National Academies Press: OpenBook

Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap (2021)

Chapter: Chapter 5 Implementation

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 Implementation." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26343.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 Implementation." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26343.
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Page 51
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 Implementation." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26343.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 Implementation." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26343.
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Page 52

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Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 49 C H A P T E R 5 Implementation Implementation As with any project, the success of the plan is only as good as the steps taken for its implementation. If the plan sits on a shelf, it will not be successful. However, if steps for implementation are documented and followed, then the project could lead to positive outcomes. The implementation of this Roadmap has five parts including (1) making people aware of the NCHRP 20-122 project and the final Roadmap portfolios, (2) creating additional RNS and PS to submit for funding, (3) creating additional “marketing” items and portfolios, (4) identifying a “home” for the Roadmap, and (5) measuring success. Although several of these implementation pieces have been started during the NCHRP 20-122 project timeline, the Project Panel has also requested that the Research Team create an implementation funding request to send to the NCHRP 20-44 panel. Additional details on these five parts and how they fit into the implementation funding request are provided below. Awareness To raise awareness for this project, the Research Team held the following workshops and forums (discussed previously in Chapter 3): • Stakeholder workshop in September 2018. • National Summit on Rural Road Safety session in December 2018. • TRB Executive Committee Meeting at TRB in January 2019. • TRB Workshop at TRB in January 2019. • Stakeholder webinar in March 2019. Along with the workshops, the Research Team did several presentations about this project to create awareness, including: • AASHTO Research and Innovation Committee meeting in October 2018. • ADA40 Committee at TRB in January 2019. • ANB10(7) Joint Subcommittee at TRB in January 2019. • AASHTO Safety Committee in April 2019. • TRB Low Volume Roads Conference in September 2019. • AASHTO RAC Committee at TRB in January 2020. • ADA40 Committee at TRB in January 2020. • ABJ20 Committee at TRB in January 2020. To increase awareness of the project, the Research Team chose two research needs (Equity and Energy Development) from the Roadmap and created potential workshop agendas surrounding these topics. The Project Team proposed these ideas to several TRB committees to gauge participation. In the end, the Equity theme was chosen and eight TRB committees and one joint subcommittee co-sponsored the workshop at TRB in January 2020. In addition, the USDOT’s ROUTES Initiative joined our workshop as well to collect information for their new rural initiative.

Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 50 Figure 21: TRB 2020 Equity Workshop Postcard Additionally, the Research Team worked with TRB staff to produce a write-up on the project in the TRB Annual Report and created a postcard handout about the project for distribution at TRB in January 2020. Now that the final report and final Roadmap portfolios are created, additional conference and committee presentations should be done to build awareness. These recommended presentations were included in the implementation funding request. These include, but are not limited to: • All AASHTO Committees. • AASHTO Research Advisory Committee (RAC). • CUTC Summer Conference. • Tools of the Trade Conference. • National Summit of Rural Road Safety. • National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation. • American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Conference and Expo. • Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) Conference. • Committee presentations at the 2021 TRB Annual Meeting. • Podium session at the TRB Annual Meeting. Additional RNS and Problem Statements It is envisioned that as TRB committees, UTCs, state DOTs, AASHTO committees and others become aware of the final Roadmap portfolios, they will begin choosing projects from these portfolios and creating additional RNS and PS. The creation of additional RNS and PS was included in the implementation funding request.

Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 51 Additional Products and Portfolios Along with awareness, an important part of the implementation funding request will be for additional products and portfolios that fell outside the current budget. These deliverables would be beneficial for raising awareness and educating stakeholders about rural needs. Examples of the additional products include, but are not limited to: • 4-page full color handout based on the executive summary of this report, suitable for briefing the RAC, TRB committees, AASHTO committees, UTCs, etc. This document should reflect not only the project overview and outcomes, but the benefits of the project and how it can help the reader. There may be a need to make two separate documents, one focused on those who may undertake the research and a second focused on the practitioners who will use the research and advocate for it to be funded. • Website to house the database, portfolios, report, and marketing materials. • Additional marketing graphics. • Creation of additional products for dissemination that include information on the importance of rural transportation. • Submission of RNS into the TRB RNS databases, in particular the addition of the RNS that were not submitted to CRP. The RNS would be tagged to show that they are part of the Rural Roadmap. • Creation of a SNAP search for the Rural Roadmap. • Creation of a schedule showing the process schedules of the various CRP (i.e., NCHRP, ACRP, TCRP, BTSCRP, NCFRP, and NCRRP). This would guide and facilitate outreach efforts to remind TRB and AASHTO committees of the Roadmap portfolios and to ensure that projects are being expanded into problem statements and submitted. • Creation of a schedule outlining the submission periods/deadlines of state DOT research programs, s so the research needs can be submitted into those processes. Additional portfolios that the Project Panel felt should be considered include, but are not limited to: • Rural tribal transportation critical needs category. • Policy category that combines not only the Cross-cutting Funding, Economic, & Policy Issues Portfolio, but also the policy needs shown under the policy subcategories in the other portfolios. • Portfolios directed at specific TRB committees. • Portfolios directed at the AASHTO Research Advisory Committee, with research appropriate for state DOTs. Identifying a Home Although the final Roadmap portfolios were a key milestone in the NCHRP 20-122 project, the Research Team also recognized a critical need to establish a process for updating the Roadmap, so it could continue to be a useful, “living document”. To keep the Roadmap updated, items will need to be removed as research is completed and added as rural transportation needs evolve. For example, continuing developments in connected and autonomous vehicles are likely to result in research needs that are difficult to predict currently. To prepare for this need, the Research Team included a discussion of this topic at the Equity workshop held during the 2020 TRB Annual Meeting. During this meeting, the Research Team provided several potential options for forums or initiatives that could continue the work of the Research Roadmap including: the Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation Committee (AP055); the Rural Road Safety Policy, Programming, and Implementation Joint Subcommittee (ANB10(7)); the creation of a new TRB joint subcommittee; a pooled fund study; the newly announced TRB Rural Coordinating Council, and one of the AASHTO committees. During the discussion it was noted that having a single TRB committee or AASHTO committee as the “home” does not appropriately represent the fact that the Roadmap is cross-cutting (i.e., multi-modal, multi-

Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap 52 user type, and multi-disciplinary, crossing fifteen separate critical needs factors) and should reside with a forum that can keep these cross-cutting concepts, topics, and needs alive. Therefore, the consensus from participants was that the new TRB Rural Transportation Issues Coordinating Council would likely be the most appropriate place for the Roadmap to reside. The TRB Rural Transportation Issues Coordinating Council, formed April 15, 2020 under the TRB Strategic Alignment, is comprised of representatives from TRB committees that have ties to the rural topic. TRB has appointed the principal investigator of the Roadmap project to serve as the chair of the TRB Rural Transportation Issues Coordinating Council, thus ensuring that among the responsibilities of the council will be to house, maintain, and update this Roadmap. Technical Activities Coordinating Councils, Version 2, June 2020, available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/dva/strategicalignment/TRBCoordinatingCouncils.pdf, says: "The Rural Transportation Issues Coordinating Council promotes among the Technical Activities committees attention to the specific and unique circumstances related to providing transportation to and within rural areas. All aspects of rural transportation are considered, including but not limited to planning, design, construction, operations and service provision, maintenance. This relates to transportation of both people and goods and service to rural communities, markets and people." Measuring Success With the completion of the NCHRP 20-122 project and the Roadmap, there is a need to evaluate the Roadmap’s success. This Roadmap can be seen as a success if (1) Roadmap research projects are funded, (2) if the number of research needs statements and/or problem statements increases over time (showing that rural is still at the forefront of leaders’ minds, as well as a priority for action and funding), and (3) local and regional coalitions are formed to support implementation of additional Roadmap items. As all measurements of success should start with a baseline, Table 15 indicates the current performance measure results at the end of this project. These should be considered the baseline results and used to measure the increases. It is assumed that measuring the success of the Roadmap would also be part of the RCC mission if they take over the Roadmap updates. Table 15: Performance Measure Results to Date Performance Measures Results to Date (as of Spring 2020) Notes Number of Roadmap research projects funded 3 Two through NCHRP and one through TCRP in FY2020 Number of RNS created for Roadmap projects 29 Number of problem statements created for Roadmap projects 10 7 submitted to AASHTO R&I Committee and 3 submitted to TCRP Number of local and regional coalitions formed to support implementation of additional Roadmap items 1 TRB Rural Coordinating Council

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Although only 19% of the population lives in rural areas, more than 70% of the U.S.’s four million miles of roadways are in rural areas. The rural transportation system also includes numerous airports; railways; inland and coastal waterways; rural and intercity buses; and bicycle, pedestrian, and multi-use paths and trails. In addition, approximately 47% of the nation’s motor vehicle fatalities occur in rural areas.

The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's pre-publication draft of NCHRP Research Report 988: Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap is designed to assist state departments of transportation and other public agencies and help inform policy–driven investment decisions.

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