The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' Standing Committee on Planning has released the report Non-Traditional Performance Measures that explores how state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, and public transportation agencies use non-traditional performance measures in their transportation planning and decision-making processes.
The Rapidly Urbanizing/Overview report is to identify examples of innovative transportation planning practices by states and metropolitan planning organizations to include rural communities near rapidly growing urbanized areas or small towns that are expected to become urbanized by the next U. S. Census.
The Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management at NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service prepared a report on "Pedestrian and Bicyclist Standards and Innovations in Large Central Cities" in conjunction with the National Association of City Transportation Officials, Inc. and with the support of the FHWA's Office of Planning. The report reviews how best to accommodate the use of bicycles and walking while ensuring safety and sufficient mobility for motor vehicles for large central cities and provides examples of best practices in various cities nationally and internationally.
Security planning includes activities and products developed in response to identified criminal threats to high value, vulnerable elements of the transportation system. Preparedness planning includes activities and products developed in response to the threat of environmental hazards and natural occurrences. Four state and metropolitan planning organizations where researched for this report, which found numerous activities that can be characterized as contributing to the integration of security and emergency preparedness into the transportation planning process including: chartering committees and organizations; establishing liaisons or otherwise designating planning staff resources; establishing project categories and program funding; and conducting vulnerability and threat assessments. The four planning organizations investigated were: Houston-Galveston Area Council, San Diego Association of Government, Oregon State Department of Transportation, and the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments.
The Transit at the Table: A Guide to Participation in Metropolitan Decisionmaking report presents the observations, perspectives, and recommendations of a cross-section of transit agencies from large metropolitan areas on how to secure strategic positions in the metropolitan planning process. More importantly, the report can be a guide on how to use those positions to win policy and program support for priority transit services. The challenges to achieving full decisionmaking partnerships in regional settings, the most effective strategies for addressing these challenges, and the rewards of partnerships are presented by transit industry leaders using their own experiences (PDF, 4.7MB) and Executive Summary (PDF, 1.0MB).
Community impact assessment is a process to evaluate the effects of a transportation action on a community and its quality of life. The assessment process is an integral part of project planning and development that shapes the outcome of a project. Its information is used continuously to mold the project and provide documentation of the current and anticipated social environment of a geographic area with and without the action.
Visualization can provide the public and decision makers a clear idea of the proposed policies, plans and Transportation Improvement Programs and the impacts to the human and natural environment. Visuals can make information instantly or intuitively understandable. The new technology has made it possible to communicate what the proposals may look like when implemented.
Scenario planning is an analytical tool that can help transportation professionals prepare for what lies ahead. Scenario planning provides a framework for developing a shared vision for the future by analyzing various forces (e.g., health, transportation, economic, environmental, land use, etc.) that affect growth. Scenario planning, which can be done at the statewide level or for metropolitan regions, tests various future alternatives that meet state and community needs.
Learning the viewpoints and opinions of the stakeholders in transportation projects is one of the chief elements of the FHWA project development process. Through Public Involvement/Participation, stakeholders can be the users or those affected by construction or traffic. Since the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1950 and the Federal Transit Laws originally enacted in 1964, we have worked to ensure that all interested persons have the opportunity for a voice in how our transportation system is developed.
Transportation Planning and Asset Management - As transportation planners and metropolitan planning organizations evaluate current system conditions and alternate future scenarios to make informed decisions on allocating resources, they must balance funding realities with mobility needs; public expectations; and community, legislative, and environmental considerations. Transportation asset management provides a valuable tool to maximize system performance, improve customer satisfaction, and minimize life-cycle costs.