The National Academies

NCHRP 08-164 [Anticipated]

Institutional Integration of Active Transportation

  Project Data
Source: Committee on Active Transportation
Funds: $600,000
Staff Responsibility: Camille Crichton-Sumners
Fiscal Year: 2023

This project has been tentatively selected and a project statement (request for proposals) is expected to be available on this website. The problem statement below will be the starting point for a panel of experts to develop the project statement.

There are several informative national guidance documents to aid practitioners working in active transportation. Despite this, walking, bicycling, and rolling needs are often not considered or considered only as an afterthought in transportation projects. There is some limited research to explain why active transportation infrastructure, practices and processes are (or are not) institutionally adopted. That research identified factors such as political leadership, local advocacy, taking advantage of timely opportunities and experiments, and increased learning and training, including exposure to places with high levels of bicycling and walking (Dill et al., 2017; Wilson and Mitra, 2020; McLeod et al., 2020).

There are applicable theories from other disciplines that help explain the processes of institutional policy learning and transfer, as well as learning transfer—theories that examine how knowledge gets transferred and implemented between and within agencies (Glaser et al., 2019; Marsden and Reardon, 2017; Marsden and Stead, 2011). Theories of organizational culture and change among public agencies are also relevant (Fernandez and Rainey, 2006).

This research will look at state department of transportation institutional structures, policies, programs, processes and practices from top leadership through various disciplines and program phases, including planning, environment, design, construction, operations, maintenance, safety, communications/public outreach, and contracting (hereafter referred to as “agency institutional structure and policies”) and how active transportation can be effectively institutionally integrated. This research should (1) identify and assess the challenges to embedding active transportation throughout agency institutional structure and policies, (2) identify existing strategies to overcome those challenges, and (3) recommend additional strategies to overcome those challenges. The research will focus on internal challenges that can be influenced and changed directly by state departments of transportation

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