The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) requires the integration of environmental considerations into transportation planning. Although previous legislation has required the consideration of environmental elements during project planning, ISTEA necessitates a different approach. During project-specific planning, each environmental element is researched to determine baseline conditions, and project plans are superimposed to determine potential impacts and the need for mitigative measures. This approach is appropriate for project-specific planning, but it presents only a snapshot of existing conditions because environmental data are changing constantly. The integration of environmental considerations into long-range plans requires a much broader focus. It must allow dynamic systems to change without affecting the plan's validity. A case study is presented of the Oklahoma statewide intermodal transportation plan, which uses recent geographic theory to integrate planning and human activity at varying scales. This theoretical framework is based on ecological and societal units of interaction called "bioregions" or "place-systems". The environmental baseline and analysis for Oklahoma begin with the identification of place-systems in the state: areas of biophysical and cultural similarity and context. The delimitation of such regional place-systems is sufficiently generalized and flexible to accommodate many data types and sources, yet rigid enough to be useful for planning. Both quantitative data and descriptive information are included in an analytical framework suitable to relational data bases and geographic information systems applications. These are used to create a series of map and data overlays to project potential environmental impacts and constraints, as well as opportunities for developing future transportation projects. The methods used to delineate regional place-systems in Oklahoma and their subsequent use in environmental analyses and planning are described.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 19-21
  • Monograph Title: Transportation planning applications
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00725610
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 309062144
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Sep 19 1996 12:00AM