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The National Academies

NCHRP 08-165 [Anticipated]

Integrating Active Transportation Data into Transportation Decision-Making

  Project Data
Source: AASHTO Committee on Active Transportation
Funds: $550,000
Staff Responsibility: Jennifer L. Weeks
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.

Active transportation data can inform transportation decision-making at various agency levels. However, tools and resources are needed on how to identify what type of data is most useful for guiding such decision-making, how to package and present such data to convey its meaning and limitations, and how to integrate data from different sources and develop data flow systems to get information where it needs to go. As data sources and systems have become more abundant, they have also demanded more specialized skills to interpret and apply them.

 

The objective of this research is to provide tools and resources for data usage: how to select data and data sources, and how to interpret, apply, and integrate active transportation data into transportation decision-making. The research will help state departments of transportation and other transportation agencies with assessing, interpreting, and applying active transportation data to transportation decision-making in various program phases, including planning, finance, environment, design, traffic engineering, construction, operations, maintenance, and safety. The research will document best practices and develop a set of tools and step-by-step instructions to leverage active transportation data to improve decision-making.

 

Tasks to accomplish this objective may include: (1) conduct a literature review on active transportation data-informed decision-making in planning, finance, environment, design, traffic engineering, construction, operations, maintenance, and safety; (2) develop initial application matrices outlining which data can be used for which agency decisions in planning, finance, environment, design, traffic engineering, construction, operations, maintenance, and safety; (3) conduct an industry scan aimed at better understanding the state of practice with respect to how active transportation data are being applied to improve agency decision-making in planning, finance, environment, design, traffic engineering, construction, operations, maintenance, and safety; and what data, processes, skills, training and resources are needed for successful data application; and (4) conduct a survey of external active transportation practitioners regarding what data they have, how they use/apply data, and what skills they need to apply such data. From these data, a set of tools or resources may be developed for transportation planners on how to collect, use, and integrate active transportation data into transportation decision-making.

 

Active transportation data-informed policy and decision-making could help transportation agencies deliver priority, safer walking and bicycling networks; improve active transportation modeling; identify safety hazards and hotspots; focus spending and prioritize resources; and improve agency decision-making  processes. Better active transportation data could also help inform emissions reductions strategies. The results of the research will be used by agencies to assess where and how to better integrate active transportation data into their decision-making, and how to better support agency staff to make use of data.

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