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SECTION 2 Statewide Corridor Planning An SWCP process represents a change in the way many states evaluate and invest in their transportation system. A corridor planning approach is a departure from a systems-wide or project-based approach used by many states. This section discusses why a state DOT might wish to use the SWCP approach, as well as some of the characteristics of such an approach. Why Use an SWCP Process? The SWCP approach places a greater focus on system preservation for the most significant transportation corridors and on modes and facilities of statewide and/or regional significance. There are obvious perceived differences in how multimodal issues should be addressed as part of any statewide transportation planning process, depending on factors such as Level of multimodal activity, Urban versus rural issues, Population density, Financial resource, Overall state political priorities, and Perceived divisions between public- and private-sector responsibilities. However, in all states, an SWCP process can help place emphasis on coordinating multimodal improvements and strategies in state-significant corridors rather than addressing individual modal needs separately at a more abstract level. Through the multimodal SWCP process, emphasis is given to those facilities and services that support interregional, interstate, and international trips; it also gives priority to the affordable transportation investments and strategies, regardless of mode, that would have the greatest positive impact on the state's economy and quality of life. The results of the national survey and the case studies conducted for this research project indicate that SWCP has been adopted for a variety of reasons. Some of these relate not only to obtaining more detailed information on the needs and related strategies for improving trans- portation system performance, but also on linking better transportation investments and strategies with other state goals related to such topics as economic development, international trade and freight movement, environmental quality, and statewide connectivity. From the research survey and case studies, the following benefits were provided by state DOTs to describe advantages that had been derived from the SWCP process over a systems-wide or project-based process: Corridors provide a more direct connection between the movement of people and goods and state-significant economic activity. 7

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8 A Guidebook for Corridor-Based Statewide Transportation Planning Purpose of SWCP Approaches in Selected States Michigan: Corridors of significance delineate where the most critical movements of goods and people occur. The purpose of the plan is to create a statewide strategic multimodal plan for an intelligent, inclusive, integrated, and inter- national transportation system that is socially, environmentally, and economically responsible. A high-level corridor approach is being used as a blueprint to talk about the vision and priorities for program development and investments. Minnesota: The goal of the Interregional Corridor System is to enhance the economic vitality of the state by providing safe, timely, and efficient movement of goods and people. The corridors tie the state together by connecting people with jobs, distributors with manufacturers, shoppers with retailers and tourists with recreational opportunities. Pennsylvania: PennDOT has identified a Core Pennsylvania Transportation System defined as "an integrated system made up of modal facilities that are of the highest importance for moving people and goods between regions within Pennsylvania, as well as between the Commonwealth and other states and nations." Idaho: Corridor plans are designed to define the purpose of recommended improvements and strategies and prepare projects for entry into the STIP or other implementation strategies. Florida: Corridors are identified in Florida based on their contribution to mobility and connectivity, economic competitiveness, community livability, and environmental stewardship. Source: State DOT transportation plan documents, web sites, and/or NCHRP Project 8-58 research survey responses, December 2008. Corridors provide the transportation agency with an ability to more closely examine the trade-offs among different modes of transportation for people and goods movement. Corridors provide a higher precision in monitoring the performance of transportation facilities and services. Corridor-level analysis encourages a more complete investigation of non-transportation strategies, such as land use planning and zoning, for addressing transportation challenges. Corridor studies can provide more detailed project information including better cost estimates (compared with system-level cost estimates) when considering advancing projects to the fiscally constrained STIP. Corridors, especially trade corridors, handle significant amounts of through trips in many states and, thus, provide a better focus for multi-state efforts at improving transportation capabilities across state boundaries. Corridor planning is familiar to planning agencies and other planning participants since the approach has been used in both rural and metropolitan areas for many years, so the process is already well understood and can therefore be more easily accepted when adopting an SWCP approach. Because corridor studies provide more focus on localized problems, a corridor-level analysis can better promote the active engagement of local officials and stakeholders and a greater opportunity for addressing local issues, needs, plans, actions, and impacts.