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Statewide Long-Range Transportation Policy Plan Update Transportation Stakeholders Group Public Open House Meeting Wasi PowerPoint Presentation
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Statewide Long-Range Transportation Policy Plan Update Transportation Stakeholders Group Public Open House Meeting Wasilla, Alaska July 18, 2007 Lois N. Epstein, P.E. Engineer and Director, AK Transportation Priorities Project (Anchorage, AK) lois@aktransportation.org

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Statewide Long-Range Transportation Policy Plan UpdateTransportation Stakeholders GroupPublic Open House Meeting Wasilla, AlaskaJuly 18, 2007

Lois N. Epstein, P.E.

Engineer and Director, AK Transportation Priorities Project

(Anchorage, AK)

lois@aktransportation.org

www.aktransportation.org

Promoting sensible transportation systems in Alaska

what is the alaska transportation priorities project
What is the Alaska Transportation Priorities Project?

ATPP:

  • Works on transportation systems, projects, and policies
  • Promotes safe, economic, well-maintained, and environmentally-appropriate transportation
  • Consists of an alliance of conservation organizations, some businesses, some individuals
  • Funded by foundations, businesses, individuals

Promoting sensible transportation systems in Alaska

what is the alaska transportation priorities project continued
What is the Alaska Transportation Priorities Project? Continued…

ATPP:

  • Has an advisory board including two former state commissioners (DNR, Highways)
  • Uses Southeast Alaska Conservation Council as its “fiscal sponsor”; SEACC performs administrative and financial services for ATPP, which has independent decision-making authority from SEACC

Promoting sensible transportation systems in Alaska

my background credentials
My Background/Credentials
  • Practicing engineering for over 20 years (licensed since 1989 – MD, 2003 - AK)
  • Worked in the private, public, and non-profit sectors
  • Served on several federal advisory committees, with appointments by Cabinet members (DOT, EPA)
  • Delivered invited Congressional testimony over 10 times
  • Stanford, M.S.; bachelors degrees from MIT and Amherst College

Promoting sensible transportation systems in Alaska

what atpp can bring to the table
What ATPP Can Bring to the Table
  • Public and non-profit organizational support for ADOT actions
  • Public education on issues like the changing federal funding environment
  • Conservation, safety, and fiscal responsibility advocacy
  • Serving as a watch-dog for ADOT decisions

Promoting sensible transportation systems in Alaska

notable process problems with statewide lrtpp development
Notable Process Problems withStatewide LRTPP Development
  • No TSG members representing conservation, non-motorized transportation, tribal, or worker interests
  • Public meetings are not convenient and accessible (midsummer in Wasilla is not convenient or accessible); the 2020 LRTPP involved two public committees (one with 600 members), statewide radio call-ins, meetings in many communities, and a state fair booth

Promoting sensible transportation systems in Alaska

atpp supports the following from tsg interviews
ATPP Supports the Following from TSG Interviews
  • AMHS is important to the state, not just SE
  • Lack of adequate operations and maintenance funding needs to be remedied
  • Lack of transit funding needs to be remedied
  • Earmarks for mega-projects mean less money for smaller projects statewide; avoid high-cost projects
  • Engaging more people in the process would increase effectiveness

Promoting sensible transportation systems in Alaska

atpp supports the following from the transportation transition team report 12 19 06
ATPP Supports the Following from the Transportation Transition Team Report, 12/19/06
  • “priorities should be influenced less by politics and more by data, need…” (p. 2)
  • “[Juneau and Ketchikan] projects are seen as a severe drain on resources” (p. 2)
  • Earmarks “basically trump all other project priorities, even those in the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) due to [the] influence behind them” (p. 2)
  • “Clearly showing the entire funding sources in the STIP for all projects including “mega projects” is needed” (p. 2)

Promoting sensible transportation systems in Alaska

atpp supports the following from the transportation transition team report 12 19 069
ATPP Supports the Following from the Transportation Transition Team Report, 12/19/06
  • “modernize aged [AMHS] vessels with more route and user appropriate vessels that burn less fuel and require less manpower” (p. 3)
  • “consistent, stable ferry schedule known well in advance” (p. 3)
  • “too much of the state’s limited funding is going to projects that do not assist with the National Highway System” (p. 8)
  • “Develop a State Funded Transportation and Maintenance program” (p. 9)
  • “the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority (KABATA) project needs to follow a more methodical and deliberate approach” (p. 12)

Promoting sensible transportation systems in Alaska

policy addition needed
Policy Addition Needed

ADOT needs a public “right-to-know” policy to ensure transparency and accountability

ADOT should publicly report, for example:

  • Costs per lane-mile for new and repaired/reconstructed roads to allow appropriate project cost comparisons
  • Full project costs in the STIP, including project “cost estimate validation” for projects costing over $X
  • All revenue sources in the STIP, past, present, and potential future revenues
  • The draft STIP needs to include a chart showing which projects have been scaled back, delayed, and cancelled to assist the public in commenting

Promoting sensible transportation systems in Alaska

fix it first policy needed
Fix it First! Policy Needed

ADOT should maximally fund maintenance and safety upgrades before building new roads

  • 33% of Alaska’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition (ASCE, 2005)
  • 30% of Alaska’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete (ASCE, 2005)
  • Alaskan motorists pay $102 mill./yr in extra repairs and operating costs due to poor roads (ASCE, 2005)

Promoting sensible transportation systems in Alaska

regional transportation planning policies
Regional Transportation Planning Policies

Southcentral – Regional plan for Southcentral transportation is needed as Anchorage and the MSB increasingly are interconnected; extensive public involvement is warranted

Southeast – The Knowles and Murkowski Southeast regional plans should be reviewed critically and revisited with the assumptions critiqued, individual routes analyzed for a wide variety of factors, ferry privatization increasingly explored, etc.

Promoting sensible transportation systems in Alaska

transportation financing policies
Transportation Financing Policies

Remote/Bush Communities – ATPP supports maintaining the state’s unique character and way of life by helping finance transportation needs in remote/Bush communities with state revenues

Urban Areas – ATPP supports financial assistance to public transportation in urban areas using state revenues

Promoting sensible transportation systems in Alaska

industrial roads policies
Industrial Roads Policies
  • There should be no public subsidy for roads only used by industry
  • Some industrial roads, even if fully-funded by industry, may not be environmentally-appropriate because they pass through sensitive areas
  • The road development policy in the 1988 Alaska Mineral Policy Act should be revisited in this era of declining funds for transportation

Promoting sensible transportation systems in Alaska