NEPA (National Environmental Protection Act) Travel Forecasting Guidance
Federal Highway Administration
Defensible land-use and travel forecasting is critical to a successful National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process since these forecasts supply information for purpose and need, alternatives analysis, and environmental impacts.
RSG supported FHWA’s Office of Project Development in developing procedural guidance on travel and land-use forecasting in the context of the NEPA process. The goal of this project was to provide the FHWA and its planning partners with travel forecasting-related guidance on the state-of-the-practice, relevant case law, and to describe good practice in a series of case studies.
The purpose of this interim guidance is to encourage improvement in the state-of-the-practice in project-level forecasting as it is applied in the context of the NEPA process. This guidance shares key considerations, collective lessons learned, and best practices regarding how to apply forecasting in NEPA. These can be used to help DOTs avoid common issues and improve the quality of forecasts, resulting in faster and more effective project delivery. While technical guidelines for producing forecasts for projects have been documented by others, guidance has not been provided on the procedural or process considerations in forecasting. This guidance attempts to fill that gap. The guidance, case law review, and case studies are available from FHWA at http://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/projdev/travel_landUse.asp