The National Academies

NCHRP 08-32(1) [Completed]

Innovative Practices for Multimodal Transportation Planning for Freight and Passengers

  Project Data
Funds: $140,658
Research Agency: Transmanagement, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Matthew Coogan
Effective Date: 12/1/1994
Completion Date: 6/30/1996

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) requires a shift in focus in statewide and metropolitan transportation planning processes from project-oriented modal solutions to a fully integrated multimodal and intermodal mix of freight and passenger solutions. Further, ISTEA and subsequent regulations require that a comprehensive list of factors be explicitly considered during the development of such transportation plans. Practitioners need information on innovative practices to assist them in responding to the legal and regulatory requirements of ISTEA and in transitioning to a fully integrated and truly multimodal planning process for freight and passenger transportation.

The Federal Highway Administration, in recognition of the need to provide information on existing transportation planning practices, has engaged researchers to address a number of matters regarding statewide transportation plans. These efforts may be limited in scope and may not provide all the information needed to respond to ISTEA requirements. In addition, the Transportation Research Board, under NCHRP Project 20-5, Topic 25-13, Procedures MPOs Use to Consider the 15 Factors in Developing Plans and Programs Under the ISTEA, is examining current practices used by Metropolitan Planning Organizations. At a minimum, this research will collect data on procedures MPOs use to consider the planning factors identified in the joint planning regulations issued by the U.S. DOT. Recognizing these other efforts, this project will examine issues that are common to both the statewide and metropolitan transportation planning processes. It will support and complement the previously identified research efforts and must be coordinated with them to avoid undue duplication of effort.

The objective of this research is to prepare a compilation of successful and promising, innovative multimodal planning practices currently used for both freight and passenger transportation.

Accomplishment of the project objective will require the following tasks: (1) Establish a working definition of innovative practices in multimodal transportation planning. Canvass state DOTs and a representative sample of MPOs to identify those innovative practices currently being used in multimodal transportation planning. (2) Develop a methodology for evaluation of innovative planning practices. This evaluation should be based on, but not limited to, the practicality, reliability, cost, and acceptability of the data sources and techniques and the applicability of the techniques to other sites. (3) Develop criteria to be used in the selection of sites for more detailed evaluation of innovative practices and identify the proposed sites, documenting the basis for selection of each. (4) Prepare an interim report describing the findings of Tasks 1, 2, and 3. This report will include the working definition of innovative planning practices, a preliminary listing of innovative planning techniques including a description of the unique characteristics that led to the selection of each, a description of the evaluation methodology developed in Task 2, the sites proposed for obtaining detailed information, and the criteria used for the selection. The interim report will include a proposed work plan for Task 5. Upon completion of Task 4, the researchers will meet with the panel in Washington, DC, who will review the interim report and final selection of sites. (5) Using the work plan approved by the panel, obtain more information on specific planning practices used at the selected sites, and evaluate the effectiveness, costs, and other relevant factors of the practices. Prepare descriptions and documentation of successful and promising practices in language useful to planning practitioners. (6) Prepare a final report on the findings of the research. The report will include specific guidance for application of innovative multimodal transportation planning practices that were identified in this study and judged to be successful or promising. The report shall also contain recommendations for further research.

Status: The project has been completed.

Report Availability: The final report has been published as NCHRP Report 404, "Innovative Practices for Multimodal Transportation Planning for Freight and Passengers."

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