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Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 12 C H A P T E R 3 Activities & Findings Chapter 2 outlined the overarching research approach, including the two phases of research and the corresponding tasks. The tasks led to eight primary activities for collecting the information that fed into the Roadmap, research needs statements, and problem statements. For the purposes of this report, a Research Needs Statement (RNS) includes a project title, background, and research objective. In general, the problem statement is an expansion of one of the RNS. It is written in the CRP format which includes a problem title, background, literature search summary, research objective, urgency and potential benefits, implementation considerations and supports, recommended research funding and research period, problem statement author, others supporting the Problem Statement (PS), potential panel members, and person submitting the problem statement. The eight activities and their outcomes are described below. Fact Sheets (Task 1: Environmental Scan) The Research Team conducted a broad environmental scan to identify key rural issues and corresponding research needs. The information was used to develop fact sheets and preliminary RNS for the first workshop (Colorado). Overview In recognition of the breadth and diversity of rural transportation needs, the Research Team identified themes defining the boundaries of rural transportation for the purposes of the Colorado workshop. (This has been an iterative process throughout the project. While there are fifteen themes identified in this final report, these have been regrouped and added to throughout the project based on stakeholder and Project Panel feedback.) Prior to the Colorado workshop, the Research Team initially developed fourteen themed fact sheets (shown in Table 1) which summarized the information identified in the environmental scan. The fact sheets were not intended to be an exhaustive/comprehensive list, but rather a starting point for facilitated discussions. These fact sheets identify key challenges and opportunities faced by rural transportation agencies. The fact sheets also laid out examples of potential research topics to help address the needs of transportation practitioners and the travelling public and close knowledge gaps. The fact sheets were distributed to members of the NCHRP 20-122 Project Panel and other stakeholders in advance of the Colorado workshop. Each fact sheet described: â¢ Community type(s) and mode(s) that pertain to the theme. â¢ Theme description. â¢ Challenges and solutions for sub-topics under each theme. â¢ Available research. â¢ Potential research needs. Among the fourteen themes, only two (theme 6 and 10) were not applicable to all community types (see
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 13 Table 1). Note however, that while a main overarching theme may be applicable to all community types, some of its detailed subtopics may not be (e.g., animal-drawn vehicles in theme 13). Table 2 shows the modes specific to each topic. As illustrated in this table, rural transportation is multi- modal, with many of the themes related most closely to roadway and bus modes. Table 1: Rural Transportation Issue Themes versus Community Type Beyond the "Lower 48" (AK, HI, PR, VI, GU, AS, MP) Exurban Community Frontier/ Remote Community Resource- based Community Tourism-based Community Tribal Lands and Alaska Native Community Theme 1: Active transportation x x x x x x Theme 2: Workforce development x x x x x x Theme 3: Transportation access and mobility x x x x x x Theme 4: Intersection of health and transportation x x x x x x Theme 5: Generational expectations, work & lifestyle x x x x x x Theme 6: Transporting rural products to market x x x x Theme 7: Weather, climate and resilience x x x x x x Theme 8: Rural public & school transportation x x x x x x Theme 9: Law enforcement, crime and drugs x x x x x x Theme 10: Aviation x x x x x Theme 11: Connected and automated vehicles and emerging technologies x x x x x x Theme 12: Tourism and the natural environment x x x x x x Theme 13: Roadway infrastructure and balancing capacity with demand x x x x x x Theme 14: Rural transportation safety x x x x x x
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 14 Table 2: Rural Transportation Issue Themes versus Mode The Research Team divided each of the fourteen themes into subtopics in order to define challenges and solutions, which helped inform the gap analysis and RNS. The subtopics for each theme are shown in Table 3. Aviation Bicycle Bus Maritime Pedestrian Rail Roadway Theme 1: Active transportation x x Theme 2: Workforce development x x x x x x x Theme 3: Transportation access and mobility x x x x x Theme 4: Intersection of health and transportation x x x x Theme 5: Generational expectations, work & lifestyle x x x x x x x Theme 6: Transporting rural products to market x x x Theme 7: Weather, climate and resilience x Theme 8: Rural public & school transportation x x x Theme 9: Law enforcement, crime and drugs x x x x Theme 10: Aviation x Theme 11: Connected and automated vehicles and emerging technologies x x x x Theme 12: Tourism and the natural environment x x x x x x x Theme 13: Roadway infrastructure and balancing capacity with demand x Theme 14: Rural transportation safety x x x x x x x
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 15 Table 3. Rural Transportation Issue Themes for the Colorado Workshop Theme 1: Active transportation â¢ Access to active transportation opportunities in rural communities â¢ Health impact of active transportation in rural communities â¢ Safety risks and countermeasures for active transportation users â¢ Economic development opportunities for trail-based communities â¢ Safe routes to school â¢ Bikeshare programs Theme 2: Workforce development â¢ Transportation agency workforce recruitment and retention Theme 3: Transportation access and mobility â¢ Aging in place â¢ Mobility choices of millennials â¢ Shared-use mobility services â¢ Coordinated transportation services Theme 4: Intersection of health and transportation â¢ Transportation disadvantages and access to healthcare services â¢ EMS service area challenges and coordination of EMS â¢ Communications technology â¢ Incorporating public health into transportation planning Theme 5: Generational expectations, work & lifestyle â¢ Baby boomers â¢ Generation X â¢ Millennials â¢ Post-millennial Theme 6: Transporting rural products to market â¢ General trends affecting rural freight â¢ Truck freight â¢ Railroads â¢ Maritime freight â¢ Intermodal freight â¢ Express delivery services Theme 7: Weather, climate and resilience â¢ Increasing prevalence of severe storms, floods, forest fires, and related events â¢ Natural disasters â¢ Climate impacts on rural bridges and culverts â¢ Climate impacts on rural pavements and unpaved roads â¢ Winter roadway maintenance Theme 8: Rural public & school transportation â¢ Transit â¢ Paratransit â¢ School transportation â¢ Passenger rail â¢ Shared-use mobility â¢ FTA regulation impacts â¢ Feasibility and cost/benefit â¢ Rural public transportation investments to stimulate economic development Theme 9: Law enforcement, crime and drugs â¢ Traffic enforcement in sparsely populated areas â¢ Vandalism and theft on rural transportation infrastructure â¢ Human trafficking â¢ Illicit drugs â¢ Marijuana/cannabis Theme 10: Aviation â¢ Essential Air Service program â¢ Air taxis â¢ General aviation â¢ Rural aviation, tourism, and economic development Theme 11: Connected and automated vehicles and emerging technologies â¢ Technology infrastructure in rural areas â¢ Road infrastructure considerations â¢ AV/CV effects on vehicle ownership, freight, transit, and shared-use mobility Theme 12: Tourism and the natural environment â¢ Context sensitive solutions â¢ First mile/last mile â¢ Discrete congestion â¢ Balance â¢ Economic development opportunities â¢ Environmental regulatory issues and impacts Theme 13: Roadway infrastructure and balancing capacity with demand â¢ Effectiveness of rural highway investments in stimulating economic development â¢ Sustaining rural infrastructure when economic activity declines â¢ Rural and exurban development impacts on roadways â¢ Energy projects and rural roadways â¢ Agricultural vehicle impacts on rural roadways and bridges â¢ Animal-drawn vehicles Theme 14: Rural transportation safety â¢ Geometric design â¢ Crash types and countermeasures â¢ Safety culture â¢ Speed management â¢ Behavioral interventions â¢ Teen drivers â¢ Older drivers â¢ Tribal transportation safety â¢ Motorcycles â¢ ATVs â¢ Child passenger safety â¢ Human factors â¢ Enforcement laws and policies â¢ Cross-jurisdictional planning â¢ Retro-reflectivity and nighttime visibility â¢ Safety performance measures and monitoring â¢ Systemic safety â¢ Safety data/Crash records â¢ Incident management â¢ Animal-vehicle collision countermeasures
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 16 Results The outcome of this activity was three deliverables including: 1. Fourteen Fact Sheets. The full fact sheets with the identified challenges, solutions, research available, and potential research needs are provided in Appendix A. 2. Seven Original Research Needs Statements (RNS). Based on the gaps and research needs identified in the fact sheets, the Research Team created seven RNS that were provided to Colorado workshop participants as examples. These RNS served two purposes. First, the team had the opportunity to create RNS on topics that the NCHRP 20-122 Project Panel identified as initial priorities, which could be expanded into full NCHRP problem statements using input from the workshop. Second, the RNS served as examples for workshop attendees to understand the next step for any research needs arising during the workshop. The seven RNS prepared for workshop included the following topics: â Bridge and Culvert Vulnerability Assessment Software Suite â Rural Transportation Agency Marijuana Policies in the Legalization Era â Force Multiplier Toolkit for Rural Traffic Enforcement â A Mode-Neutral Guide for Rural Transportation Investment Analysis â Effects of Rural Rideshare on Public Transportation â Traffic Management for Rural Tourism Communities â Cumulative Effects of Underinvestment in Rural Transportation These RNS can be found in Appendix B and are discussed further in Chapter 4. 3. Roadmap Database. With a high number of anticipated research needs, in at least fourteen different categories, the Research Team created a database to document and filter research needs. This initial version of the database included the research needs listed in the fact sheet. Literature Review (Task 2: Literature Review & Gap Analysis) The Research Team was also tasked with conducting a literatures review and gap analysis. Overview During the environmental scan, the Research Team logged studies, reports, and projects in progress that were important for the Roadmap. To complete this task, the Research Team members utilized their university libraries, as well as key databases including but not limited to Google Scholar, SCIFinder Scholar, and the Transportation Research International Database (TRID). The Research Team also reviewed ongoing research and existing documents published by entities such as Departments of Transportation (DOTs), University Transportation Centers (UTCs), Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), American Public Works Association (APWA), American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and Transportation Research Board (TRB). Results The outcome of this activity was two deliverables including: 1. Annotated Literature Review. The literature logs more than 200 studies or reports with the key findings in laypersonâs terms. It is important to note that several of the literature review items are brief summaries of major reports, for example the OECD Safety Strategies for Rural Roads report which comprises more than 140 pages. The Annotated Literature Review can be found in Appendix C. 2. Projects Currently in Progress. The Research Team identified projects that are currently in progress under various institutions but will be important in filling the research needs gaps. While these projects cannot be accounted for in the annotated literature review due to not being complete, they are instead listed in Appendix D.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 17 RNS Database Search (Task 2: Literature Review & Gap Analysis) As the goal of TRB committees is to recommend further research, many TRB committees create RNS on a yearly basis. To ensure that the rural ideas from these committees were reflected in the Roadmap, the Research Team felt it was important to include this information in the Roadmap. Overview The Research Team first conducted a search of the TRB RNS Database to identify rural research needs that had been submitted by TRB committees but had not yet been funded. Secondly, the Research Team reached out directly to several committees that are known to support rural research needs or rural practitioners. The goal was to seek out research needs that TRB committees were currently discussing but had not been developed into RNS or had not yet been submitted to the TRB RNS database. In a few cases, the TRB committees already had full RNS that they planned to submit for funding in that year and provided those for the project. To keep TRB committees involved, several TRB committee representatives were invited to attend the stakeholder workshops (i.e., 2018 Colorado workshop and the 2019 TRB workshop). The Research Team was also invited by several committees to present a project update at the 2019 and 2020 TRB annual meetings (see Chapter 5 for more information). Lastly, several of these committees co-sponsored a 2020 TRB workshop on rural equity, a topic derived from the Roadmap (see Chapter 5 for more information). Table 4 shows the participation in this project for different committees. Table 4: TRB Committee Participation TRB Committee Number3 TRB Committee Name RNS New RNS Team Present to Committee Attend Stakeholde r Workshop4 Sponsor TRB 2020 Workshop ABE60 Accessible Transportation and Mobility X ABE80 Native American Transportation Issues X X ABJ20 Statewide Transportation Data and Information Systems/ X X ABJ30 Urban Transportation Data and Information Systems X ABJ50 Information Systems and Technology X 3 Note that these TRB Committee Names and Numbers are from 2019, therefore, before the TRB restructuring and renumbering of committees. 4 Note that additional committees may have been represented at the workshops, these are just the ones we know for sure were represented
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 18 Table 4: TRB Committee Participation (Cont.) TRB Committee Number5 TRB Committee Name RNS New RNS Team Present to Committee Attend Stakeholder Workshop6 Sponsor TRB 2020 Workshop ADA10 Statewide Multimodal Transportation Planning X ADA30 Transportation Planning for Small & Medium-sized Communities X X ADA40 Transportation Needs of National Parks & Public Lands X X X X X ADC20 Transportation and Air Quality X ADC50 Historic and Archeological Preservation in Transportation X ADC60 Resource Conservation and Recovery X ADD20 Social and Economic Factors of Transportation X ADD50 Environmental Justice in Transportation X AFB10 Geometric Design X AFB20 Roadside Safety Design X AFB30 Low Volume Roads X X X AFB40 Landscape and Environmental Design X AFD10 Pavement Management Systems X AFD60 Design and Rehabilitation of Asphalt Pavements X AFF50 Seismic Design and Performance of Bridges X AFH40 Construction of Bridges and Structures X AFK40 Surface Requirements of Asphalt Mixtures X AFP00 Geological and Geoenvironmental Engineering X AFP10 Engineering Geology X 5 Note that these TRB Committee Names and Numbers are from 2019, therefore, before the TRB restructuring and renumbering of committees. 6 Note that additional committees may have been represented at the workshops, these are just the ones we know for sure were represented
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 19 Table 4: TRB Committee Participation (Cont.) TRB Committee Number7 TRB Committee Name RNS NEW RNS Team Present to Committee Attend Stakeholder Workshop8 Sponsor TRB 2020 Workshop AFP70 Aggregates X AHB15 Intelligent Transportation Systems X AHB65 Operational Effects of Geometrics X AHD55 Signing and Marking Materials X ANB10 Transportation Safety Management X ANB10(7) Rural Road Safety Policy, Programming, and Implementation Joint Subcommittee X X X X X ANB20 Safety Data, Analysis and Evaluation X ANB70 Truck and Bus Safety X ANB75 Roundabouts X ANF10 Pedestrians X ANF20 Bicycle Transportation X A0020T Climate Change and Energy X AP025 Public Transportation Planning and Development X AP055 Rural Public & Intercity Bus Transportation X X X APO60 Paratransit X ARO10 Intercity Passenger Rail X ARO30 Railroad Operating Technologies X ARO40 Railroad Operating Technologies X AVO20 Aviation System Planning X AVO70 Aircraft/Airport Compatibility X Results This activity resulted in two deliverables including: 7 Note that these TRB Committee Names and Numbers are from 2019, therefore, before the TRB restructuring and renumbering of committees. 8 Note that additional committees may have been represented at the workshops, these are just the ones we know for sure were represented
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 20 1. Roadmap Database Version 2. The rural research needs identified from TRB committees were added to version 2 of the database. 2. RNS â Three TRB Committees (i.e., ADA40, ANB10(7), and AP055) provided new RNS that they had already been working on. Working in conjunction with those TRB committees, these RNS were added to the ones submitted to AASHTO R&I Committee (see Chapter 5 for more information). Practitioner Needs (Task 3: Colorado Workshop) The objective of the Colorado workshop was to gather rural issues, research needs, and feedback on RNS from a multi-disciplinary, multi-modal group that included representation from multiple levels of government. The 8-hour workshop was held on Friday, September 28, 2018 in Denver, Colorado, just prior to the TRB Rural and Intercity Bus Conference. Overview The overview for this activity describes the participants, pre-workshop information, break-out groups, and agenda. Participants A total of 35 participants and 5 facilitators attended the Colorado workshop (see Figure 7). Of the 35 participants, 15 were NCHRP 20-122 Project Panel members. The Research Team selected the other 20 attendees. The Research Team kept a focus on capturing the needs and interests of localities and the âboots on the groundâ staff (e.g., regional, county, and municipal representatives and grass roots organizations) whose needs tend to focus on the applied/implementable side of research, rather than issues of theory or fundamental science. The potential participant list, created with recommendations from the NCHRP 20-122 Project Panel, the Senior Technical Expert Panel, and the Research Team, included more than 100 people. Since only 20 participants could be accommodated, several selection criteria were applied. Since travel funding was available for the workshop, the Research Team first considered communities that are typically unable to participate in research needs gathering efforts due to difficulty self-funding travel to relevant events. The participant list was then balanced in terms of government levels (municipal, county, region, state, tribal, national), areas of the country (see Figure 8Figure 7), modes (e.g., transit, highway, rail, air, nonmotorized), and disciplines (e.g., law enforcement, tourism, economic development). Due to the short turnaround time (4 weeks from pre-award to workshop), many of the initial invitees were unavailable; wherever possible, a replacement was found.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 21 Figure 7: Colorado Workshop Participants Figure 8: Regional Distribution of CO Workshop Attendees
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 22 Pre-Workshop Information While workshop participants were selected based on their technical specialty and/or community type, participants were asked to represent their state or region as a whole. The goal was to assure that all participants were prepared to discuss rural transportation issues and research needs not only from the perspective of their own level of government, but also other levels of government, business and industry, the public, and different demographics. Preparations helped assure that participants were ready to think broadly during the workshop and ensure that the 35 participants could appropriately represent the full range of rural transportation modes, issues, community types, economics, and terrain. To assist in these discussions, the Research Team created a set of talking points and provided them to participants two weeks in advance of the workshop. Team members asked participants to bring any background information they gathered with them to the workshop for use in the facilitated discussions. The talking points consisted of the following: 1. What are the main transportation issues currently facing rural communities in your area? 2. Do these issues primarily involve a particular theme, such as: â Streets, highways, bridges â Freight â School transportation, transit, intercity bus, passenger rail â Aviation â Non-motorized (pedestrian, bike, horse & buggy, etc.) â Safety, crash prevention, incident response, etc. â Access to medical care or other specialized services â Economic development, tourism, etc. â Children, teens, elders, people with disabilities, etc. â Attracting/retaining qualified personnel to your agency or industry in general 3. Have you made use of any existing transportation research to help address these issues? Were the studies helpful? 4. What transportation issues are rural areas facing due to changing trends (e.g., technology, workforce, housing shifts, climate change, generational expectations)? 5. What specific research questions, if answered, could help your area resolve rural transportation issues? A few days before the workshop, attendees were also provided with a working draft of a fact sheet for each of the fourteen rural transportation themes. Due to the breadth of the rural transportation topics, the fact sheets were not intended to be an exhaustive, comprehensive list, but rather a starting point for facilitated discussions. More detailed information on the fact sheets is provided in previous sections of Chapter 3. Breakout Groups During the workshop, most of the agenda activities were facilitated discussions in break-out groups. The three breakout groups were facilitated by one or two Research Team members. Although several configurations were considered for the breakout groups (community type, random assignment, region, government level, mode/special interest), the final decision was to create three diverse, but similar groups. Therefore, each of the three groups contained 11 to 12 people with the following distribution: â¢ One âbeyond the lower 48â representative (HI, PR, or AK). â¢ One general university representative. â¢ One specialized university (aviation, public health or tribal) representative. â¢ Two-three state DOT representatives. â¢ One county engineer or regional planning organization representative. â¢ One public lands representative.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 23 â¢ One policy, cooperative research program, or development organization representative. â¢ One tribal, law enforcement, nonmotorized, or small-town representative. â¢ Three transit representatives. The groups were also distributed to account for gender (5-7 men and 5-7 women in each group), number of NCHRP 20-122 Project Panel members (4-6 in each group), and regional diversity (national, northeast, Midwest, southern, mountain west, pacific west and âbeyond the lower 48â). Agenda The workshop agenda is presented in Figure 9 and Figure 10. To compensate for a longer-than-expected time to complete the introductions, discussions were extended into the lunch period. A meeting of the NCHRP 20-122 Project Panel was conducted immediately after the main workshop. Figure 9: Colorado Workshop Agenda Part 1
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 24 Figure 10: Colorado Workshop Agenda Part 2 Results The Colorado workshop yielded findings on three topics: (1) additional rural transportation challenges, (2) additional operational and research needs, (3) feedback on the seven pre-prepared RNS, and (4) submission of a PS prepared by the ADA40 TRB Committee on Parks and Public Lands. Additional information on the RNS and PS can be found in Chapter 4. This activity resulted in two deliverables including: 1. Roadmap Database Version 4. The research needs identified from Colorado workshop participants were added to version 4 of the database. 2. Twenty-five RNS â Based on the stakeholder feedback on the 7 preliminary RNS and additional needs brought forward by Denver workshop participants, a set of 25 draft RNS was prepared for further review by the NCHRP 20-122 Project Panel (see Appendix E) for prioritization and potential submission to AASHTO R&I Committee (see Chapter 4 for additional information). Safety Needs (Task 6: Georgia Workshop) The objectives of the Georgia workshop were to describe the NCHRP 20-122 Project background and process and to identify additional safety research needs to be included in the Roadmap. The 2-hour
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 25 workshop entitled âInnovative Rural Safety Research: What is Needed to Get Rural to Zeroâ was held on Thursday, December 6th, 2018 in Savannah, Georgia as part of the 2nd National Summit on Rural Road Safety (Figure 11). Figure 11: 2nd National Summit on Rural Road Safety Save-the-date Card Overview The overview for this activity describes the participants and methodology. Participants A total of 13 participants and 2 facilitators attended the Georgia workshop. The participants in this session included four state departments of transportation, an AAASHTO representative, four Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) employees, two Local Technical Assistance Programs (LTAPs), a county engineer, and a state sheriff. Therefore, while some of the participants were âboots on the groundâ staff (e.g., regional, county, and municipal representatives and grass roots organizations) whose needs tend to focus on the applied/implementable side of research, the rest represented federal and state agency participants. To ensure that as much information could be collected as possible, the Research Team invited all 120 participants of the 2nd National Summit on Rural Road Safety to provide their feedback on safety research needs, even if they did not attend the workshop. To collect this information, an announcement was made several times during the conference and a poster showing all of the current safety research needs was placed near the summit registration table. Participants were asked to put additional safety research needs on index cards and submit them in the bag near the poster.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 26 Figure 12: Collecting Safety Research Needs at the 2nd National Summit on Rural Road Safety, Georgia Methodology During the workshop, the Research Team spent the first twenty minutes presenting the project background to the participants to ensure that everyone was on the same page. Each participant then received a hard copy of the draft safety research needs so they could add their own ideas based on their own rural experience and expertise. The intent was to spend the last half hour of the session talking about the other rural themes; however, the participants chose to stay on the safety theme for the entire 2-hour session. Results The Georgia workshop yielded nine index cards from summit participants and more than fifty potential research needs developed based on both the workshop and index cards. Some of the overarching research needs included animal-drawn vehicles, young operators on rural highways, horseback crossings on high- speed roadways, slow moving vehicles, public attitudes towards proven countermeasures, safety for non- motorized transportation, crash data, road design standards, low volume roads, equity, access, and behavioral safety (e.g., distraction, drinking, speeding, fatigue, etc.). This activity resulted in one deliverable including: 1. Roadmap Database Version 5. The research needs identified from the Georgia workshop participants were added to version 5 of the database. More information on the 2nd National Summit on Rural Road Safety can be found here: https://ruralsafetycenter.org/news-events/bridging-the-gap-summit/. Policy Needs (Task 7: TRB Workshops) The objectives of the TRB Executive Committee Meeting were to explore and identify potential rural transportation research needs in the areas of economic development, and social and health wellbeing. The research needs identified in this meeting were added into the NCHRP 20-122 Roadmap. The 4-hour workshop entitled âTransportationâs Role in the Wellbeing of Rural Communities: Identifying Research
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 27 Prioritiesâ was held on Wednesday, January 16 and continued the morning of Thursday, January 17, 2019 during the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting. Overview The overview for this activity describes the participants and methodology. Participants The TRB Executive Committee is a twenty-five-member senior policy group of TRB. Quite like this Roadmap, the members of the committee are multi-disciplinary, multi-modal, and represent multiple levels of government and community types. The TRB Executive Committee Meeting, held at the TRB Annual Meeting in Washington D.C., is one of two meetings per year for this group. It is a closed-door meeting specifically for the TRB Executive Committee and its invited guests. Along with the TRB Executive Committee, this meeting included the NCHRP 20-122 Project Panel, NCHRP 20-122 Research Team, and four invited speakers. Methodology The meeting agenda is presented in Figure 13, Figure 14, and Figure 15. The workshop began with a three-hour meeting on day 1 and a follow-up one-hour meeting on day two. Day 1 included panel presentations on TRBâs existing rural wellbeing activities, on the NCHRP 20-122 project, and on social and economic wellbeing. The group then split into three self-selected breakout sessions to discuss research needs on three specific topics including the big picture, social wellbeing, and economic wellbeing. On day 2, the facilitators of each group provided an overview of the previous dayâs breakout sessions. It should be noted that due to day 2âs session overlapping with the NCHRP 20-122 TRB workshop, the Project Panel and Research Team were unable to attend.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 28 Results The TRB Executive Committee Meeting yielded additional research needs on policy related themes. At the meeting, the NCHRP 20-122 Project Panel was also invited to submit PS related to policy for potential funding as policy-related research projects are not typically funded through the CRP programs. At the panel meeting in October 2019, the NCHRP 20-122 Project Panel prioritized and selected three policy-related topics to be expanded and submitted to the TRB Executive Committee. More information on these topics can be found in Chapter 4. This activity resulted in one deliverable: 1. Roadmap Database Version 6. The research needs identified from the TRB Executive Committee Meeting participants were added to version 6 of the database. Figure 14: TRB Executive Committee Meeting Agenda Part 2 Figure 13: TRB Executive Committee Meeting Agenda Part 1
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 29 Researcher Needs (Task 7: TRB Workshop) The objectives of the TRB Workshop were to describe the NCHRP 20-122 project background and process to additional stakeholders, identify additional safety research needs to be included in the Roadmap, and prioritize research needs by theme. All additions and changes suggested during this workshop were added to the Roadmap. The 4-hour workshop entitled âNCHRP 20-122 Rural Transportation Issues Research Roadmapâ was held on Thursday, January 17, 2019 during the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting. Overview The overview for this activity includes additional information on the participants and methodology. Participants More than 70 attendees participated in this workshop including the Research Team, Project Panel, and TRB staff. Most attendees were from federal and state agencies, academic researcher institutions, or consulting firms, including Departments of Transportation, FHWA, agricultural departments, Domestic and International Universities, and AASHTO representatives. However, there were also a smaller number of âboots on the groundâ staff representing regional planning organizations, transit associations, counties, Figure 15: TRB Executive Committee Meeting Agenda Part 3
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 30 metropolitan planning organizations, and tribal nations. This led to a mix of ideas that included both issues of theory or fundamental science, as well as the applied and implementable side of research. Methodology The meeting agenda is presented in Figure 16 and Figure 17. The workshop began with a twenty-minute presentation on the project background. Participants were then asked to: 1. Provide comments on the current research needs (e.g., if there was a study on the topic they already knew about, if they believed the need was not a research need, or if they recommended that additional information should be added to the need); 2. Provide additional research needs to fill any gaps; and 3. Prioritize the research needs by theme by placing dots on the posters displaying the needs. To accomplish these tasks, participants were given the option of participating in facilitated roundtable discussions with printouts of the information for adding comments and prioritization (see Figure 18) or by providing their input on index cards (see Figure 19) and using dots for prioritization while circulating around printed posters (see Figure 20) that were set-up around the room. This methodology was used for several reasons: 1. The workshop was held on the last day of TRB, and some participants were unable to stay for the entire 4-hour session. These options allowed them to provide feedback via the index cards and posters if they were unable to stay for the facilitated discussion; 2. Some participants are more comfortable providing comments verbally (i.e., at roundtables) while some are more comfortable providing written comments (i.e., on posters); 3. Some participants attended to provide comments on a single (or small number of) theme, so the posters allowed them to provide this information and then leave; and There was not enough room to provide tables for a roundtable discussion on every theme. Therefore, the Research Team selected eight themes with high levels of attendee interest for roundtable discussions and encourages participants to submit comments on the remaining themes using the posters. The themes covered by roundtable discussions included workforce development; funding, policy and economy; intersection of health and transportation; generational expectations, work and lifestyles; transportation rural products to market; aviation; weather, climate, and resilience; and tourism and the natural environment.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 31 Figure 16: TRB Workshop Agenda Part 1 Figure 17: TRB Workshop Agenda Part 2
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 32 Figure 18: TRB Workshop Roundtables and Posters Figure 19: TRB Workshop Index Card Examples Figure 20: TRB Workshop Poster and Dot Exercise Examples
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 33 The TRB Workshop yielded more than 160 single-sided index cards full of notes. These notes recommended both suggested changes and deletions for current research needs, as well as additional research needs. These changes were incorporated into the Roadmap. Participants also provided prioritization for the research needs by theme which was also incorporated into the Roadmap. This activity resulted in two deliverables including: 1. More than Twenty Posters. These posters were displayed, covering fifteen themes, and over 500 research needs. 2. Roadmap Database Version 7. The research needs identified from the TRB Workshop participants and their prioritization were added to version 7 of the database. Practitioner & Researcher Needs (Task 8: Stakeholder Webinar) At the Project Panel meeting during the 2019 TRB annual meeting, the Project Panel discussed (1) how to continue prioritizing the research needs and (2) how to fill in the modes, disciplines, and community types that had not yet been represented at the previous stakeholder meetings. Overview The overview for this activity describes the participants and methodology for the webinar. Participants The Research Team invited all previous workshop participants, all experts identified for the Colorado workshop that were not able to attend or were not invited due to the limited funding, all relevant TRB committees, all university transportation research centers (through the CUTC listserv), and others that had been recommended along the way. The Research Team also tried to identify and invite additional experts in the modes, disciplines, and community types where gaps currently existed. The topics most in need of filling gaps included: freight, aviation, school transportation, health (EMS), non-public lands tourism, environment, and frontier and remote communities. Methodology For one final push to prioritize research needs and fill in gaps, the Research Team conducted a stakeholder webinar in March 2019. At the webinar, the Research Team provided an overview of the project to date and instructions for gathering final stakeholder input. Webinar attendees were also asked to share the recording of the webinar and the method for submitting stakeholder input with other experts. The Research Team created a numbered list of current research needs by theme and subtopic for each of the fifteen themes and then created a subsequent form in Qualtrics for each theme which allowed participants to prioritize research needs, as well as, add comments, suggestions, and additional research needs in open-ended boxes. These theme reports and Qualtrics forms were posted to a website and left open for two weeks to capture input. Results This activity resulted in three deliverables including: 1. Fifteen Themed Reports. These reports were created based on Version 6 of the Excel sheet and provided to participants on the website for their feedback. 2. Fifteen Qualtrics Forms. These forms matched the themed reports and allowed online stakeholders to prioritize needs (or skip them with a no answer) and provide feedback in open-ended boxes.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 34 3. Roadmap Database Version 8. The research needs identified from the stakeholder webinar participants and their prioritization were added to version 8 of the database. Along with prioritization, this process resulted in 46 additional research needs. Table 5 shows the new research needs identified by rural transportation theme. Chapter 4 will discuss in more depth what happened in the overall project after these activities and deliverables were complete. Table 5: New Research Needs Identified During the Webinar Rural Transportation Theme New Research Needs Identified Active Transportation 6 Aviation 0 Connected and Automated Vehicles and Emerging Technologies 1 Cross-cutting Funding, Economic, & Policy Issues 1 Driver Education & Licensing 1 Economic Development & Tourism 8 Intersection of Health and Transportation 1 Law Enforcement, Crime and Drugs 2 Roadway Infrastructure and Balancing Capacity with Demand 0 Rural Public & School Transportation 9 Transportation Access and Mobility 1 Rural Transportation Safety 10 Transporting Rural Products (Freight) to Market 2 Weather, Climate, Resilience and Environment 2 Workforce Development 2