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Guidebook for Assessing Social & Economic Effects of Transportation Projects

nchrp456.gifNCHRP Report 456 Published by National Academy Press

The Guidebook for Assessing the Social and Economic Effects of Transportation Projects was written by David Forkenbrock, Director of the University of Iowa's Public Policy Center, and Glen Weisbrod, President of Economic Development Research Group. This guidebook defines 11 general types of social and economic effects and provides insights into the suitability of the methods, tools, and techniques available to assess them. It covers: safety, travel time and operating costs, transportation choice, accessibility, community cohesion, economic development, traffic noise, visual quality, property values, and distributive effects.

For each of these types of effects, the guidebook describes (1) information collection techniques, (2) analysis methods, (3) measurement and presentation guidelines, (4) assessment of the critical assumptions, strengths and limitations of each method, and (5) annotation of additional articles and books on the topic. A total of 52 different techniques are described. A companion final report provides a literature review and findings from a national survey on the use of social and economic impact methods.

The guide was published by National Academies Press as National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 456. The pdf file is split into two parts, available via the links below.  There is also a companion volume, a 109-page report on literature review and survey of needs.

Guidebook Part 1 (pdf, 1.5 MB)

Guidebook  Part 2 (pdf, 3.33 MB)

Literature Review and Survey of Needs (pdf, 1.0 MB )


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