The National Academies

NCHRP 08-34 [Completed]

Major Investment Studies: Development of a Practitioner's Guidebook for Effective Study Design, Management, and Implementation

  Project Data
Funds: $200,000
Research Agency: JHK & Associates/TransCore
Principal Investigator: Steven A. Smith, P.E.
Effective Date: 3/1/1997
Completion Date: 4/30/1999

NCHRP Report 435, Guidebook for Transportation Corridor Studies: A Process for Effective Decision-Making, contains the results of research into the design and management of corridor and subarea transportation planning studies. It is intended to provide transportation organizations, planning practitioners, and transportation decision makers practical tools and guidance for designing, organizing, and managing these studies to effectively support transportation investment decisions tailored to the specific conditions and performance needs for major transportation improvements. Presented as a guidebook, it brings together lessons learned from different regions of the country and on corridor and subarea studies with different scopes and levels of complexity.

Federal transportation policy, as embodied in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), places a high priority on integrating and coordinating transportation decision making through improved corridor and subarea transportation planning studies. This new emphasis represents a shift away from predetermined modal decisions toward a broader consideration of tailored multimodal solutions within the context of transportation performance expectations and investment commitments. As such, this emphasis is intended to result in transportation plans, programs, and decisions that are driven by the needs of the specific area as opposed to the modal restrictions of the funding source or program. Given this emphasis, transportation planning and development must be based on decisions that reflect the unique needs and characteristics of the area.

NCHRP Report 435, Guidebook for Transportation Corridor Studies: A Process For Effective Decision-Making, developed guidance for use by planning practitioners and other decision makers to most effectively design, initiate, manage, and complete corridor and subarea studies that will support timely implementation of transportation decisions. Although the Guidebook addresses many of the fundamental activities that are included in effective corridor planning studies, the emphasis is not primarily on the study itself. Rather, the emphasis is on how to employ systematic, effective study procedures in bringing stakeholders together with decision makers to achieve consensus on transportation decisions. The corridor study should be viewed as a focal point or catalyst for decision making, not as the goal in itself. The principles and procedures are intended as guidance to practitioners, to be applied in a way that is tailored to the decisions being made. The Guidebook focuses on the planning-level decisions. However, it emphasizes the importance of carrying out planning and project development as integrated functions, involving a decision-making process that is, in effect, seamless. The Guidebook also places a strong emphasis on community involvement as part of the decision-making process.

To create a link to this page, use this URL: http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=907