Communicating the Results of NCHRP Strategic Transportation Issues Research

In a departure from the traditional nature of research conducted by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), seven recently completed and ongoing NCHRP research projects (NCHRP 20-83 series) are examining global and domestic longer-term strategic issues with the potential to affect state departments of transportation (DOTs) in important ways in 30 to 50 years. The NCHRP 20-83 research series represents a significant investment in research designed to prepare transportation practitioners to respond to future challenges--and opportunities--facing the industry. The NCHRP 20-83 series is intended to meet the following two goals: (1) anticipate future issues so that transportation agencies are better prepared to respond to new and emerging challenges; and (2) enable transportation agencies to help shape the future through their decision making by exploring visions of what the future could look like. Currently active research in the NCHRP 20-83 series includes projects: 20-83(01) Economic Changes Driving Future Freight Transportation; 20-83(02) Expediting Future Technologies for Enhancing Transportation System Performance; 20-83(03) Long-Range Strategic Issues Affecting Preservation, Maintenance, and Renewal of Highway Infrastructure; 20-83(04) Effects of Changing Transportation Energy Supplies and Alternative Fuel Sources on Transportation; 20-83(05) Climate Change and the Highway System: Impacts and Adaptation Approaches; 20-83(06) Effects of Socio-Demographics on Travel Demand; and 20-83(07) Sustainable Transportation Systems and Sustainability as an Organizing Principle for Transportation Agencies. These seven research projects are on a staggered completion schedule and published results are expected in 2013 and 2014. The strategic issues discussed in the NCHRP 20-83 series will have to compete with other issues and matters for the attention of executive-level transportation leaders in the crowded transportation policy environment. To gain that attention, creative and innovative means are needed to convey the relevant and actionable information necessary to begin and sustain a dynamic conversation within transportation leadership circles about the results of NCHRP 20-83 research, how to connect short-term decision-making with long-term thinking, and how to prepare for and respond to opportunities and challenges that may occur several decades in the future. Because of the highly changeable nature of the transportation policy environment, it is necessary to begin this project before all of the NCHRP 20-83 research projects are completed. This will allow transportation leaders to learn and benefit from the work completed to date and provide timely access to the results of the remaining research projects as they are completed. The objectives of this research are to (1) identify, synthesize, integrate, communicate, and build on the individual results of the NCHRP 20-83 series to create a master narrative for the transportation industry's executive leadership about the implications of these research results for state departments of transportation (DOTS), (2) develop a comprehensive communication plan that addresses all seven projects in the NCHRP 20-83 series, (3) develop creative and innovative messages and communication approaches that (a) encourage and enable changing leadership to engage in an ongoing and dynamic conversation to address or respond to these issues and (b) integrates the results of each NCHRP 20-83 project as it is completed, and (4) identify roles for potential partner communities to amplify and expand the reach of the message(s).


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-83B

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Sundstrom, Lori

  • Performing Organizations:

    Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company

  • Principal Investigators:

    Lorenz, Julie

  • Start Date: 20130711
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20140711
  • Source Data: RiP Project 38333

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01547646
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-83B
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Dec 12 2014 1:01AM