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Source: Ginnie Kozak

South Carolina COG-MPO Conference 2019

Beaufort, SC

February 4 – 5
 

On February 4 and 5th transportation planners and engineers from all over the state gathered for the annual South Carolina Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) and Council of Government (COG) conference in Beaufort, SC. The conference, with its overall goal of promoting a multi-modal transportation system across the state, focused on topics related to intermodal planning and asset management via local projects, best practices, and issues pertinent to the area.

Presentations were provided by individuals from various parts of the state. These presentations, as well as brief synopses, can be viewed below:
(Click on the title to view the corresponding presentation)  

Mary Black Rail Trail: Expanding the Network

Sherry Dull | Senior Transportation Planner | Spartanburg Area Transportation Study

Blake Loudermilk, PE | Senior Engineer | Toole Design Group

The history of the Mary Black Rail Trail as well as several current projects and initiatives that are building upon its growing popularity and use. A look at how the extension of the trail has created a true network that is benefiting the community, the challenges and opportunities in coordinating significant portions along SCDOT rights-of-way, and the lessons that are being learned throughout the process are also assessed.

A Freight Planning Primer

Jennifer Humphreys, AICP | Senior Transportation Planner | CDM Smith

Combines the basics of a FAST Act compliant freight mobility plan with the recent experiences from the Greater Charlotte Regional Freight Mobility Plan and the Central Midlands Freight Mobility Plan. Necessary elements such as data inputs, public engagement activities, analyses and recommendations typical of a freight plan are reviewed as well as “Lessons Learned”. 

jen cog mpo - Copy
Source: Lance Estep

I-95 Corridor Freight/Interchange Study

Emily Swearingen, PE | Associate Vice President | AECOM

A study that was conducted to evaluate nine interchanges along the I-95 Corridor in the Lowcountry, and their ability to accommodate a distribution/logistics center or related industrial development. A simulation of a 1,000,000 square foot distribution center at each interchange was utilized to determine the potential road and traffic impacts as well as what, if any, improvements might be required to adequately accommodate such centers.

Palmetto Breeze and Walterboro Works: A Workforce Development Partnership

Ginnie Kozak | Planning Director | Lowcountry Council of Governments

The planning process used to develop a new bus service in the City of Walterboro which utilized an approach that could be applied in other communities in the Lowcountry as well as other regions of SC or the US. Planning included a specialized approach to origin-destination analysis by concentrating on the target markets for the service. 

The Lowcountry Council of Governments received a 2018 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for this project.

Mobility Management in the Charleston Area

Vonie Gilreath | Mobility Manager | Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments

The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments’ Mobility Management Program serves as a centralized system to provide residents and employers of the rural part of the region with a menu of transportation options including transit, carpooling, vanpooling, bicycling and walking. Focus areas included the new Lowcountry Go Commuter Services Program and the transportation needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Design Matrix Toolkit: Measuring Physical Tradeoffs between Competing Modes for Complete Streets Case Study – Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC

Mike Rutkowski, PE, AICP | Principal/Complete Streets Leader | Stantec Consulting

Explores advanced methods and a defined process that designers and practitioners can utilize to retrofit streets using Complete Street Design Matrix Toolkit and process. The presentation expands on some of the innovative designs, tradeoffs considered and unique measures of success for corridor retrofits. The Case Study involved the retrofit of the Whiskey Road Complete Streets Corridor, Aiken SC.

COG-MPO Conference  
Source: Lance Estep

Data Matters: How Big Data and Engagement Numbers Drove the Horizon 2040 Plan

Tim Padgett, PE | Transportation Engineer | Kimley-Horn

Jonathan Guy, PE, AICP, | Vice President | Kimley-Horn

Keith Brockington, AICP | Transportation Planning Manager | GPATS.

The recently adopted GPATS Horizon 2040 LRTP leveraged different types of data to educate the public, guide decision-makers, and help reshape the balance between how funds are distributed among travel modes.

SCDOT & FHWA Updates

Jessica Hekter, AICP | Planning and Program Delivery Team Leader | FHWA

Brent Rewis, PE | Director of Planning | SCDOT

The new and trending topics within the South Carolina Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration.

Rebranding APPR: An Introduction to the Feasibility Report

Brent Rewis, PE | Director of Planning | SCDOT

Betsy McCall, PE | Feasibility Report Manager | SCDOT

The process and expected output of the new Feasibility Report in determining the feasibility of a project moving to the development phase.

Data Driven Safety Analysis

Emily Thomas | Safety Planning and Research Manager | SCDOT

The Data Driven Safety Analysis (DDSA) utilizes analyses such as predictive and systemic methodologies to assess crash and roadway data to quantify the safety impacts of highway projects. This allows organizations to target investments with more confidence and reduce severe crashes and deaths on the roadways.

Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan Update

Brent Rewis, PE | Director of Planning | SCDOT

Doug Frate | Director of Intermodal & Freight Programs | SCDOT

SCDOT is required to update its Statewide Multimodal Plan Update every 5 years and is currently in the midst of the current update. This presentation clarifies the elements, goals, and objectives of the Plan update.

An article regarding this conference appeared in a Charleston-business publication and can be viewed by clicking on the following link







NADO Awards Picture
                    NADOAliceann Workforce Innovation picture                                          

Contact: Joe McKinney
NADO Executive Director
202.624.5947 l jmckinney@nado.org
For immediate release
October 25, 2018

Lowcountry Council of Governments receives
National Association of Development Organizations 2018 Innovation Award

 WASHINGTON, DC – Lowcountry Council of Governments, based in Yemassee, SC, has received a 2018 Aliceann Wohlbruck Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for the Walterboro Works Transportation Demonstration Project.

 Walterboro Works operates within the City of Walterboro and surrounding urbanized areas of Colleton County, linking residents with a wide variety of training and employment opportunities.

 NADO is a Washington, DC-based membership association of regional development organizations that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies.  The association’s Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities. 

 Award-winning projects were honored during NADO’s 2018 Annual Training Conference, held October 13 – 16 in Charlotte, NC.   The 2018 class of award recipients consists of 90 projects spanning 24 states.  These projects are presented in an interactive “Story Map” developed by NADO and Esri and include project summaries and partners.  The Story Map is available online at:  https://www.nado.org/innovation-awards/.      

 “The Aliceann Wohlbruck Innovation Awards program recognizes the important and wide-ranging work of regional development organizations in communities across the country” said 2017-2018 NADO Doug Elliott, executive director of the East Central Iowa Council of Governments, located in Cedar Rapids.  “These awards demonstrate the value of regional development organizations and highlight their critical role in promoting economic development for the nation’s rural and small metropolitan communities.” 

 This year’s awards are presented in honor of Aliceann Wohlbruck, who passed away in March 2018.  Wohlbruck was NADO’s first executive director, serving 24 years as a tireless champion for regional approaches to economic development in rural communities.

 For more information about this award-winning project, contact: Ginnie Kozak at 843-473-3958 or gkozak@lowcountrycog.org.

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Since 1967 the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) has provided advocacy, education, networking, and research for the national network of 540 regional development organizations. NADO members provide professional, programmatic, and technical assistance to over 2,300 counties and 15,000 municipalities.



Transportation pilot project saluted by planners

by THE PRESS AND STANDARD | September 14, 2018 5:00 PM
Last Updated: September 11, 2018 at 3:49 PM


Walterboro Works, the bus transportation pilot project that has operated in the city since last October, is receiving some national recognition. Officials of the Lowcountry Council of Governments will travel to Charlotte for the National Association of Development Organizations’ 2018 Annual Training Conference. During that annual session, Lowcountry Council of Governments will be among the planning organizations receiving one of the organization’s Innovation Awards. But receiving the award may be the last hurrah for Walterboro Works. Last year, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce had provided a $100,000 grant to underwrite the costs associated with putting the bus system in place for one year. The goal of the grant was to provide new public transit services to either jobs or training. The bus service operates within the City of Walterboro and surrounding urbanized areas of Colleton County, linking residents with a wide variety of training and employment opportunities. The service operates a brand-new 15-passenger bus six hours a day Monday through Friday, making two circuits during both the morning and afternoon commuting hours to key workforce destinations. Those using the bus to attend vocational training programs or commuting to work at participating employers, rode free. Other residents could use the bus for a $1 fare. LCOG is attempting to secure additional funding from SCDEW to continue running the program a little while longer. “The funding we had would have taken us up to October, but with potential additional funding from SCDEW, we will get through to at least December,” said Ginnie Kozak, planning director for the Lowcountry Council of Governments. Kozak said the regional planning organization knew the program was a success, “but it is nice to get recognition from a national organization.” LCOG’s Palmetto Breeze, the regional bus service, and its partners at Community Transportation Association, “have been pleasantly and positively, sort of, surprised by the ridership,” Kozak said. “I say ‘sort of’ because, speaking for myself, the research and planning work we did before launching the service showed that there was definitely a demand in the areas serviced by the routes.”

Palmetto Breeze - Copy

The SC Department of Transportation has given the responsibility of transportation planning in the Lowcountry Region to the Planning Department. A Transportation Committee is made up of eight members of the LCOG Board. These responsibilities include:

Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) for the region
The LRTP plan is prepared and implemented using a Technical Committee made up of planning professionals in each county.

Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)
The STIP grant and guideshare funds are administered and monitored for the regional transportation projects. A SC DOT approved detailed project decision-making matrix is used to ensure each project is selected on quantifiable needs.

Palmetto Breeze

Lowcountry Regional Transportation Authority (LRTA)
The Transportation Department works with LRTA/Palmetto Breeze and other partners to improve and extend public transportation services within the region.

Lowcountry Area Transportation Study & Metropolitan Planning Organization (LATS & MPO)
  • The Lowcountry Area Transportation Study (LATS) was established in 2013 to be responsible for the new Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in the Hilton Head area. Federal regulations require the formation of a MPO to “provide continuous, cooperative, and comprehensive transportation planning” for urbanized areas with more than 50,000 residents. According to the 2010 Census, the Hilton Head/Bluffton urbanized area hit this mark, becoming the first new MPO in South Carolina in more than 20 years.
  • The partner jurisdictions are Beaufort and Jasper counties, the cities of Beaufort and Hardeeville, the towns of Bluffton, Hilton Head and Port Royal
  • LCOG’s planning department administers the planning process that determines how the area’s federal transportation dollars will be spent.  This includes coordinating the participation of all of the jurisdictions in allocating  the funding for improvements for roads, bridges, public transit, and bicycles, and pedestrian facilities. The process is to promote a safe, effective, efficient, and environmentally sensitive multi-modal system for the LATS area.
  • The MPO is responsible for the development and regular update of:
    • Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) completed in 2015
    • Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)
    • Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP)