TMG Tips for a Safe and Smooth Carnival

Mardi-Gras

Visitors and residents alike have already begun flooding the streets of New Orleans for this year’s Carnival season. While we continue to enjoy this annual citywide celebration, this Mardi Gras season presents a unique set of challenges for the city officials who work to plan and protect the events.  Aside from the usual Mardi Gras concerns surrounding transportation and public safety, the 2015 season presents a new issue: ongoing construction along some of the major parade routes.

Intensive drainage projects are currently underway Uptown, which means that major tracts of prime parade-watching neutral ground real estate will be closed off on Napoleon Avenue.  Parade-goers who are accustomed to these locations need to take the neutral ground closures into account and plan on watching the parades at an alternate location. When traveling to and from the parades, note that Louisiana Avenue traffic has been constricted to one lane in each direction from St. Charles Avenue to Claiborne Avenue.

Transportation and parking are always more difficult during Carnival season, and this year public officials are encouraging residents to take public transportation whenever possible. New tools have been made available by the RTA to help individuals plan their routes and schedules with Mardi Gras events taken into account. An updated trip planner and mobile app can be found at www.norta.com.

Please note that buses and streetcars stop running two hours before parades begin and recommence after their routes have been cleared. Additionally, the city is offering an expanded schedule for the Algiers-Canal Street ferry. The increased service began Friday, February 6th and will run through Tuesday, February 17th. An additional ferry will be added to the schedule on February 14th and will remain in service until February17th.

The expanded ferry service is detailed below:

Mardi Gras blog with RTM edits_Page_1

While celebrating and moving around the city this Mardi Gras season, be sure to use the tools available to help plan for adjustments to your public transportation options.

Happy Mardi Gras from TMG!

Submitted by:

Matthew Loftis, Intern, Master of Urban & Regional Planning candidate

The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

TMG Partnership Wins Competitive Contract from Zachary Taylor Parkway Commission

TMG Consulting is proud to announce that the firm has been hired by the Zachary Taylor Parkway (ZTP) Commission to assist in updating the Commission’s Master Plan! TMG will serve as a sub-consultant to N-Y Associates, the prime firm on the contract. Urban Systems will also serve as a sub-consultant. The contract was awarded via a competitive public RFP (Request for Proposals) process, with the TMG team selected from over a half-dozen respondents!

ZTP 2As part of a comprehensive Master Plan Update for the Parkway, TMG’s primary responsibilities include gathering data on economic shifts, creating an economic development plan, developing a marketing and communications strategy, and conducting stakeholder and public outreach. N-Y Associates will create a Parkway “vision document,” gather data on demographic and policy shifts, and develop a Disaster Preparedness Plan, while also coordinating the drafting of the final report. Urban Systems will supply traffic and safety analysis to create a Corridor Management Plan. TMG is thrilled to serve the ZTP Commission with such capable partners.

The Zachary Taylor Parkway is a scenic highway that stretches from Alexandria, Louisiana to Poplarville, Mississippi, traversing eight Louisiana Parishes and one Mississippi County. Traveling through it, motorists encounter a diverse mix of small towns, scenic countryside, homegrown businesses, thriving agricultural areas, historic tourist attractions, and magnificent plantations. The team is confident that the Master Plan Update will provide a roadmap for the renewal and growth of this historic corridor.

Congratulations to the entire team, and stay tuned for updates on this exciting project!

The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use

Lower Airfares Coming in 2015

Airlines Expect Record Profitability on Falling Oil Prices

Drivers across the country have seen noticeably lower prices at the pump lately, with the price of crude oil falling to five-year lows and closing in on $60/barrel.

Now, air travelers may be seeing lower prices in the New Year as well.

jet fuel coffeeBecause of oil price drops attributed to a glut in US supply from shale, and corresponding reductions in the cost of jet fuel, the International Air Transport Association announced today a revised airline industry 2014 profit estimate of $19.9 billion (up from $18.0 billion just this past June). Profits are expected to balloon to a record $25.0 billion in 2015.

The industry expects to pass along a portion of the savings to consumers, with passenger fares projected to fall 5.1% and cargo rates coming in 5.8% lower, after adjusting for inflation.

Just a 5% price cut, though? On record profits?

The fact remains that the airline industry is more competitive than ever and is dealing with cost pressures that will eat into any savings on jet fuel. Next year, the industry will have to take in $783 billion in revenues to see their $25 billion in profits, for a margin of 3.2 percent.

IATA Chief Executive Tony Tyler made a comparison to a familiar brand – Starbucks, which has a profit margin of 14 percent. “[This company] will retain as much from selling seven cups of coffee as an airline will make selling an average ticket,” Tyler noted.

Just don’t mix flying with drinking seven cups of coffee.

Contributed by:

Ryan McNeely, MPA

Associate

TMG Increases Engagement for DBEs and SBEs at Airport Event

On July 30th, 2014, TMG Consulting organized the 9th Annual Business Opportunities Workshop for the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport. This year featured a small business trade show, where small and disadvantaged businesses, along with resources agencies, tabled to showcase their talents. Attendance at this event topped over 120 small and disadvantaged business, prime contractors, resource agencies, and airport staff! The purpose of the Business Opportunities Workshop is multi-faceted:

  • to educate firms about the Airport’s Disadvantaged Enterprise (DBE) program and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program;
  • to inform attendees about upcoming work opportunities at the Airport;
  • to facilitate networking among prime and potential subcontractor firms in order to create connections now, learn what businesses have to offer and prepare a qualified team when the next Baton Rouge Airport bid is released.
  • and to provide resources to help small businesses grow.

Small businesses are an integral aspect of the Baton Rouge Airport’s long-term vision and the airport has a history of actively engaging the DBE and small business communities on Airport contracts. The Airport DBE Program is mandated by the federal government under FAA grant assurances and aims to ensure that government grant funds are distributed equitably.

TMG Consulting has assisted the Baton Rouge Airport to draft and administer both DBE and SBE programs and regularly sets DBE project goals, conducts compliance reviews of bid, and monitors ongoing DBE participation on projects. Events such as these are hosted to help communicate the wide range of opportunities at an Airport for businesses and to demystify the DBE program for all contractors.

 

Contributed by:

Bonnie Garrigan
Manager of Economic Analysis
bonniegarrigan@tmg-consulting.net or 504.569.9239 ext.29

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 Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

 

 

Current and Future Economic Impacts of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

TMG Consulting has been commissioned to update the economic impact analysis for the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Our team will work in partnership with Timothy Ryan, Ph.D., distinguished local economist and former Chancellor of the University of New Orleans who conducted the previous economic impact analysis that was completed in 2004.

TMG will utilize the latest available data on expenditures, payroll, and recurring capital investments related to the Airport to determine the Airport’s annual impact on jobs, spending, and tax generation in the region. For this analysis, we will utilize the Regional Input Output Multiplier System (RIMS II) published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis in order to estimate the impact for the New Orleans Metropolitan Statistical Area.

In addition, TMG and Dr. Ryan will also develop a projection of the future economic impact of the new terminal on the North side of the current MSY site announced by Mayor Mitch Landrieu in January 2014 that is scheduled to open in 2018, in time for New Orleans’ tri-centennial celebration.

Portions of the current airport terminal have far exceeded their useful life and have been adapted and repurposed over the years in order to accommodate changes in the aviation industry and TSA security requirements.

Aging Infrastructure of the Current MSY Terminal

Half of the current terminal is over 40 years old (and in some cases, 50 years old.) Source: Crescent City Aviation Team – Long Term Infrastructure Development Plan (April 2013)

Half of the current terminal is over 40 years old (and in some cases, 50 years old.)
Source: Crescent City Aviation Team – Long Term Infrastructure Development Plan (April 2013)

The new terminal will feature a modernized design and increased functionality over the current MSY terminal, with consolidated security checkpoints that will allow passengers to access all concourses after security screenings. Combined access to all concourses is expected to increase the number of concessionaires that are willing to operate at MSY and generate additional revenue for concessionaires due to increased exposure to passenger demand.

Moving the terminal to the North will also allow for repurposing of existing Airport properties on the South side of the MSY site. Reuse of the existing south side properties will also result in additional jobs, earnings, and output for the regional economy.

Proposed Repurposing of South Side MSY Properties

Redevelopment plans have yet to be finalize, but the most recent concepts include additional General Aviation (GA) and Fixed Based Operator (FBO) hangars and facilities, long term parking, mixed use and office buildings, as well as space for air cargo expansion. Source: Jones Lang LaSalle, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport Land use and Development Services for Long Term Airport Development (January 2014)

Redevelopment plans have yet to be finalize, but the most recent concepts include additional General Aviation (GA) and Fixed Based Operator (FBO) hangars and facilities, long term parking, mixed use and office buildings, as well as space for air cargo expansion.
Source: Jones Lang LaSalle, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport Land use and Development Services for Long Term Airport Development (January 2014)

In a previous study for the Airport in March 2013, TMG projected that the one-time impact of building the proposed new terminal on the North side along with redevelopment on the South side would result in over 13,000 new construction related jobs for the region.

Conceptual Design for the New MSY Terminal

Source: City of New Orleans (January 2014)

Source: City of New Orleans (January 2014)

We anticipate that the combined impact of all these changes and redevelopment efforts will bring more jobs, more spending, and more tax revenues for the Greater New Orleans Area. Greater economic impact will lead to greater opportunities for local businesses and additional resources for local governments in the region.

Contributed by:

Eric Melancon
Associate
ericmelancon@tmg-consulting.net or 504.569.9239 x 32

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 Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

Issues in Airport Perimeter Security

Twelve years after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, airports in the United States and across the world have steadily increased their security measures. Today, most major airports are equipped with hi-tech luggage scanners and full body x-ray machines. Tens of thousands of trained security personnel occupy airport terminals to ensure the safety of passengers. Terminals and passenger concourses are now designed and built or retrofitted to accommodate the extra floor space, loading space, scanning equipment and other requirements necessary for this effort. Consequently, securing commercial air travel throughout the United States has been an expensive endeavor, with the Transportation Security Association (TSA) requesting an $8 billion (or greater) annual budget since 2001.

With the commitment evidenced by these investments over the last decade, airport terminals are safer than ever by every considered metric established to measure the threat. However, airport perimeter security remains the weakest link in the security chain. Federal agencies, such as the TSA and the FAA, need to become more aware of this pressing issue.

Recent perimeter breaches

  • In August 2012, a man unintentionally breached the $100 million sensor-equipped security perimeter at JFK International Airport in New York City after his jet-ski broke down in Jamaica Bay and he swam to land.[1]
  • In February 2013 in Brussels, $50 million worth of diamonds were stolen from an aircraft about to depart by eight men disguised as police who forcefully breached the airport’s security perimeter and performed the heist.[2][r1]
  • In August 2013, a Nigerian boy was found in the wheel well of a commercial aircraft headed to Lagos, Nigeria’s economic capital.[3]

Since 2001, there have been over 1,300 breaches to airport security perimeters in the U.S. alone.[4]

Challenges in Airport Perimeter Security

  1. Geography: Airports are generally on very large, expansive plots of land. It is a daunting and expensive task to successfully maintain fenced perimeters for such large properties.
  2. Expense: Devices such as dedicated sensors along perimeter fencing allow authorities to be alerted of perimeter breaches.  However, these systems must be operable at all times and in all weather conditions to be effective.
  3. Insufficient Regulation: Without specific guidance from the FAA and TSA, airports must work to assess and counter perimeter threats independently. So far, there has been no unifying perimeter security regulation established for the over 450 commercial airports in the United States.

Best Practices for Designing Efficient Airport Perimeters

  • Taller fences, especially ones equipped with barbed wire, provide not only a greater physical barrier but also a greater psychological disincentive.
  • Fencing should protrude well into the ground to prevent trespassers and wildlife from entering the property from the bottom of the fence. This also reinforces the strength of the fence.
  • Limit the number of points of entry into an airport’s property. The fewer gates or guarded entry points, the fewer opportunities a trespasser has to breach the restricted area.
  • Ground-sensor systems are popular solutions to airport perimeter security issues but may not be feasible for smaller commercial airports (due to cost).

TMG experience in airport fencing solutions

In August, 2013, TMG Consulting completed a perimeter security project that was commissioned by Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (LANOIA). TMG provided professional services to replace the Airport’s perimeter fencing and, with its designs, gave recommendations as to how the perimeter fencing could be made more secure and effective. Among TMG’s recommendations were the following:

  • Make the entire fence eight feet tall and extend two feet into the ground where possible.
    • The upgrades to the perimeter fencing should better deter wildlife (LANOIA is in a naturally swampy environment) from breaching the perimeter.
  • Make the fence able to withstand 130 mile per hour winds in the event of a Category 3 hurricane.
  • Redefine the secure perimeter to remove areas that do not need to be included.
    • Over time, some buildings located within the Airport’s perimeter became vacant or demolished.
  • Replace underutilized gates with fencing.
    • Eliminates excessive access points and increases security.
  • Implement better signage to the perimeter fencing.
    • Should discourage accidental perimeter breaches.

While these recommendations are specific to the LANOIA, the methods and analysis that created them can be applied to any facility that requires perimeter security.  TMG excels at creating focused solutions to perimeter security as well as a host of other airport capital planning needs.

Contributed by:  

Jan Garbers

Director of Geomatics

jangarbers@tmg-consulting.net or (504) 569-9239 x25

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 Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

[1] Avila, Jim. “Jet Skier Who Exposed JFK Airport’s Security Tried to Get Caught.” ABC News Network, 24 Oct. 2012. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.

[2] Ca Sert, Raf. “Multimillion Dollar Diamond Heist in Brussels.” Associated Press, 19 Feb. 2013. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.

[3] Si, Eno-Aba. “State of Security at Nigerian Airports.” The Guardian, Nigeria, 2 Sept. 2013. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.

[4] US House of Representatives. Office of Congressman William Keating. Perimeter Security: Weakest Link in Airport Safety. N.p., 1 Mar. 2012. Web.


TMG Hosts Career Day with Middle-School Scholars

TMG Consulting recently hosted a team of 8th-grade students from our Mid-City neighbor John Dibert Community School.  Like many of us at their age, the students did not have a clear idea of what they wanted to do when they grow up. Some expressed interest in becoming athletes, musicians, or theatrical performers, seemingly influenced by what they see in the media.

We spent the morning exploring how the fields of engineering and urban planning were woven into the fabric of their daily life activities – from electrical engineers designing cellular phone communication towers to urban planners creating new streetcar routes.

Students learning about the fields of engineering, urban planning, architecture and construction.

Students learning about the fields of engineering, urban planning, architecture and construction.

Students learning about the fields of engineering, urban planning, architecture and construction.

Students learning about the fields of engineering, urban planning, architecture and construction.

With basic tools like a map of New Orleans, colored pencils, and markers, the students programmed their own streetcar routes based on their own points of interests.

One student living on the West Bank proposed creating a streetcar route from his house to school in Mid-City.  The proposed concept required a new trans-Mississippi bridge and significant track infrastructure.  This allowed for a discussion of planning priorities and the challenge of deploying needed services when faced with limited resources, like funding. The team considered how this new route would significantly benefit the larger community.

The students then collectively created a streetcar route to service 30 miles – approximately $600 million of investment in the New Orleans built environment. This then pushed our young urban planners to leverage existing routes to make the most of their allocated miles. They presented their proposed routes to their “client,” our own Mr. Chapman, with flying colors!

The next generation of urban planners designs new streetcar routes.

The next generation of urban planners designs new streetcar routes.

The next generation of urban planners designs new streetcar routes.

The next generation of urban planners designs new streetcar routes.

TMG enjoyed sharing our passion for engineering and urban planning with these students to create a more vibrant city. We had great fun working with these young scholars and shaping the career aspirations of the next generation.

Contributed by:

Mimi Tsai

Feasibility Analyst

mimitsai@tmg-consulting.net  

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Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

TMG Assists Baton Rouge Transit System as it Prepares for Big Change

In need of additional resources, the Baton Rouge Capital Area Transit System (CATS) turned to the voters of East Baton Rouge Parish to establish the agency’s first dedicated source of revenue.  Following an extensive outreach campaign that included a coalition of business, faith-based and other organizations, the Baton Rouge community in April 2012 approved a property tax measure which effectively doubled the agency’s budget in order to implement a number of significant improvements to service.  This ballot success was a big win for the future of transit in the Capital and an exceptional event for transit nationwide, representative of a larger trend of new attitudes toward transportation.

In late 2012, CATS retained TMG Consulting to analyze the current state and progress of the organization as it was preparing to implement its growth plans and to make recommendations on what management structure would best meet the agencies goals through transition.  TMG researched data from CATS and other relevant transit agencies of current and future size.  Using gap analysis, TMG was able to estimate what resources and staff capacity the organization was likely to need to meet its future goals.  After vetting a number of management alternatives that ranged from all in-house to fully contracted, or delegated, management, TMG recommended that CATS augment staff by contracting out selected management positions, an arrangement similar to transit agencies in El Paso, TX and Lexington, KY.  TMG also prepared a number of other recommendations, from the pace of introducing new service to technology investment, to enable the agency to stay on track to deliver its ballot goals and bring CATS to the next level.

The CATS Board and staff is currently reviewing TMG’s recommendations as it prepares for what will undoubtedly be a bright new future for transit in Baton Rouge.

Contributed by:

Dwight Norton, AICP

Senior Analyst, Planning

dwightnorton@tmg-consulting.net  

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Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

Superbowl 2013: New Orleans Welcomes Visitors with Improved and Modernized Airport

On January 15, 2013 New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu hosted the official opening of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport’s Terminal Interior and Exterior Improvements Airport Modernization Program.  This capital program, comprising more than $300 million of infrastructure improvements, was begun before the impact of Hurricane Katrina and successfully completed ahead of a make-or-break event for the city and the region: Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome on February 2.

“An expected 42,000 visitors to the city will be greeted and hosted in world-class style with Armstrong’s newly renovated terminal and concourse spaces, windows and lighting, fully reconstructed restrooms throughout the terminal, together with new information displays, baggage claim and security checkpoint upgrades, a new walk-to-rent consolidated rental car facility, rental car service centers and six new gates in a renovated and expanded Concourse D. The Jerome S. Glazer Access Road has just been renovated for a smooth ride direct to Interstate 10.  After their visit, on the way home, there are new landmark local gift and dining venues such as the Saints store and Dooky Chase’s – more than $6 million of improved concessions offerings.  What the visitors won’t see is just as important: a new airfield fire station, rehabilitated airfield pavement and lighting controls, a $30 million state-of-the-art security system and emergency operations center and security fencing.

As significant as all of these improvements are for the visitors, they are lasting investments made for the long term benefit of the community here in South East Louisiana.  And they were all done without taxpayer dollars, with user fees and self-generated airport funds.

TMG Consulting has been assisting the New Orleans Aviation Board in realizing their plans for more than twenty years.  We have been able to advise Armstrong on planning, programing and funding their capital investments.  And we’ve been able to help build our hometown while doing it.  We’re proud of our efforts and those of our partners at Armstrong and throughout the local consultant community.  We’re continuing in our service and excited by the future.  As satisfying as the Airport Modernization Program is, we believe the best is yet to come…

Contributed by:

Ross F. Chapman

Principal

rfc@tmg-consulting.net  

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Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

Land Use Planning During Times of Economic Recovery

Greenville, SC revitalized green space.
Source: http://www.our-odyssey.blogspot.com

With space as a commodity in urban settings, there has been a movement to focus on alternatives for long-established land uses like parking lots, strip malls and vacant land. Not only do these transformations seek to affect the aesthetics and functionality of spaces, they can also have positive effects on economic redevelopment and revitalization.  Check out what’s going on around the country when it comes to re-thinking how we revitalize neighborhoods, generate revenue or increase property value during this post-recession time when ideals are being re-evaluated on a national level. (more…)