Advances in Decision Sciences
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 725080, 25 pages
Research Article

Characteristics of Effective Collaboration in Response to Diversified Transportation Planning Authority

Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research, 530 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903, USA

Received 17 December 2010; Revised 25 May 2011; Accepted 4 July 2011

Academic Editor: Andreas Soteriou

Copyright © 2011 John S. Miller. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Advantages of decentralized transportation planning responsibilities may include reduced project delivery cost, the integration of comprehensive long-range planning with regional land use, and greater accountability regarding local concerns. Yet disadvantages may include a tendency for operations to dominate longer-term planning, inconsistent operational standards, and difficulty in achieving network benefits, since some transportation links may provide benefits to the entire system but not to the immediate area where the link is located. To surmount these challenges in a decentralized environment, agencies need to cooperate effectively. Characteristics of effective collaboration include (1) experienced personnel, (2) credibility of the deciding entity, (3) transparency of decision-making processes, (4) an authority with sufficient power and/or funding to encourage implementation of key initiatives, (5) clear incentives for cooperation, and, of special importance given limited resources, and (6) an ability to evaluate tradeoffs. An access management case study demonstrates how agencies may use these characteristics to advance challenging projects in a decentralized environment.