A5: From Traditional Bike Planning to BRT

APA North Carolina Chapter


Thursday, April 25, 2019
3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. EDT

CM | 1.50

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The High Point Regional Bicycle Plan was developed to create safe and connected routes for bicycling in the High Point region. The study area covers nearly 700 square miles, eight municipalities, parts of four different counties, and three different divisions of NCDOT. The High Point Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (HPMPO) led the process, featuring bicycling as a tool for improving mobility, safety, health, economy, environment, and overall quality of life.

Bicycle and pedestrian planning exercises have traditionally been completed at the local, municipal level.  This should and will continue.  However, regional bicycle planning efforts that cover entire MPOs and even larger study areas have multiple benefits.  The NCDOT Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation typically funds one regional bicycle plan per year, while many MPOs and RPOs have conducted or are conducting their own bicycle/pedestrian/greenway plans.  Why do this planning at the regional scale?  And how can it be successful?

Larger scale planning affords an opportunity to reach more rural counties and communities who may not have otherwise had the capacity or monies to take on planning themselves.  Regional planning can focus on connectivity between communities and destinations but can also provide mini-network plans for the communities themselves.

Connecting communities and destinations represents significant economic opportunity.  North Carolina is the sixth most visited state for overnight trips in the United States and with beautiful mountains, coastlines, heartland, and burgeoning wineries, bicycle tourism has great potential.  Touting itself as the ""Great Trails State,"" with the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, East Coast Greenway, the Carolina Thread Trail, and North Carolina's state bicycle routes, the important work of connecting our beautiful places has already begun. 

Major developments underway in the City of High Point as well as Davidson County brought fourth several opportunities to immediately implement central components of regional bicycle connectivity, that will also have an immediate impact on local transportation efficiency. This session will highlight how this regional planning process was used to bring immediate results in the High Point MPO.

In 2019, the Federal Transit Administration will begin launching a series of pilots for automated vehicles. Autonomous Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is one of the categories. These pilots not only test new technologies but can also serve as an economic catalyst. While the criteria are not yet announced, like other BRT pilots, FTA is likely to look at supportive land use, multi-modal transportation networks, economic activity and sustainability. The session will help participants understand the new world of technology pilots and how to develop applications.

Transit oriented development is one means to combining this variety of goals. As emerging technology increases the number of modes and service models, regional agencies will need to help localities anticipate various deployment scenarios. In turn, transit and real estate development stakeholders will need to produce new designs that are flexible and adaptable to accommodate parking, access, and first/last mile access – even beyond one mile. 

In this highly interactive table top exercise, participants will (after a background presentation on scenario planning, Complete Streets 2.0, and BRT) use a structured memo template to describe the corridor’s strengths as a pilot for autonomous BRT. 

Mobility is key for healthy, vibrant, and economically competitive communities. A community’s mobility needs may be served by frequent local transit service which, due to various pressures, may eventually be unable to keep up with additional demand or providing reliable service. Investing in High Capacity Transit (HCT) as part of an integrated transit network provides reliability and mobility for the community. HCT modes include Light Rail Transit (LRT), Express Bus, and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). This session will explore the basics of BRT, the costs and benefits compared to LRT, BRT planning basics, and an overview of BRT projects that are either completed or underway.



Steve Bzomowski

Steve Bzomowski is a planner in Alta Planning + Design's Durham, NC Office. His experience as part of Alta's Durham team (2012 - present) is focused on active transportation planning projects at the local, regional, and statewide level across North Carolina and the southeastern United States. Recent and current project ... Read More

Andrew Edmonds

Andrew Edmonds is a Transportation Planner for the High Point Metropolitan Planning Organization. His work experience ranges from local to regional scales primarily focusing on bicycle, pedestrian, and transit planning. Andrew is a proud Appalachian State alumni where he got his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Read More

David Leard, AICP

David is a Senior Transit Program Manager with HDR. Over the past 17 years, David has led both BRT and LRT projects through concept development and refinement, NEPA clearance, preliminary and final engineering, construction and start-up. Along the way, he gained a national reputation as an expert in navigating the ... Read More

Sharon Hollis

Sharon is a Principal Planner with the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments. Sharon is the Project Manager for the Lowcountry Rapid Transit, which is the Bus Rapid Transit project in Charleston SC. Sharon has valuable experience in evaluating small and large transit systems’ operations throughout the US. She has provided project ... Read More

Tom Hiles

Tom is a Transit Project Manager with HDR. Tom’s experience includes over 20 BRT projects including Walt Disney World, City of Albuquerque and Minneapolis. Through this experience, Tom is one of the top BRT experts in the country. His expertise is in designing transit engineering solutions that build consensus ... Read More

Contact Info

Neil Burke, nburke@ci.charlotte.nc.us