Based on the assessment of the workshop proceedings presented in Section IV, the following are potential actions FHWA could take to support and facilitate further integration of climate change considerations into transportation planning in DOTs and MPOs.
FHWA should expand its efforts to help DOTs and MPOs develop and build their internal professional and technical capacities to address the complex issues associated with considering climate change as part of the transportation planning process. Such efforts could include, but not be limited to, peer exchanges, webinars, training (classroom and video or web-based), and sponsored research through FHWA's own programs and/or TRB. In addition, in order to help DOTs and MPOs have a more effective method for assessing and planning for climate change, FHWA should pursue similar capacity building in scenario planning specifically.
FHWA should seek avenues by which it can provide DOTs and MPOs with tools and methods to efficiently and credibly analyze climate change issues, including both GHG mitigation and adaptation to climate change impacts (e.g., sea level rise, greater storm intensity, etc.). Such tools and methods could include, but not be limited to, the refinement and enhancement of the web-based tool mentioned earlier in this document, methods for linking and integrating GHG planning to the MOVES analyses and expert assistance related to interpreting analytical results.
FHWA should seek ways to expand and enhance its offerings in direct technical assistance and resources for DOTs and MPOs related to climate change and transportation planning. Such efforts could include, but not be limited to, placing relevant experts in each FHWA Resource Center, continuing to build the content of the USDOT Climate Change and Transportation Clearinghouse website (http://climate.dot.gov/) and on the FHWA Highways and Climate Change site (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/climate_change/, and establishing and facilitating a peer-to-peer information exchange network.