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Alternatives Development

Alternatives Development

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Alternatives Development

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  1. Alternatives Development Alaska NEPA Assignment

  2. Alternatives-40 CFR 1502.14 • Requirements vary with Class of Action • Fair treatment to each alternative • Rigorously explore and objectively evaluate • All reasonable alternatives • Reasonable number • Reasonable range • No-build / No-action • Modal, physical, operational • Alts not within jurisdiction 40 CFR 1505.1(e) CEQ Q&A #1A and 1B

  3. Context Sensitive Solutions • Develop a transportation facility that: • Fits its physical surroundings • Considers human values such as scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources • Maintains safety and mobility • Opportunity for Agency and Public Involvement in Alternatives Development www.contextsensitivesolutions.org

  4. Structured Decision-Making Steps • Develop and document the problem • Develop evaluation criteria and process • Develop and document alternatives • Evaluate alternatives • Develop funding plan • Monitor change in design and mitigation

  5. A Structured Decision Process Allows Movement From This Traditional Process... Recommended Alternative Number of Issues and Concerns on the Table Agency/ Public Review Environmental Assessment Problem Definition Alternative Identification Scoping Additional Study a

  6. To a Process That Looks More Like This.... Number of Issues and Concerns on the Table Recommended Alternative Problem Definition EvaluationFramework AlternativeDevelopment AlternativeEvaluation AlternativeRefinement a

  7. Manage Expectations By Defining Roles Decision-Making Flow Chart Southwestern Warren County Transportation Study Advisory Committee Key Influencers - Leader Interviews Warren County Commissioners Warren County Engineer OKI ODOT FHWA Study Team - CH2M HILL - JJG - Gray & Pape - Lakatos Group - TRM Other Stakeholders General Public Inform & Advise Study & Recommend Decide

  8. Stakeholder Advisory Groups • Can help define performance measure for criteria of concern • Can rate alternatives on how well they meet criteria

  9. Problem Definition • Frames the problem • Describes existing conditions • Presents statement of problem • Legitimizes full range of stakeholder values • Assures public perceives need • Does NOT offer a solution

  10. Physical deterioration Traffic operational problem Safety problem Corridor upgrade or capacity expansion Support or facilitate economic development Visitor access and mobility Typical Project ‘Drivers’

  11. Be Specific in Describing Problems to Enable Focusing on Appropriate Solutions ‘Congestion’ • Where? • How Bad? • When? • Caused by what? ‘Safety’ • Where? • What types of crashes? • What conflicts or problems? (e.g., speeding, pedestrians, etc.)

  12. Project Development andEvaluation Framework • Establishes criteria for measuring effectiveness of alternatives • Develops comprehensive but not redundant criteria • Defines data needs • Focuses study effort • Sets stage for alternative formulation

  13. Best Practices for Successful Design Alternatives Development • Establish project specific design criteriaprior to alternatives development • Agree upon evaluation criteriaprior to alternatives development • Commit to develop and assess a range of meaningful alternatives • Be creative within the bounds of established design criteria

  14. Affordability Economic development Minimized sprawl Environmental quality Possible Evaluation Criteria • Reduced congestion • Accessibility • Safety • Pedestrian-friendliness

  15. Performance Measures • Measure extent to which alternative will help achieve criteria • Help to define trade-offs • Use measures stakeholders can understand • Change screening criteria as you identify additional needs

  16. Example Performance Measures • How do you measure congestion? • Level of service • Travel time • Queuing • Delay

  17. Natural Scales: Easily Understood Cost Acres Minutes Constructed Scales: For Less Quantifiable Measures Safety Neighborhood intrusion Natural and Constructed Performance Scales

  18. Examples of Natural Scale Performance Measures • Total constructed cost in dollars • Cumulative system delay in total vehicle hours • Acres of wetlands displaced • Number of residential property displacements

  19. Example of Constructed Scale Performance Measure • Increase motor vehicle safety • Qualitative scale incorporating geometrical and operational features 1 = Poor achievement of features 3 = Fair achievement of features 5 = Good achievement of features

  20. Alternatives Development • Universe of alternatives includes full range of stakeholder values • Formulates each alternative to best advantage • Assures each alternative Is minimally feasible • Ensures alternatives are competitive

  21. Segmentation? To ensure meaningful evaluation of alternatives …action shall: • Connect logical termini • Have independent utility • Not restrict consideration of alternatives for other reasonably foreseeable improvement Logical Termini Paper (November 1993) 23 CFR 771.111(f) NC NEPA Overview, Module 2

  22. ‘Best Practices’ for Development of Transportation Alternatives • Responsive to the problem statement • Satisfy goals and objectives • Use the purpose and need statement to test reasonableness • Involve stakeholders in alternatives identification and screening

  23. ‘Best Practices’ - Cont’d • Consider all viable transportation modes and technologies • Consider design and operational/policy solutions • Follow a logical screening process • Document all decisions for later reference • Consider unique context of location and management requirements

  24. Alternatives Should Align Solutions to the Underlying Problems Typical Problem Lack of transportation options Demand that exceeds system capacity Through traffic on residential streets Lack of system or route continuity Safety Infrastructure in disrepair Need for access to developing land Transportation Solutions Transit improvements Bicycle and pedestrian facilities Traffic control improvements Law Enforcement Access management Transportation demand management strategies Traffic calming Increased capacity along existing facility Reconstructed roads, bridges Construction of new roads

  25. Alternatives Should Align Solutions to the Underlying Problems Typical Problem Lack of transportation options Demand that exceeds system capacity Through traffic on residential streets Lack of system or route continuity Safety Infrastructure in disrepair Need for access to developing land Transportation Solutions Transit improvements Bicycle and pedestrian facilities Traffic control improvements Law Enforcement Access management Transportation demand management strategies Traffic calming Increased capacity along existing facility Reconstructed roads, bridges Construction of new roads

  26. Design Speed Lane Width Shoulder Width Normal Cross Slope Horizontal Curvature Superelevation Vertical Clearance Vertical Curvature Stopping Sight Distance Bridge Width Horizontal Clearance Structural Capacity Tangent Grade Key Design Elements

  27. Issues Based Alternatives • Using the scoping process, develop alternatives based on issues.

  28. Boulevard Illustration: Claire Vlach, Bottomley Design & Planning.

  29. Avenue Illustration: Claire Vlach, Bottomley Design & Planning.

  30. Street Illustration: Claire Vlach, Bottomley Design & Planning.

  31. Thoroughfare Type Characteristics

  32. Thoroughfare Components

  33. Streetside Zones Example Frontage Zone Throughway Zone Furnishing Zone Edge Zone

  34. Best Practices in Illustrating Alternatives for Stakeholder Understanding • Graphics and portrayal of alternatives for varying audiences • Level of detail • Visualization

  35. Two Dimensional Plans or Drawings are Often Insufficient

  36. Multi-attribute Utility Analysis (MUA) Process 1. Choose criteria 2. Develop performance measures 3. Establish criteria weights 4. Develop alternatives 5. Rate alternatives 6. Calculate total score

  37. Performance Measure Value Weight Criterion Score Rate x = 3 20 60 A 4 45 180 B 1 10 10 C 2 25 50 D Total Score 300 Multi-attribute Utility Analysis (MUA) Process

  38. Alternative A Alternative B Alternative C MeasuredValue MeasuredValue MeasuredValue Criterion Criterion Criterion Performance Measures Performance Measures Performance Measures 5 4 4 Affordability Affordability Affordability EconomicDevelopment EconomicDevelopment EconomicDevelopment 6 3 7 ReduceCongestion ReduceCongestion ReduceCongestion 9 2 6 Rate Alternatives

  39. Alternative A Alternative B Alternative C Criterion Criterion Criterion Performance Measures Performance Measures Performance Measures MeasuredValue MeasuredValue MeasuredValue Weight Weight Weight CriterionScore CriterionScore CriterionScore 25 25 25 = = = 4 5 4 125 100 100 X X X Affordability Affordability Affordability 35 35 35 3 3 3 X X X EconomicDevelopment EconomicDevelopment EconomicDevelopment = = = 7 3 6 40 40 40 120 280 240 X X X Score for Alternative A Score for Alternative A Score for Alternative A ReduceCongestion ReduceCongestion ReduceCongestion = = = 35 35 35 9 2 6 315 210 70 X X X C C C Score for Alternative C Score for Alternative B Score for Alternative A 655 590 315 Apply Criteria Weights

  40. 315 210 70 280 240 120 125 100 100 Compare Alternatives 1,000 800 600 Decision Scores 400 200 0 Alternative A Alternative B Alternative C Economic development Reduce congestion Affordability

  41. Effective Alternatives • Use side‐by‐side figures to show differences among alternatives • Describe refinements made during the NEPA process • Describe agency and public involvement in developing alternatives AASHTO Practitioner’s Handbook, “Defining the Purpose and Need and Determining the Range of Alternatives for Transportation Projects” (2006).

  42. Comparison of alternatives

  43. Alternatives Screening – Three Levels • Purpose and Need • Regulations and other Laws • Resource Impacts

  44. Detailed Analysis of Alternatives • Only carry forward alternatives you are willing to build. • Provide good reason for elimination of all others. • Fatal flaws • Excessive engineering and cost • Unacceptable impacts to resources

  45. An Oregon Example

  46. Results of Structured Decision Process • Allow comparison of very different alternatives • Can be replicated • Can be documented • Can be defended • Makes sense and are supported

  47. Structured Decision-Making • The result is a comparison of how well alternatives meet the objectives and criteria established by the stakeholders.

  48. Alternative Selection • Explains how public involvementaffected the decision • Describes how selected alternative responded to need • Provides justification of selection in relation to tradeoffs and diverse opinions • When to identify the preferred and selected alternative

  49. Dismissing Alternatives • EA’s • EIS’s • Use of the Planning Process to dismiss alternatives

  50. FEIS/ROD Process • Identify preferred alt in DEIS • Identify selected alt in FEIS/ROD