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vi PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs Preface Congress has long recognized the importance of the highway system to the United States and the role of research, development, and technology transfer (RD&T) in improving the safety and performance of highways supported with federal aid. In the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, Congress expanded the federal investment in highway RD&T. In 1992, then Federal Highway Administrator Thomas D. Larson requested the establishment of the Research and Technology Coordinating Committee (RTCC) to serve as an independent advisor to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and to ensure that the new federal RD&T initiatives would be coordinated with ongoing RD&T in the states and private industry. FHWA has retained the RTCC as an independent advisor ever since. COMMITTEE CHARGE The RTCCâs current charge is to review âthe highway research, development, technology, and deployment efforts of the Federal Highway Administration. The review includes the whole process of research agenda setting, stakeholder involvement, conduct of research, peer review, deployment, and program and project evaluation.â (Box P-1 shows the committeeâs full Statement of Task.) The committee monitors and reviews âFHWAâs research and technology programs and activities and advise[s] FHWA on (a) research agenda setting and coordination of highway research with states, universities, and other partners, (b) strategies to accelerate research and the deployment and adoption of innovation, and (c) potential areas where research is needed.â The members of the RTCC rotate on a regular basis. Members are drawn from the public and private sectors and academia. Current members have expertise in research, research management, and innovation; highway planning, operations, and engineering; local and regional transportation; pavements and structures; intelligent transportation systems; and freight logistics. Biographical information about the current individuals serving on the RTCC is available in Appendix A. BOX P-1 Research and Technology Coordinating Committee Statement of Task This project will conduct a review of the highway research, development, technology, and deployment (RD&T) efforts of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The review will include the whole process of research agenda setting, stakeholder involvement, conduct of research, peer review, deployment, and program and project evaluation. The study committee will provide strategic, research-policy level advice on topical priorities, processes, and strategies to accelerate the adoption of innovation. The committee will monitor and review FHWAâs research and technology programs and activities and advise FHWA on (a) research agenda setting and coordination of highway research with states, universities, and other partners, (b) strategies to accelerate research and the deployment and adoption of innovation, and (c) potential areas where research is needed. The committee will hold at least two meetings per year, issue a letter report at least annually, or periodically issue more in-depth consensus reports as requested by FHWA. These reports will be subject to the report review procedures of the RRC.
vii PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs In addition to providing advice to FHWA, the committee will act as the advisory committee for the FHWA Research Support Program. This advisory activity will entail vetting of the programâs project selections and monitoring the progress of those projects. From time to time over the years, the RTCC has also issued reports to advise Congress on the state of highway research in the United States and opportunities to strengthen the federal investment. This is the fourth such report. For nearly three decades, the RTCC has observed and advised the FHWA RD&T program as it has grown and matured into a comprehensive set of activities designed to assist state and local agencies in the highway innovation process. The program has many strengths, as well as some opportunities for improvement, as described in the chapters that follow. The committee defined the scope of this report, consistent with its Statement of Task and with its past similar reports. The report examines the roles of FHWA and the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) in fostering innovation in the U.S. highway sector. It assesses FHWA and ITS JPO RD&T programs according to three criteria that Congress expects such RD&T to meet: whether the programs ï· cover the full innovation cycle, including fundamental, long-term research, and process and outcome evaluation; ï· address gaps not being addressed by other programs; and ï· conduct research on nationally significant topics not otherwise being addressed. Federal law specifies additional criteria defining the federal responsibility for surface transportation RD&T. The committee limited its review of the RD&T program to consideration of the criteria it judged to be most relevant to congressional decisions about the scope, structure, and funding of the program in the future. The material for this report was developed through briefings and interactions with FHWA and other U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) staff at the RTCCâs regular semi-annual meetings; responses to questions posed to FHWA and USDOT staff on highway RD&T programs; through review of public reports and documents prepared for Congress by FHWA and other USDOT agencies; examination of documentation available in FHWAâs extensive RD&T website; and through analysis of USDOT and Transportation Research Board databases of ongoing highway research. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The committee appreciates the openness and responsiveness of FHWA and USDOT staff in responding to the committeeâs requests and inquiries. This report would not have been possible without the interest and support of Hari Kalla, Associate Administrator for Research, Development and Technology, FHWA (through June 2019), and members of his staff: Shana Baker, Joe Conway, Brian Cronin, Jack Jernigan, John Moulden, Cheryl Richter, Mark Swanlund, and Craig Thor. The committee also appreciates the assistance of FHWA staff members Angela Fogle, Thomas Harmon, Dave Harris, Egan Smith, Neil Spiller, and David Winter, and University Transportation Centers Program staff member Amy Stearns for providing helpful information and reports.
viii PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Ray Chamberlain (NAE), Independent Consultant, Fort Collins, CO; Irwin Feller, The Pennsylvania State University (Emeritus), State College; Gretchen Jordan, University of Maryland, College Park; Sandra Larson, Stanley Consultants, Des Moines, IA; Michael Meyer, Consultant, Atlanta, GA; Larry Rilett, University of NebraskaâLincoln; Robert Skinner, Transportation Research Board (Retired), Falls Church, VA; Bud Wright, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (Retired), Alexandria, VA. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Susan Hanson (NAS), Clark University (Emerita), Worcester, MA, and Sue McNeil, University of Delaware, Newark. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies. This report was developed under the overall supervision of Thomas Menzies, Jr., Director of Consensus and Advisory Studies of the Transportation Research Board (TRB). Stephen Godwin, Scholar, TRB, drafted the report as directed by the RTCC. Joseph Morris, Senior Program Officer, TRB, drafted a major section of Chapter 3 and assisted in responding to the comments of peer reviewers. Karen Febey, Senior Report Review Officer, TRB, managed the report review process. Michael Covington, Senior Program Assistant, provided administrative and logistical support. Anusha Jayasinghe assisted in preparing the document for publication.