Climate Conversation with Rep. Sharice Davids

In anticipation of its Climate Action Plan, Climate Action KC and MARC have been conducting a series of Climate Conversations on a variety of topics related to climate change and resilience.

Check out the latest, featuring Rep. Sharice Davids where she discusses how transportation infrastructure plays a role in climate resilience and the disproportionate impacts climate change has on vulnerable populations.

If you missed the Transportation Week conversation with Michael Kelly from BikeWalkKC, check it out here.

Be sure to join the online discussions to help shape the region’s Climate Action Plan at climateactionkc.mindmixer.com.

Call for projects open for three federal funding programs

In our role as Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Greater Kansas City, MARC is soliciting project proposals for three Federal Highway Administration funding programs. 

  • Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) 
  • Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG) 
  • STBG Set-aside (formerly Transportation Alternatives or TAP) 

While we are very aware of the current uncertainties and impacts to regional transportation partners resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, we believe beginning to add projects to the federal funding pipeline will be important for the region’s eventual economic recovery. Since many of these projects will require lengthy lead-times to design and develop through the federal-aid process, we are proceeding with this call for projects to provide time to complete that work. After extensive discussions with our transportation committees, we have also made modifications to the programming process that should allow more time to assemble the information needed to complete these applications. 

Alignment with regional transportation goals 

In 2018, the MARC Board of Directors adopted an updated vision for Greater Kansas City as a region of opportunity where the robust economy, healthy environment and social capacity support the creativity, diversity and resilience of its people, places and communities. 

Connected KC 2050, the region’s long‐range transportation plan is being updated in 2020. The plan supports the regional vision by establishing goals for a safe, balanced, regional multimodal transportation system that is coordinated with land‐use planning, supports equitable access to opportunities and protects the environment. Projects submitted for consideration will be evaluated based on how closely they align with the policy goals of the plan. 

Connected KC 2050 also includes a Programming Policy Statement that further supports the vision of the MARC Board of Directors and is designed to aid the region as it makes progress in implementing the goals identified in the transportation plan and other regional policies. Project proposals will be evaluated for adherence with these policies. 

Eligible applicants and uses 

State and local government and transportation agencies located within MARC’s MPO boundary — Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte counties in Kansas, and Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte counties in Missouri — may submit transportation projects for consideration for STBG and TAP funds. CMAQ funds are only eligible for use in the region’s air quality planning boundary — Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas, and Clay, Jackson and Platte counties in Missouri. Interested nonprofit entities, school districts and other nongovernmental agencies should contact MARC regarding their eligibility under these programs. 

Each of the three programs is eligible to fund a wide but specific range of surface transportation projects. Eligible transportation project types for this call for projects include, but are not limited to: 

  • Active transportation, including bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. 
  • Alternative fuel and diesel retrofit strategies to improve regional air quality. 
  • Public transportation. 
  • Outreach strategies to improve regional air quality. 
  • Roadway and bridge capacity, management, operations, preservation and traffic flow. 
  • Transportation safety. 

Application procedures 

This funding opportunity will consist of two phases, a preapplication and initial screening followed by a full application and technical evaluation.  

Preapplications are being accepted now through 4 p.m. CST on Friday, May 29, 2020. Full applications will open Aug. 3, 2020, and close at 4 p.m. CST on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. Completion of both phases is required for funding consideration. 

The application instructions, resources, maps and online form are available on the Connected KC 2050 funding page

Will riders return to public transportation?

How has COVID-19 impacted you and your constituents’ travel habits, motivations and fears? Do you plan on catching the bus or ridesharing any time soon? If you take transit, rideshare, or bike/scooter, we want to know how coronavirus has impacted the way you move around KC.

RideKC has launched a survey in partnership with KC Streetcar, RideshareKC, RideKC Bike & Scooter and RideKC Vanpool for metro-area commuters to gauge what the future might look like for transportation through the pandemic and beyond.

Feedback collected from the survey will be used to guide re-opening plans for local transportation providers. We hope to get a better sense of how commuters feel about their transportation options in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and into the future and use those results to better serve the needs and desires of the community.

Please take a couple of minutes to complete the survey and pass it along to your networks.

To learn more about KC area transportation options and COVID-safe transportation habits, contact RideshareKC at rideshare@marc.org.

Hot TIP: share your thoughts on the updated short-range transportation program

MARC has prepared the draft 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for public review and comment. This core 5-year planning document includes all federally funded surface transportation projects, and all regionally significant surface transportation projects, regardless of funding source, planned for the Kansas City metropolitan area in Federal Fiscal Years 2020-2024.

The document is developed cooperatively with local governments, state departments of transportation and transit operators. The goal of the plan is to implement the policies and strategies of our current long-range transportation plan, Transportation Outlook 2040.

The plan includes an Environmental Justice analysis that looks at the group of projects to assess whether they pose disproportionally high or adverse human health and environmental effects, including social and economic, on minority and low-income populations.

Large projects in 2020-2024 TIP

Transit

  • RideKC MAX service — fixed-route line, demand responsive and BRT service
    KCATA, $423,722,060
  • KC Streetcar — Main Street Extension to UMKC
    Kansas City, Missouri & KC Streetcar Authority, $316,850,000

Road/Bridge

  • US 169 — bridge over Missouri River
    MoDOT, $138,326,000
  • I-435 — corridor improvements from I-49 to Kansas state line
    MoDOT, $29,550,000
  • I-35 and 119th Street interchange
    Olathe, $25,000,000

Learn more about the TIP

Submit comments by Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.

  • By mail: Mid-America Regional Council, 600 Broadway, Suite 200, Kansas City, Missouri, 64105
  • By phone: 816-474-4240
  • By email: tip@marc.org

Connecting our region through signage

Have you ever wondered how to get around the Kansas City Region by walking, bicycling or taking transit? Do you think that connections between major destinations, trails, streets and other places could be easier to understand? You’re in luck, and we want to hear from you!

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, several local jurisdictions, and MARC are working hard to make walking, bicycling and transit better for you by creating a regional signage system.

The project, called Connecting Our Region, will work across the metro to create an inclusive signage plan that enhances the visitor experience and fits the needs of bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users. The goal is to develop a system that helps users find the logical and safe connections between key destinations and commercial districts in the region.

Connecting our Region will engage the community through surveys, events, public meetings and in-person interviews to inform the design committee on how signage is currently used and influence the plan for a future system.

Please take a few minutes to take the survey

To learn more and check on project updates, please visit the Connecting our Region website.