• 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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Hampton Roads Climate Change Adaptation Project

July 2012

Hampton Roads, Virginia engaged in a three-phase Climate Change Adaptation Project to identify impacts, assess the region’s vulnerabilities, and identify potential strategies for adapting to anticipated impacts. Part of the assessment focused on impacts to transportation infrastructure, although transportation impacts were only one issue of many analyzed in the three reports.

Related Organizations: Hampton Roads Planning District Commission

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Greenworks Philadelphia Plan - Transportation Recommendations

2009

Greenworks Philadelphia is a comprehensive six-year plan (“Plan”) that sets goals for “greening” the City of Philadelphia – increasing the city’s energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving the environmental quality of the city, and adapting to the dangers posed by climate change. This case study focuses only on the transportation-related recommendations included in the Plan – increasing the percentage of city assets in a “state of good repair” and using green infrastructure strategies to improve stormwater management and reduce flood impacts to transportation infrastructure.

Related Organizations: City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Philadelphia Water Department, Columbia University

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Green Infrastructure for Los Angeles: Addressing Urban Runoff and Water Supply through Low Impact Development

April 17, 2009

This report was designed to help the City of Los Angeles use low impact development (LID) techniques to address water quality, flood control, and climate change issues. LID is a strategy for managing stormwater runoff that uses natural drainage features to capture and filter urban runoff. From an environmental standpoint, LID reduces water pollution, replenishes aquifers, and encourages water reuse. From an adaptation standpoint, LID reduces stress on water supply and can provide shade trees, helping to reduce urban heat islands.

Related Organizations: City of Los Angeles, California

Author or Affiliated User: Haan-Fawn Chau

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Fuel NY Initiative

June 1, 2013

In 2013, New York passed a law and launched the Fuel NY Initiative, to increase the number of gas stations along critical routes that will be able to operate during power outages caused by extreme weather events or other disasters. In conjunction with this law, Governor Cuomo announced the Fuel NY Initiative, which provides funding to help gas stations meet the new backup power requirements. The law and Initiative were developed in response to Hurricane Sandy, which illustrated the many challenges caused when most gas stations lost power as a result of the storm and were not able to operate fuel pumps to dispense fuel needed for emergency response and recovery efforts.

Related Organizations: State of New York

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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French Broad River MPO Long Range Transportation Plan – Climate Change Chapter

September 23, 2010

The French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which includes Asheville, North Carolina and the surrounding area, included a climate change chapter in its 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), adopted in 2010. The chapter identifies the impacts that climate change has already caused in the mountains of Western North Carolina, and concludes that the primary future impact in the region will be climate variability. The chapter considers the risks expected to increase with greater temperature and precipitation variability, and identifies steps the MPO can take to adapt its infrastructure.

Related Organizations: French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Florida “Sacrificial” Roads Projects

2007

Recognizing the increasing maintenance and replacement costs for coastal roads in Florida due to more frequent flooding and storm surge, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) – Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division (EFL), assisted the National Park Service and other partners designing specific that are prone to be frequently washed out to have minimal environmental impact. Rising sea levels and coastal storms, which are projected to increase in intensity as a result of climate change, are creating more challenges for building and maintaining transportation infrastructure along coastal shorelines.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Florida Sea-level Rise Sketch Planning Tool for Transportation

October 2015

The University of Florida (UF) developed a geographic information system (GIS)-based “sketch planning tool” to help transportation planners in Florida identify transportation infrastructure potentially vulnerable to projected sea-level rise. The sketch planning tool offers a mapping function to visualize areas that will be affected by different sea-level rise scenarios based upon surface elevations and the location of infrastructure.   The tool is also customizable for experienced users to allow them to create more spatially refined inundation surfaces.

Related Organizations: University of Florida, Florida Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Federal Triangle Stormwater Drainage Study

October 2011

The Federal Triangle Stormwater Drainage study analyzed the causes of a 2006 flood event that put the Federal Triangle Area of Washington D. C. under up to 3 feet of water, including several major traffic arteries, tunnels, and subway stations. The Study analyzes possible alternatives to reducing the risk of interior drainage flooding, including permeable pavements and other Low Impact Development (LID) techniques. In considering the causes of flooding in the area, the Study uses the 200-year flood as a proxy for assessing how climate change may increase flood risks and the frequency of severe storm events.

Related Organizations: National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Emergency Relief Program: Sandy Disaster Aid Resilience Projects

2013

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) allocated $4. 3 billion of its disaster recovery money specifically for projects in the Sandy-impacted areas that increase the resilience of public transportation systems and facilities to future disasters and the impacts of climate change. Funding for resilience projects was allocated in separate tiers. First, for “locally-prioritized projects,” which include resilience improvements made in conjunction with other recovery and rebuilding projects or lower cost stand-alone projects that could be implemented quickly.

Related Organizations: Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) West Coast Adaptation Peer Exchange

June 13, 2011

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) West Coast Climate Change Adaptation Peer Exchange gave transportation officials from western states an opportunity to learn more about climate impacts on transportation assets and plan for improved resilience. The participants in the exchange, California DOT (Caltrans), Oregon DOT (ODOT), and Washington State DOT (WSDOT), collaborated on strategies for assessing risks related to climate change, incorporating adaptation into asset management and operations, and communicating about the need for adaptation.

Related Organizations: Washington State Department of Transportation, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), ICF International

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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