The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Section 11529, Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program defines ‘‘active transportation’’ as a means of mobility options powered primarily by human energy, including bicycling and walking. Many transportation agencies now believe that active transportation needs should be considered in all transportation projects as it will contribute to improved safety and health and reduce carbon emissions. Active transportation activities, such as walking, bicycling, and rolling (e.g., wheelchairs, roller blades, and e-scooters) have traditionally not been prioritized in transportation project development. There is little research on how to institutionalize active transportation infrastructure, practices, and processes. State DOTs would benefit from research to aid in the increased, integrated, and effective implementation of active transportation.
The objective of this research is to provide an active transportation institutionalization framework and guide for state transportation agencies that provide the following: (1) examples of successful implementation practices; (2) models for partner and stakeholder coordination and public engagement; (3) considerations for organizational structure, policy, process, and procedural changes needed to embed and integrate active transportation into program development, project funding, project delivery, operations, and maintenance; and (4) strategies for overcoming barriers to equity, access, safety, implementation, and institutionalization of active transportation.
Consideration shall be given to, but not limited to, the following concepts or factors:
- Inclusion of active transportation as a primary purpose for projects and leadership’s consideration of walking and bicycling as system needs;
- Organizational structure and scale (including the institutional position of the active transportation/state bicycle and pedestrian coordinator), multilevel agency collaboration, and interdisciplinary collaboration;
- Timing of decisions made during project development and delivery, including all program phases, operations, and maintenance;
- Program planning and development considerations for connecting the active transportation infrastructure;
- Workforce/staffing challenges including staff knowledge, experience, and attitudes;
- Existence of context-sensitive, complete streets, or other policies that balance the needs of users of all ages and abilities in project development and delivery;
- Active transportation needs and design solutions that are not only based on historical data but also consider future growth and data collection for active transportation users;
- Policy conflicts between local, state, and federal agencies;
- Benefits of active transportation incorporated when calculating a cost-benefit ratio for a project;
- Use of active transportation pilot, quick-build, and/or demonstration projects; and
- Equity and systemic biases related to implementing active transportation in multiple transportation modes.
Task descriptions are intended to provide a framework for conducting the research. The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how 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 contain sufficient detail to demonstrate the proposer’s understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective.
The research plan should:
- Include a kick-off teleconference with the research team and NCHRP convened within 1 month of the contract’s execution;
- Address how the proposer intends to satisfy the project objective;
- Be divided logically into detailed phases/tasks necessary to fulfill the research objective and include appropriate milestones and interim deliverables;
- Include one face-to-face meeting to review an interim report and a web-conference meeting (NCHRP will provide teleconference services);
- Include opportunities for the project panel to review, comment on, and approve milestone deliverables; and
- Include two presentations to appropriate AASHTO technical committees.
At a minimum, the research plan should include the following activities.
Task 1. Perform a review of literature related to the institutionalization of active transportation. Provide a summary in a Task 1 Report that includes relevant theories, policies, organizational culture, related disciplines, and existing transportation case studies.
Notes: NCHRP approval of the Task 1 Report and the proposed approach to accomplishing Task 2 is required before advancing to Task 2.
Task 2. Identify the state of practice related to the institutionalization of active transportation.
Task 3. Prepare an Interim Report No. 1 that documents the work completed in Tasks 1 and 2. Include a detailed work plan with selection criteria for participants needed for the tasks anticipated in Phase II.
Note: NCHRP approval of Interim Report No. 1 and the proposed Phase II work plan are required before initiation. This shall occur at a face-to-face meeting to be convened in Washington, DC, at TRB offices. TRB will cover the costs associated with meetings at TRB facilities, teleconference services, and any approved panel travel.
Task 4. Interview key state and non-state subject matter experts and stakeholders (e.g., advocacy groups, public health groups, Tribal governments, natural resource/park agencies) to identify challenges to the institutionalization of active transportation.
Task 5. Identify successes and failures impacting policies, structures, and systems, experienced by state DOTs and their key partners when implementing active transportation.
Task 6. Develop an active transportation institutionalization framework that documents stakeholder roles and components needed to bring about systemic changes related to equity, engineering, education, and enforcement. The framework should identify barriers, opportunities, performance measures, and constraints to implementing active transportation.
Task 7. Prepare an Interim Report No. 2 that documents the work completed in Tasks 4 through 6 and includes a detailed work plan for the work anticipated in Phase III.
Task 8. Based on Tasks 1 through 7, convene a pre-approved group of stakeholders from state organizations who are involved in implementing active transportation. The group will participate in the development of an action plan for active transportation institutionalization.
Note: The pre-approved group will include state coordinators responsible for active transportation/bike-pedestrian, complete streets. Others may include coordinators for trails and transit. Group members should represent a broad range of state agencies as well as geographic (urban, rural, and suburban) and social contexts. Potential group members will be identified by the research team and approved by NCHRP.
Task 9. Develop a capability maturity model for organizational assessment of readiness to institutionalize active transportation.
Task 10. Prepare an active transportation institutionalization guide that incorporates the findings from Tasks 1 through 9 and includes, at a minimum:
- Strategies used to overcome the challenges to active transportation institutionalization;
- Updated active transportation institutionalization framework developed in Task 6;
- Recommendations for step-by-step actions agencies may undertake to institutionalize active transportation;
- List of challenges to integrating active transportation into institutional structures, staffing, policies, and gaps (e.g., assets and data) as well as a list of misconceptions (e.g., funding, geometric design, safety, economic impacts) that may impede progress in institutionalizing active transportation; and
- Capability maturity model.
Task 11. Prepare a step-by-step implementation plan that may include ideas for short-term and long-term implementation activities or policy actions that could be undertaken by state and local transportation agencies, the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and other collaborating partners. This would include efforts to fill research gaps, improve the transfer of existing research to practice, and address misconceptions that may cause barriers to implementation.
Task 12. Prepare final deliverables, which at a minimum include:
- A conduct of research report that documents the entire research effort and includes a literature review summary, a compendium of research papers, collected data, and a prioritized list of recommendations for future research;
- An active transportation institutionalization guide;
- A capability maturity model for organizational assessment;
- A logo-free PowerPoint presentation describing the background, objective, approach, findings, and conclusions;
- A stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” (see Special Note I for additional information); and
- A draft article suitable for publication in TR News (information regarding TR News publication may be found on the TRB webpage at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/trnews/info4contributors.pdf).
Proposers may recommend additional deliverables to support the project objective.
Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the final deliverables.
A. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs were revised in May 2022. Please take note of the new and revised text which is highlighted in yellow.
B. Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF file with a maximum file size of 10 MB. The PDF must be formatted for standard 8½” 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.
C. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs have been modified to include a revised policy and instructions for disclosing Investigator Conflict of Interest. For more information, refer to chapter IV of the instructions. A detailed definition and examples can be found in the CRP Conflict of Interest Policy for Contractors. The proposer recommended by the project panel will be required to submit an Investigator Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Form as a prerequisite for contract negotiations.
D. Proposals will be rejected if any of the proposed research team members work for organizations represented on the project panel. The panel roster for this project can be found at https://www.mytrb.org/OnlineDirectory/Committee/Details/6771.Proposers may not contact panel members directly; this roster is provided solely for the purpose of avoiding potential conflicts of interest.
E. Proprietary Products - If any proprietary products are to be used or tested in the project, please refer to Item 6 in the Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals.
F. Proposals are evaluated by the NCHRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively knowledgeable in the problem area. The project panel will recommend their first choice proposal 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. A recommendation by the project panel is not a guarantee of a contract. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS - the contracting authority for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) will conduct an internal due diligence review and risk assessment of the panel’s recommended proposal before contract negotiations continue.
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.
G. 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 Academy of Sciences. 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 Academy of Sciences. 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.
H. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals. 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.
I. The required technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” should (a) provide recommendations on how to best put the research findings/products into practice; (b) identify possible institutions that might take leadership in applying the research findings/products; (c) identify issues affecting potential implementation of the findings/products and recommend possible actions to address these issues; and (d) recommend methods of identifying and measuring the impacts associated with implementation of the findings/products. Implementation of these recommendations is not part of the research project and, if warranted, details of these actions will be developed and implemented in future efforts.
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 http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf.
J. If the team proposes a Principal Investigator who is not an employee of the Prime Contractor, or if the Prime Contractor is proposed to conduct less than 50% of the total effort (by time or budget), then section five of the proposal should include: (1) a justification of why this approach is appropriate, and (2) a description of how the Prime Contractor will ensure adequate communication and coordination with their Subcontractors throughout the project.
K. All budget information should be suitable for printing on 8½″ x 11″ paper. If a budget page cannot fit on a single 8½″ x 11″ page, it should be split over multiple pages. Proposers must use the Excel templates provided in the Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs.
L. Proposers should note that the following research studies are currently underway or have been completed and should be considered when preparing a research plan.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Funding, Design, and Environmental Review: Addressing Common Misconceptions. Bicycle and Pedestrian Funding, Design, and Environmental Review: Addressing Common Misconceptions - Guidance - Bicycle and Pedestrian Program - Environment - FHWA (dot.gov).
California Department of Transportation: Complete Streets Policy. https://dot.ca.gov/-/media/dot-media/programs/sustainability/documents/dp-37-complete-streets-a11y.pdf.
Research Project Capsule 21-2SS: Evaluate the Impacts of Complete Streets Policy in Louisiana. https://www.ltrc.lsu.edu/pdf/2021/capsule_21-2SS.pdf.