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NATIONAL NCHRP REPORT 541 COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Consideration of Environmental Factors in Transportation Systems Planning
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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 2005 (Membership as of August 2005) OFFICERS Chair: John R. Njord, Executive Director, Utah DOT Vice Chair: Michael D. Meyer, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology Executive Director: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board MEMBERS MICHAEL W. BEHRENS, Executive Director, Texas DOT ALLEN D. BIEHLER, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT LARRY L. BROWN, SR., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT DEBORAH H. BUTLER, Vice President, Customer Service, Norfolk Southern Corporation and Subsidiaries, Atlanta, GA ANNE P. CANBY, President, Surface Transportation Policy Project, Washington, DC JOHN L. CRAIG, Director, Nebraska Department of Roads DOUGLAS G. DUNCAN, President and CEO, FedEx Freight, Memphis, TN NICHOLAS J. GARBER, Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville ANGELA GITTENS, Vice President, Airport Business Services, HNTB Corporation, Miami, FL GENEVIEVE GIULIANO, Director, Metrans Transportation Center, and Professor, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, USC, Los Angeles BERNARD S. GROSECLOSE, JR., President and CEO, South Carolina State Ports Authority SUSAN HANSON, Landry University Professor of Geography, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University JAMES R. HERTWIG, President, CSX Intermodal, Jacksonville, FL GLORIA J. JEFF, Director, Michigan DOT ADIB K. KANAFANI, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley HERBERT S. LEVINSON, Principal, Herbert S. Levinson Transportation Consultant, New Haven, CT SUE MCNEIL, Director and Professor, Urban Transportation Center, University of Illinois, Chicago MICHAEL MORRIS, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments CAROL A. MURRAY, Commissioner, New Hampshire DOT MICHAEL S. TOWNES, President and CEO, Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, VA C. MICHAEL WALTON, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin LINDA S. WATSON, Executive Director, LYNX--Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority MARION C. BLAKEY, Federal Aviation Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) JOSEPH H. BOARDMAN, Federal Railroad Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) REBECCA M. BREWSTER, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA (ex officio) GEORGE BUGLIARELLO, Chancellor, Polytechnic University, and Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering (ex officio) THOMAS H. COLLINS (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard (ex officio) JENNIFER L. DORN, Federal Transit Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) JAMES J. EBERHARDT, Chief Scientist, Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies, U.S. Department of Energy (ex officio) EDWARD R. HAMBERGER, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads (ex officio) JOHN C. HORSLEY, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (ex officio) JOHN E. JAMIAN, Acting Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S.DOT (ex officio) EDWARD JOHNSON, Director, Applied Science Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (ex officio) ASHOK G. KAVEESHWAR, Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S.DOT (ex officio) RICK KOWALEWSKI, Deputy Director, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S.DOT (ex officio) BRIGHAM MCCOWN, Deputy Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S.DOT (ex officio) WILLIAM W. MILLAR, President, American Public Transportation Association (ex officio) MARY E. PETERS, Federal Highway Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) SUZANNE RUDZINSKI, Director, Transportation and Regional Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (ex officio) JEFFREY W. RUNGE, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) ANNETTE M. SANDBERG, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) JEFFREY N. SHANE, Under Secretary for Policy, U.S.DOT (ex officio) CARL A. STROCK (Maj. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ex officio) NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Transportation Research Board Executive Committee Subcommittee for NCHRP JOHN R. NJORD, Utah DOT (Chair) MARY E. PETERS, Federal Highway Administration JOHN C. HORSLEY, American Association of State Highway ROBERT E. SKINNER, JR., Transportation Research Board and Transportation Officials MICHAEL S. TOWNES, Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, VA MICHAEL D. MEYER, Georgia Institute of Technology C. MICHAEL WALTON, University of Texas, Austin
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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP REPORT 541 Consideration of Environmental Factors in Transportation Systems Planning A. AMEKUDZI AND M. MEYER Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA S UBJECT A REAS Planning, Administration, and Environment · Public Transit · Freight Transportation Research Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in Cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2005 www.TRB.org
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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH NCHRP REPORT 541 PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective Project 8-38 approach to the solution of many problems facing highway administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local ISSN 0077-5614 interest and can best be studied by highway departments ISBN 0-309-08839-9 individually or in cooperation with their state universities and Library of Congress Control Number 2005933248 others. However, the accelerating growth of highway transportation develops increasingly complex problems of wide interest to © 2005 Transportation Research Board highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of cooperative research. Price $24.00 In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research program employing modern scientific techniques. This program is supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of the Association and it receives the full cooperation and support of the Federal Highway Administration, United States NOTICE Department of Transportation. The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National Cooperative The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies Highway Research Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the was requested by the Association to administer the research approval of the Governing Board of the National Research Council. Such approval program because of the Board's recognized objectivity and reflects the Governing Board's judgment that the program concerned is of national understanding of modern research practices. The Board is uniquely importance and appropriate with respect to both the purposes and resources of the suited for this purpose as it maintains an extensive committee National Research Council. structure from which authorities on any highway transportation The members of the technical committee selected to monitor this project and to review subject may be drawn; it possesses avenues of communications and this report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due cooperation with federal, state and local governmental agencies, consideration for the balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and universities, and industry; its relationship to the National Research conclusions expressed or implied are those of the research agency that performed the Council is an insurance of objectivity; it maintains a full-time research, and, while they have been accepted as appropriate by the technical committee, research correlation staff of specialists in highway transportation they are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National matters to bring the findings of research directly to those who are in Research Council, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation a position to use them. Officials, or the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. The program is developed on the basis of research needs Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical committee identified by chief administrators of the highway and transportation according to procedures established and monitored by the Transportation Research departments and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific Board Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research areas of research needs to be included in the program are proposed Council. to the National Research Council and the Board by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Research projects to fulfill these needs are defined by the Board, and qualified research agencies are selected from those that have submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Research Council and the Transportation Research Board. Published reports of the The needs for highway research are many, and the National NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Cooperative Highway Research Program can make significant contributions to the solution of highway transportation problems of are available from: mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement rather than to substitute for or Transportation Research Board duplicate other highway research programs. Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet at: Note: The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research Council, the Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the individual http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore states participating in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of this report. Printed in the United States of America
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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished schol- ars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and techni- cal matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Acad- emy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achieve- ments of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Acad- emy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. William A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is a division of the National Research Council, which serves the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. The Board's mission is to promote innovation and progress in transportation through research. In an objective and interdisciplinary setting, the Board facilitates the sharing of information on transportation practice and policy by researchers and practitioners; stimulates research and offers research management services that promote technical excellence; provides expert advice on transportation policy and programs; and disseminates research results broadly and encourages their implementation. The Board's varied activities annually engage more than 5,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
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COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS STAFF FOR NCHRP REPORT 541 ROBERT J. REILLY, Director, Cooperative Research Programs CRAWFORD F. JENCKS, Manager, NCHRP RONALD D. MCCREADY, Senior Program Officer EILEEN P. DELANEY, Director of Publications HILARY FREER, Senior Editor NCHRP PROJECT 8-38 Field of Transportation Planning--Area of Forecasting G. SCOTT RUTHERFORD, University of Washington (Chair) MARK D. AQUINO, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources HAROLD W. BARLEY, Metro Plan Orlando, Orlando, FL TOM BRIGHAM, HDR Alaska, Inc., Anchorage, AK WAYNE W. KOBER, Wayne W. Kober, Inc., Dillsburg, PA ANNETTE I. LIEBE, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality MELISSA A. NEELEY, Arcadis, Inc., Houston, TX BRIAN J. SMITH, California DOT DONALD G. WARD, Ames, IA JOHN HUMESTON, FHWA Liaison KIMBERLY FISHER, TRB Liaison
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This report describes the transportation planning process and discusses where and FOREWORD how environmental factors can be addressed effectively at the state and metropolitan By Ronald D. McCready levels. This report should be especially useful to federal, state DOT, MPO, and local Staff Officer transportation planners, as well as other practitioners concerned with addressing envi- Transportation Research ronmental factors within transportation systems planning, priority programming, and Board project development planning leading to implementation. Transportation systems plans provide the basis for selecting and developing trans- portation projects. However, because of their long time frames and broad scopes, sys- tems plans often are developed without detailed consideration of how plan implemen- tation will affect the built and natural environment. This creates problems in that some important projects may be very difficult, if not impossible, to implement because of environmental consequences that could have been identified, considered, and possibly avoided much earlier in the planning process. Furthermore, insufficient consideration of environmental factors in transportation systems planning may cause decision mak- ers to miss opportunities to adopt plans that are fully consistent with statewide and regional environmental goals and to implement larger scale environmental mitigation and enhancements. Typically, environmental factors are more closely examined during project devel- opment and, in some cases, during corridor or subarea planning. Federal and state law and sound planning practice call for considering environmental factors within the development of transportation systems plans. However, few processes, procedures, or analysis methods are generally accepted for considering environmental factors in trans- portation systems planning. In addition to "fatal flaw" analyses, other environmental considerations are more appropriately addressed at the systems planning level. These include purpose and need determinations, areawide air- and water-quality impacts, ecosystem analysis, watershed evaluations, secondary and cumulative impacts, and social and community impacts. Although cost-effective, macro-scale analysis methods, such as GIS applications and air-quality modeling, could be used to develop and eval- uate systems plans, these and other methods are not applied widely in systems-level transportation planning. If elements of transportation systems plans are to proceed through project development to implementation, systems-level environmental consid- erations must be addressed earlier in planning. The objective of this research was to identify, develop, and describe a process, pro- cedures, and methods for integrating environmental factors in transportation systems planning and decision making at the statewide, regional, and metropolitan levels. The research focused on environmental issues within the long-range transportation planning processes of state DOTs and MPOs and included the following: (1) a com- prehensive review of recent literature; (2) a survey of approaches employed by DOTs, MPOs, and environmental regulatory agencies; (3) a review of federal regulations and
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guidance on environmental factors; and (4) case studies to synthesize current practice in environmental planning. A planning process was developed that describes how and when various methods can best be applied in developing systems-level transportation plans. The process addresses decision-making relationships; technical requirements (e.g., data and analytical methods); necessary staffing capabilities; public involve- ment; interagency coordination; financial commitments; and methods for tying the systems planning considerations to more detailed processes such as corridor planning, subarea planning, modal development planning, priority programming, and project development. Under NCHRP Project 8-38, "Consideration of Environmental Factors in Trans- portation Systems Planning," the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, reviewed current practice in dealing with environmental issues within the state and met- ropolitan transportation planning processes. The report describes procedures, methods, and institutional arrangements for successful consideration of environmental factors in transportation planning. The report also presents a broad framework for assessing, eval- uating, and integrating environmental issues and concerns into systems-level trans- portation planning and decision making. Detailed supplementary information on rele- vant regulations and guidance and the results of the project survey are presented in NCHRP Web-Only Document 77.
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CONTENTS 1 SUMMARY 8 CHAPTER 1 Introduction and Research Approach Introduction, 8 Research Objective and Approach, 8 Organization of the Report, 10 11 CHAPTER 2 Context and Current State of the Practice Introduction, 11 Literature Review, 11 Laws, Policies, and Regulations, 22 Survey of DOTs, MPOs, and State Environmental Resource Agencies, 24 Summary and Implications of Important Findings, 27 33 CHAPTER 3 Incorporating Environmental Concerns Into Transportation Planning and Project Development Introduction, 33 Conceptual Framework, 33 Case Studies, 36 Summary, 70 72 CHAPTER 4 Tools and Methods for Considering Environmental Factors Introduction, 72 Commonly Used Tools and Methods, 72 Summary of Literature and Case Studies, 87 Emerging Analysis and Data Collection Technologies, 88 Tools and Methods For Considering Environmental Factors, 91 93 CHAPTER 5 Incorporating Environmental Stewardship into Transportation Planning and Project Development Introduction, 93 Conceptual Framework Revisited, 93 Major Findings, 94 Institutional Strategies to Implement Change, 99 Future Research, 103 106 REFERENCES