• TRB 100th Annual Meeting - A Virtual Event

      January 2021

    • Online Program


Annual Meeting Event Detail

Workshop 113

Decarbonizing Transportation: Developing Specific Strategies for State Departments of Transportation

Sunday, January 07 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM ET
Timothy Sexton, Minnesota Department of Transportation
Sponsored by:
Standing Committee on Transportation and Sustainability (ADD40)

A National Cooperative Highway Research Program project will address the question “What can state DOTs to do reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector?”  The workshop is meant to inform that project, and state DOTs efforts in general, by bringing together a diverse group of traditional and non-traditional perspectives to discuss and provide recommendations around planning, system efficiency, vehicles, fuels, etc.  The agenda will include some brief updates about current efforts to decarbonize transportation from three state DOTs followed by facilitated small group discussions and an engaging panel discussion/report-out. 

Introduction and overview – 15 minutes, Tim Sexton, Minnesota DOT

 Presentations about existing efforts of state DOTs to decarbonize the transportation sector (CA, WA, MN) – 45 min total (15 min each), Ellen Greenberg, Caltrans; Karin Landsberg, Washington State DOT; and Tim Sexton, Minnesota DOT

 Facilitated small group discussions by national experts in transportation and sustainability – 60 min, Jeff Ang-Olson, ICF International; Giovanni Circella, UC Davis; Damon Fordham, The Cadmus Group; Marie Venner, Venner Consulting

Panel discussion to share results of small group conversations - 45 min, Ellen Greenberg, Caltrans

Discussion Questions

The Role of State DOTs

1.      What has been the role of state DOTs in reducing transportation sector GHGs in the past 10 years? 

2.      Where could/should be the role of state DOTs in the future?

3.      Are there certain action that make most sense to happen at the state DOT level, versus other levels of government (e.g., city, county, regional, federal)?

Big Picture

4.      Developments in CV/AV and shared use mobility could have profound effects on transportation GHG emissions. What can state DOTs do to help ensure these developments support climate change goals?

5.      The three revolutions (autonomous, shared, and electric vehicles) will have profound effects on the transportation system and the role of state DOTs, and significant implications for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

6.      What steps can state DOTs take to ensure they are not only prepared for these revolutions and positioned to ensure they promote a low carbon transportation sector of the future?


  1. Given the need for state DOTs to partner with others to influence action and ensure progress, who are the main partners and stakeholders with whom state DOTs should be actively coordinating?


Project Focus

8.      How do state DOTs assess the GHG impacts of highway capacity expansion projects, including managed lanes, and how can we ensure these projects support GHG reduction goals? We still have a long way to go to understand GHG impacts of traditional highway projects, including managed lanes.E.g., how well do DOTs account for factors like speed changes, induced demand, and vehicle occupancy changes?

9.      State DOTs often work with local partner agencies when highway system improvements are needed for new land development projects. How can DOTs better coordinate their transportation decisions with land use decisions to achieve GHG reductions?


Title Presentation Number
Decarbonization of Transport in California
Ellen Greenberg, California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS)
Decarbonization of Transport in Washington State
Karin Landsberg, Washington State Department of Transportation

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