National Academies Press: OpenBook
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. The Essential Federal Role in Highway Research and Innovation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21727.
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| SPECIAL REPORT 317

The Essential Federal Role
in Highway Research
and Innovation

images

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD
                                OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

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Transportation Research Board 2015 Executive Committee*

Chair: Daniel Sperling, Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy; Director, Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis

Vice Chair: James M. Crites, Executive Vice President of Operations, Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport, Texas

Executive Director: Neil J. Pedersen, Transportation Research Board

Victoria A. Arroyo, Executive Director, Georgetown Climate Center; Assistant Dean, Centers and Institutes; and Professor and Director, Environmental Law Program, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.

Scott E. Bennett, Director, Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, Little Rock

Deborah H. Butler, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Norfolk, Virginia (Past Chair, 2013)

Jennifer Cohan, Secretary, Delaware Department of Transportation, Dover

Malcolm Dougherty, Director, California Department of Transportation, Sacramento

A. Stewart Fotheringham, Professor, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, University of Arizona, Tempe

John S. Halikowski, Director, Arizona Department of Transportation, Phoenix

Michael W. Hancock, Secretary, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Frankfort

Susan Hanson, Distinguished University Professor Emerita, School of Geography, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts

Steve Heminger, Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Oakland, California

Chris T. Hendrickson, Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Jeffrey D. Holt, Managing Director, Bank of Montreal Capital Markets, and Chairman, Utah Transportation Commission, Huntsville

Roger Huff, Manager, Ford Global Customs, Material Export Operations, and Logistics Standardization, Ford Motor Company, Farmington Hills, Michigan

Geraldine Knatz, Professor, Sol Price School of Public Policy, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Ysela Llort, Director, Miami–Dade Transit, Miami, Florida

Joan McDonald, Commissioner, New York State Department of Transportation, Albany

Abbas Mohaddes, President and CEO, Iteris, Inc., Santa Ana, California

Donald A. Osterberg, Senior Vice President, Safety and Security, Schneider National, Inc., Green Bay, Wisconsin

Sandra Rosenbloom, Professor, University of Texas, Austin (Past Chair, 2012)

Henry G. (Gerry) Schwartz, Jr., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, Missouri

Kumares C. Sinha, Olson Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Kirk T. Steudle, Director, Michigan Department of Transportation, Lansing (Past Chair, 2014)

Gary C. Thomas, President and Executive Director, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Dallas, Texas

Paul Trombino III, Director, Iowa Department of Transportation, Ames

Thomas P. Bostick (Lt. General, U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, D.C. (ex officio)

Alison Jane Conway, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, City College of New York, New York, and Chair, TRB Young Members Council (ex officio)

T. F. Scott Darling III, Acting Administrator and Chief Counsel, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Sarah Feinberg, Acting Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

David J. Friedman, Acting Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

LeRoy Gishi, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. (ex officio)

John T. Gray II, Senior Vice President, Policy and Economics, Association of American Railroads, Washington, D.C. (ex officio)

Michael P. Huerta, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Paul N. Jaenichen, Sr., Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Therese W. McMillan, Acting Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Michael P. Melaniphy, President and CEO, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, D.C. (ex officio)

Gregory G. Nadeau, Acting Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Peter M. Rogoff, Under Secretary for Transportation Policy, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Mark R. Rosekind, Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Craig A. Rutland, U.S. Air Force Pavement Engineer, Air Force Civil Engineer Center, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida (ex officio)

Vanessa Sutherland, Acting Deputy Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Barry R. Wallerstein, Executive Officer, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Diamond Bar, California (ex officio)

Gregory D. Winfree, Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Frederick G. (Bud) Wright, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, D.C. (ex officio)

Paul F. Zukunft (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (ex officio)

_______________

* Membership as of June 2015.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. The Essential Federal Role in Highway Research and Innovation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21727.
×

| SPECIAL REPORT 317

The Essential Federal Role
in Highway Research
and Innovation

Research and Technology Coordinating Committee

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD
                                OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

images

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD

WASHINGTON, D.C.

2015

WWW.TRB.ORG

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×

Subscriber Categories

Policy; research (about research)

Transportation Research Board publications are available by ordering individual publications directly from the TRB Business Office, through the Internet at www.TRB.org or nationalacademies.org/trb, or by annual subscription through organizational or individual affiliation with TRB. Affiliates and library subscribers are eligible for substantial discounts. For further information, contact the Transportation Research Board Business Office, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (telephone 202-334-3213; fax 202-334-2519; or e-mail TRBsales@nas.edu).

Copyright 2015 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 work of the Research and Technology Coordinating Committee is supported by the Federal Highway Administration.

Cover and book design by Beth Schlenoff, Beth Schlenoff Design

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

The essential federal role in highway research and innovation / Research and Technology Coordinating Committee, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies.

pages cm — (Transportation Research Board special report ; 317)

Includes bibliographical references.

ISBN 978-0-309-29574-1
DOI: 10.17226/21727

1. United States. Federal Highway Administration. 2. Highway research—United States. 3. Federal aid to research—United States. I. National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board. Research and Technology Coordinating Committee. II. Series: Special report (National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board) ; 317.

TE192.E87 2015

625.7072—dc23

2015017974

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

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. On 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. Ralph J. Cicerone 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. C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., 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, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Victor J. Dzau 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 Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Board’s varied activities annually engage about 7,000 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. www.TRB.org

www.national-academies.org

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Research and Technology Coordinating Committee
(Federal Highway Administration)

Michael D. Meyer, Modern Transport Solutions, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, Chair

Kevin Chesnik, Applied Research Associates, Madison, Wisconsin

Karen K. Dixon, Texas A&M University System, College Station

Patricia Gillette, Colorado Motor Carriers Association, Denver

Timothy A. Henkel, Minnesota Department of Transportation, St. Paul

Wayne K. Kittelson, Kittelson & Associates, Inc., Portland, Oregon

Michael R. Morris, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington

Harold (Skip) Paul, Louisiana Transportation Research Center, Baton Rouge

J. David Roessner, SRI International, Redwood City, California

Robert L. Sack, New York State Department of Transportation, Albany

Kumares C. Sinha, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Stephanie N. Wiggins, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, California

James M. Winford, Jr., Prairie Contractors, Inc., Opelousas, Louisiana

Transportation Research Board Staff

Stephen R. Godwin, Director, Studies and Special Programs

Jill Wilson, Senior Program Officer

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Preface

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is tasked with improving mobility and safety on the nation’s highways through national leadership, innovation, and program delivery. The agency’s highway research, development, and technology (RD&T) program is, however, only one among many involved in highway innovation, with state and university programs and technology companies also playing important roles in the nation’s overall highway research effort. One consequence of this complex and decentralized research “ecosystem” is that the intertwined and interdependent roles and responsibilities of the various participants are often unclear to the many stakeholders who build, maintain, and operate the highway system, as well as to its multiple users. Even highway professionals and seasoned observers sometimes struggle to understand who does what research for whom, the benefits of such research, and the sources of the funding. In light of this complexity, an objective overview of the roles of all the participants in the nation’s highway RD&T ecosystem is important for informing the reauthorization of the current surface transportation authorizing legislation, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). Without such understanding, budget pressures could result in essential parts of the nation’s highway RD&T being unintentionally affected because of a lack of appreciation for how the system functions as a whole.

For more than 30 years, the Research and Technology Coordinating Committee (RTCC), operating under the auspices of

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the National Academies’ Transportation Research Board (TRB), has served as an independent adviser on national and federal highway research. The work of RTCC has been supported by FHWA, and the committee’s letter reports to the agency, issued once or twice a year, have provided tactical advice on highway research topics, funding, and research management. In addition, RTCC has periodically (typically once every 6 or 7 years) issued reports assessing the state of highway research at national and federal levels and highlighting strategic issues of importance to policy makers.

The present report continues RTCC’s tradition of issuing periodic, strategically focused reports. In particular, it aims to inform the impending reauthorization of MAP-21 by providing background and context for decisions about future federal funding of highway RD&T. The report draws on RTCC’s advice over the years and synthesizes findings and recommendations from earlier reports about what the federal role should be in promoting innovation on the nation’s highways.

The review of this report was overseen by National Academy of Sciences member Susan Hanson, Clark University (emerita). Appointed by the National Research Council, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of the report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. The purpose of this review was to provide candid and critical comments to assist TRB in making the report as sound as possible and to ensure that it 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 review process. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. The committee thanks the following individuals for their review of the report: E. Dean Carlson (NAE), Carlson and Associates, Highlands Ranch, Colorado; A. Ray Chamberlain (NAE), consultant, Fort Collins, Colorado; John Halikowski, Arizona Department of Transpor-

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tation, Phoenix; Albert Teich, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.; and C. Michael Walton (NAE), University of Texas at Austin. Although the reviewers provided constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the committee’s conclusions, nor did they see the final draft before it was released.

Stephen R. Godwin and Jill Wilson drafted the report under the guidance of the committee. Karen Febey, Senior Report Review Officer, managed the report review process. Norman Solomon edited the report, Jennifer J. Weeks prepared the prepublication edition for web posting, and Juanita Green managed the book production under the supervision of Javy Awan, Director of Publications. Timothy Devlin assisted with meeting arrangements and communications with committee members.

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TRB Special Report 317: The Essential Federal Role in Highway Research and Innovation summarizes conclusions and advice on the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) critical role in highway research, development, and technology (RD&T) that have been developed over the years by TRB’s Research and Technology Coordinating Committee (RTCC).

The RTCC is charged to monitor and review the FHWA’s research and technology activities; provide advice to FHWA on the setting of a research agenda and coordination of highway research with states, universities, and other partners; review strategies to accelerate the deployment and adoption of innovation; and identify areas where research may be needed.

The RTCC concludes that FHWA plays an essential role in exploratory, advanced research; addresses national priorities that other highway RD&T programs do not address; and facilitates adoption of innovations at the state and local level through technology transfer.

Along with its other responsibilities, the RTCC notes that FHWA will play a particularly important role with ensuring the standardization of safety alerts to motorists between infrastructure and vehicles as part of the national connected vehicle initiative as well as assisting transportation agencies in implementing the many innovations developed in the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2).

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