The Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization recently hosted a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) sponsored SCENARIO PLANNING WORKSHOP on November 8, 2016. This peer-to-peer event is part of the FHWA Scenario Planning Program, which offers a variety of training, resources, and technical assistance to agencies interested in scenario planning. At the workshop, attendees had the opportunity to participate in discussions to exchange insights and share observations on how scenario planning can be valuable to their current and future initiatives.
Scenario planning provides a framework for stakeholders to make decisions that help achieve a shared vision for the future by analyzing various factors that can impact the way in which a region develops. In transportation planning, scenario planning can be utilized to consider how changes in transportation, land use, demographics, or other factors such as climate change could affect connectivity, mobility, resiliency, and communities across the region.
The overall purpose of this workshop was to build awareness of scenario planning and for participants to exchange best practices and perspectives in the context of HRTPO’s anticipated scenario planning activities and applications for its long-range transportation planning process. Presentations and session topics discussed include:
Workshop presenters included representatives from peer Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), Atlanta Regional Commission and the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization for Transportation (Tampa, FL). The workshop also featured a Virginia Perspectives panel with representatives from Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, and Richmond MPOs. These peers have leveraged scenario planning in their planning practices and shared their agencies’ perspectives and lessons learned. In addition to MPO peers, Catherine McGhee from the Virginia Transportation Research Council and Mike Mollenhauer from the Center for Technology Implementation at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute also presented a session on connected and automated vehicles.
Looking ahead, HRTPO staff will utilize lessons learned from this workshop to develop scenarios to evaluate for the next update to the regional Long-Range Transportation Plan.