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A Citizen's Guide to Transportation Decision Making

Putting the Plans in Place

Transportation planners help the public and elected officials translate the vision into long-range transportation plans. Planners look at different transportation alternatives and work with the public to select the alternatives that make the most sense for their areas. Sometimes they use mathematical models to predict future travel; sometimes they lead public discussions to get the opinion of the public and experts.

These transportation solutions must be able to keep the air quality of a state or region safe for all people in the community. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets maximum safe amounts of pollution that a region or state can have in the air. How much pollution is allowed from cars, trucks, and buses to the air will vary depending on the area's climate, wind, and other pollution sources and factors.

 Usually, the first product after the long-range plan is a Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) or an MPOs' Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). These improvement programs are usually developed on a 3-year cycle. They contain individual transportation improvements and projects. All projects must be part of an improvement program to be implemented. The following chart illustrates which organizations tend to use the various plans and projects:

Plan Use by Organization

Organization

Vision Planning

Long-range Plans

TIPSs

Project Planning

State DOT's

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MPOs

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Transit Agencies

 

  

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City/Local Trans. Dept.

 

 

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Updated: 03/28/2012
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