The opportunity to reach a given end use within a certain time frame, or without being impeded by physical, social or economic barriers. Typically, accessibility is the extent to which transportation improvements make connections between geographic areas or portions of the region that were not previously well connected.
The cleanliness of the air; the fewer pollutants in the air, the better the air quality.
The route that an improvement, such as a bus or light rail line, could take through a corridor.
A feasible transportation improvement that is under consideration.
Federal Law that requires public facilities, including transportation services, to be fully accessible for persons with disabilities.
The nation’s intercity passenger rail system. Amtrak is the brand name of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, a quasi-governmental agency created in 1971.
A major street, primarily for through traffic, usually with unlimited access to adjacent streets.
The total volume of traffic in both directions on a highway during a time period of greater than one day but less than a year, then divided by the number of days for which traffic data were collected.
Public transportation systems consisting of rubber-tired bus vehicles operating on dedicated right-of-way or lanes of existing roadways reserved exclusively for bus transit. Bus vehicle design can vary, including articulated buses for high demand, and can be diesel, gasoline or alternative fuel powered. BRT typically serves urban and suburban areas with traffic signal priority and station platforms, usually 0.25 to 2 miles apart.
The maximum amount of traffic on any transportation facility that can be accommodated and still function.
A road that collects and distributes traffic. Sometimes built next to an expressway to collect traffic from the area and then funnel it onto the expressway. Generally fewer lanes than an arterial.
High capacity public transportation systems consisting of electric or diesel propelled train sets usually operating in right-of-way at ground level or an embankment. Commuter rail typically operates between a central city and its suburbs with station spacing generally 2 - 5 miles apart.
The design of roadways to safely and comfortably provide for the needs of all users, including, but not limited to, motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, transit passengers, school bus riders, commercial goods movement, persons with disabilities, seniors, and emergency users.
The process to assess the compliance of any transportation plan, program, or project with air quality control plans. The conformity process is defined by the Clean Air Act and related amendments.
This measure indicates how many vehicle miles are traveled over the threshold for congestion conditions. If there is no congestion, then Congested VMT would be zero, however if traffic builds beyond the limit for congestion, then this measure would report the difference, or the amount causing the congestion.
A plan developed by a Transportation Management Area (TMA) that provides for effective management of new and existing transportation facilities through the use of travel demand reduction and operational management strategies.
Cargo is commercial goods that are being transported. Containers are standard-size, metal boxes that carry cargo and can be moved between modes, like between a ship, railcar or truck. Container on Flatcar (COFC) and Trailer on Flatcar (TOFC) are containers or truck trailers that sit on and are transported by flatbed railcars.
An interdisciplinary approach that seeks effective, multimodal transportation solutions by working with stakeholders to develop, build and maintain cost-effective transportation facilities which fit into and reflect the project's scenic, economic, historic, and natural surroundings.
Descriptive characteristics of populations. Examples include age, race and ethnicity, gender, income, employment and household status.
The place where a trip ends.
Surrounding conditions or circumstances, including both the natural and built environment.
An Executive Order requiring to the greatest extent possible allowed by law, administer and implement its federal programs, policies, and activities that affect human health or the environment so as to identify and avoid disproportionately high and adverse effects on minority and low-income populations.
Methods, strategies or actions to reduce the negative (direct, indirect and/or cumulative) effects of a transportation project on the environment.
A controlled-access, divided highway for through traffic. Intersections with other roads are separated by different road levels.
Division of the U.S. Department of Transportation that oversees and funds aviation planning and programs.
Division of the U.S. Department of Transportation that oversees and funds highway planning and programs.
Division of the U.S. Department of Transportation that oversees and funds railroad planning and programs.
Division of the U.S. Department of Transportation that oversees and funds transit planning and programs.
A controlled-access, divided highway for through traffic. Intersections with other roads are separated by different road levels.
Commercial goods carried by a vehicle, usually a truck, plane, train or ship; also known as cargo.
A calculation or estimate of future conditions.
A method of cataloging a road’s purpose and design. Roads are generally classified as Interstates, Freeways / Expressways, Arterials (principal or minor, urban or non-urban), Collectors (major or minor, urban or non-urban), and local roads (urban or non-urban).
Public transportation system consisting of steel wheeled, high performance electric powered rail vehicles operating in train sets. HRT usually operates in a right-of-way that is fully grade separated (elevated, trench, or subway) and serves denser urban areas with station spacing generally 1 mile apart.
Term used to describe higher capacity roads; also includes rights of way, bridges, railroad crossings, tunnels, drainage structures, signs, guardrails, and protective structures in connection with highways.
High Occupancy Toll is a road pricing scheme that allows lower occupancy vehicles to gain access to High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes by paying a toll.
HOV is an acronym for High Occupancy Vehicle and is typically used in association with travel lanes dedicated to a vehicle with a specified number of occupants being 2 or greater.
The skills, competencies, and knowledge embodied in the ability to perform work that produces economic value.
A coordinated plan for transit service delivery developed with transportation and human service providers that addresses the needs of individuals with disabilities, older adults, and low-income individuals, and that prioritizes transportation services for funding and implementation.
Responsible for coordinating and implementing programs concerning air safety, airport construction and other aeronautical activities throughout the state. The Division operates the state owned executive air service, and it cooperates with local law enforcement and other agencies throughout the state to provide emergency or disaster related air service as needed using the state fleet of utility aircraft.
The Division of Highways is responsible for planning, designing, constructing, operating and maintaining a safe highway system that links the state together. They also work with local governments to ensure that the system accommodates local community development priorities and respects the needs of alternative local modes of transportation.
The Division of Public and Intermodal Transportation develops, implements, and advocates for policies and practices that promote safe, efficient, affordable, reliable, and coordinated mass and rail transit.
This division is responsible for highway safety activities and compiles crash data and evaluates and analyzes the information to identify highway improvements in problem areas.
This office is responsible for managing the planning and programming of the state’s transportation system. Planning activities include the State Transportation Plan, coordinating with the 14 metropolitan planning organizations and working with the non-metropolitan areas in addressing the state’s transportation needs.
A term connoting the physical underpinnings of society at large, including, but not limited to, roads, bridges, transit, water and waste systems, public housing, sidewalks, utility installations, parks, public buildings and communication networks.
The collection, storage, processing, and distribution of information relating to the movement of people and goods, including systems for traffic management, public transportation management, emergency management, traveler information, advanced vehicle control and safety, commercial vehicle operations, electronic payment, and railroad grade crossing safety.
The system of highways that connects the principal metropolitan areas, cities, and industrial centers of the United States. The Interstate System also connects the US to internationally significant routes in Mexico and Canada. The routes of the Interstate System are selected jointly by the state department of transportation for each state and the adjoining states, subject to the approval of the US Secretary of Transportation.
Refers to how land and the structures (development) on it are used, i.e., commercial, residential, retail, industrial, etc.
High capacity public transportation systems consisting of steel wheeled electric powered rail vehicles operating in train sets. LRT can operate in right-of-way that is grade separated or can operate in mixed traffic (street running). Typically serves urban and dense suburban areas with station spacing generally 1 mile apart.
A qualitative measure describing operational conditions and the perception of transportation users of the existing conditions. Generally using six levels of service ranging from A to F, with level of service A representing the best operating conditions and level of service F the worst. Initially used to define the road network, the concept has been expanded to include bicycle and pedestrian conditions.
A low-volume, high-access road intended solely for access to adjacent properties.
A transportation plan typically covering a twenty-year plus timeframe that includes policies and/or planned major transportation improvements.
A “high-type highway or transit improvement of substantial cost that is expected to have a significant effect on capacity, traffic, level of service or mode share at the transportation corridor or sub-area scale.”
Highway facilities or a set of lanes where operational strategies are proactively implemented. These operational strategies can include pricing (tolls, congestion pricing), vehicle eligibility (carpools and buses), and/or access control (express or reversible lanes).
Formed in cooperation with the state, the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) develops long range transportation plans and transportation improvement programs for metropolitan area greater than 50,000 in population.
Census Bureau delineation for major metro areas in the U.S. Also includes standard (SMSA) and consolidated metropolitan statistical area (CMSA).
The ability to move or be moved from place to place. Typically, mobility is the ease with which movement can occur between geographic areas or parts of the region.
Forms of transportation, such as personal motorized vehicle, public transit, bicycling and walking. Intermodal refers to the connections between modes, and multi-modal refers to the availability of transportation options within a system or corridor.
The federal law that requires the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Environmental Assessment (EA), or Categorical Exclusion (CE).
A graphic and/or mathematical representation of multimodal paths in a transportation system.
Non-motorized transportation, also known as active transportation and human powered transportation, includes walking and bicycling, as well as small-wheeled transport (skates, skateboards, push scooters and hand carts) and wheelchair travel.
How a transportation network functions; operational strategies are techniques that influence how a network functions. For example, traffic signals and signs are operational activities that control traffic.
A service generally provided for the disabled or elderly which provides trips in response to customer calls. Generally, not a scheduled fixed-route service.
The time period, usually in the morning and afternoon, when demand for transportation is high.
Eight policy factors required for consideration in the development of a Long Range Transportation Plan:
A place or area usually on a waterway for loading or unloading freight. Sometimes other locations such as airports have a ‘port’ designation for commercial freight activity.
The active and meaningful involvement of the public in the development of transportation plans and improvement programs.
A contractual agreement between a public agency (federal, state or local) and a private sector entity in which the skills and assets of each sector (public and private) are shared in delivering a service or facility for the use of the general public. Each party also shares the risks and rewards potential in the delivery of the service and/or facility.
Any road or street under the jurisdiction of and maintained by a public authority and open to public traffic.
Generally refers to passenger service provided to the general public along established routes with fixed or variable schedules at published fares. Related terms include transit, mass transit, public transportation or paratransit. Transit modes include commuter rail, heavy or light transit, bus, or other vehicles designated for commercial transportation of non-related persons.
A term used to describe the lifestyle conditions of an area. Conditions include the scale and depth of opportunities or choices in housing, employment, transportation, the natural environment, education, health care, and recreational and entertainment activities.
A SOV is a vehicle that carries only one occupant (the driver) to a destination.
A term used to describe social and economic factors, generally resulting from an analysis of demographics of a population.
The SIP is a blueprint for defining methods and tools to educate and engage all stakeholders in the decision-making process for a project. The SIP provides the framework for achieving consensus and communicating the decision-making process between the general public, public agencies, and governmental officials to identify transportation solutions for the project.
A process that will facilitate effective identification and understanding of the (SIP) concerns and values of all stakeholders as an integral part of the project development process. It includes a formal written plan explaining how public input and comments will be obtained.
Address present and future needs while not harming the natural resources and unique human-environmental systems, including air, water, land, energy, and human ecology and/or those of other sustainable systems.
Strategies and collective efforts designed to achieve reductions in vehicular travel demand. In general, TDM does not require major capital improvements. It includes ridesharing, land use policies, employer-based measures, and pricing/subsidy policies.
This is a document prepared by states and MPOs citing projects to be funded under federal transportation programs, typically for a three to five year period. Without TIP inclusion, a project is ineligible for federal funding.
Customarily calculated as the time it takes to travel from “door-to- door.” In transportation planning, the measures of travel time include time spent accessing, waiting, and transferring between vehicles as well as time spent traveling.
Generally refers to passenger service provided to the general public along established routes with fixed or variable schedules at published fares. Related terms include public transit, mass transit, public transportation or paratransit. Transit modes include commuter rail, heavy or light transit, bus, or other vehicles designated for commercial transportation of non-related persons.
Persons who must rely on public transit or paratransit services for most of their transportation. Typically refers to individuals without access to a personal vehicle.
The development of compact, mixed use, walkable communities centered around high quality transit systems/stations.
Area that contains a city of 50,000 or more population plus incorporated surrounding areas meeting set size or density criteria.
The principal direct federal funding and regulating agency for transportation facilities and programs. FHWA and FTA and units of the US DOT.
The sum of time all vehicles spend traveling, calculated most typically over a 24-hour period. This statistic is most commonly summed over some area like county but can also be calculated for specific routes or trip purposes like work.
A standard area-wide measure of travel activity. The most conventional VMT calculation is to multiply the average length of trip by the total number of trips.
A river, canal or other body of water that allows for navigation of vessels
Further definitions can be found in the Transportation Dictionary sponsored by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, at http://ntl.bts.gov/reference_shelf.html
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