efits, and may well enhance personal choice and mobility for door-to-door auto trips.
By way of an intermodal example, the decision on whether to invest in a new intermodal ship-truck-rail terminal will include consideration of environmental, economic, land use, and other impacts on the immediate and surrounding areas, in addition to more narrow considerations of transportation functions and economies of different movement patterns between the modes. Thus, it is impossible to take a broad perspective across and among transportation modes without considering livability impacts and options.
Transportation plans are best made in the broad context of the long-term goals of the community, state, or region. This long-term vision must include thinking about factors such as projected population growth, economic change, transportation needs and maintenance requirements, and potential impacts of alternatives on natural and human environments.
Transportation decisions involve a great breadth of issues. Major transportation projects are undertaken for a variety of purposes, including safety improvement, reduction in congestion, and promotion of economic development. Other reasons include national defense and counter-cyclical investments to jump-start a slow economy. However, with sufficient support at the federal level, livability could be introduced as one of the specific items to be addressed in federally funded transportation planning. It is important to change the attitudes of participants to make livability an important goal.
Such a change may be occurring already. A movement known as “context-sensitive design” aspires to lessen the negative effects of routing streets and highways through living areas and to foster the reestablishment of a community sense of place. According to Thomas Warne, past president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, “. . . highway projects can be designed with imagination, creativity, and collaboration to preserve and enhance the character and quality of community without sacrificing transportation mobility and safety.” Five “lead states” (Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, and Utah) are pressing this initiative with support from the FHWA (Gavin, 2000). As part of the 1991 ISTEA, all metropolitan planning in the United States was required to address a set of 15 factors, grouped under three categories: (1) mobility and access, (2) system performance and preservation, and (3) environment and quality of life. (See Box 4.1, which includes examples of data that should be used to assess livability.) Despite the fact that this mandate was dropped in the 1997 transportation legislation (known as the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century [TEA-21]), these factors represent important considerations in metropolitan