News from the Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO)

August 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. 

Other Events

WILMAPCO Public Workshop
Transportation Improvement Program
August 24, 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Newark Free Library 
For updates or more information on upcoming WILMAPCO meetings, please visit

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In this issue...
TIPWILMAPCO Public Workshop - Transportation Improvement Program

Don't miss the chance to have your say in how nearly $2 billion dollars of your tax dollars are spent. WILMAPCO's Transportation Improvement Program or TIP is the 4-year listing of federally-funded transportation projects for our region. Projects include highway, bus, rail, bicycle and pedestrian improvements.  Each year, the TIP is amended to reflect available funding in the Delaware Bond Bill, so we need your feedback on transportation priorities.   


A public workshop will be held on Monday, August 24 at the Newark Free Library, across from the Newark Post Office.  Attendees are welcome to stop by anytime between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.  Representatives from DelDOT and WILMAPCO will display project information and answer your questions.  Information can also be viewed online at  Comments will be accepted through September 10, prior to adoption by WILMAPCO's Council.  To learn more, please visit

SRTSWILMAPCO's Safe Routes to School Program Featured in Federal Newsletter

According to FHWA's Fostering Livable Communities Newsletter, "SRTS funds are helping improve accessibility and connectivity in a low-resource community. In Southbridge, a high-poverty neighborhood with a population of 1,600, residents struggle with limited transportation access to essential services. Through an environmental justice initiative, WILMAPCO identified Southbridge as a community in need of transportation alternatives to help promote economic revitalization and connect residents to key destinations. In 2006, WILMAPCO worked closely with the Southbridge community to develop a 20-year transportation vision as part of the South Wilmington Neighborhood Plan. Using this plan, WILMAPCO held a Walkable Community Workshop with residents. During the workshop, residents reported deteriorating sidewalk conditions and speeding vehicles near Elbert-Palmer Elementary School. As a result of this assessment, in 2009 DelDOT awarded WILMAPCO a $203,000 SRTS grant to install new sidewalks, curb ramps, striped crosswalks, stop signs, and enhanced school zone signage around the school. These improvements created safer walking and bicycling routes to the school."  To view the source article, please visit  


Member Agency News bike


JohnsonMaryland Gov. Hogan Taps Michigan DOT's Johnson to Head State Highway Agency
According to the AASHTO Journal, "Gov. Larry Hogan appointed Gregory Johnson as administrator of the Maryland Department of Transportation's State Highway Administration (SHA), pulling in Johnson from the second-highest position at the Michigan DOT. For the Michigan agency, Johnson serves multiple roles as deputy director, chief operations officer and chief engineer. Johnson also serves on various national boards and committees, including the national executive board of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' Standing Committees on Highways, American Society of Civil Engineers, Ferris State University Construction Industry Advisory Board, and the National Operations Center of Excellence executive board."  To view the source article, please visit  


Local News 


BetterBlockSecond Annual Better Block Wilmington
According to the West Side Grows Facebook page, "Join West Side Grows Together for the Second Annual Better Block Wilmington.  From August 3-5, West Side Grows Together will re-imagine two blocks of N. Union Street by adding landscaping, outdoor seating, public art, performance spaces, interactive activities and other features to create a more engaging, pedestrian friendly area. These elements were suggested to the community through the Better Block Committee, as well as the West Side Grows Together Revitalization Plan and the WILMAPCO Walkable Community Workshop.

Join West Side Grows Together on the 500 & 600 blocks of N. Union Street for free, family-friendly fun and to experience their  vision for the future of this area."
For more information, visit the event's
Facebook page at  


CleanCitiesAlternative Fuel Infrastructure Program
According to a Maryland Clean Cities email, "In partnership with the Maryland Energy Administration, Maryland Department of Environment, Maryland Department of Transportation, the Maryland Clean Cities Coalition has announced the opening of the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Program. The Maryland Energy Administration's Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Program will provide financial assistance to one or more eligible applicants, who desire to install, own and operate publicly accessible alternative fuel refilling or charging infrastructure in Maryland. Awards will be issued on a competitive basis with applications due no later than February 10, 2016."  For more information, please visit
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National News
AASHTOLawmakers Advancing Legislative Options to Extend Surface Transportation Programs
According to the AASHTO Journal, "Congress continued to maneuver over surface transportation policy and funding, making some progress on legislation as the countdown continued toward the July 31 expiration of Highway Trust Fund authority. However, the two chambers were focused on competing courses of action, as the House on July 15 passed a short-term extension of the trust fund while Senate leaders said they still planned to work for a long-term bill this month. The House measure would extend trust fund highway and transit program authorization through Dec. 18, with its $8.1 billion cost paid for mainly by extending Transportation Security Administration fees for an additional two years and adjusting several tax compliance laws.

The Senate was still working on several long-term measures, despite the short time remaining to work on legislation this month. The Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on July 15 marked up a highway safety and rail programs measure, which could be paired with a six-year highway bill already advanced by the Environment and Public Works Committee.

Even if the Senate does pass a long-term bill and related funding, House leaders have yet to unveil their own long-term authorization bill and there is little time left this month to negotiate a lengthy bill between the chambers  ."  To view the source article, please visit  

WalkabilityJournal of Physical Activity and Health: Special Walking Supplement
The Special Supplement to the Journal of Physical Activity and Health: Walking and Walkability: Approaches to Increase Physical Activity and Improve Health highlights approaches to increase population levels of physical activity through walking and improved walkability. The articles focus on improving the physical environment to support walking; and the role of personal motivation for walking. All 18 articles are available free to read and download."  For more information, please visit

DrivingIncreaseNation's Driving Increases for 14th Month in a Row
According to a Federal Highway Administration release, "New estimates released by the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that Americans drove 987.8 billion miles for the first four months of the year, topping the previous record - 965.5 billion - set in April 2007. The new data, published in FHWA's latest "Traffic Volume Trends" report, a monthly estimate of U.S. road travel, show that Americans drove 267.9 billion vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) in April - the most ever driven in April and the highest mileage for the first quarter of any year - underscoring the need for greater investment in transportation infrastructure. The April estimates show that the nation's driving has increased steadily for 14 consecutive months." To review the VMT data in FHWA's " Traffic Volume Trends" reports, please visit


NatureWalking in Nature Prevents Depression 

According to a CityLab article, "In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ( Stanford scientists examined whether a nature walk could reduce rumination in 38 mentally healthy city dwellers. Rumination is what happens when you get really sad, and you can't stop thinking about your glumness and what's causing it. It shows up as increased activity in a part of the brain that regulates negative emotions. They found natural environments are more restorative, and thus confer greater psychological benefits. If rumination continues for too long unabated, depression can set in."  To view the source article, please visit


VideoGameNew Video Game About Fixing Infrastructure

According to a Citylab article, "Grab your flashlight and start fixing a dangerous, crumbling mining city in INFRA. It was America's outdated roads and levees that inspired Loiste Interactive's Oskari Samiola to create INFRA. The game puts you into the shoes of a structural analyst. Nothing more than a quiet desk jockey assigned to survey some routine structural damage. Quickly though, your mission turns from a mundane trek to a fight for survival. Your tools are simple: the camera around your neck and the wits to navigate a virtual labyrinth of debris."  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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