Everyone in American society is a customer of the nation’s highway system in one way or another. Customers in every segment of the economy expect high levels of service, and highway transportation is no exception. In meeting customer expectations, the transportation community faces both challenges and opportunities that frequently require new ways of thinking about moving people and goods. The challenges represent a broadening set of performance demands on the highway system, including technical, environmental, economic, safety, social, and political requirements.
In the context of these challenges and opportunities, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), passed in June 1998, called on 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.”1 The Committee for a Future Strategic Highway Research Program (F-SHRP) was formed to undertake this study.2 The results of the committee’s work are documented in this report.
Context for a Future Strategic Highway Research Program
The first Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP, or “Sharp”), conducted during the late 1980s and early 1990s, was a highly successful effort by Congress, state departments of transportation (DOTs), and highway industry leaders to address critical needs facing the industry at the time. Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, a number of new and emerging factors influence highway programs. Some of these factors are described here
as representative of the context within which F-SHRP must be conducted.3 The factors are grouped into five categories for ease of description, but each category interacts closely with the others. Some trends reinforce each other, while others conflict. In many cases, highway transportation both enables the trends (such as economic growth) and is influenced by them. No attempt is made here to articulate precise relationships among the factors (in most cases these are areas ripe for research); what is presented is simply a description of the most salient factors and trends that characterize the highway environment.
Several trends in the demographics of the United States will have significant implications for both levels and patterns of highway demand. First, despite a decreasing rate of population growth, the absolute numbers of persons added to the total population during the next few decades will be large: the U.S. population is expected to grow by more than 50 million in the next two decades (Bureau of the Census 1999, Tables 2 and 3). Population growth will be concentrated in particular areas, such as the South and the West, placing proportionally higher demands on the transportation systems of those regions.
Certain sectors of the population will grow more rapidly than others. Of particular importance is the rising proportion of older persons. As people retire, their travel patterns include more nonwork trips. Aging also brings changes in physical and cognitive skills, with implications for highway safety that are not yet well understood. In addition, the mobility needs of the very old, especially those no longer able to drive, will need to be addressed more aggressively in the coming years. At the same time, there will be an increase in the number of younger drivers as the children of baby boomers reach driving age. Safety and licensing issues for these new drivers will be another priority. Finally, immigration constitutes a large portion of population growth, and minorities represent an increasing percentage of the total population. As these groups advance economically, they constitute a source of travel growth and increased car ownership.
Other social trends affect transportation. For example, population growth rates in rural areas are approaching growth rates in the major metropolitan
Special acknowledgment is due to Alan Pisarski and Martin Wachs for their discussion of these issues at the committee’s June 2000 meeting. The ideas in this section are synthesized from their work and other sources listed in the Additional Sources at the end of the chapter. Citations for specific statements and data are included in the discussions of each research program in Chapters 4 through 7.
centers to which much of the transportation system has historically been oriented. Recent emphasis on urban revitalization may reverse this trend, but in general transportation needs to respond to changes in housing and other lifestyle choices. Moreover, the increase in the number of women in the workplace has resulted in more work trips. It has also led to more trip chaining (stopping for such purposes as child care and household errands on the way to or from work) as women continue to handle most child care and home management responsibilities in addition to working outside the home.
Economic growth has been rapid during the last decade, and despite recent slowdowns, healthy economic growth is expected in the coming decades. Economic growth, like population growth, is not evenly distributed and does not necessarily have the same characteristics and transportation implications in every region. Total vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) is projected to increase by 50 percent to more than 4 trillion by 2020.4 Domestic manufacturing output and international trade have increased, so that there are more goods to be moved physically through the economy. An increasing percentage of freight consists of higher-value, lighter-weight goods that are most likely to be transported by truck or air rather than by rail. At the same time, freight movement overall is increasingly intermodal, placing particular importance on intermodal connections that almost always involve a highway component. This is especially true for global trade, in which connections must be made at air and water ports and land borders. Moreover, trends such as just-in-time manufacturing, rapid delivery, and mass customization of goods demand very tight travel time tolerances for freight movement.
Electronic commerce is another important economic development that is expected to have significant impacts on transportation, although it is not yet clear exactly what these impacts will be. E-commerce may reduce some types of shopping trips but may increase goods movement. This goods movement may involve more trips by smaller trucks into residential neighborhoods or more large trucks traveling on residential streets that were never designed for such traffic.
Tourism, which obviously involves a large transportation component, is another increasingly important part of the economy. Customer requirements
U.S. Department of Energy, www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/aeotab_7.htm.
for leisure travel, in terms of travel time, travel patterns, and travel-related amenities (signage, roadside aesthetics, and rest areas, for example) are likely to differ from requirements for commuting and other ordinary daily travel activities.
Environment and Energy
There is increasing public concern about a wide range of issues related to the natural environment, including air and water quality, noise, habitat and endangered species protection, and global climate change. “Environment” more broadly understood can also include cultural, historic, and social components. Historically, the impact of highways on all these components of the environment has not been given sufficient consideration in either research or practice, although there are some notable exceptions, such as the construction of certain national park roads. The construction of the Interstate system, for example, like the urban renewal efforts of the time, occasioned unforeseen damage to some neighborhoods and habitats.
In recent decades, environmental issues have been the focus of significant and increasing regulation, and much of the response to these issues by the highway sector has resulted from legal and regulatory actions. While much progress has been made, the contentious spirit of these activities may have impeded more creative and effective solutions.
Current activities point to trends such as more emphasis on environmental stewardship, environmental and community enhancement through highway-related activities, more areawide analysis of environmental issues instead of an exclusive focus on project-level impacts, and streamlining of environmental analysis and review processes. The concept of sustainability is also gaining ground, though consensus is still lacking on what sustainability entails in practice.5 Environmental justice is another emerging area that requires additional definition.6 A number of additional challenges will continue, including
the demand for more highway mobility, coupled with an increase in not-in-my-backyard sentiment.
Energy resources, particularly petroleum, are a key element in assessing the context of transportation research. Political and technological developments can significantly affect both the supply of and demand for energy in transportation. An increase in gasoline prices, for example, may motivate greater efficiency in fuel utilization, which in turn could lead to growth in demand for smaller, lighter vehicles that could reverse the recent popularity of sport utility vehicles. The need to decrease emissions from motor vehicles can also contribute to changes in vehicle and fuel technologies. Such changes can have impacts on safety as well as fuel efficiency and emissions.
During the last few years, a number of institutional issues have emerged that will demand resolution in the near future. Perhaps the most fundamental of these issues relates to the changing roles of highway-related institutions, especially government institutions. Recent years have seen a trend toward devolving authority from the federal to the state level, and in many cases further within the states to local governments. Consideration is being given to new forms of regional government to address important issues, such as environmental impacts, economic growth, and land use, that affect areas that do not correspond to traditional governmental jurisdictions. The role of the private sector is also evolving as government agencies outsource greater proportions of their work and generally take more of a partnering approach to their relationships with private firms.
DOTs are experiencing significant changes in the nature and focus of their work. They are increasingly customer-oriented in the way they conceive of their mission. Moreover, they are gradually shifting from a focus on projects, facilities, and construction to a more programmatic, systemwide operations perspective. Most DOTs are actively engaged as well in strategic planning and various levels of performance measurement. There is a growing effort to introduce comprehensive asset management into the way business is conducted. At the same time, many states are handling special, large-scale projects that require whole new ways of doing business almost overnight. In all cases, state DOTs must address a broader set of issues—engineering, environmental, economic, financial, technological, and social—in all their activities and decision making.
The range of issues to be addressed necessitates in turn a broader mix of disciplines and expertise than was needed to build the Interstate highway system. DOTs and private-sector firms are struggling to attract, train, and retain a diverse and highly skilled workforce. Most DOTs have also suffered from reductions in the size of the workforce and from the retirement of large numbers of experienced personnel. Declining enrollments in highway-related fields, such as civil engineering, mean a reduced supply of new talent. At the same time, the workload of DOTs has increased significantly as a result of the influx of funds from the last two highway authorizing bills (the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 and TEA-21) and the increase in regulatory requirements. In short, DOTs are handling a larger and more complex workload with fewer human resources precisely at a moment when creative and skilled personnel are more critical than ever to their mission.
Although highway funding has increased in recent years, some serious questions will arise in the future about how the highway system will be financed. The traditional user fees, derived largely from per-gallon charges on fuel, are potentially threatened by the increasing energy efficiency of highway vehicles, the special tax treatment accorded alternative fuels, and the fact that the user fees are not linked to inflation. Proposals for addressing this issue (such as indexing fuel taxes to inflation or charging a fee based on miles traveled) are in their infancy and are likely to face significant political barriers, at least in the short term. At the same time, innovative financing methods have been introduced, including leveraging of private resources, increased use of tolls, and debt financing. While this issue is not currently at a critical level, it will need to be addressed in the very near future if significant problems are to be averted in the next two decades.
Another institutional issue is the trend toward greater public involvement in the highway development process. While public involvement may have begun as a response to regulatory requirements, it is increasingly becoming a part of the customer-oriented focus of transportation agencies. There is much work to be done in developing effective methods of communication and public participation in highway planning, design, and overall decision making. Public participation from a customer-oriented perspective involves more than responses to particular transportation needs, however. State DOTs and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) survey the public from time to time to measure levels of satisfaction and identify areas for improvement. Selected results of FHWA customer surveys are presented in Box 1-1.
Selected Results of FHWA Customer Satisfaction Surveys
In February 2001, FHWA published the results of three customer surveys conducted in 2000. Several of the findings of these surveys reinforce the results of the F-SHRP committee’s efforts to identify strategic highway research focus areas. First, the surveys indicate the importance of highways and transportation to customers:
At the same time, several areas of dissatisfaction reflect the need for customer-oriented improvements in the areas identified by the F-SHRP committee:
Respondents favored improvements to traffic flow, safety, and pavement conditions as areas in which to focus resources. They also supported the following approaches to overcoming traffic delays: using more durable paving materials, making repairs during off-peak hours, reducing repair times, improving traffic signal timing, clearing accidents quickly, and adding travel lanes. Customers also supported short-term road closures for long-lasting repairs.
Source: FHWA (2001).
While the issues described above may appear daunting, technology advances offer opportunities for addressing these issues through efforts such as F-SHRP. Some of the more salient of these developments are briefly described here.
Advances in information and communication technologies offer opportunities for significant improvements in highway performance. Such technologies include computers, the Global Positioning System, cellular telephones and other telecommunications technologies, and geographic information systems. The field of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) is built on these technologies, which can contribute to safety (crash avoidance and automatic contacting of emergency personnel, for example), the development of onboard navigation systems, systemwide operations, more efficient traffic control, and better communication with users, among other things. These technologies are usually combined with sensing technologies, described later.
At the same time, information and communication technologies pose some issues that the highway community has not fully addressed, such as the safety implications of putting advanced technologies (navigation systems, cell phones) in vehicles and the privacy issues that arise when vehicles are equipped with technology that makes their location known to other parties. Transportation agencies are also faced with the expense of acquiring and maintaining the technologies, plus the difficulty of attracting or training and retaining technically skilled staff to operate them. These issues are all on the transportation supply side. In addition, communication technologies have potential demand implications that are not well understood. Telecommuting, teleconferencing, videoconferencing, and other such capabilities were originally thought to be substitutes for travel. However, they may simply increase the opportunities for interaction; replace business travel with other travel; or facilitate people’s living farther from work so that when they do commute, they travel longer distances. Likewise, e-commerce has a number of potential impacts, discussed earlier.
New materials for both vehicles and infrastructure will be important in efforts to meet safety, operations, and infrastructure performance goals. High-performance materials, including concretes, steels, aluminum, and composites, can now be designed for greater durability, higher strength, and increased corrosion resistance. These characteristics can make infrastructure components last longer, requiring fewer maintenance and repair interven-
tions. Some high-performance materials are designed for rapid setup in the field so that repair and rehabilitation activities will cause minimal lane closure and disruption to traffic. Emerging smart materials and structures combine sensing and communication technologies with advanced materials to create facilities that are self-monitoring. This allows for optimal maintenance intervention and may even contribute to system operations if, for instance, traffic- or weather-sensing technologies are embedded in the materials.
Equipment and sensing technologies also have promising highway applications. Automated and robotic equipment can reduce the need to place highway personnel in the dangerous situations sometimes encountered in bridge inspection or maintenance and repair of facilities that are open to traffic. Better equipment can also speed construction and rehabilitation activities and increase the quality of some procedures. Sensing technologies can be used, as mentioned above, to monitor the physical condition of facilities (stresses and strains in a bridge or cracks in a pavement), their operational performance (the volume and speed of traffic or the length of a backup), or their condition due to inclement weather (the presence of snow or ice). These technologies can be used as well to determine the quality of newly constructed elements in the field, allowing facilities to be opened to traffic at the earliest opportunity (instead of relying on traditional testing methods that usually require a sample to be transported to a laboratory for testing before a facility can be opened).
Advances in data systems and analysis tools are also critical for addressing the challenges facing highway professionals. Much more efficient means of gathering, storing, analyzing, and communicating data have been developed. Agencies still face questions such as what data are needed, how often they should be updated, and how they can be used to benefit operational, environmental, engineering, and safety objectives. However, simulation and prediction models and various types of analytical tools, including some that use artificial intelligence techniques, are available to help address these issues.
Potential changes in vehicle technologies, driven by the energy and environmental concerns mentioned above, may have impacts on the highway system. Electric or hybrid vehicles may have infrastructure needs, including fueling and highway services, different from those of today’s vehicles. Lighter lead acid batteries are being considered by some trucking firms as a cost-effective approach for weight reduction and improved fuel efficiency. Such vehicle and fuel developments may also influence revenues from fuel-based user fees, demand for freight movement by truck, and overall growth in VMT.
From the outset of this study, the F-SHRP committee recognized the central importance of meeting customer needs for any future program of strategic highway research. Accordingly, the committee articulated the following overarching theme for F-SHRP:
Providing outstanding customer service for the 21st century
This theme informed all of the committee’s work, as well as the proposed research program that resulted from those efforts. Customer needs or requirements are invoked throughout the report in support of the committee’s recommendations. Because it was not possible within the scope and resources of this study for the committee to conduct its own customer survey, the following sources were used as the basis for inferences regarding customer expectations:
The FHWA customer survey summarized in Box 1-1 (FHWA 2001). This survey strongly supports the renewal and reliability strategic focus areas.
Two studies of West Coast trucking firms (Regan and Golob 2000; Loudon and Layden 2000), which strongly support the reliability strategic focus area.
Information derived from transportation agency personnel on the committee and through the outreach process. This input was assumed to reflect customer needs, at least indirectly. Frequently, respondents and committee members cited their own states’ customer surveys, as well as input received through public involvement activities at the state level. These sources of customer input support all four strategic focus areas but reveal in particular customer interest in safety, aesthetics, additional capacity, and environmental and social concerns, which is reflected in the safety and capacity strategic focus areas.
Committee members and members of the Research and Technology Coordinating Committee who represent user and customer groups, including motorists, truckers, and community and environmental interest groups. Information gathered from these sources support in particular customer needs in the safety, reliability, and capacity strategic focus areas.
Committee judgment about future needs based on the trends summarized earlier, such as projected increases in VMT; patterns of population
growth; and trends in safety, technology, and the economy. Customer surveys may not reveal such future needs since they typically ask customers to comment on current conditions and immediate actions to be taken. The committee considered as part of its responsibility making judgments about future needs since the proposed research is intended to produce results for eventual implementation.
In addition, the renewal and reliability research programs described in Chapters 4 and 6, respectively, include identification of specific requirements for various types of highway customers among the recommended research tasks.
In accordance with the committee’s interpretation of the congressional request for this study (that the new program should replace or be similar to the first SHRP), the F-SHRP study approach adheres to the principal features of the SHRP model—a focused, time-constrained, management-driven program designed to complement existing research programs. As noted, the study approach is also based on a decidedly customer-oriented view of highway needs. In addition, the approach has the following characteristics:
It addresses highway needs from a systems perspective.
It is open to research in nontraditional highway-related areas.
It explicitly acknowledges the interdependence of highway research and technology programs.
Each of these characteristics is described below.
Highways are not isolated facilities. They form part of local, regional, and national highway systems and the global economy; they are an integral part of intermodal transportation systems; and they operate within a broader context, or system, of social, environmental, and economic issues. All of the challenges described above reflect the complexity of the systems within which highways are situated. Numerous stakeholders in the public and private sectors bring a wide variety of perspectives to these challenges. Many disciplines—engineering, environmental science, the social sciences, and law, to name a few—must be involved in finding solutions. The F-SHRP committee acknowledged this complexity both in its outreach process,
which sought insights from a wide array of highway stakeholders (as discussed below), and in its choice of research topics for the program, each of which represents an attempt to take a broad view of the problems at hand, to apply a combination of tools and approaches, and to take a spectrum of potential impacts into account.
Nontraditional Research Areas
Traditional research for highways is typically in the areas of materials, design, roadside hardware, traffic operations, and planning. While the repertoire of highway research has broadened in recent years to include human factors, the environment, and other topics, some of these areas are still not well integrated into the set of tools used by highway professionals. In the research proposed for F-SHRP, some emphasis is given to areas that are relatively neglected by the highway community from a research point of view. These areas may be characterized as falling within the purview of business, economics, and other social sciences. For example, the proposed research on highway renewal and system reliability includes identifying customer performance requirements, relating these requirements to system performance, and quantifying and assessing user impacts. The proposed work on highway travel time reliability also includes study of the institutional issues that are so critical to highway operations, especially with regard to incident management and response. Research under the safety topic will need to address legal and privacy issues. And the proposed research on providing new capacity will address environmental and economic impacts and community involvement. Research on all four topics will need to address management and workforce issues as they relate to proposed solutions to major highway challenges.
Finally, the inclusion of these topics in a highway research program will necessitate the involvement of new players in developing and guiding the research and will draw new research talent from other fields into the highway arena. It may be hoped that the cross-pollination of ideas and experiences resulting from this approach will extend beyond the conduct of F-SHRP.
Interdependence of Highway Research and Technology Programs
The history of the highway system in the United States has been characterized by a steady flow of research and technology development that has supported national and local highway needs since the 19th century. The major
programs involved in highway research and technology on an ongoing basis are the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP); FHWA’s research and technology program; state DOT research programs; and university transportation research programs. These programs have differing missions. With the exception of some of the university programs, which can be more focused, each must address a large number of issues to support highway agencies and cannot afford to focus all its resources on a small number of topics to the neglect of all others. The programs also focus on differing time frames: state DOTs tend to solve very short-term problems, while NCHRP and FHWA address issues that have relatively longer-term horizons. The types of work typically conducted differ as well: states do the most applied work, involving technology transfer and addressing state-specific operational needs; NCHRP addresses issues that are being faced by a large number of states; FHWA covers a broad range of disciplines and technologies focused on issues of national concern; and universities perform independent research, as well as research in cooperation with the other programs. Corresponding to these differences in type of work and time horizon are differences in stakeholders and in the amount of resources and types of expertise required.
One of the lessons from SHRP was that an occasional infusion of additional resources into a focused, independent research program can accelerate significant improvements in strategically chosen areas. An earlier example of this approach is the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) Road Test, performed in the late 1950s, under which the pavement design standards for the Interstate highway system were developed. This model is implicitly founded on the existence of the ongoing highway research programs mentioned above that advance the state of the art, although at a more moderate pace, across a broader spectrum of highway needs. The missions of these programs are not altered by the existence of selected high-profile, focused programs. Pavement and bridge research, for example, did not cease to be conducted by NCHRP, FHWA, state DOTs, and universities simply because SHRP focused some additional resources on particular aspects of this research. Many infrastructure issues not addressed by SHRP continued to be pursued by these other programs, and dozens of other areas not covered by SHRP were advanced.
Just as neither SHRP nor the AASHO Road Test obviated the need for the various ongoing programs, F-SHRP is not in competition with the latter
programs; it thereby adheres to the program model discussed earlier in complementing existing highway research. In fact, while all of the research topics proposed for F-SHRP are broad and integrated in nature, each is highly dependent on the vitality of established highway research and technology programs for many of the technical elements of the solutions to be sought. In many cases, F-SHRP will perform only selected types of research whose results will be integrated with the products of other programs to accelerate the latter’s effective implementation. Chapters 4 through 7, describing the four F-SHRP research topics, delineate this approach in more detail.
Outreach and Information Gathering
One of the first priorities of the F-SHRP committee was to gather as much input as possible from the highway community. There were several reasons for developing a comprehensive outreach and information-gathering plan for this study. First, because of the success of the first SHRP (see Chapter 2), expectations for and interest in this project are high; people want to be informed about the study and to have the opportunity to provide input. Second, a potentially wide range of research topics was under consideration; expertise in many more areas than could be represented on a committee was required to make effective decisions about the topics to be included in the program. Third, the impact of the committee’s recommendations is potentially quite broad: highway owners, builders, users, regulators, suppliers, and others will all be affected by the results of the program.
The outreach process had three main objectives: to identify strategic highway needs that can be advanced by research, to develop a research program that can address those needs, and to build support for the program by achieving consensus on needs and by soliciting stakeholder involvement in the process of program development. The first two objectives pertain to the types of information sought directly by the committee; the third is a more indirect, but nonetheless critical, result of an effective outreach program.
In addition to the research topics to be included in F-SHRP, the committee received input on appropriate criteria for screening proposed research topics. Input was obtained as well on administrative and funding aspects of the proposed research program.
The outreach process was conducted in three stages:
Stage 1—Develop the themes of the research program. This was the broadest level of outreach, in which input was sought across the highway stakeholder
community to help identify strategic areas of focus for the proposed research program. Approximately 700 letters were sent to public, private, and academic organizations to solicit their input. Nearly 50 presentations on the F-SHRP development effort were made to various stakeholder groups, and 25 presentations on strategic highway needs were made by stakeholders at committee meetings. An interactive website was also established so that input could be provided electronically and stakeholders could track the study’s progress. Approximately 120 formal responses were received. The input obtained during this first stage served as the foundation for the vision, overarching theme, and strategic focus areas of F-SHRP.
Stage 2—Identify the specific research programs within the strategic focus areas. In this stage, input was sought from technical experts on specific types of research that would best address the strategic focus areas. Again, public, private, and academic input was solicited—from American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) committees; TRB technical committees; the working groups of the National Research and Technology (R&T) Partnership Forum;7 and technical experts representing universities, industry, private consultants, and federal agencies. The result of this stage was a reduced number of research program areas from which the F-SHRP committee formulated its recommendations.
Stage 3—Broadly define the research agenda. This stage was even more focused as it contributed to the agenda under each research program. Input for this stage was received through small meetings, focus groups, and e-mail exchanges. The results of this stage helped the committee define the research programs proposed in this report.
All told, more than 240 individuals and groups representing thousands of highway stakeholders responded in some way to the outreach efforts. More detail on the outreach process can be found in Appendix A.
The National R&T Partnership Forum is an ad hoc effort by AASHTO, FHWA, TRB, and other highway stakeholders to develop a comprehensive agenda of highway research and technology needs. Five working groups were formed to address safety, infrastructure, planning and environment, operations, and policy and system monitoring. The F-SHRP outreach effort was conducted in close cooperation with these working groups, which provided valuable input. While the Partnership Forum focuses more on influencing established highway research programs, the research topics proposed by F-SHRP nevertheless reflect the priorities identified by the Forum’s stakeholders, addressing these priorities through research efforts more in line with the SHRP model discussed in this report. For more information about the R&T Partnership Forum and the priorities it identified, see “R&T Forum” at www.TRB.org.
Development of Selection Criteria
Many avenues of research could be pursued to support the vision and strategic focus areas arising from the outreach process described above. Following the SHRP model and adding some further considerations, the committee developed a set of criteria to help select among hundreds of excellent research ideas. These criteria were used at each stage of the outreach process: to develop strategic focus areas in Stage 1; to narrow down the specific research topics in Stage 2; and to guide the development of the research agenda in Stage 3. The major steps in the development of the strategic focus areas and research topics are documented in Appendix B. Three categories of criteria were used:
Significance of the issue
The research addresses one or more national transportation goals: safety, mobility, economic growth and trade, human and natural environment, and national security.
It reflects a major concern of state DOTs and other state and local agencies that will continue well into the future.
Appropriateness for a SHRP-style research program
A research program of critical mass and continuity is necessary to achieve the program goals.
An integrated systems approach is needed, involving multiple players (industry, government, academia) and issues (technology, aesthetics, management, institutional issues).
The area is receiving insufficient attention (in scope or scale) in existing research programs because of a lack of funding, incompatibility with the missions of those programs, or other institutional constraints.
The area has a significant component of public-sector responsibility.
Effectiveness or expected impact of the research
There is a reasonable prospect for significant improvements, rather than just incremental improvements, from the research.
Results are likely to have a major impact (benefit/cost) if successful.
Research results would be forthcoming within a reasonable time frame.
Barriers to innovation are likely to yield to implementation efforts within a realistic time frame.
The research community has the potential to address the topic.
The implementing community has the potential to implement the results of the research (including the capacity to cooperate at the research and development stage to the extent necessary for effective implementation).
Organization of This Report
Historical background on SHRP, a brief analysis of its success, and a summary of lessons learned from the program are provided in Chapter 2. A brief review of the results of the committee’s study, including a general description of the overall proposed research program, its strategic vision and focus areas, and the four component research programs, is presented in Chapter 3. In Chapters 4 through 7 the component research programs are described in more detail, including the challenges that must be addressed for each, a general outline of the research tasks, and other considerations for the effective conduct and implementation of the research. The administration and funding of the overall program are addressed in Chapter 8. Finally, the committee’s recommendations are presented in Chapter 9.
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
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AASHO American Association of State Highway Officials
DOT U.S. Department of Transportation
NAP National Academy Press
TRB Transportation Research Board
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Lockwood, S. C. 1997. Transportation Infrastructure Services in the 21st Century. TR News, No. 192, Sept.–Oct., pp. 3–9, 35–37.
Lockwood, S., R. Verma, and M. Schneider. 2000. Public-Private Partnerships in Toll Road Development: An Overview of Global Practices. Transportation Quarterly, Vol. 54, No. 2, Spring, pp. 77–91.
Mineta, N. Y. 1997. Federal Funding and Other National Issues. TR News, No. 192, Sept.–Oct., pp. 18–21, 37.
NAP. 1997. 1996 Assessment of the Army Research Laboratory. Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications, National Research Council, Washington, D.C.
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