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Summary of Literature Review on Planning for Road Pricing 61 Local and state planning for road pricing should be augmented by federal program implemen- tation assistance, not simply left to develop with only federal planning guidance. 3.5 Decision-Making Framework for Pricing Decisions In a review of planning for road pricing projects, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. (July 2008) recom- mends four phases in the planning of road pricing projects: exploration, option development, fea- sibility assessment, and investment or finance study. Important findings include the following: Financial planning for road pricing entails unique steps. For projects financed by debt-backed proceeds from future tolls, an "Investment Grade Study" is needed to finalize funding arrange- ments and detail project cost estimates, revenue structure, and financial resources. Two broad approaches are used to initiate road pricing: (1) comprehensive regional or state planning or (2) specific corridor- or area-focused planning. Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) notes, both approaches "are valid." Road pricing planning should match up types of pricing options with appropriate goals and contexts, as HOT conversions, existing tollways, new facilities, and other concepts are best suited to varying goals and conditions. Environmental reviews as part of road pricing planning vary with state law and custom. In some cases, the consideration of pricing may come while the environmental process is under way. The level of environmental review depends on the circumstances surrounding the par- ticular project; where the introduction of tolling and pricing is determined to be "significant," a supplemental environmental impact statement may be required. Planning for road pricing requires both tolled and non-tolled alternatives, as well as multiple tolling scenarios. Modeling standards can be particularly high when private sector investment is involved (to meet bonding requirements). State and local jurisdictions have the greatest flexibility to implement tolling and pricing on local roads and highways that have been, or will be, built without federal funding. Greater restrictions apply when tolling and pricing are used on the Federal Aid Highway System, or on HOV lanes or busways funded with transit monies. Local legal requirements are dictated by state and local statutes and regulations. Several planning screening criteria important to consider in planning road pricing include: Congestion relief potential Consistency with state and regional plan goals Ability to improve the efficiency of the regional transportation network Public acceptance Institutional feasibility Safety impacts Order-of-magnitude construction cost Revenue generation potential Financial viability 3.6 Federal Interim Guidebooks and Briefing Book Federal planning regulations and guidance is important to devising any planning framework and directly bears on how regional and state planners conduct transportation planning. FHWA and FTA have developed a briefing book that summarizes the transportation planning process and two interim guidebooks addressing the integration of management and operations and the congestion management process in metropolitan transportation planning. These guidebooks and resources