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Transportation and Community and System Preservation (TCSP) Pilot Program Third-Year Report 2001


U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Planning, Environment and Realty
Office of Planning
Washington, D.C. 20590

American communities increasingly want to achieve strong, sustainable economic growth in ways that preserve community character and ensure a high quality of life. At the same time, they are wrestling with the effects of ever-increasing traffic congestion and associated community and environmental impacts.

The Transportation and Community and System Preservation (TCSP) Pilot Program was established in 1998 to help state, local, and tribal governments develop innovative strategies that use transportation to build livable communities.

This booklet highlights the accomplishments of the TCSP Program following its first three years of implementation through descriptions of key projects, lessons learned, and effective practices. A full report, Transportation and Community and System Preservation (TCSP) Pilot Program Third Year Report (2001), can be found on the TCSP Program website at*

TCSP is a five-year pilot program, extending from FY 1999 through FY 2003. The Program is managed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in cooperation with the United States Department of Transportation's (US DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Office of the Secretary, and Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), and with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). TCSP grants are available to local and tribal governments, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and state governments, and may be spent over a period of up to two years.

The primary purpose of the TCSP Program is to strengthen the links between transportation and community preservation. To this end, Congress set five key objectives for the Program projects:

* The statistics appearing in this booklet represent information available as of August 2002, and update the figures presented in the Third-Year Report.

The individual projects supported by TCSP Program grants are spreading innovative changes in transportation planning and design practices. Figure 1 on page 3 is a map showing the location of the FY 1999-2001 TCSP projects by state.

The Program is facilitating learning and knowledge transfer throughout the nation by:

The TCSP Program is undertaking additional learning and knowledge transfer activities, including the publication of project case studies and creation of a searchable project database on the website that will describe the products of each project as the information becomes available.

Figure 1. TCSP Projects by State FY 1999-2001

A map of the United States showing TCSP Projects for Fiscal Years 1999-2001. Click image for text version.

TCSP Projects

In its first three years the TCSP Program funded 200 projects, which were selected out of 1,114 applications from across the country. The total amount of these grant awards was $92.8 million.

The charts illustrate the different types of TCSP projects using the following characteristics:

In each of these categories, a set of line graphs (Figures 4, 6, and 8) illustrate how the distribution of characteristics has changed substantially as the TCSP program has progressed.

Type of Grantee

The full range of grantees in the three-year period consisted of municipal governments in cities and in small towns; county governments; MPOs and regional planning councils; state government agencies (DOTs and other departments); transit and rail authorities; tribal governments; and universities. Figure 2 uses percentages to illustrate the different types of grantees.

Figure 2. TCSP Projects by Grantee Type FY 1999-2001*

Pie chart. Click image for source text.

*Updated data

Area Type

Area types are:

Figure 3 illustrates the different area types included in the 200 TCSP projects.

Figure 3. Percent Projects by Area Type FY 1999-2001*

Pie chart. Click image for source text.

Over the three-year period, the funding for projects addressing the needs of the various area types shifted: funding for regionally targeted projects declined (34% to 2%) in favor of those for cities, suburbs, and rural areas (60% to 95% when combined). Figure 4 illustrates the changes within each area type by year.

Figure 4. Change in Percent Area Type by FY 1999-2001*

Line graph. Click image for source text.

*Updated data

Project Types

As demonstrated in Figure 5, TCSP projects spanned a wide variety of categories:

Figure 5. Percent Projects by Project Type FY 1999-2001*

Pie chart. Click image for source text.

*Updated data

The mix of project types shifted substantially over the three-year period. While the number of projects increased in the categories of bicycle/pedestrian/traffic calming, highway/roads, and freight/freight rail, there was a marked decline in the number of projects involving regional planning, corridor/area planning, and innovative public involvement approaches. Figure 6 illustrates these shifts.

Figure 6. Change in Percent Type FY 1999-2001*

Line graph. Click image for source text.

*Updated data

Product Types

Overall, five types of products were produced by the TCSP projects:

Figure 7 illustrates the different product types.

Figure 7. Percent Products by Product Type FY 1999-2001*

Pie chart. Click image for source text.

Over this three-year period, the share of projects yielding plans decreased substantially, from 66 to 27 percent. At the same time, the percentage of construction and operations products increased from 11 percent in FY 1999 to 70 percent in FY 2001. Models, which were 14 percent of the total in FY 1999, declined to zero percent in FY 2001. Figure 8 demonstrates these shifts.

Figure 8. Change in Percent Product Type by FY 1999-2001*

Line graph. Click image for source text.

*Updated data

Effective TCSP Practices

Build Partnerships

Capture the Public's Interest

Design Transportation Systems That Enhance the Community

Plan for Multiple Modes and Users

Consider Community and System Preservation Issues in Transportation Planning

Design Communities to Minimize Transportation Investment Needs

Consider Funding, Resource, and Implementation Issues

Evaluate the Effectiveness of Planning and Implementation Activities

Be Patient and Persistent

TCSP Program Accomplishments

TCSP projects are yielding effective practices that can be applied in transportation planning nationwide by:

Encouraging Innovation

First and foremost, TCSP projects are demonstrating innovative practices by:

TCSP projects that have demonstrated innovation include:

Creating Partnerships

The TCSP Program has promoted the creation of innovative public and private partnerships, especially with nontraditional partners - private-sector developers, financial institutions, and real estate professionals, as well as community development organizations and environmental groups - who in the past may not have been a regular and integral part of the project selection and design process. To involve nontraditional partners earlier and more systematically, the TCSP Program has focused on:

Examples of TCSP projects promoting new partnerships and improved dialogue are:


Strengthening Planning

The innovations and broadened partnerships introduced by TCSP projects strengthen existing state and metropolitan transportation planning processes by:

TCSP projects that have strengthened the planning process include:

Building the Knowledge Base

In its first three years, the TCSP Program placed a strong emphasis on evaluation and learning. TCSP projects were intended to provide measurable results and examples of successful practices that could be adopted by other areas. Each TCSP grant application was therefore required to include an evaluation component and make the results available for others to use.

Guidance for the design and implementation of project evaluations appears on the TCSP website. The guidance suggests that a TCSP project evaluation focus on three components:

  1. The process by which a project is implemented.
  2. The products that result from the project.
  3. The outcomes in terms of either projected or actual benefits and costs.

Evaluating the process and products of a grant. Most evaluations carried out within the scope of funded TCSP projects in FYs 1999-2001 have focused on the first two evaluation components - process and products. Some grantees have conducted the evaluation internally; others have hired a consultant or university to conduct an independent evaluation.

Evaluating project outcomes. The ultimate outcomes of TCSP projects may take many years to be fully realized. Furthermore, the effects of the TCSP project may be difficult to separate from the effects of other changes that are occurring at the same time. Most projects are forecasting impacts using quantitative modeling.

Examples of evaluation approaches to TCSP projects include:

Demonstrating Results

Roughly 43 percent of TCSP projects awarded in FYs 1999 - 2001 focused primarily on project implementation (for example, construction, rehabilitation, maintenance, and operations), while the remaining 57 percent focused on planning. Especially in the case of planning grants, it may be five to ten years before widespread implementation of results is achieved and concrete benefits observed and measured. Even so, TCSP planning projects are already demonstrating results in a variety of ways:

The following TCSP projects provide examples of demonstrated results:

The collective experience gained through the 200 projects undertaken in FYs 1999 through 2001 yielded a substantial range of lessons learned (see middle insert). In the future, communities confronting the prospect of growth can draw from these lessons to help them make intelligent, comprehensive planning choices.


The TCSP Program has stimulated innovation in transportation planning. In particular, TCSP projects are creating effective practices that link transportation planning with system and community preservation considerations. During the first three years of the Program, these projects have involved:

On the implementation side, TCSP projects have demonstrated practices such as pedestrian linkages, intermodal transit facilities, and bicycle paths that are helping to increase travel options and improve the character of local communities. Furthermore, TCSP projects are helping communities as well as the private sector to re-examine land development practices, in order to reduce impacts on the transportation system and to complement public-sector transportation investments.

The impact of TCSP projects is not limited to the scope of the individual projects funded. Many grantees have noted that the findings and lessons learned from their TCSP projects are influencing other transportation and community planning activities in their area.

The TCSP Program is placing a strong emphasis on learning and knowledge transfer: by sponsoring the development of planning tools and methods; by encouraging project evaluations; and by making results from TCSP projects available to a national audience. These efforts are resulting in the demonstration of effective practices for transportation planning.Looking beyond the five-year span of the pilot program authorized by TEA-21, initial consideration is already being given to reauthorization. Program partners and stakeholders have a number of recommendations for the continued implementation of the planning innovations begun under TCSP:

Overall, this review of the TCSP Program's accomplishments suggests that the innovative work undertaken in the first three years of the Pilot Program is already beginning to leverage results. There is widespread hope that the demonstration of linked transportation, community, and system preservation practices undertaken through TCSP not only will continue, but will expand.

Transportation and Community and System Preservation (TCSP) Pilot Program
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Planning, Environment and Realty
Office of Planning
400 Seventh Street, S.W. Room 3301
Washington, D.C. 20590
Telephone (202) 366-1016
Fax (202) 493-2198

Spring 2003


Updated: 8/1/2013
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