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APPENDIX B Levels of Corridor Analysis for Statewide Corridor Planning Once transportation corridors of significance have been identified and prioritized, various methods of corridor analysis could be used for the statewide transportation planning process. Some typical methods include the following, categorized by the following three levels of effort: overview, preliminary studies, and corridor planning studies. Level 1--Overview The simplest and quickest level of corridor analysis is to use and analyze available data to give a quick overview of the major state corridors. However, this method is dependent on the maintenance and/or acquisition of appropriate data so that it will be available when needed because this overview requires basic inventory and performance data of transportation facilities and systems. Review, analysis, and evaluation of the following types of data and information can help to identify problem areas and to make relative comparisons between corridors or corridor segments: · For highway corridors, data and analysis could include such things as traffic volumes, level of service, crash data, pavement condition indices, adequacy ratings, and travel times. Such data and information could be derived from existing DOT databases, field reviews, regional and local agency or government input, and the use of analytical tools (e.g., travel demand models, highway capacity analysis, critical rate factors for crashes, and highway user cost-benefit analysis). · For dedicated transit or passenger rail corridors, data and analysis could include such things as passenger volumes; potential headways; trip frequency, transport mode (commuter rail, light rail, busway, or people mover); vehicle passenger capacity; and calculated travel times. Such data and information could be derived from existing databases field reviews, regional and local agency or government input, and previously developed input from special surveys, agency interviews, expert interviews or panels, and the use of analytical tools (e.g., transit ridership models, cost-benefit models, and travel demand models). · For dedicated freight corridors, data and analysis could include such things as freight volumes by commodity; federal and state operator/driver restrictions; delivery schedules; trip frequency, transport mode (e.g., rail, barge, or dedicated truck lanes); vehicle type and capacity; weight restrictions; off-loading transfer station locations; off-loading transfer time; and calculated travel times. Such data and information could be derived from existing databases; field reviews; regional and local agency or government input; and previously developed input from special surveys, agency interviews, expert interviews or panels, and the use of analytical tools (e.g., REMI Model, cost-benefit models, travel demand models, and commodity code infor- mation from private sectors). 49
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50 A Guidebook for Corridor-Based Statewide Transportation Planning Level 2--Preliminary Studies For the initial statewide transportation planning efforts, it may not be necessary to develop a full corridor planning study for all major corridors. Instead, a time-limited, concentrated "programming study" could be undertaken for a large number of corridors simultaneously to define the problem and propose a likely solution. These preliminary studies would rely on readily available information, and they would not include extensive public involvement, agency coordination, or environmental assessments for this statewide planning level. Instead, they would be used to define transportation problems; develop preliminary project goals; evaluate existing conditions (including preliminary "red flag" environmental or community concerns); estimate future conditions; consider possible solutions to the problems; and formulate potential capital improvements, other potential strategies, and preliminary cost estimates. If desired, the study process could include an initial meeting with local officials, agencies, and/or stakeholders to help with problem definition and to get early input on project purpose and need, potential issues, project alternatives, and possible impacts. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has used this approach on 44 defined "economic development" highway corridors--using two consultants to complete all of the 44 preliminary studies in about a year. The results of these studies were used as input to a project-based long- range Statewide Transportation Plan and the programming process. The studies also provided a starting point for later project development efforts. Level 3--Corridor Planning Studies The highest level of effort is a complete and detailed corridor planning study that would be part of, or compatible with, the NEPA process. This Guidebook and the final research report both present information on the steps that would be included as part of corridor planning efforts. Such studies may eventually be needed on all high priority corridors to ensure that all issues are properly addressed and that local officials, resource agencies, and the public have a chance to participate in the decisionmaking process The statewide planning process should undoubtedly use input from studies that have already been completed for high-priority corridors. However, new studies are time consuming and somewhat expensive, so the depth of effort may not be feasible in the timely development of a statewide transportation plan. Instead, the statewide plan could establish policies to define study priorities and then to use them to establish schedules and to program funding for future studies on corridors of statewide or regional significance.