Geographic Scope

The area included in the analysis should be the area over which the effects of the project and project alternatives will be felt. It will generally be greater than the geographic scope of the project itself.


A new transit route — Because of network effects, this is likely to increase use of connecting transit routes.

A highway widening — Because of queuing behind a highway bottleneck, the widening will reduce delay upstream from the bottleneck, increase traffic and possibly create delay downstream from the bottleneck, and affect routes that connect to the highway. Alternate routes may become less congested as traffic diverts to the highway that has been widened. There might also be a small reduction in the use of rail transit serving the same corridor because automobile travel has become more favorable relative to transit. Similarly, if there is an existing HOV lane, carpooling may decrease because the travel time advantage from the HOV lane is reduced.

A bridge is constructed to an island previously accessible only by boat — Property on the island increases in value because of reduced travel time and vehicle operating expenses. The increase in property value presumably captures the value of these reductions and could be compared directly to the cost of the bridge.