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Rapidly Urbanizing/Highlights Of Literature Review

The literature review provided documentation of additional case studies and peer examples in research reports about similar material. The following summaries highlight the findings in five recent studies of either the metropolitan planning process or state department of transportation rural planning practices.

John Mason. "Understanding the Communications and Information Needs of Elected Officials for Transportation Planning and Operations. The Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program. Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration, 2005.

The focus of this paper is on non-federal elected officials who play a decisionmaking role in surface transportation planning and operations. This includes officials who affect transportation planning and operations decisions of executive and legislative agencies at the state, regional and local levels. The emphasis is on surface transportation planning, primarily highway and transit. The aim is enhanced communications (not lobbying, a practice prohibited for U.S. Department of Transportation and most state and local government employees).

The basic approach taken in this paper is to identify the players, briefly characterize them, describe the environment, and suggest some principles in designing outreach to locally elected officials. The report includes several key observations about the perspectives of elected officials at the state and local levels. Those observations include the following:

Julie Hoover, Gian-Claudia Sciara, and Bruce McDowell. Transit at the Table: A Guide to Participation in Metropolitan Decisionmaking. Federal Transit Administration, Federal Highway Administration, and Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, 2004.

This 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. The report is intended, in part, to be used as a guide to how to use strategic positions through participation in the MPO to win policy and program support for priority transit service.

Although the primary audience for Transit at the Table is transit general managers and transit senior staff, the information is valuable to other key MPO stakeholders as well. The overall effectiveness of an MPO and the metropolitan transportation planning process rises and falls with the depth of the decision-making partnerships. The suggestions and strategies presented in this report represent significant opportunities for improving current practice that are applicable to all MPO stakeholders.

The report identifies 10 benefits of MPO participation and strategies for achieving policy and program support for transit. The benefits can be more broadly applied to any agency, community, or modal program as suggested below [references in bracket replace "transit" in the original]:

  1. Influence the identification of transportation issues, policy formation, and funding priorities by being active participant on the MPO policy board and/or committees.
  2. Promote [your community priority program or project] as a regional transportation priority by collaborating with the business community, citizen groups, local officials, and other MPO partners.
  3. Establish an image of [your priority program or project] as indispensable to community well being by getting involved in broader issues facing your community such as homeland security, land use and economic development, and environmental protection.
  4. Win support for [your community] land-use policies by promoting land use, economic development and transportation integration leading to MPO policy support.
  5. Win support for investment needs by promoting early, open, and objective consideration of [the needs of your community] in regional corridor studies conducted by, or through, the MPO. This can result in support for your capital improvement needs directly, or as a component of another project.
  6. Promote multimodal solutions by assuming joint sponsorship of studies with state departments of transportation.
  7. Get [your community priority program or project] on the agenda by being involved in MPO committees such as those dealing with policy, air quality, and technical methods.
  8. Strengthen your funding prospects for your priorities/shape the transportation future by participating fully in the preparation of the long range plan and short range transportation improvement program (TIP).
  9. Secure funding from non-traditional sources for your priorities by making a convincing case for your investment needs to other MPO members.
  10. Accelerate delivery of your projects by monitoring the status of projects programmed in the TIP to note schedule changes.

ICF Consulting. Evaluating State DOT Rural Planning Practices. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Standing Committee on Planning, December 2003. Prepared as part of NCHRP Project 08-36, National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Transportation Research Board.

This report provides a description of how transportation planning and programming is performed in rural areas, focusing in particular on the role of state departments of transportation (DOT) and rural planning organizations (RPO). The report documents some notable practices in state DOT rural planning and programming, and identifies topic areas that are particularly challenging and warrant improvement. The study focuses on eight sample states, selected to achieve diversity in terms of size, population, percent of population and highway miles that are rural, geographic region, and role of regional planning organizations. Detailed interviews were conducted with state DOT staff in each of the sample states, followed by shorter interviews with staff of state, regional, and local agencies to gain different perspectives. The eight sample states are: Colorado, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Oregon. The report is organized around five topic areas, the content of which are highlighted in the following.

Peer Exchange Reports and Case Studies. The Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program. Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration, 2005.

Best Practices for Small and Medium Sized Metropolitan Planning Organizations
Fort Smith Arkansas, April 28-30, 2004

The Peer Exchange Workshop was intended to be a sharing and discussion of the effective practices used by small and medium sized MPOs. The following highlights the roundtable discussion about cooperative decisionmaking. This roundtable intended to develop strategies for improving the collaborative effort in the planning process. Participants discussed how to improve the quality of public officials' and the public's involvement in the planning process. The recommendations identified at the roundtable included the following:

Participants in the roundtable also highlighted the need for more cooperation among MPOs as their geographic regions grow toward one another. The following recommendations emphasized the theme of cooperation:

Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) EXPO 2003
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 19, 2003

The primary objective of this Peer Exchange Workshop was to facilitate dialogue among small urban and rural professionals from both mature transit programs and transportation programs in a conceptual or developmental phase. The workshop provided a forum to explore the complex challenges posed in the planning and operation of a community transit systems, and the methods used by some state departments of transportation (DOT) and other agencies to address transportation needs. The Peer Exchange Workshop participants heard presentations from FHWA and FTA and from panelists representing several small and rural transit programs. The last half of the program consisted of small groups working together to identify priority needs for improved community transportation planning and programming. The priority areas of needs were: financial constraint, public participation, land use and transportation, and tribal governments.

The discussion surrounding public participation centered on a variety of strategies for community agencies to consider in order to create a more effective and efficient participatory process. The following lists the recommendations that resulted from the dialogue between Peer Exchange Workshop participants regarding public participation:

Wilbur Smith Associates. Noteworthy MPO Practices in Transportation-Land Use Planning Integration. Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, April 2004.

This study focuses on developing five case studies of noteworthy practices that have made progress towards more closely integrating transportation with land use. Despite differences in project techniques, methods and goals, there was a common framework among all projects. The framework was built on the following themes:

Other important lessons were derived from the study. These include:

Updated: 10/20/2015
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