Analysis and Documentation
Traffic analysis that supports solutions for identified
needs must meet federal requirements. It is not
permissible to use a less technically sophisticated
analysis in order to include additional considerations.
Therefore, it may be necessary to develop associated
processes for analysis of environmental consider-
ations rather than provide a direct interface with the
travel demand model. Documentation of analysis
results is necessary to support plan adoption as well
as to lessen the possibility of repeating analyses in
future project considerations.
Indirect and cumulative effects analysis in planning
should be documented on a broad regional scale
and then carried forward in project development
as a reference on a project-by-project basis. A key
purpose of performing this analysis in planning
is to identify not only effects, but also reasonable
mitigating actions. State DOTs and MPOs are not
required to mitigate for indirect and cumulative
effects as a part of the long-range planning cycle;
nevertheless, efficient and effective opportunities to
do so, for future projects or historical impacts, may
be identified in planning.
A number of state DOTs have chosen to respond
to and act on indirect and cumulative effects as
part of the transportation agency's environmental
ethic and stewardship commitments. This involves
documenting the analysis, decision, and action and
then following through on the action, which may
entail programming non-traditional projects, such
as those that ameliorate water quality or restore
wetlands, watersheds, or habitats.
Help Make the Linkage?
State and local transportation planning agencies
provide the technical analysis. Policy makers for
the MPO endorse the resulting recommendations
through plan adoption. Decisions and interagency
agreements on effects and advance mitigation
document wetland, water quality, habitat, wildlife,
and threatened and endangered species strategies and
approaches. The parties may agree to implement such
strategies on a statewide, ecoregional, watershed, or
series of site-specific scales. Local mitigation efforts
can be undertaken through ordinances or agree-
ments. For broader reaching mitigation efforts, state
DOT and resource agencies may collectively elevate
the intention to state-level decision-makers.
Priorities With Transportation
A final linkage can be made when resource conser-
vation and management agencies establish and
prioritize opportunities. Their efforts can be linked
to transportation agencies when they are adopting a
plan and developing potential mitigation strategies
(see Exhibit F).
What Is the Linkage?
During development and adoption of the long-range
transportation plan, mitigation opportunities at
both the state and local level can be established and
Why Make the Linkage?
This action would:
Provide an opportunity for mitigation of impacts to
Allow resource agencies to evaluate the relative impor-
tance of different conservation and management areas.
Provide citizens of the region the assurance that
support of the transportation plan will not lead to
adverse environmental effects or net losses.