Incorporating security into the transportation planning process.

Incorporating security into the transportation planning process.

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    Research report; 2008-2009.
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    The transportation system is an important network established to ensure the mobility of people and goods between destinations. In addition, it also serves a vital role in responding to disasters, and therefore deserves special attention when those disasters threaten to decrease its support capability. The task of securing a transportation system consisting of multiple interconnected assets is a complex responsibility. As an owner and operator of major transportation infrastructure, state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) have a vested interest in ensuring this balance and represent an important mediator between federal and local interests, assuming nine key security planning roles in their traditional transportation planning duties: Coordinator, Analyzer/Planner, Financial Administrator, Infrastructure Owner, Infrastructure Operator, Implementer, Regulator, Information Provider, and Influencer. Through their internal vulnerability assessments, the departments already perform a vital security planning function that can support their own planning efforts as well as others. Incorporating security into the transportation planning process requires modification as feedback of implementation methods is received. It does not mean transforming the DOT into a security agency, but rather incorporating a security perspective into the analysis of the system. This first involves establishing a more solid role as a coordinator in order to solidify vital linkages between agencies relevant to security planning. This interaction should reveal standardization issues the DOT can address in order to ensure effective collaboration, communication and coordination. Funding security measures may be difficult; but by incorporating security measures into initial analyzation and planning processes, they can be brought into the broader concept of the system rather than simply added as additional funding needs. The nine roles suggested earlier offer opportunities for state DOTs to overcome these and other challenges faced in the process of incorporating security into the transportation planning process. Through these roles, state DOTs can ensure that security efforts reach the parts of the system that require them and begin to build a more secure system.
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