Identifying and Evaluating Divided, Overburdened, and Underrepresented Communities

Opportunities exist to connect neighborhoods by removing, retrofitting, or mitigating transportation barriers such as highways and railroad tracks. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funds a new Reconnecting Communities Pilot (RCP) Program to connect historically divided communities. Additionally, the Inflation Reduction Act has $3 billion to fund Neighborhood Access and Equity (NAE) Grants, which aim to rework overbuilt arterial roads and make them safer and more accessible for various modes of transportation. State departments of transportation (DOTs) and partners (metropolitan planning organizations, rural planning agencies, local governments, or transportation-focused nonprofits) can leverage these new grants to improve connections across transportation networks and reinforce the spirit of overburdened and underrepresented communities. While these programs and grants aim to improve or remove sources of division in a community, residents must be the primary focus, with infrastructure solutions balanced among the priorities at different scales. A few tools, resources, and research are currently available to assist DOTs and partners in examining divisions caused by existing and proposed transportation investments or lack of investments. These divisions may be due to the Interstate Highway System, overbuilt arterials, fixed transit, rail corridors, transportation maintenance facilities, land uses dependent on transportation, etc. Research and resources often focus on later phases of a project, for example, public participation opportunities in project design or environmental permit stages, but not at the concept stage. Research is needed to fill these gaps by providing guidelines for state DOTs and partners to employ when addressing divided communities, recognizing that what they deliver to their customers has evolved beyond the infrastructure elements of the transportation network and toward a customer-focused system that promotes thriving, healthy, and safe communities. The research should focus on the totality of the project development and delivery process. OBJECTIVE The objective of this research is to provide guidelines to state DOTs and partners to identify communities divided by infrastructure and evaluate actions to improve, mitigate, or remove sources of division. The guidelines should emphasize using cocreation (including transportation practitioners and community members) in an environment of respect.  


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $450000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 08-178

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Wadsworth, Trey

  • Start Date: 20240319
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01883936
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 08-178
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 30 2023 7:56PM