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Cooperative Agreements for Corridor Management, NCHRP Synthesis 337 by Kristine M. Williams (Transportation Research Board, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418; ph. 202-334-2934; http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore) (2004)


The willingness of each party to work toward a common vision and to compromise for mutual benefit can form the basis of a lasting and effective agreement on corridor management.

A growing number of transportation agencies are engaging in corridor management plans and projects to preserve the safety and mobility of major thoroughfares. Corridor management involves the application of strategies in one or more of the following areas: access management, land use and subdivision management, right-of-way needs and preservation, operational strategies, intergovernmental coordination, and financing of corridor management improvements. The policy, programmatic, and funding actions needed to carry out these strategies generally transcend the authority, resources, or jurisdiction of any single group or unit of government. Therefore, cooperation is necessary between governmental entities, and often with private entities as well, to accomplish corridor management objectives.

The need to formalize cooperation has led many state transportation agencies to enter cooperative agreements with local governments and other affected parties that are aimed at strengthening land use and transportation linkages. These cooperative agreements often require each involved party to verify its level of commitment to managing the corridor and to specify their respective roles and responsibilities. Cooperation between

agencies may take the form of resolutions, memorandums of understanding or agreement, intergovernmental agreements, or some combination of these methods. Public-private agreements relating to corridor management objectives may also be pursued between state or local agencies and property owners.

Despite evidence of increasing use of cooperative agreements for corridor management, little information is available on best practices. The objective of the synthesis is to identify the state of current practice in developing and implementing cooperative agreements for corridor management, elements of such agreements, and best practices or lessons learned. The focus is on cooperative agreements between two or more government agencies or between public and private entities on corridor management issues.

Of the 22 agencies that responded to a survey, 13 have entered into some type of cooperative agreement to manage arterial corridors to preserve mobility and safety. Nine of these 13 agencies indicated that they use two or more types of agreements to forge cooperation with other agencies or private entities and 6 have used three or more types. The most common types of agreements reported were memorandums of understanding (69%), maintenance agreements (54%), and public-private or development agreements (54%). Typical elements of cooperative agreements included purpose and need, duration, coverage, authority, roles and responsibilities, enforcement mechanisms, monitoring or renegotiation mechanisms, and

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