Thinking Beyond the Pavement Conference: The Qualities and Characteristics of CSS
At the 1998 "Thinking Beyond the Pavement Conference," the definition of CSS was further defined by seven "Qualities that characterize excellence in transportation design," and by eight "Characteristics of the process that yield excellence." These "qualities" and "characteristics" are goals for any CSS project, and can also be used as evaluation criteria upon its completion.
NCHRP Report 480: A Guide to Best Practices for Achieving Context Sensitive Solutions
Article / Paper / Report
Thinking Beyond the Pavement Conference
Held at the University of Maryland Conference Center in May of 1998, Thinking Beyond the Pavement provided a landmark opportunity for 325 invited participants from 39 states and the District of Columbia to develop a vision of excellence in highway design for the 21st Century. Participants included chief engineers, senior designers and planners from 29 state departments of transportation, representatives of national transportation organizations, and a variety of stakeholders from government, the private sector, and citizens' organizations.
The workshop was developed under the leadership of the Maryland State Highway Administration's Administrator, Parker F. Williams; Tony Kane, Executive Director, Federal Highway Administration; and Francis B. Francois, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). They formed an advisory committee of some 40 organizations to help define the direction and content of the conference, including professional associations, local and state government, regulatory agencies, and safety, environmental, scenic, historic preservation, and bicycle groups.
-- Maryland State Highway Administration (MDSHA)
FHWA CSS National Website (opens in a new window)
This web site provides information on Context Sensitive Design/Thinking Beyond the Pavement efforts throughout the United States. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) are working in cooperation with a group of partners to maintain and update the site.
Federal Highway Administration
Canal Parkway, from Wiley Ford Bridge to MD 51 Cumberland, MD
Prior to this roadway project, severe traffic congestion occurred daily at the Virginia Avenue underpass (locally known as the "subway") of CSXT tracks and its intersection with MD 51. When this facility was blocked (by accidents or flooding) there was an extensive detour required through West Virginia to get residents back into their community. This effectively limited access to South Cumberland. As a result, improving the "subway" or providing alternative access into South Cumberland became a major goal of the study.
"When we have a challenging project, we should think of the process features needed to accomplish a winning solution. We should go in not with the idea that we may need design exceptions, but that perhaps we need to develop exceptional design criteria for that project. Part of the process should involve the appropriate stakeholders in discussion of what those criteria ought to be."
Tim Neuman, Consultant
"...the best of all roads are those which foster movement towards a desirable social goal."