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Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a major agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). As a cabinet-level organization of the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government, the DOT is led by a presidential appointee - the Secretary of Transportation. The top-level official at FHWA is the Administrator, who reports directly to the Secretary of Transportation. FHWA is headquartered in Washington, DC, with field offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. FHWA is charged with the broad responsibility of ensuring that America’s roads and highways continue to be the safest and most technologically up-to-date. Although state, local, and tribal governments own most of the Nation’s highways, FHWA provides financial and technical support to them for constructing, improving, and preserving America’s highway system.

Relevance to CSS:

FHWA’s Strategic Plan addresses the effects of highways on the human and natural environment. The Plan’s Enhancing Communities Through Highway Transportation section states: “FHWA will foster community and regional level transportation solutions through enhancements in urban and rural community planning. We will develop and share tools for State, local, Federal land management agencies, and tribal government planners to effectively incorporate environmental justice and the preservation of scenic, historic, natural, and community resources, as well as traffic safety into transportation plans. FHWA will help ensure transportation plans address the community concerns and social impacts of transportation facilities and recognize the role of transportation in supporting Welfare-to-Work, mobility for people with low incomes, and accessibility for people with disabilities. FHWA will promote programs and initiatives to enhance communities through effective public involvement, a thorough assessment of impacts, and creative approaches to mitigation and enhancement. To accelerate and improve decision-making, FHWA will promote processes which effectively integrate Federal, State, and local transportation, land use, and environmental decision-making in a streamlined and timely manner.”

The Administration has funded the creation of this website.

                                                                                                                                 


Contact Details:
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, DC US

Web Site: www.fhwa.dot.gov
More on this site by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) :
Article/Paper/Report
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Transportation and Environmental Justice
"FHWA and FTA have embraced the principles of environmental justice as a means toward improving the transportation decision-making process. Today, effective transportation decision making requires understanding and addressing the unique needs of many different socioeconomic groups ... The case studies included in this booklet are part of FHWA's and FTA's on-going effort to put environmental justice at the center of transportation decision making."
--  Federal Highway Administration
Federal Transit Administration

Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Environmental Justice and Transportation: Building Model Partnerships Community Workshop Proceedings
The Environmental Justice and Transportation workshops addressed a wide range of issues, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the FHWA NEPA, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, environmental justice guidance, equity analysis, performance measures, regional transportation planning and decision making, air quality and public health, transportation investments, public transit, and public involvement.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Synthesis of Safety Research Related to Speed and Speed Management
"This report presents a synthesis of research findings on the safety effects of speed, speed limits, enforcement, and engineering measures to manage speed. The report updates a similar synthesis published in 1982. A great deal of speed related research has been carried out since that time. This synthesis highlights the results of significant safety research related to speed completed since the last update. Some of the earlier benchmark studies are incorporated where appropriate."
--  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Federal Highway Administration

Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Visual Impact Assessment for Highway Projects
This field guide is intended to help those who prepare or review the coverage of visual impacts in environmental assessments or impact statements for highway projects. The guide discusses how to develop such coverage and how to review its adequacy.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Transportation Planning - The Watershed Connection
Paper provides a national focus for an envisioned relationship of transportation and watershed planning. A case-study example illustrates how the relationship can work to maximize coordination and cooperation between watershed and transportation stakeholders. This process may be used as a model for stakeholders in other parts of the country to protect and enhance critical watershed values, while meeting their area's need for a safe and efficient surface transportation system.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Public Involvement Techniques for Transportation Decision-Making
"For the transportation community, involving the public in planning and project development poses a major challenge. Many people are skeptical about whether they can truly influence the outcome of a transportation project, whether highway or transit. Others feel that transportation plans, whether at the statewide or metropolitan level, are too abstract and long-term to warrant attention. Often the public finds both metropolitan and statewide transportation improvement programs incomprehensible. How, then, does a transportation agency grab and hold people's interest in a project or plan, convince them that active involvement is worthwhile, and provide the means for them to have direct and meaningful impact on its decisions? This report gives agencies access to a wide variety of tools to involve the public in developing specific plans, programs, or projects through their public involvement processes."
--  Federal Transit Administration
Federal Highway Administration

Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Aesthetics and Visual Quality Guidance Information
The attached information is intended for use as a guide in the development and discussion of visual quality information in the project development process. It contains information and guidance which can be of use in the preparation of visual impact analyses and in the decision-making process on matters associated with the visual effects of proposed highway projects. It also contains a compilation of FHWA policy, law, policy, procedures, and regulations which have visual quality implications.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Community Impact Assessment
The Florida DOT defines CIA as:"The process to evaluate the effects of a transportation action on communities and their quality of life - the human environment. It's focus is on the early and continuous gathering of information from the community and other sources. This information is used as input into transportation decisionmaking throughout the planning, project development, design, mitigation, and construction of a project."
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Geometric Design Practices for European Roads
A properly designed roadway takes into consideration mobility and safety while addressing natural and human environmental aspects. To achieve such a balance, tradeoffs among these factors are needed and are routinely performed either explicitly or implicitly. Recently, an emphasis has been placed on the existing flexibility in design guidelines and the use of creative design in addressing the site-specific project needs has been encouraged. This philosophy was coined in the United States as context-sensitive design (CSD) and represents an approach in which a balance is sought between safety and mobility needs within the community interests. Both the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recognize the flexibility that exists in the current design guidelines, while acknowledging that the current focus on providing high levels of mobility may conflict with some interests of the community. The use of multi-disciplinary teams and public involvement at the appropriate stages of the project are also aspects that promote the application of CSD. Research and workshops have increased awareness of CSD issues within the highway community and encouraged a desire to improve and enhance established roadway design practices and address elements of community interest.
--  American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officals
Federal Highway Administration

Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Guidelines and Recommendations to Accommodate Older Drivers and Pedestrians
The increasing number and percentage of older drivers using the Nation's highways in the decades ahead will pose many challenges to transportation engineers, who must ensure system safety while increasing operational efficiency. The 65 and older age group, which numbered 34.7 million in the United States in 2000, will grow to more than 36 million by 2005 and will exceed 50 million by 2020, accounting for roughly one-fifth of the population of driving age in this country. In effect, if design is controlled by even 85th percentile performance requirements, the "design driver" of the early 21st century will be an individual over the age of 65. <br><br> In 1998, FHWA published the Older Driver Highway Design Handbook, seeking to provide highway designers and engineers with a practical information source linking the declining functional capabilities of older road users to the need for design, operational, and traffic engineering enhancements keyed to specific roadway features. Early experiences with the recommendations, including extensive feedback from local- and State-level practitioners through workshops conducted for departments of transportation (DOTs) across the country in 1999 and 2000, indicated a need to revise and update this resource. The result is the Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians. Recent research has been incorporated, format and content changes have been made to improve its usefulness, guidance on how to implement its recommendations has been added, and the range of applications covered by the Handbook has been expanded.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Context Sensitive Design/Thinking Beyond the Pavement: Memo from FHWA Associate Administrator for Infrastructure
"One of the Vital Few strategies is for FHWA to provide guidance,information, and training to States on 'integrating the planning and environmental processes' and encouraging context-sensitive solutions/context-sensitive design (CSS/CSD)."
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Environmental Commitment Implementation: Innovative and Successful Approaches
During the project development process, the environmental impacts of proposed projects are identified and evaluated. These impacts to sensitive resources should be avoided or, if unavoidable, minimized and mitigated. Many decisions are made throughout the project development process in relation to environmental impacts.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access: Part I: Review of Existing Guidelines and Practices
This report presents the findings of the Phase I study. A number of factors that affect the accessibility of sidewalks and trails in the United States are presented. The history of accessibility legislation and an overview of current accessibility laws are provided as a social backdrop to the study. The travel characteristics of people with disabilities, children, and older adults are analyzed in relation to their use of sidewalks and trails. The effects of current legislation pertaining to sidewalk and trail project planning and funding are reviewed. Current design practices used in the design of sidewalks and trails are described and analyzed in terms of accessibility, engineering, and construction.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access: Part II: Best Practices Design Guide
This guidebook is the second part of a two-phase project focused on designing sidewalks and trails for access. It was created to provide planners, designers, and transportation engineers with a better understanding of how sidewalks and trails should be developed to promote pedestrian access for all users, including people with disabilities.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Planning for Transportation in Rural Areas
This document is designed as a resource to rural planners, city and county engineers, stakeholders, local officials, and other decision-makers involved with developing rural transportation plans. It is intended to foster a better understanding of the characteristics, issues, and trends affecting rural transportation systems and the benefits of good rural system planning. It provides approaches and case study profiles for public consultation, environmental review, transit system planning, intelligent transportation system planning, and access management.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Making Two-Lane Roads Safer
The social, environmental, and economic context in which today's highways are designed demands trade-off assessments that require more explicit and quantitative consideration of safety issues than is possible with available tools. The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Interactive Highway Safety Design Model (IHSDM) is a suite of software analysis tools for evaluating safety and operational effects of geometric design decisions on two-lane rural highways. IHSDM will provide highway project planners, designers, and reviewers in State and local departments of transportation (DOTs) and engineering consulting firms with a suite of safety evaluation tools to support these assessments.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Life in the Crosswalk
Public service announcements, demonstration projects, and a university course are key components of a new FHWA push to improve pedestrian safety.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Safer Roadsides
By 2007, FHWA would like to reduce fatalities involving roadway departure crashes by 10 percent--one of the goals of the agency's Vital Few strategy. (Road departure crashes include both ROR and head-on crashes and are combined into one category because similar countermeasures can be used to tackle both problems.) To meet this objective, FHWA's approach includes research, working cooperatively with other organizations, and developing and implementing strategies such as a new computer analysis tool.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Public Involvement Techniques
This is a reference work that makes a wide variety of public involvement techniques available to transportation agencies. It includes the 14 techniques originally published in Innovations in Public Involvement for Transportation Planning.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Evaluation of Lane Reduction &quot;Road Diet&quot; Measures and Their Effects on Crashes and Injuries
Under most average daily traffic (ADT) conditions tested, road diets have minimal effects on vehicle capacity, because left-turning vehicles are moved into a common two-way left-turn lane. However, for road diets with ADTs above approximately 20,000 vehicles, there is a greater likelihood that traffic congestion will increase to the point of diverting traffic to alternate routes. The Highway Safety Information System (HSIS) is a multi-State safety database that contains crash, roadway inventory, and traffic
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Kennedy Center Access Study
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC is a Congressionally-designated national showcase for the performing arts. The purpose of the project was to improve access to the Kennedy Center. The need for this project arises from the Kennedy Center's present isolation amidst a sea of limited-access parkways and freeways. While these roadways connect the city to the region, they also act as a barrier between the Kennedy Center and the surrounding city, rendering access to and from the Center difficult and unsafe for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists alike. Congress, recognizing the Kennedy Center's relative inaccessibility, directed the Secretary of Transportation to "conduct a study of methods to improve pedestrian and vehicular access to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts" in 1998. Published in 2000, the Kennedy Center Access Study found that numerous conditions contribute to the Center's isolation.
--  National Park Service
Federal Highway Administration

Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Beartooth Highway, Wyoming
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in cooperation with the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Montana Department of Transportation is leading an effort to reconstruct segments of the Beartooth Highway, or U.S. 212, in northern Wyoming and southern Montana. <a href="http://www.cflhd.gov/projects/wy/beartooth/index.cfm">The Beartooth Highway </a> is considered one of the most beautiful routes in the United States, having been called a scenic wonder, a geologic showplace, and an engineering marvel. Two segments of the Beartooth Highway in Montana and Wyoming are to be reconstructed concurrently over the next few years. The Montana segment is nine miles long, is anticipated to be built in two phases, and extends easterly from the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park in Montana to the Wyoming state line. The Wyoming segment is 19 miles long, will be built in three or more phases, and extends from Clay Butte Lookout Road easterly over the Beartooth Pass, to the Montana state line.
--  Federal Lands Highway Division (FLH)
National Park Service
Federal Highway Administration

Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Strategic Highway Safety Plans: Interim Guidance to Supplement SAFETEA-LU Requirements
A State Department of Transportation (DOT) developed Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) is a new Federal requirement of SAFETEA-LU, 23 USC 148, and is a major part of the core Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). This preview document is designed to promote best practices and serve as interim guidance to State DOTs and their safety partners for the development and implementation of the State SHSP, and to assist State DOTs in creating an SHSP that meets the requirements of SAFETEA-LU with the ultimate goal of reducing the number of highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.
--  Federal Transit Administration
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Federal Highway Administration

Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Traffic Congestion and Reliability: Trends and Advanced Strategies for Congestion Mitigation
This report provides a snapshot of traffic congestion in the United States by summarizing recent trends in congestion. The report also suggests a number of operational solutions for transportation agencies to consider in order to help ease the growth of congestion and increase the reliability of travel times across the nation.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan
The purpose of this guide is to present an overview and framework for state and local agencies to develop and implement a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan tailored to their specific problems and needs.
--  Pedestrian and Bike Information Center
Federal Highway Administration

Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Frequently Asked Q&amp;A's
These Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (Q&As) have been developed to highlight several illustrative approaches, techniques, and practical application examples for reflecting CSS considerations in transportation planning.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report How to Engage Low-Literacy and Limited-English-Proficiency Populations in Transportation Decisionmaking
This booklet provides examples of outreach techniques that might be used or modified to outreach to low-literacy and limited English proficiency populations, as well as others.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Characteristics of Emerging Road and Trail Users and Their Safety
This report examines the physical dimensions and operational characteristics of an increasingly diverse group of nonmotorized trail and roadway users.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Highway Traffic Noise in the United States: Problem and Response
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has released a report that examines the problem of highway traffic noise. The report explores the general nature of the problem, the response of the FHWA to the problem, and highway noise barriers constructed or planned.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Synthesis of Noise Effects on Wildlife Populations
This report contains a summary of ongoing work on the effects of noise on wildlife populations to date.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report FHWA University Course on Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation
The second edition of a set of resources that provides background materials for an undergraduate or graduate university course on bicycling and walking.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Pedestrian Access to Roundabouts
This FHWA report explores double-lane roundabout accessibility issues for visually impaired pedestrians. The report examines the feasibility of a pavement treatment to alert blind pedestrians when vehicles have yielded to them. The report also reviews drivers' yielding behaviors at a two-lane roundabout.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Shared-use Path Level of Service Calculator
The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has released a report that examines how to use a new method to analyze the quality of service provided by shared-use paths of various widths that accommodate various travel mode splits. For the purpose of this report, shared-use paths are paved, off-road facilities designed for travel by a variety of nonmotorized users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, skaters, runners, and others.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Context Sensitive Roadway Surfacing Selection Guide
The Context Sensitive Roadway Surfacing Selection Guide documents available options for roadway surfacings, and provides a decision-making process to allow consideration of functionality, performance, durability, safety, life-cycle costs, as well as aesthetics and environmental impacts.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Evaluation of Lane Reduction - “Road Diet” Measures on Crashes
This Highway Safety Information System (HSIS) summary replaces an earlier one, Evaluation of Lane Reduction “Road Diet” Measures and Their Effects on Crashes and Injuries (FHWA-HRT-04-082), describing an evaluation of “road diet” treatments in Washington and California cities. This summary reexamines those data using more advanced study techniques and adds an analysis of road diet sites in smaller urban communities in Iowa.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Specialized Technical Assistance for Context Sensitive Solutions Implementation
<p><b>Sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration</b><br /> <b>Developed by The Louis Berger Group, Inc.</b><br /> <b>2008-2010</b></p> </p> <p>In 2008, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) hired a consultant team led by The Louis Berger Group, Inc. to develop a specialized technical assistance program for Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS), to be delivered to nine state departments of transportation over a period of two and a half years. Each of the nine states selected by FHWA (California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Oregon) received customized assistance based on their specific needs related to CSS implementation from a core team of CSS experts, with the ability to bring in additional nationally known experts in specific fields as necessary. The consultant team worked with staff from each state DOT and FHWA division office to determine technical assistance needs and develop an approach for each state, which varied significantly among the states, but typically included 1- to 2-day workshops and/or research materials. Several months following the delivery of technical assistance, the consultant team followed up with staff from each state DOT to discuss the outcomes of the technical assistance and facilitate action planning to follow up on the ideas and momentum generated.</p> <p>For each state that received technical assistance, the consultant team prepared a packet of documentation, containing a summary of the challenges the state DOT faced in implementing CSS, how the technical assistance addressed those needs and contributed to the state’s overall progress, and "lessons learned" from the process to serve as examples to other state DOTs that may be able to adapt these approaches to their own needs. Resources such as workshop agendas, PowerPoint slides, and participant handouts are also included. Click on the link for each state below to read more about the approach and download the documentation.</p> <p><a href="http://www.contextsensitivesolutions.org/content/reading/specialized_technical_assistanc//resources/CSSTA_ProjectSummary.pdf">Click here to download a one-page summary handout about this project. </a> </p><br /> <table border="1" width="500px"> <tbody> <tr> <td align="center" VALIGN="middle"><b>State</b></td> <td><b>CSS Implementation Challenge(s) Addressed</b></td> <td><b>Technical Assistance Approach</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td align="center" VALIGN="middle"><a href="http://www.contextsensitivesolutions.org/content/case_studies/california__developing_and_impl/">California</a></td> <td>Developing and implementing Corridor Master Plans (CMPs)</td> <td>Two one-day workshops focusing on how CMPs can be used to implement CSS principles to solve transportation & community issues and the mechanics of their funding and implementation in Caltrans. Included a Caltrans project case study, interactive group exercise and presentation on MaineDOT corridor master planning efforts.</td> </tr></a> <tr> <td align="center" VALIGN="middle"><a href="http://www.contextsensitivesolutions.org/content/case_studies/florida_adapts_existing_perform_142/">Florida</a></td> <td>Adapting existing performance measures to reflect CSS</td> <td>Three half-day sessions for different audiences: a presentation of recent research on quantifying the benefits of CSS, an interactive workshop to apply performance measures to an FDOT CSS project, and an action planning session. Also prepared background research on existing FDOT performance measures.</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="center" VALIGN="middle"><a href="http://www.contextsensitivesolutions.org/content/case_studies/hawaii_incorporates_css_princip/">Hawaii</a></td> <td>Incorporating CSS principles and activities into requests for proposals (RFP) for consultants</td> <td>Collection of RFP and proposal evaluation criteria for seven CSS projects from other state DOTs, representing a range of project sizes and scopes.</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="center" VALIGN="middle"><a href="http://www.contextsensitivesolutions.org/content/case_studies/illinois_linking_css_and_nepa_p/">Illinois</a></td> <td>Linking CSS and NEPA processes</td> <td>Two one-day workshops focused on getting resource agencies involved early in the project development process. Included a presentation by MaineDOT, two IDOT project case studies, and interactive group discussion on how IDOT might improve their current processes.</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="center" VALIGN="middle"><a href="http://www.contextsensitivesolutions.org/content/case_studies/maine_engages_external_partners/">Maine</a></td> <td>Engaging external partners in the enhanced project scoping process</td> <td>Mentoring of three interdisciplinary teams for ongoing projects, including a series of meetings over several months</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="center" VALIGN="middle"><a href="http://www.contextsensitivesolutions.org/content/case_studies/massachusetts__incorporating_cs/">Massachusetts</a></td> <td>Incorporating CSS principles into bridge projects including the accelerated bridge program</td> <td>Two one-day workshops covering public involvement and communication skills; case studies of bridge projects integrating CSS principles; and a group exercise to develop a public involvement strategy for a current MassDOT bridge project.</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="center" VALIGN="middle"><a href="http://www.contextsensitivesolutions.org/content/case_studies/new_hampshire_improving_public_/">New Hampshire</a></td> <td>Improving public involvement and communication skills </td> <td>One-day workshop focusing on "lessons learned" from three NHDOT project case studies, presentations on public involvement and consensus-building techniques, and interactive group exercises. Also conducted a half-day session to explore the nature of communication gaps identified through an internal departmental survey.</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="center" VALIGN="middle"><a href="http://www.contextsensitivesolutions.org/content/case_studies/new__mexico_demonstrate_the_eff/">New Mexico</a></td> <td>Documenting CSS projects and establishing CSS performance measures to demonstrate the effectiveness and benefits of CSS</td> <td>Two-day interactive workshop presenting recent research on quantifying the benefits of CSS, applying performance measures to four NMDOT projects, and discussing challenges and strategies to further implementing CSS. Also documented four NMDOT CSS case studies, collected design manuals that incorporate CSS and CSS case studies from other states, and researched CSS performance measures.</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="center" valign="middle"><a href="http://www.contextsensitivesolutions.org/content/case_studies/practical_design_in_oregon/">Oregon</a></td> <td>Developing a Practical Design program in response to a legislative mandate</td> <td>Facilitated a one-day peer exchange including speakers from four state DOTs with existing Practical Design/Solutions programs, and a half-day action planning session.</td> </tr> </tbody> </table><br /><br /> <p> <b>Project Contact Information:</b><br /> <br />Rodney Vaughn <br />Environmental Program Specialist <br />Federal Highway Administration Resource Center <br />12300 West Dakota Avenue Suite 340 <br />Lakewood, CO 80228 <br />Ph: (720) 963-3238 Fax: (720) 963-3232 <br /><a href="mailto:rodney.vaughn@dot.gov">rodney.vaughn@dot.gov</a></p>
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report CSS National Dialog Final Report
<p>The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) at North Carolina State University recently completed a project to initiate a national dialog about Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS). The project was designed to serve as a catalyst for an ongoing exchange of ideas, and to build momentum for wider implementation of CSS in the transportation industry.</p> <p>The final report for CSS National Dialog activities from November 2008 through September 2010 is available for download at: <a href="http://cssnationaldialog.org/documents/CSS-National-Dialog-Final-Report.pdf">http://cssnationaldialog.org/documents/CSS-National-Dialog-Final-Report.pdf</a></p> <p>The recent activities of the Dialog were sponsored by <a href=http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/context/>the Federal Highway Administration</a> and conducted by the <a href=”http://www.itre.ncsu.edu/CTE/index.asp”>Center for Transportation and the Environment</a>, a university-based transportation center housed at North Carolina State University. The Dialog is funded by the FHWA’s Office of Planning, Environment and Realty’s Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP). </p> <p>For more information about the National Dialog, visit the project website: <a href="www.cssnationaldialog.org">www.cssnationaldialog.org</a> </p>
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Promoting Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety to Hispanic Audiences
The U.S. Federal Highway Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have released a report that describes a plan for marketing pedestrian and bicycle safety to different Hispanic populations in the United States. The report includes materials in different formats that were developed to be used to promote pedestrian and bicycle safety issues in the Hispanic community.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Book
Book Icon Book Scenic Byways: A Design Guide for Roadside Improvements
The purpose of this design guide is to assist the planners, designers, and managers of scenic byways. It shows examples of improvements, outlines the planning process, and describes design principles. Although this book is focused on scenic byways that cross Federal lands, these principles may be applied to any byway throughout America.
--  Federal Highway Administration
USDA Forest Service

Book Icon Book Flexibility in Highway Design
A guide about designing highways that incorporate community values and are safe, efficient, and effective. It is written for highway engineers and project managers who want to learn more about flexibility available to them when designing roads and illustrates successful approaches used in other highway projects. The guide aims also at provoking innovative thinking for fully considering the scenic, historic, aesthetic, and other cultural values of communities, along with safety and mobility needs.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Book Icon Book Building on the Past, Traveling to the Future: A Preservationist's Guide to the Federal Transportation Enhancement Provision
In 2001, the National Trust and the Federal Highway Administration released a new edition of Building on the Past, Traveling to the Future: A Preservationist's Guide to the Federal Transportation Enhancement Provision. It was updated to reflect the passage of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), which increased federal funding for enhancement activities by 40% and also affirmed the eligibility of preservation projects with functional, economic, visual, or other links to the transportation system. Profiling 27 projects in 19 states, this 80-page guide shows how the enhancement provisions have been tapped to support community and regional goals, from downtown revitalization to heritage area projects to rural landscape preservation.
--  National Trust for Historic Preservation
Federal Highway Administration

Book Icon Book Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Infrastructure Project Development
This publication presents a non-prescriptive conceptual framework for integrating infrastructure development and ecosystem conservation to harmonize economic, environmental, and social needs and objectives.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Book Icon Book Traffic Calming: State of the Practice
This is an Informational Report of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The information in this document has been obtained from the research and experiences of transportation engineering and planning professionals.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Institute of Transportation Engineers

Case Study
State Route 89--Emerald Bay, South Lake Tahoe
El Dorado County, CA
Construction of this project involved a stretch of State Route 89 along Emerald Bay near Cascade Lake and Eagle Falls on the southwestern shore of Lake Tahoe, CA. The purpose of this project was to upgrade a stretch of the existing narrow two-lane section of Route 89 to a more modern two-lane cross section. The primary goal of the proposed design was to address slope stabilization and erosion control issues to reduce rock slides that frequently closed this section of the highway, the only all-weather route around the west side of Lake Tahoe. Secondary goals of the project were to improve safety, enhance roadway drainage, and minimize potential negative impact on the water quality of Lake Tahoe. The physical location of the project, combined with the climatic conditions of the region, presented a number of unusual issues and constraints that had to be addressed during the design and construction phases of the improvement. The reconstruction of State Route 89 was nominated for an FHWA Design Excellence Award in 1994.
Route 9 Reconstruction
New York, NY
After more than 20 years of planning and design efforts, the reconstruction of what was formerly known as the West Side Highway in Manhattan finally began. A proposal originally conceived in the early 1970s for the construction of a six-to-eight lane interstate freeway facility known as Westway, which would have been partly elevated and partly depressed below grade, was withdrawn in 1985. In 1987, the city of New York and New York State established a joint West Side Task Force in an attempt to reach a consensus on what action should be taken to replace the deficient interim highway, and the alternative ultimately was a basic six-lane urban boulevard with three travel lanes provided on either side of a raised, landscaped median. This project shows how a collaborative, multidisciplinary planning and design process, incorporating a high level of continuous public involvement, can result in the creation of a world-class street design and also how detailed investigations of travel demand and traffic movement patterns can result in a dramatic change in the scale of the proposed improvement.
Carson Street Reconstruction
Torrance, CA
Carson Street is a major east-west arterial street running through the middle of the city of Torrance, CA. High levels of traffic congestion on the original four-lane undivided cross sections and the absence of left-turn lanes were responsible for a high rate of accidents on this predominately residential street. After roadway improvements, curb, gutter, and sidewalks were added along both sides of the entire project to provide improved roadway drainage and to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists. However, it's the improvement to the general aesthetics of the street, including the undergrounding of utilities, that is a major distinguishing feature of the project.
East Main Street Reconstruction
Westminster, MD
After more than a year of planning and design, the Maryland State Highway Administration's consultants completed their drawings for Westminster, Maryland's, East Main Street's revitalization. However, the administration and public balked at the plan which called for the removal of 42 100-year-old trees. MD DOT promptly appointed a task force to develop a new plan that would save Main Street's trees, widen sidewalks and improve the efficiency of traffic flow. Through this project, the city and State learned that citizen involvement at the beginning saves time and can result in a project that preserves the heritage of the community and pleases the community members themselves.
US Route 101-Lincoln Beach Parkway
Lincoln County, OR
U.S. Route 101 is one of the most scenic highways in the United States; not surprisingly, it serves high local, regional, and tourist travel demands. A major conflict facing the entire Route 101 corridor was the need to provide better access to resort-oriented communities to enhance economic development while balancing the impact of capacity improvements, an issue was particularly acute in Lincoln Beach. Jurisdictions along the highway eventually approved the concept of a Pacific Coast Scenic Parkway to &quot;increase the aesthetic experience, assist in access control, and develop community identity,&quot; despite its deviation from typical ODOT design concepts.
Historic Columbia River Parkway
Columbia River Gorge, OR
The first paved highway in the northwestern United States, the Columbia River Highway was conceived, designed, and constructed as both a scenic attraction and as a means of facilitating economic development along the Columbia River corridor between the Pacific Ocean and the areas to the east of the Cascade Mountains. The history of the development, decline, and continuing rebirth of the Columbia River Highway is particularly instructive to the highway engineering community as we approach the beginning of a new century and a future of increasing reliance on the rehabilitation and restoration of existing infrastructure instead of the construction of new highways. This study also illustrates the manner in which state and local governments can preserve and enhance existing highways that possess unique scenic and historic qualities within the framework of modern design criteria.
Citation
Roads and highways lead to recreational sites and can also be recreational facilities in themselves. The Recreational element encompasses resources for outdoor recreational activities that: <ul> <li>Are directly associated with and dependent upon the natural and cultural elements of a corridor's landscape;</li> <li>Provide opportunities for active and passive recreational experiences;</li> <li>May include, but are not limited to, downhill skiing, rafting, boating, fishing, hiking, or driving the road itself;</li> <li>May be seasonal, but the quality and importance of the recreational activities as seasonal operations must be well recognized.</li> </ul>

Info tab Icon -- Federal Highway Administration
Adapted from Policy 5.18.95, Byway Beginnings



"Just as in planning, there are many decisions made during the scoping phase of project development, regardless of the level of detail being studied. Therefore, it is important that the various stakeholders in the project be identified and provided with the opportunity to get involved. Agency staff can identify stakeholders by asking individuals or groups who are known to be interested or affected to identify others and then repeat the process with the newly identified stakeholders. A good community impact assessment will also help identify stakeholders and avoid overlooking inconspicuous groups. The general public should not be omitted, although a different approach is usually needed with the general public than with those who are more intensely interested. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has recently published a guide entitled, Community Impact Assessment: A Quick Reference for Transportation, that describes this community impact assessment process."

Info tab Icon -- Federal Highway Administration
Flexibility in Highway Design
page 6



Read about the fundamental guidelines and five key steps for designing a public involvement program for statewide or metropolitan planning or for an individual transportation project or investment.

Info tab Icon -- Federal Transit Administration , Federal Highway Administration , U.S. Department of Transportation
Howard/Stein-Hudson Associates, Inc. and Parson, Brinckerhoff, Quade & Douglas
Public Involvement Techniques for Transportation Decision-Making



"A civic advisory committee is a representative group of stakeholders that meets regularly to discuss issues of common concern. While these groups are often called citizens' advisory committees, the term civic is sometimes used, since citizenship is not a requirement for participation. Civic advisory committees (CACs) have been used for many years and are not in themselves innovative, yet they can be used very creatively. For example, a CAC was used in Louisiana to find consensus on environmental issues for input to public agencies. In Florida a CAC advised on designs for deployment of a traffic information system. Read more about Why are they useful? Who participates? and how? How do agencies use the output? What are the basic features? Who leads it? How is it organized? Contact these Transportation Authorities for information about their CACs.

Info tab Icon -- Federal Transit Administration , Federal Highway Administration , U.S. Department of Transportation
Howard/Stein-Hudson Associates, Inc. and Parson, Brinckerhoff, Quade & Douglas
Public Involvement Techniques for Transportation Decision-Making



Road infrastructure can be beautiful too. NEPA's emphasis on the overall environment has expanded the context of project aesthetics. The examination of the aesthetic resource element requires consideration of each of the following: <ul> <li><b>Internal Aesthetics</b> - Follows traditional visual design theory to look at a project as a self-contained object, apart from its surroundings.</li> <li><b>Relational Aesthetics</b> - Considers the visual relationships between a project and specific elements of its surroundings; can be very important in community acceptance of a project.</li> <li><b>Environmental Aesthetics</b> - Examines aesthetics of the total affected environment; closely related to Scenic.</li> </ul>

Info tab Icon -- Federal Highway Administration
Visual Impact Assessment for Highway Projects



<p>History permeates our landscapes and communities.</p><p>How to incorporate historic qualities, elements and features begins with understanding their significance today.</p> <ul> <li>"Historic quality encompasses legacies of the past that are distinctly associated with physical elements of the landscape, whether natural or man made, that are of such historic significance that they educate the viewer and stir an appreciation of the past;</li> <li>Historic elements reflect the actions of people and may include buildings, settlement patterns, and other examples of human activity;</li> <li>Historic features can be inventoried, mapped, and interpreted. They possess integrity of location, design, setting, material, workmanship, feeling and association."</li> </ul>

Info tab Icon -- Federal Highway Administration
Byway Beginnings: Understanding, Inventorying, and Evaluating a Byway's Intrinsic Qualities
FHWA Policy 5.18.95



<b>Cultural Qualities are not necessarily expressed in the landscape;</b> rather, culture encompasses all aspects of a community's life. Cultural information about a community includes: <ul> <li><b>Geography</b> - Settlement patterns; climatic influences on building styles; place names, stories, and legends;</li> <li><b>Economy</b> - Occupations, products, training, yearly cycles, land use patterns, material culture;</li> <li><b>Community Life</b> - Civic and religious buildings, institutions, customs, and rituals, especially aspects of immigrant culture;</li> <li><b>Domestic Life</b> - Households, housing styles, foods, gender and age roles, family traditions;</li> <li><b>Artistic Genres</b> - Folklore, music, customs, legends, dance, drama, games, music, art, architecture, crafts, dress, and costumes.</li> </ul>

Info tab Icon -- National Scenic Byways Program , Federal Highway Administration
Byway Beginnings: Understanding, Inventorying, and Evaluating a Byway's Intrinsic Qualities



"Visioning is used to create a statement of goals or to begin to develop a long range plan. Typically, it consists of a series of meetings focused on long-range issues. With a 20- or 30-year horizon, visioning also sets a strategy for achieving the goals. Visioning has been used to set a long-range statewide transportation plan in Ohio, a statewide comprehensive plan in New Jersey, and a regional land-use and transportation plan in the Seattle, Washington, region. The Governor of Georgia, acting as "Chief Planner," used it to create long-range goals for the State. Central Oklahoma 2020 is a visioning project for a regional plan. Visioning can also be used to develop short term plans as well, with implementation phases of 10 years or less."

Info tab Icon -- U.S. Department of Transportation , Federal Transit Administration , Federal Highway Administration
Howard/Stein-Hudson Associates, Inc. and Parson, Brinckerhoff, Quade & Douglas
Public Involvement Techniques for Transportation Decision-Making



"Conferences, workshops, and retreats are special meetings to inform people and solicit input on specific policy issues, plans, or projects. In size and importance, they range from a subset of a larger meeting to a large multi-day event.

Info tab Icon -- U.S. Department of Transportation , Federal Transit Administration , Federal Highway Administration
Howard/Stein-Hudson Associates, Inc. and Parson, Brinckerhoff, Quade & Douglas
Public Involvement Techniques for Transportation Decision-Making



"Media strategies inform customers about projects and programs through newspapers, radio, television and videos, billboards, posters and variable message signs, mass mailings of brochures or newsletters, and distribution of fliers. Working with the media, an agency takes an active role in disseminating information."

Info tab Icon -- U.S. Department of Transportation , Federal Transit Administration , Federal Highway Administration
Howard/Stein-Hudson Associates, Inc. and Parson, Brinckerhoff, Quade & Douglas
Public Involvement Techniques for Transportation Decision-Making



&quot;Developing an effective public involvement program is a strategic effort that requires assembling a selection of techniques to meet the needs of a given transportation plan, program, or project. Current Federal statutes and regulations derived largely from the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) provide general guidelines for locally developed public involvement processes and procedures. There is, how ever, great flexibility available to transportation agencies in developing specific public involvement programs. Every given situation is different, and each approach to a specific public involvement challenge will be unique.<br /><br /> &quot;Focus participation on decisions rather than on conducting participation activities simply because they are required. Decisions include both the continuous stream of informal decisions made by agency staff and lower-level management and the less frequent formal decisions made by decision-makers. Timely agency response to ideas from the public and integration of ideas from the public into decisions shows the public that participation is worthwhile. A focus on the wide range of possible decisions gets agencies past simply offering the public passive opportunities to comment on proposals just before formal decision-making.&quot;

Info tab Icon -- Federal Highway Administration , Federal Transit Administration , U.S. Department of Transportation
Howard/Stein-Hudson Associates, Inc. and Parson, Brinckerhoff, Quade & Douglas
Public Involvement Techniques for Transportation Decision-Making



Excerpt
Excerpt IconExcerpt Cross-Section Elements: Shoulders
"Shoulders increase safety and highway capacity and provide a place for pedestrians and bicyclists when no sidewalks are provided.... The treatment of shoulders is important from a number of perspectives, including safety, the capacity of the highway section, impact on the surrounding environment, and both the initial capital outlay and ongoing maintenance and operating costs. The shoulder design should balance these factors. For example, a designer must consider the impact of the shoulder width and other roadside elements on the surrounding environment and, at the same time, how these dimensions will affect capacity."  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Road Width
The design element with the greatest effect on the scale of the roadway is its width, or cross section. Elements (or a lack of elements) along the roadside also contribute to the perceived width of the road and can even affect the speed at which motorists travel. more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Elements of a Succesful Process
This is a summary of highway planning process, including public involvement advantages and tools of communication. more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Design Controls
Design controls and criteria are the basic elements of roadway design. The two main elements are design speed and level of service, followed by design vehicle and its performance, type of users, traffic volumes and mix of type of vehicles. more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt General Guidelines for the Geometrics of Bridge Design
"Bridges and other related major structures play an important role in defining the manner in which a highway affects the aesthetic, scenic, historic, and cultural resources of the corridor within which it is located....The geometric criteria in the AASHTO Green Book for new or replacement bridges deal primarily with the width of the bridge deck and its relationship to approach roads. Early design coordination is important when establishing the width of a new or replacement bridge and in determining its horizontal and vertical alinement. Road engineers, architects, and landscape architects, as well as members of the community, can provide input to help the bridge designer determine the appropriate geometric dimensions and overall appearance of the bridge....In addition to determining the width of the travelway, a bridge designer must consider the need for pedestrian and non-vehicular traffic over the bridge and the most appropriate method for accommodating it."  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Context Assessment
In order for a designer to be sensitive to the project's surrounding environment, he or she must consider its context and physical location carefully during this stage of project planning. Some of these issues to be considered are; the physical characteristics of the corridor, how is it being used, what are the existing conditions, and what is the make-up of the local population. more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Design Speed
"All geometric design elements of the highway are affected by design speed. Some roadway design elements are related directly to and vary appreciably with design speed such as horizontal curvature, super-elevation, sight distance, and gradient. The selection of a particular design speed is influenced by the following factors: functional classification of the highway; character of the terrain; density and character of adjacent land uses; traffic volumes expected to use the highway; economic and environmental considerations."  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Stages of Highway Development
Description of five steps of highway development more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Tort Liability
Tort liability: definition and procedures according to AASHTO Green Book, federal highway and state regulations. Impact of tort liability procedures on innovation.  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Final Design - Basics
Having a multidisciplinary team can assist in establishing a design theme for the road or determining the existing character of a corridor that needs to be maintained. Design consistency from the perspective of physical size and visual continuity is an important factor when making such improvements, and a multidisciplinary design team can assist in maintaining that consistency.  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Final Design
After a preferred alternative has been selected and the project description agreed upon as stated in the environmental document, a project can move into the final design stage. The product of this stage is a complete set of plans, specifications, and estimates of required quantities of materials ready for the solicitation of construction bids and subsequent construction. Depending on the scale and complexity of the project, the final design process may take from a few months to several years.  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Cross-Section Elements: Bicycles
"Bicycles are...a viable mode of transportation..., both for commuting and recreation." Bicycles can use a shared lane, a wide outside lane, a regular designated bicycle lane, a shoulder or a multi-use path according to the specific context and design requirements. Overall there are six main factors influencing the way bicycles are incorporated in a specific road configuration. The six factors are: traffic volume, average motorvehicle speed, traffic mix or balance, on-street parking, sight distance, number of intersections.  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Cross-Section Elements: Utilities
Public utilities are a often overlooked but important element of crossection design. "Overhead utilities typically include electric, telephone, and cable television. For new construction in urban areas, electric, telephone, and other telecommunication lines are now often placed underground."  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Sidewalks and Pedestrian Paths
"[Sidewalks accomodate] pedestrians along the traveled way ... [and they are] equally important as the provision for vehicles ... The sidewalk can either be placed flush with the roadside edge ... or next to a buffer area, such as a planted strip, ... located between the sidewalk and roadside ... Sidewalks can also provide space for street furniture and necessary traffic poles and signals ... The wider the sidewalk, the greater the number of pedestrians that can be accomodated..." more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Cross-Section Elements: Landscape Design and Plants
Landscape design is an important element to help mitigate nuisances and help the roadway fit the surroundings. Goal of landscape design is to provide vegetation to improve aesthetics and safety, lower constructions costs and create enough visual variety along the roadway.  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Cross-Section Elements: Trees
"An important aspect of roadside landscape design is the treatment of trees ... Integrating trees into the design of a facility has many advantages. Trees provide a visual edge to the roadway that helps guide motorists. Trees also add to the aesthetic quality of a highway. In urban and suburban areas, trees soften the edges of arterial and collector streets ... Trees are an important aspect of community identity and carry a great deal of emotional ties with the residents ... In general, transportation designers must balance safety with other community values when considering facility design and tree preservation." more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Cross-Section Elements: Clear Zones
A clear zone is "the unobstructed, ... flat area provided beyond the edge of the traveled way for the recovery of errant vehicles ... The width of the clear zone is influenced by ... traffic volume, design speed of the highway,and slope of the embankments."  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Cross-Section Elements: Transit
"Highways operate as truly multimodal transportation facilities, particularly in large urban areas. Accommodating public transit and other high-occupancy vehicles (HOVs) is an important consideration. On one end of the scale, this may involve including sidewalks to allow local residents to walk to and from bus stops. As higher levels of vehicle traffic and transit usage are expected, bus turnouts may need to be considered. At the higher end of the scale, such as on major urban freeways, dedicated bus lanes and/or HOV lanes may need to be incorporated into the design. The management of the local public transit operator should be consulted during the planning stage, if possible, so that these facilities can be incorporated into the design from the beginning." more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Approach and Core Principles of CSS Design
"For each potential project, designers are faced with the task of balancing the need for the highway improvement with the need to safely integrate the design into the surrounding natural and human environments. In order to do this, designers need flexibility. There are a number of options available to State and local highway agency officials to aid in achieving a balanced road design and to resolve design issues." more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Cross-Section Elements: Curbs
There are two types of curbs: barrier and mountable. Both in urban and suburban environments curbs serve functions such as drainage control, roadway edge delineation, and right-of-way reduction.  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Cross-Section: Restricted Right-of-Way
"Many roads currently exist that were not built to today's standards. These roads may be located in restricted right-of-way corridors that have scenic or historic resources adjacent to the roadway. It is necessary to try to avoid impacting these resources when considering highway improvements." more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Design of Cross-Section Details
"The design of all elements of the highway cross section adds greatly to its appearance. Design details include the design and width of the median and traffic barriers and the selection of plant material. All these elements contribute to the theme of the roadway and should be considered as a unit. The best method for achieving a unified look is to work with a multidisciplinary design team from the beginning of the project development process through the last detail of the design." more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Cross-Section Elements: Travel Lanes
"The number of lanes needed for a facility is usually determined during the concept stage of project development. It is usually the number of lanes necessary to accommodate the expected traffic volumes at a level of service determined to be appropriate for the facility." more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Detailing the Design
Particularly during the final design phase, it is the details associated with the project that are important. Employing a multidisciplinary design team ensures that important design details are considered and that they are compatible with community values. Often it is the details of the project that are most recognizable to the public. more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt The Design Exception Process
List of criteria for design exception in projects on NHS routes.  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Horizontal and Vertical Alinement
Road Alinements need to be consistent with topography, preserve developments along the road and incorporate community values. The horizontal and vertical alinements are best addressed in the preliminary design phases of the project.  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Cross-Section Elements: Introduction
Cross-section elements define the highway right-of-way. This section describes each element and related factors effecting the design of the roadway. more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt What the Green Book Does Not Contain
The Green Book is not a design manual. It provides guidance on the geometric dimensions of the roadway. This includes widths of travel lanes, medians, shoulders, and clear zones; the width and shape of medians; turning radii; and other dimensions. There are many aspects of design that are not directly addressed in the Green Book.  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt The AASHTO Green Book
AASHTO Green Book contains a general set of guidlines on road design, however, it is not meant to be a design manual. A great deal of flexibility is allowed, and designers are encouraged to tailor roads to particular situations.  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Peak-Hour Level of Service
Level of service is a grading system for amount of congestion, using the letter A to represent the least amount of congestion and F to refer to the greatest amount. The appropriate degree of congestion (that is, the level of service) to be used in planning and designing highway improvements is determined by considering a variety of factors. These factors include the desires of the motorists, adjacent land use type and development intensity, environmental factors, and aesthetic and historic values. more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Functional Classification of Facilities
Functional classification is the process by which roads are grouped into different classes, such as arterial, collector and local roads. These classifications generally represent a trade-off between mobility and land access.  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Cross-Section Elements: Medians
"Depending on agency practice and specific location requirements, medians may be depressed, raised, or flush with the surface of the traveled way. Medians should have a dimension that is in balance with the other elements of the total highway cross section.". This section describes the different kind of median and their relationship to different kind of road configurations.  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Cross-Section Elements: Lane Width
"The width of travel lanes is limited by the physical dimensions of automobiles and trucks to a range between 2.7 and 3.6 m (9 and 12 ft)." Surrounding context and speed are factors determining the necessary minimum lane width. more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Bridge Design Elements: Introduction
"...bridges are viewed from two perspectives. Traveling over the bridge deck, the driver of a vehicle sees the travelway, bridge railings, and the view to either side. If the bridge crosses over another roadway, water or land both on its side and underneath can also be viewed from this perspective. It is important for bridge designers to keep in mind that these two perspectives may require consideration of additional aesthetic treatments for the bridge." more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Considering Scale
People driving in a car see the world at a much different scale than people walking on the street. This large discrepancy in the design scale for a car versus the design scale for people has changed the overall planning of our communities. more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Design Flexibility
"In general, the public more easily accepts the lack of flexibility in motorway design because of the purpose of these roads, mobility is gained at the expense of aesthetic treatment. Greater design flexibility was observed for urban and rural non-motorways that are typically responsive to site-specific conditions." more...
from  Geometric Design Practices for European Roads
Excerpt IconExcerpt Right-of-Way, Construction and Maintenance
Maintenance post-construction, involvement of design team in the implementation phase.Once the final designs have been prepared and needed right-of-way is purchased, construction bid packages are made available, a contractor is selected, and construction is initiated. During the right-of-way acquisition and construction stages, minor adjustments in the design may be necessary; therefore, there should be continuous involvement of the design team throughout these stages. Construction may be simple or complex and may require a few months to several years. Once construction has been completed, the facility is ready to begin its normal sequence of operations and maintenance. <br> <br> Even after the completion of construction, the character of a road can be changed by inappropriate maintenance actions. For example, the replacement of sections of guardrail damaged or destroyed in crashes commonly utilizes whatever spare guardrail sections may be available to the local highway maintenance personnel at the time. The maintenance personnel may not be aware of the use of a special guardrail design to define the "character" of the highway. When special design treatments are used, ongoing operation and maintenance procedures acknowledging these unusual needs should be developed. For example, the Oregon DOT has developed a special set of maintenance procedures for its scenic and historic highways.  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Types of Highway Improvement Projects
There are four basic types of physical improvement projects, some of which must comply with standards and others that do not have to comply. These types of improvement projects are discussed in the following paragraphs. more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Project Development
After a project has been planned and programmed for implementation, it moves into the project development phase. The basic steps in this stage include the following: refinement of purpose and need, development of a range of alternatives (including the "no-build" and traffic management system [TMS] options), evaluation of alternatives and their impact on the natural and built environments, and development of appropriate mitigation.  more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt Cross-Section Elements: Traffic barriers
"The purpose of the barrier... [is] to minimize the severity of potential accidents involving vehicles leaving the traveled way where the consequences of errant vehicles striking a barrier are less than leaving the roadway....A wide variety of traffic barriers is available for installation along highways and streets, including both longitudinal barriers and crash cushions. Longitudinal barriers (such as guardrails and median barriers) are designed primarily to redirect errant vehicles and keep them from going beyond the edge of the roadway....The design of the traffic barrier is an important detail that contributes to the overall look or theme of roadway design." more...
from  Flexibility in Highway Design
Excerpt IconExcerpt FHWA - Vital Few Strategies
FHWA units will proactively assert leadership with transportation stakeholders to establish, enhance, and nurture collaborative local partnerships that champion implementation of strategies to mitigate the impacts of congestion. more...
from  FHWA Fiscal Year 2003 Performance Plan, p. 19
Excerpt IconExcerpt Civic Advisory Committee
<p>A Civic Advisory Committee has these basic features: </p> <ul> <li>interest groups from throughout a State or region are represented.;</li> <li>meetings are held regularly; </li> <li>comments and points of view of participants are recorded;</li> <li>consensus on issues is sought but not required; and</li> <li>a CAC is assigned an important role in the process.</li> </ul> more...
from 
Plan/section
Article Icon Plan/section The Hoover Dam Bypass Project
The present route of U.S. 93 uses the top of Hoover Dam to cross the Colorado River. U.S. Highway 93 is the major commercial corridor between the states of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah; it is also on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) route between Mexico and Canada. U.S. 93 has been identified as a high priority corridor in the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995. The traffic congestion caused by the inadequacy of the existing highway across the dam imposes a serious economic burden on the states of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. The traffic volumes, combined with the sharp curves on U.S. 93 in the vicinity of Hoover Dam, create a potentially dangerous situation. A major catastrophe could occur, involving innocent bystanders, millions of dollars in property damage to the dam and its facilities, contamination of the waters of Lake Mead or the Colorado River, and interruption of the power and water supply for people in the Southwest. By developing an alternate crossing of the river near Hoover Dam, through-vehicle and truck traffic would be removed from the top of the dam. This new route would eliminate the problems with the existing roadway--sharp turns, narrow roadways, inadequate shoulders, poor sight distance, and low travel speeds.
--  National Park Service
Federal Highway Administration

Policy Document
Policy Icon Policy Document FHWA Memorandum - Context Sensitive Solutions
This memorandum from King W. Gee, Associate Administrator for Infrastructure at FHWA, contains descriptions of some CSS training programs and lists of major CSS publications and contacts at FHWA.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Policy Icon Policy Document FHWA Memo - NCHRP Report 480
This memorandum from King W. Gee, FHWA Associate Administrator for Infrastructure, introduces A Guide to Best Practices for Achieving Context Sensitive Solutions (NCHRP Report 480) as "the most definitive and comprehensive guide on CSD/CSS."
--  Federal Highway Administration
Policy Icon Policy Document FHWA Memorandum - Context-Sensitive Design
In this memorandum, FHWA Administrator Mary E. Peters states that "State departments of transportation (State DOT) and we in the FHWA should view CSD as an opportunity to connect with the communities and the constituents that we serve."
--  Federal Highway Administration
Policy Icon Policy Document High Risk Rural Roads Program Guidance
The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has released a memorandum that provides interim preliminary guidance to state departments of transportation on implementation and administration of the High Risk Rural Roads Program contained in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).
--  Federal Highway Administration
Presentation
Article Icon Presentation Linking Conservation and Transportation Planning Workshop Materials
The FHWA Project Development and Environmental Review Office, NatureServe and Defenders of Wildlife hosted a series of workshops to improve linkages between conservation and transportation planning. Presentations, tools and materials from these workshops are available online.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Publication
Article Icon Wetlands and Highways: A Natural Approach
Highlights the concept of mitigation banking by providing case study examples of wetland protection and enhancement measures conducted on highway projects nationwide.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Article Icon Keeping it Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads and Bridges
"Keeping it simple" is more than a concept. It's a commitment. It means using simple solutions when simple solutions will work. It involves going beyond "compliance" to identify easy ways of helping fish and wildlife. It means doing the right thing just because it's the right thing to do and because one has an opportunity to do it. "Doing simple things for wildlife when we get the chance is common sense," says Mary Peters, FHWA Administrator. "Something as simple as installing a peregrine falcon box can make tremendous difference." This website highlights more than 100 simple, successful activities from all 50 states and from FHWA's Western Federal Lands Division. All these activities are "easy." Most are low- or no-cost. All benefit fish and wildlife or their habitat.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Quote
"Congress clearly intends for bicyclists and pedestrians to have safe, convenient access to the transportation system and sees every transportation improvement as an opportunity to enhance the safety and convenience of the two modes."

Info tab Icon -- Federal Highway Administration
FHWA Program Guidance on TEA-21

"This Guide illustrates the flexibility already available to designers within adopted State standards. These standards, often based on the AASHTO Green Book, allow designers to tailor their designs to the particular situation encountered in each highway project... When faced with extreme social, economic, or environmental consequences, it is sometimes necessary for designers to look beyond the 'givens' of a highway project and consider other options."

Info tab Icon -- Federal Highway Administration
Flexibility in Highway Design

"Even after the decision has been made to functionally classify a highway section, there is still a degree of flexibility in the major controlling factor of design speed...It is [also] important to remember that there are no 'cookie cutter' designs for arterial highways or collector streets."

Info tab Icon -- Federal Highway Administration
Flexibility in Highway Design
pp. 45-46

"Generating ideas is one of the most important parts of CSD ... CS solutions must be developed by drawing on our citizens and agency colleagues to generate ideas for possible solutions and contribute to the solution."

Info tab Icon -- Federal Highway Administration
Fred Skaer, Director, Office of Project Development & Environmental Review, FHWA
TRB 2004 presentation: &quot;Context Sensitive Design: The Environmental Angle&quot;

"Despite the substantial social and technological changes that have occurred since the original speed synthesis was published [1982], vehicle speed remains an important public policy, engineering, and traffic safety issue. Speed is cited as the related factor in 30 percent of fatal crashes and 12 percent of all crashes ... Excessive vehicle speed reduces a driver's ability to negotiate curves or maneuver around obstacles in the roadway, extends the distance necessary for a vehicle to stop, and increases the distance a vehicle travels while the driver reacts to a hazard."

Info tab Icon -- Federal Highway Administration
Synthesis of Safety Research Related to Speed and Speed Management

"The CSD approach is current practice in several European countries, which use these roadway geometric design concepts and tools to address mobility, safety, and community issues."

Info tab Icon -- Federal Highway Administration
Design Flexibility
p. v

"Highways operate as truly multimodal transportation facilities, particularly in large urban areas. Accommodating public transit and other high-occupancy vehicles (HOVs) is an important consideration. On one end of the scale, this may involve including sidewalks to allow local residents to walk to and from bus stops. As higher levels of vehicle traffic and transit usage are expected, bus turnouts may need to be considered. At the higher end of the scale, such as on major urban freeways, dedicated bus lanes and/or HOV lanes may need to be incorporated into the design. The management of the local public transit operator should be consulted during the planning stage, if possible, so that these facilities can be incorporated into the design from the beginning."

Info tab Icon -- Federal Highway Administration
Flexibility in Highway Design
p. 96

"Cultural quality is evidence and expressions of the customs or traditions of a distinct group of people. Cultural features include, but are not limited to, crafts, music, dance, rituals, festivals, speech, food, special events, architecture, etc. The cultural qualities of a corridor could highlight one or more significant communities and/or ethnic traditions."

Info tab Icon -- Federal Highway Administration
Byway Beginnings: Understanding, Inventorying, and Evaluating a Byway's Intrinsic Qualities
FHWA Policy 5.18.95

"CSD (CSS) is an approach that considers the total context within which a transportation project will exist."

Info tab Icon -- Federal Highway Administration

"As we strive to improve the quality of transportation decision making by promoting strategies that establish a better link between transportation planning and environmental review processes at the systems planning level as well as the project level, one of the key strategies is the CSS approach to project development. One of the Vital Few strategies is for FHWA to provide guidance, information, and training to States on 'integrating the planning and environmental processes' and encouraging context-sensitive solutions/context-sensitive design (CSS/CSD)."

Info tab Icon -- Federal Highway Administration
King W. Gee, Associate Administrator for Infrastructure
Context Sensitive Design/Thinking Beyond the Pavement: Memo from FHWA Associate Administrator for Infrastructure

Website
Website Icon Website The History of Context Sensitive Design (opens in a new window)
"As citizens' expectations for better, safer roads have increased, a growing awareness of communities' needs has also emerged among designers. These two key factors contributed to bringing about this transformation in highway design and construction. Congress, the Federal Highway Administration, governors, State legislatures, and State transportation agencies have all played an integral part in this important evolution of highways. Meanwhile, public interest groups have worked to make developing better methods of highway design a major part of their agendas."
--  Federal Highway Administration
Website Icon Website Public Involvement Techniques for Transportation Decision-Making (opens in a new window)
For the transportation community, involving the public in planning and project development poses a major challenge. Many people are skeptical about whether they can truly influence the outcome of a transportation project, whether highway or transit. Others feel that transportation plans, whether at the statewide or metropolitan level, are too abstract and long-term to warrant attention. Often the public finds both metropolitan and statewide transportation improvement programs incomprehensible. <br><br> How, then, does a transportation agency grab and hold peopleメs interest in a project or plan, convince them that active involvement is worthwhile, and provide the means for them to have direct and meaningful impact on its decisions? This report gives agencies access to a wide variety of tools to involve the public in developing specific plans, programs, or projects through their public involvement processes.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Website Icon Website Media Strategies (opens in a new window)
Media strategies inform customers about projects and programs through newspapers, radio, television and videos, billboards, posters and variable message signs, mass mailings of brochures or newsletters, and distribution of fliers. Working with the media, an agency takes an active role in disseminating information.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Website Icon Website Visioning (opens in a new window)
Visioning leads to a goals statement. Typically, it consists of a series of meetings focused on long-range issues. Visioning results in a long-range plan. With a 20- or 30-year horizon, visioning also sets a strategy for achieving the goals.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Website Icon Website Conferences, Workshops, and Retreats (opens in a new window)
Conferences, workshops, and retreats are special meetings to inform people and solicit input on specific policy issues, plans, or projects. In size and importance, they range from a subset of a larger meeting to a large multi-day event.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Website Icon Website Selecting an Organizing Feature for a Meeting (opens in a new window)
Nearly every meeting focuses on discussion, whether people are giving opinions, debating issues among themselves, or challenging an agency by questioning fundamental assumptions. Meetings can be exploratory (for instance, "design-ins" where participants draw on maps to illustrate community values or activity patterns) or consensus-building (including collaborative problem-solving).
--  Federal Highway Administration
Website Icon Website Citizens on Decision and Policy Bodies (opens in a new window)
Community people serve on policy and decision-making committees and boards. They represent groups organized around civic, environmental, business, or community interests, or specific geographic areas, or they serve as individual experts in a field. They need not be elected officials or agency staff. Some boards make decisions; others help formulate policy. These boards are established by statute, regulation, or political decision. Ad hoc committees are set up by legislative acts or executive decision to investigate specific subjects. They may be temporary or permanent.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Website Icon Website Traffic Barriers, Barrier Terminals, Crash Cushions, and Bridge Railings (opens in a new window)
This website contains information on three general categories of roadside hardware that are tested and evaluated using NCHRP Report 350 criteria: <li>Traffic Barriers, Barrier Terminals, Crash Cushions, and Bridge Railings</li> <li>Breakaway Hardware</li> <li>Work-Zone Devices</li>
--  Federal Highway Administration
Website Icon Website Aesthetic Barrier Systems (opens in a new window)
This website by the Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division of the FHWA illustrates aesthetic barrier systems like steel-backed timber guardrails, steel masonry guardrails, and precast concrete guardrails.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Website Icon Website Safety-Conscious Planning (opens in a new window)
SCP is a comprehensive, system-wide, multimodal, proactive process that better integrates safety into surface transportation decision-making.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Website Icon Website 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
Website Icon Website Thompson River Road, Montana (opens in a new window)
The Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), is proposing to improve Montana Forest Highway 56. As part of this effort, FHWA is preparing an <a href="http://www.wfl.fha.dot.gov/projects/thompsonriver/">Environmental Impact Statement</a> (EIS). The project's purpose is to provide improved public access to the Lolo National Forest and other public lands in the Thompson River Corridor that is safe, efficient, and convenient. Another goal is to improve mobility for area residents, traveling public, emergency vehicles, mail delivery, and school bus service. Environmental goals include the improvement of river conditions by eliminating road surface sediment load, and decommissioning unnecessary segments of the dual road system.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Federal Lands Highway Division (FLH)

Website Icon Website Transportation Safety Planning Website (opens in a new window)
The U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Planning has developed a website intended to serve as a resource for advancing the integration of safety in the transportation planning process.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Website Icon Website Bicycle Countermeasure Selection System (BIKESAFE) (opens in a new window)
The Bicycle Countermeasure Selection System (BIKESAFE) enables users to choose from resources and tools to learn, plan, and create solutions to improve the completeness of their streets.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Website Icon Website Planning and Environment Linkages Website (opens in a new window)
This website highlights information developed and compiled by the FHWA and its partners that is designed to strengthen planning and environment linkages.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Website Icon Website Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads (opens in a new window)
The purpose of this site is to highlight - for the transportation community and for the traveling public - easy ways of reducing highway impacts on wildlife.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Website Icon Website Visualization in Planning (opens in a new window)
An FHWA website where you can learn about noteworthy practices and innovative uses of visualization for transportation planning, and who to contact in FHWA about questions or issues on visualization in planning.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Website Icon Website Linking the Transportation Planning and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Processes (opens in a new window)
The guidance is intended for use by State Departments of Transportation (State DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and transit agencies to clarify the circumstances under which transportation planning level choices and analyses can be adopted or incorporated into the process required by NEPA.
--  Federal Highway Administration
Federal Transit Administration

Website Icon Website The Cumberland Gap Tunnel (opens in a new window)
The <a href="http://www.efl.fhwa.dot.gov/index.aspx"> Cumberland Gap Tunnel project</a> is a massive design and construction task combining many areas of engineering expertise with innovative construction techniques - one of the Federal Highway Administration's and National Park Service's most challenging projects to date. It includes the construction of a pair of 4600-foot-long, two-lane tunnels through solid rock and rerouting a major highway to enable the restoration of the area to resemble as closely as possible the path used by the pioneers of the late 1700's - all while adhering to ongoing concerns of safety, National Park Service interests, and the Gap's unique environment.
--  Federal Highway Administration
National Park Service

Website Icon Website Roadway Construction Noise Model (opens in a new window)
The FHWA Roadway Construction Noise Model (FHWA RCNM) Version 1.0 is a Windows-based program that has been developed to assist in analyzing construction noise and addressing community concerns in order to maintain project schedules.
--  Federal Highway Administration


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