Context-Sensitive Solutions in the Planning Process: North Carolina's Experience

During the past 5 years, there has been a national movement to integrate context-sensitive solutions (CSS) into transportation project planning and design. Applying CSS principles in the long-range planning process would help ensure that projects were CSS friendly from their earliest conception. This possibility has prompted CSS experts to discuss how CSS can be integrated into long-range planning. Two environmental stewardship initiatives under way at the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) provide a unique opportunity to explore this area. In the first initiative, NCDOT has a substantial CSS training program in place. To date, nearly 800 staff members and consultants have attended 3-day CSS training courses. In a separate stewardship initiative, NCDOT is redesigning the traditional thoroughfare plan process to create a new comprehensive transportation plan (CTP) process. Although these two initiatives have not been explicitly connected, this discussion examines how CSS principles are embedded in the proposed CTP process. However, substantial technical and institutional challenges must be dealt with before the CSS-based CTP process can be implemented fully. The conclusion of this discussion is that a state-of-the-practice, long-range transportation planning process should incorporate the CSS principles and decision-making characteristics that have been adopted in North Carolina.


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  • Accession Number: 01003381
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309093767
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 25 2005 3:46PM