Improving Collaboration and Consensus Building in the Coordination of Access Management and Land Use in Corridor Planning

Report No: 15-R20

Published in 2015

About the report:

The success of access management depends on the coordination of access management planning and land use planning, but the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has control over access management in Virginia and cities and counties adjacent to a road in Virginia have control over land use; as a consequence, consensus is needed if access management and land use are to be adequately coordinated. Virginia’s Commonwealth Transportation Board asked that VDOT increase and improve the collaboration with localities along Virginia’s Corridors of Statewide Significance (CoSS) in order to improve the coordination between access management planning and land use planning.

The purpose of this study was to determine the approach that VDOT could take to increase collaboration and to improve the quality of collaboration and consensus building in the planning for the CoSS and also for the principal arterials not included in the CoSS. The study examined and analyzed the literature on collaboration and consensus building and examined several case studies of attempts to incorporate collaboration in transportation planning.

The study concluded that despite the fact that the incorporation of a fully collaborative process in the negotiations between VDOT and localities along the CoSS and along the principal arterials that are not part of the CoSS is not feasible at this time, collaboration could be incorporated in negotiations wherever it is deemed useful and feasible to do so. The study also concluded that the use of professional facilitators to facilitate meetings would go a long way toward ensuring that the engagement among VDOT, local governments, and all stakeholders along all of these corridors would be as collaborative as possible in the current environment.

The recommendations of the study are as follows:

  1. At a minimum, where feasible, VDOT’s Transportation and Mobility Planning Division (TMPD) should hire professional facilitators to organize and lead planning meetings for the CoSS and for the principal arterials not included in the CoSS that involve negotiations among VDOT and local governments, stakeholders, and citizens. The TMPD’s on-call transportation planning consultant contracts and, in appropriate situations, contracts for specific studies should include provisions for the consultant to be able to provide professional facilitator services when needed. It is important to ensure that the facilitators used are properly trained and have experience facilitating meetings among state departments of transportation and local governments, stakeholders, and the public.

  2. Where feasible, the TMPD should also use professional facilitators to assist in achieving consensus among stakeholders along the principal arterials that are not included in the CoSS.
Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Roger W. Howe

Last updated: November 12, 2023

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