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The TCSP includes a comprehensive research program to investigate the relationships between transportation, community preservation, and the environment, and to investigate the role of the private sector in shaping such relationships. The research program also includes monitoring, evaluation, and analysis of projects carried out under the grant program.
Program Evaluation and Outreach
Program and project evaluation is an important part of the TCSP. To meet the purposes of the pilot program and develop strategies and methodologies that can be used by localities, measurable results and a means to disseminate this information are needed. In addition to the evaluation of each project conducted by the grantee, the FHWA will conduct an overall program evaluation combining the results of the grants and the research program to help set the strategic direction and future priorities for the TCSP. An important measure for the success of TCSP is the extent to which the results and best practices from the pilot program are used effectively by government agencies, the private sector, and others.
Under the research component of TCSP, the FHWA will establish outreach, technical assistance, and other means to share and implement the results elsewhere. Current outreach plans include Federal Register notices, the grant workshop, the FHWA web site information, and participation in other conferences and meetings.
The goal of the research program is to build a knowledge base of work in this field that will enable State, regional and local government agencies, the private sector and neighborhood groups, through transportation activities, to help shape sustainable communities that meet current and long-term environmental, social equity, and economic goals. With coordination and input from its partners and stakeholders, the FHWA will identify and initiate needed research to support the purposes of the TCSP. The research program is integral to the TCSP, and it will support and complement the activities conducted through planning and implementation grants. Likewise, applied research activities that may be a part of a grant activity would be beneficial to the research program.
This notice requests comments and suggestions on the research program and also solicits specific research proposals. The FHWA anticipates that most of the TCSP funds will be allocated for grants and that limited funding will be available for research. The FHWA is soliciting comments on the research needs to support the TCSP and will initiate TCSP research to meet the needs that are identified. In addition to FHWA conducted research under the TCSP, the FHWA is soliciting research proposals for consideration in funding in FY 2000. The research may be conducted through cooperative agreements with organizations, contract support, or through State, local, and MPO grants.
The FHWA emphasizes that it anticipates that very limited funds will be available for research in FY 2000. The FHWA proposes to solicit research proposals that address the following areas: