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Note: This information was archived in April 2009. For the current information, see http://environment.fhwa.dot.gov/integ/related.asp.
One of the first stages where a linkage can be made is to link the identification of needs in the transportation planning process with the Purpose & Need statement done under NEPA (see Exhibit H).
Develop a problem statement in the transportation planning process that can be used as the starting point for NEPA analysis.
The problem statement would:
Planning data may include information from the following:
Individual problem statement or early scoping reports for selected needs/potential projects included in the plan could include information on the following, primarily using GIS level environmental data:
One of the most valuable aspects of the linkage between identification of needs and Purpose & Need is to document the potential contribution made by the specific project, especially as it relates to the system as a whole. In particular, the Purpose & Need Statement may need to include important contributions that this individual improvement is making to the functioning of the overall system. Examples include discussing the connectivity or congestion relief offered by the project. Data and analyses from long-range planning can be used to support the inclusion of these elements.
State and local planning agencies assess the community's transportation needs relative to system performance.