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14 A list of more than 150 potential examples was compiled objectives as the process continues, help build a clear link by a review of transportation agency websites, a review of between the vision and the specific plans and projects that academic literature addressing visioning processes and public it is intended to guide. involvement techniques, and discussion with national experts Engage stakeholders. Visioning efforts are intended to enable who have had experience and involvement in a variety of trans- participants to understand the future impacts of today's portation planning projects. The project team then reviewed decisions. This goal is represented through scenario-based and categorized candidate projects based on the five typology planning in which trend patterns are extended or alternative filters. The team then compared each on the basis of how futures created, often with accompanying visualizations to closely the visioning process was related to transportation help participants understand the outcomes and trade-offs considerations, particularly issues of transportation capacity, involved. and whether the visioning process yielded outcomes that Leverage existing efforts. Reviewing prior work of partners influenced transportation projects or policies. and even previous visioning efforts may help establish the Approximately 70 candidate case studies emerged from this support of partners, roles and responsibilities, and how initial screening and were reviewed more thoroughly. The a new vision fits into partner planning efforts. Leveraging project team reviewed materials including websites, final existing plans also may help generate support from local reports, presentations, and news articles for each project to elected officials with a stake in the development of those assess availability of information and fit with the research plans. objectives of this project. Twenty examples were chosen that Collaborate with partners. Regardless of whether a public best met criteria and provided a representative sample using agency or civic organization leads a visioning effort, partner the five typology filters. organizations are a major factor in any effort to reach con- The research team reviewed each of the selected visioning sensus and in implementation. When the vision advances processes in detail and developed a case study summary for to policy and action recommendations, a lack of collabora- each. Research was conducted using online information, tion can impair momentum and weaken links between the academic publications, and peer reviews. Telephone inter- principles developed in the visioning process and application views also were conducted with key representatives from the to the plans and processes of partners. lead organization and related transportation partners in DOTs, Demonstrate effective leadership. Strong and effective leader MPOs, and other transportation agencies. The case studies were ship is crucial at many levels, from the project convener, to developed consistently by employing a detailed question- elected officials, partners, and stakeholders, and within the naire and survey form. The summaries were peer reviewed by community itself. Leaders and publicly visible champions members of the project team to ensure accuracy and objectivity. establish support and maintain commitments to the vision- Summaries of the individual case studies were then vetted ing process and its outcomes. by key contacts within each organization to provide an Sustain outcomes. Visioning efforts are meant to guide plan- opportunity for clarifications, comments, and final approval ning for a long period of time, and the ability of a vision to for publication. Full case study summaries are included in influence efforts decades later reflects a strong commitment Appendix A. to the vision. Successful visions demonstrate that partner- ships may be sustained and outcomes carried forward into future decisions, and that transportation planning outcomes Lessons Learned relate back to the original vision. and Success Factors Communicate transparently. Visions featuring extensive Visioning in practice is never the same as in theory. Every and continued public involvement are often the most trans- vision process develops uniquely according to the community parent to stakeholders. Successful processes exhibit clear context, partners involved, issues considered, and challenges vision statements that have been reached in a manner under- encountered. However, there are general lessons learned and stood by all participants. For example, highway capacity key success factors common to many of these efforts that is a topic usually managed and decided by professionals provide guidance for future efforts. Lessons learned were with extensive technical expertise. However, the reasons for synthesized from case study research and the experiences of capacity decisions can be understood and influenced by a practitioners. community, and the links to other facets of community life may be more readily understood through a transparent Articulate purpose. Visioning is a powerful tool for organizing process. a community and building consensus. Stating early and often Cultivate leadership. Visions with strong political, business, why the visioning process matters and reviewing project and community leadership tend to be implemented more

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15 than those without visible public champions and cultivated collaboration, and an understanding of choices and trade- leaders in all sectors. Additionally, leadership may help offs is key to successful consensus building. Trade-offs ensure the success of a vision over a long period of time, should be clearly communicated through a scientifically especially in providing guidance to help the vision evolve based process that determines impacts with easily under- and adapt to changes in political reality. stood indicators. One of the common ways this is achieved Analyze alternatives. Visioning processes invariably involve is through the use of scenario-planning tools and tech- a competition of ideas and interests, but a shared learning niques, with which participants can interactively judge process helps arrive at consensus. The gradual elimina- the results of the choices made and eliminate undesirable tion of future alternatives through discussion, testing, alternatives.