The National Academies

NCHRP 08-128 [RFP]

Snapshots of Planning Practices

Posted Date: 5/2/2022

  Project Data
Funds: $200,000
Contract Time: 18 months
(includes 1 month for NCHRP review and approval of the interim report and 3 months for NCHRP review and for contractor revision of the final deliverables)
Authorization to Begin Work: 8/15/2022 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Jennifer L. Weeks
   Phone: 202-334-2122
   Email: jlweeks@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 6/15/2022
Fiscal Year: 2020



Transportation planning agencies and officials from state departments of transportation (DOTs) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) face a rapidly evolving technical, policy, legislative, and procedural environment. Agency professionals often seek the guidance of peers and experts for help to effectively address these challenges. Examples of challenges transportation planners currently face include managing the proliferation of new “disruptive” transportation technologies and services within the confinements of existing streets and implementing complex transportation planning requirements in federal and state laws and regulations. More recently the COVID-19 pandemic created unforeseen changes in travel trends caused in part by the effects of widespread telecommuting and e-commerce.  


NCHRP Project 08-36, Task 120, “Snapshots of Planning Practices” produced a set of 12 Planning Snapshots, concise documents presenting examples of planning practice around a range of topics, created for easy recognition and practical use by the transportation planning community. The snapshots include guidance on innovative and effective practical methods to address current planning challenges driven by changes in technology, legislative policy, political and institutional forces, and behavioral and other trends. They were generated using survey research conducted to quickly gather information about various current planning practices and innovations and documented in a user-friendly format to make that information conveniently available to the transportation planning community.




The objective of this research is to produce four new snapshots of planning practices. Snapshots provide brief instruction on the application of practices of proven value addressing issues of common concern to the state DOT planning community. Snapshots should use compelling data, case examples, survey data and/or other information to demonstrate their value and draw planners to use the guidance within them.


Completed snapshots from NCHRP 08-36, Task 120 research program are available for viewing at:



The proposal may articulate a different vision or concept for the snapshots, aligned with the level of detail and scope of the topics identified within this RFP.


The following research topics to be developed into snapshots are described below.  


1. Complete Streets. Identify and demonstrate the policies, methods, tools, and processes used by state DOTs and MPOs to accommodate different modal uses of the roadway and road rights-of-way.


Among the topics to be addressed within this snapshot are:

  • The role of Complete Streets serving to coordinate evolving land uses with travel demand;
  • The procedural and technical transitions required to adopt and make a street “complete” from policy level to the design and operations of a Complete Street;
  • Conflict resolution among different users and uses of street rights-of-way;
  • Right-sizing roadways by repurposing underutilized capacity;
  • Adapting road classifications to various land use contexts;
  • The availability and eligibility of federal and state funding for application of a Complete Street concept;
  • Equity of distribution, use, and access to Complete Streets with a focus on low-income and minority communities and populations.

2. Data Sharing for Performance Management. Identify strategies, methods, processes, and procedures for identifying and adopting specific planning performance metrics. With the emergence of new and more extensive datasets, the ability to integrate datasets (e.g., traffic management data, origin-destination data, project data, weather and condition data, etc.) and develop new analyses and performance metrics is expanding. States are developing innovative ways to combine data and performance metrics for enhanced planning and operational analyses as well as performance reporting.


Among the topics to be addressed within this snapshot are:

  • Uses and management of open source (versus proprietary) data, including management of privacy and other issues;
  • Methods of data sharing among different agencies, including using operational data to inform planning;
  • Data governance, sharing policies and sample agreements, where available;
  • Data management, applications, and analyses;
  • Performance reporting methods; and
  • Integration of performance data and measures in various planning analyses and documents.  

3. Agency Collaboration on Freight Delivery in Local Communities. The freight economy has been rapidly growing and evolving, most recently during the COVID 19 pandemic. Truck traffic (long- and short-haul) contributes to congestion on major corridors while the growth of e-commerce continues to alter travel patterns. The effects of changing consumer trips to retailers and deliveries to residential areas should be examined, as should the growth in numbers and placement of distribution centers. This snapshot should identify successful collaborations between state DOTs, MPOs, local governments, and the private sector freight providers to address the growing demands of goods movement on transportation networks.


Among the topics to be addressed within this snapshot are:

  • Agency collaborations on local freight issues;
  • Communication and engagement methods for involving stakeholders in freight issues, including the public, agencies and local officials, and public and private providers of transportation infrastructure and services;
  • The types of data collected and assessed to understand trip generation and demand for freight collection and distribution;
  • Location and design of freight infrastructure and facilities, including but not limited to distribution centers, truck routing, circulation, and parking; and
  • Efforts to analyze and address environmental justice and equity.

4. Programmatic Economic Measures to Evaluate and Prioritize Transportation Projects and Investments. The economic value of transportation investments, systems, and services is an important benefit of transportation that is not easily measured and assessed by industry officials, nor well understood by members of the general public and their elected officials. Given the important economic contribution that transportation provides, state DOTs and MPOs seek to integrate economic analysis and performance measurement into their decision-making processes and reporting at a programmatic level. 


This snapshot should highlight successful examples of practices in use by state DOTs, MPOs, and local transportation agencies to assess and evaluate the economic value of transportation investments to inform decision-making for the selection and advancement of transportation investment decisions. Among the issues to be addressed within this snapshot are:

  • Methods, tools, and techniques used by state DOTs and MPOs to evaluate the economic impacts of programs of transportation investments;
  • The use of economic analysis in the transportation planning process, including but not limited to the development of long-range plans and metropolitan and statewide transportation improvement programs;
  • Methods to compare and contrast the economic benefits of operational as opposed to capital investments in a given system or facility;
  • Examples of using economic measures, tools and techniques that demonstrate long-term economic value to inform decisions regarding investments in state-of-good-repair, place making, and similar investments or policies; and
  • Incorporation of equity in systematic and long-term economic analyses.  



Proposers are asked to present a detailed research plan for completing the project objective within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must demonstrate an understanding of the issues surrounding the topics and present a sound approach to meeting the research objective.  Work on specific topics can be sequential or conducted in parallel as determined appropriate by the research team.


The research plan should (1) include a kick-off virtual conference to review the amplified work plan with the NCHRP project panel, convened within 1 month of the contract’s execution; (2) address specifically how the proposer intends to satisfy the project objectives; and (3) specify interim steps and deliverables for distribution and discussion with the panel at defined process milestones.


Expenses for travel and materials will be the responsibility of the research team and must be included in the proposed budget for this project.


Phase I – Content Generation


The following tasks are to be implemented for each snapshot. The research team may propose to combine or supplement these tasks as determined appropriate to successfully achieve the objectives of this research within the limits of the contract budget and schedule.


Task 1. Conduct a review of available literature, including completed NCHRP and related research that addresses each of the four topics.


Task 2. Conduct a state of practice assessment within the transportation planning community to identify the core needs for each snapshot topic. The process may include surveys, workshops, and/or interviews designed to ensure an adequate response on which to base conclusions. The proposal should specify techniques the research team wishes to employ to identify appropriate agencies for in-depth analysis and inclusion as potential case examples in the planning snapshots.


Task 3. Develop a Planning Snapshot prototype. The snapshots should have a common set of categories of information contained within each, regardless of the topic. A common prototype can be used for all four snapshots with the expectation that there will be differences in content and presentation among them. Examples of common information to be included in each may include a topic description, context for applications such as where in the planning process an issue may need to be addressed, tools and resources, or agency case examples. Each snapshot should clearly acknowledge the sources of data and any limitations in that data.


Task 4. Develop Phase II Work Plan. The research team will develop a work plan for Phase II that builds on the data collected in Phase I and results in the distillation and presentation of content into Planning Snapshots.


Task 5. Draft the Interim Report. The research team shall submit an interim report to NCHRP and the panel documenting the results of Tasks 1-4 for the set of snapshots with appropriate graphics, a common outline for the snapshots, and a sample snapshot prototype.


Note: The contractor shall meet with NCHRP within 1 month of submitting the Phase I interim report to obtain approval to conduct the Phase II work plan.


Phase II – Product Development


Work in Phase II will focus on development of the four Planning Snapshots. Snapshots may take any form that ensures a concise and user-friendly format. This may include fact sheets, brochures, brief videos, or any other easily consumed media. The snapshots should be timely in terms of addressing new challenges with new methods within a topic, but should also be of lasting value to the planning community. Graphics and visuals should be used liberally to communicate complex information such as using maps to demonstrate use of a specific tool or method across the United States. The snapshots developed through this research should be presented with a consistent and easily recognized layout.

The target audience of the Planning Snapshots are planning practitioners, but the Planning Snapshots also should be of value to transportation agency managers. Snapshots should be relevant to transportation agencies regardless of in-house technical expertise and experience addressing a given topic area. They should address a range of planning contexts, including statewide, metropolitan, urban, suburban, and rural planning environments. Best practices with proven outcomes should be exemplified to give planners confidence in using the information provided in the snapshots.


At a minimum it is expected that Phase II will include specific tasks and/or activities to:

  • Execute the process set forth in Phase I;
  • Analyze results and summarize data collected into snapshots;
  • Publish and package the snapshots for broad dissemination and use;
  • Develop an implementation plan of activities designed to encourage deployment of the research contained of the final product or products of this research project (see Special Note C); and
  • Develop a contractor’s conduct of research report detailing the full research process.

Note: The research team shall assume a 30-day review period for NCHRP review and comment on individual draft snapshot deliverables. The final 3 months of the contract shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the compendium of snapshot final deliverables.




A. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs were modified in November 2020 to include maximum file size and page limits for all CRP proposals. Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF file with a maximum file size of 10 MB. The PDF must be formatted for standard 8 ½” X 11” paper, and the entire proposal must not exceed 60 pages (according to the page count displayed in the PDF). Proposals that do not meet these requirements will be rejected.  For other requirements, refer to chapter V of the instructions.


B. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the brochure, "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep.pdf). Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a "federally" Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.


C. The NCHRP is a practical, applied research program that produces implementable products addressing problems faced by transportation practitioners and managers. The benefits of NCHRP research are realized only when the results are implemented in state DOTs and other agencies. Implementation of the research product must be considered throughout the process, from problem statement development to research contract and beyond completion of the research. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," must include the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, and (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in deploying the research product. The project panel will develop and maintain an implementation plan throughout the life of the project. The research team will be expected to provide input to an implementation team consisting of panel members, AASHTO committee members, the NCHRP Implementation Coordinator, and others in order to meet the goals of NCHRP Active Implementation: Moving Research into Practice, available at https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf.


D. Proposals are evaluated by the NCHRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of an agency is made by the project panel considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) how the proposer approaches inclusion and diversity in the composition of their team and research approach, including participation by certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises; and, if relevant, (6) the adequacy of the facilities.


Note: The proposer's approach to inclusion and diversity as well as participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 11 of the proposal.


E. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB's Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB's policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, "Use of Copyrighted Material," in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.


Proposals should be uploaded via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/uUfDt4eOk68LeCTHO4PG
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 6/15/2022.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, the agency's proposal accompanied by the executed, unmodified Liability Statement must be in our offices not later than the deadline shown, or the proposal will be rejected.

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for TRB to accept the agency's proposal for consideration. Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement.

Here is a fillable PDF version of the Liability Statement. A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at https://www.adobe.com.

General Notes

1. According to the provisions of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, which relates to nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, all parties are hereby notified that the contract entered into pursuant to this announcement will be awarded without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

2. The essential features required in a proposal for research are detailed in the current brochure entitled "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals". Proposals must be prepared according to this document, and attention is directed specifically to Section V for mandatory requirements. Proposals that do not conform with these requirements will be rejected.

3. The total funds available are made known in the project statement, and line items of the budget are examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks. If the proposed total cost exceeds the funds available, the proposal is rejected.

4. All proposals become the property of the Transportation Research Board. Final disposition will be made according to the policies thereof, including the right to reject all proposals.

5. Potential proposers should understand that follow-on activities for this project may be carried out through either a contract amendment modifying the scope of work with additional time and funds, or through a new contract (via sole source, full, or restrictive competition).

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