The Center will develop and execute an Information Exchange and Marketing Plan to provide a framework for expanding outreach and distribution of Center products and services to key transportation stakeholders. The framework will include leveraging existing networks through current partners like the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations and the Transportation Research Board. Furthermore, the plan will outline methods for using social media platforms and other web-based tools to increase engagement and outreach with other environment and transportation stakeholders. Link to Information Exchange & Marketing Plan.
The Center will maintain the existing website (environment.transportation.org) which is the central location for DOT staff, resource agencies, and other transportation partners and practitioners to access the Center’s resources, products and programs. The website will be regularly updated with news and information regarding environmental legislation, webinars, trainings, innovations and case studies. Additionally, publications, recordings and other information produced through this work plan will be posted to the website. The Technical Working Group will help identify relevant news sources, best practices and other types of content to publish on the website.
The Center will also continue to maintain the Transportation and Environmental Research Ideas (TERI) database – a central storehouse for tracking and sharing new transportation and environmental research ideas. TERI provides a timely, organized, and comprehensive list of research ideas to policy makers and researchers as they make choices in forums such as TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program.
Communities of Practice (COPs) provide forums for invited professionals to discuss and exchange information, experiences, ideas, and best practices on a range of environmental topics related to the planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of highway and transit systems. The goal of a Community of Practice is to promote environmental stewardship and encourage innovative ways to streamline the transportation delivery process.
Under this work plan, the Center will host two Communities of Practice. One focused on Stormwater Management and the other focused on Environmental Justice. Each COP will engage regularly through conference calls, emails, webinars, and other web-based platforms. Discussions will be facilitated by Center technical experts and will provide a forum to share experiences and best practices, and will discuss current and emerging issues in Stormwater Management and Environmental Justice. Each COP will be open to varying disciplines within the 52 AASHTO member departments and will identify work products and deliverables.
The Center will undertake an effort to assist transportation stakeholders in resolving issues related to extreme weather preparedness through a two-day national resilience peer exchange for 35-40 practitioners. The peer exchange will provide an opportunity for attendees to build relationships, share experiences and learn from one another, and hear about the significant work that has occurred over the last few years including independent state DOT studies, FHWA pilot programs and work on engineering assessments, among others. The Center will coordinate with the AASHTO Resilient and Sustainable Transportation Systems Steering Committee that oversees climate change and resilience issues on this task.
The Center will identify and compile at least two detailed case studies on streamlining the planning and implementation of bicycle and pedestrian projects covering topics such as project scoping, purpose and need statements, building local agency capacity as project sponsors, project bundling, streamlining Federal and State procurement requirements, streamlining the funding application process, environmental process streamlining, simplifying reporting forms for pedestrian and bicycle projects, and identifying strategies to incorporate bicycle and pedestrian elements into larger transportation projects. The Center will coordinate with FHWA in the process of selecting case studies and identifying information to be gathered and presented. The case study material may be incorporated into other FHWA products on streamlining pedestrian and bicycle project delivery.
Under this task, the Center for Environmental Excellence will support the participation of state DOT practitioners in national conferences, and summits, such as the Transportation Research Board annual meeting and committee meetings. The Center will compile a list of potential speakers comprised of state DOT practitioners, members of the Center Technical Working Group including State DOT representatives, MPOs, resource agencies, and other selected experts that are available to make presentations during national conferences and other venues. This task will enable the Center to develop customizable presentations for practitioners to deliver during AASHTO Standing Committees, Transportation Research Board sessions and meetings, and other relevant conferences, summits, and meetings to be identified in collaboration with FHWA.
Working in collaboration with the BATIC Institute at AASHTO, the Center for Environmental Excellence will conduct a synthesis of available resources and tools focused on project delivery, including environmental review of P3 and Tolling Projects. Resources and tools uncovered through the synthesis project will be posted to the Center and BATIC websites. Additionally, based on information gleaned through the synthesis project, the Center will conduct a gap analysis and develop a roadmap of potential next steps for future Center and BATIC work.