Planning & Environment Linkages Implementation Resources
Linking Resource Plans With Transportation Needs and Solutions
Note: This information was archived in April 2009. For the current information, see http://environment.fhwa.dot.gov/integ/related.asp.
The first of these linkages can be made by connecting the stage in resource conservation and management, where resource and land use agencies identify and integrate management plans, with the stage in transportation planning, where MPOs and state DOTs identify transportation needs and potential solutions (see Exhibit D).
What Is the Linkage?
Identify state/local resource conservation and management plans, land use plans, and any other planning documents that have been developed and link them to the identification of transportation needs and solutions during planning.
Why Make the Linkage?
Resource conservation and management plans will be particularly useful in considering potential solutions for both resource and transportation agencies.
This linkage would:
- Provide initial common understanding among partner agencies.
- Support the development of potential solutions that meet multiple natural resource and community goals.
- Identify potential solutions that conflict with endorsed or adopted goals and could be eliminated from further consideration.
- Establish partnerships that can support implementation of cross-cutting opportunities or solutions identified in plan recommendations.
What to Consider?
- Each agency may be familiar with its own data and planning information. Other data and plans may be relatively unfamiliar. Questions, answers, and discussions about common goals and terminology helps bridge those gaps.
- Plans may vary in format and level of detail which could complicate making fair comparison and achieving mutual understanding.
- Multiple stakeholders, whether acting as a group or individually, may slow the planning cycle, making it difficult to meet deadlines.
- Positive and early involvement focused on opportunities can generate new levels of enthusiasm, interest, and collaboration.
- Creative agreements or understanding can expedite later stages.
What Data Informs This Linkage?
Planning data may include information from the following:
- Previously adopted long-range transportation plans
- Overall community vision
- Planned land use and development
- Community economic development plans
- Air quality context
- Multi-modal plans or considerations
- Roadway deficiency data
- Population and employment data (e.g., demographic trends)
- Transportation demand and traffic forecasts
- Established management systems (e.g., congestion, pavement, bridge, safety)
- Documentation of public/stakeholder involvement process
- Environmental data may include information from the following:
- State wildlife conservation plans or strategies, typically produced by the State Wildlife or Fish and Game Departments.
- Local and regional watershed plans.
- Eco-regional conservation plans developed by organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, in consultation with agency specialists.
- State natural heritage program species occurrence, distribution, and habitat quality data.
- Measures or mapped statewide biodiversity health assessments, if available.
Analysis and Documentation
- Analyze opportunities and limitations presented for each plan and associated environmental regulations.
- Document all plans considered with relevant information on effective dates, adoption, and other identifying characteristics.
- Summarize consideration and decisions reached.
- When information is provided in GIS or other technically compatible format, provide this data to the MPO transportation planning staff for further analysis.
- Provide signatures of representatives involved to document agreements and further actions needed.
- Document interagency agreements reached on opportunities in which community and resource management plans link to identification of needs and solutions.
- Modify descriptions of needs and solutions for transportation purposes, as needed.
What Technical or Policy Team Decisions Help Make This Linkage?
State and local transportation planning agencies provide the technical analysis. Policy makers for the MPO may endorse the tool or identified solutions.