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STEP Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Report

Appendix C: Feedback from STEP Stakeholders

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.


Notable Stakeholder Quote

"The FHWA STEP program continues to be a valuable tool that promotes interagency collaboration and the development of valuable tools and datasets that are intended to benefit multiple agencies and the resources that they manage."

– United States Fish and Wildlife Service stakeholder

The STEP program's legislative background mandates that the program's budget and research recommendations be based on feedback, suggestions, and priorities outlined by STEP stakeholders. The legislation does not prescribe a particular method for collecting feedback. The STEP Implementation Strategy, initially published in July 2006, describes various stakeholder groups and outlines ways that STEP program managers might collect information.

In FY2012, the Web-based STEP stakeholder feedback mechanism continued to be a primary method to collect stakeholder feedback and report feedback to emphasis area contacts. This mechanism captures basic personal information about the stakeholder (including his or her name, title, agency, and affiliation type). Additionally, the mechanism asks stakeholders to answer a series of questions about the STEP in order to gather information such as:

The Web-based feedback mechanism was the preferred vehicle for submitting comments. However, in some cases, individuals or entities submitted suggestions by fax, email, or phone. In these cases, the information was added to the STEP feedback database through the Web-based mechanism.

This Appendix provides an overview of stakeholder collaboration and outreach activities conducted, feedback received, including descriptive statistics about the nature of comments and submitters, and a summary of feedback received in each emphasis area. This stakeholder feedback provides the foundation for the research highlights discussed in Appendix B.

STAKEHOLDER COLLABORATION

Hundreds of individuals were reached through meetings, teleconferences, and other events. Since STEP's inception, FHWA has collected stakeholder feedback through a Web-based system. Stakeholders targeted their feedback towards one of the 19 emphasis areas or submit general comments. FHWA staff representatives for each emphasis area consult the stakeholder feedback to coordinate and develop the annual STEP research plan, which lists research priorities for the coming year and corresponding funding amounts. FHWA received over 150 pieces of feedback in FY2012 from the Web-based system.

The feedback system captures information about:

Stakeholders are also directly involved in prioritizing research needs during stakeholder outreach meeting, committee meetings, or by commenting on the progress of research studies. Thus, FHWA ensures that feedback informs technical research, findings are applied and implemented, and the transportation community is connected, informed, and successful.

Outreach to STEP Stakeholders

Stakeholder outreach, feedback, and participation in research efforts are critical to successful implementation of the STEP. In order to disseminate current information about the STEP, emphasis area contacts, program managers, and research coordinators attended meetings, teleconferences, and events to share STEP information.

STEP emphasis area contacts also communicated by phone and email to encourage stakeholders to use the Web-based feedback system. The purpose of this type of outreach was to underscore the importance of submitting feedback and research suggestions through the online feedback mechanism during the FY2012 comment period (August 12, 2011, and November 10, 2011).

Overall, the STEP program was represented at many events, teleconferences, in email lists, on websites, and in various publications. Information reached hundreds of stakeholders. This section includes a summary of outreach activities undertaken by FHWA staff on behalf of the STEP. Outreach generally took place in the following formats:

FHWA staff made presentations on projects and initiatives at the annual meetings of AASHTO, AMPO, APA, TRB, the American Public Works Association, and the American Society of Civil Engineers. FHWA conducted workshops on CSS projects, plans and programs as well as a CSS National Dialog workshop. Staff also conducted outreach through webinars focused on a variety of topics, including CSS, travel modeling, and livability, and developed communities of practice as new venues of information sharing and dissemination. Several FHWA programs also updated and enhanced their websites during FY2012, which serve as hubs of information about planning and environment research. FHWA published several newsletters, including Air Quality and Transportation Conformity Highlights, the GIS in Transportation Quarterly Newsletter, Successes in Stewardship, Fostering Livable Communities, and the Realty Newsletter. These newsletters complemented other FHWA outreach efforts. Finally, FHWA staff conducted outreach through phone, email distribution lists, and other formats, including the AASHTO GIS for Transportation Symposium State Survey and email list.

General STEP Outreach

Program managers and STEP program support staff undertook outreach via online publication of several STEP documents, including the FY2012 STEP Implementation Strategy, the FY2011 Annual Report and the FY2012 Research Plan, and STEP program highlights fact sheets. Additional outreach activities included presentations on STEP at numerous national meetings and several webinars that included discussions on STEP and how to engage and solicit input from external stakeholders.

FEEDBACK OVERVIEW

154 comments were received between August and November 2011. In some cases, organizations or associations submitted feedback to several different emphasis areas that pertain to their work.

Bicycles and Pedestrians received the most (46) comments. All emphasis areas received at least one comment.

The figures below display the breakdown of comments received that pertain to STEP's broad program areas and to its individual emphasis areas.

Pie chart. Overall STEP Comments: 5%. Environment 69%. Planning 12%. Real Estate Services 8%. Tools to support Environment and Planning 6%.

Figure 1: Distribution of Feedback by Program Area (FY2012)

Bar chart of number of submissions. Bicycle Pedestrian 46. Water/wetlands/vegetation/wildlife/habitat 21. Environmental Streamlining Stewardship, 13. Real Estate Program stewardship 11. Air Quality and Climate Change 10. Livability, Overall STEP, and GIS/Spacial Information 7 each. Safety planning 5. Other activities, historic preservation, and context sensitive 4 each. Travel modeling and National Security, Defense and Interstate 3 each. Noise, Public Involvement/Visualization/Environmental Justice and Freight 2 each. Outdoor advertising control, US/Canada/Mexico borders, and Congestion 1 each.

Figure 2: Distribution of Feedback by Individual Emphasis Area (FY2012)

As described in Appendix A, STEP stakeholders are organized into three tiers: Federal and Tribal partners (Tier I), State and local governments (Tier II), and non-governmental transportation and environmental stakeholders (Tier III).

The Web-based feedback mechanism required stakeholders to describe their affiliation by selecting a response from a pre-defined list. This list included the entities described above (e.g., Federal, Tribal, State, local, research/academic, national association, private sector, individual citizen, or "other" affiliation). In some cases, stakeholders inadvertently listed their affiliation as Federal when their organization name indicated a different affiliation type. In these cases, data were corrected prior to analysis. All tiers and affiliations were represented in FY2012 comments; see the tables that follow for a distribution of comments.

Table 1: Distribution of Feedback by Affiliation Type

 

154

100%

Federal/Tribal Government

42

27%

State Government

17

11%

Local Government

16

10%

National Association

18

12%

Private Sector

10

6%

Research /Academic

20

13%

Individual Citizen

19

12%

Other

12

8%

Table 2: Distribution of Feedback by Tier

Comments Received to Date by Tier

154

100%

Tier 1 (Federal or Tribal Government)

42

27%

Tier 2 (State or Local Government)

33

21%

Tier 3 (National Association, Private Sector, Research /Academic, Individual Citizen, or "Other")

79

51%

Since communication and collaboration with stakeholders are critical to the implementation of the STEP, the Web-based stakeholder feedback mechanism captured email addresses for those individuals who wish to remain informed about the STEP. STEP program managers and emphasis area contacts may wish to contact stakeholders to gather more information, share updates about STEP, or to simply stay in touch with stakeholder groups.

Stakeholders supplied helpful suggestions on the lines of research that should be pursued under various STEP emphasis areas. Many stakeholders completed the entire feedback form, and offered information about other current or planned research projects in particular emphasis areas, suggestions for funding sources or other resources, and general comments about the STEP program.

Note that with regard to potential funding sources or other resources, these suggestions were provided by stakeholders who may have a wide range of experience with or information about these potential sources. STEP program managers and emphasis area contacts have not made funding agreements or arrangements with any of these potential partners. STEP program managers and research coordinators assess the possibility of funding or resource partnerships as various research projects take shape.

STAKEHOLDER FEEDBACK SUMMARIES BY EMPHASIS AREA

This section summarizes feedback submitted through November 2011 that pertains to each of the 19 emphasis areas[1] as well as overall feedback on STEP.

Click on the links below to be directed to a particular emphasis area feedback summary.

Environment Emphasis Areas:

Planning Emphasis Areas:

Real Estate Services Emphasis Areas

Tools to Support Planning and Environment Emphasis Areas:

Program Management and Outreach

Emphasis Areas Related to Environment

Air Quality and Climate Change

Ten comments were submitted to the Air Quality and Climate Change emphasis area. Approximately 20 percent of comments came from Tier I stakeholders and 30 percent of comments came from Tier II stakeholders. The remaining 50 percent of comments came from Tier III stakeholders, with feedback from the private sector, research/academic institutions, national associations, and stakeholders with other affiliations. There were no comments submitted by Tribal government stakeholders or individual citizens.

Several research suggestions in this emphasis area focused on a need for improvements to the Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) Air Quality model; specifically stakeholders indicated a need for MOVES training, peer exchanges, adjustments to the calibration criteria of the model. Additional suggestions included developing strategies for adaptation and mitigation to sea level rise and climate change, and addressing strategies for effective air quality improvements.

Stakeholders highlighted several current or planned research endeavors in this emphasis area. One stakeholder identified ongoing research on determining calibration criteria for the MOVES model at the University of California at Riverside, while another cited the National Near Roadway Mobile Source Air Toxics Study as relevant to this emphasis area.

Stakeholders identified several potential funding sources including the EPA, NCHRP, FHWA, and the University of California Transportation Center (UCTC).

Water/Wetlands/Vegetation/Wildlife/Habitat

Twenty one comments were submitted to the Water/Wetlands/Vegetation/Wildlife/Habitat emphasis area. Approximately 67 percent of comments came from Tier I stakeholders and 19 percent of comments came from Tier II stakeholders. The remaining 14 percent of comments came from Tier III stakeholders, with feedback from research/academic institutions. There were no comments submitted by Tribal government stakeholders, national associations, the private sector, individual citizens, or stakeholders with other affiliations.

Several stakeholders suggested that research should promote new designs and the maintenance of newly constructed wildlife crossing structures, and also analyze the effects of wildlife crossings over large geographic scales. Numerous stakeholders also indicated a need for developing analytical methods to measure water quality and storm water impacts, as well as developing and maintaining datasets for highway runoff and metal concentration in streams. One stakeholder recommended conducting research on roadside vegetation in arid regions, and another suggested researching the benefits of invasive vegetation removal from transportation corridors.

Stakeholders indicated several existing or planned research endeavors in this area. One stakeholder noted that USFWS and other wildlife agencies conduct long-term research projects each year in these areas. Another stakeholder indicated that the TRB and AASHTO have committees that propose research topics related to hydrology, hydraulics, and water quality that should be reflected in some funded projects. Research also exists on watershed based planning, procedures to follow culvert replacements, and on defining a comprehensive approach to stream crossing design and maintenance.

Stakeholders indicated several funding sources including the United States Forest Service (USFS), State DOTs and USDOT, universities and graduate student work, EPA, Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) - Baltimore District, Maryland State Highway Administration, FWS, FWS Tribal Wildlife Grant, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Historic Preservation

Four comments were submitted to the Historic Preservation emphasis area. All four of the comments came from private sector stakeholders. No comments were submitted by Federal, Tribal, State, or local government stakeholders, national associations, research/academic institutions, individual citizens, or other stakeholders.

Several stakeholders suggested that research should focus on developing a model for enabling decision-makers to define and evaluate the significance of historic roads. Stakeholders indicated that a model would establish a systematic approach to help decision-makers incorporate historic factors early in project stages. One stakeholder suggested developing a historic roads context that identifies national trends, rather than solely on a state basis. Another stakeholder highlighted that the TRB ADC50 Committee on Archeology and Historic Preservation has already approved the development of a historic roads context for identification and evaluation as a future research topic. Potential funding sources include FHWA and NCHRP, along with other Federal and State sources.

Livability

Seven comments were submitted to the Livability emphasis area. Two comments were submitted by State government stakeholders, and five comments were submitted by Tier III stakeholders with responses from national associations and research/academic institutions. There were no comments submitted by Federal, Tribal, or local government stakeholders, the private sector, individual citizens, or other stakeholders.

Stakeholders indicated several potential lines of research for this emphasis area. A few stakeholders identified a need to define livability, especially to develop indicators for rural livability, and to develop metrics to quantify and evaluate livability and its costs and benefits. Furthermore, one stakeholder recommended analyzing the short- and long-term benefits of promoting livability. Another stakeholder suggested focusing research on the interaction between transportation, housing and the environment and the effect of neighborhood characteristics on the prominent modes of transportation. Other stakeholders recommended researching demand factors and strategies to increase use of recreational trails and how to accommodate equestrian use in suburban and urban areas.

Stakeholders highlighted a variety of existing or planned research in this area. One stakeholder identified an effort to develop guidance documents on livability that outline approaches to measuring the extent of livability in rural areas, as well as an FTA-sponsored project focused on transit in rural areas. Another stakeholder cited research in Vermont analyzing livability and the health benefits of recreational trails.

Potential funding sources include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), American Public Health Association; APA; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; NCHRP; Recreational Trails Program Funds; the Vermont Center for Rural Studies; State DOT funds; and local, regional and university research funds. Stakeholders also identified several Federal funding sources including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), EPA, and CDC. Livability is being developed into a TRB Research Needs Statement, so in several years TRB could be considered for funding.

Bicycles/Pedestrians

Forty-six comments were submitted to the Bicycles/Pedestrians emphasis area. Approximately two percent of the comments came from Tier I stakeholders and 30 percent of comments came from Tier II stakeholders. The remaining 68 percent of comments were submitted by Tier III stakeholders, with feedback from national associations, private sector, research/academic institutions, individual citizens, and stakeholders with other affiliations. There were no comments submitted by Tribal government stakeholders.

Many stakeholders indicated that research efforts should concentrate on bicycle and pedestrian safety, particularly on improving signage at intersections and on bike paths, analyzing motorists' reactions to cyclists' clothing and bike lights, and making bike use safer for children. Several stakeholders proposed projects to identify ideal biking infrastructure by evaluating the impact of various bike and pedestrian lane types, road markings, and surface materials on safety. Several stakeholders expressed a need for research on recreational trail planning, calculating the use of trails, and connecting trails over long distances in order to influence mode shift. Another proposed research topic focused on bicycle safety education, including reducing the public's fear about the dangers of biking and educating youth on safety. One stakeholder suggested research on the effects of low priced parking on bike use.

Although many stakeholders indicated a general lack of current research in this area, several identified planned research endeavors. Existing research studies include a report on the effects of "zig-zag" markings before crosswalks, Crash Modification Factors for intersections, and an Oregon DOT study to develop safety performance functions for bicyclists at signalized intersections. One stakeholder shared that a trail association worked with USFS to improve signage and trail design and education in Arizona. Another stakeholder highlighted efforts to identify impacts of narrow travel lanes, and one stakeholder cited three estimates of the benefit-to-risk ratio of bicycle riding.

Stakeholders indicated a number of possible funding sources for bicycle and pedestrian research. Federal sources include the USFS, FHWA, EPA, and the CDC. In addition, State DOTs, NHTSA, NCHRP, TRB, and AASHTO could be considered for funding. Several private funding sources were also identified, including health foundations, public health agencies, the Oregon Transportation Research Consortium, Advocacy Advance Program, the Highway Safety Improvement Program, CMAQ, Safe Routes to School, and the League of American Bicyclists.

Noise

Two comments were submitted to the Noise emphasis area. One comment was submitted by a Federal government stakeholder and one comment came from the private sector. There were no comments submitted by Tribal, State or local government stakeholders, national associations, research/academic institutions, individual citizens, or stakeholders with other affiliations.

Both stakeholders suggested addressing issues with the current FHWA Traffic Noise Model (TNM) and continuing research related to updating and developing version 3.0 of the model. They suggested the development of a workshop to train stakeholders on the new version and highlighted a need to address frequent errors in the current version. Current research efforts are focused on completing the final stages of version 3.0 of the FHWA TNM. The stakeholders identified State pooled fund studies, FHWA, and NCHRP as potential funding sources.

Environmental Streamlining/Stewardship

Thirteen comments were submitted to the Environmental Streamlining/Stewardship emphasis area. Approximately 77 percent of comments were submitted by Tier I, Federal government stakeholders, and the remaining 23 percent of comments were submitted by Tier III stakeholders affiliated with research/academic institutions. There were no comments submitted by Tribal, State or local government stakeholders, national associations, the private sector, individual citizens, or stakeholders with other affiliations.

Stakeholders highlighted several potential areas of research. Stakeholders indicated a need for developing tools that could help streamline the environmental review process, including tools such as the Watershed Resource Registry framework, pilot programs for culvert replacement, and various geospatial technologies. Other suggested lines of research included providing training and data sharing on watershed approaches to compensatory mitigation, and assessing current Endangered Species Act (ESA) mitigation practices to identify opportunities to reduce permitting and project delivery times. One stakeholder recommended conducting research and developing tools to help transportation agencies fulfill the watershed approach to restore and maintain key wetland processes, while another suggested determining best practices for assessing stream-road crossings.

Stakeholders noted that existing studies have examined stream-road crossings over limited geographic scales, and that several partnerships exist with goals focusing on the restoration of aquatic habitats and improvements in habitat connectivity. One stakeholder identified that tools have been developed to help transportation agencies focus on what can be done with existing resources address habitat connectivity. Another stakeholder indicated that the Environmental Law Institute has worked closely with FWS's Endangered Species Program and the National Marine Fisheries Service's Endangered Species Division to outline a proposed approach to address ways to reduce permitting and delivery times for ESA mitigation practices.

Stakeholders listed several potential Federal funding sources including USDOT, FWS, NOAA, USFS, USACE, and EPA. Other funding potential funding sources are TRB and NCHRP,

Context Sensitive Solutions

Four comments were submitted to the CSS emphasis area. One of these comments was submitted by a Tier II local government stakeholder. The other three comments were submitted by Tier III stakeholders, with feedback from research and academic institutions and individual citizens. There were no comments submitted by Federal, Tribal, or State government stakeholders, national associations, the private sector, or stakeholders with other affiliations.

Several stakeholders suggested developing best practices for designing busy, vehicle-centric businesses and for determining the cost-effectiveness of different approaches to CSS. One stakeholder recommended developing course materials to train future engineering and transportation students in CSS principles. Another stakeholder proposed developing a case study and implementation guide for CSS within a form-based code context to help local governments implement CSS principles.

Stakeholders highlighted research focused on CSS and street design in new urbanist communities and, although guidelines are becoming more readily available, they still suggested a lack of tools and case studies for the implementation of CSS principles. Potential funding sources include State Planning and Research funds, USDOT, and FHWA, as well as universities with sustainability programs.

Emphasis Areas Related to Real Estate Services

Outdoor Advertising Control

One comment was submitted to the Outdoor Advertising Control emphasis area. The comment was submitted by a national association. There were no comments submitted by Federal, Tribal, State or local government stakeholders, the private sector, research/academic institutions, individual citizens, or other stakeholders.

NAHBA wants to streamline the Federal outdoor advertising control program through improved communication and provision of information to its members. The NAHBA annual conference includes presentations on outdoor advertising control innovations, developments and issues surrounding the Highway Beautification Act program. The stakeholder identified FHWA as a potential funding source for the annual conference.

Real Estate Program Stewardship

Eleven comments were submitted to the Real Estate Program Stewardship emphasis area. Five comments were submitted by Federal government stakeholders, one comment was submitted by a State government stakeholder, and the remaining five comments were submitted by Tier III stakeholders from national associations, the private sector, research/academic institutions, and other stakeholders. No comments were submitted by Tribal or local government stakeholders or individual citizens.

Several stakeholders indicated a need to develop guidance and clarify language for the appraisal requirements of the Uniform Relocation Act for LPAs; one stakeholder proposed distributing the materials in multiple languages. Stakeholders also suggested a potential for pilot studies, peer exchanges, and development of quality measurement for training programs on the effectiveness of using visualization techniques to enhance the right of way acquisition process. One stakeholder suggested focusing research on improved, sustainable alternate construction methods for utility distribution cables.

Stakeholders indicated several areas of current or planned research in this emphasis area. Research has been conducted on "buried duct networks", which would allow for a safer placement of new utility cables and minimize difficulties in the future. There is currently a STEP research project on the uses of visualization for right of way acquisition and a project to design and implement an improvement process for Right of Way training using the Six Sigma approach.

Potential funding sources include individual State DOTs, USDOT, FHWA, TRB, Department of Justice, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Commerce, Department of Labor, and the Department of Education.

Emphasis Areas Related to Planning

Congestion

One comment was submitted to the Congestion emphasis area. The comment was submitted by an individual citizen. No comments were submitted by stakeholders with Federal, Tribal, State or local government affiliation, national associations, the private sector, research/academic institutions, or other stakeholders.

The stakeholder suggested that research should focus on public policy decisions that affect land use decisions and resource allocation, and that policy makers should question whether planning should focus on an automobile-centric society anymore. There is no current or planned research in this emphasis area, and the stakeholder did not name any potential funding sources.

Safety Planning

Five comments were submitted to the Safety Planning emphasis area. Three comments were submitted by Tier II stakeholders, and two by Tier III stakeholders with feedback from a national organization and an individual citizen. No comments were submitted by stakeholders with Federal or Tribal affiliations, the private sector, research/academic institutions, or other stakeholders.

Stakeholders suggested a variety of research topics for this emphasis area, including conflict patterns created by land use decisions, the effects of motorist attitudes towards bikers and pedestrians on safe system sharing, and the overlap of transportation planning and operations and traffic incident management. Stakeholders also suggested focusing research on the roles that regional planning organizations (in both rural and urban areas) play in advancing safety.

Stakeholders identified several current research plans in this emphasis area, including NCHRP project 08-76, which is currently developing framework for incorporating safety into planning. Several years ago, Florida DOT conducted a survey called "Sharing the Roadway with Bicyclists and Pedestrians - Florida Drivers' Attitude Survey." Research is currently underway for access management, but it does not focus on conflict management.

Several potential funding sources were identified, including AASHTO, NCHRP, and Federal funding sources within USDOT.

Freight Planning

Two comments were submitted to the Freight Planning emphasis area. One comment was submitted by a national association and one came from a research/academic institution. No comments were submitted by Federal, Tribal, State or local government stakeholders, the private sector, individual citizens, or other stakeholders.

One stakeholder suggested that further research should focus on developing guidance for using freight stakeholder feedback and connecting freight stakeholders to transportation and land use planning efforts. Furthermore, research should address the freight village concept and its applicability in rural areas. Another stakeholder suggested that future research should explore the effects of combining regional infrastructure decision-making and economic development potential using multimodal analysis and modeling systems.

Stakeholders identified current lines of research in this emphasis area. FHWA has conducted research on the engagement between freight and the private sector and between freight and land use. One stakeholder noted ongoing research on capacity impacts from disruptions to critical rail infrastructure. Potential funding sources includes the National Cooperative Freight Research Program, the Southeast Region Research Initiative, DHS Science and Technology, and Mississippi DOT.

Public Involvement, Visualization in Planning/Environmental Justice

Two comments were submitted to the Public Involvement, Visualization in Planning/Environmental Justice emphasis area. Both comments were submitted by national associations. No comments were submitted by Federal, Tribal, State or local government stakeholders, the private sector, research/academic institutions, individual citizens, or other stakeholders.

One stakeholder suggested focusing research on a guide for MPOs to improve public involvement, and one stakeholder indicated a need for research into the applicability of scenario planning - a process that helps stakeholders visualize alternative futures - in rural areas.

There has been some research effort at the University of South Florida Center for Urban Transportation Research to measure public involvement performance. Stakeholders suggested NCHRP a potential source of funding.

Other Activities that Support State/Local/Tribal Planning Capacity Building

Four comments were submitted to the Other Activities that Support State/Local/Tribal Planning Capacity Building emphasis area. One comment was submitted by a stakeholder with State government affiliation, and the remaining three comments were submitted by national associations. No comments were submitted by Federal, Tribal or local government stakeholders, the private sector, research/academic institutions, individual citizens, or other stakeholders.

Several stakeholders indicated that future research should focus on MPOs. Specifically, research should target MPO coordination with innovative financing authorities, trainings for MPO board members, and peer exchanges to promote best practices. Other stakeholders recommended advancing planning in rural regions, connecting planning activities among regional, metropolitan, and statewide agencies, and developing innovative matching funds for projects.

Stakeholders did not highlight any current or planned research for this emphasis area. Potential funding sources include pooled funding from AMPO, TRB, USDOT, and EPA.

U.S./Canada and U.S./Mexico Border Planning

One comment was submitted to the U.S./Canada and U.S./Mexico Border Planning emphasis area. The comment was submitted by a research/academic institution. No comments were submitted by Federal, Tribal, State or local government stakeholders, national associations, the private sector, individual citizens, or other stakeholders.

The stakeholder suggested delivering a series of roundtable peer exchanges, education opportunities, and case study examples for transportation planners and environmental specialists to discuss and improve cross-border coordination. Research currently underway for this topic includes the California Department of Transportation's Border Technology Exchange Program in San Diego County and a University of New Jersey study analyzing cross-border networks. Possible funding sources include University Transportation Center or State research program funds in border states, and non-profit organizations.

National Security, Defense, and Interstate Planning

Three comments were submitted to the National Security, Defense, and Interstate Planning emphasis area. Two comments were submitted by stakeholders affiliated with the Federal government, and one comment was submitted by a stakeholder with local government affiliation. No comments were submitted by Tribal or State government stakeholders, national associations, the private sector, research/academic institutions, individual citizens, or other stakeholders.

One stakeholder indicated the need for a guidebook and evaluation of programs and best practices on a regional level for DHS. One stakeholder indicated DHS as a potential funding source.

Emphasis Areas Related to Tools to Support Planning and Environment

Travel Modeling

Three comments were submitted to the Travel Modeling emphasis area. All comments were submitted by Tier III stakeholders, with one comment from a national association, one from the private sector, and one comment from a stakeholder with an "other" affiliation. No comments were submitted by stakeholders affiliated with Federal, Tribal, State or local governments, research/academic institutions, or individual citizens.

One stakeholder indicated a need for research to forecast the demand for new and emerging travel options (including bike sharing, car sharing, and dynamic ridesharing systems) and to use smartphone data to analyze how their use affects traffic patterns. Another stakeholder suggested improving MPO travel modeling efforts and to provide peer exchange forums on them. One stakeholder recommended researching a new trip generation model for traffic engineers that incorporates mixed use and multiple modes. Stakeholders did not identify any current or planned research in this emphasis area but suggested USDOT and TRB as potential funding sources.

GIS/Spatial Information for Improved Decision Making

Seven comments were submitted to the GIS/Spatial Information for Improved Decision Making emphasis area. Six comments were submitted by stakeholders affiliated with the Federal government, and one comment was submitted by a stakeholder with a local government affiliation. No comments were submitted by stakeholders affiliated with Tribal or State governments, national associations, the private sector, research/academic institutions, individual citizens, or other stakeholders.

Stakeholders suggested a variety of topics for future research, including the use of cell phone data to better understand traffic patterns, identifying available tools to quantitatively assess the impacts of stream road crossings on connectivity, and enhancing the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) STREAMSTATS application. Stakeholders also recommended updating the Regulatory In-lieu fee and Bank Information Tracking System database and using GIS-based tools to streamline the environmental review permitting process.

Stakeholders highlighted USGS's continued development of the STREAMSTATs application and exploration of tools for analyzing the impacts of stream road crossings over limited geographic scales as examples of existing research in this area.

Potential Federal funding sources include NOAA, FWS, USFS, USACE, FHWA, USGS and EPA. Stakeholders also identified MPOs, State DOTs, and water resource agencies at the State, local, and Tribal levels as potential funding sources.

Overall STEP Comments

Seven comments were submitted to the Overall STEP Comments emphasis area. One comment was submitted by a Federal government stakeholder, two comments by a local government stakeholder, three comments were submitted by research/academic institutions, and one comment was submitted by an individual citizen. No comments were submitted by Tribal or State government stakeholders, national associations, the private sector, or other stakeholders.

Stakeholders indicated several lines of research that STEP should address, including increasing support for educational initiatives for transportation, developing a format for trail system planning, and improving available data for total trail mileage and off-highway recreation.

HUD, TRB, National Research Council, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Department of the Interior, and University Transportation Centers were listed as potential funding sources.


[1] Based, in part, on comments received during the FY2012 stakeholder feedback period, the STEP emphasis areas were adjusted during the development of the FY2012 Research Plan. Therefore, the emphasis areas represented during the FY2012 stakeholder feedback period are not identical to those included in the FY2012 STEP Research Plan and the research highlights described in Appendix B.

 

Updated: 08/21/2014
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