Identifying and Recommending Regulation Changes to Take Advantage of Existing Technologies.

Focus Area

Environmental Considerations in Planning








1-2 years

Research Idea Scope


With continual technological advances in tools like GIS, remote sensing, and computer software, the transportation industry has at its disposal increasingly more capable tools to perform transportation planning and analysis. If used effectively, these tools can allow us to meet the increasing demands of delivering projects faster without compromising quality (i.e. Every Day Counts) and linking planning and NEPA (i.e. Planning and Environmental Linkages).  In some ways, we are currently operating under an antiquated regulatory environment (with some laws up to 40-years old) which, at times, is incompatible with the 21st century technology we use to plan, evaluate, and implement projects. It is time to identify which regulations may need revising to allow for more innovation and better planning, and thereby deliver better, environmentally-sound projects faster.

We propose to conduct research which evaluates options for merging planning, analysis, and project delivery to achieve the best product in the most efficient manner in light of the current regulatory environment.  The research can be divided into three parts: (1) a search of current industry practices and practitioners who link planning, analysis, and implementation and identification of their most successful tools, (2) Identification of tools that could be used expedite the planning/analysis/implementation processes if environmental regulations were not a limiting factor, and (3) identification of roadblocks that currently exist which prevent the use of these tools and approaches.  

Urgency and Payoff

Although not immediately urgent, the payoff to syncing our regulations to taking advantage of all available tools could be huge.

Suggested By

Brandon Weston, UDOT, 801-965-4603

[email protected]