Compendium of Best and Innovative Methods and Tools for Transportation Planning and Project Development Analyses

Focus Area

Environmental Considerations in Planning








1-2 years

Research Idea Scope

As transportation agencies continuously strive to improve their transportation program and project delivery, they are looking for innovative methods and tools for conducting transportation planning and project development analyses. Very substantial investments of time and resources are made by transportation agencies in conducting the analyses required for making well-informed decisions in a highly complex decision-making environment. Having knowledge of and ready access to the most innovative analysis methods and tools often saves valuable time and resources and ultimately leads to high quality transportation improvement delivery in a timely, efficient, and economical manner.

New and improved transportation planning and project development analyses methods and tools are constantly being invented, tested and used by the multitude of public and private sector transportation and other organizations in the US and around the world. The advent and rapid advancement of computer technology has facilitated the invention and use of cutting-edge methods and tools for mapping, data collection, predictive modeling, visualization, collaborative decision-making, document management, quality control/assurance, and training. The strong emphasis on collaborative decision-making and context-sensitive solutions has greatly influenced the development of analysis methods and tools that promote stakeholder interaction and better understanding of complex and technical concepts by the layman.

Keeping abreast of the latest developments in transportation planning and project development methods and tools is no small undertaking for the transportation professional.

In June 2006, the National Cooperative Research Program (NCHRP) completed Research Project 25-22(02), “Technologies to Improve Consideration of Environmental Concerns in Transportation Decisions.” The research digest and CD showcases eight technologies to improve the consideration of environmental concerns in transportation decisions. Over 70 technologies in use by transportation agencies were evaluated. This effort began in 1999 and focused only on the environmental concerns in transportation decision-making.

Research to synthesize a compendium of the best and innovative methods and tools for transportation planning and project development is urgently needed. There is a need to go well beyond the environmental focus of NCHRP 25-22(2).

Develop a compendium of the best and innovative methods and tools for transportation planning and project development analyses.

Suggested By

Shannon Eggleston, Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO