Transportation Research Board Special Report 260
IA planning and administration
IB energy and environment
IIIB materials and construction
IV operations and safety
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Transportation Research Board Business Office,
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Copyright 2001 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America.
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance.
This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to the procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.
The study was sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board. Committee for a Study for a Future Strategic Highway Research Program.
Strategic highway research : saving lives, reducing congestion, improving quality of life / Committee for a Study for a Future Strategic Highway Research Program.
p. cm. –– (Special report ; 260)
Includes bibliographical references.
1. Traffic safety––United States. 2. Highway research––United States. 3. Traffic congestion––United States. I. Title. II. Special report (National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board) ; 260.
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Engineering
Institute of Medicine
National Research Council
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.
The Transportation Research Board is a unit of the National Research Council, which serves the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. The Board’s mission is to promote innovation and progress in transportation by stimulating and conducting research, facilitating the dissemination of information, and encouraging the implementation of research results. The Board’s varied activities annually engage more than 4,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation.
Committee for a Study for a Future Strategic Highway Research Program
C. Michael Walton, Chair, Professor of Civil Engineering,
The University of Texas at Austin
Bradley L. Mallory, Vice Chair, Secretary,
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Harrisburg
Joel D. Anderson, Executive Vice President,
California Trucking Association, West Sacramento
E. Dean Carlson, Secretary,
Kansas Department of Transportation, Topeka
Frank L. Danchetz, Chief Engineer,
Georgia Department of Transportation, Atlanta
Henry E. Dittmar, President and Chief Executive Officer,
Great American Station Foundation, Las Vegas, New Mexico
Francis B. Francois, Consultant, former Executive Director,
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Bowie, Maryland
David R. Gehr, Director of Strategic Planning,
Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc., Herndon, Virginia
Susan Martinovich, Assistant Director/Chief Engineer,
Nevada Department of Transportation, Carson City
Herbert H. Richardson, Director,
Texas Transportation Institute; Associate Vice Chancellor for Engineering, Texas A&M University System; Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; College Station, Texas
Henry G. Schwartz, Jr., Chairman,
Sverdrup Civil, Inc., Maryland Heights, Missouri
Thomas R. Warne, President,
Tom Warne and Associates, South Jordan, Utah
David K. Willis, President and Chief Executive Officer,
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Washington, D.C.
John Horsley, Executive Director,
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
David L. Huft, Program Manager—Research,
South Dakota Department of Transportation; Chair, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Research Advisory Committee
Dennis C. Judycki, Deputy Executive Director,
Federal Highway Administration
Anthony R. Kane, Director of Engineering and Technical Services,
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Transportation Research Board Staff
Ann M. Brach, Study Director
In June 1998, the United States Congress passed the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). This bill, which reauthorized the federal-aid highway program, called for the Transportation Research Board (TRB) “to conduct a study to determine the goals, purposes, research agenda and projects, administrative structure, and fiscal needs for a new strategic highway research program to replace the program established under [the section of the United States Code establishing the first Strategic Highway Research Program] or a similar effort.”1 The committee interpreted this charge to imply that the new program was to follow a model for the conduct of highway research that was initiated with the first Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP), authorized by Congress in 1987. This model can be characterized as a focused, time-constrained, management-driven program designed to complement existing highway research programs.2
To carry out this congressional request, TRB established a committee of leaders from the highway community, chaired by C. Michael Walton of The University of Texas at Austin, with Bradley L. Mallory of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as vice chair. The primary task of the Committee for a Study for a Future Strategic Highway Research Program (F-SHRP) was to propose a research program aimed at strategic highway needs; therefore, the committee members were chosen for their demonstrated ability to provide strategic leadership in public agencies, private-sector firms, academia, and user and stakeholder associations within the highway community. Brief biographies of the committee members are given at the end of this report (see Study Committee Biographical Information). The committee also benefited
from the contributions of liaisons from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), who coordinated the committee’s work with their organizations and facilitated outreach to their members throughout the study.
This study was carried out in close cooperation with the National Research Council’s (NRC) Research and Technology Coordinating Committee (RTCC), which performs a continuing review of FHWA’s research and technology programs. RTCC’s report The Federal Role in Highway Research and Technology (TRB 2001) provides a helpful context for the present study, including an overview of the highway industry, highway research and technology programs, and national priorities for highway research. In addition to the RTCC members who were also members of the F-SHRP committee, the following individuals served on RTCC during the development of this report: Allan L. Abbott, Director of Public Works and Utilities, City of Lincoln, Nebraska; Dwight M. Bower, Director, Idaho Transportation Department; Richard P. Braun, Minnesota Guidestar; John E. Breen, Nasser I. Al-Rashid Chair in Civil Engineering, The University of Texas; Forrest M. Council, Highway Safety Research Center, University of North Carolina; Reid Ewing, Research Director, Surface Transportation Policy Project; Irwin Feller, Director and Professor of Economics, Institute for Policy Research and Evaluation, Pennsylvania State University; Larry R. Goode, Director of Transportation Planning, Policy and Finance, Institute of Transportation Research and Education, North Carolina State University; Jack Kay, Transportation Advisor, Science Applications International Corporation; Leon Kenison, Commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Transportation; Joe P. Mahoney, Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Washington; Karen M. Miller, Commissioner, District I Commission for Boone County, Missouri; James E. Roberts, Chief Deputy Director, California Department of Transportation; Sandra Rosenbloom, Director, The Drachman Institute for Land and Regional Development, University of Arizona; Michael M. Ryan, Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; David Spivey, Executive Vice President, Asphalt Paving Association of Washington, Inc.; and Dale F. Stein, President Emeritus, Michigan Technological University.
The study was conducted under the overall supervision of Stephen R. Godwin, Director of TRB’s Studies and Information Services Division. Ann M. Brach served as study director and wrote the report under the direction of the committee.
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.
Appreciation is expressed to the following individuals for their review of this report: Richard E. Balzhiser, Electric Power Research Institute, Inc., Palo Alto, California; Randall Erikson, North Oaks, Minnesota; Robert A. Frosch, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Thomas D. Larson, Lemont, Pennsylvania; Michael D. Meyer, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta; Alison Smiley, Human Factors North, Inc., Toronto, Canada; and James W. van Loben Sels, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Columbia, South Carolina. Although these reviewers provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report’s findings and conclusions, nor did they see the final draft before its release.
The review of this report was overseen by Alexander H. Flax, Potomac, Maryland, and Lester A. Hoel, University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Appointed by NRC, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
Suzanne Schneider, Assistant Executive Director of TRB, managed the report review process. The report was edited and prepared for publication under the supervision of Nancy Ackerman, Director of Reports and Editorial Services. Rona Briere edited the report with support from Kristin Motley. Alisa Decatur prepared the manuscript. John McCracken, Joy Kelly, and Sally Hoffmaster of FHWA provided photographs for the cover. Special thanks go to Marion Johnson, Frances E. Holland, and Jocelyn Sands for assistance with meeting arrangements, communications with committee members, and administrative matters.
The proposed research in this report reflects the insights and cooperation of hundreds of people who responded to the committee’s requests for information and input. Appendix A describes the outreach process used and lists
many of the participants. Special thanks are due to AASHTO technical committees and staff, FHWA staff, TRB committees and staff, the working groups of the National Research and Technology Partnership Forum, and many academicians and private consultants who generously contributed their time and expertise. Their willingness to support this effort is a testimony to the importance of research and technology in transportation and the best predictor of the success of the proposed program.
TRB Transportation Research Board
TRB. 2001. Special Report 261: The Federal Role in Highway Research and Technology. National Research Council, Washington, D.C.