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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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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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Assessment of the Body of Knowledge on Incorporating Climate Change Adaptation Measures into Transportation Projects

December 2013

Prepared for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), this report presents climate change adaptation actions from transportation agencies across the country, and best practices for implementing adaptive solutions. The report also discusses strategies and provides examples for evaluating the costs and benefits of adaptation.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

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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Atlantic City - Compressed Natural Gas Jitney Buses Used for Evacuations During Hurricane Sandy

November 2012

Atlantic City, New Jersey used minibuses known as “jitneys” that were powered by compressed natural gas in their emergency planning efforts for Hurricane Sandy. Because the vehicles run on an alternative fuel, they were able to continue operating when gasoline was in short supply during and after the hurricane.

Related Organizations: Atlantic City Office of Emergency Management

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Boston Architectural College Green Alley Initiative

October 2013

The Boston Architectural College (BAC) installed a green alley demonstration project on its campus located in the Back Bay area of Boston along the Charles River.   The green alley used permeable pavement to allow stormwater to percolate through the road bed to recharge groundwater and filter pollutants.   The project was designed to be replicable and to help with public education on the benefits and design of green infrastructure. The purpose of the green alley is to reduce polluted runoff by filtering and redirecting rainfall to the groundwater table.

Related Organizations: Boston Architectural College, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Boston Complete Streets: Design Guidelines

2013

The Boston Transportation Department and other Boston city agencies have developed Complete Streets guidelines that incorporate green infrastructure components such as permeable pavements and street trees to address impacts of climate change including increased heat and precipitation. “Complete streets” are designed to create more sustainable transportation networks by encouraging multi-modal travel options and enhancing the natural environment within the public right-of-way.  By promoting the use of green infrastructure, the City can help reduce the urban heat island effect and mitigate flooding.

Related Organizations: City of Boston, Massachusetts, Boston Transportation Department

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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California Climate Action Team Sea-Level Rise Guidance Document – for use by Caltrans and other State Agencies

March 2013

The State of California Sea-Level Rise Guidance Document was developed by the Coastal and Ocean Working Group of the California Climate Action Team (CO-CAT) to provide guidance for incorporating sea-level rise (SLR) projections into planning and decision-making in California. The guidance provides ranges of SLR for all California agencies, including the Department of Transportation (CalTrans), to be used for risk-based scenario planning and assessments, such as long term transportation planning and vulnerability assessments.

Related Organizations: California Climate Action Team (CAT), State of California

Resource Category: Planning

 

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California Climate Adaptation Strategy - Energy and Transportation Infrastructure

December 2009

Chapter X of the 2009 California Climate Adaptation Strategy (CAS) summarizes projected climate change impacts to transportation and energy infrastructure in the state, and recommends adaptation strategies to address those impacts. California’s extensive infrastructure system will likely be subject to climate change-related impacts from higher temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, sea-level rise, and extreme weather events. To adapt to these impacts, the CAS recommends four adaptation strategies for transportation infrastructure: develop a climate vulnerability assessment; incorporate climate change into existing investment decisions; develop design standards to minimize risks; and incorporate climate change considerations into disaster preparedness planning.

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), California Natural Resources Agency

Resource Category: Planning

 

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California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) – Green Technologies for Reducing Slope Erosion

January 28, 2010

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Division of Research and Innovation conducted a Preliminary Investigation (PI) to identify strategies for reducing roadside slope erosion and preventing costly slope failures as climate change alters patterns of precipitation in California. The PI found that in general, California is a leader in erosion control and stormwater management, but recommended follow-up research on the effectiveness of specific plants or “green” products that may enhance or improve the nature-based methods for stabilizing slopes that California has already begun to implement.

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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