The National Academies

SHRP 2 C11 [Completed]

Development of Improved Economic Analysis Tools Based on Recommendations from project C03 (2)

  Project Data
Funds: $599,703
Research Agency: Economic Development Research Group
Principal Investigator: Glen Weisbrod
Effective Date: 9/9/2010
Completion Date: 7/31/2013

Project snapshot. More details below.

(Project Number)
Impact on Practice
Product Status
A new suite of modeling and forecasting tools that provides the range of reasonable expectations for a proposed project by major economic impact and economic development performance measures.
This suite of tools helps planners make more comprehensive and realistic assessments of the economic impacts of highway capacity projects. The tools help planners estimate which highway capacity improvements will support economic vitality by providing better access to markets and the labor force, saving time and money otherwise spent as a result of traffic delays, improving safety, reducing pollution, and supporting a higher quality of life.
The tools are available via the T-PICS website: http://www.tpics.us/tools/The final report is available at http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/169524.aspx.  Pilot tests to validate the results and refine the usability of the tools are ongoing under project L38.
Staff Responsibility:  David Plazak
Project C11 built on the work of SHRP 2 Project C03, which has developed a case study-based economic impacts estimation web tool called Transportation Project Impact Case Studies (T-PICS). T-PICS is a web-based sketch planning tool that allows state departments of transportation (DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and other agencies involved in highway capacity planning to quickly estimate the likely range of impacts of proposed projects. Project C11 was intended to build on the foundation that has been laid with T-PICS and its detailed case studies. The products of C11 will support the Collaborative Decision-Making Framework developed in SHRP 2 Project C01. That Framework will provide the forum for balancing transportation, economic impact, community needs and desires, and environmental concerns.

The main objective of the project was to statistically examine the relationships among variables in the T-PICs case study dataset and to develop a suite of straightforward, transparent, and useful open source statistical forecasting models/tools that function at a level between the C03 case study-based web tool (which is essentially descriptive in nature) and more complex, economic impact assessment models/tools such as IMPLAN and REMI. This new suite of models and tools use parameters gleaned from the full complement of C03 case studies and other readily available data sources. Inputs for the suite of forecasting tools include characteristics of project and characteristics of setting. Outputs mainly provide the range of reasonable expectations for a proposed project by major economic impact/economic development performance measures. The suite represents a series of models, from very simple to moderately complex, but certainly provides outputs beyond the meta-analysis of the case study data being done as part of ongoing SHRP 2 Capacity project C03.
These tools enable measurement of project impacts on travel time reliability, intermodal connectivity and accessibility, and they are accompanied by an accounting system for incorporating them into economic benefit and impact analyses.
Status: The project is complete.
Product Availability: The tools are available via the T-PICS website: http://www.tpics.us/tools/. A prepublication draft of the final report, Development of Tools for Assessing Wider Economic Benefits of Transportation, was released in September, 2013. It is available as an Adobe PDF. A fact sheet is also available.
This page was last modified on January 7, 2014.

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