The page you requested has moved and you've automatically been taken to its new location.

Please update your link or bookmark after closing this notice.

Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
Planning · Environment · Real Estate

HEP Events Guidance Publications Glossary Awards Contacts

TCSP Grant Workshop Washington, D.C.

arrow  Workshop Overview 

Plenary Session: Perspectives of the TCSP Program from Partner Organizations

Roy Kienitz, Executive Director, Surface Transportation Policy Project

Roy Kienitz, speaking on behalf of the Surface Transportation Policy Project, described the motivation behind the creation of the TCSP Program. The intent of the program is to influence the process through which transportation projects are created and developed; specifically, to introduce a broader range of considerations, such as land use and community livability, into this process.

In 1991, the passage of ISTEA signified a change in how transportation policy worked. A significant goal was to increase local choice in transportation planning and to involve a wider range of people in state and metropolitan level decision-making. According to Mr. Kienitz, ISTEA "has been a partial success in this regard." It created a very strong and active planning environment. However, it did not address the underlying process by which transportation projects are actually developed. While MPOs were empowered by ISTEA, they can only choose from items on the list with which they have been presented. The MPO board cannot approve an idea for funding -- only specific projects. While some progress has recently been made, especially within state agencies, the process for developing projects for the most part has barely been touched by ISTEA reforms.

TCSP directly tackles the project development process. In the traditional process, project development is aimed at providing capacity increases "necessary" to accommodate a certain forecast traffic volume. The motivation for creating TCSP was to develop different processes that take land use, community, and other considerations into account, and that are collaborative and cross-disciplinary. Ultimately, Mr. Kienitz said, "people should decide what is best for a place, rather than planners deciding how much the road must be widened to accommodate cars."

The vulnerability of this program is that there is no statutory mandate for the results of TCSP projects to be considered for funding by DOTs or MPOs. Instead, people must be responsible for seeing projects through. Since most TCSP funding is for the convening and planning phase, we need to produce sufficiently persuasive plans and processes for getting new ideas into the system. As participants in the planning process, this is our responsibility.

Updated: 8/1/2013
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000