Context-sensitive solutions (CSS) reflect the need to consider highway projects as more than just transportation facilities. Depending on how highway projects are integrated into the community, they can have far-reaching impacts beyond their traffic or transportation function. CSS is a comprehensive process that brings stakeholders together in a positive, proactive environment to develop projects that not only meet transportation needs, but also improve or enhance the community. Achieving a flexible, context-sensitive design solution requires designers to fully understand the reasons behind the processes, design values, and design procedures that are used.
A Guide for Achieving Flexibility in Highway Design FHD-1 shows highway designers how to think flexibly, how to recognize the many choices and options they have, and how to arrive at the best solution for the particular situation or context. It also strives to emphasize that flexible design does not necessarily entail a fundamentally new design process, but that it can be integrated into the existing transportation culture. This publication represents a major step toward institutionalizing CSS into state transportation departments and other agencies charged with transportation project development.