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The National Academies

NCHRP 07-22 [Active]

Planning and Preliminary Engineering Applications Guide to the Highway Capacity Manual

  Project Data
Funds: $566,000
Staff Responsibility: B. Ray Derr
Research Agency: Kittelson & Associates
Principal Investigator: Dr. Richard G. Dowling
Effective Date: 6/4/2013
Completion Date: 10/30/2017

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this research is to develop a guide on the use of the HCM for planning and preliminary engineering applications by identifying appropriate methods and applications, illustrating them with case studies. The guide should cover aspects such as, but not limited to: (a) appropriate use of HCM for a broad spectrum of planning and preliminary engineering applications (including different stages, different scales, and system performance monitoring); (b) the appropriate uses for different parts of the HCM (e.g., appropriate use of default values); (c) use of the HCM in scenario planning; (d) coordinated use of HCM with simulation models, travel demand forecasting models, mobile source emissions models, multimodal transportation analysis tools, and other tools; and (e) use of the HCM in evaluating oversaturated conditions in a planning context.
 
STATUS

The guide is currently in the publication process as NCHRP Report 825 and will be based on the 2010 HCM Update being developed in NCHRP Project 03-115 rather than the original HCM 2010. Phase II is just beginning.

BACKGROUND

A Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) applications guide was developed for the 2000 HCM and updated in the 2010 HCM. That guide addresses a broad set of potential HCM applications with emphasis on applications related to design and operations. NCHRP Synthesis 427: Extent of Highway Capacity Manual Use in Planning recommended a corresponding need to develop an applications guide to address the broad use of HCM procedures in planning and preliminary engineering applications such as corridor studies, roadway widening projects, and traffic impact analyses. In particular, guidance is needed for use of the 2010 HCM in analysis of oversaturated conditions in a planning context, including use of volume to capacity ratios and other techniques to compare the severity of oversaturated facilities.

In addition to providing an educational tool, this research should enhance the value of the 2010 HCM by providing a reference for conducting planning and preliminary engineering analyses.


PHASE I
 
Task 1.  Review relevant published literature and ongoing NCHRP, SHRP2, and other appropriate research. Prepare a technical memorandum listing key elements to investigate and include in the guide. The technical memorandum should cover topics including, but not limited to: (a) the range of planning applications where the HCM can appropriately be used in conjunction with various other analysis tools or methods; (b) examples of use of the HCM in planning and preliminary engineering applications; (c) appropriate use of HCM-based default values; (d) potential techniques (along with or going beyond the HCM) to evaluate the severity of congestion in oversaturated conditions; (e) appropriate use of alternative tools to use in coordination with HCM (e.g., traffic simulation); (f) use of  sketch planning tools in conjunction with HCM (such as service volume tables);  (g) use of HCM results (either directly or modified as necessary) as input to analyses of sustainability, air quality, noise, and greenhouse gases; and (h) use of multimodal transportation analysis tools in conjunction with HCM.

Task 2. Conduct a chapter-by-chapter analysis of the 2010 HCM and prepare a technical memorandum identifying: (a) material that could be readily used for planning and preliminary engineering applications and (b) material where application to planning and preliminary engineering analyses might be difficult, including potential ways to address challenges.

Task 3. Conduct interviews or focus group discussions with key stakeholders and practitioners to supplement the findings from NCHRP Synthesis 427 and identify the state of practice in use of HCM or alternative tools (in conjunction with or in place of HCM) in a planning and preliminary engineering applications context. 


Task 4. 
Within 6 months of contract execution, submit an interim report including (a) results of the Tasks 1 through 3 and (b) an updated work plan for Phase II. The updated work plan for Phase II should provide: (a) an outline of the guide; (b) a list of proposed case studies; (c) an outline of suggested methods to overcome limitations identified in using HCM; (d) a process for outreach, review, and revision of the guide chapters and case studies with key stakeholders; and (e) Task 5 subtasks and the expected level of effort for each sub-task.
 
 
Phase II
 
Task 5. Implement the approved Phase II work plan and develop a guide on the use of the HCM in planning and preliminary engineering applications by identifying appropriate methods and applications. The guide should be written in a user-friendly language for engineers and planners with various levels of expertise and should consist of two elements. The first element should discuss the use of HCM in planning and preliminary engineering applications in a real-world context, its limitations, and suggested supplemental methods to overcome the limitations. The second element should illustrate specific applications through a series of case studies.  The guide should be suitable for inclusion in the HCM Technical Reference Library. The guide should cover aspects such as, but not limited to: (a) appropriate use of HCM for a broad spectrum of planning and preliminary engineering applications (including different stages, different scales, and system performance monitoring); (b) the appropriate uses for different parts of the HCM (e.g., appropriate use of default values); (c) use of the HCM in scenario planning; (d) coordinated use of HCM with simulation models, travel demand forecasting models, mobile source emissions models, multimodal transportation analysis tools, and other tools; and (e) use of the HCM in evaluating oversaturated conditions in a planning context.

Task
6. Prepare final project deliverables including:  (a) the guide; (b) a final report that documents the entire project, incorporating all other specified deliverable products of the research and includes an executive summary; and (c) a Microsoft® PowerPoint presentation describing the project background, objective, research method, findings, and conclusions.

Phase III

 

Task 7. Prepare a technical memorandum setting out a draft set of training goals, objectives, a list of desired training materials and delivery methods, and outlines of proposed training products for review by the panel.

 

Task 8. Draft training materials for one-hour, two-hour, and four-hour workshops.

 

Task 9. Deliver a TRB-hosted national webinar on the Transportation Capacity and Mobility Planning Guide developed in Task 6.

 

Task 10. Field test the workshop training materials at two sites.

 

Task 11. Finalize the workshop training materials.

 

 

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