In 2017, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Committee on Planning (the Committee) developed a strategic plan and a 2-year action plan (found here: https://www.transportation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Planning-Strategic-Plan-2018-Approved.pdf), which identified specific tasks the Committee and its subcommittees would undertake to support the strategic plan. Since that time, the leadership of the Committee has changed and transportation planning at the state, regional, and local levels has evolved into a more inclusive and equitable multidisciplinary and multimodal process geared toward outcomes and system users, and using new methods, tools, and data.
In addition, transportation planners are simultaneously confronting inequities in transportation history and major changes, or “megatrends” that are poised to impact transportation planning in the future. The European Foresight Platform defines megatrends as the “great forces in societal development that will likely affect the future in all areas over the next 10-15 years.” In light of the changes experienced by the Committee, reflections on transportation planning history, and changes that may be experienced on the horizon, it is important that members of AASHTO, transportation planning practitioners, and planning stakeholders be convened for a strategic planning session where specific actions and strategies can be identified and prioritized. This also means a new research roadmap with gaps and priorities should be developed.
The objectives of this research are to develop (1) a strategic plan and (2) a research roadmap for the AASHTO Committee on Planning.
The Committee will use the results of this research to focus efforts to (1) engage on emerging issues and activities, including but not limited to policies, processes, research, or regulations in transportation planning; and (2) foster, support, monitor, disseminate, and implement research on transportation planning. The strategic plan will guide the Committee’s activities with specific and implementable actions and enhance coordination with other AASHTO’s committees and partners (TRB, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Conference on Minority Transportation Officials, National Association of City Transportation Officials, etc.). The research roadmap will identify research gaps and prioritize research needs, and communication strategies and mechanisms to highlight research gaps identified and to enhance the dissemination of completed research. This project will guide future Committee activities and research in a coordinated fashion for the Committee to support state departments of transportation (DOTs).
Accomplishment of the project objectives 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 objectives. 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 objectives.
The tasks envisioned to meet the objectives of this research project are expected to reflect three defined parts:
A background scan on current and emerging issues in transportation planning and associated research gaps and priorities;
A strategic plan for the Committee, and
A research roadmap for the Committee and its partners.
The proposer is encouraged to sequence tasks in the manner they think is most effective to complete the research with the engagement of stakeholders included at logical milestones. The proposal should identify project milestones and any interim deliverables associated with the proposed tasks (such as technical memorandums or summary reports, etc.).
An engagement strategy should be developed and presented in the proposal. The strategy may include surveys of academics and practitioners, and virtual workshops (with targeted and limited invitations) to assist in the identification of priorities and gaps in Committee activities and supported research on transportation planning. The proposer should be creative and inclusive in devising how to bring together stakeholders from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences.
The elements of the research tasks envisioned to be necessary to meet the objectives are described below, but proposers are encouraged to suggest additional activities.
The background scan on current and emerging issues in transportation planning at a minimum should:
Identify existing and emerging issues and gaps in transportation planning likely to have a significant impact on transportation planning within the next 10 years.
Assess the impacts of existing and emerging issues on transportation planning (what kind of impact, magnitude, timeline, associated performance measures, etc.).
Inform the development of the strategic plan and research roadmap.
The development of the strategic plan for the Committee should at a minimum:
Review the scope, existing activities, and resources of the Committee and its subcommittees in addition to relevant AASHTO and TRB committees and stakeholder associations.
Engage with Committee members and stakeholders.
Develop a strategic plan, reflecting current and emerging issues in transportation planning, with specific and implementable actions for the Committee to pursue.
The development of the research roadmap for the Committee and its partners should at a minimum:
Review research roadmaps of relevant AASHTO and TRB committees, USDOT, and other relevant partners to identify commonalities, objectives, current/future research activities, and possible gaps to avoid duplication of effort and enhance integration.
Engage with Committee members and stakeholders.
Develop a research roadmap reflecting current and emerging issues to assist the Committee in proactively identifying and prioritizing research ideas and advancing well-crafted problem statements for submission to NCHRP for funding.
An Interim Report (IR) should be included as a deliverable at a logical project milestone. It is envisioned that the IR will distinctly reflect the three parts of this project and conceptualize the strategic plan and research roadmap.
The final strategic plan should have a 10-year outlook but contain an action plan that identifies specific, near-term (1-2 years) and medium-term (2-5 years) work priorities, actions, and strategies. Tangible and pragmatic approaches leading to implementation should be a focus. The final research roadmap should expand the research ideas into problem statements suitable for submission to NCHRP and should address research needs and gaps for the Committee to pursue. Additionally, the research roadmap should include communication strategies and mechanisms to highlight the research gaps identified, and enhance the dissemination of completed research. For both the strategic plan and research roadmap, a mechanism should be proposed to assess implementation and to flexibly sustain itself in the future with a repeatable process as activities and research are completed.
The final deliverables will include (1) the strategic plan for the Committee, (2) a research roadmap for the Committee, (3) a Conduct of Research Report, (4) a PowerPoint presentation that summarizes the research, and (5) an implementation plan to disseminate the results of the research.
STATUS: Proposals have been received in response to the RFP. The project panel will meet to select a contractor to perform the work.