Develop Best Practices and Analytical Tools for Integrating Transportation and Environmental Considerations in Project Decision-Making

Focus Area

NEPA Process

Subcommittee

Environmental Process

Status

Archived

Cost

$250,000-$499,000

Timeframe

Unknown

Research Idea Scope

TERI Database Administrator Notes:  Note recommended at present time by 2009 Environmental Process Subcommittee. 

In the current state of the practice there are no tools and best practices available that allow for integration of regional, corridor, and local scale modeling. This precludes decision makers from having an integrated framework for informed decision making as it relates to environmental considerations. For example, a decision maker may be confronted with project alternatives that cross modes with little to no way of confidently predicting mode shifts or micro-level impacts. The result of this lack of information can lead to decisions which over- or underestimate the relative impacts on the environment and the transportation system.

Phase I. Development of integrated analytical tools and practices to enhance travel demand forecasting across modes, including freight movement. To fill this gap it is necessary to

1. Evaluate the current macro-, meso-, and microscale modeling; this includes the validation of travel behavior assumptions used in these techniques;
2. Identify research techniques that allow for better forecasting of all aspects of travel, including mode shifts, activity analysis, and multimodal analysis including freight and related environmental impacts; 3. Establish and define best practices and guidelines for modeling, which allow decision makers to have levels of confidence in the results portrayed.

• Task 1: Survey (literature, interviews, comparisons of models/modality practices)- $100,000.
• Task 2: Identify research techniques-$200,000.
• Task 3: Prepare best practices manual/guidelines-$100,000.

• Task 1: 9 months
• Task 2: 12 months
• Task 3: 10 months

Phase II. Integration of best practices and analytical tools across modes and media for assessing factors that have environmental considerations. To fill this gap it is necessary to

1. First survey the state of practice,
2. Identify research techniques that allow for compatibility among modeling interpretation and evaluation, and
3. Establish and define best practices and guidelines for modeling that allow decision makers to have levels of confidence in the results portrayed.

• Task 1: Survey (literature, interviews, comparisons of models/modality practices)- $100,000.
• Task 2: Identify research techniques-$200,000.
• Task 3: Prepare best practices manual/guidelines-$200,000.

• Task 1: 12 months
• Task 2: 14 months
• Task 3: 10 months

TERI Administrator Note (June 2007): Related Research
SHRP 2 Project C01: A Framework for Collaborative Decision Making on Additions to Highway Capacity

http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/shrp2/CapacityBrief0705.pdf

The objective is to improve collaborative decision making and the process for selecting solutions to capacity problems. The project scope includes at least these elements: Existing processes that influence or are influenced by transportation planning and project development; decision points that may be external to transportation planning but can influence the outcome; the relationships among stakeholders; strategies for interactive communication; supporting information technology, analysis tools, and data. A contract in the amount of $2.6 million was awarded to ICF International in January 2007. Work on this project is expected to yield a tested decision making framework and decision support systems by 2010.

Suggested By

Transportation Research Board 2002 Environmental Research Needs Conference Notes

[email protected]

Submitted

04/23/2006