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28 Choosing by Advantages (CBA) was developed by the U.S. VALUE ENGINEERING REPORTS Forest Service in the early 1980s to assist decision makers in making informed choices on program expenditures (53). CBA The format of the VE report appears to be very important to differs from other decision-making systems, such as weigh- some of the responding agencies, whereas others expressed ing advantages and disadvantages, pros and cons, weighting/ less interest. Several agencies have established report tem- rating/calculating, and even PPM, because it concentrates plates to control the level of variance between VE teams, only on the differences between advantages of alternatives whereas others rely on the format that a VE consultant may being compared. use. Agencies in Arizona, California, Florida, Ontario, Texas, Virginia, Washington State, and West Virginia out- In the CBA vocabulary: lined their VE report content expectations. In addition, Vir- ginia uses a unique database format to control the report Factor--has two definitions: (1) it is an element or a format and enhance its VE idea retrieval capabilities. The component of a decision and (2) it is a container for cri- study data are entered by the regional VE manager to auto- teria, attributes, advantages, and other types of data; matically produce the report in the standard format. Attribute--is a characteristic or consequence of one alternative; and Advantage--is a difference between two alternatives. INTEGRATING WITH OTHER INITIATIVES The CBA approach involves summarizing the attributes Transportation agencies are focused on several design-related of each alternative, deciding the advantages of each alterna- initiatives that can be integrated with VE. Road safety and tive, deciding the relative importance of each advantage, and context-sensitive solutions are two such initiatives. developing incremental costs and incremental advantages. Road Safety In recent years, value practitioners have developed an interest in CBA. In support of the interests of its membership, The relationship between VE and road safety has long been SAVE has arranged for CBA training at its annual conference questioned, and possibly been misunderstood, by transporta- since 2003. It is expected that interest in CBA will continue tion agency decision makers. This is likely because of pre- to grow as more in the value community become aware of it. vious suggestions that VE can diminish road safety or that VE and road safety initiatives cannot coexist. Although these SELECTING SHORT-LISTED IDEAS suggestions might hold true in specific situations, there is enough recent experience to counter these arguments (54). The selection of ideas for development must be accomplished in a relatively short period of time. Several approaches were In the mid-1990s, a confrontational battle between the identified in the survey responses, such as the use of evalua- police and the government regarding a new highway (High- tion matrices, performance criteria, and paired-comparison. way 407) in Ontario ultimately led to a detailed safety review Ninety percent of the responding agencies indicated that of the yet unopened highway. At issue was the inference that reaching group consensus through an open discussion during a VE review, and other subsequent design choices, had dimin- the VE workshops was used "always" or "often." Consider- ished safety (55). The VE review, as it was later observed, ing the ability to sell the ideas to upper management was also was a scoping exercise to meet budget targets. The approach cited. Several key issues typically require consideration dur- taken by the D/B proponents did not follow VM. ing the VE workshop, including: Although no substantial geometric design changes were Project cost, subsequently implemented before the opening of the highway, Right-of-way acquisition, a key message emerged--using standards does not guarantee Constructability, safety. In the words Arthur Scott, one of the Highway 407 Road safety, Safety Review panel members, "It's false security to say that Traffic staging, and if you've met the standard you know it will be a safe feature. Schedule impacts. In many cases, it is not. This is not the fault of the standards per se, but the application of them" (56). In many cases, the responding agencies reported that these issues served as evaluation criteria when assessing ideas. The Highway 407 Safety Review suggests that road safety Future flexibility, stakeholder expectations, and aesthetics are be considered explicitly. Road safety research performed in also routinely considered. New Hampshire noted that its the United States and other countries during the last four agency also reviews the VE ideas against its standards. decades has resulted in a much better understanding of how Although Ontario typically develops collision costs, where to predict road safety impacts associated with geometric possible, the agency does not routinely develop user and travel design or other changes. Prediction models now exist for delay costs for its studies. many geometric conditions. An example is FHWA's Inter-