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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

Office of Planning Research Fact Sheet

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The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty offers opportunities under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) legislation to improve transportation decision making and promote efficiency while protecting communities and the environment. The Office supports and conducts research under MAP-21 that:

The following document highlights specific research activities in the Office of Planning. For more information, please visit

Office of Planning

FHWA's Office of Planning develops and implements programs and activities that advance comprehensive international, interstate, State, metropolitan, rural, tribal, and multi-modal planning.

Research Focus: The Office of Planning's research efforts focus on improving the transportation planning process to ensure that agencies undertake a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the potential impact of transportation plans and programs, while addressing society's aspirations and concerns. The Office's research areas include:

Staff Contact: Mark Sarmiento at 202-366-4828 or

Featured Research Activities

FHWA National Gateway and Corridor Concepts - The focus of the National Gateways and Corridor Concept research was to identify and document multimodal corridor and gateway needs, trends, and opportunities to assist in the development of future national (or state, corridor, or regional) freight infrastructure plans that will assure U.S. and North American competitiveness. Key concepts and factors were identified over the course of the research that should be considered when identifying the location for new infrastructure to handle changes in trade patterns, demographics, and freight flows with a focus on the role of transportation infrastructure in facilitating exports.

Staff Contact: Travis Black, 202-366-6798, or

The Statewide Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning Handbook - is designed to help State departments of transportation (DOTs) develop or update State pedestrian and bicycle plans. For each stage of the planning process, this handbook uses recent experiences and noteworthy practices from DOTs around the country, helping inform a new generation of statewide nonmotorized planning and implementation.

Staff Contact: Jody McCullough, 202-366-5001 or

The Briefing Book - This book provides government officials, transportation decision-makers, planning board members, and transportation service providers with an overview of transportation planning. It contains a basic understanding of key concepts in statewide and metropolitan transportation planning, along with references for additional information. This report is available electronically on the Transportation Planning Capacity Building website at and is updated periodically to include additional topics or information.

Staff Contact: Michelle Noch, 202-366-9206 or

Model Long-Range Transportation Plans: A Guide for Incorporating Performance-Based Planning

This Guidebook informs State departments of transportation (DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and regional transportation planning organizations (RTPOs), as well as their planning partners such as transit agencies, local governments, and Federal agencies, about effective practices for incorporating performance-based planning into the development of a long range transportation plan. Examples and case studies illustrate the Guide's key points.

Staff Contact: Egan Smith, 202 366-6072,

Handbook for Estimating Transportation Greenhouse Gases for Integration into the Planning Process

This publication is a handbook designed to provide information on how to analyze on-road greenhouse gas emissions at the state and regional level, and how to incorporate those analyses into transportation planning efforts. The handbook is intended to help State DOTs and MPOs understand the possible approaches, data sources, and step-by-step procedures for analyzing GHG emissions.

Staff Contact: Jody McCullough, 202-366-5001

A Multi-Modal Approach to Economic Development in the Metropolitan Area Transportation Planning Process - This white paper provides a review of research and current practices of integrating economic development goals in metropolitan area transportation planning. The information presented is intended to serve as a technical resource for transportation planners, clarifying essential economic development concepts and how peer practitioners can address these concepts in the metropolitan area transportation planning process.

Staff Contact: Fred Bowers, 202-366-2374,

Updated: 1/31/2017
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