The objective of this project is to develop a research roadmap that can be used by the AASHTO Council on Active Transportation to focus its efforts to foster, support, monitor, disseminate, and implement research on active transportation. The roadmap will build upon existing research and be informed by outreach to the active transportation practitioner community. In addition to identifying research gaps and prioritizing research needs, the roadmap will align with the Council’s strategic plan for future Council activities, including collaboration with other AASHTO committees and councils. TREC at Portland State University will lead the project, with Toole Design Group as a partner.
Given constrained budgets and multiple policy objectives, transportation decision-makers and practitioners need reliable and meaningful research to help make better decisions. There are many examples of how research has informed practice. However, effectively synthesizing and using research in everyday practice is not easy. In 1992 there were just 13 journal articles or book chapters in the Web of Science on bicycling and 133 on walking or pedestrians. By 2018, the number of publications on those topics had risen to 2,488, a 17-fold increase. Despite the significant increase in the volume of published research on these topics, major gaps in our knowledge remain. The initial task for this project will include an inventory and analysis of existing research and research needs. We will then engage practitioners and researchers in helping to prioritize research needs and gaps. After digging deeper into the existing research on higher priority topics, we will conduct workshops and additional outreach to identify specific research needs and implementation pathways. The final products will include a review of the existing research, a research roadmap for the Council with research problem statements, and a plan for how the Council can implement the roadmap and continue to track research on these topics.