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56 around these sites to impact the access and experience of a Environmental Justice visit to the site. The efforts to incorporate these considera- In addition to evaluating overall transportation, economic, tions fall broadly under two objectives: environmental, and community impacts, transportation agen- 1. Preserve sites of archeological or historical significance; and cies must consider the differential impacts of the various 2. Preserve research opportunities. factors considered in this framework on traditionally dis- advantaged groups, defined by race, ethnicity, income, or Table 7.2 displays the two framework measures, supported mobility impairment. Therefore, these measures tend to be by specific example measures. The case study highlight illus- similar to those found in other factor areas, but are analyzed trates how Florida DOT uses their Environmental Screening specifically with respect to these disadvantaged groups to Tool to measure site location. ensure they are not carrying a disproportionate load of the neg- ative impacts of capacity projects. A single objective describes Social the goal of this factor: fair and equitable distribution of trans- portation benefits and costs. Table 7.4 presents the framework Impacts on the social aspect of communities range from aes- measures. The example measures provide a good overview, but thetics and noise to displacement and fragmentation. High- most measures found throughout this framework could be way capacity projects can impact these factors through the considered from the environmental justice perspective. The built form of the infrastructure or the effects of construction case study highlight illustrates how Columbus Ohio's Regional or operation of the facility. Two objectives generally link the Transportation Plan measures environmental justice. measures with a community's social issues and concerns: · Preserve and promote safe and vital communities; and Community Data Gaps · Promote projects that are supported by the community. and Opportunities Land Use The social factors are supported through five framework measures, as listed in Table 7.3. The case study highlight This factor covers assessment of consistency with existing demonstrates how Florida's Sociocultural Effect Evaluation is land use plans and policies, as well as assessment of land con- used to measure community cohesion. sumed by projects or programs of projects both directly due SHRP 2 Framework Measure Specific Measure Applications Site Location Net loss of sites with archeological or · Acres of land with archeological or historical significance consumed by project; historical significance. · Impact of project on public access to sites with archeological or historical significance; · Number of archeological and historic sites that are not satisfactorily addressed in project development before construction begins; and · Number of historic resources avoided or protected as compared to those mitigated. Artifact Location Project impact on the location of · Acres of land containing historic artifacts required by project; and historic artifacts providing research opportunities. · Impact of project on access to sites with historic artifacts providing research opportunities. Case Study Highlight: Florida's Environmental Screening Tool Description: Florida DOT (FDOT) is in the process of screening all proposed highway capacity needs projects using the Efficient Transportation Decision Making (ETDM) process. The ETDM process aims to improve and streamline the environmental review and permitting process. As part of the ETDM, FDOT implemented an internet-accessible interactive database tool called the Environmental Screening Tool (EST). EST performs standardized environmental impact analyses and reports comments about potential project effects. The EST is a semi-automated, GIS-enabled application that analyzes any proposed corridor and adjacent areas in any part of Florida for major environmental flaws and other impacts. FDOT has developed a performance measurement process to monitor the effectiveness of the program. Sample Measure: · Activity Protection of Cultural Resources; · Measure Total number of other findings of "effect" on which opinions are provided need State Historic Preservation Office input; and · Targets Baseline to be established. Table 7.2. Community Measures Archeological and Historic Resources Factor
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57 SHRP 2 Framework Measure Specific Measure Applications Community Cohesion Change in physical · Number of homes and businesses to be relocated due to project; neighborhood-level connections that unite residents · Forecasted change in walking trips; and businesses. · Change in travel times to neighborhood points of congregation; · Key pedestrian routes severed as a result of project; and · Key pedestrian routes reconnected as a result of project. Noise Change in noise level in vicinity of project during · Increase in noise levels on schools, churches and public gathering places; and after construction. · Number of noise receptor sites above threshold; · Number of residences exposed to noise in excess of established thresholds; · Percent of population exposed to highway noise above 60 decibels; · Noise level exceeded 10 percent of the time during specified hours, measured in "A-weighted" decibels (dBA). This measure also can be spatially oriented (e.g., number of homes where L10 is greater than 50 dBA) and/or expressed as a change (e.g., L10 increases by greater than 10 dBA); and · Constant equivalent noise level (when levels actually vary), measured in "A-weighted" decibels (dBA). This measure also can be spatially oriented (e.g., number of homes where the equivalent continuous noise level (Leq) is greater than 50 dBA) and/or expressed as a change (e.g., Leq increases by greater than 10 dBA). Visual Quality Change in visual characteristics that · Number of homes or other buildings from which project will be visible. define community identity. · "Major landmarks" blocked from view by project from a significant vantage point. · Color Rating Matrix. Measure of both color and reflectivity, with scores assigned from a matrix. Scores are based on compatibility with the natural landscape, with compatible colors and low reflectivity receiving the highest score. (Tahoe RPA scenic shoreline assessment). · Texture Rating Matrix. Measure of both the texture of individual surfaces, as well as the total number of separate planes (surfaces) on a structure, with scores assigned from a matrix. Heavier texture and greater number of planes receive the highest scores. · Perimeter Screening. Percentage of perimeter (rooflines, retaining walls, bridges, patios, etc.) screened by natural vegetation or similar native object, as viewed from 300 feet offshore. Emergency Response Time Change in time required · Current emergency response time versus predicted (modeled) emergency by fire, police, and medical responders to reach a response time after completion of project; and community. · Percent of population which perceives that response time by police, fire, rescue or emergency services has become better or worse and whether that is due to transportation factors. Citizen's Concerns Transportation-related issues of · Project addresses issues of greatest concern to citizens demonstrated through greatest concerns to citizens. public outreach and market research; and · Percent of population that perceives that its environment has become more `livable' over the past year with regard to ability to access desired activities. Case Study Highlight: Florida's Sociocultural Effect Evaluation (SCE) Description: Florida DOT's SCE evaluation process seeks to analyze any effects that a potential transportation investment would have on the quality of life in the communities surrounding that project. The process integrates qualitative and quantitative analysis through the use of surveys, public meetings, windshield surveys, and GIS analysis of local amenities and characteristics. The analysis is custom tailored to each proposed project, selecting relevant issues from six broad categories: Social, Economic, Land Use, Mobility, Aesthetics, and Relocation. Sample Measures: · Would the project result in any barriers dividing an established neighborhood or would it increase neighborhood interaction? · Would the project result in any loss, reduction, or enhancement of connectivity to a community or neighborhood activity center(s)? Table 7.3. Community Measures Social Factor
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58 SHRP 2 Framework Measure Specific Measure Applications Environmental Justice Relative distribution of project · Change in access to jobs and markets for disadvantaged populations compared benefits and costs across affected population. to entire population; · Change in person-hours of delay for disadvantaged populations compared to entire population; · Change in noise levels for disadvantaged populations compared to entire population; · Change in air quality for disadvantaged populations compared to entire population; · Change in sidewalk connectivity for disadvantaged populations compared to entire population; · Percent of region's unemployed or poor who cite transportation access as a principal barrier to seeking employment; and · Environmental justice cases that remain unresolved over one year. Case Study Highlight: Columbus, Ohio Regional Transportation Plan EJ Analysis Description: The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) has conducted environmental justice (EJ) analysis of recent long-range transportation plans with a strong reliance on accessibility measures. MORPC has three key objectives for their EJ analysis: ensure adequate public involvement of low-income and minority populations, assess adverse impacts on low income and minority populations, and assure that low-income and minority populations receive a proportionate share of benefits. Measures were developed from MORPC's travel demand forecasting model. Sample Measures (based on analysis of locations of EJ populations, and in comparison to non-EJ populations): · Average number of accessible job opportunities; · Percent of population close to a college; · Average travel time for work trips; and · Displacement from highway projects. Table 7.4. Community Measures Environmental Justice Factor to the project footprint(s) and indirectly related to impacts of · Use of satellite imagery for routine verification of land use induced development. Direct impacts of projects on land use changes; can be evaluated based on land cover data and orthophotog- · Development and agreement on data standards for land raphy (which combines the image characteristics of an aerial use classifications; photograph with the geometric qualities of a map) available · Regional land use data integration efforts with updating from federal, state, and local sources. Land use forecasting mechanisms; and models can be used to assess impacts for future scenarios. · Development of model agreements to provide the neces- Data gaps for this factor include: sary value proposition and disclosure protections to enable public use of privately maintained land use data. · Inconsistency in the format of land use data across multi- ple jurisdictions, which can preclude aggregation across Archeological and Historical Sites sources for efficient analysis; · Availability of development tracking systems to keep land DOTs must evaluate potential impacts of highway projects on use data current and to evaluate actual growth patterns in historic and cultural resources, and on Native American trust a timely fashion; and resources or sacred sites as required by NEPA and Section · Accuracy of methods and models for forecasting future 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). Infor- land use and induced development from transportation mation on these sites can be obtained from the National Reg- improvements. ister Information System, State Historic Preservation Offices, and some Department of Defense agencies that manage his- Data improvements for the land use area include: toric properties under Section 110 of NHPA. In addition, some DOTs have developed cultural resources databases. · Use of remote sensing to develop or fill gaps in land use Information on archeological sites is both less frequently data; available and also more difficult to obtain in advance of
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59 project construction. There has been some success with region- to assess impacts of changes in the transportation network on specific models that predict locations of sites based on topog- travel times. raphy, vegetation, climate, and known characteristics of ancient Methods for measurement of visual quality impacts are not populations. well developed, though approaches may include identifica- Because discovery of impacts to significant sites follow- tion of current visual characteristics of note (e.g., ground cover, ing project programming can result in delays, added costs, land contours, locations of major landmarks) or scoring of and negative stakeholder relations, tools that bring available existing or proposed structures based on adherence to accepted information together in a comprehensive fashion for use at visual standards. the long-range planning and preprogram stages would be of Identification of the extent to which a project addresses great value. Integration of cultural resource, environmental, citizen concerns and priorities may be accomplished via sur- land use and transportation data would provide a single plat- veys or community outreach efforts, or market research tech- form for advance planning and screening analysis. Though niques used to derive priority scores for alternatives. many states have the capability to overlay multiple GIS layers, This factor requires extensive project-level data gathering. few have integrated this information within an analysis con- Specific data gaps include availability of current and forecasted text. Florida's Environmental Screening Tool (EST) provides pedestrian movements, information on business locations and a model for how this might be done. neighborhood boundaries, and current EMS response times. Potential investments include development of complete and up-to-date land use data sets (utilizing assessors' records or Social zoning maps in urbanized areas and remote sensing in sparsely This factor includes a widely varied mix of measures, includ- populated areas), and coordination with local EMS agencies ing consideration of capacity project impacts on community as part of project stakeholder outreach activities to obtain cohesion, noise, visual quality, emergency response time, and current information. citizen concerns. With the exception of noise impacts (which are a required consideration under the NEPA process), these Environmental Justice impacts are not typically captured or reported in a system- atic way. Community cohesion impacts have been addressed Environmental justice (EJ) is not a stand-alone performance through description of neighborhood boundaries and pedes- measure, but rather a means to assess the differential impacts trian routes, quantification of homes relocated or changes in (across multiple measures) of capacity projects on various pop- pedestrian travel times, and use of market research techniques ulation groups. EJ assessments depend on use of GIS analysis to assign scores to project alternatives based on stated prefer- tools to relate impact measures (e.g., noise levels, delay access to ences. This analysis utilizes available data on population, hous- jobs) to demographic information. Use of "select link" analysis ing, and business location from the census or local source, land within network models also is an important method for under- use and tax assessment data sets, neighborhood association standing how project benefits and costs impact different trav- meeting records. Walking trip data and model results also eler groups based on origins and destinations. Data sources may be used. needed to support EJ analysis include state and MPO socio- Noise impacts are analyzed using information on current economic data sets, supplemented with census data. Travel traffic characteristics, population and housing, pavement data, demand models derived from recent household survey data also sound barrier data, and field surveys of current noise levels. can provide valuable information on traveler origins and desti- FHWA's Traffic Noise Model is used for forecasting. nations, allowing for linkage with socioeconomic information. Emergency response time impacts can be assessed using Though EJ analysis is typically straightforward, one opportunity existing data on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) dis- to improve the efficiency and coverage of analysis would be to tricts and emergency vehicle dispatch locations, current EMS make data on race, ethnicity, and mobility-impaired groups response times, and travel demand models or GIS-based tools available for traffic analysis zones.