Venues & Voices is HERE!

Venues & Voices is the online advocacy tool that helps people Show Up & Speak Up for transportation options.  JPG-TransportNH-Logo

Do you want to help bring more transportation options to New Hampshire? Here is what to do, how to do it, and where to do it!  Just enter your email address to join and you’ll receive an activation email.  Don’t worry, only Transport NH will see your information, and we won’t share it with anyone.

After you activate your account you can explore the list of events in Where to Speak Up, or go find out how to be an effective advocate in How to Speak Up.  We hope you find it useful.  And we’ll always want to hear how we can improve it.

To check it out, click here.

Wish you could have a say in transportation policy?

The good news is that you, as a taxpayer, have a say in public policy on transportation.  The bad news is that it’s sometimes hard to know how and where you can make your views known.

Our NH Department of Transportation is aware of that, and is constantly trying to improve its outreach.

One example is the recent Complete Streets page that NHDOT recently posted on the department website.concord-man-street

Another is the email sent to organizations, including Transport NH, asking for comments on their consultation process.  As Bill Watson, head of the Bureau of Planning and Community Assistance, put it in the email:

Within the purview of transportation, there are many benefits to open and transparent conversation about transportation needs, revenues, priorities  and related topics.  These conversations can be at a very high policy level, or at a specific project level down to the impact of a particular piece of property, neighborhood, etc.  And it is critical that as the transportation planning process moves from conceptual discussion to project design to construction and implementation, that open an transparent conversation, consultation and cooperation happens with federal, state, regional, and local officials, and the public.

NHDOT is asking for public comment through May 20th, 2016, on their Non-Metropolitan Public Consultation Process.  The formal notice can be found here, and the process itself is available here.

Again, Bill Watson at NHDOT says it best:

It is important that we reach as many people as possible so that we make sure that people have an opportunity to identify how they would like to be involved in conversations surrounding transportation.

So go have a look.  It’s a great opportunity to see how the policy pieces work together to create the transportation system we rely on every day.

Do you want more transportation options in your community?

Here are some reasons why you might want to have more transportation options where you live:

  • Boost the economy
  • Attract millenials
  • Support aging in place
  • Support healthy kids
  • Increase property values
  • Increase tourism

Transport NH and Bike-Walk Alliance of NH have put together a Resource Guide with data to support these reasons, tools to help you create more options, and funding sources to help pay for them.

We’ve put the guide on our Resources page.  Download your copy here.

red bus with logo

What does Abundant Access mean?

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 7.21.13 AMI find myself returning over and over to this post by Jarrett Walker:

“Abundant Access”: a map of a community’s transit choices, and a possible goal of transit

“In my book Human Transit, I argued that the underlying geometry of transit requires communities to make a series of choices, each of which is a tradeoff between two things that are popular.  I argued that these hard choices are appropriate assignments for elected boards, because there is no technical ground for making one choice or the other.  What you choose should depend on what your community wants transit to do.”  Read more.

Real estate industry survey on transportation preferences

National Association of REALTORS® and Portland State University have released a new study on transportation preferences.

The 2015 National Community and Transportation Preference Survey found that millennials, those aged 18 to 34, prefer walking as a mode of transportation by 12 percentage points over driving. Millennials are also shown to prefer living in attached housing, living within walking distance of shops and restaurants, and having a short commute, and are the most likely age group to make use of public transportation.

The poll also found that millennials show a stronger preference than other generations for expanding public transportation and providing transportation alternatives to driving, such as biking and walking, while also increasing the availability of trains and buses. Millennials likewise favor developing communities where people do not need to drive long distances to work or shop.

NAR 2015 millenials walk

Public hearings on transportation announced

iStock_000010510008_MediumThe Governor’s Advisory Council on Intermodal Transportation is hosting a series of 16 Public Hearings to review and receive input on transportation priorities included in the draft 2017-2026 Ten Year Transportation Improvement Plan, which specifies which transportation projects will receive funding in New Hampshire.  These hearings allow the public to express their views on transportation priorities.  They only happen every two years, so if you want your voice to be heard, be sure to attend one or more of these hearings.  Note that the Rochester meeting has moved to Frisbee Memorial Hospital, Community Education & Conference Center (Strafford Room), 11 Whitehall Road, Rochester, NH.

Download the updated 2015 GACIT hearings schedule.

Those not able to attend the hearings can submit written testimony within 10 days of the completion of the public sessions (No later than November 5, 2015 at 4 PM). Written Comments should be addressed to: William Watson, Bureau of Planning and Community Assistance, New Hampshire Department of Transportation, John O. Morton Building, 7 Hazen Drive, P.O. Box 483, Concord, NH 03302-0483.

Any individuals needing assistance or auxiliary communication equipment due to sensory impairment or other disability, should contact Sharon Allaire, (603) 271-3344, NHDOT, P.O. Box 483, Concord, NH. 03302-0483 – TDD access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964.

The projects developed through the Ten Year Plan process will be administered according to the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related statutes to ensure non-discrimination.

A draft of the plan, plus supplemental information, can be found here.

Oh, the places you’ll go!

Ever wonder how people get around in New Hampshire?  Well, most people just drive, grateful to the state and municipal workers who keep the roads and bridges safe for travel.  At least I hope they are grateful.  I sure am.iStock_000010510008_Medium

What if driving isn’t the right choice for you?  There could be all sorts of reasons:

  • Your car is in the shop.
  • Your car was totaled.
  • You just got out of college and you can’t afford both a car loan and your student loans.
  • You broke your leg playing sports and can’t drive.
  • You never got your license.
  • You have trouble seeing, maybe just because the doctor dilated your pupils at the eye exam.
  • You have physical challenges that make it impossible to drive.
  • You want to lower your carbon footprint.
  • You don’t like losing two hours of productivity every day by driving to work.
  • You are trying to get or stay fit, and want to walk or bike to as many places as you can.

What are your options?  Have a look below, and give some of them a try just for fun this summer.  You never know when you might need to have another way to get around.


nh111pedestrian-bridge-400-150

If you want to walk or bike, have a look at the maps on this NH Department of Transportation web page to find out where the trails and other infrastructure are located.

state_transportation_map

BusMapIf you want to take the bus, NHDOT has a map that shows you all the intercity bus routes and the local transit providers.   If you’re traveling beyond the NH border, MassDOT published the New England Regional Transportation Map in February of 2015.   You can get a copy at tourist information centers throughout New England or by sending a request to publicinformation@bostonmpo.org or by emailing Fred Butler at NHDOT.   An online version is promised by MassDOT at some point in the future.

If you prefer to travel by rail, you can take the Downeaster to Boston or Portland from Dover, Durham or Exeter.  On the other side of the state, you can take the Vermonter from Claremont north to Burlington or south to New York and DC.

There’s also carpooling, for commuting and one-off trips, with online matching available here.

If you need to get to the doctor or the grocery store, and you can’t drive, yet there is no pubic transit in your area, there are still options available.

The nine Regional Coordinating Councils for Community Transportation (RCCs) have published transportation directories listing the options in each region.  Some of the options are available to the general public, some are restricted to seniors and people with disabilities, some are restricted by trip purpose, and some are provided by human service agencies that only give rides to their clients.  Have a look at this map of the regions to determine which region your town is in.

Below are links to the RCCs and their directories.  Be aware that some of these are very large pdf files.  Also, I can’t seem to locate the Derry-Salem RCC directory.  If anyone knows where I can find it, please let me know and I’ll update this blog post.NHCommunityTransportationRegions

Capitol Corridor Alternatives

The final report of the New Hampshire Capitol Corridor Rail & Transit Alternatives Analysis came out earlier this month.  The alternatives can be compared in this matrix from the report.

Capitol Corridor Alternatives MatrixGovernor Hassan spoke in favor of extending commuter rail from Boston into New Hampshire, both in her inaugural address and her 2015 budget address.  You can also hear her strong support about 39 minutes into this recording of NHPR’s The Exchange on the topic of the state budget.

Business leaders in Nashua and Manchester expressed their support for commuter rail in this article.

Transport NH feels strongly that commuter rail will bring benefits to New Hampshire’s people and economy, and is a vital part of an integrated, modern transportation system.

The report can be found in its entirety here.  You can also download a short summary here.