• Transportation Resources

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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A Stronger, More Resilient New York - Transportation Chapter

June 11, 2013

“A Stronger, More Resilient New York” is an adaptation plan (Plan) for New York City (NYC), which contains actionable recommendations both for rebuilding the communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy and increasing the resilience of infrastructure and buildings citywide. Chapter 10 of the plan is dedicated to transportation impacts, strategies, initiatives, and policy recommendations. This chapter details the impacts that occurred to the transportation system as a result of Hurricane Sandy, impacts that can be anticipated in the future as a result of climate change, and strategies for increasing the resilience of NYC’s transportation system.

Related Organizations: New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), New York City (NYC) Special Initiative of Rebuilding and Resiliency, City of New York, New York

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Sea-Level Rise Tool for Hurricane Sandy Recovery

June 20, 2013

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) developed a tool that can assist communities affected by Hurricane Sandy in reducing vulnerability of transportation and other infrastructure to future sea-level rise and flood risk. The tool, which involves a set of maps showing floodplains under sea-level rise scenarios and an updated USACE Sea-Level Change calculator showing site-specific flood elevation data, helps communities understand the effects of sea-level rise on future flood risk and incorporate this information into planning and decision-making.

Related Organizations: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Chicago DOT - Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Policies and Guidelines

July 2013

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) issued these guidelines (“Guidelines”) to require the implementation of sustainability best practices (environmental and social) into all transportation infrastructure projects, with metrics to ensure that projects are designed to be resilient to the long-term impacts of climate change. The Guidelines include two components: Volume I outlines the city’s sustainability goals and the process for integrating those goals into urban infrastructure design, construction, and maintenance; Volume 2 provides specific strategies, references, and resources to help project managers and engineers incorporate sustainability principles into specific projects.

Related Organizations: Chicago Department of Transportation, City of Chicago, Illinois

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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NYC MTA Storm Surge Protection via Catastrophe Bond Market (New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

July 31, 2013

After Hurricane Sandy, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) sold a catastrophe bond in July 2013 to raise funds to manage flood risk to the system and offset any costs of future storm damage if the city is hit by another hurricane in the next three years. Sandy caused an estimated $4 to $5 billion in damages to MTA assets; as a result, insurance prices for MTA doubled. To finance protections from future storm surges, MTA issued $200 million in shares of catastrophe bonds to supplement traditional insurance, costing MTA $46 million a year.

Related Organizations: New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), City of New York, New York

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Assateague Island National Seashore (AINS) Parking Lot Relocation

National Park Service (NPS) managers at Assateague Island National Seashore (AINS) have developed a plan to adapt roadways and parking areas to excessive erosion and overwashing from storm surges. This plan is in progress, and this case study will be updated accordingly. Two parking lots will be relocated away from the shoreline to reduce their vulnerability to erosion from future storms and help restore natural coastal processes. Additionally, they will be reconstructed from materials that are readily available on Assateague Island, such as clay and crushed clam shell, which will help reduce water flow rates over the parking lots and corresponding risk of erosion.

Related Organizations: National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Atlanta, Georgia Transit Asset Management System Pilot Project

August 2013

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) participated in a pilot program (“pilot”) that looks at climate stressors in the Atlanta region, and explores ways that MARTA may modify their asset management system to monitor changes to the region’s assets caused by climate change and help identify response strategies. Under this pilot, MARTA inventoried system assets and used climate risk modeling projections to assess the vulnerability of assets to climate risk; identified strategies to manage risks; and incorporated risk management strategies into lifecycle management plans by monitoring and updating asset records following any change in condition.

Related Organizations: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Georgia Institute of Technology, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New Jersey TransitGrid – Microgrid Project to Help Power NJ Transit

August 26, 2013

The New Jersey Governor’s Office of Recovery and Rebuilding, New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit), and the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) partnered to lead the design of NJ TransitGrid, an advanced electrical microgrid for the NJ Transit system in order to make the state’s transit infrastructure more resilient in the face of future extreme weather events and other disasters. NJ TransitGrid, which is being implemented also in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), will incorporate a natural gas-fired electric power generating plant as well as renewable energy and distributed generation.

Related Organizations: New Jersey (NJ) Transit, Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s Plan 2040: A Shared Vision for Sustainable Growth

September 4, 2013

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s (NYMTC) Regional Transportation Plan (Plan 2040) looks at strategies for incorporating climate change resilience throughout the entire transportation system. Chapter 2. 5 of the plan discusses “Resiliency and Climate Adaptation Strategies” for the NYMTC region. Plan 2040 reviews the NYMTC region’s jurisdictions to identify vulnerability assessments and resiliency plans, establish common goals, and make recommendations for strategies and projects under the region’s transportation improvement program (TIP) that will improve the resiliency of the system.

Related Organizations: New York Metropolitan Transportation Council

Resource Category: Planning

 

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California Extreme Heat Adaptation Final Guidance Document – Transportation Recommendations

October 2013

California’s Climate Action Team (CAT) developed the guidance document, Preparing California for Extreme Heat: Guidance and Recommendations, to provide California agencies with best practices for adapting to heat-related climate change impacts. Several of the recommendations focus on adaptations to the transportation sector and make recommendations for actions that can be taken by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to increase heat resilience. Transportation improvements, such as road pavement and the removal of vegetation, can contribute to higher temperatures in urban areas resulting in what are often referred to as urban heat islands.

Related Organizations: California Department of Public Health, California Climate Action Team (CAT)

Author or Affiliated User: Michael McCormick

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Transportation Elements of the City of Baltimore Disaster Preparedness and Planning Project (DP3)

October 2013

The City of Baltimore incorporated consideration of climate change in a combined all hazard mitigation and climate adaptation plan (“plan”); the plan was developed through a disaster preparedness and planning project (“DP3”).   The DP3 plan examines the vulnerability of the city’s transportation systems, including transit systems and critical transportation routes, among other vulnerabilities. 

Related Organizations: City of Baltimore, Maryland

Resource Category: Planning

 

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