Glossary

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Administrative modification: a revision to a long-range statewide or metropolitan transportation plan, TIP, or STIP that is not significant enough to require public review and comment, redemonstration of fiscal constraint, or a conformity determination (in nonattainment and maintenance areas). Examples of administrative modifications include minor changes in the cost or initiation date of included projects.

Alternatives analysis (AA): a study required for eligibility of funding under the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA’s) Capital Investment Grant program (49 U.S.C. 5309), which includes an assessment of a range of alternatives designed to address a transportation problem in a corridor or subarea, resulting in sufficient information to support selection by state and local officials of a locally preferred alternative for adoption into a metropolitan transportation plan, and for the Secretary to make decisions to advance the locally preferred alternative through the project development process, as set forth in 49 CFR part 611 (Major Capital Investment Projects).

Amendment: a revision to a long-range statewide or metropolitan transportation plan, TIP, or STIP that is significant enough to require public review and comment, redemonstration of fiscal constraint, and/or a conformity determination (in nonattainment and maintenance areas). Examples of amendments include the addition or deletion of a regionally significant project, or a substantial change in the cost, design concept, or design scope of an included project.

Attainment area: any geographic area considered to have air quality that meets or exceeds the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) health standards in the Clean Air Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.). An area may be an attainment area for one pollutant and a nonattainment area for others. A ‘‘maintenance area’’ (see definition below) is not considered an attainment area for transportation planning purposes.

Available funds: for projects or project phases in the first two years of the metropolitan TIP and/or STIP in air quality nonattainment and maintenance areas, funds derived from an existing source dedicated to or historically used for transportation purposes. For federal funds, authorized and/or appropriated funds and the extrapolation of formula and discretionary funds at historic rates of increase are considered ‘‘available.’’ A similar approach may be used for state and local funds that are dedicated to or historically used for transportation purposes.

Committed funds: for projects or project phases in the first two years of a TIP and/or STIP in air quality nonattainment and maintenance areas, funds that have been dedicated or obligated for transportation purposes. For state funds that are not dedicated to transportation purposes, only those funds over which the governor has control may be considered ‘‘committed.’’ Approval of a TIP by the governor is considered a commitment of those funds over which the governor has control. For local or private sources of funds not dedicated to or historically used for transportation purposes (including donations of property), a commitment in writing (e.g., letter of intent) by the responsible official or body having control of the funds may be considered a commitment.

Conformity: the process to assess the compliance of a transportation plan, program, or project with the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for air quality. The conformity process is defined in the Clean Air Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) and governed by the EPA under its transportation conformity rule (40 CFR part 93).

Conformity lapse: pursuant to section 176(c) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7506(c)), as amended, that the conformity determination for a metropolitan transportation plan or TIP has expired and thus there is no currently conforming metropolitan transportation plan or TIP.

Congestion management process: a systematic approach required in transportation management areas (TMAs) that provides for effective management and operation, based on a cooperatively developed and implemented metropolitan-wide strategy, of new and existing transportation facilities eligible for funding under title 23, U.S.C., and title 49, U.S.C., through the use of operational management strategies.

Consideration: one or more parties takes into account the opinions, action, and relevant information from other parties in making a decision or determining a course of action.

Consultation: one or more parties confer with other identified parties in accordance with an established process and, prior to taking action(s), considers the views of the other parties and periodically informs them about action(s) taken.

Cooperation: the parties involved in carrying out the transportation planning and programming processes work together to achieve a common goal or objective.

Coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan: a unified, comprehensive strategy for transit service delivery developed by public, private, and nonprofit providers of transportation and human services, with participation by the public, including people with disabilities, older adults, and individuals with lower incomes, in order to minimize duplication and maximize collective coverage. The plan is a requirement under the FTA formula programs for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities (49 U.S.C. 5310), Job Access and Reverse Commute (49 U.S.C. 5316), and New Freedom (49 U.S.C. 5317), but may include other federal, state, or local programs.

Coordination: the cooperative development of plans, programs, and schedules among agencies and entities with legal standing and adjustment of such plans, programs, and schedules to achieve general consistency, as appropriate.

Design concept: the type of facility identified for a transportation improvement project (e.g., freeway, expressway, arterial highway, grade-separated highway, toll road, reserved right-of-way rail transit, mixed-traffic rail transit, or exclusive busway).

Design scope: the aspects that will affect the proposed facility’s impact on the region, usually as they relate to vehicle or person carrying capacity and control (e.g., number of lanes or tracks to be constructed or added, length of project, signalization, safety features, access control including approximate number and location of interchanges, or preferential treatment for high-occupancy vehicles).

Environmental mitigation activities: strategies, policies, programs, actions, and activities that, over time, will serve to avoid, minimize, rectify, reduce, or compensate for (by replacing or providing substitute resources) the impacts to or disruption of elements of the human and natural environment associated with the implementation of a long-range statewide transportation plan or metropolitan transportation plan. The human and natural environment includes, for example, neighborhoods and communities, homes and businesses, cultural resources, parks and recreation areas, wetlands and water sources, forested and other natural areas, agricultural areas, endangered and threatened species, and the ambient air. The environmental mitigation strategies and activities are intended to be regional in scope, even though the mitigation may address potential project-level impacts. The environmental mitigation strategies and activities must be developed in consultation with federal, state, and tribal wildlife, land management, and regulatory agencies during the statewide and metropolitan transportation planning processes and be reflected in all adopted transportation plans.

Federal land management agency: units of federal government currently responsible for the administration of public lands (e.g., U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service).

Federally funded non-emergency transportation services: transportation services provided to the general public, including those with special transport needs, by public transit, private nonprofit service providers, and private third-party contractors to public agencies.

Financially constrained or fiscal constraint: the requirements that each program year in the TIP and the STIP includes sufficient financial information for demonstrating that projects can be implemented using current and/or reasonably available revenues, by source, while the entire transportation system is being adequately operated and maintained. Additionally, projects in air quality nonattainment and maintenance areas can be included in the first two years of the TIP and STIP only if funds are ‘‘available or committed.’’

Financial plans: documentation required to be included with metropolitan transportation plans, TIPs, and STIPs that demonstrates the consistency between reasonable available and projected sources of federal, state, local, and private revenues and the costs of implementing proposed transportation system improvements, as well as operating and maintaining the entire transportation system.

Freight shippers: any business that routinely transports its products from one location to another by providers of freight transportation services or by its own vehicle fleet.

Governor: the governor of any of the 50 states or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or the mayor of the District of Columbia.

Illustrative project: a transportation project that would be included in a metropolitan transportation plan, TIP, or STIP for which financial constraint had been demonstrated if reasonable additional resources beyond those identified in the financial plan were available.

Indian Tribal government: a duly formed governing body for an Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or community that the Secretary of the Interior acknowledges to exist as an Indian Tribe pursuant to the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994, Public Law 103–454.

Intelligent transportation system (ITS): electronics, photonics, communications, or information processing used singly or in combination to improve the efficiency or safety of a surface transportation system.

Interim metropolitan transportation plan: a transportation plan composed of projects eligible to proceed under a conformity lapse and otherwise meeting all other applicable provisions of this part, including approval by the MPO.

Interim transportation improvement program (TIP): a TIP composed of projects eligible to proceed under a conformity lapse and otherwise meeting all other applicable provisions of this part, including approval by the MPO and the governor.

Long-range statewide transportation plan: the official, statewide, multimodal, transportation plan covering a period of no less than 20 years developed through the statewide transportation planning process.

Maintenance area: any geographic region of the United States that the EPA previously designated as a nonattainment area for one or more pollutants pursuant to the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, and subsequently redesignated as an attainment area subject to the requirement to develop a maintenance plan under section 175(a) of the Clean Air Act, as amended.

Management system: a systematic process designed to assist decision makers in selecting cost-effective strategies/actions to improve the efficiency and safety of and protect the investment in the nation’s infrastructure. A management system includes identification of performance measures; data collection and analysis; determination of needs; evaluation and selection of appropriate strategies/actions to address the needs; and evaluation of the effectiveness of the implemented strategies/actions.

Metropolitan planning area: the geographic area determined by agreement between the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for the area and the governor, in which the metropolitan transportation planning process is carried out.

Metropolitan planning organization (MPO): the policy board of an organization created and designated to carry out the metropolitan transportation planning process.

Metropolitan transportation plan: the official multimodal transportation plan covering a period of no less than 20 years that is developed, adopted, and updated by the MPO through the metropolitan transportation planning process.

National ambient air quality standard (NAAQS): those standards established pursuant to section 109 of the Clean Air Act.

Nonattainment area: any geographic region of the United States that has been designated by the EPA as a nonattainment area under section 107 of the Clean Air Act for any pollutants for which a NAAQS exists.

Non-metropolitan area: a geographic area outside designated metropolitan planning areas.

Non-metropolitan local officials: elected and appointed officials of general-purpose local government in a non-metropolitan area with responsibility for transportation.

Obligated projects: strategies and projects funded under title 23, U.S.C., and title 49, U.S.C., Chapter 53 for which the supporting federal funds were authorized and committed by the state or designated recipient in the preceding program year.

Operational and management strategies: actions and strategies aimed at improving the performance of existing and planned transportation facilities to relieve vehicular congestion and maximizing the safety and mobility of people and goods.

Project selection: the procedures followed to advance projects from the first four years of an approved TIP and/or STIP to implementation, in accordance with agreed-upon procedures.

Provider of freight transportation services: any business that transports or otherwise facilitates the movement of goods from one location to another for other businesses or for itself.

Regional ITS architecture: a regional framework for ensuring institutional agreement and technical integration for the implementation of ITS projects or groups of projects.

Regionally significant project: a transportation project (other than projects that may be grouped in the STIP or TIP pursuant to §450.216 and §450.324 or exempt projects as defined in EPA’s transportation conformity regulation [40 CFR part 93]) that is on a facility which serves regional transportation needs (such as access to and from the area outside the region; major activity centers in the region; major planned developments such as new retail malls, sports complexes, or employment centers; or transportation terminals) and would normally be included in the modeling of the metropolitan area’s transportation network. At a minimum, this includes all capacity-expanding projects on principal arterial highways and all fixed guideway transit facilities that offer a significant alternative to regional highway travel.

Regional transit security strategy: an overarching strategy for the region with mode-specific goals and objectives as they relate to prevention, detection, response, and recovery as a sustainable effort to protect regional transit systems’ critical infrastructure from terrorism, with an emphasis on explosives and nonconventional threats that would cause major loss of life and severe disruption, as required by the Department of Homeland Security.

Revision: a change to a long-range statewide or metropolitan transportation plan, TIP, or STIP that occurs between scheduled periodic updates. A revision may or may not be significant. A significant revision is defined as an ‘‘amendment,’’ while a nonsignificant revision is defined as an ‘‘administrative modification.’’

State: any one of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico.

State implementation plan (SIP): an EPA-approved, state-developed plan mandated by the Clean Air Act for air quality nonattainment areas that contains procedures to monitor, control, attain, maintain, and enforce compliance with the NAAQS.

Statewide transportation improvement program (STIP): a statewide staged, at least four-year, multi-year program of transportation projects that is consistent with the long-range statewide transportation plan, metropolitan transportation plans, and TIPs, and required for projects to be eligible for funding under 23 U.S.C. and 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53.

Strategic highway safety plan: a plan developed by the state DOT in accordance with the requirements of 23 U.S.C. 148(a)(6).

Transportation control measure (TCM): any measure that is specifically identified and committed to in the applicable SIP that is either one of the types listed in section 108 of the Clean Air Act or any other measure for the purpose of reducing emissions or concentrations of air pollutants from transportation sources by reducing vehicle use or changing traffic flow or congestion conditions. Notwithstanding the above, vehicle technology-based, fuel-based, and maintenance-based measures that control the emissions from vehicles under fixed traffic conditions are not TCMs.

Transportation improvement program (TIP): a staged, at least four-year, multi-year program of projects developed and formally adopted by an MPO as part of the metropolitan transportation planning process that is consistent with the metropolitan transportation plan, and required for projects to be eligible for funding under 23 U.S.C. and 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53.

Transportation management area (TMA): an urbanized area with a population over 200,000, as defined by the Bureau of the Census and designated by the Secretary of Transportation, or any additional area where TMA designation is requested by the governor and the MPO and designated by the Secretary of Transportation.

Unified planning work program (UPWP): a statement of work identifying the planning priorities and activities to be carried out within a metropolitan 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.

Update: a complete change to a long-range statewide or metropolitan transportation plan, TIP, or STIP in order to meet the regular schedule as prescribed by federal statute.  Updates always require public review and comment, demonstration of fiscal constraint (except for long-range statewide transportation plans), and a conformity determination (in nonattainment and maintenance areas).

Urbanized area: a geographic area with a population of 50,000 or more, as designated by the Bureau of the Census.

Users of public transportation: any person, or groups representing such persons, who use transportation open to the general public, other than taxis and other privately funded and operated vehicles.

Visualization techniques: methods employed by states and MPOs in the development of transportation plans and programs with the public, elected and appointed officials, and other stakeholders in a clear and easily accessible format such as maps, pictures, and/or displays, to promote improved understanding of existing or proposed transportation plans and programs.

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