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C h a p t e r 9 Conclusion Visioning in Support information about how the Vision Guide can support the of the Collaborative Decision Guide is included in the Visioning and Transporta- Decision-Making Framework tion application on the TCAPP website. This project's objective is to develop a model visioning pro- cess that produces outcomes that support the transportation The Collaborative planning processes within the TCAPP Decision Guide. As the Decision-Making Framework research documented throughout this report supports, Collaboration is a key aspect of successful visioning. Visioning visioning processes provide a framework for the identifica- offers an opportunity for communities to look past current tion, analysis, integration, and implementation of commu- challenges and consider tomorrow's opportunities. Chapter 5, nity concerns, the needs of a transportation system, or the Considering Communities, reflects on the complex set of alternatives of a highway capacity project. characteristics and considerations documented and measured The Vision Guide, based on case studies, literature reviews, through diverse perspectives, voices, and data. The chapters and other background research, supports a range of applica- tions and provides outputs that flow easily into the TCAPP Forming Partnerships and Reaching Stakeholders describe the Decision Guide structure. Whether an agency is undergoing complexity and importance of bringing together those diverse a long-range transportation plan, corridor planning, or envi- perspectives to reach consensus on a shared vision for a com- ronmental review process, the decision points included in the munity's future. This chapter illustrates practical conclusions Vision Guide can be applied to collaborative decision-making to build on a successful visioning effort by integrating vision processes. In addition, collaboration is a key component of outcomes into transportation decision-making processes. visioning, and agencies can leverage many aspects of a vision- This Vision Guide was developed to support Capacity Proj- ing process within related transportation decision-making ect C01, A Framework for Collaborative Decision Making on processes. Additions to Highway Capacity. The major product of the C01 Carrying visions forward within complex agencies is project is the Transportation for Communities: Advancing challenging. Often, a vision developed at the local or regional Projects through Partnerships model framework and Deci- level is not communicated to the state level or even shared sion Guide. This resource provides a systematic approach for within departments of the same agency. For example, improv- reaching collaborative transportation decisions that enhance ing communication between planning staff and engineering the environment, the economy, and the community. and design staff is key to ensuring implementation and trans- The Decision Guide, pictured in Figure 9.1, is constructed fer of the vision. The TCAPP Decision Guide structure pro- of many individual key decisions that together represent a vides a means and structured process to link processes better. best practice approach to collaborative decision making. The The following section discusses the relationship between guide identifies key decisions in four phases of transportation visioning and collaborative decision making, and outlines decision making: long-range transportation planning, corri- possible direct links and practical examples of these links dor planning, programming, and environmental review and between the Vision Guide and the Decision Guide. Additional permitting. This structure of key decisions common to all Color versions of the figures in this chapter are available online: www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/166047.aspx. 66

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67 Figure 9.1. Processes of the TCAPP Decision Guide. transportation agencies contains data to support an under- and accommodated early in transportation decision making. standing of collaboration, and each key decision provides One of the identified external processes is visioning. information on how to implement collaboration fully. Trans- Visioning is a relevant and useful tool that lends itself portation decision making does not occur unilaterally; often, to collaborative decision making. A visioning process can public as well as private agencies invest in data-driven com- establish necessary partnerships and stakeholder involve- munity or regional planning. The resulting plans represent a ment, which can then translate into the processes defined substantial asset and data source for better transportation in TCAPP. The Vision Guide process developed under this decision making. TCAPP provides information for integrat- project exists outside of the TCAPP framework, and can be ing external processes with transportation decision making, used independently. However, the two processes are read- and ensures that important values and goals are recognized ily integrated.

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68 Linking Decision Points of the Vision Guide but it also should be clearly documented and communicated and Decision Guide to a broader audience to help manage expectations of the purpose of the process. There are two basic models for how a vision process can The scope for a visioning process may also provide impor- relate to one of the TCAPP decision-making processes. In the tant links to parallel planning efforts by transportation or first, a vision process can be integrated within a concurrent resource agencies. A scope may define the geographical transportation planning process, and the decision points can boundaries of a community or establish the range of issues effectively be joined. In the second, the outcomes of a com- to be addressed, which may in turn inform partner efforts. pleted vision process (e.g., goals and indicators) may directly Establishing the scope also represents a commitment by the support the TCAPP decision points in a later transportation- sponsoring organization to complete a visioning process under planning process. a certain time frame or to include certain activities, and can be Table 9.1 provides an overview of the linkage between the linked to future progress reporting efforts. This decision point decision points included with the Vision Guide and those marks the transition from the preparation phase to activities decision points within the TCAPP Decision Guide processes. linked directly with creating the vision. Vision Guide decision points inform the inputs and outputs This decision point supports the following: of relevant Decision Guide key decisions. The following sections provide an overview of how each Decision Guide: Approve Scope of Long-Range Transportation Vision Guide decision point supports the Decision Guide key Plan (LRP-1). The scoping key decision involves a broad decisions. assessment of the data, decisions, and relationships to con- sider, acquire, or make throughout the entire long-range transportation plan (LRTP) process. Decisions made at the Vision Guide: Approve Scope scoping key decision in long-range planning inform both This decision point provides a road map for the vision process. corridor planning and environmental review, by estab- Preparing visioning activities, seeking approval of the project lishing the baseline information that will dictate those scope from a lead committee, sponsoring organization, or subsequent processes. This is a key point to form new or funding partners at this point in a visioning process assists acknowledge existing relationships with partners in trans- practitioners in effectively planning visioning activities and portation and other decision-making processes, such as managing expectations. A scope of work should establish a land use, natural environment, human environment, cap- detailed, phased approach that allows for reassessments at ital improvement, and safety and security. If a vision is part critical junctures in the process. A scope may be approved and of the LRTP process, this decision point will be merged committed to by the leadership of a sponsoring organization, with the Approve Scope decision. If the processes exist Table 9.1. Linkages Between the Vision Guide Decision Points and Long Range Transportation Planning Vision Guide TCAPP Decision Guide Process Environmental Long-Range Review/NEPA Transportation Corridor Merged with Decision Points Planning Programming Planning Permitting Approve Scope LRP-1 NA COR-1 ENV-1 LRP-2 COR-2 Approve Goals NA ENV-3/PER-1 LRP-6 COR-3 COR-7 Adopt Future(s) LRP-8 NA ENV-9 COR-9 LRP-3 COR-5 Approve Indicators and LRP-7 PRO-2 COR-8 ENV-5 Commitments LRP-10 Adopt Update Process NA NA NA NA

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69 separately, the outputs from the Approve Scope decision vision and goals or simply agreed upon by the stakeholders should be integrated here. for the planning area, are used to guide the transportation- Decision Guide: Approve Scope of Corridor Planning Process specific vision and goals. This decision is the first opportu- (COR-1). This is a crucial first step of corridor planning. nity for public stakeholders to inform the process or provide It involves a process of assessing what data, decisions, and their input. Linkages also are established with the scoping relationships need to be considered, acquired, or made and goal-setting key decisions in corridor planning and throughout corridor planning. The corridor planning scope environmental review, so the vision and goals approved at is informed by long-range transportation planning and this key decision point should eventually influence what informs environmental review. This is a key point to form transportation projects are built. To facilitate collabora- or acknowledge existing relationships with partners in tion, partnerships with other planning processes are estab- transportation and other decision-making processes. If a lished at this key decision. If a vision is part of the LRTP vision is part of the LRTP process, this decision point will be process, this decision point will be merged with the Approve merged with the Approve Scope decision. If the processes Goals decision point. If the processes exist separately, the exist separately, the outputs from the Approve Scope deci- goals generated during the Approve Goals decision should sion should be integrated here. be integrated here and can provide an excellent foundation Decision Guide: Reach Consensus Scope of Environmental from which to start the discussion. Review (ENV-1). The scoping key decision is a crucial Decision Guide: Approve Problem Statements and Opportu- first step of the environmental review phase. Consensus nities (COR-2). The full range of deficiencies and opportu- is reached on the data, decisions, and relationships to be nities within a corridor are defined at this key decision. considered, acquired, or made throughout environmental Deficiencies and opportunities extend beyond transporta- review and permitting. The scope is informed by the adopted tion; for this reason, the key decision is integrated with long-range transportation plan and corridor plans, as well as other planning processes such as land use planning and current information being developed from plans in process. natural environment planning. Input from stakeholders Relationships with planning partners are formed. NEPA also informs the key decision. The problem statements and and Permitting are environmental processes that describe opportunities resulting from this key decision are informed how the natural and human environments are affected by the transportation deficiencies identified in long-range by transportation decisions. Consequently, the decision- planning, and inform the purpose and need during envi- making process is an environmental process. A visioning ronmental review. The goals identified in the Vision Guide process is not typically merged with an environmental review Approve Goals decision point can be considered to high- process, but the outputs from the Approve Scope decision light both the deficiencies and opportunities. point can provide support here. Decision Guide: Approve Goals for the Corridor (COR-3). At this key decision a broad range of transportation, commu- Vision Guide: Approve Goals nity, and environmental goals are considered that are spe- Reaching consensus on community goals is a key milestone cific to the corridor. The key decision is informed by the in a visioning process and substantially informs many future goals approved during long-range transportation planning activities. Approval of goal statements by stakeholders or and informs the purpose and need for projects in environ- sponsors provides an early opportunity to establish a shared mental review. To facilitate collaboration, the goals from identity, create a sense of purpose for the vision, or identify other plans, including those established during a related or common values. integrated vision process, are rationalized with transporta- Goal statements are important outcomes that are continu- tion goals in the corridor. ally transferred through the visioning process. Community Decision Guide: Approve Purpose and Need/Reach Consen- goals are often used as a basis to assess the merits of alternative sus on Project Purpose (ENV-3/PER-1). This key decision futures, to organize task forces or issue area working groups, documents the agreed-upon purpose and need for both or to inform the principles, indicators, or other outcomes of NEPA and the Section 404 permitting process. Integration a visioning process. Goals also may be used as inputs to the with land use partners is important at this step to substan- planning efforts of partners, by helping establish the scope tiate the project purpose and need. Stakeholder input also and goals of a long-range transportation plan, for example. is important both to gauge the public reaction to the This decision point supports the following: purpose and need and to identify any missing aspects of the purpose and need. A visioning process is not typically Decision Guide: Approve Vision and Goals (LRP-2). At this merged with an environmental review process, but the out- key decision, the community's values, whether stated as a puts from the Approve Goals decision point can provide

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70 support here. In addition, the stakeholder input and out- is provided. This also allows other implementation actions, reach in a vision process can be leveraged and integrated at such as land use changes, to be made in support of the pri- this decision point. orities. The information used in the Vision Guide to reach the Adopt Futures decision should be applied to the project prioritization process. Vision Guide: Adopt Future(s) Decision Guide: Approve Preferred Alternative (ENV-9). Common to any visioning processes are the creation and Decision makers approve a preferred project alternative selection of a preferred future. This may be accomplished using input from stakeholders and planning partners through scenario-planning activities and the involvement and detailed information about potential impacts. A of stakeholders in judging alternatives and selecting a pre- checkpoint is included to ensure that the preferred alter- ferred future. This important decision point, in which con- native is consistent with the LRTP, Transportation sensus is reached on a preferred course, is an explicit objective Improvement Program (TIP), and State Transportation of visioning. Improvement Program (STIP). The adopted future result- Adopting a preferred future is often accomplished first by ing from a vision process can be compared to and inform soliciting the approval of stakeholders in town hall meetings, this project-level selection. regional summits, online polling, or other involvement tech- niques, followed by more formal adoption by leadership of Vision Guide: Approve Indicators and Commitments the sponsoring agency, the pledge of elected officials, or rec- ognition by public agencies. It is this formal adoption step that This decision point moves the vision into the implementa- enables transfer of the vision's preferred future into related tion and monitoring stage. Two critical tools for advancing strategic planning efforts. implementation efforts include the application of indicators Formal recognition of a preferred future can directly inform and the tracking of commitments. Reaching a point of con- the TCAPP decision processes. For example, visioning pro- sensus approval for either of these tools provides a frame- cesses that produce preferred future land use maps may readily work for embarking, monitoring, measuring, communicating, transfer to the LRTP processes, or inform the scope of future and revisiting the outcomes of a visioning process. planning processes by helping agencies determine commu- This decision point is applicable both as a support for nity context, locate environmental assets, or define conserva- implementation of plans, and for use in evaluation and assess- tion areas. Additionally, maps may help agencies determine ment. The performance indicators that are adopted and mon- the selection of preferred alignments during environmental itored during the final phase of a vision process can be fed reviews. directly into establishment of performance measures for an This decision point supports the following: LRTP, or the evaluation criteria and a project prioritization process. Decision Guide: Adopt Preferred Plan Scenario (LRP-8). At This decision point supports the following: this key decision, a preferred plan scenario is adopted for inclusion in the Draft LRTP. A comparison of the plan Decision Guide: Approve Evaluation Criteria, Methodology scenarios using the evaluation criteria, methodology, and and Performance Measures (LRP-3). At this key decision, performance measures is the basis for the selection of the the evaluation criteria, methodology, and performance preferred scenario. This represents the conclusion of the measures are approved that will allow decision makers iterative process to evaluate and refine scenarios. If a vision to compare scenarios to the vision and goals and to one is part of the LRTP process, this decision point will be another. The evaluation criteria, methodology, and per- merged with the Approve Futures decision point. If the formance measures are developed with input and data processes exist separately, the goals generated during the from both partners of other planning processes and stake- Approve Futures decision should be integrated here and holders. The evaluation criteria, methodology, and perfor- can provide an excellent foundation from which to start mance measures used in long-range transportation planning the discussion. inform those used in both corridor planning and environ- Decision Guide: Adopt Priorities for Implementation (COR-9). mental review to ensure consistency across the entire trans- Individual projects within the adopted preferred solu- portation decision-making process. The goals and objectives tion set are ranked to identify the appropriate sequencing measured through performance indicators in a vision pro- for implementation. Prioritization supports both program- cess can be leveraged easily here. ming and environmental review by ensuring that identi- Decision Guide: Approve Plan Scenarios (LRP-7). Scenarios fied projects are ready for implementation when funding are based on approved strategies and are compared using

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71 the evaluation criteria, methodology, and performance To support this integration, the TCAPP website includes an measures. Collaboration with partners from other planning application called Visioning and Transportation, which serves processes is important at this stage because scenarios could as a filter through which a practitioner can view the elements involve strategies that encompass land use, infrastructure, of the Decision Guide that relate specifically to visioning. or other components. This step begins the iterative pro- cess of refining scenarios to select the preferred scenario. Practical Integration of Visioning The vision performance indicators can provide necessary in Transportation Planning Processes data to evaluate potential scenarios. Decision Guide: Approve Methodology for Identifying Proj- This final section provides several practical examples of ect Costs and Criteria for Allocating Revenue (PRO-2). integrating a visioning process with the related transporta- This key decision establishes a consistent methodology tion decision points in the Decision Guide. The examples for estimating project costs for both the long-range included here are intended to assist the practitioner in transportation plan and the TIP. It also documents the imagining practical linkages between visioning and trans- specific requirements and restrictions associated with portation decisions. each funding source. The vision performance indicators The example provided in Figure 9.2 illustrates a hypotheti- can provide necessary data to establish project prioriti- cal scenario in which a visioning process is used by a transpor- zation criteria. tation agency within a corridor planning effort to design Decision Guide: Approve Evaluation Criteria, Methodol- transportation improvements that best meet established com- ogy, and Performance Measures (COR-5). At this key deci- munity goals and objectives. In this example (moving from sion, evaluation criteria, methodology, and performance top left to bottom right), a community vision explored alter- measures are approved that will allow decision makers to native designs and accompanying policies for a new highway compare solutions that address the corridor's opportuni- interchange. The design proposal for the facility is vetted with ties and problems and are consistent with the approved intensive public involvement and scenario visualizations, and corridor goals. The evaluation criteria, methodology, and DOT staff assist community members in understanding criti- performance measures are developed in consideration of cal design considerations. The preferred solution is chosen transportation, community, and environment. They are that best matches the community's values and goals, and the informed by the evaluation criteria, methodology, and agency's requirements, as established in a parallel community performance measures used in long-range transportation visioning process. The interchange selected meets safety and planning and are considered during environmental review engineering considerations, but it also supports community to ensure consistency across the entire transportation goals to minimize disruption to sensitive lands near the river decision-making process. Vision performance indicators and to improve connectivity for local businesses and resi- can provide necessary data to establish solutions prioriti- dents. Within the Vision Guide, the decision point Adopt zation criteria. Future(s) represents this consensus agreement on a preferred Decision Guide: Approve Evaluation Criteria and Methodol- future scenario. The outcomes of the vision were adopted by ogy for Prioritization (COR-8). At this key decision, priori- resolution in the City Council, and the DOT committed to ties are established for implementing individual solutions. honor the community's proposed alignment. The adopted A second set of evaluation criteria, methodology, and per- outcome and commitment may then be readily accepted by a formance measures is used for this purpose. The vision per- transportation agency as guidance to the key decision point formance indicators can provide necessary data to establish Adopt a Preferred Solution Set within the corridor planning solutions prioritization criteria. process of the Decision Guide. In this case, the DOT agreed to Decision Guide: Approve Evaluation Criteria, Methodology a commitment to fast-track the preferred option through and Performance Measures (ENV-5). Evaluation criteria, development and engineering phases. methodology, and performance measures are used to com- The example in Figure 9.3 illustrates the linkage between a pare how alternatives meet the purpose and need. The crite- strategic regional growth and development vision and a ria used in long-range planning and corridor planning may regional long-range transportation plan. At top left, a regional influence those used in environmental review. Land use and vision might produce a conceptual map of future regional capital improvement planning data also are analyzed so that population and economic growth centers, linked by multi- the criteria and measures incorporated will ensure the alter- modal corridors, and coordinated with desired conservation natives are consistent with these plans. The vision perfor- lands. At center, an MPO may then use this future growth sce- mance indicators can provide necessary data to evaluate nario to guide future regional transportation investments con- alternative scenarios. sistent with the vision. The vision may provide information

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72 Figure 9.2. Example of adoption of Vision Outcomes into corridor planning: Integrating the Decision Guide and the Vision Guide. Figure 9.3. Example of adoption of Vision Outcomes into long-range planning: Integrating the Decision Guide and the Vision Guide.