The current planning and design processAuthor(s): Stephen Tonjes; Sandra L. Jacobson; Raymond M. Sauvajot; Kari E. Gunson; Kevin Moody; Daniel J. Smith
Source: In: Andrews, K. M.; Nanjappa, P.; Riley, S. P. D., eds. Roads and Ecological Infrastructure: Concepts and Applications for Small Animals. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press: 110-130. Chapter 6.
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Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
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Road projects are like trains—slow to get rolling, averse to getting off track, and hard to slow down. As a result, the best opportunities to incorporate wildlife accommodations into a project are in the early stages of project development, where deadlines are more flexible and the larger issues of road corridor impacts on regional landscapes are usually considered. However, people concerned about the impacts of road projects are often frustrated trying to learn exactly what is being proposed, and how they can have their concerns addressed. Project managers are under pressure to deliver their projects on time and within budget, and the purpose and need of transportation projects are almost always defined solely in terms of the transportation goals. Hence, integrating ecological infrastructure into road planning, design, and operations requires a basic appreciation of the decision-making processes and administrative procedures that transportation agencies use.
Even if project managers are sympathetic to the impacts of roads on wildlife, they must be able to justify spending time and transportation money on elements that do not contribute directly to the transportation goals; therefore, it is helpful to ensure they are aware of environmental laws and public interests related to accommodating wildlife. Chapter 5 discusses various ways to generate public understanding of, and support for, wildlife issues. The road project development process is structured to obtain public input, and provides formal and informal opportunities for the public and resource professionals to offer education and demonstrate support for wildlife concerns however, public input will have much more influence on project outcomes if it is provided to the right people at the right time.
Road projects usually proceed through distinct phases, distinguished by the kinds of information gathered and the professional disciplines involved. In the United States, development of state and federal transportation systems consists of three major phases: (1) preliminary planning; (2) project delivery (preliminary engineering / conceptual design and detailed design); and (3) construction, maintenance, and monitoring (discussed in Chapters 11 and 12). This chapter describes the first two phases and highlights the points at which people concerned about wildlife can most effectively engage with these efforts. The phases may have different names in different agencies and different countries, and may be combined or shortened depending on the complexity of the project, but most projects follow a similar sequence. Public input is most effective when it is addressed to the aspects of the project under consideration at the time.
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Tonjes, Stephen; Jacobson, Sandra L.; Sauvajot, Raymond M.; Gunson, Kari E.; Moody, Kevin; Smith, Daniel J. 2015. The current planning and design process. In: Andrews, K. M.; Nanjappa, P.; Riley, S. P. D., eds. Roads and Ecological Infrastructure: Concepts and Applications for Small Animals. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press: 110-130. Chapter 6.
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