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Executive Summary The second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Capacity area is working toward designing a transportation planning and project development decision-making framework that better integrates transportation decisions with social, economic, and environmental consider- ations. In the context of transportation planning, the practice of visioning has been employed by some agencies to enable decisions that are more integrated with related issues, more coordi- nated with partner agencies, and more closely connected to the values of a community. Vision- ing holds great potential to facilitate collaborative decision-making processes, and the SHRP 2 program has developed practical guidance for practitioners on the role of visioning and links to transportation planning. The cornerstone of current Capacity area research is the web-based product Transportation for Communities--Advancing Projects through Partnerships (TCAPP) (transportationfor communities.com). This effort produced an interactive Decision Guide to help practitioners through balanced, inclusive, and collaborative decision-making processes within the four initial phases of transportation planning: long-range transportation planning, corridor planning, pro- gramming, and environmental review and permitting. The objective of this project is to develop a supporting framework for visioning that enables broad, strategic outcomes of visioning to transfer readily to specific, focused planning and proj- ect processes included in the Decision Guide. This research is intended to advance the state of the practice of visioning in support of transportation planning. To that end, this technical report presents a model--the Vision Guide--that is a blueprint for preparing, creating, and implementing a visioning process. This structured, simplified process will better enable practitioners to engage in visioning in support of transportation planning. The Vision Guide also serves as the organizing framework for the research tasks incorporated within this project. A companion resource is the web-based, interactive version of the Vision Guide, which can be found on the project website, TransportationVisioning for Communities (T-VIZ) (Cambridge Systematics, Inc. 2011). This practical website is designed for practitioners and is the best portal for accessing the information within the Vision Guide. Visioning and Transportation Planning Visions are planning and policy exercises that engage community stakeholders in building long- term, consensus frameworks for future decision making. The purpose of visioning is to create a shared base of understanding and generate policy direction for the future of a community. These 1

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2 processes commonly extend beyond conventional transportation planning horizons and are intended to address the confluence of social, economic, educational, environmental, develop- ment, and transportation issues. Visioning processes enable participants to reach a series of consensus decisions on a community's present conditions and future trends, to agree on a desired future, and to develop a clear strategy for how to reach that desired future. The distin- guishing characteristics of this approach are: Collaborative approaches to interdisciplinary topics; Proactive, innovative, and interactive outreach techniques; Focus on community context, livability, and values; Emphasis on technical scenario development and analysis; and Expansion of ownership in a process and implementation responsibility. Visions are significant sources of input for transportation planning processes, which now range well beyond topics of access and design to consider community goals and values and a host of interrelated issues. Visioning processes may help guide appropriate transportation decisions to enhance economic competitiveness, environmental stewardship, and community resources, while improving transportation outcomes. Visioning has been used in support of transportation decision making throughout the United States and is increasingly common in a variety of projects, plans, and processes. The process is recommended by federal agencies as a means of proactive and inclusive public involvement and has been embraced in statewide policy by several state departments of transportation for better connection of transportation and land use decisions. Visioning is practiced by many metro- politan planning organizations (MPOs) within ongoing planning efforts to facilitate regional coordination of local decisions. Visioning is increasingly employed by civic organizations and regional councils to establish broad regional policies which, in turn, inform the plans of trans- portation partners. Vision processes tend to produce high-level, policy-oriented outcomes that prove challenging to integrate within focused, project-specific transportation planning and development efforts. For example, the range of outcomes produced through visioning processes may include broad language on a community's values and goals; specific objectives or principles to guide decision making; or detailed maps depicting anticipated land use patterns, critical resource areas, or future transportation corridors. These outcomes can be linked to the transportation planning and project development pro- cesses captured in the Decision Guide, including long-range transportation plans, corridor plan- ning, project programming, environmental review, or permitting processes. For example, vision statements may help shape the goals of a long-range transportation plan; maps of desired future conservation areas may provide input into the range of solutions considered in corridor plan- ning; or decision-making principles for future transportation systems may provide direct input into developing consensus on a draft transportation improvement plan. Applications of vision- ing in support of transportation planning have included all modes, from envisioning integrated air logistics centers, to seaport master plans, to conceptual designs for high-speed rail corridors. Visioning may suit any scale of planning effort, from broad, regional, long-range transportation plans, to urban transit corridor plans, to the design of local streetscapes. Visions may support a single project or provide a lasting foundation for subsequent plans, including the strategic plans of transportation agencies themselves. However, visioning in support of transportation planning has not been uniformly embraced by practitioners and remains an underutilized practice. This research seeks to identify core ele- ments of a visioning process and to establish relationships with transportation planning for use in future efforts.