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What Can I Do?

Livability Resources

The most common question that the Department receives regarding its livability initiative is “What Can I Do?” MPO’s, local governments, transit operators, and , community leaders want to know how to implement livability in their regions, and what they can do to support this initiative. This page offers resources to answer this question, organized by subject area.


General Resources

Smart Growth Online
Smart Growth Online is a web-based catalogue of Smart Growth related news, events, information and resources. Developed and funded through a cooperative agreement between the US EPA and the National Center for Appropriate Technology, this tool is designed to advance public understanding of smart growth and how growth can improve community livability.
 
Sustainable Communities Network
The SCN website connects citizens with the resources they need to implement innovative processes and programs to restore the economic, environmental, and social health and vitality of their communities. It addresses a wide range of issues related to community sustainability, including creating communities, living sustainably, and governing communities. In addition it gives case studies, resources, links to relevant websites, events calendar, and suggested reading.
 
Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) Livability Program
The BTS Livability Program Tab is accessible from a drop-down menu under the tab programs located on the BTS Home page.  The Livability Program page lists numerous resources of potential interest to policy makers and transportation planners in their efforts to better understand, assess and evaluate transportation’s role in creating livable communities. Some notable programs/products include:
National Transportation Library (NTL) Hot Topics Listing
The Hot Topics listing appears on the NTL Home Page.  The bibliography provides a listing of relevant articles on the topics of Livability, Sustainable Growth and Smart Growth from 2004-2009 as compiled by reference librarians at the NTL.
 
BTS Energy and Environment Program
The BTS Energy and Environment Program is accessible from a drop-down menu under the tab programs located on the BTS Home Page. This page lists both BTS and external products, programs and resources on economic, statistical, and data analysis on issues related to energy consumption, energy intensity of transportation and the economy, greenhouse gases, and other issues related to the impact of transportation on the environment. Examples of  notable transportation-related links include:
US DOT Climate Change Clearinghouse
The Transportation and Climate Change Clearinghouse is designed as a one-stop source of information on transportation and climate change issues. It includes information on greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, analytic methods and tools, GHG reduction strategies, potential impacts of climate change on transportation infrastructure, and approaches for integrating climate change considerations into transportation decision making.        
 
FTA Metropolitan & Statewide Planning
Transportation planning plays a fundamental role in the state, region or community’s vision for its future. It includes a comprehensive consideration of possible strategies; an evaluation process that encompasses diverse viewpoints; the collaborative participation of relevant transportation-related agencies and organizations; and open, timely, and meaningful public involvement.   

    FHWA Land Use and Transportation Info: www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/ppasg.htm

Integrating Climate Change into the Transportation Planning Process
The objective of this climate change study is to advance the practice and application of transportation planning among state, regional, and local transportation planning agencies to successfully meet growing concerns about the relationship between transportation and climate change. This report explores the possibilities for integrating climate change considerations into long range transportation planning at state DOTs and MPOs. The report reviews the experience of a number of DOTs and MPOs that are already incorporating climate change into their transportation planning processes and identifies their successes as well as challenges faced by these agencies.            
 
TRB’s Transportation Research Information Service (TRIS) database on livable communities
One of the most comprehensive search engines on “transportation and livability” research available nationally and internationally.

Resources for MPO’S, Local Government, and Community Leaders

Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO)

Presentations and notes on “Integrating Transportation and Land Use” Workshops held in partnership with SUDOT in 2008.  Identifies noteworthy MPO practices, the effectiveness of political involvement, the use of technical (but simple and cost effective) tools, and the process for making a "vision" happen.
http://www.ampo.org

Center for Livable Communities
The Center for Livable Communities provides information and programs for local governments and community leaders on incorporating the “Ahwahnee Principles” for resource-efficient local and regional land use planning with transportation planning. 
 
National Scenic Byways Program            
The National Scenic Byways Program provides grants to States and Indian tribes to implement projects on highways designated as National Scenic Byways, All-American Roads, America's Byways, State scenic or Indian tribe scenic byways.  Eligible activiites inlcude the planning, design, or development of a State or Indian tribe scenic byway program; development and implementation of a corridor management plan; safety improvements to accommodate byway travellers; facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists, rest areas, turnouts, highway shoulder improvements, overlooks, or interpretive facilities; access to recreation enhancements; resource protection; tourist information; and byway marketing.  
 
Best Development Practices: A Primer
 
Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook
 
Preparing Coordinated Transportation Plans: A Guidebook for State Departments of Transportation
TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Results Digest 331 explores existing coordinated planning processes within state departments of transportation (DOTs) that meet the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA’s) requirements.
 
Realizing the Potential: Expanding Housing Opportunities Near Transit
A report funded by the FTA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that location matters a great deal when it comes to reducing household costs.
 
The Role of State DOTs in Support of Transit-Oriented Development
Final Report of Task 20 of NCHRP Project 25-25, as requested by the AASHTO Standing Committee on the Environment.
 
Transit-Friendly Streets: Design and Traffic Management Strategies to Support Livable Communities
Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 33 presents 10 strategies used in both the United States and Europe to create transit-friendly streets. The strategies are followed by case studies of five communities that have pursued different initiatives to improve their livability.
 
Transit and Urban Form
TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 16 Volume 1 examines, explains, evaluates and documents the relationships between land use and public transportation to facilitate cost-effective multimodal public transportation investment decisions.
 
Transportation Toolbox for Rural Areas and Small Communities
 
 
FHWA Accessibility Resource Library
This page supports FHWA’s effort to organize and make available information that relates to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or other accessibility resources that may affect research, planning, design, construction, or operations of any Federal Highway Administration project.
 
Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS)
The Federal Highway Administration is committed to the advancement of CSS nationwide as one of the objectives of its Vital Few Goal on Environmental Stewardship and Streamlining. The objective is to improve the environmental quality of transportation decision making by incorporating context sensitive solutions principles in all aspects of planning and the project development process and provide information about FHWA's involvement with CSS.
 
FHWA Land use and Transportation Info
 
Integrating Climate Change into the Transportation Planning Process
The objective of this study is to advance the practice and application of transportation planning among state, regional, and local transportation planning agencies to successfully meet growing concerns about the relationship between transportation and climate change. This report explores the possibilities for integrating climate change considerations into long range transportation planning at state DOTs and MPOs. The report reviews the experience of a number of DOTs and MPOs that are already incorporating climate change into their transportation planning processes and identifies their successes as well as challenges faced by these agencies. 

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Livability for Rural Areas

National Association of Development Organizations (NADO)
Resource library for rural transportation providers.
 
Transportation Toolbox for Rural Areas and Small Communities
 
Context Sensitive Solutions
The Federal Highway Administration is committed to the advancement of CSS nationwide as one of the objectives of its Vital Few Goal on Environmental Stewardship and Streamlining. The objective is to improve the environmental quality of transportation decision making by incorporating context sensitive solutions principles in all aspects of planning and the project development process and provide information about FHWA's involvement with CSS. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/context/index.cfm
 
FHWA Accessibility Resource Library
This page supports FHWA’s effort to organize and make available information that relates to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or other accessibility resources that may affect research, planning, design, construction, or operations of any Federal Highway Administration project. www.fhwa.dot.gov/accessibility/

Resources for Public Transportation Providers

American Public Transportation Association (APTA) – Sustainability
Provides a resource library on sustainability and the role of the public transportation industry in its promotion to make our communities more livable by integrating and balancing economic, social and environmental needs.
 
Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) 
Resources on expanded community transportation alternatives.
 
National Association of Development Organizations (NADO)
 
National Resource Center for Human Service Transportation Coordination
Clearinghouse on human service public transportation services and library of resources for use by communities.
 
FTA Transit-Oriented Development Website
FTA’s public webpage providing information on transit-oriented development, FTA programs and staff contacts, additional TOD resources, and outreach and training opportunities.
 
Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS)
The Federal Highway Administration is committed to the advancement of CSS nationwide as one of the objectives of its Vital Few Goal on Environmental Stewardship and Streamlining. The objective is to improve the environmental quality of transportation decision making by incorporating context sensitive solutions principles in all aspects of planning and the project development process and provide information about FHWA's involvement with CSS.
 
FHWA Accessibility Resource Library
This page supports FHWA’s effort to organize and make available information that relates to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or other accessibility resources that may affect research, planning, design, construction, or operations of any Federal Highway Administration project.
 
EPA document that includes illustrative practices of incorporating transit-oriented design features.
 
“Planning, Developing, and Implementing Community-Sensitive Transit”; part of the FTA’s Livable Communities Initiative in the 1990s.
 
Nonprofit created by SAFETEA-LU, dedicated to providing best practices, research and tools to support market-based transit-oriented development.
 
2005 report on successful examples of colocating childcare facilities at public transit centers.
 
Article in Mass Transit magazine, co-authored by FTA staff Paul Marx and Effie Stallsmith.
 
 
Includes the role that transit-oriented development is playing in shaping the community and affecting economic growth.
 
By Smart Growth Network, based on a manual prepared for Florida DOT, and published by American Planning Association.
 
A report funded by the FTA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that location matters a great deal when it comes to reducing household costs.
 
Transit Cooperative Reserach Program (TCRP) Report 33: Transit-Friendly Streets: Design and Traffic Management Strategies to Support Livable Communities presents 10 strategies used in both the United States and Europe to create transit-friendly streets. The strategies are followed by case studies of five communities that have pursued different initiatives to improve their livability.

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Transit Oriented Development

California Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Searchable Database  
This database provides search access for detailed information on 21 transit-oriented developments in California - also called transit villages - such as: land uses, site maps, implementation processes, financing, facilities, zoning, design features, pedestrian access, transit services, photos, travel benefits, contact information, and other valuable data. http://transitorienteddevelopment.dot.ca.gov/
 
Reconnecting America – Center for Transit Oriented Development
CTOD has been funded by the federal government to serve as a national clearinghouse for best practices in TOD, and to help develop standards for TOD as well as guidance for transit system planning with the goal of maximizing ridership through planning and development. CTOD also does fee-for-service work in regions, which helps inform our nonprofit work. http://www.reconnectingamerica.org/public/tod
 
FTA Transit-Oriented Development Website
FTA’s public webpage providing information on transit-oriented development, FTA programs and staff contacts, additional TOD resources, and outreach and training opportunities.
    http://www.fta.dot.gov/planning/planning_environment_6932.html
 
FHWA Accessibility Resource Library
This page supports FHWA’s effort to organize and make available information that relates to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or other accessibility resources that may affect research, planning, design, construction, or operations of any Federal Highway Administration project.
 
 
Integrating Climate Change into the Transportation Planning Process
The objective of this study is to advance the practice and application of transportation planning among state, regional, and local transportation planning agencies to successfully meet growing concerns about the relationship between transportation and climate change. This report explores the possibilities for integrating climate change considerations into long range transportation planning at state DOTs and MPOs. The report reviews the experience of a number of DOTs and MPOs that are already incorporating climate change into their transportation planning processes and identifies their successes as well as challenges faced by these agencies.           
 
EPA document that includes illustrative practices of incorporating transit-oriented design features.
 
“Planning, Developing, and Implementing Community-Sensitive Transit”; part of the FTA’s Livable Communities Initiative in the 1990s.
 
Nonprofit created by SAFETEA-LU, dedicated to providing best practices, research and tools to support market-based transit-oriented development.
 
A 2005 report on successful examples of colocating childcare facilities at public transit centers.
 
Article in Mass Transit magazine, co-authored by FTA staff Paul Marx and Effie Stallsmith.
 
TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 128: Effects of TOD on Housing, Parking, and Travel explores the demographics of transit-oriented development (TOD) residents and employers, and their motives for locating in TODs. 
 
Handbooks for understanding, designing, and implementing transit-oriented development and creating distinct and walkable communities (links near bottom of page).
 
 
Includes the role that transit-oriented development is playing in shaping the community and affecting economic growth.
 
A report funded by the FTA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that location matters a great deal when it comes to reducing household costs.
 
Final Report of Task 20 of NCHRP Project 25-25, as requested by the AASHTO Standing Committee on the Environment.
 
"...explores the (TOD) land use strategy and its transportation impacts in terms of regional context, land use mix, and primary transit mode."
 
TTRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 102: Transit-Oriented Development in the United States--Experiences, Challenges, and Prospects examines the state of the practice and the benefits of transit-oriented development and joint development throughout the United States.
 
Transit Cooperative Reserach Program (TCRP) Report 33: Transit-Friendly Streets: Design and Traffic Management Strategies to Support Livable Communities presents 10 strategies used in both the United States and Europe to create transit-friendly streets. The strategies are followed by case studies of five communities that have pursued different initiatives to improve their livability.
 
Results of FTA’s Listening Sessions With Developers, Bankers, and Transit Agencies on Transit Oriented Development.
 

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Bicyclist and Pedestrian Facilities Resources

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) provides information on planning, design, engineering, encouragement, education, and enforcement topics related to pedestrians and bicyclists. PBIC is operated by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, in cooperation with the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, with funding in part under a cooperative agreement with the Federal Highway Administration through the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program.
National Trails Training Partnership
The National Trails Training Partnership (NTTP) provides information about trail-related training and resources, in partnership with many Federal and State agencies and nonprofit organizations. NTTP is operated by American Trails, with funding in part under a cooperative agreement with the Federal Highway Administration through the Recreational Trails Program.  www.nttp.net
 
National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse
The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC) provides information about the Transportation Enhancement (TE) activities, including State program information and contacts, project lists, project examples, and publications. NTEC is operated by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy with funding in part under a cooperative agreement with the Federal Highway Administration through the Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP).www.enhancements.org
 
Pedestrian and Transit-Friendly Design
A Primer for Smart Growth By Smart Growth Network, based on a manual prepared for Florida DOT, and published by American Planning Association.
 
Transit-Friendly Streets: Design and Traffic Management Strategies to Support Livable Communities
Transit Cooperative Reserach Program (TCRP) Report 33: Transit-Friendly Streets: Design and Traffic Management Strategies to Support Livable Communities presents 10 strategies used in both the United States and Europe to create transit-friendly streets. The strategies are followed by case studies of five communities that have pursued different initiatives to improve their livability.
 
 
 
Transportation Enhancement (TE) Project Examples
NTEC provides examples with detailed project information, including a description of the project, funding particulars, contact information, and photos.
 
Transportation Enhancement (TE) Project Images
NTEC’s image library is a web accessible media archive with images of TE projects. 
 
Transportation Enhancement (TE) Project List
The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (NTEC) Project List includes TE project name, location, year the project was to be funded, local match, Federal match, and total project cost.www.enhancements.org/projectlist.asp
 
Bicycle and Pedestrian Resources  
Recreational Trail Resources
 
Transportation Enhancement (TE) Resources
National Recreation Trails
National Recreation Trails recognize exemplary trails of local and regional significance.
 
National Scenic and Historic Trails
National Scenic and Historic Trails are established by Congress and recognize long-distance scenic and historic trails of national significance.
 
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center Image Library
The PBIC Image Library is a searchable collection of images relating to walking and bicycling. Images in the Library are intended to serve as examples of the range of real world existing conditions; they are not limited to best practices or approved design and in some cases may reflect conditions that are not recommended.
 
 
Presentation: Designing for Nonmotorists. Presented at the FHWA Field Engineers Learning & Development Seminar, April 20, 2010, Dallas TX.

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Resources for Rail

Passenger Rail Programs
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) actively supports the development of the nation's intercity rail passenger system.  FRA develops and implements Administration policy regarding the nation's intercity passenger rail systems and sponsors passenger rail improvements and services: 

Highway-Rail Crossing Program
While the railroad owns the track, the roadway at a crossing is owned by either a public or private entity. Public crossings are those at which the highway or roadway is under the jurisdiction of and maintained by a public authority such as a municipality, county, or State agency.

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Resources for Noise

Train Horn Rule (Quiet Zones)
The final Train Horn Rule provides an opportunity, not available until now, for thousands of localities nationwide to mitigate the effects of train horn noise by establishing new "quiet zones." The rule also details actions communities with pre-existing "whistle bans" can take to preserve the quiet they have become accustomed to.

NoiseQuest
This website provides educational information on aviation noise. Its main goal is to improve the relationship between airports and their surrounding communities.

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe Center)
One part of the U.S. DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA).  Volpe’s Environmental and Energy Systems Center of Innovation provides technical and analytical support for decision making at all levels of government.  This links provides access to historical studies regarding noise, air quality, and other related environmental analysis completed by Volpe.  

The Federal Interagency Committee on Aviation Noise (FICAN)
This FICAN committee was formed in 1993 to provide forums for debate over future research needs to better understand, predict and control the effects of aviation noise, and to encourage new technical development efforts in these areas.
http://www.fican.org

Partnership for Air Transportation Noise and Emissions Reduction (PARTNER)
This group is a leading aviation cooperative research organization, and an FAA/NASA/Transport Canada-sponsored Center of Excellence. PARTNER fosters breakthrough technological, operational, policy, and workforce advances for the betterment of mobility, economy, national security, and the environment. 

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Resources for Airports

Voluntary Airport Low Emission Program (VALE)
This FAA webpage discusses VALE and provides useful links about the program.     

The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP)
ACRP was authorized in December 2003 as part of the Vision 100-Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act. In October 2005, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) executed a contract with the National Academies, acting through its Transportation Research Board (TRB), to serve as manager of the ACRP. Program oversight and governance are provided by representatives of airport operating agencies.  

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Maritime Resources

America’s Marine Highway
Read more about the US marine highway system.
 
MARAD Environment and Safety
Read more about shipping safety and enviromental issues.
Updated: Thursday, May 9, 2013