Planning & Government Services

Image description

Our Mission: Provide long-range strategic planning and local technical assistance to CRC member governments to help them identify and support beneficial community and regional growth management policies, plans, and programs.

 

Transportation Tools

The Coastal Regional Transportation Assessment (Dec. 2009) was completed for the counties in the CRC.  This assessment assisted the CRC in drafting the regional plan and is available to the CRC counties for their planning efforts. 

 

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is the state agency responsible for transportation development and management.  The GDOT Local Governments Webpage provides information on programs and opportunities for local governments through GDOT Georgia Statewide Transportation Plan.

 

The US Department of Transportation (US DOT) is the lead federal transportation agency.  Within the US DOT is the Federal Highway Administration providing information about federal programs related to highway transportation including funding, pedestrian and bicycle, environment, congestion etc.

 

The Institute of Traffic Engineers is one of five organizations developing standards for USDOT. This is a resource providing technical guidance on range of urban and transportation issues from planning to design, and auto to pedestrian.

 

The Surface Transportation Policy Partnership (STPP) is a nationwide coalition working on safer communities and smarter transportation choices.  STPP provides transportation resources relating to their four issue areas, enhance the economy, improve public health, promote social equity, and protect the environment. STPP also provides information on transportation policy issues, along with state transportation stats and issue related reports.

 

Intermodal

  • Intermodal refers to bringing together more than one method of transportation particularly a focus of economic development when various transportation methods or modes connect such as rail, automotive, sea and/or air, providing the alternative transportation to the economic activities.  GDOT Intermodal Webpage has links to GDOT’s Aviation, Rail, Transit and Waterways programs.

Transportation Development Programs

  • Smart Growth America Transportation Element identifies transportation as the backbone for smart growth principles of accessibility, connections, mobility/transportation alternatives, convenience, and efficiency.
  • Congress for New Urbanism is an organization promoting walkable communities, improved transportation efficiency.

Community Impact Assessment

  • Community Impact Assessment website is a community assessment clearing house providing resources for evaluating transportation planning on a community.  The FHWA involved in development of this assessment tool.  This resource provides access to federal and other resources including guidance, programs and transportation toolkit.

Safe Routes to School

  • Safe Routes to School is a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) program to encourage communities to provide safe walking and biking options for children to go to school.  FHWA provides program framework, requirements and funding opportunities.  The National Center for Safe Routes to schools is another resource on program resources and guidance.

 

Complete Streets

  • Complete (walkable) streets is an approach to designing street projects, whether new or rehabilitation, to include all transportation alternatives, automotive, pedestrian, bicycle, and transit.  Complete street designs include features that make people feel comfortable and safe (trees, to provide shade, benches and other resting places). The National Complete Streets Coalition Webpage  provides resources and fact sheets covering different demographic groups, transportation related topics, including model legislation, examples and updates on federal level actions. 

 

Context Sensitive Solutions

  • Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) is a broad view approach to link transportation investment and land use planning for the built, natural and social environments.  The needs of the community and the natural environment are used to direct road investments.  Federal Highway Administration defines CSS as "a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that involves all stakeholders to develop a transportation facility that fits its physical setting and preserves the scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources, while maintaining safety and mobility."  Early citizen involvement is important to ensure a transportation project achieves a community's goals and that the road serves as an asset to the adjoining neighborhoods.  CSS includes incorporating human scale designs at appropriate locations to slow traffic and create a walkable, pedestrian-friendly environment.  The ITE Context Sensitive Solutions webpage has a number of resources, including Context Sensitive Solutions in Designing Major Urban Thoroughfares for Walkable Communities, a collaborative project with the Congress for New Urbanism, FHWA and US EPA. Context Sensitive Solutions.Org is another resource providing information from practices to research.

 

Corridor Plans

  • Roadway corridors provide social and economic connection between and a window to neighborhoods and communities.  How a roadway corridor is planned can make a difference between source of pride, convenient pleasant travel, or, over time, resulting in blight and congestion due to lack of planning.  A Corridor Plan is a way to provide a vision and goals for development of and along an entire road corridor.  A Corridor Plan provides a tool that integrates and balances transportation mobility planning with local goals for land use and community character.  The use of overlay zone is one tool for implementation by addressing  design features of development along roadway. 

 

Connectivity

  • Inter-connected street networks improve mobility by providing more options to reach destinations and dispersing, not concentrating traffic, lowering speeds, is safer for alternative modes of transportation - walking/biking, can shorten trips saving time and money, and provide more options to respond to emergencies.

 

Traffic Calming

  • Traffic calming street design technique is a means to slow and control flow of traffic in neighborhoods and other special focus areas where there are pedestrians and bicyclist as well as cars.  Traffic calming needs to use design features to meet specific needs of an area. Traffic calming programs rely on education, enforcement and engineering to control volume and change speed. Traffic Calming.Org resource providing information on techniques and practices that may be applied based on specific needs.

Transit

  • Public transit provides transportation service to people who do not have their own vehicles or are unable to drive.  It is also an alternative for people who may not wish to use or are unable to use their personal vehicle.  With cost of personal vehicles increasing along with the cost of the infrastructure to support private vehicles, public transit is an alternative.  The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recognizes transit's contribution to environmental sustainability.  For safety and efficiency purposes there are a growing number of planning and design tools available to support public transit.  These tools include individual elements of a system such as pull outs for pick-up stops, location of stops. to neighborhood or community development designs, transit oriented development, to provide convenient access to housing, work and shopping.  The FTA is the primary federal transit resource for communities.  FTA resources include information on planning, funding, regulation and accessibility. GDOT Transit Program has available funding and operating assistance to local transit programs.  

 

Transit Oriented Development (TOD)

  • Is the practice of locating development close to public transportation or creating sufficient population or activity in a location to support transit.  Transit becomes center focal point of community/neighborhood easily accessible walking distance to shops, residences, services, offices, containing a mix of uses. The Center for Transit Oriented Development is a  resource with variety of information and documents transit oriented development and related topics including funding, best practices, affordable housing. FTA does provide funding for certain TOD activities.

 

Rural Transit

  • The CRC Transportation Services administers a number of transportation programs for the 10 county region.  CRC Transportation Services is continuing to work with interested local governments to bring and expand transit services within the region.  The GDOT Transit Program provides information and assistance with Rural Transit programs.

 

Walking and Bicycling 

  • Walking and bicycling are important transportation alternative that have a long recognized recreational value.  There are a number of programs seeking to enhance walking and bicycling opportunities.  A particular focus has been the Rails to Trails imitative that is creating trails along not in use and abandoned railroad right-of-ways.  Greenways are another imitative that ties open space creation with walking and bicycling.  There are a number of organizations dedicated to the creation and promotion of trails that offer valuable resources.  American Trails.Org offers general resources, along with Georgia Specific trail information.  They are also involved in the rails to trails initiative and greenways imitative nationwide. Walkable Communities, Inc. is another organization promoting and providing resources for pedestrian oriented transportation network design, for sustainability, health resource protection by including safe pedestrian use in designs.
  • The Rails to Trails initiatives are being implemented in Coastal Georgia.

 

Blueways

  • Blueways imitative is creating water trails for paddlers by identifying resources, stops, launches, interest points.  American Trails.Org has a  water trails resource library.  Development of the Coastal Blueway from South Carolina to Florida is underway that will provide paddlers with information on a recommended route, where launch sites are available and where they can camp and provision.  Completion of the Georgia Coastal Blueway will provide a link between the Florida and South Carolina trails that are part of a planned Atlantic Coast Blueway.  With the rivers intersecting the Coastal Blueway there are opportunities develop similar information, developing further recreational opportunities for paddlers and communities along these rivers.

 

Metropolitan Planning Organizations

  • Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO’s) are created by the U.S. Departments of Transportation to facilitate transportation planning efforts in areas with populations greater than 50,000.  There are three located in Coastal Georgia.  The Savannah Coastal Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, one in Glynn County Brunswick  and the third in Hinesville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. Coordination with and among the local governments included in these MPO’s with their various plans is critical for quality growth.  As the coastal region continues to develop the MPO's may be expanded or additional MPO’s maybe created.

 

Funding

  • Local funding options include impact fees, and locally generated taxes including SPLOST. 
  • The Georgia Transportation Investment Act of 2010 creates special tax and revenue district to facilitate planning and development of transportation projects within each district.  Each district has the option to impose a regional tax to fund transportation projects within their district.  The districts must receive voter approval for the district wide tax.
  • Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant program is a GDOT grant program available to local governments.  It replaces both State Aid and Local Assistance Road Program.
  • GDOT Local Governments Webpage provides list and links to GDOT programs providing funds available to local governments
  • GDNR offers two grants that may be used for trials, greenways, and other transportation that has and environmental aspect to it.