Estimating Benefits From Strong Community Involvement, Responsibility and Ownership in CSS Processes and Outcomes (Partnerships, Sustainability, PR, etc.)

Focus Area

Context Sensitive Solutions


Community & Cultural Concerns, Environmental Process







Research Idea Scope

TERI Administrator Note (January 2009): Research is Underway
Context Sensitive Solutions: Quantification of the Benefits in Transportation (NCHRP 15-32)
Project is due to be completed 5/31/09.

As more organizations apply the principles of context sensitive solutions (CSS), evidence is increasing that measurable benefits result from a more broadly informed and flexible approach to all phases of transportation decision making. There is a widely shared belief that involving stakeholders in decision making results in solutions that balance environmental, engineering, community, mobility, funding, and safety needs with minimum delay and controversy. If this is true, there should be significant quantifiable benefits from the strategic and appropriate application of CSS principles. Evaluation of the benefits of transportation programs is often limited to the cost savings accrued from reduced travel times, emissions, environmental impacts, and operations. These evaluations continue to produce an abundance of data that often address a particular mode such as transit or highways and specific aspects that are easily quantified such as ridership, noise levels, wetland impacts, and arterial capacity. Data on less readily quantifiable aspects have been lacking. The economic impacts of CSS, in terms of achieving value-added benefits and reducing costs and delays, have not been well documented. Quantification of benefits and cost savings realized through application of CSS in transportation should be of great value to agencies and stakeholders working to deliver projects and will advance CSS implementation nationally. The objective of this project is to quantify the benefits of strategic and appropriate application of the principles of context sensitive solutions in transportation planning, programming, project development, and operations.

Suggested By

Scott Bradley, TRB CSS Taskforce Minnesota DOT