skip to main content

Archives: FHWA Resources – Publications

This page contains archived items from the FHWA Resources - Publications page. View the most recent Publication items.


Report Details How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Shared Micromobility (8-2021)
The North American Bikeshare Association released the 2020 State of the Industry Report on shared micromobility systems (e.g., electric scooters and bikeshare systems). The report compares mobility patterns identified in the 2019 report and discusses trends observed in 2020, such as free and discounted rides offered to essential workers and an increase in first-time riders. The findings indicate shared micromobility ridership decreased in early 2020, but rebounded more rapidly than other shared modes.

TRB Releases Consensus Study Report on Investing in Transportation Resilience (8-2021)
This report reviews current practices by transportation agencies for evaluating resilience and conducting investment analysis for the purpose of restoring and adding resilience. These practices require methods for measuring the resilience of the existing transportation system and for evaluating and prioritizing options to improve resilience by strengthening, adding redundancy to, and relocating vulnerable assets.

First Comprehensive Equity Blueprint Released for Federal Agencies (7-2021)
PolicyLink released the very first racial equity blueprint, detailing tools and resources necessary for Federal leaders to take steps to advance equity. Some of these tools include the specific roles the federal government can play, how to best conduct initial equity assessments, and how to develop a strategic vision to improve equity.

TRB Publishes Research Roadmap for Transportation System Resilience (7-2021)
TRB’s NCHRP Research Report 975: Transportation System Resilience: Research Roadmap and White Papers highlights knowledge gaps within American Associated of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and state departments of transportation, plans to address gaps, and critical issues.

TRB Publishes Guidelines for Integrating Safety and Cost-Effectiveness into Resurfacing, Restoration, and Rehabilitation (3R) Projects (7-2021)
The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) released a report that presents a rational approach for estimating the cost effectiveness of including safety and operational improvements in a 3R project. 3R projects can be funded by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1976, and these guidelines, along with the two spreadsheet benefit-cost analysis tools included can be used to examine the best way funds can be utilized.

Report Examines Pandemic-Related Traffic Fluctuation in Metropolitan Areas (6-2021)
The Texas A&M Transportation Institute released an annual report on traffic congestion patterns in large metropolitan areas across the United States. The findings indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic reduced roadway congestion as daily commuter traffic dropped by nearly 50 percent compared to 2019. The report describes approaches to addressing congestion in the long term, highlighting measures such as added capacity for alternate modes (e.g., expanding pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure) and transforming land development patterns.

USDOT Releases Report on Smart Cities and Communities (6-2021)
USDOT has released the Putting People First – Smart Cities and Communities report. The report covers the benefits, goals, challenges, and success factors associated with smart cities and communities (SC&C) and gives a glimpse of the path forward.

TRB Releases Guide on Mainstreaming System Resilience Concepts into Transportation Agencies (6-2021)
The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) released a research report to provide transportation officials with a self-assessment tool to assess an agency’s current progress towards improving resilience of the transportation system. The guide focuses on mainstreaming resilience concepts into an agency’s decision-making procedures and applying the self-assessment tool to a broad array of natural and human-caused threats to transportation systems and services.

TRB Examines Transportation Resilience Practices in State DOTs (6-2021)
The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) released a document that continues the work from the NCHRP Research Report 970: Mainstreaming System Resilience Concepts into Transportation Agencies: A Guide. This document examines the concept of transportation system resilience and how state departments can mainstream resilience-related approaches and procedures into their culture.

TRB Releases Resilience Primer for Transportation Executives (5-2021)
The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program’s released a pre-publication draft of NCHRP Research Report 976: Resilience Primer for Transportation Executives. The primer provides a quick grounding in resilience benefits, the CEO’s role in resilience, and approaches taken in various states to increase the resilience of their transportation system.

Public Transportation’s Impacts on Greenhouse Gas Emission (5-2021)
TRB published an updated report on public transportation’s impacts on greenhouse gas emissions including a national analysis of public transportation’s role as a climate solution. TRB also released several supplemental materials to the report including: factsheets; key findings regarding transit as a climate solution; a PowerPoint presentation summarizing the findings and research; a template for transit agencies to add their own data for climate communications; and a simple spreadsheet tool.

High-Road Jobs and Workforce Development for Climate Action Guidebook (4-2021)
Part One of this guide is a step-by-step planning tool to assist city staff in developing a High Road Workforce Plan. This guidebook focuses on how to tackle climate change, but through the perspective of inclusive workforce development and planning. This guidebook shows how sectors like transportation construction and various other clean energy initiatives will demand a close look at wages, contracting, diversity programs, job access, and cooperative partnerships.

Return to top ↑


TRB Guidebook and Research Plan Outlines Considerations to Improve Transportation Access to Health Care Services (12-2020)
The Transportation Research Board Transit Cooperative Research Program published a guidebook and research plan to help communities improve connections between transportation and health care. The research explains efforts to improve public health are most effective when they capture the range of factors impacting overall health outcomes, known as social determinants of health. It outlines considerations and resources to help communities build local partnerships and develop shared goals, providing example case studies of agencies collaborating with health care providers to improve transportation access to medical and other wellness-related services.

TRB Publishes Butterfly Conservation Guidance (12-2020)
TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program published guidance for roadside managers to determine the potential of their roadway corridors as habitat for monarch butterflies. The report also showcases tools and decision-support mechanisms that departments of transportation can use to support butterfly conservation and roadside management.

AASHTO Updates Transportation Asset Management Guide (12-2020)
AASHTO released the second edition of its Transportation Asset Management Guide. It provides guidance to state, county, and municipal transportation agencies to better understanding asset management techniques and advance asset management practices.

New Toolkit Provides Guidance on Placemaking (10-2020)
Project for Public Spaces and Main Street America published a toolkit to provide guidance and best practices on placemaking for main streets. The toolkit includes a handbook, an online resource library, and a webinar series.

ITF Report Examines Environmental Performance of New Mobility (9-2020)
The International Transportation Forum (ITF) published a report examining the environmental performance of personal and shared micromobility devices such as electric scooters, bicycles, electric bicycles, and electric mopeds, as well as car-based ridesharing services. The report analyzes the effects of new mobility services on energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions, including the lifecycle performance of these modes and a comparison with privately-owned cars and public transportation. It outlines policy actions and design solutions to integrate new mobility into the urban transport system while encouraging reduced energy use, such as increased coordination between micromobility and public transportation systems.

TCRP Guidebook on for Deploying Zero-Emission Transit Buses (8-2020)
The Transportation Research Board’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) released a guidebook designed to provide transit agencies with information on current best practices for zero‐emission bus (ZEB) deployments and lessons learned from previous deployments, industry experts, and available industry resources.

Return to top ↑


TRB Released Report on Mobility on Demand (6-2019)
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) has released Transportation Research Circular E-C244: Mobility on Demand: A Smart, Sustainable, and Equitable Future, which is the synopsis of a January workshop that explored the current state of mobility on demand, examined next steps for preparing for transition to autonomy, and detailed ways to optimize sustainability and ensure equitability. The workshop emphasized the role of public transit, shared mobility, and automation in shaping the future of mobility.

Best Practices to Manage Mobility Data Issued by NACTO (5-2019)
The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), an association of 82 major cities and transit agencies in North America, and the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA), an association of local government attorneys, released best practices for the access and management of mobility data, an increasingly-complex policy area with the potential to remake how city streets are managed.

District of Columbia Releases Sustainability Plan (5-2019)
Washington D.C. has announced a new sustainability plan that aims to expand the use of transit and active transportation in order to reduce vehicle emissions and increase the city’s resilience to climate change.

Environmental Management Systems Tool Tutorial and Report (3-2019)
A recorded tutorial for implementation of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program’s study on environmental management systems (EMS) is now available online. The study analyzed how transportation agencies currently use these systems to improve understanding and awareness of EMS and facilitate their use at State DOTs.
Environmental Management System Perspectives for State Departments of Transportation (Report)
Environmental Management Systems for State DOTs (Tutorial)
Environmental Management System Perspectives for State DOTs (Presentation)

Promoting Healthy Communities Through Improved Corridors (2-2019)
A study by the Urban Land Institute analyzed commercial corridors across the country and recommended actions to make these corridors safer and improve these corridors to better promote health and well-being. The study found many primary commercial corridors have high rates of traffic deaths, and cost communities in terms of safety, economic productivity, and mobility efficiency. The study includes recommendations for land use and transportation policies to improve the health of these corridors.

NCHRP Report on Resilience Efforts (1-2019)
A report on transportation agency resilience efforts has been published by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program. The report details how transportation agencies have approached regaining functionality after a major disruption or disaster. The report also assesses policies that promote highway resilience and how agencies are incorporating resilience practices through project development, policy, and design.

Return to top ↑


Summary Report of Climate Change Listening Sessions (11-2018)
A summary report of six listening sessions focused on climate change and resilience policy has been released by the Transportation and Climate Initiative, a regional collaboration of 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia. The listening sessions focused on approaches to implement a clean and more resilient regional transportation system.

Evaluation of Recycled Asphalt Shingles in Pavement (11-2018)
The National Cooperative Highway Research Program released a report describing performance tests of warm mix asphalt containing recycled content.

Case Study: PennDOT Connects Program (10-2018)
PennDOT has been engaging communities and partner agencies to ensure a range of needs, such as environmental stewardship, safety, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations are included in all new road projects. The “PennDOT Connects” Program implements a formal planning-phase process to consider and document community needs for each project prior to developing project scopes.

USDOT Announces Automated Vehicle 3.0 Guidance (10-2018)
The USDOT has released new Federal guidance for automated vehicles entitled “Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0” (AV 3.0). The updated language details how USDOT will modernize definitions and terms in the context of automated systems, support the development of automation-related voluntary standards, and how FHWA will also update the 2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices to factor in connected and automated vehicles.

Urban Heat Island Effect Detailed in NOAA Maps (10-2018)
Maps developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) depict the urban heat island effect in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore on hot summer days, including the influence of roadways on temperature patterns. NOAA has shared these maps with officials so that they may use them to inform resiliency plans and implement cooling strategies.

Eco-Driving Information Systems Analyzed in Report (9-2018)
The National Center for Sustainable Transportation has published a report describing how in-vehicle information systems can improve fuel economy by changing driver behavior. This is known as “eco-driving,” and provides the driver with feedback displayed in instrument cluster displays, after-market devices, or on personal mobile devices.

How to Measure Long-Distance Travel (9-2018)
A report on measuring long-distance and intercity travel has been released by the National Center for Sustainable Transportation. The report utilized a mobile device-based dataset and interviews to determine how to best measure long-distance travel, how that travel affects well-being, how access to long-distance travel varies among socio-demographic groups, and the environmental impacts associated with it.

Sustainability Implications of On-Demand Ride Services Analyzed (9-2018)
The National Center for Sustainable Transportation published a report showing how on-demand ride services could possibly improve sustainability and mobility through a series of strategies. These strategies include incentivizing taking trips with multiple passengers, improving intermodal connections, and enhancing access to underserved populations.

Sustainable Transportation Roadmap Issued by NRDC (7-2018)
The Natural Resources Defense Council released a report containing strategies for the implementation of a modernized, sustainable transportation network. The report details several “building blocks,” such as bike/pedestrian friendly streets, clean energy vehicles, improved land use planning and public transit, and equitable community design.

Quick Guide: Project-Level Air Quality Analyses (7-2018)
The National Cooperative Highway Research Program issued a new quick reference guide on project-level air quality analyses. It bridges the gap between traffic analysis and air quality analysis to ensure that the right traffic inputs are prepared and provided to support air quality analysis (which is organized by air pollutant type). The guide also provides an overview of traffic data requirements, NEPA reevaluations, and traffic mitigation strategies.

Projected Impacts on National Parks from Sea Level and Storm Surge (5-2018)
A report by the National Park Service shows projected storm surge and sea level rise for 118 coastal national parks. According to the report, the National Capital Region could experience the highest average rate of sea level change by 2100 and the coastline of the parks in North Carolina’s could experience the highest sea level rise by 2100. The Southeast Region is projected to experience the highest storm surges.

Report on Environmental Conflict Resolution Improvements & Benefits (5-2018)
The benefits of utilizing the Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution (ECCR) program are studied in a new report by the Federal Forum on ECCR and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. More than a decade of ECCR efforts using neutral, third-party facilitators to work with agencies and stakeholders are covered in the report. The ECCR program saves both time and money, and improves relationships between agencies and stakeholders.

EPA Releases Green Infrastructure Guide for Local Hazard Planning (4-2018)
New guidance from EPA, “Storm Smart Cities Guide,” provides information for local communities on how to integrate green infrastructure into their Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, which is required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The guide provides a green infrastructure case study on the efforts of Huntington, West Virginia to address frequent flooding in low-lying areas. The guide also recommends that communities evaluate their ability to implement and fund green infrastructure, and to form a stakeholder coalition group that includes hazard mitigation planners, stormwater utilities, academic institutions, and flood management districts.

Sea Level “Report Cards” Forecast Changes Along U.S. Coastline Through 2050 (3-2018)
The William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science have developed a web-based “report card” system that will track and project variance in sea level at 32 locations along U.S. coastlines. Researchers will update these report cards annually in January of each year going forward, and forecast sea level rise through the year 2050. These report cards are envisioned to be more accurate than similar efforts by other scientific bodies, as they will be updated more frequently and show specific locales. Transportation and government officials can use these report cards in long range scenario planning.

MetroPlan Orlando’s Transportation Think-In Summary Report (3-2018)
A summary of MetroPlan Orlando’s event “Transportation Think-In: Making 2045 Healthy, Sustainable, and Resilient” is now available. The event brought together approximately 60 community leaders from across Central Florida to discuss their shared transportation-related challenges, and sought to encourage safety, accessibility, increased physical mobility options, sustainable land use, and the utilization of Complete Streets policies. The Central Florida 2045 transportation plan will be informed by the findings of this event.

TRB Research Record Illustrates Resilience (1-2018)
There are 16 research papers focused on resilience included in this TRB Journal. Some of these topics are: risk and resilience analysis for highway assets, sociotechnical approaches, security resiliency, community-based planning, rapid damage and response strategies, and the effects of tsunami damage on passenger and forestry transportation.

Environmental Justice Analyses for Toll Implementation (1-2018)
TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program has released a report that contains case studies and resources for Environmental Justice analysis of roadway tolls.

Return to top ↑


Report on AASHTO’s Resiliency Peer Exchange on Climate Change (12-2017)
A summary report on AASHTO’s November climate resilience peer exchange is now available. The exchange brought key DOT stakeholders together to discuss and share resiliency strategies and challenges for transportation systems.

Guidance on Climate Resiliency for California Agencies (12-2017)
The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research in California has released resiliency decision-making principles for State agencies which details how to plan for resiliency and analyzes California’s climate conditions. The guidance includes a report on integrating climate change into infrastructure investments, and a four-step guide for resilience risk management.

TRB Releases Circular on Transportation Systems Resilience (11-2017)
TRB published a circular that includes a variety of articles addressing research issues related to implementing resilient transportation systems.

Report Analyzes Use of Zero-Emission Heavy-Duty Vehicle Technology (10-2017)
A report by the International Council on Clean Transportation explores the use of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicle technology in the freight sector. The report provides an overview of heavy-duty vehicle policies in the U.S., as well as Canada, China, and Japan. The report also includes an analysis of costs associated with vehicle use, efficiency, cost of ownership, and emission impacts of various tractor-trailer technologies.

NCHRP Report Details Use of Biochar to Reduce Stormwater Runoff (10-2017)
A report by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program describes the use of a kind of biochar in soils on highway greenways to reduce stormwater runoff. Biochar is a porous charcoal-like material created by the combustion of organic matter in an oxygen-limited environment. Biochar is a cost-effective, readily-used material that can be used to enhance retention of stormwater in soils. The study includes assessments in a laboratory, a pilot project, and in the field, as well as an engineering and construction cost analysis.

Eight Papers on Social, Economic, Sustainability, and Human Factors in Transportation (7-2017)
TRB’s Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2671, contains 8 papers on the economic, social, sustainability, and human factors in transit. Examples of papers include: Accessibility Scenario Analysis of a Hypothetical Future Transit Network: Social Equity Implications of a General Transit Feed Specification-Based Sketch Planning Tool; Transit Corridor Livability: Realizing the Potential of Transportation and Land Use Integration; and Global Urban Passenger Travel Demand and CO2 Emissions to 2050: New Model

100 Resilient Cities Report on City Efforts to Address Climate Change (7-2017)
100 Resilient Cities has released a report on municipal resiliency planning to address urbanization, globalization, and climate change. Examples of efforts are Boston implementing equity goals for its transit systems and New Orleans developing new flood protection systems.

Illinois Tollway Saves Millions with Sustainability Policies (6-2017)
The Illinois Tollway has implemented findings from sustainability research, creating new standards and policies for materials, pavements, and recycling. The tollway found that the adoption of innovative and sustainable material specifications saved approximately $218.5 million from 2004-2016.

11 Papers Released by Transportation Research Board (TRB) on Planning Applications (6-2017)
TRB’s Journal of the Transportation Research Board contains 11 papers that on transportation planning over a broad range of topics, including the Sprawl Index, Measuring Regional Accessibility with an Integrated Pedestrian and Transit Network, Impact of Sea Level Rise in Boston, and Incorporating Equity and Resilience in Municipal Transportation Planning.

Case Study of Louisiana’s Weather Resiliency Efforts (5-2017)
A case study was recently published by FHWA on the resiliency projects by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) during extreme rainfall events in 2016. FHWA granted LADOTD $2 million under the Emergency Relief Program to repair and rebuild transportation infrastructure in a manner that prevents damage from future weather events.

Georgetown Climate Center’s Report on Urban Climate Resiliency (5-2017)
The Georgetown Climate Center’s recent report on an urban climate preparedness framework includes interviews/feedback from city officials, a review of city adaptation plans, and a literature review on how cities can thrive will encountering climate disruptions. The report highlights seven adaptation strategies and reviews the first steps in urban resiliency and infrastructure development.

Greater Rochester Region Infrastructure Vulnerability Assessment (5-2017)
FHWA has released a study assessing transportation infrastructure vulnerabilities to natural and human-caused hazards in the Greater Rochester area. The region’s MPO has worked to identify vulnerabilities of their transportation systems, and the report creates profiles for each hazard and affected asset.

Low-Carbon Natural Gas: Analysis of Economic Potential (4-2017)
An analysis of the economic potential of low-carbon natural gas (LCNG) was produced by the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis. This report contains data on feedstocks used to produce the biogas, and shows the total resource potential for LCNG production. Also included is anticipated fuel demand, and analysis of cumulative emissions on a per-mile-traveled basis for each of LCNG pathway’s total cost.

Oregon DOT Reports On Climate Resiliency Efforts in Tillamook County (4-2017)
A report on climate resilience in Tillamook County, OR details the county’s capacity to adapt to flooding on highways and roads, landslides, and sinkholes, and adapting to new environmental conditions. Oregon DOT highlights the importance of communication, building capacity at the local level, and the maintenance of infrastructure.

Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks Released by EPA (2-2017)
The EPA has released the draft of its annual inventory of all man-made U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and sinks, which provides information by source, economic sector, and type of greenhouse gas from the years 1990 to 2015.

Department of Energy Report Highlights Mobility Scenarios for Transportation (2-2017)
The Department of Energy has released a report exploring four possible mobility futures that might exist in 2050, with the positive and negative impacts these can have on energy consumption and the broader economy. The report considers the two factors with the highest potential to transform the transportation sector: vehicle control (driver-only vs. fully automated self-driving) and vehicle ownership (personal ownership vs. fully shared).

Secretary Foxx Releases Beyond Traffic 2045 Final Report on Future of Transportation (1-2017)
USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx released the final Beyond Traffic 2045 report, which highlights the transportation challenges the country will face for the next 30 years. The report finds that the U.S. transportation system, and its current planning and funding mechanisms, will not meet the demands presented by trends including population growth, climate change, and new technologies like driverless cars.

Return to top ↑


Study: Effect of Housing on Vehicle Miles Traveled (12-2016)
The National Center for Sustainable Transportation released a report that examines how current affordable housing policies can enable access jobs and transit-rich communities. The report examines the trade-offs of rescaling housing voucher thresholds and showed that affordable housing near rail does not show signs of being systematically more expensive that other projects.

TRB Releases Report Summarizing Symposium on Transportation Resilience (12-2016)
The Transportation Research Board has released “Transportation Resilience: Adaptation to Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events,” a report summarizing an international symposium held in Brussels on June 16-17, 2016. The symposium brought together high-level experts from the European Union and the U.S. to discuss disruptions to the transportation system resulting from climate change and extreme weather events. The report focuses on the technical, financial, and policy challenges to better plan, design, and operate the transportation network before, during, and after extreme and/or long-term climate events.

Endangered Species Consultation Handbook Issued by AASHTO (12-2016)
AASHTO has issued a new practitioner’s handbook providing an overview of Section 7 consultation under the Endangered Species Act for transportation projects. The handbook, Complying with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act for Transportation Projects (Practitioner’s Handbook 17), is the latest in the practitioner’s handbook series. The handbook includes an overview of the regulatory framework, issues to consider, and practical tips. A webinar by the Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO will be scheduled soon to discuss the handbook.

EPA Issues Recommendations for Improving Air Quality Near Roads and Highways (11-2016)
The EPA has released a research paper with recommendations for constructing roadside vegetation barriers to improve near-road air quality. The report encompasses barrier design recommendations, characteristics for best vegetative barriers, benefits of combining vegetation with solid noise barriers, and various other resources.

Study Focuses on Transit Agency Experience with Extreme Weather (10-2016)
A study on U.S. public transit agency experience in responding to extreme weather events has been conducted by the University of Florida, Center for Urban Transportation Research. The study includes recent experiences; perception of weather and climatic risks; assessment of organizational priority, capacity, and challenges of managing extreme weather; and organizational responses and adaptation measures.

EPA Announces Stormwater Planning Guide, Toolkit and Technical Assistance (10-2016)
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a draft guide, toolkit, and technical assistance for voluntary long-term stormwater planning for communities. The guidance specifies how to develop a comprehensive stormwater plan that integrates stormwater management with communities’ broader plans for economic development, infrastructure investment, and environmental compliance.

Transportation Research Record: Systems Resilience and Climate Change (7-2016)
The recent edition of the Transportation Research Record: Systems Resilience and Climate Change (No. 2599) includes articles on Dynamic Learning Process for Selecting Storm Protection Investments, Adaptive Planning for Transportation Corridors Threatened by Sea Level Rise, Unconventional Intersection Control Strategies for Urban Evacuation, Modeling Evacuation Behavior Under Hurricane Conditions, and Using Big Data to Study Resilience of Taxi and Subway Trips for Hurricanes Sandy and Irene, among others.

Transportation Research Record: Environment (7-2016)
The recent edition of the Transportation Research Record: Environment (No. 2571) includes articles on connecting consumers and producers of recycled materials, lessons learned in climate adaptation studies, and traffic-related heavy metal contamination, among others.

Optimizing Cold In-Place Recycling (CIR) Applications Through Fracture Energy Performance Testing (6-2016)
The Minnesota Department of Transportation conducted research comparing the performance of cold in-place recycling of different stabilization materials for pavement by using a newly-developed testing method called Fracture Index Value for Energy. Submissions are due by August 22, 2016.

Partnerships for Promoting Pollinator Habitat (6-2016)
Minnesota DOT (MnDOT) conducted research on the experiences of state DOTs in developing and maintaining pollinator habitats. The Transportation Research Synthesis document provides the literature review and survey findings from nine state DOTs and Minnesota counties. The current practices include developing new pollinator-specific partnerships; existing partnerships that have been expanded to address pollinators; and Adopt-a-Highway programs that support maintenance of vegetation in the ROW.

Evaluation and Assessment of Environmentally Sensitive Stream Bank Protection Measures (6-2016)
TRB’s NCHRP Report 822 evaluates and assesses existing guidelines for the design, installation, monitoring, and maintenance of environmentally sensitive stream bank stabilization and protection measures, and develops quantitative engineering design guidance for selected treatments. Updated design guidelines for three widely used treatments are presented: live siltation and live staking with a rock toe, vegetated mechanically stabilized earth, and vegetated rip rap.

NCHRP Impacts on Practice: A Long-Term View of Sustainability (6-2016)
TRB’s NCHRP Report 750, Volume 4: Sustainability as an Organizing Principle for Transportation Agencies explores sustainability as a “triple bottom line” of environmental, economic, and social sustainability. The summary explores how the California Department of Transportation and New York State Department of Transportation applied the findings of Report 750, Volume 4 to reframe and better coordinate activities and priorities involving sustainability across departments.

Webinar Recording: 2016 Moving Environmental Justice (EJ) Forward in Transportation Planning (5-2016)
The recording for a webinar on environmental justice in transportation planning that was held on May 18, 2016 is now available. The webinar reviewed eight focus areas, received input on the Environmental Justice roadmap, and discussed strategies and plans for increasing Environmental Justice presence in planning and project development.

TRB Straight to Recording for All: Air Quality Fundamentals (5-2016)
TRB created a series of videos to help viewers understand addressing air quality issues in the highway planning process.

Proceedings from Transportation for Sustainability: An International Conference May 2015 (2-2016)
The proceedings from the May 2015 Transportation for Sustainability: An International Conference are now available. The conference covered topics including global sustainability practices, measuring sustainability, and climate change.

Return to top ↑


Increasing Highway Capacity Unlikely to Relieve Traffic Congestion (10-2015)
The National Center for Sustainable Transportation released a policy brief finding that additional roadway capacity does not alleviate traffic congestion. Research demonstrates that increases in roadway capacity eventually increase vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Moreover, this increase in VMT counteracts the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that would result from reduced congestion.

Pavement Recycling: An Effective Reuse of Resources (10-2015)
The TRB publication “Research Pays Off” looks at how the Virginia DOT uses recycled materials to address highway pavement deterioration. The article covers techniques used and the benefits yielded.

Integrating Extreme Weather into Transportation Asset Management Plans (9-2015)
This NCHRP report outlines a process and provides a template to assist transportation agencies in incorporating climate change and extreme weather consideration into their Transportation Asset Management Plans (TAMPs).

Washington DOT Sustainable Transportation Action Plan - 2013-2015 Fiscal Biennium Close Out (11-2015)
Washington State DOT released its closeout report that describes major agency activities that promote sustainable practices and clean transportation in Washington State for the 2013-2015. The plan reports on progress on a number of topics, including WSDOT facilities, highway lighting, highway maintenance, operational efficiencies, commute trip reduction, climate preparedness, and greenhouse gas inventory and reduction strategies.

Benefits of Transportation: Telling America’s Transportation and Environment Story (2015)
The AASHTO Center for Environmental Excellence created a report outlining strategies for reframing and increasing the reach of state DOTs’ messaging about all of the work that improves quality of life in their states. The report includes high level recommendations for communications and environmental staff at state DOTs, as well as a number of “next steps” activities.

TRB Report on Systems Resilience and Climate Change (2015)
Volume 2532 of the Journal of the Transportation Research Board compiles 18 papers examining resilience and climate change issues as they relate to transportation.

NCHRP Report: Measuring and Removing Dissolved Metals from Stormwater in Highly Urbanized Areas (7-2015)
NCHRP Report 767 presents prototype best management practices for removing dissolved metals in stormwater runoff in highly urbanized areas. The report includes standard protocols for accurate dissolved metal measurements in stormwater and practical guidance on the use of these protocols.

A GIS-Based Expert Systems Predictive Habitat Model for Threatened and Endangered Species: Case Study Using Kentucky Arrow Darter (2015)
The Kentucky University Kentucky Transportation Center released a report presenting a GIS-based predictive habitat suitability model that could be useful to transportation planners when determining sensitive landscapes for an endangered fish species in transportation planning processes.

Achieving California’s Greenhouse Gas Goals: A Focus on Transportation (9-2015)
A new report by the Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy of the University of California, Davis assesses the policies and programs developed in response to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32). The researchers evaluated policies and programs from several dimensions, including cost effectiveness, potential for carbon emissions abatement, and technological feasibility.

Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 4: Sustainability as an Organizing Principle for Transportation Agencies (9-2015)
The National Cooperative Highway Research Program recently released Report 750: Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 4: Sustainability as an Organizing Principle for Transportation Agencies. The report includes an analytical framework and implementation approaches created to assist state DOTs and other transportation agencies evaluate their current and future capacity to support a sustainable society by delivering transportation solutions in a rapidly changing social, economic, and environmental context in the next 30 to 50 years.

Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 2: Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and the Highway System: Practitioner’s Guide and Research Report (8-2015)
The National Cooperative Highway Research Program recently released Report 750: Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 2: Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and the Highway System: Practitioner’s Guide and Research Report. The document 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).

Moving Energy (8-2015)
The recent article in TR News looks at the effects of changes in world energy market on the transportation industry. These changes include declining coal delivery, rising use of natural gas, and oil shipments from North American locations competing with overseas sources.

Environmental Performance Measures for State Departments of Transportation (7-2015)
The National Cooperative Highway Research Program recently released Report 809: Environmental Performance Measures for State Departments of Transportation. The report identifies potential environmental performance measures that may be integrated into a transportation agency’s performance management program. The report explores relationships between agency activities and environmental outcomes.

NCHRP Consideration of Preservation in Pavement Design and Analysis Procedures (7-2015)
The new report from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program on pavement design explores the impacts of pavement preservation on performance and service life, including three approaches for analyzing these impacts. The report could lead to adding preservation to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

Permeable Pavements in Cold Climates: State of the Art and Cold Climate Case Studies (6-2015)
Researchers at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota DOT conducted an extensive review of full-depth permeable pavements including porous asphalt, pervious concrete, and permeable interlocking concrete paver. The research report covers recent advances in permeable pavement technology and identifies unresolved issues.

Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Freight Movement through Eco-Driving Programs for Heavy-Duty Trucks (6-2015)
The University of California-Riverside National Center for Sustainable Transportation created a report that reviews elements of eco-driving programs for trucks. The elements include driver education and training, vehicle maintenance and technology support, and policy support.

Water Quality in Jurisdictional Roadside Ditches (6-2015)
The University of Kentucky Transportation Center created a report discussing methodologies for evaluating the quality of instream and riparian habitats in jurisdictional roadside ditches that are compliant with the Clean Water Act.

Climate Change in the U.S. - Benefits of Global Action (6-2015)
A new report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides an overview of the results from the Climate Change Impacts and Risks Analysis (CIRA) project, which is a peer-reviewed study comparing impacts in a future with significant global action on climate change to a future in which current greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. The report estimates the physical and monetary benefits to the U.S. of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, including potential savings on road and bridge infrastructure replacement costs.

Sustainable Aggregates Production: Green Applications for Aggregate By-Products (6-2015)
The University of Illinois Center for Transportation developed a report that discusses pavement construction sustainability and recycling efforts through the production of aggregate gradations with lower dust and small maximum sizes.

Green Infrastructure in the Transportation Sector (TRB Recording) (5-2015)
During a TRB webinar in May 2015, several presenters gave an overview of legislation to encourage adoption of Green Infrastructure (GI) by the transportation sector, as well as possible mandates for GI and incentives, and examples of successfully bringing GI into planning efforts. TRB has made the webinar recordings available on its website.

Building for the Future: A New Federal Guide to Infrastructure Planning and Design (5-2015)
The White House released a Federal Guide to Infrastructure Planning and Design as part of an effort to help communities design and finance more and better infrastructure projects. The guide includes climate change considerations in the planning and design process. The guide also includes an extensive list of all federal programs that can help local, state and tribal governments in the early stages of a project’s life.

Understanding Smart Growth Savings (5-2015)
The Victoria Transport Institute report “Understanding Smart Growth Savings” looks at the economic, social, and environmental benefits of smart growth policies, and summarizes current research concerning the costs and benefits of smart growth versus sprawl. The report also investigates consumer preferences and evaluates smart growth criticisms.

Guidebook for Designing and Managing Rights-of-Way for Carbon Sequestration and Biomass Generation (4-2015)
NCHRP Report 804: Guidebook for Designing and Managing Rights-of-Way for Carbon Sequestration and Biomass Generation explores the operational concerns, programmatic issues, and market conditions associated with utilizing highway rights-of-way (ROWs) to develop carbon sequestration projects.

Iowa’s Bridge and Highway Climate Change and Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Pilot (3-2015)
The Institute for Transportation at Iowa State University has released a report that develops a methodology to evaluate the vulnerability of bridges to climate change and extreme weather.

TRB Health & Transportation Subcommittee Discusses Tools to Support Planning and Analysis (1-2015)
The TRB Health & Transportation Subcommittee hosted a workshop that focused on a variety of tools that the practitioner, researcher, or analyst should find useful as they probe the intersection of health and transportation. At the heart will be the Transportation Health Tool that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Transportation have been working on accompanied by a process framework for incorporating health in the corridor planning process.

Return to top ↑


Developing Salt-Tolerant Sod Mixtures for Use of Roadside Turf in Minnesota (12-2014)
This report summarizes research conducted by Minnesota DOT to develop sod that is tolerant to salt for roadside application.

Florida DOT: Developing Improved Opportunities for the Recycling and Reuse of Materials in Road, Bridge and Other Construction Projects (12-2014)
This report summarizes research for developing ways to improve the use of recycled materials in constructions projects for roads and bridges. The report includes recommendations and discusses challenges with implementation.

Virginia DOT: Standardized Test Method to Quantify Environmental Impacts of Stormwater Pipe (11-2014)
This report discusses a standardized test method developed by the Virginian DOT that can be used for evaluating the environmental impact of storm water infrastructure materials.

Illinois DOT Focuses on Sustainable Highway Construction (11-2014)
The Illinois DOT has been making progress on reducing its carbon footprint. Part of the progress has been accomplished through the adoption of sustainable design and construction techniques, including use of recyclable and environmentally friendly materials when possible. The agency used more than 1.7 million tons of reclaimed and recycled materials in Illinois highways in 2013 alone.

Sustainability Concepts in Decision-Making: Tools and Approaches for the US Environmental Protection Agency (9-2014)
Released by the National Research Council, this publication examines tools, methods, and approaches for incorporating sustainability concepts into assessments used to support decisionmaking at the EPA.

Using Existing Pavement In-Place and Achieving Long Life (8-2014)
This TRB report documents the findings from the second Strategic Highway Research Program Renewal project regarding Using Existing Pavement in Place and Achieving Long Life. The report details a procedure for including existing pavements in place as part of new pavement structures and methods to achieve long life.

Five Years of Learning From Communities and Coordinating Federal Investments (8-2014)
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Transportation, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released this report to document the lessons learned thus far from the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The publication summarizes how important policy changes and key collaborations have made significant impacts on communities.

Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2403 (7-2014)
This publication includes eight papers related to environment and sustainability ranging from habitat conservation plans to temperature control of pavements to livability ethics.

NCHRP Report 750 Volume 2: Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and the Highway System: Practitioner’s Guide and Research Report (5-2014)
The NCHRP Report 750 Volume 2: Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and the Highway System: Practitioner’s Guide and Research Report is a comprehensive look at the potential effects of climate change on the highway system and suggestions on how to account for them throughout the transportation decision-making process. The report has two parts: a Practitioner’s Guide and a Research Report. The Practitioner’s Guide introduces a framework for adaptation planning and it includes chapters on climate projections, climate impacts, vulnerability assessments and risk appraisals, climate change in project development, and climate change in other agency functions such as construction, operations, and asset management. It also has appendices with sea-level rise projections and a benefit-cost methodology for adaptation strategies. The companion research report presents the results of a study looking at climate impacts and potential solutions for the U.S. highway system in the year 2050.

A Framework for Assessing Transportation Sustainability Rating Systems for Implementation in U.S. State Departments of Transportation (5-2014)
The Mountain-Plains Consortium at North Dakota State University created a framework to help State Departments of Transportation choose between different transportation sustainability rating systems. This report also includes results from implementation of the framework at four State Departments of Transportation. FHWA’s INVEST was one of the transportation sustainability rating systems evaluated as part of this research.

National Climate Change Assessment (5-2014)
The U.S. Global Change Research Program released an in-depth report on the effects of climate change in the U.S. One section of the report focuses on the climate change impacts to the transportation sector.

U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Blog
The Clean Cities Blog helps Clean Cities coordinators and stakeholders access information about alternative transportation topics that affect their coalitions around the United States.

ODOT Report Details Energy Efficiency Strategies for Highway Maintenance Facilities (2-2014)
The Ohio Department of Transportation has published a report examining various renewable energy sources and energy efficiency methods for the department’s highway maintenance facilities. Strategies outlined in the report reduce greenhouse gas emissions and offer cost advantages. A University of Cincinnati research team devised a three-phase screening tool to scrutinize technologies with the potential to provide renewable energy benefits at highway maintenance facilities. In addition, researchers created a decision support tool to help practitioners navigate the screening tool’s three phases.

Return to top ↑


Planning for Flood Recovery and Long-Term Resilience in Vermont: Smart Growth Approaches for Disaster-Resilient Communities (12-2013)
In 2012, in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, the state of Vermont requested Smart Growth Implementation Assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The assistance focused on incorporating smart growth principles into state policies, local development regulations, and Hazard Mitigation Plans to increase community flood resilience.

Carbon Footprint of Supply Chains: A Scoping Study (11-2013)
Defines a standardized, conceptual approach to assessing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the transportation component of supply chains, critiques current methods and data used to quantify GHG emissions, and outlines a work plan to develop a decision tool to help estimate the carbon footprint of the transportation component of supply chains.

Environment 2013: TRB Journal 2362 (11-2013)
TRB’s Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2362 contains 7 papers that examine the well-being of relocated box turtles during construction of the intercounty connector highway in Maryland; using onboard sound intensity measurements to interpret results of traffic noise modeling; and Virginia quieter pavement demonstration projects. This issue also explores the influence of quieter pavement and absorptive barriers on US 101 in Marin County, California; application and sensitivity of airport noise-damage costs; effects of porous pavement on traffic noise and traffic noise prediction; and, impact of stormwater pipe lining materials on water quality.

NCHRP Study on the Use of Permeable Shoulders for Highway Runoff (10-2013)
An evaluation of the use of permeable pavements for stormwater management on highway shoulders is provided in a study conducted under the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP 25-25, Task 82). The study finds that careful consideration of design features and construction techniques are necessary to ensure success when using permeable pavement on shoulders. It describes permeable pavement technologies, criteria for using permeable materials on highway shoulders, and design and construction considerations. It also provides maintenance guidelines as well as future research needs.

Climate Change and the Highway System: Impacts and Adaptation Approaches (9-2013)
The objectives of this research were to (1) synthesize the current state of worldwide knowledge regarding the probable range of impacts of climate change on highway systems by region of the United States for the period 2030-2050; (2) recommend institutional arrangements, tools, approaches, and strategies that state DOTs can use during system planning, design, construction, operations, and maintenance to adapt infrastructure and operations to these impacts and lessen their effects; and (3) identify future research and activities needed to close gaps in current knowledge and implement effective adaptive management. The key products are a practitioner’s guide to climate change adaptation, a supporting software tool, and a summary report.

NCHRP Renewable Energy Guide for Highway Maintenance Facilities (7-2013)
Offers guidance for the application of renewable energy technologies for the heating and cooling, lighting, and electrical power requirements of highway maintenance facilities.

TRB Synthesis 430: Cost-Effective and Sustainable Road Slope Stabilization and Erosion Control (6-2013)
Presents information on cost-effective and sustainable road slope stabilization techniques, with a focus on shallow or near-surface slope stabilization and related erosion control methods used on low-volume roads.

NCHRP Synthesis 435: Recycled Materials and Byproducts in Highway Applications (6-2013)
This study gathers the experiences of transportation agencies in determining the relevant properties of recycled materials and industrial byproducts and the beneficial use for highway applications.

Comprehensive Highway Corridor Planning with Sustainability Indicators (4-2013, PDF 1.1 MB)
The Maryland State Highway Administration has released a report that defines sustainability indicators for major geometric improvement options and proposes additional multimodal corridor improvement options.

U.S. Government Accountability Office Report on Climate Change Adaptation (4-2013)
This report examines the impacts that climate change may have on infrastructure such as roads and bridges, wastewater systems, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) centers, and discusses adaptation efforts.

Report on Sustainable Development and Winter Service (3-2013)
The World Road Association has released a report that analyses existing methods for sustainable development of road infrastructure and identifies social, environmental and economic criteria for winter road maintenance strategies and operations. This report is available without a fee after logging on to the site.

AASHTO Cost Estimating Guide for State DOTs (3-2013)
Developed by the AASHTO Subcommittee on Design, this provides practical guidance to those charged with the development of State department of transportation cost estimates and the management of the estimating process.

Draft NCHRP Study Offers Eight-Step Framework To Help Transportation Agencies Adapt to Climate Impacts (2-2013, PDF 3.7 MB)
The draft report, “Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events and the Highway System: A Practitioner’s Guide,” is a prepublication product of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (Project 20-83-05).

Return to top ↑


NCHRP 25-25/Task 73: Improved Environmental Performance of Highway Maintenance (11-2012)
Presents the results of a study of how State DOTs are incorporating  environmental requirements and stewardship into their highway maintenance practices; and, in doing so, can enhance sustainability and improve performance of their highway systems.

Report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office: Information on Materials and Practices for Improving Highway Pavement Performance (11-2012)
Identifies 40 materials and practices that may improve the performance of pavements, extend service life, and reduce life-cycle costs.

AASHTO Unveils Sustainability Case Studies (11-2012)
Provides information on a range of practices transportation agencies are undertaking to advance the “triple bottom line” of fiscal responsibility, community quality of life, and commitment to a better environment.

The Innovative DOT: A Handbook of Policy and Practice (9-2012)
Describes innovative policies and practices that integrate smart growth concepts to improve the long-term sustainability of state transportation programs.

World Road Association Report on Financing, Contracting and Managing of Road System Investment (9-2012)
Provides information on the different combinations of public and private sector involvement in the provision of sustainable road systems and the perceived advantages and disadvantages of these methods.

Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) Report on Integrated Conservation, Highway Planning (8-2012, PDF 5.2 MB)
SHRP2 has issued a report describing research aimed at helping transportation and environmental professionals apply ecological principles early in the planning and programming process of highway capacity improvements to inform later environmental reviews and permitting.

NCHRP Synthesis 436: Local Policies and Practices That Support Safe Pedestrian Environments (8-2012)
The report documents various tools and strategies used by municipalities to improve the safety, convenience, and accessibility of the pedestrian experience.

TRB E-Circular 164 Provides Overview of Key Climate Information Related to Transportation (7-2012)
The Transportation Research Board’s Special Task Force on Climate Change and Energy has issued an electronic circular providing a concise summary of key climate change information related to transportation.

NCHRP Report 430: Cost-Effective and Sustainable Road Slope Stabilization and Erosion Control (6-2012)
This report presents information on cost-effective and sustainable road slope stabilization techniques, with a focus on shallow or near-surface slope stabilization and related erosion control methods used on low-volume roads. The report address topic planning, site investigation, erosion control techniques, soil bioengineering and biotechnical techniques, mechanical stabilization, and earthwork techniques.

AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities (6-2012)
This guide was developed by the AASHTO Highway Subcommittee on Design to facilitate the inclusion of bicyclists’ needs in all phases of transportation planning, design, and operations.

Case Studies (1-2012)

TRB Transportation Record ‘Sustainability and Livability’ Issue (1-2012, PDFs 206kB - 3.9MB)
The Transportation Research Board has published a compilation of 15 research papers on sustainable transportation-related topics in Volume No. 2242 of its Transportation Research Record journal. Topics covered include evaluation of sustainable transportation, sustainability assessments by transportation agencies, quantifying the economic domain of transportation sustainability, sustainable transportation planning, measuring the performance of livability programs, and environmental impacts in the transport sector.

Sustainable Concrete Pavements: A Manual of Practice (1-2012, PDF 3.5MB)
The National Concrete Pavement Technology Center at Iowa State University has published a guide on pavement sustainability concepts and recommended practices for enhancing the sustainability of concrete pavements. The document features technical information and best practices related to concrete pavement design, materials, construction, use, renewal, and recycling. The guide also covers issues related to pavement sustainability in the urban environment and the evaluation of pavement sustainability.

Return to top ↑


Research Digest Outlines Sustainable Pavement Maintenance Practices (12-2011, PDF 313kB)
Current practices in sustainable pavement maintenance and preservation by transportation agencies are outlined in a report issued under the NCHRP.

NCHRP Report 708: A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies (11-2011, PDF 9.54 MB)
A framework that State departments of transportation can use to identify and apply sustainability-related performance measures is provided in a guidebook produced under the Transportation Research Board’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP Project 08-74). The guidebook describes the underlying principles of sustainability and includes a compendium of sustainability performance measures for transportation agencies, including data sources and examples of use.

Going the Distance Together: A Citizen’s Guide to Context Sensitive Solutions for Better Transportation (NCHRP 184) (9-2011, PDF 3MB)
Topics addressed in the report include transportation and the quality of life; the foundation of context sensitive solutions; shaping transportation decisions; understanding professional responsibility and design flexibility in project design; and partnerships through collaboration.

Return to top ↑