CONTEXT SENSITIVESOLUTIONS – CASE STUDYA New Wave in Project Planning and Design     Context Sensitive Solutions Workshop ...
What is Context Sensitive Design?Context sensitive design (CSD) is a collaborative,interdisciplinary approach that involve...
The CSS Process Involves     Some Key Principles…   Interdisciplinary Team   Stakeholder Input   Balance   Flexibility...
How do these Key Principles   influence a project?
SULLIVAN COUNTY      STATE ROUTE 126From East Center Street to Interstate 81
Project Study Area   State Route 126 in Kingsport, TN   Approx. 8.3 mile corridor   Transitions from urban 4-lane to ru...
Charge Study and evaluate existing and future  conditions on SR 126 Develop recommendations for improvement Use a CSS p...
Use an interdisciplinary team tailored to meet       the specific needs of the project.SR 126 Project Team (TDOT, Consulta...
Shipley Mansion   National Register Eligible Property   Identified by TDOT Historian   Cannot Be Impacted   Shifts Ali...
Seek stakeholder input early and continuously  to understand the valued resources before         defining problems & needs...
How Did We Use the Resource Team?   Identify Problems and Concerns   Liaison with Community   Establish Priorities   C...
Working with stakeholders can be        challenging. . .
and fun!
Resource Team Planning Workshop   A Workshop for the Resource Team to    Explore Design Concepts for SR 126   Group Disc...
   Team members divided into four work groups   Each group prepared a concept plan for roadway    improvement
   Engineers and planners were available to    assist as needed   Each group presented their concept plan to    the whol...
Public Involvement                YOU ARE HERE
Public Involvement
OLD STAGE ROAD - EXISTING
OLD STAGE ROAD - SIMULATION – CONCEPT B
OLD STAGE ROAD - SIMULATION – CONCEPT C
Public involvement shaped the        project purpose & need. . .   Safety driven; not capacity driven   Willingness to s...
Balance safety, mobility, community, and        environmental concerns.
The biggest conflicts we had were about                    balance!    Historic Site              Mobility Community  Impa...
Apply the flexibility inherent within      national design standards.
In order to be Flexible, we had to. . .   Revise Plans   Adjust to New    Information   Consider Deviating from    Stan...
Island Road & East Center Street         Roundabouts
Incorporate aesthetics as an   integral part of design.
Preservation of Scenic Qualities was a       Major Concern of Stakeholders   Preserve View from Chestnut Ridge   Conside...
What did we struggle with               in Kingsport?   Trust / Mistrust Issues   Maintaining a fair process   The “Voc...
After 21 months of struggle together. . .Unanimous Support Was ReachedDuring the 21-month study process there wasunanimous...
Some decisions were not unanimous, but    Consensus or Majority Decisions   For 5 of the 8 Roadway Sections, the Resource...
What Did We Learn?
Lessons Learned   CSS training is helpful for stakeholders to understand    the possibilities and limitations they will f...
Lessons Learned (cont.)   Project managers must be vigilant to keep a fair    process that seeks input from everyone, not...
Was a CSS Process Worth It?CSS helped us identify and solve the right problems.CSS facilitated our ability to comply wit...
Context Sensitive Solutions -- Case Study: A New Wave in Project Planning & Design
Context Sensitive Solutions -- Case Study: A New Wave in Project Planning & Design
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Context Sensitive Solutions -- Case Study: A New Wave in Project Planning & Design

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Context Sensitive Solutions Workshop, November 16, 2005

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  • Formally initiated by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 1998, Context- Sensitive Solutions (CSS) is a national trend in transportation planning and design that recognizes that all users have an integral stake in the ways in which the design of new transportation facilities and reconstruction of existing transportation facilities can affect the quality of their lives. The CSS process is being adopted by many states and is transforming the way transportation projects are designed.
  • So, what is it? First of all, we should clarify that the terms Context Sensitive Solution and Context Sensitive Design are used interchangeably. I prefer the word solution because it connotes a broader application. Federal Highway Administration defines it as a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to transportation planning and design that involves all stakeholders to develop a facility that fits its physical setting and preserves scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources, while maintaining safety and mobility. It is an approach that considers the total context within which a transportation improvement project will exist.
  • For the project in Kingsport, we assembled a team that included all the major disciplines that would affect the project: engineering, traffic planning, community impact and public relations, and environmental planning and permitting. That large team served as advisors to the core management team and the local stakeholder group. Having technical specialists available throughout the project helped us answer questions, provide advice, and give explanations to stakeholders and the public. This varied technical input on the front end of the project positively influenced our decision making because the team was better informed. Let me give you an example. . . . .
  • The Barger House was identified by the TDOT Historian assigned to the project team as a National Register Eligible Property. Identification of the property in the planning stages helped because it allowed us to set the alignment of the widening in our concept plans in such a way as to stay off the boundary of the Barger House property. If this identification had not been made early on, it could have cost the project time and money associated with a later-stage plan revision. It also helps us to be more consistent in what we show the public ---- we’ve saved them the surprise of a major alignment shift.
  • The Resource Team maintained a core group size of 18 members throughout the 21-month study process.
  • Public Involvement is another integral component of the Key Principle of Stakeholder Input. For the SR 126 project, we conducted three series of public involvement sessions. With each series, we met at two different times in two different locations. Days of the week for public involvement and location of meetings was determined based upon community input that was gathers from a postcard survey that was included in the first project newsletter. Attendance at all sessions was very good. At any given session, the attendance ranged from 100 to 300 people. Public Involvement Sessions provided a variety of formats for sharing information and gathering public input. These included formal presentations with question and answer sessions, informal viewing of maps and one-on-one discussion with project team members, written surveys, post-it notes that could be stuck on map displays with questions or comments, a court recorder for taking private verbal comments. The variety allowed people of all personalities to have a means that they could feel comfortable with to give their opinions.
  • Public Involvement is another integral component of the Key Principle of Stakeholder Input. For the SR 126 project, we conducted three series of public involvement sessions. With each series, we met at two different times in two different locations. Days of the week for public involvement and location of meetings was determined based upon community input that was gathers from a postcard survey that was included in the first project newsletter. Attendance at all sessions was very good. At any given session, the attendance ranged from 100 to 300 people. Public Involvement Sessions provided a variety of formats for sharing information and gathering public input. These included formal presentations with question and answer sessions, informal viewing of maps and one-on-one discussion with project team members, written surveys, post-it notes that could be stuck on map displays with questions or comments, a court recorder for taking private verbal comments. The variety allowed people of all personalities to have a means that they could feel comfortable with to give their opinions.
  • Because of the quality and quantity of public comment on the project, we were able to discern enough valuable input to shape the project to be more reflective of community concerns. What we discovered was that the community felt the primary need for improving SR 126 was safety, not capacity. Capacity was a concern for many, but not the primary concern. The majority of citizens indicated they were willing to sacrifice the performance of traffic flow in order to protect the area’s scenic qualities and the sense of community that they shared with their neighbors. And as with any situation when you ask 300 people what they want, there was some disagreement. Citizens were divided in their opinions about the acceptability of widening to a four-lane roadway.
  • The SR 126 Resource Team’s final recommendation included a list of seven Points of Interest to the Community that were considered scenic, historic, or community treasures. The team recommended that the final project design minimize impacts to these sites. The team recommendation also listed eleven enhancement features that were identified as desirable components of the final design. These included items such as: Use of natural elements for retaining and buffer walls Landscaping with native plant species Decorative guardrail where appropriate Use of decorative lighting with sensitivity to residential areas.
  • CSS solves the right problem by broadening the definition of "the problem" that a project should solve, and by reaching consensus with all stakeholders before the design process begins. CSS conserves environmental and community resources. CSS facilitates and streamlines the process of NEPA compliance. CSS saves time. It shortens the project development process by gaining consensus early, and thereby minimizing litigation and redesign, and expediting permit approvals. CSS saves money. By shortening the project development process and eliminating obstacles, money as well as time is saved. CSS builds support from the public and from the regulators. By partnering and planning a project with the transportation agency, these parties bring full cooperation, and often additional resources as well. CSS helps prioritize and allocate scarce transportation funds in a cost-effective way, at a time when needs far exceed resources. Group decisions are generally better than individual decisions. Research supports the conclusion that decisions are more accepted and mutually satisfactory when made by all who must live with them. CSS is the right thing to do. It serves the public interest, helps build communities and leaves a better place behind.
  • CSS solves the right problem by broadening the definition of "the problem" that a project should solve, and by reaching consensus with all stakeholders before the design process begins. CSS conserves environmental and community resources. CSS facilitates and streamlines the process of NEPA compliance. CSS saves time. It shortens the project development process by gaining consensus early, and thereby minimizing litigation and redesign, and expediting permit approvals. CSS saves money. By shortening the project development process and eliminating obstacles, money as well as time is saved. CSS builds support from the public and from the regulators. By partnering and planning a project with the transportation agency, these parties bring full cooperation, and often additional resources as well. CSS helps prioritize and allocate scarce transportation funds in a cost-effective way, at a time when needs far exceed resources. Group decisions are generally better than individual decisions. Research supports the conclusion that decisions are more accepted and mutually satisfactory when made by all who must live with them. CSS is the right thing to do. It serves the public interest, helps build communities and leaves a better place behind.
  • Context Sensitive Solutions -- Case Study: A New Wave in Project Planning & Design

    1. 1. CONTEXT SENSITIVESOLUTIONS – CASE STUDYA New Wave in Project Planning and Design Context Sensitive Solutions Workshop November 16, 2005 Sain Associates
    2. 2. What is Context Sensitive Design?Context sensitive design (CSD) is a collaborative,interdisciplinary approach that involves allstakeholders to develop a transportation facilitythat fits its physical setting and preserves scenic,aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources,while maintaining safety and mobility. CSD is anapproach that considers the total context withinwhich a transportation improvement project willexist. FHWA CSD Website Homepage
    3. 3. The CSS Process Involves Some Key Principles… Interdisciplinary Team Stakeholder Input Balance Flexibility Aesthetics
    4. 4. How do these Key Principles influence a project?
    5. 5. SULLIVAN COUNTY STATE ROUTE 126From East Center Street to Interstate 81
    6. 6. Project Study Area State Route 126 in Kingsport, TN Approx. 8.3 mile corridor Transitions from urban 4-lane to rural 2-lane facility Land use primarily residential Significant topographical & environmental constraints
    7. 7. Charge Study and evaluate existing and future conditions on SR 126 Develop recommendations for improvement Use a CSS process to involve the community and gain support for the project Create a Lessons Learned document that can be used by TDOT to guide other CSS projects The last project done in this part of Kingsport was described as a “blood bath”.
    8. 8. Use an interdisciplinary team tailored to meet the specific needs of the project.SR 126 Project Team (TDOT, Consultants & FHWA) Included: Project Management Specialists Roadway Design Engineers Transportation Planners Public Involvement Specialist Environmental Permit Specialists Historian Biologist Archaeologist Landscape Architect
    9. 9. Shipley Mansion National Register Eligible Property Identified by TDOT Historian Cannot Be Impacted Shifts Alignment
    10. 10. Seek stakeholder input early and continuously to understand the valued resources before defining problems & needs.The SR 126 Resource Team Included: Community Representatives City & County Elected Leaders City / County / MPO Staff TDOT/Consultant Project Managers
    11. 11. How Did We Use the Resource Team? Identify Problems and Concerns Liaison with Community Establish Priorities Create a Vision for Roadway Corridor Make Recommendations (not Decisions)
    12. 12. Working with stakeholders can be challenging. . .
    13. 13. and fun!
    14. 14. Resource Team Planning Workshop A Workshop for the Resource Team to Explore Design Concepts for SR 126 Group Discussion of Design Parameters
    15. 15.  Team members divided into four work groups Each group prepared a concept plan for roadway improvement
    16. 16.  Engineers and planners were available to assist as needed Each group presented their concept plan to the whole team for discussion
    17. 17. Public Involvement YOU ARE HERE
    18. 18. Public Involvement
    19. 19. OLD STAGE ROAD - EXISTING
    20. 20. OLD STAGE ROAD - SIMULATION – CONCEPT B
    21. 21. OLD STAGE ROAD - SIMULATION – CONCEPT C
    22. 22. Public involvement shaped the project purpose & need. . . Safety driven; not capacity driven Willingness to sacrifice traffic flow for protection of scenic qualities and sense of community Mixed messages regarding support for a four-lane solution
    23. 23. Balance safety, mobility, community, and environmental concerns.
    24. 24. The biggest conflicts we had were about balance! Historic Site Mobility Community Impacts
    25. 25. Apply the flexibility inherent within national design standards.
    26. 26. In order to be Flexible, we had to. . . Revise Plans Adjust to New Information Consider Deviating from Standard Design Practices Change Course
    27. 27. Island Road & East Center Street Roundabouts
    28. 28. Incorporate aesthetics as an integral part of design.
    29. 29. Preservation of Scenic Qualities was a Major Concern of Stakeholders Preserve View from Chestnut Ridge Consider View of the Road from Adjacent Communities Use Aesthetic Design Features
    30. 30. What did we struggle with in Kingsport? Trust / Mistrust Issues Maintaining a fair process The “Vocal Minority” Lack of understanding about the planning process Communication High accident rate with several fatalities Defining and obtaining consensus
    31. 31. After 21 months of struggle together. . .Unanimous Support Was ReachedDuring the 21-month study process there wasunanimous support among the Resource Teammembers for a large number of recommendations.  11 Enhancement Features in the Design Plan  10 Safety Improvements, with Safety being the number one Priority  7 Points of Interest to the Community  4 Other Special Issues
    32. 32. Some decisions were not unanimous, but Consensus or Majority Decisions For 5 of the 8 Roadway Sections, the Resource Team Made Consensus Recommendations For 3 of the 8 Roadway Sections, the Team Made Majority Supported Recommendations with Minority Opinions Stated for the Record
    33. 33. What Did We Learn?
    34. 34. Lessons Learned CSS training is helpful for stakeholders to understand the possibilities and limitations they will face. On the front end, the team needs to decide how they will work together, deal with issues, and make decisions (voting, majority, building consensus). Roles and Responsibilities need to be clearly identified and agreed upon up front. (Address who has decision making authority!) Resource Team members should take an active role in public involvement sessions.
    35. 35. Lessons Learned (cont.) Project managers must be vigilant to keep a fair process that seeks input from everyone, not just the vocal minority. Good facilitation skills are vital! A variety of communication tools is needed to reach the public and convey an accurate message. Follow up is critical to assure continued input from citizens. Graphic displays and narratives must be understandable by non-engineers.
    36. 36. Was a CSS Process Worth It?CSS helped us identify and solve the right problems.CSS facilitated our ability to comply with Federal requirements (NEPA compliance). YES!CSS will hopefully save us time and money over the long run GOOD TEAM WORK by avoiding litigation. MADE IT POSSIBLECSS allowed us to build support from the public for a decision that reflects the community’s concerns and priorities.

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