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Suggested Citation:"Breakout Group A." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Transportation Resilience: Adaptation to Climate Change. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24648.
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Page 26

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26 t r a n s p o r t a t i o n r e s i l i e n c e • From a crisis management perspective, how can transport agencies become involved with the total pic- ture in terms of societal response? • How does the profession learn from an event and incorporate this learning into planning, design, opera- tions, and public outreach? breaKout grouP a André van Lammeren Challenges • A number of participants discussed the difficulty of generating interest among policy makers and the pub- lic and generating funding for slow weather events such as heat waves and droughts. Heat is considered to be a stressor on the transport system; it is not treated as a disaster. Further, some suggested that planning for higher temperatures and extreme heat was not being considered by most transport agencies, with few studies, plans, or response exercises. • Another challenge was the uncertainty associated with increasing temperatures and extreme heat. It was suggested that this uncertainty made it difficult to know when to make investments and when to take action. Some participants further suggested that a better under- standing of the potential triggers for extreme tempera- tures would be beneficial to identify when actions should be taken. • A few participants noted that although tempera- ture is important, humidity is also important for humans and some elements of the transport system. Furthermore, they thought that more consideration should be given to the impact of humidity during the planning process for extreme heat. • Examples of experiences that different countries have had with extreme heat include the following. In Greece, heat waves influence mode choice; more inten- sive use of personal vehicles occurs, as buses are not comfortable at 40°C. The influence of heat waves on vulnerable road users, including school children and the elderly, and on the transport of fresh produce was dis- cussed. It was noted that some countries deal with high temperatures every day. Learning from their experiences was suggested, including examining design standards. One participant described Slovenia, which experiences very high and very low temperatures. These temperature variations place additional requirements on materials, such as asphalt, and also cause problems for workers. In Oregon, road work is conducted at night to avoid hot periods of the day. In New York, the subway is not air conditioned, causing some people to get sick or faint, which affects medical services. • Some participants noted that the interdependency of the transport system and other systems can be a chal- lenge. For example, the high temperatures after Hur- ricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy caused deaths. Although fuel was available in New York, people could not always get it. The importance of cross-agency coor- dination was noted, and the impact on the power grid and the importance of working with power companies was discussed. • A couple of participants commented that emer- gency response plans will be different for Arizona, New York, Greece, Slovenia, and other areas. They discussed ways to improve managing the response to extreme weather events. It was noted that some states are devel- oping adaptation plans with design standards, guide- lines, codes, and other elements. • Involving the engineering and standard-setting organizations in the development of new design stan- dards for higher temperatures was considered as poten- tially beneficial. It was noted that this process moves slowly and that these organizations typically deal with traditional changes, not with major changes resulting from climate change and extreme weather events. Fur- ther, it was suggested that there may also be resistance to changes, as the new standards may increase costs. • Participants discussed the costs associated with dif- ferent adaptation measures. Although the costs of some measures can be high, comparisons would have to be made with the costs of weather-related disasters, which cost public agencies and businesses billions of dollars. Obtaining funding for recovery efforts in the United States often requires the President, or the governor of a state, to declare an emergency. Obtaining such funding could be challenging to make needed improvements in advance of possible extreme weather events. Coordinat- ing with public health agencies was suggested as one pos- sible approach by participants. • Other possible challenges were the stove-piping of funding for different modes and the lack of funding for the local transport system. Research • One possible research topic discussed by some participants was making data from climate models and other sources usable for transport planning and opera- tors. Participants suggested that although climate sci- ence data appear to be very rich, they are not always presented in ways that are relevant to transport plan- ning and operations. Conducting research on methods to make climate science data more transport-user friendly could be beneficial. • Another potential research topic was examining the interdependencies of how heat waves will influence

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Transportation Resilience: Adaptation to Climate Change Get This Book
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Transportation Resilience: Adaptation to Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events summarizes a symposium held June 16–17, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. The fourth annual symposium promotes common understanding, efficiencies, and trans-Atlantic cooperation within the international transportation research community while accelerating transport-sector innovation in the European Union (EU) and the United States.

The two-day, invitation-only symposium brought together high-level experts to share their views on disruptions to the transportation system resulting from climate change and extreme weather events. With the goal of fostering trans-Atlantic collaboration in research and deployment, symposium participants discussed the technical, financial, and policy challenges to better plan, design, and operate the transportation network before, during, and after extreme and/or long-term climate events.

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