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Federal Highway Administration’s (FWHA) Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP) “STEP: A Federal Research Program – Conducting Research That Links to Practice” Webinar November 16, 2009 1 Agenda

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Federal Highway Administration’s (FWHA)Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP)

“STEP: A Federal Research Program –

Conducting Research That Links to Practice” Webinar

November 16, 2009



Welcome Remarks from the HEP Associate Administrator

STEP Program Overview

STEP Emphasis Area Research Highlights Presentations

Questions & Answers Session


what is fhwa s step
What is FHWA’s STEP?

STEP Background

  • A federally-administered nationally oriented research program
  • Authorized in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy of Users (SAFETEA-LU)
    • Section 5207 – Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP)


step objectives
STEP Objectives

Improve understanding of the complex relationship between surface transportation, planning, and the environment

Identify, address, and reassess national research priorities for environment, planning and realty


legislative guidance
Legislative Guidance

SAFETEA-LU requires, to the maximum extent practicable, that:

Best projects and researchers based on merit, open solicitations, and selection by a panel of appropriate experts;

DOT has a qualified, permanent core staff;

Stakeholders are involved in program governance; and

No duplication with the Future Strategic Highway Research Program (Section 5210 of SAFETEA-LU)


how is fhwa s step funded
How is FHWA’s STEP funded?
  • SAFETEA-LU authorized $16.875 million per year for FY2006-2009
  • Part of Title V Research – funds authorized in 5101(a)(1)
  • Approximately $14 million anticipated to be available in FY10 due to obligation limitations and rescissions
  • FY10 subject to Continuing Resolution and anticipated authorization legislation


who gets fhwa s step money
Who gets FHWA’s STEP money?
  • STEP funds can be awarded to:
    • State governments
    • Metropolitan planning organizations
    • Local governments
    • Universities
    • Federal agencies
    • Private sector


how are fhwa s step funds awarded
How are FHWA’s STEP funds awarded?
  • A variety of procurement mechanisms are used to award STEP funds including:
    • Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity (ID/IQ)
    • Interagency agreements
    • Grants
    • Cooperative agreements
    • Small purchase contracts
  • Broad Agency Announcements are used to obtain broad & diverse perspectives and options for advancing research initiatives


fhwa s step challenges
FHWA’s STEP Challenges
  • Congress mandated a 50% non-Federal share for grants & cooperative agreements
  • “Non-Federal match” requirement does not apply to contracts or Federal Interagency Agreements
  • SAFETEA-LU does not allow University Transportation Center or State Planning and Research funds to be used as the non-Federal match for STEP
  • Primary source of funding for all FHWA Planning and Environment research
  • Support research that impacts a broad array of stakeholders


stakeholder involvement
Stakeholder Involvement
  • On-going outreach & stakeholder feedback are used to refine & implement the national STEP research agenda
  • Partnerships are formed to leverage funds with other sources including:
    • Federal, State and Local agencies
    • National Cooperative Highway Research Program
    • Future Strategic Highway Research Program
    • Pooled funds & foreign jurisdictions
  • Examples of outreach activities include:
    • National workshops
    • Annual community-of-practice conferences
    • Program advisory groups
    • Peer reviews


step stakeholders
STEP Stakeholders
  • Tier I Stakeholders:
    • Federal Agencies and Tribes
  • Tier II Stakeholders:
    • State and Local Government
  • Tier III Stakeholders:
    • Nongovernmental Transportation and Environmental Stakeholders


implementation timeline
Implementation Timeline


Begin to implement current fiscal year


Refine STEP Implementation Strategy

Publish Federal Register Notice

Update website to solicit feedback on next fiscal year STEP activities


Develop priorities for and fund critical research

Develop next draft fiscal year STEP Plan


Post current fiscal year plan on STEP website


overview of fy10 step activities
Overview of FY10 STEP Activities

A Federal Register Notice was published on September 4, 2009

The deadline for comments is December 3, 2009

The target date for completion of the FY2010 STEP Plan is Spring 2010

Funding levels subject to completion of FY2010 appropriations and anticipated authorization legislation


how do stakeholders participate in fhwa s step research program
How Do Stakeholders Participate in FHWA’s STEP Research Program?
  • Review FY2010 STEP Strategy
  • Develop suggested lines of research
  • Submit feedback
  • Review Annual Plan
  • Monitor
  • Contact & work with STEP emphasis areas


examples of step feedback
Examples of STEP Feedback
  • Conduct more research in terms of green infrastructure planning and environmental mitigation strategies. Calculate the true stewardship costs for wetland and buffer mitigation sites. The costs should include at a minimum: review of the baseline report, a site visit, identification of problem areas such as the presence of exotic/invasive species, corrective actions for the problem and reporting.
  • Evaluate CSS performance - "how do we know it's working?" is a question frequently asked by upper management. Such evaluation tools will help provide support for funding CSS initiatives locally. Also, any type of procedural tools - steps, checklists, techniques, etc. are helpful for getting the engineering/technical staff involved in CSS components like effective communication, stakeholder involvement, public involvement, etc.
  • Monitor highway vehicle traffic emissions for use to establish emissions gradients along highway (and smaller road) corridors in order to demarcate the impacted area; emissions gradient would be used as a planning tool so that residential, school, hospital, and other sensitive receptors could be located outside the affected area.


proposed fy2010 step emphasis areas
Proposed FY2010 STEP Emphasis Areas


the office of natural human environment
The Office of Natural & Human Environment

Presenter: Mark Ferroni

STEP Emphasis Areas

Air Quality Contact: Cecilia Ho

Climate Change Contact: Robert Ritter

Bicycle/Pedestrian and Health Contact: Gabe Rousseau

Noise Contact: Mark Ferroni


air quality research highlights
Air Quality Research Highlights

Recently Completed:

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Evaluation and Assessment Study

Evaluation and Dissemination of Conformity Practices

Conference Support:

Northern Transportation and Air Quality Summit

AASHTO Air Quality Practitioners Conference 2008


air quality research highlights19
Air Quality Research Highlights

Research Underway:

Mobile Source Air Toxics Near Roadway Study

MOVES sensitivity analysis

Transportation and Air Quality Emissions Analysis

Modeling procedures and applications of MOVES

Advanced  methods in conducting project level emissions analysis

Air quality outreach and communication strategies

Air Quality Health Effects and Highway Proximity (Health Effects Institute)

• Contact:


global climate change research highlights
Global Climate Change Research Highlights

Adaptation Research:

Phase II of the Gulf Coast Study

Working group on Global Climate Change (GCC) impacts

Develop framework to conduct assessments

Mitigation Research:

13-agency workgroup on Transportation, Land Use and GCC

Two pilot projects on carbon sequestration in rights-of-way

Study to reduce energy use through planning for mega-regions

Develop sustainability evaluation and planning guidance



bicycle pedestrian and health research highlights
Bicycle/Pedestrian and Health Research Highlights

Research goals:

Identify and promote best practices

Evaluate environmental and health benefits of increased walking and bicycling

Improve data and modeling of walking and bicycling trips

Current projects:

National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse

FHWA/AASHTO International Scan on Walking and Bicycling

Continued support for the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program



noise research highlights
Noise Research Highlights

FHWA Traffic Noise Model

Development of Version 3.0

Testing and Validation

Increased Ldn Capabilities

Pavement Validation Study

Tire/Pavement Noise

Temperature Effects Study

TPF-5(135) Participation



fhwa office of planning
FHWA, Office of Planning

Presenter: Kenneth Petty

STEP Emphasis Areas

Activities that Support State, Local, Contact: Kenneth Petty

and Tribal Planning Capacity

Building Planning

Congestion Contact: Harlan Miller

Public Involvement, Environmental Contact: Brenda Kragh

Justice, and Visualization in Planning

Freight Planning Contact: Spencer Stevens

Safety Planning Contact: Lorrie Lau

Travel Modeling Contact: Sarah Sun


activities that support state local and tribal planning capacity building research highlights
Activities that Support State, Local, and Tribal Planning Capacity Building Research Highlights

Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) Program

TPCB Program: Peer Program and Scenario Planning Workshops



Activities that Support State, Local, and Tribal Planning Capacity Building Research Highlights




Activities that Support State, Local, and Tribal Planning Capacity Building Research Highlights

  • Research Underway:
  • Executive Roundtable: Performance-based Planning and Programming
  • Management Practices in Developing Fiscal Constraint for STIPs, TIPs, and MTPs
  • Livability in Transportation Best Practices Guidebook
  • Best Practices in Transportation Planning: Performance Measures, Environmental Mitigation, and Fiscal Constraint
  • A Guide to Measuring Progress in Linking Transportation Planning and Environmental Analysis


congestion research highlights
Congestion Research Highlights

Research Underway:

Identifying Statewide Opportunities for Linking Planning and Operations

Benchmarking and Targeted Technical Assistance

Update Ridesharing/TDM resources

Confidential GPS Travel Survey Data Center

TDM and the Congestion Management Process

Congestion and Environmental Analysis


public involvement environmental justice visualization in planning research highlights
Public Involvement, Environmental Justice, Visualization in Planning Research Highlights
  • Research Underway:
  • Transportation and Environmental Justice Best Practices Guidebook
  • “A Guide to Transportation Decisionmaking”
  • Community Impact Assessment and Public Involvement Websites


freight planning research highlights
Freight Planning Research Highlights

Research underway:

International Scan on Policy and Program Structure of National and International Freight Corridor Programs

Integrating Freight into NEPA Analysis Handbook

Freight and Air Quality Handbook

Freight and Land Use Peer Exchange


safety research highlights
Safety Research Highlights

Research Underway:

  • Updating the NHI, Transportation Safety Planning Course
  • A Primer on Safety Performance Measures and the Transportation Planning Process
  • Transportation Planner’s Safety Desk Reference
  • Linkages between Transportation Safety Planning, Operations and NEPA


Travel ModelingResearch Highlights
  • Research Underway:
  • Support TRB in Establishing a National Travel Forecasting Resource
  • 2005-2007 CTPP Profiles
  • Travel Model Improvement Program (TMIP) Web Knowledge and Information Exchange Webinar Series
  • TMIP Website and Email Listserve


the office of real estate services
The Office of Real Estate Services

Presenter: Carolyn James

STEP Emphasis Areas

Real Estate Program Stewardship Contact: Carolyn James

Outdoor Advertising Control Contact: Edward Kosola


outdoor advertising control research highlights
Outdoor Advertising Control Research Highlights

The Commercial Electronic Variable Message Sign (CEVMS) Study —

Neutral Assessment of the National Outdoor Advertising Control Program – National Policy Dialogue


real estate program stewardship research highlights
Real Estate Program Stewardship Research Highlights
  • Outreach and Informational Dissemination Programs
    • The FHWA International Right of Way and Utilities Scan
    • Real Estate Exchange
    • The 11th Annual Education Conference on the Control of Outdoor Advertising
    • Excellence in ROW Awards
    • Federal Agency Update


real estate program stewardship research highlights35
Real Estate Program Stewardship Research Highlights

Additional Realty Research Highlights

Right of Way, Design-Build, and Acquisition Models

Relocation Assistance Retrospective Study

Integrating Visualization Technologies into the Right-of-Way Processes

Peer Exchange - Use of Incentive Payments in Right-of-Way Acquisition and Relocation Programs

Development of a Right Of Way Competency Navigator and Capacity Building and Training Curriculum Clearinghouse

Identification and Development of Local Public Agency (LPA) Stewardship Tools and Techniques


the office of project development environmental review
The Office of Project Development & Environmental Review

Presenter: Shari Schaftlein

STEP Emphasis Areas

Water/Wetlands/Vegetation/ Contact: Carol Adkins


Historic Preservation Contact: MaryAnn Naber

Environmental Streamlining Contact: Shari Schaftlein

& Stewardship

Context Sensitive Solutions Contact: Shari Schaftlein



water wetlands vegetation wildlife habitat brownfields research highlights
Water/Wetlands/Vegetation/Wildlife/Habitat/Brownfields Research Highlights

Chloride Study

International Best Management Practices (BMP) Stormwater Database


water wetlands vegetation wildlife habitat brownfields research highlights38
Water/Wetlands/Vegetation/Wildlife/Habitat/Brownfields Research Highlights

Indiana Bat Northeast States Literature Synthesis

Invasive species in wetland mitigation

Section 404 and 10 web-based course

  • FHWA ESA Section 7 Consultation Web SiteHTTP://ESAFHWA.ORG


water wetlands vegetation wildlife habitat

Wildlife Vehicle Collision Study-Congressional Report, Best Practices Manual

Wildlife-Vehicle Collision Report

Best Practices

International Conference on Ecology & Transportation Adapting to Change

Culvert Design Field Test: HEC-26


fhwa grants for eco logical an ecosystem approach to developing infrastructure projects
FHWA Grants for “Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects”
  • Funded Research Underway:
  • Integrate transportation and environmental
  • planning through to project level efforts
  • for economic, environmental, & societal needs & objectives
  • $1.4 million to fund work through 2011
  • 15 projects selected from nationwide solicitation
  • Diversity of funded recipients across the nation;
    • State and local transportation agencies,
    • State resource agencies,
    • Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs),
    • Local governments,
    • Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs),
    • Academia (University)
  • Future Grant Cycle Anticipated

Map of locations of funded recipients


environmental streamlining stewardship research highlights
Environmental Streamlining & Stewardship Research Highlights
  • Green Highways Partnership – Watershed Resource Registry -
  • HQ Liaisons – New EPA position, Peer Exchange, Funded positions study -
  • Communities of Practice: Re:NEPA, Successes in Streamlining
  • New Course: Env. Factors in Construction & Maintenance
  • SAFETEA-LU Performance (6002, 6005, 6009, EDTS, National Survey)


environmental streamlining stewardship research highlights42
Environmental Streamlining & Stewardship Research Highlights
  • Planning and Environment Linkages
    • Conservation & Transportation Planning Workshop
    • Visualization case studies and workshop
    • Linking Planning & National Environmental Policy Act support tools
  • Adaptation to Climate Change Effects
  • Conflict Resolution – New Course, Consultant Services
  • 4(f) NHI training


context sensitive solutions css research highlights
Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) Research Highlights

CSS Clearinghouse

Building a Community of Practice through

CSS Webinar Series

CSS National Dialog


historic preservation research highlights
Historic Preservation Research Highlights

Ongoing Historic Preservation Research

IAG w/ Advisory Council on Historic Preservation for Research and Innovation

Enhanced website featuring case results and agreements

MN Tribal experience training

Peer exchange for DOT/SHPO liaisons

On-deck Historic Preservation Research

Best practices for PEL for historic properties

Phase II case study digest and dissemination

Post WWII housing model w/ NCHRP

Best practices for historic bridge management


the office of interstate border planning
The Office of Interstate & Border Planning

Presenters: Stefan Natzke & Roger Petzold

STEP Emphasis Areas

National Security, Defense, & Contact: Stefan Natzke

Interstate Planning

U.S./Canada & U.S./Mexico Contact: Roger Petzold

Border Planning

Geographical Information Systems Contact: Mark Sarmiento


STEP Program Management & Contact: Felicia Young



national security defense interstate planning research highlights
National Security, Defense & Interstate Planning Research Highlights
  • Highway System and Corridor Support
  • Monitoring of Case Studies: Interstate and NHS Economic Development
  • NHS Designation and Product Development
  • Electronic Dialogue on Transportation and Economic Development


u s canada u s mexico border research highlights
U.S./Canada & U.S./Mexico Border Research Highlights

Ongoing Research

Border Master Plan

Develop Bi-National Border Master Plans along the Southern Border

Developed Compendium of Border Infrastructure along Northern Border

Border Wait Times

U.S./Canada Border Wait Time Pilot

U.S./Mexico Border Delay and Crossing Times for Freight (4 locations)


geographic information systems research highlights
Geographic Information Systems Research Highlights

GIS for Improved Decision Making

Peer Exchanges



More information at

State/Local GIS Practices Database


program management outreach
Program Management & Outreach

Coordinate STEP Implementation

Seek Opportunities to Leverage STEP Research

Outreach Activities

STEP Website/Feedback System

Annual Report

Hot Topic Bulletins


stakeholder input options
Stakeholder Input Options

Review FY2010 STEP Strategy

Develop suggested lines of research

Submit feedback by December 3rd

Review Annual Plan


Contact & work with STEP emphasis areas

Participate in STEP outreach activities


other research resources
Other Research Resources
  • Funding Sources for Transportation Research: Competitive Programs
  • Transportation and Environmental Research Ideas (TERI) Database
  • Research Needs Statement Database
  • Research In Progress (RIP)
  • Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS)



Thank You for Participating!If you have any questions about STEP, please send an e-mail to To contact emphasis areas directly, please visit for the most up-to-date contact information: