. For more information or to register, please visit

WetlandSouth Wilmington Wetland Restoration and Conservation Project
A new wetland park is being designed in South Wilmington.  This $23.9 million project will create a high functioning wetland to handle excess stormwater runoff.  The project promises to reduce chronic flooding in the Southbridge neighborhood, provide new green space and recreational opportunities, spur economic and housing development, and restore damaged natural habitat.  In addition, the project will also create important transportation connections between Southbridge and the Riverfront - including new streets and a walking and bicycling trail. The new wetland.

An Open House Public Workshop for this project is being held on September 23, at Elbert-Palmer Elementary School's gymnasium. Attendees are welcome to stop by anytime between between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. to learn about the wetland project, see proposed design alternatives, and provide feedback.  To learn more, please visit
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DTCDelaware Transit Corporation Hosts Open House Informational Sessions in September 2015
Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC) is conducting three Open House Information Sessions to seek input from customers and the public on possible changes to individual bus routes, fare media, and additional SEPTA train service into Delaware. Sessions are being held in advance of introducing service proposals at DART's Public Hearing Workshops later in November. The sessions are:
  • Monday, September 14, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    Wilmington Public Library - The Commons Room
    10 E. 10th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801
  • Tuesday, September 15, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    850 Library Avenue, Newark, DE 19711
  • Tuesday, September 22, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    Middletown Town Hall - Council Chambers
    19 W. Green St., Middletown, DE 19709
If an accommodation such as an interpreter for the hearing impaired or a language translator is needed, please contact DTC by calling 1-800-652-DART (3278), option 2, one week in advance.

US301USDOT Greenlights $211 Million TIFIA Loan for US 301 Project
According to AASHTO Journal, "DelDOT received eligibility approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation for a long-term, low-interest loan of up to $211.35 million to help build a 14-mile toll road. The project would tap the federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for part of a $470 million mainline toll road to replace the current two-lane US 301 that angles northward and eastward in the Middletown area from the Delaware/Maryland state line to connect with north-south State Route 1 as it runs along US 13 near Biddles Corner. Now, with the federal loan commitment road work in that corridor is estimated to cost $643 million, DelDOT will verify construction cost estimates this month by advertising for bids on the two largest construction segments that represent 55 percent of the costs. It wants to lock in bids during the September/October time period, begin construction in January and open the toll road in December 2018." To view the source article, please visit

MTAMTA Seeks $58 Million for new MARC Engines
According to the Baltimore Sun, "The Maryland Transit Administration wants to spend $58 million to buy eight diesel locomotives for its MARC service to replace its fleet of electric engines. The MTA is moving to make the purchase now because Amtrak plans to stop maintaining MARC's electric fleet. The diesel locomotives are not expected to be delivered until the fall of 2017. That means that for a little over a year, MARC will have to take over maintenance of the electric locomotives."  To view the source article, please visit
Local News 
BikeShareCity of Wilmington and DelDOT Launch Wilmington Bike Share Feasibility Study and Website
According to a City of Wilmington release, "T he City of Wilmington Department of Planning and Development and DelDOT launched the City of Wilmington Bike Share Feasibility Study website: City and DelDOT are exploring the feasibility of implementing a bike share system in Wilmington. The website is designed to provide information on the status of the study and to gather public input on topics relevant to the implementation of a bike share system. The city encourages citizens, residents and those interested in the concept of bike sharing to attend a public meeting, which will be held on Monday, September 21. The meeting will be held in the Commons area of the Wilmington Public Library from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m." For more information, please contact Leah Kacanda, Planner I for the Department of Planning and Development, at (302) 576-3104 or email
GasTaxCarper Proposes Gas Tax Increase
According to a News Journal article, "Tom Carper is continuing his push for a gas tax increase, this time with a new bill he introduced. The Delaware Democrat's legislation would increase gas and diesel taxes by four cents a year for four years and then index them to inflation. It would also extend and expand the earned income and child tax credits to balance the 16-cent cost of the gas tax increase."  To view the source article, please visit

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National News

CDCCDC Releases new Built Environmental Assessment Tool
According to the CDC website, "The Built Environment Assessment Tool (BE Tool), an adaptation of MAPS, assesses a core set of features including built environment infrastructure, walkability, bikeability, recreational sites and structures, and the food environment. The BE Tool also describes the training of data collectors, provides instructions for selecting and assessing street segments, and offers guidance on managing and analyzing data."  To learn more, please visit

RealtorSurveyRealtors® Survey Again Shows Preference for Walkable Communities
According to the National Association of REALTORS┬« 2015 Community Preference Survey, "Americans, especially Boomers and Millennials, want to live just a walk away from destinations and neighborhood amenities. The survey also reveals preferences for maintaining and fixing current roadways, reasons for not walking or bicycling more often, and factors people consider when finding a place to live."  For more information, please visit

TransitWhat Do Americans Think about Public Transit? A Review of U.S. Public Opinion Polling Survey Questions
According to the Transportation Research Board, "The Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University has released a report that assembles a large set of transit-related survey questions to identify patterns in public opinion about transit across multiple surveys. The analysis of the poll questions found that strong majorities of people believed that transit brings a number of specific benefits to their community, especially congestion relief and accessibility to vulnerable residents. Strong majorities also support improvements to transit as a general concept. However, fewer people support the general concept of increased spending on transit, and considerably fewer than half support raising any specific tax to
increase transit funding, except for sales taxes, which usually enjoy majority support."  To learn more, please visit

MuralsDo Street Murals Help Calm Traffic?
According to a CityLab article, "The Canadian City of Kitchener has a problem intersection that seems to attract accidents. But municipal regulations prevented the installation of a four-way stop.The local neighborhood association persuaded the city to place a mural in the middle of the intersection. The hope is the artwork, now part of a pilot traffic project, will make drivers focus and navigate the crossing with caution. Kitch ener is the latest in a long line of communities to attempt traffic calming via public art. In the 1990s, citizens of Portland, Oregon, started painting their own intersections; St. Paul followed up with two murals in 2006; Cambridge also got in on the action that year and Minneapolis and Tacoma, Washington, installed murals in 2011."  To view the source article, please visit
About Us
The Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO) is the regional transportation planning agency for New Castle County, Delaware and Cecil County, Maryland. As the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), WILMAPCO is charged with planning and coordinating transportation investments for the region based on federal policy, local input, technical analysis, and best practices.  For more information, please visit our website at
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