Extending and Sharing Benefits of Strategic Planning Models

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General Information
Solicitation Number: 1602
Status: Solicitation posted
Date Posted: Oct 26, 2023
Last Updated: Oct 26, 2023
Solicitation Expires: Oct 26, 2024
Partners: DE, ID, MDOT SHA, OR, PADOT, WA
Lead Organization: Federal Highway Administration
Financial Summary
Commitment Start Year: 2024
Commitment End Year: 2026
100% SP&R Approval: Not Requested
Commitments Required: $150,000.00
Commitments Received: $400,000.00
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): Jeremy Raw
Jeremy.Raw@dot.gov
Organization Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name Contact Number Email Address
Delaware Department of Transportation 2024 $25,000.00 Austin Gray Nicole Johnson 302-760-2092 nicole.johnson@delaware.gov
Delaware Department of Transportation 2025 $25,000.00 Austin Gray Nicole Johnson 302-760-2092 nicole.johnson@delaware.gov
Delaware Department of Transportation 2026 $25,000.00 Austin Gray Nicole Johnson 302-760-2092 nicole.johnson@delaware.gov
Idaho Department of Transportation 2024 $75,000.00 Robert Beachler Ned Parrish 208-334-8296 ned.parrish@itd.idaho.gov
Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration 2024 $25,000.00 Lisa Shemer Sharon Hawkins 410-545-2920 shawkins2@mdot.maryland.gov
Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration 2025 $25,000.00 Lisa Shemer Sharon Hawkins 410-545-2920 shawkins2@mdot.maryland.gov
Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration 2026 $25,000.00 Lisa Shemer Sharon Hawkins 410-545-2920 shawkins2@mdot.maryland.gov
Oregon Department of Transportation 2024 $25,000.00 Tara Weidner Michael Bufalino 503-986-2845 Michael.Bufalino@odot.oregon.gov
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2024 $25,000.00 Nathan Walker Evan Zeiders 717-787-8460 evzeiders@pa.gov
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2025 $25,000.00 Nathan Walker Evan Zeiders 717-787-8460 evzeiders@pa.gov
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2026 $25,000.00 Nathan Walker Evan Zeiders 717-787-8460 evzeiders@pa.gov
Washington State Department of Transportation 2024 $25,000.00 Delwar Murshed Douglas Brodin 360-705-7972 brodind@wsdot.wa.gov
Washington State Department of Transportation 2025 $25,000.00 Delwar Murshed Douglas Brodin 360-705-7972 brodind@wsdot.wa.gov
Washington State Department of Transportation 2026 $25,000.00 Delwar Murshed Douglas Brodin 360-705-7972 brodind@wsdot.wa.gov

Background

Background

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. 

Objectives

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:

  • Models to assess new planning challenges including areas such as equity analysis, electric vehicle deployment, pricing strategies, and emissions;
  • Tools to set up and run these models very rapidly for a large number of policy and scenario combinations;
  • Flexible interactive visualization tools to display results;
  • Cost-effective technical support for the implementation, customization and application of these tools to each agency’s needs;
  • 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;
  • Credible, maintained, documented tools adhering to clear standards and development guidelines, with thorough quality control; and
  • 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.

Scope of Work

As a joint effort, this project will fund and manage development and deployment of strategic models implemented through the VisionEval software. Partner agencies may propose investments in new policy evaluations, tool upgrades, user interface and visualization enhancements, and model support activities to improve strategic support for scenario planning and performance-based planning.  Tasks will include administration, contracting for development and support services, conducting community forums and events to promote VisionEval and increase its value as a modeling resource, and providing technical support for the application of these strategic modeling tools.

Specific needs for VisionEval that could be addressed through the pooled fund include (but are not limited to) new pricing and travel demand management strategies, integration with health metrics, regional accessibility analysis, shared mobility, micromobility modes, and improved equity analysis. The pooled fund will also explore approaches to tools to simplify scenario development, and to interface with other strategic decision support tools such as the Travel Model Improvement Program’s Exploratory Modeling and Analysis Tool (TMIP-EMAT). Specific development efforts and related support activities will be jointly agreed upon by the pooled fund members.

The pooled fund will be led and administered by FHWA with active participation from member State and Local agencies, who will jointly determine the research that is to be undertaken, and the priority of various pooled fund activities.

A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) consisting of one representative of each pooled fund participant will be appointed to direct activities. The TAC will determine yearly funding allocations for research. The TAC will also define the research needs for the pooled fund, select the tasks to be conducted (including specific model development and support activities), approve research teams, oversee technical support and software hosting, and ensure the pooled fund objectives are met.

FHWA’s Office of Planning (HEPP) will manage the pooled fund, and with oversight and approval of the TAC, will develop work plans to address the TAC’s research needs, manage research contracting, and oversee individual research tasks agreed upon by the TAC.

This pooled fund will communicate and work with outside parties in order to leverage research results and enhance the value of tools implemented using VisionEval.

Comments

  • For State transportation agencies, a minimum contribution of $25,000 per State per year for a 3-year period, or a total of $75,000 per State is suggested.
  • For Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) or other planning agencies, a minimum contribution of $15,000 per agency per year for a 3-year period, or a total of $45,000 per agency is suggested.
  • Agencies other than State DOTs wishing to contribute to the pooled fund should contact Jeremy Raw for instructions (contact information below).
  • In addition, FHWA has committed approximately $35,000 per year, plus in-kind support, for management of the pooled fund as lead agency.
  • Other contribution levels may be possible. Please contact Jeremy Raw at FHWA HEPP for alternatives. Contact information below.
  • The pooled fund intends to obtain a waiver to allow use of 100% State Planning and Research (SP&R) Subpart A (planning) funds for this activity.

If you have any questions related to this pooled fund, please contact Jeremy Raw at Jeremy.Raw@dot.gov or 202-680-9573.

Subjects: Planning and Administration

No document attached.

Extending and Sharing Benefits of Strategic Planning Models

General Information
Solicitation Number: 1602
Status: Solicitation posted
Date Posted: Oct 26, 2023
Last Updated: Oct 26, 2023
Solicitation Expires: Oct 26, 2024
Partners: DE, ID, MDOT SHA, OR, PADOT, WA
Lead Organization: Federal Highway Administration
Financial Summary
Commitment Start Year: 2024
Commitment End Year: 2026
100% SP&R Approval: Not Requested
Commitments Required: $150,000.00
Commitments Received: $400,000.00
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): Jeremy Raw
Jeremy.Raw@dot.gov
Commitments by Organizations
Agency Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name Contact Number Email Address
Delaware Department of Transportation 2024 $25,000.00 Austin Gray Nicole Johnson 302-760-2092 nicole.johnson@delaware.gov
Delaware Department of Transportation 2025 $25,000.00 Austin Gray Nicole Johnson 302-760-2092 nicole.johnson@delaware.gov
Delaware Department of Transportation 2026 $25,000.00 Austin Gray Nicole Johnson 302-760-2092 nicole.johnson@delaware.gov
Idaho Department of Transportation 2024 $75,000.00 Robert Beachler Ned Parrish 208-334-8296 ned.parrish@itd.idaho.gov
Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration 2024 $25,000.00 Lisa Shemer Sharon Hawkins 410-545-2920 shawkins2@mdot.maryland.gov
Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration 2025 $25,000.00 Lisa Shemer Sharon Hawkins 410-545-2920 shawkins2@mdot.maryland.gov
Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration 2026 $25,000.00 Lisa Shemer Sharon Hawkins 410-545-2920 shawkins2@mdot.maryland.gov
Oregon Department of Transportation 2024 $25,000.00 Tara Weidner Michael Bufalino 503-986-2845 Michael.Bufalino@odot.oregon.gov
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2024 $25,000.00 Nathan Walker Evan Zeiders 717-787-8460 evzeiders@pa.gov
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2025 $25,000.00 Nathan Walker Evan Zeiders 717-787-8460 evzeiders@pa.gov
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2026 $25,000.00 Nathan Walker Evan Zeiders 717-787-8460 evzeiders@pa.gov
Washington State Department of Transportation 2024 $25,000.00 Delwar Murshed Douglas Brodin 360-705-7972 brodind@wsdot.wa.gov
Washington State Department of Transportation 2025 $25,000.00 Delwar Murshed Douglas Brodin 360-705-7972 brodind@wsdot.wa.gov
Washington State Department of Transportation 2026 $25,000.00 Delwar Murshed Douglas Brodin 360-705-7972 brodind@wsdot.wa.gov

Background

Background

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. 

Objectives

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:

  • Models to assess new planning challenges including areas such as equity analysis, electric vehicle deployment, pricing strategies, and emissions;
  • Tools to set up and run these models very rapidly for a large number of policy and scenario combinations;
  • Flexible interactive visualization tools to display results;
  • Cost-effective technical support for the implementation, customization and application of these tools to each agency’s needs;
  • 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;
  • Credible, maintained, documented tools adhering to clear standards and development guidelines, with thorough quality control; and
  • 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.

Scope of Work

As a joint effort, this project will fund and manage development and deployment of strategic models implemented through the VisionEval software. Partner agencies may propose investments in new policy evaluations, tool upgrades, user interface and visualization enhancements, and model support activities to improve strategic support for scenario planning and performance-based planning.  Tasks will include administration, contracting for development and support services, conducting community forums and events to promote VisionEval and increase its value as a modeling resource, and providing technical support for the application of these strategic modeling tools.

Specific needs for VisionEval that could be addressed through the pooled fund include (but are not limited to) new pricing and travel demand management strategies, integration with health metrics, regional accessibility analysis, shared mobility, micromobility modes, and improved equity analysis. The pooled fund will also explore approaches to tools to simplify scenario development, and to interface with other strategic decision support tools such as the Travel Model Improvement Program’s Exploratory Modeling and Analysis Tool (TMIP-EMAT). Specific development efforts and related support activities will be jointly agreed upon by the pooled fund members.

The pooled fund will be led and administered by FHWA with active participation from member State and Local agencies, who will jointly determine the research that is to be undertaken, and the priority of various pooled fund activities.

A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) consisting of one representative of each pooled fund participant will be appointed to direct activities. The TAC will determine yearly funding allocations for research. The TAC will also define the research needs for the pooled fund, select the tasks to be conducted (including specific model development and support activities), approve research teams, oversee technical support and software hosting, and ensure the pooled fund objectives are met.

FHWA’s Office of Planning (HEPP) will manage the pooled fund, and with oversight and approval of the TAC, will develop work plans to address the TAC’s research needs, manage research contracting, and oversee individual research tasks agreed upon by the TAC.

This pooled fund will communicate and work with outside parties in order to leverage research results and enhance the value of tools implemented using VisionEval.

Comments

  • For State transportation agencies, a minimum contribution of $25,000 per State per year for a 3-year period, or a total of $75,000 per State is suggested.
  • For Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) or other planning agencies, a minimum contribution of $15,000 per agency per year for a 3-year period, or a total of $45,000 per agency is suggested.
  • Agencies other than State DOTs wishing to contribute to the pooled fund should contact Jeremy Raw for instructions (contact information below).
  • In addition, FHWA has committed approximately $35,000 per year, plus in-kind support, for management of the pooled fund as lead agency.
  • Other contribution levels may be possible. Please contact Jeremy Raw at FHWA HEPP for alternatives. Contact information below.
  • The pooled fund intends to obtain a waiver to allow use of 100% State Planning and Research (SP&R) Subpart A (planning) funds for this activity.

If you have any questions related to this pooled fund, please contact Jeremy Raw at Jeremy.Raw@dot.gov or 202-680-9573.

Subjects: Planning and Administration

No document attached.

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