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National Transportation Project Impact Case Studies (Overview)

EDR Group led the development and application of the US national database of transportation project impact case studies. The intial effort was a project for the Strategic Highways Research Program (project SHRP2), in which EDR Group led the $2 million national study to develop case studies measuring the economic and land development impacts of highway projects (SHRP2, project C03). The project developed 100 before-and-after case studies of highway projects, as well as a web-based tool for using the national database to enhance transportation planning and project selection decisions.

The available information in these case studies includes descriptions of project features and pre/post data pertaining to project impacts on the local or regional economy. It also includes detailed results from local interviews on project objectives, implementation issues and other factors affecting the nature of project impacts. Aerial photos and links to other reports are also provided. Lessons learned from these experiences can be used to improve project design and implementation processes. The outcome measures include impacts on jobs, income, business sales, private investment, land development and property values. It assessed local area, community and county level impacts. It also assessed the relative attribution of credit going to transportation projects, and net versus gross effects. An accompanying report lays out a classification of project types and conditions affecting the economic impact of highway capacity, along with a critique, from a decision maker point-of-view, of the methods and results of economic impact analysis for new highway capacity. The original database and its search tools can be accessed at www.tpics.us . See also SHRP2 Project C03 Final Report .

Subsequently, EDR Group was funded by the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) to develop prototypes for expanding TPICS for public transportation projects, including bus, BRT, light rail, heavy rail and transit oriented development. The transit prototypes can be accessed at at http://transit.tpics.us.  See also  TCRP Report 186 .

The entire TPICS highway and transit databases have since been expanded further, and transferred to AASHTO (the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials), with support by US Dept. of Transportation. It now operates with a new look, branded as “EconWorks.” EDR Group and Ch2M Hill are providing continued support as EconWorks evolves. This expanded system can be accessed at AASHTO's EconWorks web site.

Acknowledgements: The TPICS highway case studies and database were developed under the leadership of EDR Group with subcontractor support from Cambridge Systematics, ICF International, CDM Smith, the Texas Transportation Institute, and Susan Moses Associates. The TPICS for Transit system was developed by EDR Group with subcontractor support from of Compass Transportation and Technology.

Further documents and readings

SHRP2 Project C03 Final Report: Interactions between Transportation Capacity, Economic Systems, and Land Use by EDR Group with Cambridge Systrematics, ICF International, CDM Smith, Texas Transportation Institute and Susan Moses Associates, National Academies Press, 2012.

"TPICS, TIGER and US Experience: A Focus on Case-Based Ex Post Economic Impact Assessment," by Stephen Fitzroy, Glen Weisbrod and Naomi Stein, was presented by Stephen Fitzroy at the OECD International Transportation Forum Round Table on "Ex-Post Assessments of Transport Investments and Policy Interventions: Prerequisites and Methodological Challenges," September 2014, Paris, France.   Power Point Summnary     Video

"SHRP2 C11 Tools and Transportation Project Impact Case Studies (TPICS) Demonstration,"presentation and poster session by Stephen Fitzroy, Naomi Stein, and Glen Weisbrod at the International Transportation and Economic Development Conference (I-TED), April 2014 in Dallas, TX.    Poster

"Using Economic Analysis and TPICs to Build Credibility into Every Step of the Planning Cycle,"a presentation by Glen Weisbrod at the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB), January 2014 in Washington, DC.

TPICS for Public Transit: TCRP Report 186, by EDR Group with Compass Transportation and Technology, National Academies Press, 2016. 

"Understanding the Impact of Highway Capacity Projects on the Economy,"by Glen Weisbrod and Stephen Fitzroy, Transportation Research News, TRB, November-December 2013.  

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