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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

STEP: A Federal Research Program

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.

Conducting Research That Links to Practice

Webinar November 16, 2009

Also available as Microsofte PPT format 7.5 MB. A PowerPoint viewer is available from Microsoft.


What is FHWA's STEP?

STEP Objectives

Legislative Guidance

How is FHWA's STEP funded?

Who gets FHWA's STEP money?

How are FHWA's STEP funds awarded?

FHWA's STEP Challenges

Stakeholder Involvement

STEP Stakeholders

Implementation Timeline

Overview of FY10 STEP Activities

How Do Stakeholders Participate in FHWA's STEP Research Program?

Examples of STEP Feedback

Proposed FY2010 STEP Emphasis Areas

Environment: Air Quality & Climate Change; water/wetlands/vegetation/wildlife/habitats/brownlands; Environmental Streamlining/Stewardship; Context Sensitive Solutions; Bicycle/Pedestrian & Health; Historic Preservation; Noise. Planning: Congestion, Safety Planning; Freight Planning; Public Involvement, Environmental Justice; Visualization in Planning; Other Activities That Support State/Local/Tribal Planning Capacity Building; US/Canada & US/Mexico Border Planning; National Security, Defense & Interstate Planning; Real Estate Services: Real Estate Program Stewardship; Outdoor Advertising Control. Support Tools: Travel Modeling; Geographic Information Systems.

The Office of Natural & Human Environment

  • Presenter: Mark Ferroni
  • STEP Emphasis Areas
  • Air Quality

Contact: Cecilia Ho

  • Climate Change

Contact: Robert Ritter

  • Noise

Contact: Gabe Rousseau

  • Bicycle/Pedestrian and Health

Contact: Mark Ferroni

Air Quality Research Highlights

Recently Completed:

Air Quality Research Highlights

Global Climate Change Research Highlights

Bicycle/Pedestrian and Health .Research Highlights

Noise Research Highlights

FHWA, Office of Planning

  • Presenter: Kenneth Petty
  • STEP Emphasis Areas
  • Activities that Support State, Local, and Tribal Planning Capacity Building Planning
Contact: Kenneth Petty 
  • Congestion
Contact: Harlan Miller
  • Public Involvement, Environmental Justice, and Visualization in Planning
Contact: Brenda Kragh
  • Freight Planning
Contact: Spencer Stevens
  • Safety Planning
Contact: Lorrie Lau 
  • Travel Modeling
Contact: Sarah Sun

Activities that Support State, Local, and Tribal Planning Capacity Building Research Highlights

Image of the report cover: TPCB Peer Program: Peer Excahanges. Planning for a Better Tomorrow. THWA/FTA Transportation Planning Capacity Buildings. The TPCB Peer Program organizes, facilitates, and documents peer events to sh are noteworthy practices amonth agencies.

Activities that Support State, Local, and Tribal Planning Capacity Building Research Highlights

Screenshot of TPCB Resource Index menuse. Resource Types, Category, and Planning Level with key word search. The TPCB resource index is a database of all resources found on the TPBC website.Tribal Transportation Module Training Series. The tribal Transportation Planning Module Training Series provides modules for eight planning topics,, designed to assist transportation professionals responsible for planning for the capital, operating, and maintenance needs on Tribal lands. Tribal Transportation: The Federal Highway Administration works with Indian Tribal Governments, State Departments of Transportation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to meet a mission to creat the best transportation system in the world for the American people through proactive leadership, innovation, and excellence in service.

2010 Transportation Planning Excellence Awards. New award category added: Livability/Sustainability. Coming soon.

A five year review fiscal years 2004-2008. This report provides a summary of the TPCB program's accomplishments during the past 5 fiscal years.

Activities that Support State, Local, and Tribal Planning Capacity Building Research Highlights

Research Underway:

  • Executive Roundtable: Performance-based Planning and Programming
  • Management Practices in Developing Fiscal Constraint for STIPs, TIPs, and MTPs
  • Livability in Transportation Best Practices Guidebook
  • Best Practices in Transportation Planning: Performance Measures, Environmental Mitigation, and Fiscal Constraint
  • A Guide to Measuring Progress in Linking Transportation Planning and Environmental Analysis
Planning and Environment Linkages Program report cover example.

Congestion Research Highlights

Research Underway:

Public Involvement, Environmental Justice, Visualization in Planning Research Highlights

Research Underway:

cover of A Guide to Transportation Decisionmaking.

Freight Planning Research Highlights

Research underway:

  • International Scan on Policy and Program Structure of National and International Freight Corridor Programs
  • Integrating Freight into NEPA Analysis Handbook
  • Freight and Air Quality Handbook
  • Freight and Land Use Peer Exchange

cover of Freight and Air Quality Handbook

Safety Research Highlights

Research Underway:

3 cover images: A primer on Safety Performance Measures and the Transportation Planning Process, Making the Case for Transportation Safety - Ideas for Decision Makers, Transportation Planner's Safety Desk Reference.

Travel Modeling Research Highlights

Research Underway:

The Office of Real Estate Services

  • Presenter: Carolyn James
  • STEP Emphasis Areas
  • Real Estate Program Stewardship

Contact: Carolyn James

  • Outdoor Advertising Control

Contact: Edward Kosola

Outdoor Advertising Control. Research Highlights

Real Estate Program Stewardship. Research Highlights

Real Estate Program Stewardship. Research Highlights

The Office of Project Development & Environmental Review

  • Presenter: Shari Schaftlein
  • STEP Emphasis Areas
  • Water/Wetlands/Vegetation/Wildlife/Habitat/Brownfields
Contact: Carol Adkins
  • Historic Preservation
Contact: MaryAnn Nabe
  • Environmental Streamlining & Stewardship
Contact: Shari Schaftlein
  • Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS)
Contact: Shari Schaftlein

Water/Wetlands/Vegetation/Wildlife/Habitat/Brownfields Research Highlights

3 images of snow plows

Water/Wetlands/Vegetation/Wildlife/Habitat/Brownfields Research Highlights

a bald eagle, fish, and a bird in a tree
  • FHWA ESA Section 7 Consultation Web Site.
  • Indiana Bat Northeast States Literature Synthesis
  • Invasive species in wetland mitigation Section
  • 404 and 10 web-based course


a sunset, a coastal town, and a culvert with a moose crossing sign

FHWA Grants for "Eco-Logical: . An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects"

Funded Research Underway:

Integrate transportation and environmental planning through to project level efforts for economic, environmental, & societal needs & objectives

Future Grant Cycle Anticipated

Environmental Streamlining & Stewardship Research Highlights

Environmental Streamlining & Stewardship Research Highlights

Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) .Research Highlights

CSS screenshot

Historic Preservation Research Highlights Historic Preservation Research Highlights

The Office of Interstate & Border Planning

  • Presenters: Stefan Natzke & Roger Petzold
  • STEP Emphasis Areas
  • National Security, Defense, & Interstate Planning

Contact: Stefan Natzke

  • U.S./Canada & U.S./Mexico Border Planning

Contact: Roger Petzold

  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

Contact: Mark Sarmiento

  • STEP Program Management & Outreach

Contact: Felicia Young

National Security, Defense & Interstate Planning Research Highlights

U.S./Canada & U.S./Mexico Border Research Highlights

Ongoing Research

Geographic Information Systems .Research Highlights

Program Management & Outreach

Stakeholder Input Options

Other Research Resources

Thank You for Participating!

If you have any questions about STEP, please send an e-mail to ..

Updated: 9/30/2012
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