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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 7 RESEARCH AREA 6 PLANNING AND PERFORMANCE MEASURES The planning and decision-making processes surrounding surface transportation in the United States will have to address serious challenges in the 21st century as a result of the nation’s continuing demographic growth and changing makeup, global trade and environmental issues, and rapidly changing technology and travel behavior (Burwell 2000; Tate-Glass et al. 1999). While these challenges are great in themselves, they are compounded by arguably inadequate planning and decision-making methods and tools. Methods and tools that address contemporary concerns regarding environmental protection and enhancement, sustainability, economic impacts, efficient goods movement, community quality of life, customer satisfaction, and the performance of an oversaturated highway system are few and far between. Moreover, a strong case can be made that the methods and tools available to planners for understanding travel and economic behavior lag behind current issues by at least a generation. Likewise, the methods and tools used by engineering and environmental professionals for integrating environmental considerations into various aspects of transportation decision making are quite rudimentary, having originated in the major highway construction era of the 1950s and 1960s (Marshment 1999). [The cooperative venture of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency to develop TRANSIMS (the Transportation Analysis and Simulation System) is a notable exception.] In addition, consideration of the various modes—highways, transit, trucking, shipping, rail freight, and so on—as an integrated system is uncommon, making it difficult to foster efficient investment policies (Pedersen 1999; Neumann 2000).
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 This foundation promises treacherous footing in addressing the growing concerns cited above. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that, as discussed in previous chapters, public-sector decision-making processes demonstrate spotty and often inadequate integration of transportation, land use, economic development, and environmental considerations. Additionally, most private-sector transportation decisions are made in isolation from the public-sector planning process. When public–private partnerships are sought, considerable difficulty is encountered in harmonizing the short time frame and site-specific nature of private-sector investment decisions with the long time frame and community-wide nature of public-sector investments. SURFACE TRANSPORTATION AND THE PLANNING PROCESS The environmental significance of transportation planning and decision-making processes lies in the fact that transportation facilities, services, and usage directly affect community cohesion, human health, ecosystem health, global energy consumption, and climate change. Moreover, transportation is an arena of American life in which market forces are significantly constrained by public policy. Individuals and businesses make rational transportation decisions based on the choices available. However, the private sector has a limited role in contributing to a range of consumer options. In contrast with retail trade, for example, firms have an extremely limited ability to enter major portions of the transportation market (siting and building of highways, transit systems, and intermodal facilities). Major elements of transportation supply and pricing are defined by public policy and public agency decisions. Yet the effectiveness of these public agency decisions that form the framework for consumer and business travel practices is typically compromised by a limited understanding of underlying complex travel behavior and by frequent disconnects between real-world issues and institutional decision processes. The major, dominating influence of public policy on the effectiveness of the transportation system raises the stakes with regard to the effectiveness of the planning and decision-making processes. Decisions made by individuals and businesses may be far from optimal in a system in which a largely monopolistic supply of transportation infrastructure is inadequate, inflexible, inappropriate, or over- or underpriced.
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 Current State of Knowledge The effectiveness of current transportation planning and decision-making methods and tools is limited by the fact that they are based in engineering principles, facility standards, and an emphasis on mobility defined as travel time and cost. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991, reinforced by the 1998 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), provided a strong impetus to move transportation planning and decision-making practices toward a more holistic approach. In response to ISTEA, TEA-21, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, and similar legislated initiatives, the nation’s transportation planning community has worked hard, with varying success, to make the transition from using engineering standards as the basis for their efforts. The new criteria for evaluation are multidimensional, and include access to jobs and other personal and economic needs; availability of alternative modes; community quality of life; environmental protection and enhancement; freight and intermodal concerns; social equity and environmental justice; and service quality, reliability, and flexibility. Frequently, however, metropolitan planning organizations and state departments of transportation find themselves adapting existing methods and technical tools to explore new issues. Too often, planners and other interested parties become frustrated with the inadequacy of these old methods and tools for dealing with current problems. With regard to the current state of transportation planning knowledge, there is a reasonable understanding of travel behavior at the broadest level, and there are specific techniques available for modeling discrete events and measuring limited impacts. The dynamics of travel demand are apparent at an aggregate level, but not at a detailed level: planners may be competent at creating models to estimate the total number of trips emanating from a subarea, for example, but cannot describe why a particular household chooses to drive a teenaged child a third of a mile for soccer practice even though sidewalks are available. Without understanding the underlying activities, preferences, and travel options of householders and businesses, planners are left with the challenge of using aggregate models to estimate the subtleties of complex, emerging travel behavior. Evening, weekend, and nonwork travel models and trip-chaining models are underrepresented (Winters 1999). Aggregate person-trip models are also being adapted across the nation in an attempt to reflect commercial and freight travel behavior. Unfortunately, limited understanding among the transportation planning community of the dynamics of the manufacturing, distribution, retailing, and freight transportation sectors
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 challenges the effectiveness of these freight modeling efforts. Too often, the adaptation of long-standing aggregate models to meet current challenges conjures the image of someone using a cannon to hit a moving target on a rifle range: the tool was not designed for the application and is too cumbersome and imprecise to be effectively adapted. Similarly, while detailed highway network models are able to simulate the dynamic interactions among vehicles under varying circumstances on a highway, planners are not yet able to determine how frequently such circumstances will occur, nor can they point confidently to effective operational practices that can address problem circumstances. Institutional arrangements frequently separate those individuals responsible for operating the highway and transit systems from those planning the systems, further limiting the effectiveness and responsiveness of the institutions. Vast experience lies behind models used to estimate the amount of user time and cost savings that will result immediately upon completion of a highway improvement, but there is little information about how the complex decision processes of individuals and businesses will respond to those savings over time. How much new traffic will the highway system see a month or a year after the improvement? What is the nature of this new travel? Does it reflect new economic or social opportunities that travelers previously were discouraged from pursuing, or diversion from a less efficient mode or means of achieving the desired objective? Current understanding of the precise nature of the various interactions described above is poor, and few methods and tools are available to allow planners and other decision makers to incorporate these interactions into evaluation or decision making. Coupled with decision processes that are disjointed between the public and private sectors, between planning and project design, between construction and operations, between land use and transportation, and among various levels of government, the current knowledge base is too weak for addressing the critical transportation planning issues of the 21st century. Such fundamental questions as how an oversaturated highway system behaves and how the presence of an oversaturated system influences other personal and business decision processes cannot be answered reliably at present. Yet such questions are central to effective transportation decision making. The level of interest in advancing the state of the art and the state of the practice in transportation planning and decision making is quite high, however. As a result, effective research will find a receptive audience and can be expected to produce rapid changes in planning and decision-making practice.
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 New methods and tools will be gratefully received by practitioners. A successful planning and decision-making research program will produce modern methods and tools that will give practitioners greater ability to meet ever-increasing demands and expectations. The transportation community and many others readily acknowledge the inadequacy of current planning and decision-making methods and tools and of the underlying knowledge of specific behavioral interactions. Reflecting this concern, the Transportation Research Board (TRB) convened two conferences in 1999 on the subject of Refocusing Transportation Planning for the 21st Century. The conferences, which continued a 40-year tradition of meeting on a recurring basis to assess the transportation planning process, produced more than 100 research statements to help address the issues involved (Annex 7-1 lists these statements). The list reflects awareness of the significant need for research and development on new transportation planning techniques and institutional arrangements. Despite acknowledgment of the inadequacy of current processes, the conferences offered grounds for optimism. Through federal participation, major metropolitan transportation decisions are now among the most open, participatory public decision processes in the nation. The transportation program has, through federal transportation law and planning requirements, directly empowered local elected officials, established an intergovernmental policy forum, facilitated a structured technical process, and encouraged outreach to other stakeholders. Current cooperative research programs, such as the National Cooperative Highway Research Program and the Transit Cooperative Research Program, have a structured agenda and oversight, thereby increasing knowledge on a continuing basis. However, the pace of investigation, the development of methods and tools, and the refinement of institutions are slow and unsatisfactory to many stakeholders. Given both the large role of public agency decisions in establishing the transportation framework for the nation and the interest of such institutions in seeking improved knowledge, the benefits of better-informed planning and decision-making processes will be substantial—commensurate with the scale of the U.S. transportation system, whose usage is measured in the trillions of dollars and tens of billions of person-hours per year. Research Needs A large number of recent reports have identified research requirements for the transportation planning and decision-making processes. These include the
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 proceedings of the Refocusing Transportation Planning for the 21st Century conferences; the Federal Highway Administration’s Strategic Plan for Environmental Research, 1998–2003; the National Science and Technology Council’s 1999 National Research Agenda for Transportation and Sustainable Communities; background materials for TRB’s October 2000 Conference on Performance Measures; Transportation Research Circular 469: Environmental Research Needs in Transportation; the proceedings of the July 2000 National Conference on Transportation and the Environment for the 21st Century; and other materials, such as the numerous “millennium papers” prepared by TRB committees. In addition to research problem statements, the Refocusing Transportation Planning conferences produced documentation identifying a number of cross-cutting challenges that will be faced by practitioners in the first decade of the 21st century: Developing a customer- and user-based planning process; Linking planning to the political decision process; Creating a vision for the community and defining the role of transportation in achieving that vision; Understanding the current and future movement of freight; Addressing the unsatisfactory nature of current technical processes, including models; Exploring the role and impact of technology in the transportation arena; Relating land use and transportation; Resolving questions about the adequacy of existing institutions and relationships; Ensuring professional development for those in the transportation field; Linking transportation planning to other program-area processes; and Encouraging the consideration of certain transportation solutions or outcomes. These cross-cutting challenges underscore the growing recognition that improvement of the methods and tools to be used in meeting tomorrow’s transportation planning challenges is a critical need. Previous efforts have gone a long way toward articulating research needs for transportation planning. Meyer (2000) has suggested a framework for transportation planning research for which “a logical starting point is the identification of enabling research, that is, those issues, societal trends, and
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 needs for knowledge that lead to subsequent research on the planning process and the tools that are used in this process.” Figure 7-1 depicts Meyer’s conceptual approach. Research would flow from basic (enabling) research to the development of tools, then to creation or refinement of decision-making processes, and finally to methods of institutionalizing the new approaches. With respect to transportation planning, performance measurement, and institutional issues, the research program recommended below can be grouped more simply and the contributions of other work incorporated more effectively by combining the bottom two levels of the pyramid into a basic research category labeled “More Effective Understanding of Travel Dynamics.” The top two levels of the pyramid can likewise be combined into a single applied research category labeled “Effective Techniques and Responsive Institutions.” The recommendations that follow are grouped in these two categories. In some cases, these recommendations generalize those made in earlier chapters to address the transportation planning context. In the interest of brevity, however, recommendations covered in depth elsewhere in this report, such as those pertaining to land use and transportation, are excluded here. FIGURE 7-1 Conceptual framework for transportation planning. (Source: Meyer 2000.)
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 RECOMMENDATIONS More Effective Understanding of Travel Dynamics The foundational research required for effective transportation planning and decision making must focus on understanding travel dynamics. No methods, tools, techniques, or institutions can succeed if developed without this information. The breadth of the need for basic travel research is great. Recommendation 6-1. Develop a more effective understanding of the perceptions and priorities of the transportation system’s customers (users and taxpayers). The importance to customers of travel time brevity (the traditional goal of transportation plans) as compared with, for example, travel time reliability, requires further research. Apparent paradoxes in customer attitudes must be identified and reconciled. Questions about the value the public assigns to such attributes as the availability of an alternative mode also require research. States and municipalities are spending considerable financial resources on quality-of-life improvements (such as streetscaping) on the one hand and on major highway investments on the other without reliable information about customer expectations or desires. Better methods are needed to address this subject. Recommendation 6-2. Develop a more effective understanding of the nature of personal travel, as well as associated trends and decision processes. There is a need for serious exploration of personal travel behavior, structured according to underlying needs and desires, activities, resources, and constraints. While much work is being done in the international arena on this subject, the work is still largely in the exploratory stage, and the results have not reached the mainstream of the transportation planning community. Research in this area needs to address questions about why a particular travel event (a trip from point A to point B at a specific time by a particular mode along a given route) occurs, instead of merely accounting for the occurrence of the event. Such analysis must also be performed for each sector of society, giving special consideration to unique population groups. Information for decisions
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 related to travel demand can no longer be based on aggregated data for all travelers at a specific zone or subarea level. The research proposed here would provide a behavioral basis for examining the effects of further technological advances on travel patterns. Special concern: Changing demographics and unique population groups. The aggregate transportation planning approaches used by most transportation agencies are particularly ineffective in interacting with the increasingly diverse and complex population of the United States. In the real world, traditional suburban workers commuting to the central city in the morning have been replaced to a great extent by entrepreneurial immigrants; single parents shuttling between day care and work; families executing lengthy, complex trip chains on Saturday afternoons; elderly individuals maintaining part-time employment (and perhaps also different residences in the summer and winter); and teenagers traveling long distances to spend time at the mall (Pisarski 1996). Innovative research is needed to identify the travel practices and choice processes of different market segments, given that the travel behavior of one segment may have little in common with that of another. Research is also needed to understand the correlation between changing economic patterns (e.g., changes in the location of economic activity, changes in wealth distribution) and travel behavior. Populations that are difficult to survey (such as recent immigrants, non-English-speaking residents, migrant workers and other transients, and individuals with low levels of literacy) require particular research attention. Research is also needed to determine the appropriate demographic parameters with which to explain particular travel choices. Further, there is a need to examine the likely shift in travel by purpose, vehicle occupancy, and time of day caused by the expected increase in the average age of the U.S. population. It is possible that an older population base in 2030 with a smaller percentage of residents in the workforce and more leisure time may make more daily trips but fewer peak-hour trips per capita than does today’s population base. If so, planning processes must adjust to these changing circumstances. Special concern: Effects of technological advances on travel behavior. Telecommuting, Internet shopping, and similar shifts in economic practices may lead to significant changes in the nature, amount, and time of day of travel demand. Planners struggle to address such issues as the likely extent of substitution of electronic communication for personal travel. A 5 percent increase in the penetration of telecommuting into the workplace or electronic shopping
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 into the retail arena could be safely overlooked in system investment policies; in contrast, a 40 percent penetration would call for a radical reconsideration of policies. Future rush-hour traffic forecasts continue to exert a heavy influence on the design of highway facilities, and near-term capital decisions are being made across the nation without a reasonable understanding of likely future shifts in travel behavior. Recommendation 6-3. Develop a more effective understanding of the nature of commercial travel and the freight industry, as well as associated trends and decision processes. During the past 10 years, states and metropolitan planning organizations have sought to include private-sector stakeholders from the freight community more fully in the planning process. Unfortunately, the combination of the public sector’s traditional emphasis on personal travel and the private sector’s reticence to share proprietary data makes it difficult to incorporate freight dynamics into planning decisions. Research is needed to identify the appropriate means of obtaining effective information about commercial traffic and its dynamics without compromising firms’ competitive positions. This research is essential to the ability of the United States to compete in a global economy while enhancing the environment and protecting other core values. Free-trade agreements and other burgeoning aspects of international freight have raised policy questions regarding the appropriate priorities in using scarce public resources for costly, location- and mode-specific freight and intermodal investments. Answers to questions about the expected functional longevity of major infrastructure investments cannot be obtained without a better understanding of the risks involved. At present, knowledge on this subject is scarce (Neumann 2000). Special concern: E-commerce and e-freight. E-commerce and just-in-time delivery of both manufacturing components and consumer products are generating significant changes in the nature and amount of long-distance freight traffic and local-delivery traffic. Research is required to understand this aspect of commercial traffic so that further changes resulting from the maturing of e-commerce can be anticipated and factored into the planning process. The economic impacts of e-commerce and e-freight must also be analyzed and related to current travel patterns and behaviors.
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 Recommendation 6-4. Develop a more effective understanding of the role of transportation services and facilities in the economy. Many if not most transportation investments in the United States are justified to some extent on the basis of their anticipated economic benefit. Whether this benefit is expected to accrue to society primarily through decreased travel time or through removal of barriers to access, economic impact is central. Further research is required to produce a more meaningful understanding of these relationships and methods for better incorporation into transportation decision processes. Once a location is served with a basic level of accessibility, what further contribution to economic health does the next level of improvements offer? Does traffic congestion cost a community its economic well-being, or is it a sign of economic vitality? Recommendation 6-5. Develop a more effective understanding of the role of transportation services and facilities in the culture and social fabric of the United States. Research is needed on the effect of the transportation system on individuals’ sense of self-worth, civic pride, and personal aspirations. Community impacts of transportation, such as neighborhood integration or disintegration, improved or diminished sense of place, and connectivity to the regional community, are also generally not well understood, but they are critical areas of knowledge in a holistic decision-making process. Note that this recommended research overlaps with the critical research recommendations presented in Chapter 6 regarding the causal relationships between transportation investments and land use patterns and between community design and travel choices. Effective Techniques and Responsive Institutions Improved understanding of the nature and dynamics of personal and commercial travel and the impacts of the transportation system on communities and the environment will be useful only if there are techniques available to apply the knowledge, as well as institutions ready to use those techniques. The following recommendations address this need.
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 as well as making the processes more responsive to private-sector decision making, is one of the greatest research challenges facing the transportation planning community. Special concern: Effective institutional arrangements. Decision-making institutions must be capable of meeting the challenge of an integrated process such as that described above. At a minimum, this capability requires capacity building at both the policy and technical levels of transportation agencies, planning organizations, and state and local governments. It may also require investigation of the barriers to effective coordination between transportation decisions and land development (Marshment 1999), along with exploration of means of streamlining the current transportation decision-making process to allow for a multitude of decision makers without generating fragmentation and gridlock. New or modified institutions may be needed. Special concern: Incorporating customer preferences and priorities. A related concern is that of increasing the role of identified customer preferences and priorities in the decision-making process. To this end, planners and decision makers need guidance in interpreting public attitudes. Failure to address this issue could lead to an overreliance on technical information regarding travel behavior, external impacts, and the like in the decision-making process. Research that can be of assistance in approaching the matter of dispute resolution is also needed. Special concern: Integrating transportation, land use, and environmental decision making. Of particular concern is the need for research on methods of better integrating transportation, land use, and environmental decision making. Improved integration would significantly enhance the time- and cost-efficiency of decision making by weeding out unworkable and undesirable alternatives early in the planning process. Integration would also allow a shift from environmental impact assessment to environmental protection and enhancement, and from transportation problem solving to comprehensive community planning. The required research must focus as much or more on institutions as on techniques. It must examine the contribution of institutional barriers to the current lack of integration and suggest structural changes that can eliminate the most significant barriers. Special concern: Climate change and transportation planning and decision making. Weather patterns in recent years have been characterized by unusual ambient air temperatures, as well as greater frequency and severity of flooding, drought, tropical storms, and hurricanes. These weather patterns have put considerable stress on affected transportation facilities and
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 services. If climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions causes such weather patterns to become more frequent and widespread, significant impacts on the transportation system will result. These impacts will be experienced in three categories: Emergency preparation and response—Transportation facility siting and design are based on engineering principles incorporating climatological expectations (e.g., 100-year flood plains, historic frost depths, prevailing wind patterns). The transportation system has not been crafted to withstand the demands of unexpected weather events. Severe storms, flooding, and unprecedented extremes in temperature or precipitation can produce circumstances beyond the design characteristics of the transportation system. As a result, the life expectancy of facilities may be shortened, and weather-related failures (e.g., road washouts, frost heaves and heat buckling, bridge failures) may exceed historical frequencies. Moreover, emergency planning for evacuation may need to be extended to areas beyond those typically exposed to weather-related disasters. Lasting changes—Measurable changes in sea levels can drastically alter the nature and location of coastal areas, as well as inland waterways. Given the strong proximate relationship between water bodies and human development (i.e., development is close to water for transportation, power, drinking water, and recreation), changes in coastlines and waterways will cause significant damage to developed areas and transportation facilities. Lasting changes to sea levels would necessitate redesign and reconstruction of many major transportation facilities, including affected ports, airports, major highways, and rail facilities—at considerable expense. Actions to influence greenhouse gas emissions—Transportation is currently highly reliant on combustion processes that generate carbon dioxide (see Chapter 2). If concerns about climate change become part of the planning agenda, transportation planners will be expected to produce reliable estimates of the effectiveness of available public actions in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Few of the transportation planning tools available today address fuel use, let alone carbon dioxide emissions, or account for changes in travel behavior or in vehicle technology and fuels that might be considered in planning to reduce the impacts of climate change (see Chapter 5). The current need for investment in the development of reliable transportation planning tools and decision-making techniques is heightened by the significant role that may be played by such tools and techniques in the future.
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 Special concern: Development of environmental information and environmental management methods and tools for efficiently integrating environmental protection and enhancement into transportation planning and decision making. In view of the extremely complex and technical nature of transportation planning, decision making, and environmental management, there is a need to develop methods and tools that are easy to understand and use. These methods and tools must be integrated, as must the processes they support. Special concern: Transportation financing. At the broadest level, transportation decision making must be more closely related to the formulation of public policy regarding the collection and allocation of public revenues. Of significant concern within the transportation community is the need for research on new options—such as value pricing—for generating revenue to provide and maintain transportation services. This concern also reflects a need for research on the potential impacts of dampened travel growth and increased vehicle fuel-efficiency on the adequacy of revenues based on fuel consumption. Both technical information and understanding of public preferences are important objectives of research aimed at identifying the appropriate mix of user-based and general tax revenue sources. Further, research is required to help clarify the priority of transportation funding within the universe of financial demands on government. Recommendation 6-10. Develop methods and institutional structures for integrating transportation planning, programming, design, and operation. Beyond integration of decision-making processes across disciplines, improvement is needed in the institutional arrangements and practices within the transportation discipline. Too frequently there is a disconnect between system plans and the prioritization of projects for funding, while design and environmental impact assessment processes discount decisions made earlier in the planning process regarding scale and purpose. Commonly, the operation of transit services (route design, service scheduling, and fare policy) and of highways (incident detection and response, information system management, computer signal control) have little structured interaction with the planning and programming processes. Research on new institutional structures and on ways of improving the interaction of operational management with system planning and programming is a critical research need.
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 Special concern: Traditional orientation to capital projects. A particular challenge is to find workable approaches that can help transportation institutions transition from a traditional focus on capital projects to a more integrated approach that involves exploring both capital and operational actions for achieving stated goals. The urgency of this challenge is related to the nation’s demand for accommodation of increasing levels of economic activity and limited support for expansion of transportation infrastructure. REFERENCES Burwell, D. G. 2000. Transportation, Sustainability, and Land Use. In Conference Proceedings 20: Refocusing Transportation Planning for the 21st Century, TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., pp. 86–101. Kennedy, L. 2000. Environmental Justice and Where It Should Be Addressed in the 21st Century Concerning the Transportation Industry: Historical Perspective and Summary. In Conference Proceedings 20: Refocusing Transportation Planning for the 21st Century, TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., pp. 113–132. Marshment, R. 1999. Transportation Planning Challenges and Opportunities. In Transportation and the New Millennium (CD-ROM), TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. Meyer, M. D. 2000. Refocusing Transportation Planning for the 21st Century. In Conference Proceedings 20: Refocusing Transportation Planning for the 21st Century, TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., pp. 41–55. Neumann, L. A. 2000. Integration of Intermodal and Multimodal Considerations into the Planning Process. In Conference Proceedings 20: Refocusing Transportation Planning for the 21st Century, TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., pp. 72–85. Pedersen, N. 1999. Multimodal Transportation Planning at the State Level: State of the Practice and Future Issues. In Transportation in the New Millennium (CD-ROM), TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. Pisarski, A. E. 1996. Commuting in America II. ENO Transportation Foundation, Inc., Washington, D.C. Tate-Glass, M. J., R. Bostrum, and G. Witt. 1999. Data, Data, Data—Where’s the Data? In Transportation in the New Millennium (CD-ROM), TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. Winters, P. L. 1999. Transportation Demand Management. In Transportation in the New Millennium (CD-ROM), TRB, National Research Council, Washington, D.C.
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 Annex 7-1 TRANSPORTATION PLANNING RESEARCH STATEMENTS FROM CONFERENCES ON REFOCUSING TRANSPORTATION PLANNING FOR THE 21ST CENTURY More than 100 research statements pertaining to the transportation planning process were provided by participants in the two conferences on Refocusing Transportation Planning for the 21st Century held in 1999. The specific statements cover the majority of the research needs identified in this chapter. The list below is arranged according to the cross-cutting issues identified by the conference participants. Because of the strong influence of planning practitioners at the conferences, a majority of the research statements reflect a desire to identify and disseminate improved practices. The suggested research topics and the estimated cost for addressing each topic (in thousands of dollars) are listed below. Where a range of costs was offered in the conference report, the value presented here is the low end of the range. If no cost was estimated by the authors of the research statement, the cost column is left blank (–). The total cost of the identified research items exceeds $60 million. A More Robust Planning Process Identifying emerging 21st-century user needs driving demand for transportation services 200 Extent to which transportation investments result in economic development and growth 450 Future trends and expected changes in goods movement 200 Barriers to intermodal freight 150 Overcoming institutional barriers to multimodalism 150 Role of planning in improving the reliability of transportation system performance 200 Effect of system reliability on freight-sector planning and decisions 200 Comparative benefits of investments in management, operations, system preservation, and capacity expansion 500 Institutional issues associated with addressing maintenance and operation (M&O) in the planning process 200
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 How congestion-pricing projects could redistribute financing responsibility for transportation improvements 150 Understanding the linkages between transportation systems and sustainable communities: evaluating alternative plans and policies 200 Consideration of environmental factors in transportation planning 750 Identifying and communicating the purpose of and need for transportation projects 250 Integration of transportation corridor and land use planning 300 Defining and analyzing disparate impacts in the context of environmental justice 350 Methods and techniques for better identifying transportation issues of disadvantaged populations and costs associated with providing potentially different transportation services to these populations 350 How to examine the equity of benefits and disbenefits in the planning process 150 Understanding the travel characteristics of welfare recipients and low-income individuals 200 Planning for effective coordination of nonemergency transportation services 200 Systemwide approaches to planning for safety 250 Creative approaches to transportation planning 150 Identifying transportation planning needs of the future 250 Applying new information technology to improve the transportation planning process 300 Integrating new environmental concerns into the transportation planning process 350 Survey of international best practices in planning processes and implementation 250 Resource and energy consumption and sustainable transportation 200 Using performance data generated by intelligent transportation systems (ITS) in the planning process 200
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 Developing a Customer- and User-Based Planning Process Identifying what basic research is needed to develop customer-related planning and to create a vision for the community – User’s guide to the transportation planning process 60 Promoting effective public involvement in the greatest transportation challenges 250 Tools for fostering stakeholder collaboration and dispute resolution in transportation planning 180 Public involvement and customer interaction in analysis for transportation decisions 250 Cultural sensitivities and communication with diverse populations 75 Measuring the effectiveness of Internet tools for soliciting public involvement 50 Tools for assessing the effectiveness of public-involvement processes 250 Institutional barriers to integrating public involvement into transportation planning 200 Incorporating visioning into the transportation planning process 100 Incorporating visioning into the transportation planning process 100 Aligning Planning Processes, Decision-Making Institutions, and the Political Process to Meet 21st-Century Challenges Measuring the impact of transportation systems decisions in terms that matter to decision makers and the public 300 Effectively defining and communicating investment trade-offs and choices for decision makers 200 Closing the gap between regional planning and positions taken by decision makers and the public 500 Improving the linkage between decision making and accountability through performance audits and program assessments 250 Aligning the planning process with faster-paced political change and participatory democracy 200 Reinventing transportation planning 250
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 Documenting for elected officials the importance of M&O investments to the performance of the overall transportation system 350 Forty years of regional plans: critical review of lessons learned 500 Administrative reform by states, metropolitan planning organizations, and transit agencies: integrating environmental and economic factors into business and investment decisions 300 New cooperative relationships for planning, design, construction, operation, and management 200 Changing institutional capacity of planning organizations: benchmarking progress 500 New or reformed political institutions: Is there a better way to make planning decisions? 1,000 Understanding the Current and Future Movement of Freight Understanding the freight industry: trends and future characteristics 250 Integrating freight needs into regional land use planning 200 Strategic measurement for evaluating and assessing the impacts of freight-related projects 2,000 Identifying freight forecasting guidelines and methods 100 Impact of technology on the way commodities are purchased and delivered 250 Land use and circulation implications of express package-delivery services 50 Intermodal terminal capacity and access 100 Unsatisfactory Nature of Technical Processes, Including Models Socioeconomic research program for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas 250 + 150/year Techniques for equity analysis in metropolitan transportation planning 120 Enabling research program on travel behavior 25,000
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 Development of guidelines for collecting impact and performance data 400 System operation considerations in planning models 900 Integration of current travel demand forecasting procedures with dynamic assignment models 500 M&O performance indicators 120 Multimodal evaluation 200 Methods for assessing public preferences and incorporating them into transportation decision making 150 Development of a holistic ecosystem evaluation tool 840 Tools for assessing the impacts of neighborhood-scale projects 180 Sensitivity analysis and error assessment in travel demand forecasting models 450 Comparison of forecast and actual travel trends 400 Integrating significant and emerging emission-factor elements with travel demand models 1,080 Techniques for improving communication with community groups and the general public 250 Package of quick-response planning tools for small communities 120 Time-use research to support a new generation of travel and activity models 300 Induced travel and mode substitution as reactions to transportation improvements 400 Interactions between telecommunications and travel 900 Statewide planning model 240 Development of procedures and tools for investing in transportation assets to improve the overall transportation system 5,000 Strategic data research: transportation equity 250 Role and Impact of Technology on Transportation Technology and organizations: learning from other industries 400 Bringing transportation planning alive: use of advanced technologies to enhance the interactivity of the transportation decision-making process 300 Using ITS data to enhance the transportation planning process 250
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 Evaluation of benefits provided by information technology to transportation system operations 500 Reexamination of transportation planning assumptions that may have become outdated as a result of technological advances 500 Technology scanning 2025 150 every 3–5 years Best-practice survey methods for capturing impacts of information technology on transport activity 425 Applying technology to improve performance measurement for transportation systems 400 Land Use and Transportation Land use and the transportation planning process: evaluation of existing land use tools applied in transportation decision making, and development of improved tools for use by decision makers in demonstrating the effects of managed growth 100 Transportation strategies for successful redevelopment of established areas 525+ Analytical methods using geographic information systems to evaluate potential transportation and land use impacts on new land development, redevelopment, and rural community development – Considering environmental and land use issues and community values in the transportation planning process – Techniques to increase multimodal accessibility in suburban communities 150 Flexible approaches to parking development – Linking metropolitan travel growth and sprawl 100 Integration of corridor and local land use planning 300 Best practices in metropolitan land use planning and regulation 500 Impacts of new community and neighborhood designs on household travel behavior 1,000
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Surface Transportation Environmental Research: A Long-Term Strategy - Special Report 268 Professional Development Professional development in transportation planning 150 Linkages to Other Programs and Outcomes Development of a national shared-knowledge network for social and environmental aspects of transportation planning 350 Information sharing among planning processes 495 Rural participation in transportation decision making 400 Determining and planning for the impacts of tourism on transportation infrastructure 100 Analysis of network connectivity for bicycling and walking 400 Revisiting vision in the planning process 425
Representative terms from entire chapter: