Alliance was called in to help update the Federally mandated long range plan for the Shreveport-Bossier City metropolitan area. The Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (NLCOG) needed a full, comprehensive plan, as they were not satisfied with their current plan, so Alliance actually created an entirely new LRTP for them.
We essentially created the new plan from scratch. We redid the travel demand model, so the NLCOG could have full confidence in their investments. We recalculated the population and employment forecasts, to ensure they were accurate. The LRTP addressed regional and local transportation goals and objectives, and encompassed all modes of transportation.
Northwest Louisiana has an interesting geography, with a river running between the two parishes. Our challenge was to take a number of diverse factors into consideration when developing the long range plan, including the growth rates and the transit availability on either side of the river.
The project included extensive public outreach and stakeholder consultation, including public visioning meetings, detailed socioeconomic projections based on a local expert-driven Delphi Process, a complete update of the regional TDM to include a mode choice component, and an assessment of multiple land use-transportation scenarios.
The Delphi method enables us to do consensus building among a diverse group of non-governmental stakeholders, including developers, bankers, utilities, and real estate interests. Using this method, we are able to come to a consensus as to what will happen in uncertain situations. We have used Delphi successfully on a number of other projects, including some in Baton Rouge immediately after Katrina caused damaged to the infrastructure there.
Our public outreach was extensive on this project. We met with the community in person, in workshops and meetings, and online. We used public sentiment as to what was important to them, to prioritize the projects involved in the LRTP. Our focus on public engagement and participation was crucial to the success of the LRTP development process.
The plan also addressed Transportation System Management and Operation strategies, multimodal system deficiencies, safety concerns, and project travel demand for the horizon-year 2040. In addition to the traditional bike and pedestrian element, the project included a Caddo Parish specific bike plan to address special needs in the community. We also incorporated human services transportation coordination as well as an intense technical analysis, including environmental mitigation.
Alliance also conducted a series of scenario based planning exercises to inform the overall plan development. In addition, Alliance developed performance based metrics to use in a Project Selection Process (PSP) to address deficiencies in the MPOs triennial audit by FHWA. The PSP provides a link between the public visioning process, stakeholder input, and prioritization by the Technical Committee to address the multimodal needs through the 2040 planning horizon. The final plan included a list of prioritized projects based on both MAP-21/FAST Act compliant quantitative and qualitative performance measures that are both repeatable and transparent to the public, stakeholders and member agencies.
With this project and with all of our projects, Alliance is focused on developing plans that make lives better for our clients and for those in the community who depend on transportation. Using a combination of strong stakeholder engagement and scenario based planning, our team helped the Northwest Louisiana community and the NLCOG shape a vision that they can realistically implement and with which they can be successful.