To advance right-of-way innovation, promote knowledge exchange and foster a community of sharing among right-of-way professionals and colleagues around the country
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Real Estate Services and Office of Planning
The Federal Highway Administration's Office of Real Estate Services and Office of Planning sponsored a domestic scan August 20-21, 2003 in San Francisco, California. The scan fostered peer-to-peer knowledge exchange and allowed participants to share best practices and experiences. The purpose was to discuss and examine some innovative and non-traditional ways right-of-way and planning professionals can work together and encourage integration of right-of-way, planning, environment, and design. Sixty-three scan participants included Right-of-Way Office Directors and Planning Directors and right-of-way and planning staff from 17 State Departments of Transportation (SDOT), local public agencies, and Federal Highway Administration personnel.
The scan included presentations on Right-of-Way and Planning Aspects of Design Sequencing, Context Sensitive Solutions for Highways as Main Streets, Integration of Right-of-Way, Planning, Environment and Design, Planning and Right-of-Way Aspects of Access Management, and Land Use Planning. Scan activities included a site visit of the Bay Bridge mega-project, presenter discussions with the participants, peer-to-peer knowledge exchange and open discussion sessions.
The Design Sequencing presentation focused on the design sequencing process in California and the State Route 60-State Route 91-Interstate 215 Interchange project in Riverside, California (http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist8/6091215/). The California legislature approved design sequencing for only twelve projects in the State, and they had to meet certain criteria including the following:
California cannot legally participate in design build projects, thus the legislature approved design sequencing. The main difference between design build and design sequencing is that in design sequencing the designs are 30% complete when the contractor bids for the construction project. The contractor constructs each sequence as design and right-of-way acquisition are completed by the State. Whereas in design build, the contractor is responsible for design, right-of-way acquisition and construction, and the department provides oversight.
Mark Lancaster, Project Manager for California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 8, and Teresa Arias, Regional Manager for the Southern Right-of-Way Region of Caltrans, presented the information to the scan participants. The SR 60-SR 91- I-215 Interchange is at the confluence of three major freeways and is one of the worst bottlenecks in California. Traffic projections show an expected increase from 150,000 to 250,000 vehicles per day (average daily traffic) by the year 2020. The project aims to alleviate traffic by reconstructing the interchange and adding auxiliary lanes. A new interchange and approximately four miles of carpool lanes will be extended on I-215 to the SR60/I-215 split. The total cost of the project will be approximately $320 million including $90 million in right-of-way costs.
The right-of-way acquisition began in August 2002 and was certified in April 2003. A total of 149 parcels were acquired, including 55 commercial/industrial parcels and 28 single-family residences. Fifty relocations were required in addition to a 600-unit mini-storage facility. There were approximately 200 utility conflicts at a cost of $16.6 million for relocation of the utilities. The project was broken down into three sequences that could be worked around until November 1, 2004. There would be major contract delays if the right-of-way was not delivered on time and there were contractual obligations to deliver on specified dates for the first two sequences.
Seventy-three parcels were required to be delivered by the end of the first sequence. A team of designers, engineers, and right-of-way staff determined the properties selected for this first sequence. They looked at which parcels needed a long lead-time to appraise and acquire. Communication was the key! Two months prior to the certification, the right-of-way team met with the project manager and went over every parcel and its status. All first written offers were required by the certification date and a resolution of necessity was required on all first sequence parcels. Flexibility was also important and allowed the team to move parcels from the first sequence into later sequences.
The condemnation filing rate for the project was projected at 80%. It is currently at about 45%. When budgeting for the project, 5% extra contingency was budgeted to deal with the condemnation process. The process moved smoothly due to the two levels of review that are required to condemn in California. Normally, the California Transportation Commission hears appeals at set times during the year. The design sequencing process allows for local agencies to review the appeals and settle them quickly. From the time the condemnation suit is filed to possession, it takes 75 days.
The challenges of design sequencing are varied. For this project, the time was short to acquire the parcels due to a delay in appraisals. The environmental impact statement was also challenged by a car dealership on the grounds of air quality and noise issues. Another challenge is the budget crisis and shortage of resources in California State government. Late design changes have also occurred (41 permanent utility easements were added in March 2003).
Overall, the project manager stated that the design sequencing process works well for projects that meet the criteria set out by the California Legislature. On this project, the process will save one year in construction time at a cost of 19% higher than traditional ways (at least in support costs). Contractors have not bid on the contract, but California believes that contractors will want the project due to various incentive clauses included in the contract.
Following the presentation, several questions were asked concerning the certification process.
How did the State get buy-in from FHWA on the certification? Bill Todd and Layne Patton of the FHWA California Division office described the administrative certification process. Prior to the E-76 (Authorization to proceed with right-of-way acquisition), FHWA is given sufficient information to have an adequate understanding of the proposed project. For example, right-of-way maps and sufficient parcel information are provided to FHWA to understand the project requirements and needs. From these documents and comments, the FHWA has an early awareness and understanding of the project's development. When FHWA receives a right-of-way certification from Caltrans, they review it for correctness and consistency with the information they have been furnished since the beginning of the process. If FHWA determines the information to be accurate, they will approve the certification at that time. Caltrans submits the certification when they have either acquired the property rights or in the situation of the design sequencing projects, have indicated a timeline when they will have the acquisition/relocation/ demolition of the parcel completed and ready to deliver to the contractor. Prior to "Concurrence of Award" the certification should be updated to a #1 or #2 ; however, there are times that a certification #3 can move forward if it has been identified in the PS&E package as a "work around parcel" with a specific time that it will be available to the contractor.
Forecasting of the vehicle projections was also discussed. Caltrans used data from cities, counties, and the State to determine the projections. The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the MPO for the surrounding area, does basic planning and growth projections as well.
Design sequencing is still a new concept in California, and it will be interesting to watch how this project develops after the contract is awarded in November 2003. The right-of-way has been acquired and should not change. If right-of-way needs to change, it may affect the environmental document. Many States in the country are contemplating design build-type projects and will be looking to California to gauge the success and validate the time-efficiency of the design sequencing concept.
The California Department of Transportation defines Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) as meeting transportation goals in harmony with community goals and the natural environment. CSS require "careful, imaginative, and early planning, and continuous community involvement" (Director's Policy Number 22, CSS). Ken Baxter, with the Caltrans Division of Transportation Planning, presented information on CSS to the scan participants. The various CSS principles include:
Transportation safety and mobility Innovation
Transportation balance Creativity
Collaboration Dual Purpose
Respect Community Values Transportation and Land Use Link
Flexibility Situational Approach
Early and Continuous Public Involvement
In California, there are 670 segments of highways that pass through communities. These highways create dangerous situations for pedestrians and the local community. There are several competing interests between the community and engineers when dealing with transportation improvements on these highways. Often the community will want roundabouts, but the engineers are looking at safe pedestrian and bicycle movement. Another conflict is median landscaping. Communities prefer tree landscaping, but engineers want to minimize accident severity for vehicles and their passengers and reduce maintenance worker exposure to traffic.
To create and implement the CSS policy for Caltrans, a steering committee was formed that included members of the headquarters staff, district staff, and external stakeholders such as the FHWA. The Director's CSS Policy was created and became effective on November 29, 2001. Along with the policy, the steering committee created a "CSS Guide for Conventional Highways" (http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/oppd/context/index.htm) to provide guidance on CSS. The policy is not a set of standards, but complements design practices, policies, and standards.
The committee also created the CSS Implementation Plan to institutionalize CSS in the Department's activities. CSS strategies are to be included in Transportation Corridor Reports, grant guidelines, and the California Transportation Plan. CSS principles are being used in several projects across the State including the Willow Creek Improvement Project and Route 1 in the City of Eureka.
Context sensitive solutions are funded in several ways. The Community Based Transportation Planning Grants are planning grants to support livable community concepts. The seed funding ($3 million each year) is used to develop and implement livable community improvements. One such project was in Tulare County on the Cutler-Orosi project. The grant provided $52,000 to conduct charrettes around the area that allowed citizens to voice their opinions. The result was a successful project that completed the sidewalk system, improved pedestrian crossing at schools, and included construction of roundabouts.
FHWA Transportation and Community and System Preservation (TCSP) grants also aid in funding CSS. TCSP provides funding for planning grants and capital projects. The main focus is on building relationships between transportation, the community, and system preservation. The Escalon High School linkage project was discussed as an example. In Escalon, the city used a portion of abandoned highway right-of-way to improve the safety and comfort of high school students in the area by connecting the school with area restaurants.
The next steps for CSS in Caltrans are the following:
Mr. Baxter concluded his presentation by giving some tips to the audience.
After the presentation, the group had the opportunity to interact with Mr. Baxter. They had several questions about CSS in California:
What is the source of the grant monies provided to the communities? Federal money was provided in TEA-21. Community based transportation planning grants require an 80-20 match. Caltrans used State monies beginning in 2001, but the monies are used for studies, not capital uses.
How is Caltrans addressing concerns of maintenance people due to the unique specialized features in each project? They are creative with the maintenance agreement and sign an agreement with the community making them responsible for special features.
Have there been studies on the costs of implementing the solutions compared to the cost of traditional design? Caltrans has not done a study, but the solutions are pretty common and may be cheaper than typically used features. The costs are hard to quantify and the benefits are great.
What happens when a CSS project is started and the community changes direction? Through early community involvement a strong consensus is built, and Caltrans hopes these activities will head off changes in plans by each community. Caltrans also adopts MOUs with community leaders to address certain issues and show public support. Local public agencies are encouraged to adopt ordinances and amend their General Plans and Long Range Plans.
Does Caltrans have a streetscape book like New Jersey? No.
After the discussion, it was noted that a good publication on CSS is the "NCHRP Synthesis 480: A Guide to Best Practices for Achieving Context Sensitive Solutions" (http://gulliver.trb.org/publications/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_480.pdf).
In California, Context Sensitive Solutions are integrated into their planning, design, and construction (along with right-of-way) phases. Caltrans is also encouraging grass root community involvement in transportation projects. The early and active involvement of citizens and local agencies allows stakeholders and Caltrans to harmonize projects with and reflect the character of the community
Janis Gramatins, FHWA Office of Real Estate Services Field Services Team Leader, led the Integration of Right-of-Way, Planning, Environment, and Design discussion. He began by discussing the ongoing FHWA sponsored research project dealing with integration entitled "Integrating and Streamlining Transportation Development and Decision-Making." The purpose of the project is to identify successful practices currently employed in the development of transportation solutions by means of integrating the disciplines of planning, environment, real estate, and engineering.
Three products will result from the research: a state of practice report (completed), a case studies report (ongoing), and a recommendations report (in draft). The recommendations report will provide recommendations on the steps FHWA and others could take to enhance the transportation and decision making process.
As part of the research project, a web-based survey was taken of all SDOTs with a 70% response rate. Forty-one percent of the respondents were planners, and 31% were in the right-of-way field. Fifty-seven percent said that their agencies approach was integrated. Both planning and right-of-way professionals stated that integration had a positive impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of their office. The most common impediments to implementing the integration process were the need for training and the perceived increase in workload. The actual increase in workload was not significant.
The roles of each discipline in the integration process vary. The survey results demonstrate that planners and right-of-way staff historically have distinct functions in some situations. For example, planners develop long-range transportation plans and right-of-way staff initiate the acquisition process and negotiate leases. Utilities were not mentioned in the survey, nor were relocation or property management.
After the survey, five States were selected to discuss their integration procedures and processes. Florida, Maryland, Ohio, Oregon, and Pennsylvania shared their ideas on the integrated process, how to develop and implement an integrated process, common pitfalls, and the attributes that impact effectiveness of an integrated process.
Examples of successful integration practices include:
Some of the challenges in implementing integration include the conflicts between NEPA and planning, the priority of completing projects quickly, the difficulty in obtaining public involvement, and the integration of land use and transportation planning. Impediments to integration vary from a resistance to change to perceived job threat.
A case studies report is being written about ways to implement integration in a State. Project development, management, and quality assurance are discussed in the report. One important point in the management section mentioned the 3C's in Right-of-Way: Communication, Coordination, and Cooperation and the 3C's in Planning: Comprehensive, Cooperative, and Continuing. All of these are essential to the successful integration of the four disciplines discussed.
Successful strategies to the development and implementation of integration consist of the following:
Common pitfalls to be avoided include:
When the report is completed, the FHWA will provide copies to each SDOT. The recommendations on how to provide tools to SDOTs on integration include hosting workshops/conferences/meetings to discuss integration, creating guidance manual templates, and developing training that focuses on the roles of the various disciplines.
After the prepared presentation, Mr. Gramatins asked several States to discuss the integration process in their State:
Michigan: Michigan began their integration approach in 1974 when FHWA required an action plan to be developed. The organization connected the environmental process with the planning process. Bigger projects bring in all disciplines to the planning process. The central office is involved in the integration process of right-of-way and planning.
New Jersey: New Jersey has cross-functional scoping teams after being reorganized six years ago. The teams are set up early in the project and last through the end. FHWA and locals are often included in the scope teams.
Idaho: Idaho is decentralized and uses a multi-disciplinary approach. Their theme is "breaking down walls," but this is not in writing. Quality control management teams are used along with project development and project managers who follow projects through their entire course. The districts are responsible for planning, and the right-of-way staff is very involved. Headquarters right-of-way staff are involved in design and legal issues. Idaho has post-acquisition meetings with all disciplines to discuss what worked and what did not. ***Leonard Hill, Idaho Right-of-Way manager, recommended that FHWA change 23 CFR Section 108 to allow States to use federal funds for advance acquisition 15-20 years in advance. This would allow States to buy land before developers develop the land and the value increases. Susan Lauffer, FHWA Director of the Office of Real Estate Services, responded by noting that in the proposed Department of Transportation reauthorization package (SAFETEA) there is a provision about "critical parcels" which expands the advance acquisition authority of States to buy critical parcels before the environmental process. The parcels must meet certain criteria for this critical parcel authority to be used.
Delaware: Delaware has recently reorganized and right-of-way is now part of the planning office. Right-of-way did not have much input beforehand, but now they are actively involved in the planning process. They mentioned that right-of-way should be treated as a valuable resource by DOTs.
Utah: Early public involvement has been a big success in Utah. The planning process has matured over the years and there is now a pro-active effort to inform the public of projects. The right-of-way office regularly attends public involvement meetings and this helps develop rapport with property owners early in the project.
Overall, information from the surveys completed during the research project indicates that States are receptive to the idea of integration and have challenges carrying out the implementation process. In general, as the complex projects are developed and designed, integrated involvement by the planning, environment, and right-of-way is taking place. However, this is not true for the more routine projects. It was agreed that FHWA should provide guidance to the States on how to successfully integrate the various disciplines in the overall processes, whether it is right-of-way, planning, environment, or project implementation.
Planning and Right-of-Way Aspects of Access Management
Access Management is a set of techniques that state and local governments can use to control access to highways, major arterials, and other roadways to benefit safety, smooth operations, and the environment. The Transportation Research Board (TRB), with FHWA support, recently published an Access Management Manual intended to relay important information to the transportation community. Art Eisdorfer, with the Design Services Division of the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the Chair of the TRB Access Management Committee, was the speaker on this topic. Mr. Eisdorfer stated that the Access Management Manual does not establish national standards and warrants because there are no national rules for access management. The manual is described as a valuable guide for establishing and administering Access Management programs and is very comprehensive.
The first part of the presentation dealt with the planning aspects of access management. The "NCHRP Synthesis 289 report, Corridor Management: A Synthesis in Highway Practice" (http://nationalacademies.org/trb/bookstore), was referenced. The positive effects of access management can be found in safety, efficiency, the economy, and the environment. As the access points along a roadway increase per mile, the rate of vehicular crashes increases. If consolidated and internal accesses are utilized, the rates decrease.
Corridor access management involves developing a state highway master plan, spacing standards, corridor access management plans, and interchange management plans. In the master plan, the locals determine the land use and the State determines the highway function and cross section. The access level/classification determines how access is designed or granted. New Jersey has six such levels. Spacing standards are also important when considering interchanges, traffic signals, and driveways.
The second part of the presentation described the right-of-way aspects of access management. The right-of-way and legal considerations include
Mr. Eisdorfer concluded by emphasizing how important it is to work as a team (engineer, planner, and right-of-way specialist) and to involve lawyers. Public and community involvement and coordination are essential to the success of access management. With these items and guidance from the TRB Manual on Access Management, States can work towards safer roadways for the public.
After the presentation, Wayne Rizzo and Ralph Reeb of the Delaware Department of Transportation (DELDOT) spoke about the DELDOT Corridor Capacity Preservation program. Corridor Capacity Preservation maintains the ability of a road to carry increasing volumes of traffic safely and efficiently, without building an entirely new road. The program began in 1992. In 1994, Delaware began developing a statewide access management plan (the manual is available online at http://www.deldot.net). The program allows the State to buy development rights on property and purchase access rights to change a property's access to the corridor and redirect access to a side road. One benefit of this approach is that the property remains on the state tax rolls and the property owner retains ownership. The current program relies on property owners making the request to the State to initiate negotiations. The county governments monitor the parcels and record the deed, which states that DELDOT owns the development rights to the property. Delaware is looking into obtaining credit from resource agencies for acquiring development rights.
The four main goals of the Corridor Preservation Program are
Following the Delaware discussion, the group asked many questions and had several comments about the two presentations.
Kansas requires property owners to reach agreement to work out details of sharing access rights.
In lieu of buying rights, would it be prudent to put in frontage or access roads? Delaware has developed a plan and is working with counties and developers to initiate this idea.
What funds are used to buy rights? State funds are used, not federal.
Access management and corridor preservation are two elements to having a good transportation system. As tools such as State's Access Management Policies and the NCHRP report are developed, System Planning will need to look at opportunities to apply these policies and standards. Also, it takes an integrated, multi-discipline approach to implement these policies and standards. It requires a working partnership of the State (right-of-way, planning, environment, and legal counsel), local agencies, and the communities to look for future corridor opportunities.
Following the four main presentations on the first day, each State was given an opportunity to discuss a topic of their choosing or describe the projects they are working on in their State. The brief summaries may be found in Appendix A.
The Sacramento Area Council of Government (SACOG) is actively trying to change development patterns in the Sacramento area. Pete Hathaway, the Deputy Executive Director of SACOG, was the speaker on this topic. The Blueprint project aims to encourage walking and bicycling to school and work. Over the next twenty years, SACOG will spend $500 million in federal and matching funds for the "Community Design" program to categorize and support different kinds of development patterns. The program supports land uses that benefit the transportation system. For 2003, $12 million was dedicated to hold community workshops to help identify projects and to further current projects.
There are five major phases to Blueprint:
SACMET is the standard innovation land use model that SACOG is using to plan for the future. SACOG is augmenting the program to allow real estate developers to find better markets to build in. Economic forecasting is also being used to encourage developers to move to different areas. The Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy developed a forecast that demonstrates a change in demographics: strong growth in senior households and a declining percentage of families with children. The statistics collected are used to encourage diverse development patterns.
The Blueprint discusses "Base Case Land Use" which focuses on low residential densities (3 dwelling units/acre and 5 dwelling units/acre excluding "rural residential"). Base case shows that there is a large shortage of rental products in the Sacramento area and poor jobs-housing balance in some areas. Growth is continuing in an outward pattern and into the suburbs. Smart growth principles are discussed in Blueprint and follow:
Public involvement is essential to Blueprint and neighborhood workshops have been held. Workshop participants are developers, real estate professionals, business leaders, government officials, and the public. At the workshops, two 100-200 acre study areas are presented to each table of people. One study is an infill/redevelopment area and the second study is a Greenfield. The participants at the workshop are encouraged to "test drive" smart growth concepts on the maps by using stickers with different land uses on them. The information on the completed map is entered into a computer and participants are able to see exactly what the development would look like that they created together. Each table is asked to present their plan during the meeting.
The computer program used during the workshops can compare alternative planning scenarios such as vehicle mile traveled, change in walk/bike and transit mode shares, total jobs and dwelling units, and density by land use type. The scenario themes are:
SACOG believes that land use balance is realistic and could work well in the future. By looking at the statistics between existing planning and land use balance, there is a lot to be gained if SACOG succeeds in changing land use patterns. After initiating the Community Design Program, SACOG must get regional agreement from elected officials on new growth allocations and development plans for the entire region. It looks like the development plan will work due to the buy-in from developers and local government agencies. The rural towns around Sacramento are excited, and the public is pleased with the mixed-use concept. The upcoming challenge it to get good designs and to encourage the local governments to build parks near the developments.
Questions from the audience included:
Will SACOG develop design guides and building materials for the proposed developments? No, SACOG is going to find a group of 5-10 consultants that will be pre-qualified to give advice on new urbanism and smart growth. When a developer wants to build in the Sacramento region, the city should encourage mixed use and send the developer to the consultants. SACOG will pay the fees of the consultant the first time they are consulted by the developer. After the first time, the developer will need to pay the fee.
Does SACOG expect any of the communities in the area to hold out and not move forward to adopt the proposed land uses? SACOG does expect some holdouts but if Sacramento and Sacramento County follow through, that is 48% of the region. Seven or eight communities may not start with the process when everyone else does and they will not get any of the community design monies.
Kansas has not done well with mixed use and has found single family homes more affordable. What is SACOG doing about affordability of homes? Sacramento and Davis are working on affordability. In Davis, CA, the city requires developers to include smaller homes in the developments with larger homes. SACOG has no way to subsidize developers to aid in this effort.
Who facilitates the neighborhood and regional workshops? Valley Vision, a businessmen's organization, arranges the workshops and handles the invitations and publicity. SACOG provides technical assistance and provides staff to attend. SACOG trains 2-3 planners from local governments on how to work the computer programs for when SACOG is not present.
Has SACOG done any outreach through faith-based and minority organizations? Valley Vision has handled the workshop invitations but has made sure to include a good cross-section of the population in the area affected.
How are the pre-certified consultants paid? SACOG has budgeted $400,000 for the consultants to provide services to developers in the Sacramento area who are interested in the proposed land use changes. Any city or county can sign up for a certain number of hours to receive the services of the consultant group. SACOG is "seeding" the ideas and money.
Congestion and growth will be part of California's future. To address this issue, metropolitan planning organizations are looking at land use planning from a livability and sustainability precept. They are also studying the impact of land use to the transportation system. Although land use and community development are the responsibilities of local agencies, MPOs need to be innovative on how to approach land use planning without imposing on the local agencies. Finally, tools and technology are available, and the MPOs are using them to show the public the impact of decisions being made on land use, and how the decisions affect their communities and environment.
Scan participants welcomed the opportunity to have a dialog via teleconference with Cindy Burbank, FHWA's Associate Administrator for Planning, Environment, and Realty. Among the many issues discussed were the upcoming reauthorization bill, the integration process in the States, and training opportunities that FHWA offers the States. Ms. Burbank also discussed the Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) Program and the training and technical assistance it offers to States, local public agencies, and planners.
The participants discussed several important topics with Ms. Burbank including
The participants also discussed the purpose of the scan with Ms. Burbank and all agreed that it was a valuable opportunity to interact with their peers and to gain insight into practices and procedures that might be implanted in their program. It was suggested that an Executive Summary accompany the scan report and be provided to the CEO's of each State department of transportation. FHWA will send the scan CD-rom to every State CEO as well as all State Right-of-Way and Planning Directors.
Compared to the first two scans sponsored by the FHWA Office of Real Estate Services, this scan was extended an extra 2 hours in the afternoon of the second day. The extra time allowed five innovative topics to be discussed and allowed for more time for individual State presentations. States were asked to submit to FHWA (after the scan) any materials dealing with topics discussed. In future scans, this request should be made before the scan and the information provided to participants at the scan. It was also suggested that FHWA Division Realty and Planning staff attend future scans with participants from their States.
Seventeen States were involved in the third domestic scan and 34 evaluations were submitted at the conclusion. The question, "On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 the lowest and 5 the highest, did the scan meet your expectations?" received a positive average score of 4.4. The next question asked if their objectives were met by the scan. The average rating was 4.3 and the comments were very good. The group appreciated the topics selected for discussion and wanted more time to talk about access management and integration. The participants also noted that pre-scan communications and coordination were good. Every participant gave a presentation, provided remarks, or lead discussions during the scan. Peer-to-peer exchanges and networking opportunities were important to the success of the scan.
The Federal Highway Administration realizes that SDOTs greatly benefit from interaction with each other to further enhance the professionalism and experience of SDOTs staff. The Right-of-Way and Planning Innovation Domestic Scan allowed right-of-way and planning professionals, including several attorneys, to discuss many topics of importance to the transportation community, and identify areas in the project development process where the two program areas could work collaboratively. The evaluations indicated that the opportunity to participate in peer-to-peer exchange was appreciated by all involved. One participant stated, "the discussions during the presentations were invaluable, and the smaller groups helped to aid off-time interactions as well."
The innovative ideas that were discussed during this scan should be carried back to seventeen States, discussed with local public agencies and professional association chapters, and should benefit everyone involved in transportation related projects.
The FHWA Domestic Scan highlighted areas where right-of-way professionals have made strides in advancing their right-of-way program, and similarly the planning professionals have defined a definitive comprehensive planning process. For the future of the Federal-aid Program, FHWA and States should continue to work towards streamlining and integrating right-of-way, planning, and environmental programs. The challenge is educating technical (i.e., right-of-way, planning, and environment) specialists to appreciate the other program areas, its purpose and function. This will require cross training and understanding the structure of other programs, the program lexicon* and acronyms, program culture, and the players in each program process. Additionally, as States and MPOs get more involved in scenario planning, then the integration of the three program areas working in partnership will make vision and scenario planning more effective, comprehensive and collaborative.
*The 3C's in Right-of-Way: Communication, Coordination, and Cooperation and
the 3C's in Planning: Comprehensive, Cooperative, and Continuing.
Comments may be submitted to Nina Kelley, FHWA Office of Real Estate Services, at 202-366-5853 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Arizona - was approached three years ago to identify excess right-of-way, and they have found and sold $15 million worth of property. If you have to acquire properties that you do not need but must purchase due to access restrictions, the properties can be valuable for environmental banking.
California - 34 million people in state. Right-of-way work is entirely in house with 550 agents and there is a 2-week training academy for new agents. The new agents follow up with a one-week course one year later. Concerning railroads, right-of-way is working on railroad construction and maintenance agreements and would like information from other States about master agreements with railroads for acquisition. (New Jersey may have some agreements with Conrail.) Corridor sales information is based on actual sales. (Kansas may some information and Utah may also have some comparables.)
Delaware - uses project teams that involve design staff. Their training program would like to make sure that with intermodalism training all disciplines are involved in the development of training. Transportation departments must work to recognize individual talents and understand that each professional group has a different perspective.
Hawaii -has a population of 1.1 million people and 1.1 million cars are registered. The land use commission has classified the State into 4 districts, which control type and kinds of use.
Idaho - has a population of 1.3 million, and Boise is one of the 5 fastest growing areas in the United States. They are experiencing rapid growth across the state, which will affect DOTs ability to build projects.
Iowa - is growing slowly and rural communities are disappearing, but the larger communities are growing. Iowa wants to link transportation and land use and focus more on regional planning. The DOT is holding 9 public hearings across the state to drive the linkage and planning process.
Kansas - US 400 study is working with public groups to establish a corridor, which locals will then respect and work with in the future. US-54 project: 54 miles to be acquired with 10 to be constructed. There is no funding for the rest of the project. Kansas has a centralized program. The legislature is looking at excess right-of-way as a potential source of income in the current budget crisis.
Maine -the foundation of Maine's DOT is integration. In corridor planning, they are identifying both high priority urban and rural areas. There is a natural protection of resources at these corridors. Local agencies are building alternative access. Rules on local planning are going to the legislature. The DOT is looking at land use planning. Gateway 1 project: 100 miles in central Maine and it is a multi-discipline, multi-modal, integration project. What is the vision for this corridor? Community input is very important. NEPA is also involved in planning and looks at the community develop pattern after NEPA document approval. Maine is beginning to look at CSS policy. Reorganization - central ROW decentralized into 3 programs.
Michigan - has an advance acquisition fund and sets aside $7 million a year for purchase opportunities. Michigan is acquiring land around border crossings. They are also proposing a corridor preservation strategy.
Mississippi - is a centralized State. Their right-of-way program focus is on the day-to-day routine, involved in meeting deadlines and making schedules. They hope to use the domestic scan to see broader issues, and to find techniques to help their program implementation. They are interested in pooled fund research (electronic storage of appraisals) and want to participate. They will make their decision on October 1. Mississippi currently has about 16-17 Appraisers on staff; however, the staff has limited experience, and is not licensed. Their priority will be to educate these appraisers.
New Hampshire - has many projects throughout state including the widening of I -93 and the access management project to the airport. They may have to use consultants if bonding of projects works and projects are moving. There is a $100,000 reestablishment cap in 2004. NH is organizationally training agents so that they can do relocation and acquisition. Planning - outreach efforts to involve stakeholders earlier and public meetings are taking place. CSS subcommittee is working to implement CSS and looking into training engineers and other DOT staff to move process forward. Developing MOA between DOT and locals to spell out roles and responsibilities of parties.
New Jersey - uses a universal agent who handles all aspects of the right-of-way process. In Scoping, what training do other States provide which teaches negotiator what to look for? What skills should the negotiators have?
North Dakota - the State does not have the scope and magnitude of issues in access management and right-of-way that the larger States do. They would like to hear about the experience of "like" States similar to them (small rural states) and learn from each other. NDDOT's right-of-way staff number less than 10. On a different scale, the largest project in NDDOT's history is about $55 million. Rather than anticipate growth, North Dakota is planning for declines in population and in the use of some roadways. The concept of land use planning is not popular. Most local communities welcome economic growth and will accommodate the developers and development and then deal with infrastructure consequences later. North Dakota will take the suggestions back to their management on getting the right-of-way more involved in future public meetings.
South Dakota - has spent the last 3 years developing a corridor/access management program. State does not have any powers for land use planning. Past State laws allow the State to say yea or nay to development plans based on access management plan. This State Law provision had not been enforced in the past.
Utah - Right-of-way is now in charge of longitudinal access, utility relocations and access management. There are some pilot applications of access management. Land use planning in Utah is not popular. Their corridor preservation program is one of few funded in the nation. Ramping up program with policies, regulations, etc. With Design Build, they are working on the I-15 project, the Legacy project, and 123 south. On 123, contractor will be acquiring right-of-way and UDOT will condemn when necessary.
Vermont - A 1990 - 1991 transportation-planning initiative was designed to decentralize planning process. Act 200 in Vermont directed more outreach effort and activity. There are three pilot corridor/access management plans: Rutland, Montpelier, and Bennington. Regional commissions will be working with landowners to begin process. Vermont is hiring a contractor to prepare materials and do outreach on access management issues which focus on land use.
Wyoming -The DOT would like to continue streamlining NEPA efforts. They are working on improving the public involvement process. They have hired communication professionals who attend public meetings and write news releases. They are drafting an access management plan. Concerning an American Indian reservation project, the tribe may opt for sovereign nation status and may not be concerned about access policies on roads through reservation.
CFR 635.309 pertains to Authorizations for Federal-aid projects. It is a requirement that the State include a statement certifying the ROW of the project as per 23 CFR 635.309(c).