Extending and Sharing Benefits of Strategic Planning Models (SPR-A Funds ONLY)

Using strategic tools for long range performance-based planning is becoming increasingly valuable. These tools are helping state and metropolitan area governments select policies and actions to address pressing issues that are fraught with uncertainty. Strategic tools are designed to explore efficiently the joint effects of a wide range of trends and policies in order to equip decision makers and the public with a clearer understanding of possible outcomes. Strategic models can be used to assess the long-range impacts of changes to the transportation system, such as increased telework, rapid electrification, and autonomous vehicle technologies. Strategic models can accommodate the assessment of emerging technologies and policy considerations that decision makers may wish consider, in ways more flexible than traditional travel demand modeling tools. The VisionEval system of strategic planning models has been supported by a previous Pooled Fund, ‘Collaborative Development of New Strategic Planning Models’, since 2017. These models include the Regional Strategic Planning Model (VERSPM), the Rapid Policy Assessment Model (VERPAT), and the state-wide VisionEval model (VE-State). The earlier pooled fund greatly increased the usability of the VisionEval system and added important extensions, including integration of the Regional Strategic Planning Model with the PopulationSim population synthesize to increase support for equity analysis. VisionEval models have been deployed by numerous state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations to assess possible future economic development, technology change, and policy implementation scenarios. The success of VisionEval presents an opportunity to further develop modules to include assessment of health impacts of transportation, equity analysis, and access to destinations. This new pooled fund will increase the range of applications supported by VisionEval models, reduce the barrier to implementation of the models, and enhance the interactive visualization of scenario results. These developments will enhance the abilities of planners, advocates, the public, and decision makers to reason about complex systems, and to support sound decisions in response to new challenges whose full impact is still unclear. The development of the VisionEval framework has addressed many technical challenges to implementing scenario planning models, and has facilitated efficient development of new strategic models and enhancements that can be shared across models. This new pooled fund will further those previous efforts and extend their benefits to the agencies who choose to participate. While it is feasible in principle for agencies to perform such work on their own, many agencies are facing similar challenges, and work done on behalf of one agency is likely to be useful to others. The pooled fund will allow participating agencies to realize an economy of scale by engaging in joint development and support activities for new strategic modeling tools, thus ensuring that each agency has timely access to usable tools that will support their emerging planning needs. This pooled fund, “Extending and Sharing Benefits of New Strategic Planning Models”, will make strategic tools affordably available to members. The pooled fund will support efficient investment in new and upgraded tools, avoiding duplicative expense of public funds on similar efforts, and facilitating efficient development of innovations built on the basis of existing working tools. The pooled fund will allow participating agencies to have access to: (1) Models to assess new planning challenges including areas such as equity analysis, electric vehicle deployment, pricing strategies, and emissions; (2) Tools to set up and run these models very rapidly for a large number of policy and scenario combinations; (3) Flexible interactive visualization tools to display results; (4) Cost-effective technical support for the implementation, customization and application of these tools to each agency’s needs; (5) Increased interoperability with other modeling systems, including support for outputs from the UrbanSim land use model and use of the PopulationSim population synthesizer with the VE-State model; (6) Credible, maintained, documented tools adhering to clear standards and development guidelines, with thorough quality control; and (7) A community of active users and developers, which will reduce the likelihood that models will become obsolete, fall under the control of a single developer, or be abandoned by their developer while there is still interest in using them.

Language

  • English

Project

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01909519
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Contract Numbers: TPF-5(528)
  • Files: RIP, USDOT, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 22 2024 5:41PM