American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
A nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. It represents all five transportation modes: air, highways, public transportation, rail and water. Its primary goal is to foster the development, operation and maintenance of an integrated national transportation system.
American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
Acting as a leading force in advancing public transportation, APTA serves and leads its diverse membership through advocacy, innovation, and information sharing to strengthen and expand public transportation.
Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
An Act to establish a clear and comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability. The legislation defines, under Title II, the responsibilities of and requirements for transportation providers to make transportation accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Analysis of Alternatives
It is the evaluation of all reasonable alternatives and general alignment options for identified transportation project in a particular, broadly defined travel corridor. It includes analysis of components like costs, benefits and impacts of potential changes.
Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)
Used as a method to determine how many vehicles travel on a road on a given day over a year’s time. This allows traffic planners to prioritize projects by comparing traffic counts to determine need.
Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO)
AMPO is a nonprofit, membership organization established in 1994 to serve the needs and interests of "metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs)" nationwide. AMPO offers its member MPOs technical assistance and training, conferences and workshops, frequent print and electronic communications, research, a forum for transportation policy development and coalition building, and a variety of other services.
Average Daily Traffic (ADT)
Used as a method to determine how many vehicles travel on a road on a given day. This allows traffic planners to prioritize projects by comparing traffic counts to determine need.
Categorical Exclusion (CE/Cat Ex)
A classification given to federal aid projects or actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant impact on the environment. Categorical Exclusions do not require extensive levels of environmental documentation.
Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA)
The original Clean Air Act was passed in 1963, but the national air pollution control program is actually based on the 1970 version of the law. The more recent 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments are the most far-reaching revisions of the 1970 law.
Community Impact Assessment (CIA)
Process to evaluate the effects of a transportation action on a community and its quality of life. The assessment process is an integral part of project planning and development that shapes the outcome of a project.
A broad linear geographical tract of land that follows a general directional flow connecting major sources of trips that may contain a number of streets, highways and transit route alignments. Often, new transport lines are built alongside existing ones to minimize pollution.
Descriptive term for a service type, usually considered paratransit, in which a user can access transportation service that can be variably routed and timed to meet changing needs on an as-needed basis.
Department of Transportation (DOT)
Establishes the nation's overall transportation policy. Under its umbrella there are ten administrations whose jurisdictions include highway planning, development and construction; urban mass transit; railroads; aviation; and the safety of waterways, ports, highways, and oil and gas pipelines. The Department of Transportation (DOT) was established by act of October 15, 1966, as amended (49 U.S.C. 102 and 102 note), "to assure the coordinated, effective administration of the transportation programs of the Federal Government" and to develop "national transportation policies and programs conducive to the provision of fast, safe, efficient, and convenient transportation at the lowest cost consistent therewith."
Design Build
A construction project that combines several services into a single contract. With design-build there is a single fixed-fee contract for architectural, engineering services and construction. The design-build team may be a single firm, a consortium, joint venture or other organization assembled for a specific project.
That act (action or inaction), whether intentional or unintentional, in any program or activity of a Federal aid recipient, sub recipient, or contractor that results in disparate treatment, disparate impact, or perpetuating the effects of prior discrimination, based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.
1) A person who operates a motorized vehicle. If more than one person drives on a single trip, the person who drives the most miles is classified as the principal driver. 2) An occupant of a vehicle who is in physical control of a motor vehicle in transport or, for an out of-control vehicle, an occupant who was in control until control was lost.
Environmental Assessment (EA)
A document prepared, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to determine whether a project would significantly affect the environment and require a more detailed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
Report developed as part of the National Environmental Policy Act requirements, which details any adverse economic, social, and environmental effects of a proposed transportation project for which Federal funding is being sought. Adverse effects could include air, water, or noise pollution; destruction or disruption of natural resources; adverse employment effects; injurious displacement of people or businesses; or disruption of desirable community or regional growth.
Environmental Justice (EJ)
Environmental justice assures that services and benefits allow for meaningful participation and are fairly distributed to avoid discrimination.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The federal regulatory agency responsible for administering and enforcing federal environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and others.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
FAA provides a safe, secure, and efficient global aerospace system that contributes to national security and the promotion of US aerospace safety. As the leading authority in the international aerospace community, FAA is responsive to the dynamic nature of customer needs, economic conditions, and environmental concerns.
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
A branch of the US Department of Transportation that administers the federal-aid Highway Program, providing financial assistance to states to construct and improve highways, urban and rural roads, and bridges. The FHWA also administers the Federal Lands Highway Program, including survey, design, and construction of forest highway system roads, parkways and park roads, Indian reservation roads, defense access roads, and other Federal lands roads. It is the Federal agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation responsible for administering the Federal-Aid Highway Program. Became a component of the Department of Transportation in 1967 pursuant to the Department of Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. app. 1651 note). It administers the highway transportation programs of the Department of Transportation under pertinent legislation
Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
The purpose of the Federal Railroad Administration is to promulgate and enforce rail safety regulations, administer railroad financial assistance programs, conduct research and development in support of improved railroad safety and national rail transportation policy, provide for the rehabilitation of Northeast corridor rail passenger service, and consolidate government support of rail transportation activities. The FRA was created pursuant to section 3(e)(1) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966 (49 U.S.C. app. 1652).
Federal Register
Daily publication which provides a uniform system for making regulations and legal notices issued by the Executive Branch and various departments of the Federal government available to the public.
Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
A branch of the US Department of Transportation that is the principal source of federal financial assistance to America's communities for planning, development, and improvement of public or mass transportation systems. FTA provides leadership, technical assistance, and financial resources for safe, technologically advanced public transportation to enhance mobility and accessibility, to improve the Nation's communities and natural environment, and to strengthen the national economy. (Formerly the Urban Mass Transportation Administration) operates under the authority of the Federal Transit Act, as amended (49 U.S.C. app. 1601 et seq.). The Federal Transit Act was repealed on July 5, 1994, and the Federal transit laws were codified and re-enacted as chapter 53 of Title 49, United States Code. The Federal Transit Administration was established as a component of the Department of Transportation by section 3 of Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1968 (5 U.S.C. app.), effective July 1, 1968. The missions of the Administration are 1) to assist in the development of improved mass transportation facilities, equipment, techniques, and methods, with the cooperation of mass transportation companies both public and private. 2) to encourage the planning and establishment of areawide urban mass transportation systems needed for economical and desirable urban development, with the cooperation of mass transportation companies both public and private. and 3) to provide assistance to State and local governments and their instrumentalities in financing such systems, to be operated by public or private mass transportation companies as determined by local needs; and 4) to provide financial assistance to State and local governments to help implement national goals relating to mobility for elderly persons, persons with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged persons.
Federal-aid Highway Program (FAHP)
An umbrella term for most of the Federal programs providing highway funds to the States. This is not a term defined in law. As used in this document, FAHP is comprised of those programs authorized in Titles I and V of TEA-21 that are administered by FHWA.
Finding Of No Significant Impact (FONSI)
An environmental document to show why a proposed project would not have a significant impact on the environment and thus would not require the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). A FONSI is based on the results of an Environmental Assessment (EA).
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Allows all U.S. citizens and residents to request any records in possession of the executive branch of any level of government. The term "records" includes documents, papers, reports, letters, films, photographs, sound recordings, computer tapes and disks.
A divided arterial highway designed for the unimpeded flow of large traffic volumes. Access to a freeway is rigorously controlled and intersection grade separations are required.
Geographic Information System (GIS)
1) Computerized data management system designed to capture, store, retrieve, analyze, and display geographically referenced information. 2) A system of hardware, software, and data for collecting, storing, analyzing, and disseminating information about areas of the Earth. For Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) purposes, Geographical Information System (GIS) is defined as a highway network (spatial data which graphically represents the geometry of the highways, an electronic map) and its geographically referenced component attributes (HPMS section data, bridge data, and other data including socioeconomic data) that are integrated through GIS technology to perform analyses. From this, GIS can display attributes and analyze results electronically in map form.
High Occupancy Vehicle Lane (HOV)
In an effort to ease traffic congestion, some metropolitan areas or states have implemented HOV lanes or constructed HOV roadways. These stretches of highway are generally restricted in use to vehicles with two or more passengers.
Highway Trust Fund (HTF)
An account established by law to hold Federal highway user taxes that are dedicated for highway and transit related purposes. The HTF has two accounts: the Highway Account, and the Mass Transit Account.
Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
The application of advanced technologies to improve the efficiency and safety of transportation systems.
The integration of multiple modes of transportation in a corridor or area.
Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA)
Legislative initiative by the U.S. Congress that restructured funding for transportation programs. ISTEA authorized increased levels of highway and transportation funding from FY92-97 and increased the role of regional planning commissions/MPOs in funding decisions. The Act also required comprehensive regional and Statewide long-term transportation plans and places an increased emphasis on public participation and transportation alternatives.
Land Use
Refers to the manner in which portions of land or the structures on them are used, i.e. commercial, residential, retail, industrial, etc.
Level of Service (LOS)
1) A qualitative assessment of a road's operating conditions. For local government comprehensive planning purposes, level of service means an indicator of the extent or degree of service provided by, or proposed to be provided by, a facility based on and related to the operational characteristics of the facility. Level of service indicates the capacity per unit of demand for each public facility. 2) This term refers to a standard measurement used by transportation officials which reflects the relative ease of traffic flow on a scale of A to F, with free-flow being rated LOS-A and congested conditions rated as LOS-F.
Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
Persons who, usually as a result of their national origin, read, speak, write or understand English less than very well.
Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP)
A document resulting from regional or statewide collaboration and consensus on a region or state's transportation system, and serving as the defining vision for the region's or state's transportation systems and services. In metropolitan areas, the plan indicates all of the transportation improvements scheduled for funding over the next 20 years.
Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)
1) Regional policy body, required in urbanized areas with populations over 50,000, and designated by local officials and the governor of the state. Responsible in cooperation with the state and other transportation providers for carrying out the metropolitan transportation planning requirements of federal highway and transit legislation. 2) Formed in cooperation with the state, develops transportation plans and programs for the metropolitan area. For each urbanized area, a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) must be designated by agreement between the Governor and local units of government representing 75% of the affected population (in the metropolitan area), including the central cities or cities as defined by the Bureau of the Census, or in accordance with procedures established by applicable State or local law (23 U.S.C. 134(b)(1)/Federal Transit Act of 1991 Sec. 8(b)(1)).
Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP)
The official intermodal transportation plan that is developed and adopted through the metropolitan transportation planning process for the metropolitan planning area, in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 134, 23 USC 135 and 49 U.S.C. 5303.
Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCS)
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established as a separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000, pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999. The primary mission of FMCS is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses . FMCSA is headquartered in Washington, DC. We employ more than 1,000 individuals, in all 50 States and the District of Columbia, dedicated to improving bus and truck safety and saving lives.
Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)
MAP-21 (P.L. 112-141) is a funding and suthorization bill to govenr US federal surface transprotation spending. It was signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012. MAP-21 is the first long-term highway authorization enacted since 2005. It is a two0year bill that does not significantly alter total funding from the previous authorization, but it does include many significant reforms like consilidation of key funding programs, streamling of the environmental review process for faster project development, a national freight policy was developed abd tolling was reformed.
Multimodal Transportation
The availability of transportation options using different modes within a system or corridor. Often used as a synonym for intermodalism. Congress and others frequently use the term intermodalism in its broadest interpretation as a synonym for multimodal transportation.
National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP)
The cooperative research, development, and technology transfer (RD&T) program directed toward solving problems of national or regional significance identified by States and the FHWA, and administered by the Transportation Research Board (TRB), National Academy of Sciences.
National Cooperative Transit Research and Development Program (NCTRP)
A program established under Section 6a) of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, as amended, to provide a mechanism by which the principal client groups of the Urban Mass Transportation Administration can join cooperatively in an attempt to resolve near-term public transportation problems through applied research, development, testing, and evaluation. NCTRP is administered by the Transportation Research Board(TRB).
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)
Established by the President's Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) in 1969, NEPA is a national environmental policy requiring that any project using federal funding or requiring federal approval, including transportation projects, examine the effects of proposed and alternative choices on the environment before a federal decision is made.
National Highway System (NHS)
The National Highway System (NHS) includes the Interstate Highway System as well as other roads important to the nation's economy, defense, and mobility. The NHS was developed by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in cooperation with the states, local officials, and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs).
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
The Administration was established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970 (23 U.S.C. 401 note). The Administration was established to carry out a congressional mandate to reduce the mounting number of deaths, injuries, and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes on the Nation's highways and to provide motor vehicle damage susceptibility and ease of repair information, motor vehicle inspection demonstrations and protection of purchasers of motor vehicles having altered odometers, and to provide average standards for greater vehicle mileage per gallon of fuel for vehicles under 10,000 pounds (gross vehicle weight).
Does not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for one or more pollutants.
Nonattainment Area (NAA)
Any geographic area that has not met the requirements for clean air as set out in the Clean Air Act of 1990.
Specific, measurable statements related to the attainment of goals.
1) Comparable transportation service required by the American Disabilities Act (ADA) for individuals with disabilities who are unable to use fixed route transportation systems. (49CFR37) (APTA1) 2) A variety of smaller, often flexibly scheduled-and-routed transportation services using low-capacity vehicles, such as vans, to operate within normal urban transit corridors or rural areas. These services usually serve the needs of persons that standard mass-transit services would serve with difficulty, or not at all. Often, the patrons include the elderly and persons with disabilities.
Participating Agency
A federal department or agency which transferred (consolidated) vehicles to the Interagency Fleet Management System (IFMS).
Peak Hour
The 1-hour period during which the roadway carries the greatest number of vehicles. Traffic impacts are typically evaluated during the morning and afternoon peak hours when the greatest number of motorists are traveling to and from work.
Performance Measures
Indicators of how well the transportation system is performing with regard to such things as average speed, reliability of travel, and accident rates. Used as feedback in the decisionmaking process.
Program Development
An element in the planning process in which improvements are formalized in the transportation improvement program and provides more detailed strategies.
Priortizing proposed projects and matching those projects with available funds to accomplish agreed upon, stated needs.
A locally sponsored, coordinated, and administered program, or any part thereof, to plan, finance, construct, maintain, or improve an intermodal passenger terminal, which may incorporate civic or cultural activities where feasible in an architecturally or historically distinctive railroad passenger terminal.
Project Planning Stakeholders
Individuals and organizations involved in or affected by the transportation planning process. Include federal/state/local officials, MPOs, transit operators, freight companies, shippers, and the general public.
Public Hearing
Required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), it is designed to provide the public the latest project information and an opportunity to express concerns about the project in a public forum at which all public comments are documented.
Public Participation
The active and meaningful involvement of the public in the development of transportation plans and programs.
Regional Planning Organization (RPO)
An organization that performs planning for multi-jurisdictional areas both urban and rural. MPOs, regional councils, economic development associations, rural transportation associations are examples of RPOs.
Right of Way
A right of way is a type of land easement (usually a strip) granted or reserved for transportation purposes, this can be for a highway, public footpath, a canal, railway or any public purposes. It is is reserved for the purposes of maintenance or expansion of existing services within the right-of-way.
Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)
Guarantees funding for highways, highway safety, and public transportation totaling $244.1 billion, SAFETEA-LU represents the largest surface transportation investment in our Nation's history. It was signed into law by President George W. Bush on August 10, 2005, and expired on September 30, 2009. Congress renewed its funding formulas ten times after its expiration date, until replacing the bill with Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act in 2012.
Smart Growth
A set of policies and programs designed to protect, preserve, and economically develop established communities and valuable natural and cultural resources. It suggests to plan for growth in companct walkable urban centers to avoid sprawl.
Person or goup affected by a transportation plan, program or project. Person or group believing that are affected by a transportation plan, program or project. Residents of affected geographical areas.
State Implementation Plan (SIP)
The State Implementation Plan (SIP) is a plan for each State which identifies how that State will attain and/or maintain the primary and secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) set forth in section 109 of the Clean Air Act ("the Act") and 40 Code of Federal Regulations 50.4 through 50.12 and which includes federally-enforceable requirements. Each State is required to have a SIP which contains control measures and strategies which demonstrate how each area will attain and maintain the NAAQS. These plans are developed through a public process, formally adopted by the State, and submitted by the Governor's designee to EPA. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to review each plan and any plan revisions and to approve the plan or plan revisions if consistent with the Clean Air Act.
State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)
The STIP is the state's 4-10 year capital improvement program that includes the MPO and Rural TIPs, and contains all phases of transportation projects to be built during the four-year period. Projects must be consistent with the sStatewide Transportation Plan (STP) and metropolitan long-range plans and processes.
Statewide Transportation Plan
The official 30 year statewide intermodal transportation plan that is developed through the statewide transportation planning process. States are required to conduct continuing, comprehensive and collaborative intermodal statewide transportation planning that facilitates the efficient, economic movement of people and goods in all areas of the state, including metropolitan areas.
Surface Transportation Program (STP)
Federal-aid highway funding program that funds a broad range of surface transportation capital needs, including many roads, transit, sea and airport access, vanpool, bike, and pedestrian facilities.
Title VI
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in any program receiving federal assistance.
Transportation Bill
The bill refers to the market value of all purchases of transportation services and facilities; it includes all domestic expenditures made by an economy for transportation purposes. Although the transportation bill does not reflect several significant non-market costs, it is a useful indicator of a country's transportation expenditures, and transportation analysts closely follow changes in the bill and its components.It is interchangeably used for "Transportation Act".
Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21)
Authorized in 1998, TEA-21 authorized federal funding for transportation investment for fiscal years 1998-2003. Approximately $217 billion in funding was authorized, which was used for highway, transit, and other surface transportation programs.
Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)
A TIP is a capital improvement program developed cooperatively with local and state transportation entities by a metropolitan planning organization that lists projects to be funded with FHWA/FTA funds for the next 3 to 5 years. It is a short-term programming document that includes a list of multi-modal transportation projects, such as highway, transit and bicycle, etc.
Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP)
A statement of work identifying the planning priorities and activities to be carried out within a metropolitan/regional planning area. At a minimum, a UPWP includes a description of the planning work and resulting products, who will perform the work, time frames for completing the work, the cost of the work, and the source(s) of funds.
Visioning is a planning and policy exercise that engages community stakeholders in creating a consensus about the future of their community. Visions describe the desired future (or futures) of communities and outline clear strategies for reaching the desired future(s), based on present conditions and anticipated future trends. *
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