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Transportation Sector Case Studies

These resources include case studies of adaptation in the transportation sector, developed by the Georgetown Climate Center as part of a cooperative agreement with the Federal Highway Administration. The case studies include examples of how adaptation has been incorporated into decisionmaking at all stages of the transportation lifecycle: assessing vulnerability, planning, design, and operations and maintenance.

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Resilience of New Jersey Transit (NJ TRANSIT) Assets to Climate Impacts

June 2012

This report assesses the potential vulnerability of New Jersey's state transit agency (NJ TRANSIT) stationary assets (rail, structures and buildings) to weather-related risks and projected climate impacts and identifies “cost-effective resilience strategies. ” While the assessment was underway, Hurricane Irene hit the state, causing $2 to $3 million in damages and losses in revenue and underscoring the need for NJ TRANSIT to plan for and build resilience against extreme weather events. The report quantifies the risks of a range of impacts to NJ TRANSIT assets given climate change scenarios over different planning timeframes (5, 10, 20 and 50 years).

Related Organizations: New Jersey (NJ) Transit

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Responding to Climate Change in New York State: ClimAID – Transportation Chapter

November 2011

This state-level assessment provides information on New York's vulnerability to climate change and is specifically designed to assist in the development of adaptation strategies. The goal of the Integrated Assessment for Effective Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in New York State (ClimAID) is to provide decision-makers with progressive information on climate change effects on the state, and to facilitate adaptation planning. The ClimAID report reviews climate change impacts and adaptation options for eight sectors in New York including water resources, coastal zones, ecosystems, agriculture, energy, transportation, public health and telecommunications.

Related Organizations: Cornell University, Columbia University, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Risk Assessment of Toronto’s Culverts Using the Canadian Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee (PIEVC) Protocol

December 2011

The City of Toronto utilized a risk assessment tool to help evaluate the risk of climate impacts on the City’s culverts. The PIEVC Protocol, developed by the Canadian Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee (PIEVC), is a step-by-step protocol in which risk scoring systems incorporate climate modeling data to outline explicit procedures to help engineers design a particular structure to withstand current and future climatic conditions. Although this study evaluated only three Toronto culverts, the results can be used to assist Toronto in incorporating climate change adaptation into the design, development and management of all of its culverts - and could be applied in other municipalities as well.

Related Organizations: City of Toronto; Ontario, Canada

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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SPUR Ocean Beach Master Plan for San Francisco – Strategies for Great Highway

May 21, 2012

Developed by the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), the Ocean Beach Master Plan (OBMP) provides a long-term strategy for responding to current and future sea-level rise impacts along the 3. 5-mile stretch of San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, and provides recommendations for adapting the Great Highway, which runs adjacent to the beach. The strategy focuses on the protection and relocation of transportation infrastructure, including: (1) rerouting the southern portion of the Great Highway; (2) protecting and restoring the shoreline and beach; (3) reducing the width of the Great Highway; (4) repairing seaside dunes; (5) facilitating faster travel between Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach; and (6) improving bicycle paths and sidewalks near Ocean Beach.

Related Organizations: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, State of California, San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), City and County of San Francisco, California

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Sacramento Region Transportation Adaptation Plan and Regional Transportation Plan

August 2015

The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) developed a high-level vulnerability assessment and adaptation plan (“Adaptation Plan”) for the region’s transportation infrastructure, and is using the plan as a framework to guide future adaptation work and inform planning for transportation investments. The initial findings from the Adaptation Plan are being incorporated into the region’s 2016 long-range transportation plan update. The Adaptation Plan looks at risks to transportation from four primary climate-related threats to the region: extreme temperature; wildfire; precipitation, runoff, and flooding; and landslides.

Related Organizations: Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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San Diego Association of Governments Climate Action Strategy – Transportation Goal

March 2010

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) 2010 Climate Action Strategy, intended to guide regional and local policymakers in addressing climate change and preparing for its effects, includes among its goals to “protect transportation infrastructure from climate change impacts. ” The Strategy identifies the climate change impacts most likely to affect the San Diego area, including extreme heat, greater risk of mudslides after wildfires, and sea-level rise and storm surge, and lists policy measures that SANDAG and local governments can take to address them.

Related Organizations: San Diego Association of Governments

Resource Category: Planning

 

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San Francisco’s Guidance for Incorporating Sea-Level Rise in Capital Planning – Transportation Implications

September 16, 2014

The City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) adopted Guidance on how city and county agencies must consider sea-level rise for new capital improvement projects, including transportation improvements. The Guidance was adopted by the Capital Planning Committee (CPC) in September 2014 and revised in December 2015; the CPC makes recommendations to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors on all capital expenditures and approves the City’s 10-year Capital Improvement Plan.   The Guidance provides direction to all CCSF departments on how to consider sea-level rise in all new construction, capital improvement, and maintenance projects.

Related Organizations: City and County of San Francisco, California

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Sand Berm to Protect Del Monte Avenue in Monterey, California

The shoreline along southern Monterey Bay has historically been subject to strong surge during storm events. These surge conditions are predicted to worsen in the future due to climate change. Each year on November 1, the City of Monterey creates a temporary sand berm to provide flood protection for Del Monte Avenue and an adjacent bike path.   Del Monte Avenue is a low-lying road that runs adjacent to the public beach.   The berm is designed to reduce the likelihood that storm surge will inundate the road.

Related Organizations: City of Monterey, California

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Savannah, Georgia Region's Total Mobility Plan: 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan

August 2014

The Coastal Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (CORE MPO) adopted the Total Mobility Plan: 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (“plan”) to help guide officials responsible for planning and preparing Chatham County-Savannah infrastructure for changes the region will see in the upcoming decades, including the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise. Required by federal law to be updated every five years, the plan updates the region’s 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan and puts a greater emphasis on sustainability, complete streets, context-sensitive design and non-motorized transportation options.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Study for the City of Los Angeles – Transportation Assets

December 2013

The University of Southern California Sea Grant Program completed a Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Study for the City of Los Angeles that summarizes initial research on the potential impacts of sea-level rise on Los Angeles’s coastal and shoreline assets, including the Port of Los Angeles, the Pacific Coast Highway and other significant coastal roads. The study identifies the Los Angeles (LA) communities and infrastructure most threatened, and offers a suite of adaptation measures including several specific recommendations for safeguarding transportation assets.

Related Organizations: University of Southern California Sea Grant

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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