The purpose of this document, Planning for Transportation in Rural Areas, is to provide a resource to rural planners, city and county engineers, stakeholders, local officials, and other decision-makers involved with developing rural transportation plans.
Rather than attempting to make this document a definitive step-by-step guide to rural transportation planning, it is intended to be a useful resource to those involved with rural planning.
The document is intended to contribute to a better understanding about:
How "rural" is defined, the characteristics of the rural system, issues and trends impacting the rural system, and the benefits of a good rural transportation system.
How various jurisdictional levels address rural transportation planning, major rural transportation planning challenges, and some lessons to be learned on how states are addressing these challenges.
Questions to be answered before getting started on a rural plan, approaches for public consultation and environmental review, the basic components for rural transportation planning, and how to develop the plans.
How transit system planning concepts, rural intelligent transportation systems, and access management can be used as additional tools for rural transportation planners.
Successful rural transporation planning efforts from several states.
Throughout the document, references are provided for additional sources of information on rural planning approaches. In addition, Appendix D at the end of the document includes a list of World Wide Web resources, technical and policy references, and a glossary of transportation planning terms to assist rural transportation planners.