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36 structure established for making land-use decisions. Such new tools and methods that allowed decision makers to decisions can be substantially constrained by both the inabil- visualize likely effects at the systems planning stage of ity of a transportation system to provide needed levels of decision making. accessibility and by environmental limits on the ability to pro- Case studies of selected DOTs and MPOs were under- vide water and support human activity on environmentally taken in order to better understand the examples where link- sensitive land. Land-use decisions drive transportation ing environmental factors and transportation planning was demand; they can shape the natural environment and alter it found. The case studies were selected on the basis of the in such ways that infrastructure delivery becomes challenging level to which survey respondents indicated that efforts had (e.g., creation of park lands or protected habitats). In addition, been made to consider environmental factors in systems land-use decisions such as corridor preservation or transit- planning, or where strategies to expedite project develop- oriented development can help create opportunities that sup- ment by moving environmental tasks earlier into planning port more effective and efficient transportation services. had been implemented. In some cases, such as the Cape Cod Historically, transportation projects and, in some cases, Commission or the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, both plans as well, have been developed with community and the literature and survey respondents pointed to each area as environmental issues relegated to an evaluation issue. This one where environmental concerns have played a dominant may prompt questions such as: How does the proposed role in planning. project or plan affect the land use and environmental charac- These case studies represent the activities and efforts of teristics of the adjacent land? What form of mitigation is agencies at a particular point in time, in this case, primarily necessary? However, the premise of this study is that envi- during the summer and fall of 2002. Changes in agency ronmental concerns need to be integrated closely with com- administration and personnel can strongly influence how a munity planning, and that transportation planning needs to be process evolves, possibly changing its direction signifi- better integrated with both environmental concerns and com- cantly. Nonetheless, the best-case practice represented by munity planning. By providing a broader context, projects these case studies reflects the challenges and opportunities could be identified that provide dual benefits, not only that have been faced by transportation planners, engineers, enhancing a community's environmental quality, but also and decision makers in evolving toward a more environmen- satisfying a transportation need. tally sensitive decision-making process. Several case studies in this chapter illustrate how some Each of the case studies focused on several key character- communities have linked community planning, environmen- istics of the planning and environmental process found in that tal assessment, and infrastructure provision. The triangle on institutional environment. In particular, each case study the left side of Figure 7 represents this integration. One of the described long-range transportation systems planning being most important challenges to the transportation profession in used for that jurisdiction, the environmental goals and objec- the next several decades is to evolve into a more integrated tives that had been articulated for this process, any legisla- approach toward community development that both recog- tion or regulations that guided actions by agency staff, and nizes environmental constraints and provides infrastructure the tools or methods that had been developed and/or used to supportive of the community vision. analyze or evaluate environmental consequences in the plan- The conceptual framework shown in Figure 7 represents ning process. Case studies were undertaken in the following a simplification of the systems planning and project devel- locations: opment approach to transportation decision making. For this research, the important questions become: (1) To what · States extent and in what way can environmental factors be incor- California porated into each of the steps shown in this figure? and (2) Florida Are there steps in systems planning where such factors can Maryland be considered earlier such that better and timelier decisions Minnesota will result? North Carolina Oregon Pennsylvania CASE STUDIES Washington Wisconsin Although the survey results presented in Chapter 2 did · Metropolitan/regional areas not find many examples of agencies that have effectively Atlanta (Georgia) incorporated environmental concerns into transportation Cape Cod (Massachusetts) systems planning, there were several noteworthy examples. Eugene (Lane County, Oregon) These examples ranged from changing an organizational Portland (Oregon) culture so that environmental consequences were consid- San Francisco Bay Area (California) ered in every action taken by agency staff to identifying Seattle (Washington)
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37 Southern California Council of Governments (Los much of the economic wealth dependent on a functioning Angeles, California) transportation system (e.g., California is the nation's leading Tahoe Region (Nevada) global gateway for Pacific Rim trade with an estimated 37 Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments percent of the value of all U.S. and foreign trade--an amount (Ohio) over $200 billion--passing through California's ports). Over 11 million people will be added to the current state popula- tion of 34 million by the year 2020, significantly stretching Vision the capability of the transportation system to meet travel In the context of this research, vision has two meanings. A demands. vision can be a statement of desired end states and/or direc- To prepare for this future, Caltrans has developed a state tions that describe what a community wants to achieve in the transportation plan that outlines the goals, policies, and strate- future or an organizational philosophy or mission statement gies needed to meet the expected challenges. In developing that outlines an organization's approach to achieving its this plan, extensive public involvement was used to formulate mandate. With respect to this latter concept, state legislation a vision of the state's transportation system that could guide and/or regulation can have an important influence on how an the selection of strategies. The vision of California's future agency incorporates environmental considerations into trans- transportation system is one where California has a safe, portation planning. sustainable transportation system that is environmentally An important distinction needs to be made between a sound, socially equitable, economically viable, and devel- vision statement that simply lists general principles accepted oped through collaboration; it provides for the mobility and by everyone (but have very little influence on actual results) accessibility of people, goods, services, and information and concepts that lead to very specific actions and activities through an integrated, multimodal network. (62) aimed at achieving the vision. In the context of this research, Key concepts in this vision include the following four a vision means articulating statements concerning environ- elements: mental quality and preservation that are implemented in sub- sequent planning activities, leading eventually to investment 1. California is one of the few states that declares sus- decisions that reflect a concern for environment quality. As tainability as a key guiding principle as part of its will be seen in the following examples, this distinction can statewide transportation plan. Sustainability was have an important influence on the types of strategies that are defined as "meeting the needs of the present without considered in the planning process. compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. When applied to transportation, it means ensuring that environmental, social, and eco- California Department of Transportation nomic considerations are factored into decisions affecting transportation activity." (62) The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is responsible for developing the transportation plan for the state 2. The term "environmentally sound" is used to describe of California. Developing this plan is accomplished in coordi- a transportation system that "is part of an enhanced, nation with the California Transportation Commission (CTC) ecologically healthy environment, and is developed and 45 regional transportation planning agencies (RTPAs). with appropriate safeguards to protect open space, agri- Sixteen of the RTPAs are MPOs and 29 are nonurban planning cultural and sensitive lands, critical habitats, wildlife, agencies. Since the mid-1970s, state law has required these water and air quality, and to minimize noise and visual regions to prepare regional transportation plans (RTPs) that effects." focus on the specific challenges each is facing, and that are 3. A socially equitable transportation system is one where designed to assist local and state decision makers in shaping the burdens and benefits resulting from transportation California's transportation future. According to state law, the investment are fairly distributed. In addition, targeted California Transportation Plan must be consistent with the populations, such as low-income groups, the young and plans developed by other entities in the state, such as cities, elderly, people with disabilities, and other disadvan- counties, special districts, private organizations, tribal govern- taged individuals in rural and urban areas are to have ments, and state and federal agencies. State law specifically access to safe and reliable transportation. prohibits the California Transportation Plan from being proj- 4. The vision specifically includes the concept of collabo- ect specific. Caltrans also develops and disseminates guide- ration. This pertains not only to the participation of lines for regional transportation planning to the RTPAs and numerous stakeholders and groups that are normally MPOs so that the regional transportation plans are consistent involved in the development and implementation of the with federal and state transportation planning requirements. transportation plan, but also to the needed collaboration The transportation challenge facing California is formida- with the environmental community and especially with ble. California has the world's fifth largest economy, with environmental permitting agencies.
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38 Maryland Department of Transportation New York State Department of Transportation In 1992, Maryland's General Assembly enacted the Mary- The New York State Department of Transportation land Economic Growth, Resource Protection, and Planning (NYSDOT) has been a national leader in inculcating an envi- Act. This act established seven guiding visions for growth in ronmental ethic into its organizational culture. In 1998, in Maryland. In addition, it required all local plans to comply response to the governor's desire for more active state involve- with the act's provisions, mandated that state and local cap- ment in environmental quality, NYSDOT launched an "Envi- ital projects be consistent with local plans, and established an ronmental Initiative" to change its way of doing business. The Economic Growth, Resource Protection, and Planning Com- department moved away from a perspective of dealing with mission. The visions were aimed at placing all county and environmental issues simply as complying with regulations, to municipal plans within the broader context of state goals for one where project construction and maintenance were viewed fostering economic development and environmental quality. as an opportunity for improving the local environment, even if In particular, the visions emphasized that such efforts were not required as part of project approval. New York State law has historically provided strong envi- 1. Development be concentrated in suitable areas, ronmental protection of the lands surrounding state-funded 2. Sensitive areas be protected, transportation projects. Recently, however, state law was 3. In rural areas, growth be directed to existing population modified to allow NYSDOT to undertake environmental centers and resource areas be protected, enhancement projects off of a project's right-of-way. Article 4. Stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay and the land is a 2 of the State Highway Law, for example, gives the NYSDOT universal ethic, Commissioner the authority to acquire "property for recrea- 5. Resources be conserved, including reducing resource tional, natural, and scenic areas along, but not necessarily consumption, contiguous to, state highways. . . . that shall lend itself to 6. To assure achievement of (1) through (5) above, eco- restoration, preservation or enhancement as a recreational, nomic growth be encouraged and regulatory mecha- natural, or scenic area or provides visual access from high- nisms streamlined, and way to such area." The law further authorizes the Commis- 7. Funding mechanisms be put in place to achieve these sioner to spend state highway dollars to improve these areas. visions. One of the ways NYSDOT has incorporated environmen- tal factors more seriously into its operations has been by The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) has changing departmental policies and procedures. The most adopted an organizational perspective that supports state important policy with respect to the Environmental Initiative laws as they relate to smart growth and environmental preser- is the NYSDOT Environmental Policy (63) that was issued in vation. In particular, Maryland's SHA has articulated the fol- 2000. Key statements from this policy include the following: lowing four principles to guide the agency's activities as they relate to the environment: · As New York State's largest public works agency, the Department of Transportation has an obligation to the 1. Meet or exceed all environmental laws and regulations people of New York State to preserve, protect, and applicable to SHA activities; enhance the environment. 2. Incorporate and integrate smart growth, environmental · It is the policy and practice of the Department to protection, and enhancement measures in planning, Plan, design, construct, and maintain facilities that design, construction, and operations; meet transportation needs while proactively protect- 3. Protect and enhance all aspects of the natural and ing, conserving, restoring, and enhancing important human environment whenever possible, using avail- natural and man-made resources. Again, project per- able state-of-the-art practices; and mit and mitigation requirements are only a start. 4. Support advancement in environmental protection tech- Seek opportunities to cooperatively advance federal, nology through innovation and technology transfer. state, and local environmental policies, programs, and objectives as part of the department's work To provide organizational support for these principles, through close and systematic coordination with the Maryland's SHA has hired staff specialists in such environ- public and concerned agencies and groups. mental areas as wetlands, streams and floodplains, noise Demonstrate leadership by piloting the development abatement, storm water management, water quality, air qual- and implementation of improved methods for envi- ity, historic resources, archaeology, access for people with ronmental protection and enhancement. special needs, landscape architecture, socioeconomic impact Employ safe and appropriate context-sensitive design assessment, erosion and sediment control, plant and wildlife measures to ensure that project designs reflect com- ecology, forest creation, safety, hazardous waste manage- munity values as understood through proactive out- ment, and pedestrian access and bicycle compatibility. reach with local stakeholders.
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39 Assist municipalities and others with their environ- To establish a consistent vision among its many different mental projects by allowing them to include their partner agencies, the DOT entered into formal agreements work as "betterments" in department projects so that with such agencies as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and their investments can benefit from the economies of the state's Department of Environment and Natural scale associated with larger projects. Resources. The major purpose of these agreements was for joint efforts to set a common mission of furthering trans- These policy goals have been incorporated into the standard portation projects while preserving the environment. The operating procedures of the agency, which are known as resulting "Process Improvement Memorandum of Agree- Engineering Instructions. ment" among the three agencies committed each agency to NYSDOT officials felt strongly that changing the mindset work cooperatively to improve the process of "developing of transportation employees who have traditionally viewed quality permit applications, issuing environmental permits, the environment as "something to overcome" is the key to and mitigation that support timely delivery of transportation successfully integrating environmental considerations into programs while minimizing disruption to the natural and decision making. At NYSDOT, this meant changing the pro- human environment." cedures and standard operating procedures of the organiza- tion, and constantly reinforcing the message at all levels of the organization. Portland, Oregon The state of Oregon enacted land-use laws in 1973 requir- North Carolina Department of Transportation ing every city and county to have a long-range plan that addressed future growth and that achieved three objectives. The North Carolina DOT has adopted an organization-wide These plans were to (1) meet the expectations established by strategy for incorporating environmental stewardship into all state and local comprehensive plans; (2) establish urban aspects of its operations. The general impetus for this initiative growth boundaries, which must contain an adequate supply of came from the adoption of a 1999 Strategic Plan for Trans- developable land to accommodate the expected growth in a portation that incorporated several goals that related to human 20-year period; and (3) protect natural resources (64). The and natural environmental stewardship. DOT leadership state's land use goals were developed by the Land Conserva- adopted an Environmental Stewardship Policy that outlined tion and Development Commission (LCDC). The administra- the key characteristics of what environmental stewardship tive arm of the LCDC, the Department of Conservation and meant for DOT employees. As noted in this policy environ- Land Development (DCLC), reviews and approves local com- mental stewardship encompasses . . . (providing an integrated prehensive plans, a procedure known as "acknowledgement." transportation system that enhances the state's well-being) . . . In 1992, Portland voters approved a home-rule charter that and is reflected in the day-to-day operations by directed Portland Metro, the region's MPO, to make regional growth management its primary mission. This charter · Safeguarding the public's health by conducting DOT's required Metro to adopt a future vision capturing a long- business in an environmentally responsible manner, range statement of the region's outlook and values as well as · Demonstrating DOT's care for, and commitment to, the a comprehensive set of regional policies on land use, trans- environment, and portation, water quality, natural areas and other regional · Recognizing that DOT's customers expect the agency to planning mandates. The region's transportation system plan provide mobility and quality of life that includes the was to integrate goods and people movement with the protection of the natural resources and the cultural and desired community vision of surrounding land use. Metro social values of their community. used an extensive public outreach effort to help identify the outlook and values of the region by asking basic questions on This vision of what environmental stewardship meant to livability that were later used to prioritize community values. the DOT was implemented through various organizational Public response placed a premium on several quality of changes designed to emphasize a continual commitment to life characteristics, including the following that relate to enhancing environmental quality. These changes included environmental quality (64): appointing the first DOT's Deputy Secretary for Environ- ment, Planning, and Local Government Affairs; the creation · A sense of community, of an environmental committee of the state's Board of Trans- · Quiet neighborhoods with easy access to shopping, portation; the appointment of a Board member with specific schools, jobs, and recreational opportunities, responsibility for representing environmental issues; incor- · The preservation of natural areas, forests, and porating environmental stewardship as part of the DOT's farmlands, strategic plan; and the creation of a DOT Office of Environ- · The "feel" of the region with open spaces, scenic mental Quality. beauty, and a small-town atmosphere,
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40 · Preservation of individual community's character and urban growth boundaries, the Portland region is attempting assets, and to preempt future environmental problems by making smart · A balanced transportation system providing a range of decisions today. The community-led definition of a consen- choices, including transit, walking, biking, and cars. sus vision was the beginning of such an effort. Based on these desired regional characteristics, Portland Metro developed a 2040 Growth Concept that was to serve Puget Sound (Seattle), Washington as a blueprint for regional growth. The 2040 Growth Concept complies with state land-use goals and is the basis for all of The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) is the trans- Metro's subsequent planning activities. It embraces "land portation and growth planning coordinating agency for the use and transportation policies that will allow Metro and the central Puget Sound region of the state of Washington. metropolitan area's cities and counties to manage growth, PSRC's Vision 2020, the region's adopted growth manage- protect natural resources, and make improvements to facili- ment, economic, and transportation strategy, guides both the ties and infrastructure while maintaining the region's quality region's long-range transportation planning, as well as the of life." Important elements of this concept include (1) main- short-range prioritization of projects and financial strategies. taining clearly defined boundaries and characteristics of the Vision 2020's primary goal is to create diverse, economically different communities in the region; (2) promoting thriving and environmentally healthy communities framed by open central cities, regional and town centers, station communities space and connected by a high-quality, multimodal trans- (i.e., areas of development centered around a light rail or portation system that provides effective mobility for people high-capacity transit station with shops and services that are and goods. accessible to people using all modes of transportation); and Vision 2020 was based on an analysis of five alternative (3) designating lands that will remain undeveloped. growth and transportation strategies, including: no action, Portland Metro's approach to defining a vision is very implementing existing plans, focusing development in major much tied to the community's desires for quality of life and urban centers, focusing development in multiple centers, and future development. Oregon's strong growth management allowing growth to disperse throughout the region. The laws and a public ethic of supporting effective regional plan- process used in developing Vision 2020 is indicative of the ning have resulted in an integrated approach to decision important role that public outreach has in providing a sense of making that is unique in the United States. Many of the most what type of future the public desires. Figure 8, for example, significant environmental challenges facing the region are indicates the results of four major public involvement activi- linked to land-use and development decisions. By focusing ties and how each activity led to a public expression of desir- on these decisions and by putting in place strategies such as able futures for the Seattle region. This public process also led Panel Survey 50 Newspaper Responses Public Hearings 40 Municipal League 30 Percent 20 10 0 No Action Existing Plans Major Centers Multiple Centers Dispersed Growth Figure 8. Public expression of support for alternative visions in Seattle. Source: Puget Sound Regional Commission, 1990 (65).
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41 to the identification of the following five strategies that were WSDOT's seven core principles of management for oper- to guide planning and decision making in the region: ating and improving the state's transportation systems include environmental responsibility alongside other princi- 1. Create a regional system of central places framed by ples of leadership, safety, delivery and accountability, com- open space. munications, business practices, and excellence and 2. Strategically invest in various mobility options and integrity. The environmental responsibility principle states: demand that management support the regional system "Our work shall incorporate the principles of environmental of central places. protection and stewardship into the day-to-day operations of 3. Maintain economic opportunity while managing the department as well as the ongoing development of the growth. state's transportation facilities" (66). 4. Conserve environmental resources. WSDOT has adopted an Environmental Policy Statement 5. Mitigate potential adverse effects of concentrating that acknowledges the state's vital interests in protecting and development by early action. preserving natural resources and other environmental assets and its citizens' health. The policy calls for the implementa- The main theme that surfaced from the Vision 2020 effort tion of an Environmental Management System (EMS) that was that land use and quality of life should come first. Trans- embraces all of WSDOT's program functions as well as the portation investment should then be targeted to achieve establishment of performance indicators on environmental whatever goals are associated with both issues. In addition, stewardship that would be reported regularly to the public. the public supported conserving environmental resources by WSDOT also has an Environmental Affairs Office that thinking about such issues early in planning (65). Like Port- focuses on the environmental linkage to long-range trans- land, the Seattle region has been known for its approach to portation planning. environmental preservation and mitigation of project con- struction. The vision for the region, and the planning that followed, heavily considered environmental factors in the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) systems planning process. Wisconsin is one of the few states that require an environ- mental analysis of state transportation plans, and is a good Washington State Department of Transportation example of the challenges that might be faced when attempt- ing to assess the environmental impacts of system plans and The Washington State Department of Transportation policies at a very broad level of application. (WSDOT) is responsible for developing the state's long-range The state administrative rule governing this analysis is transportation plan. This plan is largely a policy document that known as TRANS 400, which implements, for transportation sets policy for all transportation agencies in the state. One of the actions, the Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act adopted in guiding visions for WSDOT is growth management, which has 1971. Key concepts of TRANS 400 include a particularly strong legislative foundation and widespread public support in the state. The Washington State Environ- Purpose: ". . . to implement the Wisconsin environmen- mental Policy Act (SEPA) requires all cities and counties to tal policy act by establishing the policy by develop a growth management plan. All urbanized areas must which the department will consider environ- have growth boundaries. In 1990, the state legislature passed a mental effects of its major actions on the qual- Growth Management Act (GMA) that required all cities and ity of the human environment. . . . counties to plan for the transportation infrastructure needed for Policy: "The department shall strive to protect and anticipated growth and to deny additional development if local enhance the quality of the human environment infrastructure was not available. These concurrency require- in carrying out its basic transportation mission ments were aimed at tying growth to the ability of municipali- and shall consider pertinent environmental fac- ties to provide the necessary supporting infrastructure. tors consequential to any proposed action. . . . WSDOT has been proactive in fostering environmental Actions: "A System-Plan Environmental Evaluation stewardship and sustainable transportation in its program of (SEE) may be prepared in the case of proposals activities. A section of the most recent Washington Trans- contained in system plans, if it is concluded they portation Plan (WTP) is entitled "Environmental Challenges are major and significant new proposals. . . . and Opportunities." Dedicated to the identification of (and) that if the plan recommendations are transportation-related environmental challenges and oppor- implemented, there will be subsequent project tunities, it states that "Environmental concerns must now be or site-specific environmental reviews. incorporated early into planning and project development to SEE Content: ". . . it is recognized that, in most cases, the ensure minimal effects to the environment and effective mit- analysis of transportation alternatives, includ- igation for unavoidable effects." (66) ing multimodal analyses where appropriate,
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42 will be qualitative, reflecting the broad level of will be used by decision makers to choose among the many generality of system plans. Therefore, by strategies examined during analysis. necessity, a SEE shall be more conceptual, qualitative, and general than is common with the individual project environmental reviews. Cape Cod, Massachusetts A SEE, prepared as an integral part of a sys- tem plan, may address the following matters Cape Cod is one of the nation's most environmentally (a) The range of environmental effects, sensitive areas. Given ecological habitats unique to the including the effects on sensitive land and United States, including the largest single source aquifer in water resources of systems plans; the United States, the Cape Cod's tremendous population (b) In non-attainment areas, the range of air growth over the past 20 years has resulted in significant con- quality effects which might be expected cerns about the future of this national resource. As noted in from system plan recommendations; the 2001 Regional Policy Plan, "portions of Cape Cod's sole (c) The range of system plan effects on source aquifer have been contaminated by incompatible energy consumption; uses, discharges of hazardous materials and excessive devel- (d) The relation of system plans to adopted opment densities; traffic congestion has worsened steadily, regional development goals and plans, approaching gridlock conditions in some locations during including potential effects of transporta- the summer months; thousands of acres of shellfish beds tion on land use and land use on trans- have been closed due to pollution; open space and scenic portation demand; vistas have been lost to residential subdivisions, and the (e) The range of anticipated effects of system architectural quality and economic viability of the Cape's plans on traffic congestion; historic villages have been undermined by commercial (f) The range of anticipated effects of system sprawl." (67) plans on economic development; In response to what residents considered to be ominous (g) The qualitative comparison of the costs of trends in population growth, the Cape Cod Commission system plans and expected benefits; and was established in 1990 to guide the development on the (h) The range of effects of system plans on Cape while preserving natural and undeveloped areas. The communities." commission reviews and regulates developments of regional impact (DRI), recommends designating areas as The most important benefit of the TRANS 400 process, as "districts of critical planning concern," and prepares and identified by WisDOT officials, was the early involvement oversees the implementation of a regional land-use policy of other agencies and interest groups in the environmental plan. The regional policy plan, updated every five years, issues associated with transportation investment. For exam- establishes broad goals that are to guide the development ple, the early involvement of the Department of Natural of more specific policies and plans, such as Cape Cod's Resources, the state's environmental agency, was considered transportation plan. In addition, the plan includes mini- a positive result of the SEE process. Coming to agreement mum performance standards that future development is early in planning on (1) the goals of the study; (2) how envi- required to meet. ronmental factors were to be incorporated into the planning The 2001 update of the regional policy plan adopted a process; and (3) developing a sense of what types of results different emphasis from that found in previous plans. were expected was considered by WisDOT officials as a very Although previous plans outlined standards of environ- important factor in the success of the planning effort. mental protection and desired public investment, the new plan is based on the concept of the "capacity" of Cape Cod to handle new population. In this case, capacity was related Goals/Objectives and Performance Measures to water supply, transportation, natural systems, and munic- ipal fiscal resources. As noted in the plan, "the `ecological Visions need to be translated into explicit statements of footprint' made by sprawl ultimately limits the population goals, objectives, and system performance measures. Goals that can be accommodated within the Cape's capacity con- and objectives provide specific guidance to the planning straints." Part of this approach is to protect sensitive process. Performance measures are even more specific in that resources such as quality ground and surface water, wet- they target the key dimensions of transportation and other lands, and plant and wildlife habitats. One way of doing this system performance that are of interest to decision makers. was to establish minimum performance standards that reg- Goals and objectives should be strongly linked to the types ulated how development should occur. The policy plan of actions that result later in the process. Thus, environmen- goals and corresponding performance standards shown in tal goals and objectives should have some influence over the Table 5 illustrate how environmental considerations are identification of strategies and on the type of information that integrated into this plan.
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43 TABLE 5 Sample policy goals and performance standards, Cape Cod Goal Example Minimum Performance Standard Encourage growth and development consistent with New development shall be located and designed to promote the Cape's carrying capacity. redevelopment and infill. All residential and commercial subdivisions of land shall cluster the proposed development. Protect open space and minimize environmental and community impacts. Development shall be directed away from Significant Natural Resource Areas. Maintain the overall quality and quantity of the Cape's All development shall not exceed a 5 ppm nitrogen loading standard ground water. for impact on ground water. Preserve and restore the quality and quantity of inland Wetland alteration shall not be permitted except when there is a and coastal wetlands. finding of no feasible alternative. Preserve and enhance the availability of open space Development shall provide permanently restricted upland open space and provide wildlife habitats. in proportions defined in the Plan. All development shall implement adequate and acceptable measures to reduce by 25% expected increase in summer site traffic on a daily Reduce and/or offset expected increase in motor basis. vehicle trips. Development shall consider and accommodate the needs of bicyclists, pedestrians, and other users. Development shall not be allowed if the project is estimated to add new traffic such that within 5 years generally accepted warrants for Maintain travel times and level of service on regional road and intersection widening are expected to be met at any location roads and intersections. within historic districts, on scenic roads, or if natural resources are to be affected. Carpooling, mass transit, bicycling, and walking shall be encouraged Encourage energy conservation and improved energy as an alternative; where appropriate, bikeways and footpath efficiency. connections between commercial and residential uses shall be provided. Encourage development that respects the traditions For new development outside designated growth centers, the footprint and distinctive character of historic village centers and of an individual structure shall not exceed 10,000 square feet. outlying areas. Source: Cape Cod Commission, 2001 (67). Eugene/Lane County, Oregon to offer several transportation choices for meeting travel needs in the most efficient and environmentally friendly manner, The Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area is the second consistent with previously determined land use decisions. largest metropolitan area in the state of Oregon, consisting of The region's transportation plan, called TransPlan, was metropolitan Lane County and the cities of Eugene and designed to meet two major goals Springfield. The region has an estimated 275,000 people and is anticipating significant population and employment · Provide an integrated transportation and land-use sys- growth over the next decade (the region's population is tem that supports choices in travel modes and develop- expected to grow by 41% over the next 12 years). ment patterns that will reduce reliance on the auto and The Lane Council of Governments (LaneCOG), the enhance livability, economic opportunity, and the qual- region's MPO, is a voluntary association of 25 local govern- ity of life; and ments and agencies. Because state law requires there to be a · Enhance the metropolitan area's quality of life and eco- strong linkage between state goals, local comprehensive plan- nomic opportunity by providing a transportation system ning, and other jurisdictional plans, LaneCOG's transportation that is balanced, accessible, efficient, safe, intercon- plan is closely allied with land-use and environmental goals nected, environmentally responsible, supportive of expressed in the general plan for the metropolitan area (68). responsible and sustainable development, responsive to Given that transportation decisions are subsidiary to land use community needs and neighborhood effects, and eco- decisions, the objective of regional transportation planning is nomically viable and financially stable.
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44 TransPlan included a performance and monitoring pro- current and projected travel demands while supporting gram to assess how TransPlan performs over time. Key per- smarter growth patterns. formance measures included the following: · The 2000 Transportation Performance Act required the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) to · Demographic variables such as population and employ- apply performance measurements to the long-range ment, congestion, vehicle miles traveled (VMT); transportation plan and the consolidated transportation · Trip length variables such as internal VMT per capita, program (or capital improvement program). Beginning average trip length and percent of person trips under one with the 2002 State Report on Transportation, an mile, mode shares for all trips; Annual Attainment Report of Transportation System · Environmental variables such as average fuel efficiency Performance accompanied the long-range plan and con- and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions; solidated transportation program. Also, to prevent the · Land-use measures such as acres of zoned nodal devel- adverse effects of storm water runoff, the state of opment, percent of dwelling units built in nodes, and Maryland developed 14 performance standards that percent of new total employment in modes; and must be met at all development sites. · System characteristic measures such as percent of road- way miles with sidewalks, percent of roadways in fair In response to such state laws, the MDOT established poli- or better condition, percent of households within cies that support the early consideration of environmental quarter-mile of a transit stop, transit service hours per factors in systems planning. For example, two of the 10 goals capita, percent of households with access to 10-minute of the 2002 Maryland Transportation Plan (MTP) are related transit service, percent of employment with access to the environment, as follows: to 10-minute transit service, and bikeway miles and fatalities. · Develop transportation investments and facilities that support smart growth, and These data are collected for the transportation system and · Provide responsible stewardship of natural, community, compared with projections that come from the regional plan. and cultural resources. The Eugene/Lane County experience with tying trans- portation planning to land-use and quality-of-life goals is not Two other goals indirectly affect the environment surprising given the tradition of planning found in most com- munities in Oregon. What is particularly interesting is the list · Protect the current investment in the state's transporta- of performance measures that are being used to monitor the tion system before investing in system expansion progress being made by implementing projects and strategies (which induces sprawl); and from the transportation plan. Included in this list of perfor- · Provide people with transportation choices for conve- mance measures are environmental variables, measures of nient, accessible, and effective mobility to key destina- land-use density, and transit accessibility. The system per- tions (which effects congestion and air quality). formance measures in this community closely reflect the concern to preserve the natural environment. Transportation systems planning is designed with this as a basic point of Each goal has at least one policy objective that provides departure. more detailed information about the actions that the depart- ment will take to accomplish the goal. For example, the three policy objectives for smart growth are Maryland Department of Transportation · Direct transportation funding to priority funding areas and Maryland has several laws that promote a strong consid- support the Governor's Smart Growth Executive Order; eration of environmental factors in transportation planning. · Design and coordinate transportation projects, facilities, programs, and services to reinforce local land-use plans · As noted previously, in 1992 Maryland enacted the Eco- and economic development initiatives that support nomic Growth, Resource Protection, and Planning Act, smart growth principles; and which established seven guiding visions for growth in · Work with local communities to increase their under- Maryland, all geared toward ensuring that local plans standing of smart growth principles and opportunities to were consistent with state goals. incorporate smart growth into local plans and visions. · In 1997, Maryland's Smart Growth and Neighborhood Conservation Act and Executive Order directed growth There is one policy objective for responsible environmen- to areas where it was most environmentally suitable, tal stewardship: Minimize effects on, and strive to enhance, while protecting some of the state's most ecologically Maryland's resources. and environmentally valuable landscapes. This legisla- The environmental factors included in Maryland's sys- tion called for transportation investments that satisfied tem planning are considered at a strategic policy level.
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45 Collectively, the goals and policy objectives may be viewed · Strategic plan--Defines Mn/DOT's mission and vision as guiding principles for Maryland's transportation plan- for meeting customers' needs. ning process. · Statewide transportation plan--A policy document that Similar to the experience in New York, Maryland trans- outlines the directions and policies that are to be used in portation officials stated that it was very important to empha- achieving the strategic plan and in attaining desired per- size the significance of environmental considerations at the formance goals. beginning of planning and project development in order to · Modal plans, district long-range plans, interregional guide infrastructure and policy decisions away from environ- corridor plans--More specific plans covering system and mentally unsatisfactory results. Maryland's State Highway service deficiencies, these plans identify the improve- Administration has assumed a national leadership role in fos- ments needed to meet goals. tering context-sensitive solutions in project development. · Capital programs--Programs of capital and service This could not have occurred if policy sensitivity to environ- improvements needed over the next 2 to 10 years. mental quality was not an organizational standard. In addi- · State transportation improvement program (STIP)-- tion, Maryland's very strong growth management law has The 1-to 3-year capital program for state investments. provided a context within which environmental quality can be linked to community development goals and objectives. One of the goals for Mn/DOT mandated by state law is "to ensure that the planning and implementation of all modes of transportation are consistent with the environment and Minnesota Department of Transportation energy goals of the state." Accordingly, Mn/DOT has given considerable attention to environmental considerations when The Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) transportation policies, plans and performance measures are has a long history of statewide transportation planning that is being developed. recognized nationally as being at the forefront of planning A recent update of the statewide plan focused on better and methodology. For example, with the passage of ISTEA, linking Mn/DOT's vision with the policies/goals that were to Mn/DOT refined its statewide transportation planning to guide the development of the plan. Table 6 shows how incorporate several new concepts (the most important being Mn/DOT officials viewed this linkage. Three strategic direc- the use of performance measures to monitor progress of the tions were identified: safeguard the transportation system statewide, district, and business plans of the agency) as well that exists, make the network operate better, and make as the identification of and the targeting of resources on a Mn/DOT work better. Ten policies or goals were established statewide system of interregional corridors. Both concepts to guide investment decisions. Environmental protection is are considered key elements to the approach for updating the found in the strategic direction category of "make Mn/DOT statewide transportation plan that is underway. work better." Mn/DOT's planning and programming consists of several One of the more innovative aspects of Minnesota's key elements. statewide planning activities is the use of performance TABLE 6 Mn/DOT plan policy link with strategic directions Directions Strategic Make the Network Operate Safeguard What Exists Make Mn/DOT Work Better Better 1. Preserve essential elements of 4. Provide transportation options 8. Continually improve Mn/DOT's existing transportation systems. for people and freight. internal management and program delivery. 2. Support land-use decisions that 5. Enhance mobility in preserve mobility and enhance interregional transportation 9. Inform and involve all Plan Policies the safety of transportation corridors linking regional trade potentially affected systems. centers. stakeholders in transportation plans and investment decision 3. Effectively manage the operation 6. Enhance mobility within major processes. of existing transportation systems regional trade centers. to provide maximum service to 10. Protect the environment and customers. 7. Ensure the safety and security support community values. of the transportation systems and their users. Source: Minnesota Department of Transportation, 2000 (69).
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46 measures to monitor the change in important characteristics multimodal investment, program delivery, and information of transportation system performance and other important dissemination. Many of the measures developed in the 1990s effect categories. In the mid-1990s, Mn/DOT adopted a were still used in this new framework. In fact, many became "family of measures" concept that reflected a range of effects even more important in that performance targets were now and outcomes that could be affected by transportation system set for many of the measures. performance. The initial list of outcomes and measures A draft set of outcome measures for the policies shown in included six items. Table 6 includes similar types of measures as those described above. It is interesting to note in the environmen- · Time-directness--To meet customer expectations, a tal area that, instead of performance measures, Mn/DOT predictable travel time for length of trip is maintained officials are considering the use of indicators to monitor by monitoring environmental system conditions and performance. Indica- Number of freeway miles congested, tors are defined as "a set of consistent trend data reported Average travel time and distance, and over time that provides important historical or predictive Percentage of Minnesotans satisfied with trip time. information on a changing condition of strategic impor- · Safety--Incidents and crash rates are minimized to tance." Monitoring key environmental condition indicators Mn/DOT's current and potential ability to influence gives an indication of whether these conditions are improv- infrastructure, partnerships/education, full range of solu- ing or worsening. However, such changes might not be tions, and driver behavior. Data gathered includes directly related to departmental activities. Motor vehicle crash rates and fatal crashes by road- An Mn/DOT advisory committee has identified the follow- way design type, ing five areas where indicators are considered appropriate: Percentage of Minnesotans feeling safe while driving in work zones, and · Air--Air quality, fleet emissions; Percentage of Minnesotans satisfied with the safety · Water--Water quality, water quantity, wetlands and of roadways. erosion control; · Condition of infrastructure--An infrastructure that meets · Land--Habitat/wildlife, special parks/wildlife and customer expectations is maintained by monitoring recreation areas, vegetation quality/sustainability; Pavement quality index, · Community and quality of life--Context-sensitive solu- Bridge structural rating, and tions, environmental justice, noise; and Bridge functional rating. · Operations--Construction sustainability, maintenance · Access/basic levels of service--Services are provided to waste materials management. meet personal travel and shipping needs by measuring Percentage of Minnesotans with satisfactory transit Mn/DOT officials are still developing a final set of indi- options, cators for these categories. An example of the type of indi- Posted bridges and bridge load carrying capacity, cators being considered includes "ambient concentrations of Miles of trunk highway spring weight restrictions, and pollutants and greenhouse gases" for air quality. Percentage of Minnesotans satisfied with travel The Mn/DOT example illustrates one of the most exten- information. sive efforts in the United States by a DOT to develop and use · Environment--Mn/DOT is a proactive, responsible, performance measures in its management of the statewide environmental steward that checks transportation program. Environmental stewardship is part of Percentage of residential areas in incorporated areas the list of measures that provide such guidance. In addition, exposed to excessive noise and Mn/DOT is considering the use of environmental indicators Number of wetland acres impacted and replaced by to provide reference points of progress in meeting statewide Mn/DOT. and regional goals in environmental quality. · Socioeconomics--To ensure that transportation invest- ments will yield the highest possible economic return to the region and are tempered by an evaluation of com- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation munity values and social effects, Mn/DOT measures Total VMT and freight ton miles, The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Maintenance and construction expenditures per (PennDOT) developed a long-range multimodal transporta- VMT, and tion plan for 2000 to 2025 based on an extensive public Percentage of highway funds going to construction. involvement program to identify the critical issues or major themes that reflect the state's transportation needs and desires. In 2000, Mn/DOT shifted the focus of its performance PennPlan, as the plan is called, is a cooperative venture involv- measurement. A primary measurement framework now ing PennDOT; MPOs; local development districts (LDDs); emphasized four strategic objectives: interregional corridors, county planning commissions; and local, state, and federal
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59 Noise, and Alliance relationships result in more than just psycholog- Air quality. ical and process benefits. Experience has shown that the need · Natural environmental resources and purpose statements that result from such an effort reflect Wetlands, a more diverse set of values and are accepted more readily by Wildlife and habitat, environmental constituencies; project scopes and budgets are Water quality and quantity, more reflective of the types of work that must actually occur; Aquatic preserves, and the participants in the alliance relationship develop a Outstanding Florida waters, shared ownership over project implementation, that often Sole-source aquifers, leads to success. Wild and scenic rivers, One of the important steps in this process is defining the Floodplains, evaluation criteria that will be used to assess the relative Coastal zone consistency, importance of different alternatives. Part of the alliance rela- Coastal Barrier Islands, and tionship effort is to jointly define such criteria and to establish Contaminated sites. the relative weight that each will have in project planning. Fig- · Cultural Resources ure 13 shows the results for one freeway project. Participants Section 4(f) lands, in project planning were asked to identify what they thought Historic sites/districts, were the most important evaluation criteria associated with the Archaeological sites, and project. Each participant was allowed to assign points to each Recreation areas. criterion, and the average of all the assigned points for a par- ticular criterion was used to determine a weight for that factor. Not all of these impact categories would be necessary in As can be seen in Figure 13, only one criterion--accident the evaluation process, but because this screening tool is reduction--was considered more important than minimizing designed for use in all parts of the state, the state database environmental impacts. This result led to efforts to design the must have data that relates to each of these categories. project in the most environmentally benign manner possible, The use of environmental criteria in the evaluation of plans while still meeting mobility and safety concerns. and projects is illustrated by several case studies. Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) To California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) implement its policy of enhancing environmental quality, Caltrans has been a national leader in designing environ- FDOT has adopted several approaches to improve its plan- mentally sensitive transportation projects. Caltrans was also ning and design procedures. It has one of the first DOTs to enter into memoranda of agreement with environmental resource agencies to expedite project · Adopted a policy on transportation design for livable delivery. In recognition of the need for project design to communities that is intended to promote a more bal- reflect community values as well as to respond to federal and anced approach toward project design. state law, Caltrans has embarked on several innovative proj- · Developed a chapter on this design process that has ect planning efforts that have actively involved a range of been incorporated into the FDOT Plans Preparation stakeholders early in the project planning process. The Manual so that more flexible design standards may be phrase used to describe the partnering in these joint planning considered. projects is "forming an alliance relationship." (76) The intent · Developed and incorporated into its planning activities is to bring diverse interests together in a common forum to a nationally recognized approach toward community frame the issues and develop a common understanding of impact analysis. what the project is intended to accomplish. In addition, for · Established an efficient transportation decision-making those issues on which there is disagreement, joint analysis of (ETDM) process that will reduce time, cost, and dupli- the underlying facts may allow some softening of positions. cation in the project development process. This is done As noted in conjunction with a freeway project in Monterey through the Environmental Screening Tool and by County, California, the benefits of these alliance relation- involving agencies and public groups early in the ships were determined to be process. 1. Identification of shared values, The ETDM process is of particular interest to the evalua- 2. Joint fact-finding, tion component of transportation planning and decision mak- 3. Collaborative innovation, ing. Many different agencies are allowed to judge whether 4. Indispensability (i.e., wanting to feel like you are an significant environmental resources for particular study areas important part of the solution), or project impact areas are likely to be affected. Screening is 5. Decision sustainability, used early in planning to identify whether additional envi- 6. Lasting relationships, and ronmental studies will be likely. According to FDOT's 7. Shared success. ETDM description (77)
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60 PERFORMANCE CRITERIA MATRIX CALTRANS Prunedale Freeway Project Total % Accident Reduction A a a a a a a a a a 9.0 20% Local Circulation B b/c b b b g h b b 5.5 12% Congestion Level C c c c g h c c 5.5 12% Local vs Thru Traffic D d d g h d d 4.0 9% Support of Business E e g h e e 3.0 7% Support of Mass Transit F g h f f 2.0 4% Environmental Impacts G g g g 8.0 18% Emergency Response H h h 7.0 16% a More important Constructibility I i 1.0 2% a/b Equal importance Schedule J 0.0 0% 45.0 100% Figure 13. Evaluation criteria for freeway project planning in California. Source: Florida Department of Transportation, 2002 (77). The ETDM process creates linkages between land use, every 3 years for nonattainment areas and no more than every transportation, and environmental resource planning initia- 5 years for other planning regions. tives through early, interactive agency and community The programming screen occurs before a project enters the involvement, which is expected to improve decisions and greatly reduce the time, effort, and cost to affect transporta- FDOT work program. The ETAT review at this level satisfies tion decisions. Efficiency is gained by two screening events the "agency scoping" requirements of NEPA but is much more and an efficient permitting process built into the current specific as to the types of effects that are likely to occur for a transportation planning and project development process. particular project. In addition, the ETAT identifies the types of The screening events are the "planning" and "program- technical studies necessary to satisfy federal and state envi- ming" screens. ronmental laws. Depending on the scope of the project pro- posed, ETAT members also may determine that their agency A DOT-led working group concluded that screening had no longer needs to be involved in project development. to be conducted by representatives of concerned transporta- After the screening (or evaluation) has been conducted, tion and environmental resource agencies. This screening is one of the important tasks in this process is ETAT agencies' undertaken by an Environmental Technical Advisory Team acceptance of the Purpose and Need Statement for specific (ETAT) consisting of 24 signatory agencies. ETAT mem- corridors. ETAT members can provide comments or suggest bership is offered to federal agencies (transportation as well modification to this statement. However, by putting this as environmental), state environmental agencies, the MPO statement into the process for both the planning and pro- within the FDOT district where the plan or project is being gramming screen, as project development begins FDOT proposed, local planning agencies, water management dis- expects to save considerable time to come to agreement con- tricts, and Native American tribal governments. cerning the definition of purpose and need. For the planning screen, the DOT or MPO proposing a San Francisco Bay Area The Metropolitan Transporta- plan uploads plan information and a general needs assess- tion Commission (MTC) is responsible for long-range ment onto a secure web page and the ETAT is notified when transportation planning in the San Francisco Bay Area, a this information is available for review. This information is nine-county region with a population of over seven million. presented at the systems, or corridor, level. For this level of "Environment" is one of six broad policy goals identified in screening, ETAT members provide information concerning the 2001 regional transportation plan (RTP), alongside other key environmental resources located in the study area that goals such as mobility (of persons and freight), safety, need to be avoided or heavily mitigated if projects are to be equity, economic vitality, and community vitality. proposed near these sites. In addition, secondary and cumu- The RTP's environmental goal is to plan and develop trans- lative effects are evaluated to understand land use and other portation facilities and services in a way that protects and critical systemwide changes that may occur as a result of the enhances the environment. Several environmental concerns project. The planning screen is expected to happen once have historically been issues in the Bay Area, including air
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61 emissions, noise from transportation sources, effects on the An EIR of the 2001 RTP examined four transportation Bay and wetlands, visual effects of projects, community dis- system alternatives in addition to the proposed system plan ruption, and seismic safety. The RTP identifies several objec- in the RTP. The analysis focused on regional, corridor-level, tives for protecting and enhancing environmental quality, and cumulative effects. The alternatives were evaluated for including the following: their influence on air quality, energy, geology and seismic- ity, biology, water, visual and cultural resources, noise, pop- · Evaluate the regional environmental effects of the RTP, ulation, housing and the social environment, and land use. · Ensure that project-level effects are addressed and miti- With each alternative, significant effects and mitigation mea- gated before MTC approval of state and federal funding, sures were identified for each environmental characteristic. · Ensure that MTC's plans and programs conform to the The alternatives were then comparatively evaluated against federal ozone attainment plan and support reductions the proposed RTP using a multiattribute scorecard as shown in mobile source emissions required in the State Clean in Table 10. Air Plan, The evaluation shown in Table 10 illustrates the type of · Support programs directed at improving traffic flow on environmental evaluations that occur at a systems level of local streets and freeways to minimize vehicle emis- planning. Because many of the project-specific effects are sions and excess fuel consumption, and not yet known, much of the assessment is subjective. How- · Provide alternatives to traveling in single-occupant ever, as shown in the Florida ETDM process described in the vehicles and incentives to carpool or take transit. previous section, this subjective assessment could be under- taken by environmental resource agencies that have a great The MTC is responsible for preparing and adopting an deal of expertise in determining the level and extent of poten- Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the RTP, a systems- tial effects. This subjective assessment could carry important level analysis of the RTP required by the California Envi- weight when identifying critical steps needed to address ronmental Quality Act (CEQA). The intent of the EIR is to environmental issues during the more detailed planning that assess the range of effects that the proposed measures in the follows. plan are likely to have on regional environmental quality and Toledo, Ohio To establish a direction for the 2025 regional quality of life. Conducted as a program-level environmental transportation plan, the TMACOG Transportation and Land assessment, the EIR evaluates the proposed RTP, identifies Use Committee adopted a statement of goals and objectives any significant adverse regional effects, and proposes mea- based on a vision statement for the region's transportation sures to mitigate them. system that was developed with input from transportation stake- TABLE 10 Comparison of alternatives to 2001 regional transportation plan, San Francisco Bay Area Impact Area No Project System Blueprint 1 Blueprint 2 (Alternative 1) Management Alternative Alternative (Alternative 2) (Alternative 3) (Alternative 4) Transportation 4 2 2 1 Air Quality 3 3 3 3 Energy 2 3 4 5 Geology/Seismicity 2 3 4 4 Water Resources 3 3 3 4 Biological Resources 2 2 4 5 Noise 2 2 4 4 Visual Resources 1 2 4 4 Cultural Resources 2 2 4 4 Population, Housing, and 2 2 4 4 Social Environment Land Use 2 3 4 5 Total 25 27 40 43 Average 2.7 2.5 3.6 3.9 Note: 1 = much more favorable; 2 = more favorable; 3 = comparable; 4 = less favorable; 5 = much less favorable. Source: Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 2001 (78).
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62 holders. The committee used these goals--as well as input from ter. Table 11 shows the environmental attributes used to evalu- the public involvement process--to identify problems, develop ate the four alternatives to determine how well each cluster of possible projects and policies, and evaluate and rank improve- projects contributed to an environmentally sustainable system. ments. Transportation leaders identified 250 projects and policy Wisconsin Department of Transportation Wisconsin's concepts that were considered important to meet identified prob- legal requirement for a systems-level environmental evalua- lems. Committee members organized these potential improve- tion (SEE) of all statewide transportation plans created a ments into four clusters: economic development, congestion, significant challenge to WisDOT officials. How could one person movement, and goods movement. Based on an original provide substantive information on the likely environmental 13 transportation planning objectives, the committee developed impacts of plans defined at very high levels of aggregation 23 measures that would be used to evaluate the system alterna- that focused on the use of alternative policies to influence tives that corresponded to the four clusters. transportation demand and financing? Each member of the committee was asked to assign a weight The approach adopted for the SEE was conceptually sim- to each objective to capture its relative importance. Then, using ilar to the environmental analysis that might be conducted for an ordinal scale of 0 to 5 for each of the 23 measures, commit- a project. For example, in a recent update of the state's high- tee members evaluated each cluster of projects on a project-by- way plan, the SEE compared the environmental conse- project basis. In other words, a multiattribute scorecard was quences of the recommended highway plan alternative to used to rank order the projects in each cluster. The project clus- those associated with three other alternatives considered dur- ter with the highest cumulative value was selected as the most ing the planning process. The alternatives included desired alternative. In this case, the congestion cluster produced the most desirable combination of projects. · Base Case (Alternative 1)--High priority given to pave- Once the congestion cluster was selected, project selection ment/bridge preservation and safety improvements; low was refined by examining the relative effect of projects from priority given to traffic movement and economic devel- other clusters when added to the set from the congestion clus- opment goals. TABLE 11 Multiattribute scorecard for evaluation of Toledo system alternatives SCORECARDS FOR EVALUATION OF CLUSTERS Goal II Environmentally Sustainable System YOUR RANKING OF THE CLUSTERS (Use values from 0 to 5) GOAL Objectives Economic Congestion Person Goods Development Cluster Movement Movement Cluster Cluster Cluster Environmentally Minimize Negative Sustainable Systems Environmental Impact Maximize Long-Term Environmental Objectives HELPFUL EVALUATION INFORMATION CLUSTERS Objective Measure Base* Economic Congestion Person Goods Condition Movement Movement Change from base condition in tons per day of hydrocarbon emissions 0 0.642 0.999 0.398 0.336 produced systemwide Acres of farmland, wetlands, open space, and Minimize Negative forests damaged or 3083 2860 480 3928 Environmental converted Impacts Number of lane miles of pavement as a measure of 3863 4306 4208 3911 3928 emission runoff Total fuel consumed Maximize Long- systemwide 483,938 497,931 493,553 478,163 491,698 Term Is use of existing Environmental transportation facilities Objectives maximized to serve Based on your judgment needs? *Note: Base condition = year 2025 travel conditions if no new projects or policies were completed. Source: Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments, 2000 (72).
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63 · Alternative 2--Priority given to investments in strategic The level of detail that often accompanies systems-level corridors; lower priority given to noncorridor roads. environmental assessment, especially when the plan consists · Alternative 3--Priority given to all goals for the entire primarily of policies, and not specific projects, is shown in State Trunk Highway System. Table 12. In this case, WisDOT officials attempted to show a subjective assessment of how one system alternative com- The types of environmental criteria considered for each of pared to each of the others. the system alternatives included: air quality, energy consump- tion, sensitive land and water resources, indirect land-use effects, economic development consequences, and community The Project Development Process and neighborhood effects. For each of the impact categories, the SEE analysis provided a description of the types of miti- The final part of the conceptual framework is the project gation that would be likely to be implemented for the different development process. Traditionally, environmental factors, projects and effects being considered. In each case, previous and the proposal of specific mitigation strategies to avoid WisDOT experience with the mitigation strategy was high- or minimize environmental impacts, have been considered lighted. Table 12 shows the results of this evaluation. in much greater detail during the project development TABLE 12 Environmental comparison of Wisconsin State Highway Plan alternatives Impact Base Case Category Plan (Alternative 1) Alternative 2 Alternative 3 Congestion levels under Congestion under the Congestion under Congestion under the plan may be lower Base Case would likely Alternative 2 would Alternative 3 would Traffic than under the Base be more severe than probably be probably be lower than Congestion Case, similar to levels other scenarios marginally better than other scenarios. It would under Alternative 2, and because it gives priority under the Base Case, be somewhat lower that marginally higher than to preservation of but slightly worse than under the Base Case, but levels under Alternative existing pavements under Alternative 3 very similar to congestion 3. with no new major and the plan. with the plan. highway projects initiated. Energy consumption The Base Case energy Alternative 2 is Alternative 3 requires the may be slightly less than consumption is within forecasted to result in least amount of energy under the Base Case, 1% of estimates of about the same consumption in year Energy almost equal to other scenarios. With amount of energy 2020. Again, energy Alternative 2, and fewer highway projects consumption in year consumption levels for all marginally higher than completed, there will 2020 as would the four scenarios are within Alternative 3. However, likely be more plan. 1% of each other. energy consumption congestion and levels for all four somewhat more overall scenarios are within 1% energy consumption. of each other. The plan is estimated to The Base Case is Alternative 2 is Alternative 3 could result have total year 2020 forecasted to provide forecasted to provide in the most significant Air Quality emission levels that the smallest overall an overall emission overall emission would be nearly 14% reduction in emission level about 13% lower reduction. Year 2020 lower than levels levels, with projected than year 2000 emissions are projected estimated for year 2000. year 2020 emissions estimates. to be 14% below year about 12% lower than 2000 emission levels. year 2000 levels. Indirect land-use Under the Base Case, Alternative 2 may Development would impacts are likely to be land development result in greater probably increase the greater than under the should be less indirect land-use most under Alternative 3 Base Case, including dispersed because of impacts than the Base due to additional Land Use more commercial fewer expansions of Case and slightly bypasses, interchanges, development in urban major roads. The more than the plan. and the funding of most and fringe areas and likelihood of new The greatest emerging major projects. added rural freeway development along difference in indirect Development along rural capacity may encourage interchanges in the land-use impacts is corridors may be development in outlying urban fringe is small. likely to occur in encouraged. Additionally, communities. Similarly, fewer urban areas. Less this alternative would development impacts development will convert the most land are likely to occur in occur near or from farming to the rural areas. adjacent to transportation uses. interchanges under this alternative. (continued)
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64 TABLE 12 (Continued) Environmental comparison of Wisconsin State Highway Plan alternatives The plan could provide Overall, the Base Case Alternative 2 could Alternative 3 would significantly better traffic is likely to provide the facilitate economic probably provide the most movement and access least economic development already potential benefit to Economic than would the Base development benefit occurring on the economic development Development Case. Therefore, when compared with Corridors 2020 by placing the highest economic development potential benefits of the system. Additionally, emphasis on statewide benefits associated with plan and Alternatives 2 the completion of traffic movement through improved traffic and 3. Additionally, currently enumerated completing currently movement and access major projects will not major projects will enumerated major are likely to be be completed until year probably help serve projects, funding significantly greater 2020, delaying economic emerging major projects, under the plan than associated economic development along and constructing the under the Base Case. benefits. new or expanded greatest number of corridors. bypasses and interchanges. Because the plan The Base Case may Community impacts The types of community recommends result in fewer negative under Alternative 2 impacts under Alternative significantly more urban community and would be generally 3 are generally similar to Community improvements than the archeological impacts similar to those under those under the plan. Impacts Base Case, the plan than the plan. the plan. The However, the magnitude would probably have However, the Base construction of some of potential impacts under more potential effects. Case may also offer bypasses and Alternative 3 would These include impacts fewer potential positive interchanges under probably be greater due to archeological and urban community Alternative 2 may lead to the additional historical sites, impacts such as to some community improvements that are neighborhood business reducing traffic, and separation. included. districts, and additional improving safety and noise in urban and access to urban core urban fringe areas. businesses. Under the plan, sensitive Under the Base Case, Under Alternative 2, Alternative 3 calls for Sensitive land and water would be between 8,000 and between 20,000 and between 26,000 and Land & Water affected by the 11,000 acres would be 23,000 acres of land 30,000 acres of land to be conversion of 22,000 to converted to would be converted to converted to 25,000 acres of land to transportation uses by transportation uses by transportation uses by transportation uses by year 2020. This is the year 2020. year 2020. This would be year 2020. lowest total of the four the most land conversion scenarios. of the four scenarios. Total Costs (to 2020) $20.4 billion $15.2 billion $19.4 billion $23.8 billion Mobility would probably In general, there is a This alternative This alternative results in be better than under the slightly lower results in improved improved mobility on the Other Base Case, similar to environmental cost with traffic movement on entire State Trunk Benefits traffic movement under the Base Case as the Corridors 2020 Highway System. Alternative 2, but worse compared to the other highway system. than under Alternative 3. scenarios. Also, delay in completing major projects would delay potential environmental effects. Source: Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 2000 (88). element of the process than in any other element shown in Project delivery streamlining: Not only was TEA 21 an the conceptual framework. Although this research project impetus for looking seriously at streamlining the project focused on incorporating environmental factors into trans- development process, but Mn/DOT was also facing pressures portation systems planning, many of the case studies from the construction industry, the legislature, and the pub- showed various efforts to make project development more lic to deliver transportation projects and services in a more efficient as well. timely manner. In response, the Mn/DOT Commissioner cre- Minnesota Department of Transportation' two major ated a task force of internal DOT staff with a charge to iden- efforts that illustrate Mn/DOT's commitment to incorporate tify (1) current streamlining activities that needed support environmental considerations into project development and and recognition, (2) high-payoff processes that could be design focus on streamlining project delivery and develop- implemented within one year, and (3) high-payoff, longer- ing an organizational procedure for fostering context- term changes to the program delivery structure. This task sensitive solutions. force recommended to the Commissioner that several steps
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65 be taken to improve program delivery. These recommenda- were extensive and covered every aspect of preconstruction tions were categorized into the following areas: activities. The recommendations that relate most to this research were as follows: · Concurrent activities--Where feasible, develop a "foot- print concept" of the project early so that several project · Central office review of roadway plans will be focused development steps could begin at the same time (e.g., right on critical plan errors only. of way, environmental analysis, preliminary engineering). · A certification process will be used to validate a con- · Project management--Monitor project phase mile- sultant's or district office's capability to conduct traffic stones; shorten the time needed to obtain municipal forecasts without central office oversight. agreements for projects; expand use of partnership · Project memoranda that do not require FHWA agreements; use more timely mapping options; use the approvals should be the responsibility of the district same project manager for all pre-construction activities; offices; in the future, the FHWA-approved projects establish project decision-making teams and processes. could also be shifted to the districts. · Environmental process/document--Develop letters of · A project liaison unit with responsibility for expediting understanding with resource agencies; use concise project delivery and becoming a program delivery advo- report format for environmental assessments (EAs) and cate for preconstruction activities should be established. impact statements (EISs). · The current initiative of funding environmental resource · Decentralization--To the extent feasible, decentralize agency staff should be evaluated before expanded to reviews and approvals to district offices. other agencies. · Right of way--Use consultants to develop total right-of- · Environmental coordinator positions should be estab- way or total pre-construction packages for projects; lished in all district offices. implement other right-of-way recommendations that · Early agency coordination and letters of understanding were developed by an internal DOT group. should be used more in developing interagency cooper- · Organization change--Create a full-time manager and ation on project development. "champion" for project delivery streamlining within · Programmatic agreements with the State Historic the DOT, supported with three-to-five staff members Preservation Office and Native American tribes should and consultant resources; set aside funds to support be concluded as soon as possible. this activity; create task forces to focus on more spe- · Concise environmental impact statements should be cific improvements to the process; jointly establish used where feasible. measurable goals, objectives, and time frames for streamlining activities; consider adding project devel- Figure 14 shows the expected savings for three types of opment liaison engineers in the central office and envi- projects--major construction, reconditioning, and resurfac- ronmental managers in the district offices; and con- ing--that would occur if these recommendations were sider combining preliminary and detailed design implemented. The reduction in project delivery time com- activities into one process. pared to existing processes was 30% for major construction · Planning/program--Develop a strategic plan and action projects, 33% for reconditioning projects, and 17% for resur- plan for program delivery streamlining; incorporate pro- facing projects. Of the 42 different streamlining initiatives visions for streamlining into Mn/DOT business plan- considered, 22 were expected to result in less work, 17 were ning; and conduct a streamlining workshop as part of expected to result in fewer document handoffs, 12 reduced scoping for every new major project. review and approval time, 5 automated project development · Communications--Develop a communications strategy steps, 12 made such steps concurrent, 7 changed the way for disseminating information on streamlining activities consultants were used, and 10 resulted in earlier involvement to stakeholders; implement pilot projects; develop an of environmental agencies, thus reducing the amount of annual conference that highlights good practice. rework later in the process. · Training--Develop training programs on project Context-sensitive solutions: Mn/DOT officials wanted to streamlining. know what caused some projects to be successful (defined as being implemented on time and with public approval), while Mn/DOT acted on these recommendations by reforming others seemed to experience significant problems. Ten the original task force as an "Oversight Committee," and factors identified that had shaped past success included included representatives from FHWA and the construction effective planning and public involvement, perseverance of industry. Several Mn/DOT staff members were assigned, on the individual project leader, visionary leadership on the proj- a fulltime basis, to the streamlining activity. Three task ect team, maximizing funding opportunities, integrating forces were created to focus on project development issues in interdisciplinary experts, flexible and innovative design sen- the environmental analysis, design, and right-of-way sitivity, learning from others' success and failures, visual and functions. The recommendations from these three task forces environmental quality without excessive cost, presenting and
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66 Figure 14. Streamlining time-savings estimates (preconstruction) for Mn/DOT. Source: Minnesota Department of Transportation, 2000 (69).
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67 promoting results, and exuding an attitude and tradition of ODOT identified six major elements of an agency initia- excellence. tive that enhance efficient project delivery while promoting Since a project design that is sensitive to the community environmental quality. These six elements include and surrounding environment was recognized as an impor- tant ingredient to success, it is not surprising that Mn/DOT · Environmental management system--process for exam- has been a national leader in fostering the concept of context- ining the life-cycle effects of ODOT's activities, sensitive solutions/design. Mn/DOT defines context-sensitive · Habitat mitigation program--purchasing or creating design (CSD) as "the art of creating public works projects wildlife habitats in anticipation of future project effects, that are well accepted by both the users and the neighboring · Natural and cultural resource mapping program-- communities. It integrates projects into the context or setting using GIS and a database from resource agencies to map in a sensitive manner through careful planning, consideration sensitive natural and cultural resources, of different perspectives, and tailoring designs to particular · Expanded programmatic approvals--using program- project circumstances." (68) matic agreements with resource agencies to provide According to Mn/DOT guidance on CSD, the six core expeditious approvals of agreed-upon impact categories, principles that serve as the basis for CSD include · Local government and contractor performance--training staff and consultants on environmental management · Balance safety, mobility, community, and environmen- practices, and tal goals in all projects. · Expanding CETAS partnerships--entering into agree- · Involve the public and effected agencies or stakeholders ments with other federal, state, and local agencies to early and continuously. become part of the CETAS program. · Address all modes of travel. · Use an interdisciplinary team tailored to project needs. ODOT officials anticipate that the CETAS approach will · Apply flexibility inherent in design standards. result in improved cooperation and efficiency among agencies, · Incorporate aesthetics as an integral part of good design. greater protection of sensitive environmental resources, and projects completed within budget and on time. In addition to incorporating CSD into the Department's The second ODOT initiative relates to the NEPA plan- Highway Project Development Process Handbook, Mn/DOT ning process. By the early 1990s, ODOT staff had deter- has aggressively pursued CSD training workshops for con- mined that major investment studies (MISs), the major sultants and its own staff. Mn/DOT officials viewed many of approach for the planning of significant federally supported the project development streamlining efforts as tools to better transportation projects at that time, did not provide a suffi- integrate environmental considerations into transportation cient basis for removing alternatives from further consider- decision making. In particular, they identified the following ation. This led to the concept of a tiered EIS, in which an strategies as some of the more effective means of imple- EIS is performed at different levels of detail during various menting changes to the project development process: letters stages of planning and project development. The tiered EIS of agreement, programmatic agreements, partnership agree- process is typically applied to major transportation projects ments, concise environmental impact statements, funding that are expected to have notable effects on the environ- environmental agency resource staff personnel, establishing ment. A location environmental assessment (EA) is pre- project/environmental coordinators in the district offices, pared early in project planning using existing data found at training, and incorporating CSD into the design procedures a fairly coarse level to address such issues as what project of the agency. effects might occur in sensitive environmental areas. Later Oregon Department of Transportation Two initiatives in the project development process, a design EIS is pre- illustrate the important linkage between the environment pared at a more detailed level appropriate to the design pro- and transportation that is found in project development in posed in the corridor. Oregon. The Collaborative Environmental and Transporta- ODOT has conducted one location EA. This location EA tion Agreement for Streamlining (CETAS) is a formal examined a nine-mile stretch of highway that included three agreement for streamlining environmental decisions in rural communities and one of the most popular tourist des- transportation planning. CETAS, an agreement made by the tinations in Oregon. The highway is also the primary route Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), resource to the central Oregon coast from the Portland and Salem agencies involved in approving Environmental Impact metropolitan areas. The highway had two lanes with at- Statements (EIS), land-use planning agencies, and the grade intersections and direct access to adjacent properties. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), strives for full The location EA proposed a series of actions over the next communication, participation, and early involvement in 20 or more years to convert the highway to a four-lane major transportation projects of all agencies that have a role divided highway, replace most of the major intersections in environmental quality. with interchanges, and remove highway access from adja-
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68 cent properties by developing a system of local access roads Before the projects are programmed, a concurrence is sought linked to the interchanges. from the CETAS participants on the Purpose and Need State- According to ODOT officials, preparing a location EA for ment. When project development is initiated on a project, the this project resulted in the following benefits: agreed-upon range of alternatives, criteria, and even a pre- ferred alternative are used as the basic point of departure. · ODOT was able to evaluate the cumulative environ- ODOT officials strongly believe that this process is saving mental impacts of highway improvements planned for them substantial amounts of time in project development. the corridor over a time frame of 20 or more years. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Following · ODOT was able to make basic location and design deci- passage of ISTEA, PennDOT implemented a coordinated sions for improvements that will not be developed for environmental review for all major transportation projects many years, but which allowed them to be incorporated that might be affected by this law. PennDOT developed a into the local long-range plan. This provided some level 10-step transportation process flow diagram, which involved of certainty for property owners who wanted to know concurrent reviews by agencies and public/agency concur- future plans. rence points throughout the process and provided a system- · ODOT was able to conduct the location EA with much less atic process to ensure that transportation projects are design detail than was used for design-level documents. developed in an environmentally sensitive manner that This resulted in substantial savings in time and money, and reflects agency and public input. PennDOT's 10-step trans- will permit future design efforts on individual segments to portation process (79) is described as follows: focus on only a single design concept and location. · Steps 1-3 focus on establishing project need. Informa- The Oregon NEPA planning also involves a continuous tion is gathered and an analysis of the need for the proj- transition between the transportation systems planning and ect is competed and reviewed with resource agencies project development processes. The process is intended to and the public. provide a continuum between system-level plans and the proj- · Step 4 considers a full range of alternatives and estab- ects that are proposed to accomplish system-level goals. In lishes the preliminary alternatives that will be evaluated Oregon's NEPA planning (Figure 15), many of the NEPA in greater detail in Step 5. steps (such as defining purpose and need, identifying a range · Step 5 seeks agreement on detailed alternatives and is of alternatives, the evaluation criteria, etc.) are moved into characterized by detailed engineering and environ- system planning activities through the use of a location EIS. mental analysis of the smaller number of alternatives Project System Planning Development Transportation System Plans and Development or Projects Corridor Plans ACTS Construction Project STIP Funding Refinement Design EIS Plan Protective or EA CETAS Location EIS ROW Purpose and Need Purchase Concurrence CETAS MTPA Applied ROW CETAS Projects Concurrence on MTPA Applied · Range of Alts Concurrence on · Criteria · Purpose and Need · Preferred Alt · Range of Alts Management Systems · Criteria (Bridge,etc) · Preferred Alt. Other Major Projects Figure 15. Oregon's NEPA process with streamlining.
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69 identified for further development in Step 4. In this · Innovative tools/procedures--PennDOT has contracted step, the alternatives to be evaluated in detail in the with a state university to develop a catalog of major draft EIS are identified. cultural and historical sites in the state. PennDOT is also · Steps 6 and 7 involve preparation of the draft EIS, as developing an electronic expert system to guide users well as circulation of the document for agency and pub- through project development (81). The 10-step process lic review, as well as a public hearing. During these flow diagram ensures that transportation projects are steps consensus is sought for a preferred alternative. developed in an environmentally sensitive manner that · Step 8 involves the preparation and distribution of the reflects agency and public input. final EIS, which documents and addresses comments received from agencies and the public on the draft EIS. Washington State Department of Transportation Like · Steps 9 and 10 include the preparation and issuance of all DOTs, WSDOT funds mitigation efforts to identify less a record of decision, which documents the final decision harmful alternatives or to minimize and mitigate adverse on the selected alternative and completion of a mitiga- effects. However, the proportion of funding dedicated to this tion report for use in final design and construction of the purpose in Washington shows this DOT's high level of project. The mitigation report outlines the measures that commitment to such efforts. At present, WSDOT spends will be taken to lessen the effects of the project. approximately 16% of its total project funds on environmen- tal protection and mitigation. WSDOT has also developed an As part of the overall coordination effort, FHWA autho- environmental retrofit initiative to reduce the effect of exist- rized, and PennDOT's Program Management Committee ing transportation facilities and services on air, water, habi- (PMC) approved, the use of Surface Transportation Pro- tat, and watershed quality; minimize the use of resources; gram funds for Interagency Funding Agreements with and increase the use of recycled materials. WSDOT expects seven state and federal resource/regulatory agencies to sup- to spend approximately $8.1 billion to address environmen- port 10 staff members who would expedite project reviews tal issues over the next 20 years (66). and provide technical assistance to the DOT. In 1998, the With respect to the project development process, WSDOT PMC approved funding for two additional positions to officials have identified 38 federal and state regulations and address the growing number of threatened and endangered local ordinances that can affect their operations (82). species issues effecting department projects. In 1999, the WSDOT maintains an environmental procedures manual to PMC approved the funding of four additional positions to clarify the rules and regulations that pertain to each part of support major projects in one PennDOT district that was the project development process. facing significant environmental project challenges. A total A 2001 law, the Transportation Permitting Efficiency and of 16 positions in nine state and federal agencies have been Accountability Act, streamlines the environmental permit funded at an 80/20 federal-state match, with PennDOT and process for transportation projects. This act links planning and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission splitting the 20% project development so as to reduce the redundancies in the local contribution (80). processing of environmental documentation. In particular, Other PennDOT activities that promote improved or expe- WSDOT has been granted the authority to prepare certain per- dited consideration of environmental issues in transportation mits, although permitting agencies retain approval authority. decision-making include A Transportation Permitting Efficiency and Accountability Committee (TPEAC) has been created consisting of 17 mem- · Environmental streamlining--PennDOT conducts agency bers that include legislators; representatives from the Depart- coordination meetings with state and federal resource ments of Ecology, Fish and Wildlife, and Transportation; local and regulatory agencies to review projects, identify governments; and other interest groups. TPEAC's tasks effects, and develop mitigation plans for projects. These include identifying and integrating processes to streamline the meetings are attended by all federal and state agencies permitting process for pilot transportation projects, projects of that either play a regulatory or advisory role relative statewide significance, and programmatic projects. to environmental or social resources, including the TPEAC objectives include U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Pennsylvania Department of · Development of a GIS application for environmental Environmental Protection, and the Pennsylvania Game issue detection to red-flag environmental issues in the Commission. 20-year plan, · Secondary and cumulative effects of projects--PennDOT · Development of environmental cost-benefit models to works closely with regional and local governments to improve decision support systems related to environ- identify the potential secondary and cumulative effects mental mitigation and project delivery, of projects and to develop strategies that can be used to · Development of training materials, and control the long-term problems that could result from · Modification of transportation models to include envi- projects. ronmental assessment components.