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FHWA Resource Center



Planning Technical Service Team

Your source for transportation planning solutions!
June 2004

Your source for transportation planning solutions!
The United States depends on a safe and efficient transportation system to strengthen communities, to provide access to jobs, services, and centers of trade; and to retain and enhance our economic competitiveness in the global marketplace. FHWA supports transportation decisionmakers as they manage the comprehensive transportation planning process. This process considers many factors including: economic development, safety and security, environment, land use and system preservation, and maintenance and integration.

The Planning Technical Service Team at FHWA's Resource Center helps support the planning process through the provision of technical assistance, technology transfer and interagency coordination. Our vision is that transportation projects and decisions will be based on state of the practice and state of the art planning practices, thereby improving the quality of life for all Americans. Our mission is to promote effective transportation planning practices nationwide through training and technical assistance. We are here to help you successfully meet your organizational goals.

The FHWA Resource Center Planning Technical Service Team offers expertise in a number of specialty areas. Information about some of these areas is provided here; along with some of our briefings and seminars that are currently offered or are under development. Please contact us for planning assistance.

The FHWA Resource Center Planning Technical Service Team has over 100 years combined of experience that covers a broad base of planning related issues. Planning subject matter is expansive and each of our specialists focuses on specific areas. If you do not find a particular area listed in this brochure, please do not hesitate to call and ask us about it. Chances are, one of our experts will be able to provide assistance to you. We look forward to working with you!

The Planning Technical Service Team is also available to provide expert assistance with your conferences and workshops. We encourage partnering at all levels and this is one way we can partner with you to deploy innovations and solutions.

Planning Fundamentals
Transportation planning provides the information, tools, and public input needed for improving transportation system performance. As a process, it is used to determine how transportation funds are allocated to different projects and areas. Effective transportation planning should reflect a community's vision for its future. It should also include a comprehensive consideration of possible strategies; an evaluation process that encompasses diverse viewpoints; the collaborative participation of relevant transportation-related agencies and organizations; and an open, timely, and meaningful involvement of the public.

The FHWA Resource Center Planning Team
specialists provide technical assistance on a wide range of issues related to metropolitan, statewide and tribal planning requirements, products and processes. In addition, team specialists have experience in and are available to serve on certification reviews for Transportation Management Areas (TMAs).

The FHWA Resource Center Planning Team also offers tailored briefings and workshops. These offer an overview of the particular topic, and highlight noteworthy practices and techniques that are occurring nationwide. These can be tailored according to length and time, according to customer requirements. Some seminars, briefings and workshops that are currently available or under development include:

  • Metropolitan Planning Seminar (2-8 hrs.)
  • Linking Planning and NEPA
  • Overview Seminar (2-4 hrs.)
  • Land Use & Transportation Planning (Fall 2004)
  • Public-Private Partnerships Workshop (Fall 2004)
  • Performance Measures for Transportation Planning
  • Seminar (Fall 2004)

Safety Conscious Planning (SCP)
Safety Conscious Planning is a comprehensive, system-wide, multimodal, proactive process to better integrate safety into transportation planning and transportation decision-making. The Planning Team provides technical assistance to customers in this area, focusing on the successful integration of safety within the traditional planning processes. Currently an overview is available:

  • Safety Conscious Planning Seminar (4-6 hrs.)

Congestion Management Systems (CMS)
Congestion Management Systems are where long range infrastructure planning and the operation of the transportation system work together. The Planning Team provides technical assistance to customers in this area, focusing on the CMS deployment within the traditional planning processes. Additionally, specialists provide technical assistance related to the integration of planning and operations and planning related performance measures. Currently a workshop is available:

  • Congestion Management Systems (1.5 days)

Travel Demand Forecasting
Effective travel analysis techniques are critical components of the transportation planning process through the identification of potential impacts and trade-offs of transportation alternatives. The Planning Team provides technical assistance in the area of travel demand forecasting, with particular focus on reviewing model design and results and highlighting techniques and approaches for improvement. Currently a seminar is available upon request:

  • Travel Demand Forecasting Seminar (1 day)

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Planners must incorporate a wide diversity of information into the transportation planning process. By using GIS to bring together information more efficiently, planners are in a better position to review, analyze, and understand problems they are addressing. The Planning Team provides technical assistance, focusing on uses and applications to assist the planning process as well as environmental streamlining and stewardship. Currently an overview is available:

  • GIS & Transportation Seminar (2-8 hrs.)
  • Use of GIS within Environmental Streamlining and Stewardship (2 hrs.-1.5 days)

Land Use
Transportation plays an integral part in shaping our land use and development. Land use development directly affects the form and characteristics of the transportation system. The Planning Team provides technical assistance on land use and transportation issues, including scenario planning. Currently a seminar is under development:

  • Land Use and Transportation Seminar (2-6 hrs.)

At federal, state and local transportation agencies, freight continues to garner greater attention and action. This is due, in large part, to the increased freight activity on our transportation system today, coupled with dramatic projections of freight movements in the future. The Planning Team specialists provide technical assistance on a wide range of freight and operations issues as they relate to metropolitan and statewide. Some available briefings and workshops are:

  • Executive Freight Seminar (30-90 minutes)
  • Intermodal Freight Trends (2-4 hrs.)
  • Freight Case Studies (1 hr.)
  • Developing A Freight Study (Fall 2004)
  • Freight Data (Fall 2004)
  • Freight Public Private Partnerships (Fall 2004)

Environmental Justice/Title VI
Effective transportation decision making depends upon understanding and properly addressing the unique needs of different socioeconomic groups. The Planning Team provides technical assistance on Title VI, with particular focus on Metropolitan Planning Organizations' (MPO) issues and analytical approaches. Currently a seminar is available:

  • Environmental Justice for MPOs Seminar (2-8 hrs.)

Planning Data
An effective transportation process relies on strong technical and analytical capabilities. These capabilities are built upon sound data. The Planning Team provides technical assistance on U.S. Census data and passenger travel data. Some available seminars are:

  • Census Transportation Planning Package Seminar (2 hrs. to 2 days)
  • Overview of Planning Data Seminar (2-8 hrs.)

The FHWA Resource Center Planning Team specialists are also instructors at many planning courses offered through the National Highway Institute and National Transit Institute.

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