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24 A Guidebook for Corridor-Based Statewide Transportation Planning DOT executives to implement the following organizational changes within the agency. An SWCP Committee was formed, consisting of the Directors of Planning, Project Development/ Pre-Construction, Traffic Operations, Capital Programming and Investment, Intermodal Programs, and the Deputy Secretary. This committee meets quarterly to assess projects that have surfaced from the ongoing corridor studies that are to be considered for the statewide plan update and/or the STIP. In addition to expanding the internal decisionmaking structure, SODOT requires that at least one SODOT official sit on each corridor study decisionmaking body. The presence of the SODOT representative is intended to provide the state's perspective in meeting state-significant goals and issues. Establish a Corridor Network The Governor of South Orange has identified fostering economic development and connecting regions within the state as two of the most important policy goals of his administration. It turns out that both goals have been part of the SODOT policy vision and goals for some time. South Orange has historically been a manufacturing state, but over the past several decades, this manufacturing base has switched to a service economy. Tourism is an important industry for South Orange, and there are several major military bases that will likely serve as points of debarkation in the event of a national mobilization. South Orange has several ports, includ- ing a container port that is among the fastest growing in the country. The capital of South Orange, Orangeville, is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country and has major state radial freeway corridors that include express bus services, heavy rail lines in two corridors, and proposed commuter rail services in three other corridors. Orangeville's airport is one of the busiest in the country and has provided the foundation of much of the economic growth in the metropolitan area. SODOT officials identified the following criteria for defining a network of state significant corridors: · State highways with > 50,000 AADT; · Urban state highways > 75,000 AADT and transit service; · State highways connecting all urban areas > 50,000 population; · Corridors with Class 1 freight rail service; · Roads connecting major intermodal facilities (such as airports and ports); · Roads connecting military bases to ports; and · Hurricane evacuation routes. Another criterion that was added by the Director of Planning was the existence of a South Orange highway corridor that was part of a multi-state corridor planning study. Such a criterion was not included in the original list because of the unique nature of such a planning effort. In this case, the SODOT is participating on a multi-state task force examining a corridor that connects the major port city in South Orange to the rest of the nation. Figure 3 shows the corridors defined after application of these criteria. Identify Study Corridors The SWCP Committee decided that major corridor studies should be initiated for all corridors of state significance rather than relying on an abbreviated analysis. The SODOT Director of Planning realized that not all of the corridors could be subject to corridor studies at the same time. A methodology was therefore created to identify which corridors deserved urgent attention, and a schedule was developed for the remaining corridor studies.
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Hypothetical Example: Application of SWCP Guidance to the State of South Orange 25 Major Facilities Corridors of State Significance Figure 3. South Orange's major transportation network and corridors of state significance. It was expected that the initial corridor study cycle would take up to 6 years, and the subsequent planning cycle (i.e., the time between updates of a corridor plan) would be approximately 10 years unless priorities changed. Of course, any significant change in study context (e.g., a major new automobile manufacturing plant moving into the corridor) could create the need for an earlier study update. The methodology and criteria used to identify the corridor study schedule are shown in Table 1. The approach was very straightforward: simply assign points on a 1 to 5 scale of how each corridor related to a specific consideration. For example, one criterion is the perceived feasibility of multimodal options in a corridor to address issues and alternatives related to commuter rail and the movement of freight. The scale was set as a "1" for the lowest possible achievement of a particular consideration, and a "5" meant that the corridor had the best possible achievement. The shaded corridors indicate those that have been identified as being of greatest priority and, thus, will proceed first. SODOT has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the South Orange Department of Environmental Affairs that outlines the agency responsibilities and commitments in incorporating environmental factors into the corridor studies to produce a defensible purpose
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26 A Guidebook for Corridor-Based Statewide Transportation Planning Table 1. Methodology for selecting priorities in scheduling corridor studies. Hurricane evacuation Military base access Connection to rural High traffic volume multimodal options Intermodal access Priority Schedule City connections Class 1 railroad Feasibility of Total Score network areas Corridor City A to In 5 to 6 2 1 5 1 5 3 1 1 19 City B years Town E to In 2 to 4 3 5 4 3 2 2 1 2 22 City U years Johns AFB to Port In 2 to 3 1 5 2 3 3 4 2 5 25 A years State line to In 5 to 6 4 1 2 4 3 1 3 1 19 City B years Port A to In 2 to 3 5 1 3 3 2 3 5 1 23 City W years City U to In 1 to 2 3 2 3 3 5 2 3 3 26 Town F years City Z to In 2 to 3 2 4 5 1 4 5 2 2 25 City P years State line to Town F In 4 to 5 2 3 2 3 4 3 2 2 21 years Port B to In 1 to 2 3 5 3 2 5 4 5 4 31 City B years Miles Army Base to In 1 to 2 4 2 3 4 4 4 3 5 29 Port A years City I to In 4 to 5 5 2 5 1 2 2 1 2 20 City U years Town F to In 2 to 4 5 4 2 3 1 1 3 3 22 City X years City X to In 2 to 4 4 3 5 2 2 4 1 1 22 City B years City B to In 2 to 3 3 5 2 3 4 3 2 1 23 state line years Port A to In 1 to 2 2 5 3 4 3 2 5 3 27 City X years City X to In 2 to 3 4 2 5 3 2 3 2 4 25 City Y years City B to In 4 to 5 1 4 5 3 2 2 3 1 21 City C years Key: 1 = Very low priority; 2 = Low priority; 3 = Medium priority; 4 = High priority; 5 = Very high priority. and need statement. The Director of Planning also anticipates developing similar MOUs with the state's regional planning organizations and modal agencies that outline the expectations associated with corridor study methodology and results, as well as the respective organizational responsibilities. Once the state-significant corridors have been identified and scheduled, corridor studies have to be initiated. The Director of Planning realizes that simply defining corridor boundaries can be a contentious issue with local officials. In the case of the SWCP approach, not only will a corridor study recommend improvements that are aimed at locally defined problems, but it will also address issues of statewide significance. Thus, the corridor study area boundaries must be wide enough to encompass all of the issues relevant to the differing perspectives. The SWCP guidelines recommend that, at a minimum, a 10-mile corridor boundary be adopted, centered