Addressing Climate Change Adaptation in Regional Transportation Plans

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Many cities, counties, and districts throughout California are evaluating risks to their infrastructure as they plan for climate change and sea level rise. Caltrans recognized the need to produce a guidance manual for Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Regional Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPAs) to support them in considering climate change impacts as part of their decision-making.

ESA is developing a guidance document that will provide MPOs and RTPAs with a method to assess relative risks and vulnerability to transportation systems. The document addresses prioritizing actions, identifying cost-effective strategies, and incorporating climate considerations into future siting, design, and investment decisions. The document provides an easy method to evaluate local transportation infrastructure and services using different climate stressors such as sea level rise, temperature changes, snowmelt, precipitation changes, flooding, and extreme weather events. This guidance is grounded in the broader planning and investment processes that MPOs and RTPAs already manage, and it provides a framework that allows agencies to select adaptation strategies that are consistent with their other program goals. Recognizing the varying capacities and resources among MPOs and RPTAs, methods are provided for both in-depth analysis and conceptual-level assessment.

ESA’s pioneering knowledge of climate change vulnerability created a user-friendly document that will inform policy development, project prioritization, and actions to minimize risk of sea level rise and climate change for MPOs and RPTAs throughout California.

Specialized Services

  • Sea level rise adaptation studies and vulnerability assessments