The National Academies

NCHRP 22-46 [RFP]

Human Factors Guidelines for Road Systems, Proposed 4th Edition

Posted Date: 10/5/2020

  Project Data
Funds: $550,000
Contract Time: 36 months
Authorization to Begin Work: 3/1/2021 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: David Jared
   Phone: 202/334-1646
   Email: djared@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 11/24/2020
Fiscal Year: 2020



State departments of transportation (DOTs) and other agencies are seeking to implement data-driven, performance-based processes to improve the planning, design, construction, and operation of multimodal transportation systems. Improvements within these project stages require a range of tools to aid understanding of factors contributing to crashes, identification of relevant countermeasures, and implementation of selected solutions. The tools should ensure that all factors related to crashes are considered during project scoping. Historically, the design and operation of road facilities have not adequately accounted for the interaction between road users and the facilities, particularly users who are most vulnerable to crashes. Behavioral factors should be considered by all involved in the planning, design, construction, and operation of multimodal transportation systems.


NCHRP Report 600: Human Factors Guidelines for Road Systems, Second Edition (HFG2), is a tool for integrating road user characteristics into road design and operational decisions. The HFG2 provides human factors (HF) principles and findings for consideration by highway designers, traffic engineers, and other safety practitioners. Since publication of the HFG2, significant research has been completed that adds additional tools and design guidelines for enhancing road user safety. Practitioner needs have developed as well, and research needs have been identified on additional topics, e.g., improving practitioner knowledge of how bicycle and pedestrian behavior at roundabouts affect operations, and the potential impact of these interactions on innovative intersection designs in general. Other potential research topics include aging road users, road diets, complete streets, applying human factors in countermeasure selection, road safety audits, road signage reviews, determination of crash-contributing factors, and root cause analysis. Finally, once research has addressed these topics, training for practitioners on the application of human factors needs to be developed.


NCHRP Project 17-80, “Expansion of Human Factors Guidelines for Road Systems, Second Edition” is currently in progress and addresses HF considerations for bicycle facilities, pedestrian facilities, and roundabouts. This research identified critical gaps in guidelines for considering human factors. It is expected to be published in late 2020 as the Human Factors Guidelines for Road Systems, Third Edition (HFG3).


The HFG, Fourth Edition (HFG4) is intended to supplement the AASHTO Highway Safety Manual (HSM) with other safety tools and processes such as road safety audits, operational reviews, performance planning, and crash data analysis for road system design and operations. Using the “safe systems” approach, roads are designed and operated to reduce the risk of crashes occurring and, if crashes do occur, to reduce the severity of injuries. A safe systems approach seeks to design infrastructures that recognize and accommodate user capabilities for all types of road facilities. HFG4 guidelines will document the best available HF and road/user interaction research and practices in road safety analyses and design to optimize data-driven safety analysis and decision making.





The objective of this research is to prepare a proposed Human Factors Guidelines for Road Systems, Fourth Edition (HFG4), which can be used to by state DOTs and other transportation agencies to integrate HF principles into design and operations across roadway systems for all road users. For this research, road users may include, but not be limited to, drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and electric scooter users.


Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks.





Task descriptions are intended to provide a framework for conducting the research. The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers’ current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective.


Task 1. Review existing literature on HF considerations in the design and operations of road systems for all types of road users. Identify a process for scoring relevant literature for its potential inclusion in the HFG4, based on the strength of evidence reported and the literature’s relevance to design and operations from an HF perspective.


Task 2. Develop a draft survey of practitioners on potential HFG4 content. NCHRP approval of the draft survey is required before work may begin on Task 3.


Task 3. Survey transportation agencies, professional designers, traffic engineers, planners, HF experts, and others to identify potential HFG4 content. Submit a technical memorandum summarizing the findings of Tasks 1-3.


Task 4. Recommend (a) adjustments to guidelines from previous HFG editions due to improvements in understanding previously emerging and other technical issues; (b) new technical chapters to be developed, including specific guidelines, with justification for their development; and (c) new print/electronic presentation formats for the HFG4 to increase its usability and its direct cross referencing of other guidance documents such as the HSM, the AASHTO Green Book, the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), and other widely used resources.


Task 5. Submit an interim report summarizing the findings from Tasks 1-4. A meeting will be held with NCHRP to discuss the interim report. NCHRP approval of the interim report is required before work may begin on Task 6.


Task 6. Develop updated content for the HFG4 based on Task 4 recommendations approved by NCHRP in Task 5. Outline pilot studies to be conducted in Task 7. Submit a technical memorandum summarizing the findings of Task 6. NCHRP approval of the memorandum is required before work may begin on Task 7.


Task 7. Conduct at least three pilot studies to (a) clarify proposed analytical approaches and test the components and usability of the methods and tools, in collaboration with transportation professionals on actual projects; and (b) illustrate how multimodal road user safety needs can be addressed using the HFG in combination with other available safety tools. Submit a technical memorandum summarizing the findings of Task 7. NCHRP approval of the memorandum is required before work may begin on Task 8.


Task 8. Prepare and submit final deliverables to include the following:


·    Final report documenting the conduct of research that includes (a) recommendation of needs and priorities for future research and HFG editions; and (b) appendices that list items considered but excluded from the HFG4, with justification of each exclusion.


·    Standalone, final version of the HFG4.  


·    Training materials to supplement the existing FHWA training course, “Introducing Human Factors in Roadway Design and Operations: A Workshop on How to Use and Apply the Human Factors Guidelines.”


Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining three (3) months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the final deliverables.





A. NCHRP Project 17-80, “Expansion of Human Factors Guidelines for Road Systems,” is a current active project that will update and expand the HFG, Third Edition (HFG3). This project is currently scheduled for completion in September 2020, and the final results are to be published as the HFG3 in late 2020 or early 2021. A draft of the project report is available to proposers upon request from the responsible Senior Program Officer, David Jared (djared@nas.edu).


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" (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep-July2019.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. 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 to meet the goals of NCHRP Active Implementation: Moving Research into Practice (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf).


D. Item 5 in the proposal, "Qualifications of the Research Team," must include a section labeled "Disclosure." Information relevant to the NCHRP's need to ensure objectivity and to be aware of possible sources of significant financial or organizational conflict of interest in conducting the research must be presented in this section of the proposal. For example, under certain conditions, ownership of the proposing agency, other organizational relationships, or proprietary rights and interests could be perceived as jeopardizing an objective approach to the research effort, and proposers are asked to disclose any such circumstances and to explain how they will be accounted for in this study. If there are no issues related to objectivity, this should be stated.


E. 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 12 of the proposal. 


F. 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/IPBcyZGcrUfzvSvdarDt  
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 11/24/2020.

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 printable version of the Liability Statement (pdf). A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at http://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" (updated July 2019). 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. This brochure is available here.

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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