Organizations receiving federal funding have been required to evaluate Title VI issues and consider environmental justice impacts for decades but there has yet to be a comprehensive, systematic way to evaluate transportation projects for the disenfranchised populations protected under these mandates.
With mapping, data, and analysis tools being more democratized and readily available, a universal suite of tools should be created that can be customized by the organization based on region size, number of projects in the analysis, primary EJ concerns, concentrations of communities of concern, and available resources of the organization. These tools would be based around the benefits and burdens established by FHWA (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/environmental_justice/publications/reference_guide_2015/fhwahep15035..pdf), which includes the follow:
- Benefits = Disruption of community cohesion (e.g., access to
schools, parks, medical facilities, and religious
institutions), Adverse employment effects, Decline in tax base or property values, displacements, Increased noise and/or emissions, Diminished aesthetics, Disruption to businesses, parking/access to transit
- Burdens = Reduced travel times, Reduced congestion, Improved safety outcomes, Improved travel options