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The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 54-21 [New]

Practices to Address Climate Change in the Transportation Planning Process
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $55,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 4/29/2022 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Trey Joseph Wadsworth
Fiscal Year: 2023

Preliminary Scope

Climate change is a problem that requires multidisciplinary expertise and multi-level collaboration to address. How state departments of transportation (DOTs) address climate change in transportation planning can play an integral role in successfully meeting this challenge. DOT practices on addressing climate change in their federally required statewide long-range transportation plans (LRTPs) and a statewide transportation improvement programs (STIPs) vary from state to state. Practices could include policies on greenhouse gas mitigation, investment and programming selection criteria, or engineering directives on resiliency. Additionally, the tools, data, and methodologies in use by DOTs vary for estimating climate change implications, resiliency, or emissions.

The objective of this synthesis is to document state DOT current practices related to climate change (reducing GHG emissions and increasing resiliency) in their LRTPs and STIPs.

Information to be gathered includes (but is not limited to):
• Strategies in use by DOTs (or planning to use) reduce emissions and enhance resiliency in the transportation network;
• Policies, goals, or other documented commitments to reducing greenhouse gases or increasing resiliency;
• Approaches and methodologies to quantifying emissions, measuring system impacts, and forecasting change (including data sources);
• Mechanisms to measure or forecast extreme weather events and frequencies;
• Climate risk quantification and incorporation into LRTPs and STIPs;
• DOT practices to coordinate with metropolitan planning organizations and other partner agencies (including local governments) on greenhouse gas reductions or resiliency; and
• Where in the planning process is climate change addressed.

Information will be gathered through a literature review, a survey of state DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.

Information Sources (Partial):
• National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Methods for State DOTs to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Transportation Sector. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/26523.
• National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 2: Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and the Highway System: Practitioner’s Guide and Research Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/22473.
• U. S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary of Transportation. 2021. Climate Action Plan: Revitalizing Efforts to Bolster Adaptation & Increase Resilience. Washington, DC. https://www.sustainability.gov/pdfs/dot-2021-cap.pdf.
• U. S. Government Accountability Office, Report to Congressional Requesters. 2021. Climate Resilience: Options to Enhance the Resiliency of Federally Funded Roads and Reduce Fiscal Exposure. Washington, DC. https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-21-436.pdf.

TRB Staff
Trey Joseph Wadsworth
Phone: 202-334-2307
Email: twadsworth@nas.edu  
 
Meeting Dates
First Panel: September 13, 2022
Teleconference with Consultant: TBD
Second Panel: June 6, 2023

Topic Panel
Nastasha Earle-Young, North Carolina Department of Transportation
Habte Kassa, Georgia Department of Transportation
Jessica Kenny, Massachusetts Department of Transportation
Brendan Leistiko, Washington State Department of Transportation
Steven Olmsted, Arizona Department of Transportation
James Pappas, Delaware Department of Transportation
Siri Simons, Minnesota Department of Transportation
David D'Onofrio, Federal Highway Administration Liaison
Claire Randall, Transportation Research Board Liaison

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