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Transportation Planning

MetroCOG, in collaboration with its municipal partners and regional stakeholders conducts on-going and comprehensive transportation planning activities. These activities fulfill federal, state and local requirements to ensure a safe, reliable and accessible transportation network. The planning process focuses on both near term improvements and long-term initiatives to capitalize on available federal, state and local funding sources.

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23 CFR 450.308

UPWP

The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) includes all federally eligible transportation and transportation-related planning activities that will be carried out by the GBVMPO for two-year period by state fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). Each two-year program is adopted by the GBVMPO Policy Board and approved by CTDOT and FHWA.

2020-2021 UPWP

2018-2019 UPWP

Long Range Planning

Long range planning is a collaborative and visionary process that guides investment in the transportation system. The Metropolitan Transportation Plan provides transportation and transit funding priorities over a twenty-year planning horizon. The MTP is updated every four years. CTDOT develops and maintains a 5-Year Capital Plan which represents their proposed program of highway and bridge, public transportation, and facility capital projects over that 5-year period.

Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP)

The Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) identifies opportunities to improve mobility for all people and businesses throughout the Greater Bridgeport and Valley planning area. The MTP covers a minimum of 20 years and is updated every four years. Federal regulations define the development and content contained in the MTP.

MetroCOG’s MTP takes a comprehensive, system-wide approach to improving all modes of transportation, as well as potential impacts to and from the system for all residents of the Greater Bridgeport Region. Resiliency, sustainability, economic and quality of life considerations are addressed throughout the plan.

2019-2045 MTP, Executive Summary

Plan Metropolitano de Trasporte 2019-2045 – Resumen Ejecutivo

2019-2045 MTP

2015-2040 Long Range Transportation Plan & Valley Appendix

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23 CFR 450.324

Multi-Modal

The transportation network is used not only by persons in private vehicles but also by transit, bicyclists, pedestrians (of all abilities) and freight. Because of this diverse set of users, it is critically important that the network provides safe and efficient transportation options for all users and functions at an acceptable level of service.

Bicycle and Pedestrian

Nonmotorized, or active transportation is a low-cost, healthy and sustainable form of transportation that accommodates almost all users. A multi-modal transportation system integrates safe, accessible and efficient facilities for pedestrian and bicyclists, both as part of the road and transit network and as stand-alone infrastructure.

Trails + Greenways: Technically referred to as a shared–use path, trails and greenways complement the roadway system by providing a low–stress environments for bicycling and walking separated from vehicular traffic. Shared–use paths accommodate a range of users: bicyclists, joggers, in–line skaters, people walking dogs, people with disabilities, babies in strollers and equestrians.

Due to their popularity and diverse user mix, shared use paths can become congested, with conflictive conditions similar to busy streets. Therefore, planning and design of shared–use paths must be done with the same care and attention to recognized guidelines and user needs as the design of on–roadway bikeways and other transportation facilities.

In the Greater Bridgeport Region, our trails and greenways have the added benefit of connecting people with the region’s incredible natural diversity.

Complete Streets: A complete street is designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Integrating the complete streets model into the transportation system requires changes in roadway planning and design to ensure safe and efficient access for all users. Elements of a complete street include:

  1. Bicycle facilities: bicycle routes and lanes, signage, bicycle racks, and appropriate pavement markings and symbols.
  2. Bus features and amenities: bus pullouts, shelters, and clear and accessible paths.
  3. Pedestrian enhancements: crosswalks, signal enhancements, curb ramps, and sidewalks.
  4. Traffic calming actions: textured material, intersection bump-outs, curb extensions, center refuge islands, and raised intersection tables.
  5. Streetscape environment: appropriate trees, landscaping, bio-swales and rain gardens, permeable paving material, and buffers between the street and sidewalk.
  6. ADA compliant features: curb ramps, detectable tactile cues and warnings, accessible pedestrian signals, and longer walk intervals.
  7. On-street parking treatments: delineated parking spaces and curb/sidewalk bumpouts.
  8. Access management: driveway consolidations, modifications and closures.

Bus Transit

MetroCOG works closely with Greater Bridgeport Transit, and the Connecticut Department of Transportation to coordinate public transit investment in the region. GBT’s system is one of the most heavily used and efficient transit operations in the state.

Commuter Rail

The region is well-served by rail. Metro-North Railroad, a subsidiary of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, operates commuter trains on the electrified New Haven Main Line (NHL-ML). The NHL-ML is one of five commuter rail lines operated by Metro-North Railroad in the New York Metropolitan area. Combined, they are one of the busiest commuter railroads in North America.

There are 5 rail stations located in the region – 1 in Bridgeport (downtown), 3 in Fairfield (Fairfield Metro, downtown and Southport) and 1 in Stratford (Stratford Center). Long distance rail service is provided by Amtrak at Bridgeport’s Downtown station. The Bridgeport station also provides a connection to the Waterbury Branch Line (WBL).

Freight

Freight movement relies upon an interconnected network of trucks, trains, aircraft, ships, and barges. The movement of goods is a vital component of the national, regional, state and local economy and it relies upon a well-functioning freight network for seamless deliveries – from raw materials necessary for manufacturing and industry and critical supplies to fresh produce at the supermarket and online orders.

Connecticut Statewide Freight Plan

Human Services

Ensuring that the elderly and persons with disabilities are able to navigate the region’s transportation systems is critical to an equitable and inclusive system.

MetroCOG works closely with Greater Bridgeport Transit (GBT), neighboring COGs and transit districts, local human service transportation providers and other stakeholders on updating and maintaining the locally coordinated human service transportation plan (LOCHSTP) for the Bridgeport-Stamford urban area.

The LOCHSTP program coordinates various FTA human service transportation funding programs including those targeted at elderly persons and persons with disabilities and job access and reverse commute services.

This process helps to inform projects selected for funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s Section 5310 Program. The Section 5310 Program provides capital and limited operating assistance to nonprofit organizations that provide specialized transportation services to elderly persons and persons with disabilities. MetroCOG assists with soliciting project applications, assisting member municipalities and working with the state in determining regional priorities.

Air Quality / Congestion Management Process

Vehicle exhaust fumes are a major contributor to the deterioration of air quality in urban areas. Traffic congestion not only contributes to poor air quality but causes delay to travelers and the movement of goods, as well as wasted fuel. By reducing traffic congestion and the associated emissions in the region air quality can be significantly improved.

Air Quality

The Greater Bridgeport Region is located in the Connecticut portion of the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island eight-hour Ozone Moderate Nonattainment and PM2.5 Attainment/Maintenance Area.

In areas that do not meet attainment standards for air quality, transportation projects, and therefore the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), must demonstrate that they will contribute to annual reductions in transportation-related emissions and not delay or prevent attainment of air quality standards.

“Conformity” is a requirement of the Federal Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) Section 176(c) (42 U.S.C.7506(c)) and EPA conformity regulations (40 CFR 93 Subpart A). These regulations require that each MTP and TIP demonstrate conformity with the State Implementation Plan (SIP) before they are approved by the MPO or accepted by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). The demonstration of conformity ensures that the MTP and TIPs are consistent with air quality goals and that progress is being made towards achieving and maintaining Federal air quality standards. An air quality emissions analysis is utilized to understand the emissions that result from an area’s transportation system, and to estimate the emissions that could result from projects in the MTP or TIPs. The determination must demonstrate that those emissions are within limits outlined in state air quality implementation plans, referred to as a “budget”.

Air Quality report for 2019-2045 MTP

Ozone Air Quality report for 2018-2021 TIP

Air Quality report for 2018-2021 TIP

Air Quality report for2021-2024 MTP

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State Implementation Plan (SIP) Air Quality Planning

93 CFR

Congestion Management Process

Congestion is often perceived as the most critical factor when analyzing travel patterns along many of the roads in southwestern Connecticut. The Congestion Management Process (CMP) is a data driven approach for managing congestion that utilizes current data, including performance measures, to assess alternative strategies for congestion management.

The elements of the CMP are as follows:

  • Develop regional objectives for congestions management
  • Define CMP network
  • Develop multimodal performance measures
    • Collect data/calculate performance measures
    • Analyze congestion problems and needs
  • Develop Strategies
  • Program and Implement Strategies
  • Evaluate Strategy Effectiveness

CMP

24 CFR 450.322

Safety

MetroCOG proactively works with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), local municipalities, and consultants to plan, develop, and implement safety strategies and performance objectives for the MetroCOG region. MetroCOG staff aims to incorporate the recommendations from CTDOT, including the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, and other regional plans that address transportation safety for all modes. Staff work to assist member municipalities with identification of safety needs and safety improvement projects on local and state routes within the region. In order to accomplish safety for all transportation user groups, staff work diligently to analyze crash data and utilize GIS to locate hotspot areas to determine regional safety trends and issues, create metrics to identify and assess high hazard accident locations, and utilize state and regional planning documents to identify low cost, effective measures to reduce crash frequency and severity. Staff will continue to distribute information about state and federal funding opportunities for transportation safety improvements, training, technical assistance, and data analysis as well as provide applications and project development assistance as needed.

Highway Safety

A Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) is a statewide data-driven traffic safety plan that coordinates the efforts of a wide range of organizations to reduce traffic accident fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. In coordination with federal, state, local and private sector safety stakeholders, the SHSP establishes goals, objectives, and emphasis areas. In 2017, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) published the Connecticut SHSP to guide the State in reducing fatalities and serious injuries along Connecticut roadways. MetroCOG aims to incorporate the recommendations from CTDOT’s SHSP into the routine planning process. The Connecticut SHSP incorporates six (6) emphasis areas:

  1. Critical Roadway locations
  2. Driver Behavior
  3. Young Drivers
  4. Non-motorized Road Users
  5. Motorcyclists Safety
  6. Traffic Incident Management

Through CTDOT’s data driven approach these emphasis areas will drive safety efforts in the state which will evaluate the process and performance of SHSP strategies in meeting the plan’s goal of a 15 percent reduction in roadway fatalities and serious injuries throughout the state. After the plan’s end date, CTDOT will update the SHSP using the current guidance for FHWA.

Current 2017-2021 Connecticut Strategic Highway Safety Plan

RTSP

The purpose of the Regional Transportation Safety Plan is to reduce crashes that result in serious or fatal injuries on roadways in the Greater Bridgeport Region. The plan focuses on state and local roads that are not limited access highways. The MetroCOG Regional Transportation Safety Plan (RTSP) in alignment with the SHSP, is a strategic road map to assist the region and the City of Bridgeport and Towns of Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull to collaborate with the state in reducing these crashes. This plan will increase safety awareness and support regional and municipal efforts that focus on unique, local safety issues.

The plan uses a similar methodology as the SHSP but on a local and regional level, which reflects the needs of individual communities in the Greater Bridgeport Region. The plan was developed involving local stakeholders from the four E’s of transportation safety: engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency response. Each municipal report includes local crash data and incorporates stakeholder input to develop proactive goals and countermeasures that can potentially mitigate fatal and injury crashes. To inform this process, data from the UConn Crash Data Repository was analyzed, and municipal representatives were consulted to identify priority locations to reduce severe crashes.

This plan will better position the region to compete for safety funds based on regional and local data. CTDOT’s Local Road Accident Reduction Program funds improvements to the local roadway system that are expected to eliminate or reduce the severity of a hazardous location, or address lane departure accidents. Locations and countermeasures are identified through a data-driven process, typically based on the severity and frequency of crashes. This plan will identify these locations and recommend countermeasures for future Local Road Accident Reduction Program funding announcements.

Metropolitan Regional Transportation Safety Plan

MAP Forum

In 2008, the Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments (MetroCOG) became part of a consortium of eight Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) when the agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with surrounding MPOs across four states along the east coast. Those states include Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. This MOU is a signed agreement for coordination of planning activities in the multistate metropolitan region. MetroCOG conducts the transportation planning activities for the Greater Bridgeport and Valley MPO (GBVMPO) which consists of 10 municipalities.

The member organizations of the MAP Forum are:

The MAP Forum provides organizational and strategic guidance to member MPOs in planning for and understanding the impact of megaregional and boundary transportation projects. Due to the size, complexities and interdependence of the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut-Pennsylvania region, a major transportation investment in one specific area can and will have implications throughout the megaregion. The MAP Forum regularly holds Spring and Fall meetings with agendas focused on multi-state initiatives that are relevant to and may impact the megaregion. The consortium also established and collaborated on the Multi-State Freight Working Group to provide perspective on the movement of goods and services across MPOs. It also coordinates in setting performance measures and targets and holds collaborative sessions for best practices within the micro-mobility and shared-mobility industry and its impacts to municipalities. The MAP Forum is also working to establish a content management platform through ESRI’s ArcGIS Hub to allow for data sharing across the MAP Forum, with members able to host MPO specific content for forum members and the public.