The National Academies

NCHRP 20-123(19) [Pending]

A Research Roadmap for Institutionalizing Transportation Equity
[ NCHRP 20-123 (Support for AASHTO Committees and Councils) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $250,000
Contract Time: 18 months
Staff Responsibility: Camille Crichton-Sumners


The American Association of State Highway Transportation (AASHTO) Strategic Plan includes a goal of promoting diversity in all AASHTO activities, collaborating with traditional and nontraditional partners to support equity and social justice objectives, and ensuring that transportation policies provide safety, mobility, and access to everyone. In November 2020, the AASHTO Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution pledging to engage in the vital work of advancing racial justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Research is a key component of the AASHTO Strategic Plan. Many aspects of transportation equity have been studied in recent years, but additional guidance on research needs and priorities is required, as is a synthesis of practices at state departments of transportation (DOTs). A research roadmap, informed by existing research and feedback from DOTs and AASHTO committees, will help identify research gaps and assist in advancing research related to equity in transportation. A research roadmap will (1) provide a strategy consistent with the AASHTO Strategic Plan; (2) be built upon existing research and feedback from AASHTO; (3) identify critical research gaps; and (4) prioritize research needs.


The objective of this project is to develop a research roadmap to be used by the AASHTO, state DOTs, and partners responsible for or interested in institutionalizing transportation equity, from transportation project development through preliminary design.


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 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 objective. 


The research plan should:


  1. Include a kick-off teleconference with the research team and NCHRP convened within 1 month of the contract’s execution;
  2. Address the manner in which the proposer intends to satisfy the project objectives;
  3. Be divided logically into detailed tasks necessary to fulfill the research objectives and include appropriate milestones and interim deliverables;
  4. Include one face-to-face meeting to review an interim report and a web-conference meeting (NCHRP will provide teleconference services);
  5. Include opportunities for the project panel to review, comment on, and approve milestone deliverables; and
  6. Include a literature review that contains works written within the last 5 years. Foundational works preceding 2017 may be included if applicable. 

Prepare final deliverables, which should include:


  1. A final report documenting the entire research effort;
  2. A research roadmap with prioritized research needs, written in standard NCHRP problem statement format suitable for funding consideration;
  3. A logo-free PowerPoint presentation describing the background, objectives, approach, findings, and conclusions;
  4. A virtual presentation of findings to AASHTO members; 
  5. A literature review summary with a compendium of research papers and collected data; and
  6. A stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products.” See Special Note I for additional information.

Consideration shall be given to the following topics, but are not limited to:

  • Prioritizing projects through an equity lens, ensuring equitable distribution of program or project benefits and burdens (e.g., safety, accessibility, mobility, access to destinations, and health);
  • Ongoing community engagement or partnerships for social inclusion in the transportation planning and development process. This may include working with businesses, culturally-based groups, mobility justice, disability rights, faith-based organizations, indigenous governments, and underserved communities; 
  • Development and use of appropriate qualitative and quantitative equity metrics; and
  • Relevant foundational laws and regulations related to or applicable to equity in transportation. 

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