FY 2010 Annual Report
Highlights of FY2010 STEP Research
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Planning, Environment and Realty's (HEP) Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP) ended on September 30, 2012. For current HEP research information, please see HEP's MAP-21 research web site.
STEP projects include short-term initiatives and ongoing multi-year programs; they may be carried out by FHWA staff or by a collection of professionals in many different agencies. The FHWA uses STEP funds and the STEP process to build partnerships that encourage collaboration, leverage diverse funding sources, and offer a fresh perspective on emerging research topics. FY2010 STEP projects reflect stakeholder feedback and collaboration.
Notable projects from each emphasis area are highlighted below with respect to their core function:
Conducting Research Studies
- Investigated the effects of electronic variable message signs on driver attention through field measurements of driver behavior.
- Identified opportunities for wildlife crossings in interstate areas of the Rocky Mountains in Idaho and Montana to improve the safety of the travelling public by reducing animal-vehicle collisions and produce a template for data-driven identification of wildlife crossing opportunities along highways.
- Documented the integration of visualization techniques and technologies in the right-of-way acquisition processes within State DOTs.
- Evaluated the effect of temperature on tire and pavement noise.
- Collected data on near road mobile source air toxics and monitored air toxics for several locations across the Nation.
Developing and Deploying Tools, Technologies, and Practices
- Created a decision-support tool to evaluate the potential for large-scale carbon sequestration activities in several States.
- Produced methods, tools, and techniques to improve the quality and efficiency of environmental decision-making
- Disseminated information on transportation applications of geospatial technologies through peer exchanges, case studies, and a quarterly webcast series.
- Identified noteworthy practices, findings, and recommendations from an international scan to identify and assess effective approaches to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility through engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation.
- Improved National Highway System network data and maps.
- Conducted webinars and peer reviews to provide travel modeling technical assistance to transportation stakeholders.
- Implemented, evaluated, and developed tools to support the use of the Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator.
Connecting the Community and Transferring Knowledge
- Hosted two Structured, Transparent, Accountable, Reproducible, and Sustainable (STARS) workshops to facilitate the exchange of ideas, data, and tools to integrate transportation planning and project development activities.
- Facilitated working groups to address planning, travel modeling, and congestion along the U.S./Mexico and U.S./Canada borders through research, peer exchanges, and publications.
- Promoted effective statewide, metropolitan, rural and tribal transportation planning practices through nationwide Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program events.
- Implemented a workshop series, delivered technical assistance, and developed several publications to share effective professional practices related to Context Sensitive Solutions, including applications and programs from around the country.
- Facilitated peer exchanges and prepared for summits to advance innovations to shorten project delivery during the environmental review process.
- Worked with governors and State executives to develop, promote, and implement innovative State and regional initiatives relating to transportation, the environment, and economic development.