Economic Development and Highway Right-Sizing: White Paper

The old “one-size-fits-all” approach to transportation divided communities and left them with gaps in existing transportation and infrastructure. Newer, context-sensitive solutions, like right-sizing, are an innovative approach to addressing this aging infrastructure. Instead of policies seeking only to appropriately match land use and transportation contexts on existing streets, right-sizing projects provide the opportunity to develop community-oriented transportation policies that promote safety, community well-being, and help the community achieve broader economic development goals. The structure for right-sizing analysis can be broken into four steps, each associated with a decision or point of analysis necessary for communities to understand if and how they may benefit from right-sizing a transportation facility. Step 1 explores the desire or motivation for undertaking the project. Step 2 identifies potential traffic management strategies. Consideration may be given to shrinking the highway’s footprint, improving multimodal connectivity, or diverting the traffic to another route or into a tunnel. Step 3 identifies potential economic development goals that, when combined with transportation policies targeting specific mechanisms that drive economic development, can help the right-sizing project induce favorable economic development impacts. Step 4, the implementation initiative, summarizes the results of the previous three steps and includes estimation of possible economic development impacts should the goals identified in Step 2 be realized. The selection of the alternative will be context specific, will be different for each community, and involves balancing potential impacts, and negative externalities with community vision and neighborhood goals. Each community will choose to balance these impacts differently.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 59p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01691505
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT-VNTSC-FHWA-19-02
  • Created Date: Jan 11 2019 12:38PM