Research Needs Statements for Climate Change and Transportation

Transportation Research Board (TRB) E-Circular 144:
he objective of this effort was to develop a series of specific research needs statements on climate change and transportation for distribution to universities, students, research organizations, government agencies, and other interested parties for consideration in conducting and funding research in this important area.

Strategic Plan for Environmental Research

Development of a world-class transportation system means achieving our Nation?s mobility goals while ensuring that transportation decisions protect and enhance the natural environment and our communities. The transportation system is vital to our economy and quality of life, provides worldwide access to products and markets, and supports our Nation?s productivity. It also provides valued mobility for people, including access to jobs, services and recreational opportunities.
Yet transportation also creates unintended consequences on the natural environment and communities. Construction, maintenance, and operation of the transportation system affect air, water, soil, and biological resources, as well as neighborhoods and communities. This reality has imposed tremendous responsibilities on the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that go far beyond its traditional role of enhancing mobility. Transportation agencies must comply with various federal environmental statutes and regulations as they
carry out transportation planning and project development.
However, compliance with the law is only part of FHWA?s obligation to the environment. FHWA is committed to environmental stewardship, striving to ensure that all of its programs and activities preserve and enhance the natural environment, the built environment, and the social environment of our Nation?s communities. This commitment requires a vigorous program of research, technology transfer, and training. FHWA?s Environmental Research Program is designed to meet this need.

Environmental Research Needs in Transportation: Report of a Conference

ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH NEEDS IN TRANSPORTATION: REPORT OF A CONFERENCE, WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 21-23, 2002:
Every 5 years the Transportation Research Board conducts a Transportation Environmental Research Needs Conference to select and draft top-priority statements of environmental research needs. This report contains the proceedings of the most recent of these conferences which was held in March 2002, this time with a multimodal perspective. In the proceedings are top research needs identified at the conference, along with background papers. These are organized into chapters for each of the following 15 topic areas: Air Quality; Community Impacts, Environmental Justice, and Public Involvement; Context-Sensitive Design, Including Aesthetics and Visual Quality; Cultural Resources; Energy and Alternative Fuels; Environmental Information Management; Environmental Streamlining and Stewardship; Integrated Environmental Decision Making; Land Use and Transportation; Noise; Sustainability, Including Climate Change: Cause and Effects; Transportation, Human Health, and Physical Activity; Waste Management and Environmental Management: Recycling, Waste, Pollution Prevention, Brownfields; Water Quality and Hydrology; and Wetlands, Wildlife, and Ecosystems.

This report is published to assist those involved with government, university, and other research programs in selecting research projects that will have the greatest utility for the transportation environmental community. WETLANDS, WILDLIFE, AND ECOSYSTEMS: RESOURCE PAPER: This resource paper summarizes the continuing research needs in the area of wetlands, wildlife, and ecosystems in their relationship to transportation activities. Although there has been a great deal of progress, these needs continue to be similar to those expressed at the last Environmental Research Needs in Transportation Conference in 1996. Adequate impact evaluation tools still need development and testing on transportation projects. Techniques to measure the quality of ecosystems and associated biota need to be developed and tested. The effectiveness of mitigation or compensation for impacts should be evaluated. Furthermore, the effectiveness of programmatic approaches in accomplishing environmental and regulatory goals, while showing great promise, still requires thorough evaluation.

Identification of Research Needs related to Highway Runoff

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 521:
Identification of Research Needs Related to Highway Runoff Management summarizes significant stormwater management practices and research efforts, and it identifies the most pressing gaps and needs in the current state of knowledge in over more than 30 subject areas. The report includes full research project statements for the topics considered to be of highest priority.

Research Needs Statements for Climate Change and Transportation

Transportation Research Board (TRB) E-Circular 144:
he objective of this effort was to develop a series of specific research needs statements on climate change and transportation for distribution to universities, students, research organizations, government agencies, and other interested parties for consideration in conducting and funding research in this important area.

Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 2: Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and the Highway System: Practitioner?s Guide and Research Report

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 750: Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 2: Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and the Highway System: Practitioner?s Guide and Research Report provides guidance on adaptation strategies to the likely impacts of climate change through 2050 in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of infrastructure assets in the United States (and through 2100 for sea-level rise).

In addition to the practitioner?s guide and research report, this project also developed the following items:
A software tool that runs in common web browsers and provides specific, region-based information on incorporating climate change adaptation into the planning and design of bridges, culverts, stormwater infrastructure, slopes, walls, and pavements.
Tables that provide the same information as the previously mentioned software tool, but in a spreadsheet format that can be printed.
Two spreadsheets that illustrate examples of the benefit-cost analysis of adaptation strategies discussed in Appendix B of Part I of NCHRP Report 750, Volume 2.