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10 between a transportation project and its surrounding environs been or should be considered in systems planning. Special could be established. Very little effort was made to examine a attention was given to literature created outside the United much broader application of environmental analysis to a States, especially from Europe, where incorporating environ- region or a substantial portion of a region, except in the case mental considerations earlier in decision making has been of air quality analysis where it was obvious that a valid exam- developed to a much greater extent than in the United States. ination of the problem required a scale of analysis at least at Appendix A presents guidelines on environmental assess- the level of an air basin (except for carbon monoxide). Two ments undertaken in Europe. Appendix B lists many of the major problems led to such a limited experience with methods state laws and policies that influence how transportation agen- and tools applied at this level of analysis. First, the science cies approach environmental assessment. Both Appendix A was not yet fully developed for many environmental topics and B are contained in NCHRP Web-Only Document 77. that could direct the development of valid models or tech- Chapter 2 also reports on the results of a national survey niques. Second, power of the computer, although developing of state DOTs, MPOs, and state environmental agencies. rapidly, had not yet reached a level where reasonably This survey was an important point of departure for this priced and timed analyses of regionwide effects could be con- research because it provided a snapshot in time of how states ducted. In both cases, significant advancements have been and metropolitan areas are viewing environmental factors in made. In particular, the level of sophistication of analysis the context of transportation systems planning. In addition, tools has been increased dramatically with the introduction the results of the survey were used to identify potential case of geographic information systems (GIS), monitoring of studies of where the linkage between the environment and changing environmental characteristics through satellite transportation investment was considered effectively in sys- imagery and global positioning systems (GPS), and creation tems planning. The survey instruments used for this research of powerful new simulation models that can replicate are found in Appendix C, contained in NCHRP Web-Only the physical phenomena associated with changing physical Document 77. conditions. Chapter 3 discusses how environmental factors can be The evolution of agency relationships and the resulting integrated more deeply throughout transportation systems organizational mindsets have created significant institu- planning and project development. In particular, this chapter tional barriers to promoting a closer integration of envi- suggests where such factors can be considered early in the ronmental factors and transportation planning. In most process and highlights case study strategies for doing so. cases, concern for environmental quality rests with agencies Because systems planning is defined very differently for and organizations whose major mission is to minimize harm state-level transportation planning versus metropolitan-level to the natural and built environment. The history of trans- planning, the chapter presents the research results targeted at portation and environmental agency interaction in project both implementation environments. Case studies of both development efforts has often included strong conflict over state and metropolitan transportation planning and decision the intent and substance of environmental regulations. Even making are used to illustrate how current best practice inte- within state transportation agencies, environmental units are grates environmental considerations into transportation sys- often at odds with the more traditional highway engineering tems planning. groups with respect to the level of consideration that should Chapter 4 discusses emerging analysis methods and tools be given to environmental factors in project development. for integrating environmental considerations into transporta- Any effort to better link environmental factors to system tion systems planning. This chapter takes advantage of con- planning probably will have to consider how institutional current NCHRP research that looked at different tools and barriers to such an effort can be surmounted. techniques for environmental analysis, as well as reports on the activities of states and MPOs developing their own tools. As might be expected, the tools and methods appropriate for ORGANIZATION OF THE REPORT different parts of systems planning very much relate to data availability, agency modeling expertise, the importance of The remainder of this report is organized as follows. Chap- a particular environmental issue to the decision makers in a ter 2 discusses the evolutionary context and key characteris- particular agency, and the level of guidance provided by fed- tics of environmental stewardship in transportation planning. eral agencies or through professional organizations. This was achieved by examining important bodies of litera- Chapter 5 synthesizes the research results and presents ture, identifying ongoing research on similar topics, and overall conclusions. The institutional strategies used to fos- reviewing federal and state legislation, policies, and regula- ter change in transportation agencies are emphasized. This tions as they relate to how environmental considerations have final chapter also identifies future research directions.