This project is intended to suggest ways in which least-cost planning principles could be incorporated into the transportation planning process. The Mt. Hood corridor was chosen for examination. The examination of the planning process highlighted several differences between a least-cost planning approach and the present process. First, the corridor chosen is designated as an Access Oregon Highway, and this designation sets certain level of service standards that do not appear to be consistent with a least-cost planning process. Second, the analysis of future outcomes was not as detailed as might be required for a least-cost planning process. Third, the process was more deterministic than would be expected with least-cost planning, since the latter emphasizes uncertainty in forecasts and the need for flexibility. Fourth, the range of alternatives considered appeared to be more narrowly defined than one would find with least-cost planning, and fifth, the analysis of travel patterns and possible diversion to other routes was not extensive as might be done for least-cost planning. Many of these constraints were due to specific requirements of the planning process or of the environmental process. Various approaches to evaluating alternatives for the Mt. Hood corridor are detailed and discussed. The types of data needed and the likely cost of the analysis are specified for different approaches. These include cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness or problem-oriented analysis, and estimation of decision-maker preferences. It is concluded that the general concept of Least-Cost Planning is readily adaptable to transportation planning; however, the specific methodology is still not well defined and there are substantial knowledge gaps regarding the effect of various policies. In particular, there is little information on the effectiveness of various non-construction alternatives in responding to increases in demand for transportation services. It appears to be both feasible and desirable to move in the direction that has been identified as Least-Cost Planning, characterized as a planning process that seeks to improve the efficiency of the transportation system, primarily by considering alternatives to new construction as methods to provide transportation services. Demand management systems, pricing systems, and land use systems are among the options that should be evaluated along with road construction, transit construction, and other supply oriented management systems.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 97 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00728433
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-OR-RD-96-08
  • Contract Numbers: SPR 5267
  • Created Date: Nov 15 1996 12:00AM