Associate Planner--Next Gen Trails

Firm: MTC

Payment: Paid
Start Date: Jul 10, 2023
Category: Transportation
Posted: May 2, 2023

Under the general direction of the Principal Planner/Engineer – Active Transportation, the Associate Planner — Next Gen Trails is responsible for delivering next generation, inclusive trail projects and programs that connect communities and the regional active transportation network for commute and recreational travel. The completion of the San Francisco Bay Trail is a priority focus but also includes the planning and delivery of bridge trails, regional trails, public access, first/last mile connections to transit strategies, quick builds, bikeshare, and bike rebate programs among others. This position will work collaboratively with the Bay Trail Planners and other engineers and planners internal and external to MTC in accomplishing these goals.

The individual will lead and manage projects/tasks that requires planning, design, and outreach competencies and depth of experience, diligent attention to detail, project management skills, and strong communication skills. The individual will also perform a wide range of tasks including:
Bringing a commitment to next generation and inclusive trail planning, design, development and implementation in the region
Being passionate about contributing to the delivery of permanent and temporary active transportation projects and programs that result in a multimodal transportation system that is more equitable, more accessible, connected and safer for all ages and abilities
Assisting with complex trail projects across a variety of scales, i.e. supporting strategic and regional plans, traditional site planning and design, interpretive planning and/or planning for signage improvement
Managing trail planning projects and consultant contracts; i.e. analysis and feasibility studies, graphics production, partner programming, GIS mapping and analysis, bicycle and pedestrian counts, visitor experience data collection and analysis, and sign plans
Developing strategies to collect, analyze, and communicate graphic data necessary to inform projects, decision-making, and advocate for active transportation improvements
Developing work scopes, procurement documents, contracts, task orders, inter-agency agreements and related project administration functions
Persuasively advance both practical and innovative concepts, project development, designs, and delivery methods aimed at improving active transportation infrastructure to MTC executive and management staff, and partner agencies such as Caltrans, cities, County Transportation Authorities, transit operators, park districts, elected officials, non-profits and stakeholders
Identifying and analyzing practical and innovative concepts to quickly and cost effectively implement active transportation projects and programs
Identifying and pursuing ways to address inequitable access to active transportation infrastructure and programs
Working closely with key resource agencies on project design, approval and environmental documents
Working both independently and collaboratively in a team environment
Preparing staff memos, reports and presentation materials as assigned
Pursuing a variety of funding opportunities including submitting grant applications
Advancing MTC’s reputation in active transportation implementation work by participating in conferences, publishing articles, and/or sitting on related technical advisory working groups

All employees at MTC are classified as Disaster Service Workers.
The ideal candidate will have the following knowledge, skills and abilities:

Knowledge of:

Principles, practices and techniques of next generation trail planning, greenways design and development
Principles, practices and techniques of urban design and resilience, specifically green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), sea level rise (SLR), and ecological design
Principles, practices and techniques of active transportation and mobility planning
Principles, practices and strategies of Complete Streets, Vision Zero, Safe Routes to School and First and Last Mile solutions
Relationships between active transportation, land use, environmental design, public health, the economy and overall sustainability
Understands the relationship between the built environment and climate justice
Effective community design/planning and engagement strategies
Principles and practices of policy, funding and program development, implementation, and administration
Policies, procedures, rules, and regulations governing transportation planning
Principles and practices of contract negotiation and administration
Principles and practices of budget preparation and administration
Related Federal, State, and local laws, codes, and regulations
National and international best practices, guidelines and standards for street design, including but not limited to NACTO and AASHTO
Effective project management strategies for project delivery
A strong understanding of the issues and power dynamics around race, gender, equity, and transportation policy
Skills and Abilities
Analyze complex transportation planning, design and environmental impact issues, identifying alternative solutions, and projecting consequences of proposed actions
Research, analyze, and evaluate policy, design issues, alternative delivery methods, and funding and techniques
Develop project budgets, schedules, work plans, and cost estimates and projections
Tackle multiple issues, anticipate issues and troubleshoot effectively
Manage competing priorities and multiple simultaneous projects involving cross-functional project teams
Analyze and assess policies, funding, design and operational issues
Prepare and administer project budgets and funding
Prepare clear and concise memos, reports, graphically-pleasing presentations, and funding/financial reports
Interpret and apply applicable Federal, State, and local policies, laws, and regulations
Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing to both internal and external stakeholders using data analytics and visualization
Prepare and present online webinars, trainings and guidance
Interpret and draw conclusions from a variety of data sources including but not limited to collision data, volumes, speeds and other geo-spatial and location-based service (LBS) datasets
Select and evaluate planning, environmental, design, and construction management consultant teams
Organizational awareness and ability to anticipate sensitive issues that impact the region
Organize, direct, and coordinate amongst partner agencies, stakeholders and decision-makers
Build, establish and maintain effective working relationships with all entities/individuals in the course of work, including MTC/BATA Board members, elected officials, stakeholders, and the general public
Entrepreneurial spirit to equitably enhance walking and biking in the Bay Area for all ages and abilities
Conversant in graphic programs, such ArcGIS and/or Adobe Creative Suite, and possess the ability to learn new applications
Ability to juggle competing priorities with 100% follow-through in a fast-paced work environment, occasionally delivering on short timelines
Strong leadership aptitude, with the ability to encourage, motivate, inspire, and challenge colleagues and partners
An appropriate combination of education and experience that has provided the required knowledge, skills and abilities is qualifying. A typical way of obtaining the required qualifications is:

Education: A Bachelor's degree in an appropriate field related to the area of assignment, such as transportation planning, city and regional planning; transportation engineering or modeling, financial management, economics, business or public administration; A Master's degree is desirable. (Applicants with a degree issued from an institution outside the United States must have their transcripts evaluated by an academic accrediting service and provide proof of equivalency along with their application.)

Experience: Two years of increasingly responsible experience in an appropriate field related to the area of assignment, such as transportation planning, city and regional planning; transportation engineering or modeling, financial management, economics, business or public administration.

PREFERRED/DESIRED EDUCATION: A Master's degree in an appropriate field related to the area of assignment, such as transportation planning, project management, public finance, transportation engineering, civil engineering, economics, urban/environmental/landscape design, business, public administration or public health, is desired.

Possession of a valid California Class C driver's license and a safe driving record, or the ability to provide alternate transportation which is approved by the appointing authority.

Under the supervision and direction of the Principal Engineer—Active Transportation, specific assignments and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Design Analysis/Review

Conduct conceptual trail design review for site plans and development plans
Provide best practice recommendations to partner agencies regarding trail design and amenities per the Bay Trail Design Guidelines and other resources
Coordinate with key resource agencies on planning and design priorities for the Bay shoreline and the Bay Trail
Answer public inquiries related to Bay Trail Design
Conduct field site visits to understand existing conditions
Planning Analyses
Research and analyze design challenges and technical issues using data and qualitative information, distill complex information into simple but effective forms, frame options and articulate recommendations; vet technical/policy issues with others and influence decisions by applying technical skills and knowledge and calculating risks
Analyze and make recommendations for complex transportation planning problems with a focus on active transportation but understanding the implications to other travel modes
Conduct network planning feasibility and prioritization assessments for regional trails, bridge trails, and connections and access to communities, regional transit and other regional assets
Consider contest-sensitive solutions, ecological design and resilience strategies in project scopes of work
Consider equity and public health datasets in analyses, in particular equitable access to trails, facilities and open space for disadvantaged communities
Persuasively advance both practical and provocative concepts aimed at improving transportation infrastructure performance to MTC executive and management staff, partner agencies, elected officials and stakeholders
Funding, Budgeting and Grants Management
Research, keep apprised, strategically identify and pursue available active transportation funding sources to underwrite planning, engineering and delivery of projects to close key trail gaps
Prepare funding plans and determine work items that are eligible for grant funding and lead efforts to apply for grant programs geared towards people who bike, walk and roll
Lead, coordinate and confer with local agencies and other jurisdictions on joint studies, funding agreements and grant applications related to active transportation
Coordinate closely with internal staff and external partners to write, pursue, execute and manage grants
Participate in the preparation of the annual consultant budget
Technical Assistance
Research emerging and topical trends in the trails and active transportation field
Liaise with local partners to understand active transportation needs in the region
Organize and lead cutting-edge active transportation webinars, trainings and/or presentations focusing on design and project delivery
Build active transportation technical capacity internally and externally and support knowledge-sharing in the region
Project Management and Delivery
Support a program of projects, which may include regional trails, greenways, first/last mile improvements to transit, bikeshare, e-bike rebates and other active transportation initiatives
Develop consultant work scopes, procurement documents, contracts, task orders, inter-agency agreements and related project administration functions for active transportation projects
Oversee preparation of plans, specification and cost estimates for active transportation projects
Monitor the preparation of and approve or recommend as appropriate, changes to the scope of work of and change orders, approve expenditures from project funds, direct and monitor consultant’s work
Prepare reports on all phases of active transportation projects including work progress, financial status, progress payments, design details and calculations
Explore and execute innovative project delivery strategies such as quick build tactical urbanism that can quickly deliver cost-effective projects that further advances a safe and seamless regional network
Cultivate and maintain effective partnerships and relationships with cities/counties, federal and state transportation agencies, transportation authorities, transit operators, resource agencies, bike coalitions, business community and other pertinent stakeholders to raise awareness and funding/policy support to advance planning and capital project delivery of near-term operational strategies to address active transportation, transit service, person throughput, and congestion relief
Communicate clearly and concisely, using strong writing and graphic presentation skills

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