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SAFETEA-LU Planning: Illustrative Examples

March 2007

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. I. Consideration of Planned Growth and Economic Development Planning
  3. II. Transportation Systems Security / Emergency Preparedness
  4. III. Environmental Mitigation Activities
  5. IV. Participation Plan
  6. V. Consultation with Other Types of Planning
  7. VI. Consultation with Tribes
  8. VII. Consultation with Economic Development Agencies
  9. VIII. Visualization Techniques in Transportation Plan and Metropolitan TIP Development
  10. IX. Electronic Publication of Plans and TIP/STIPs
  11. X. Coordinated Public Transit-Human Service Plan
  12. XI. Publication of Annual Listings of Projects


Passage of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) in August 2005, established new and revised requirements for statewide and metropolitan transportation plans and programs, as well as the underlying planning processes. As set forth in SAFETEA-LU ,and described more fully in the recently published joint regulation issued by the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration (23 CFR Parts 450 and 500 and 49 CFR Part 613 - Statewide Transportation Planning; Metropolitan Transportation Planning), July 1, 2007, is the date for compliance with the new and revised planning provisions. It is noteworthy, however, that metropolitan and statewide planning processes have been conducting their work effectively in accordance with various provisions of SAFETEA-LU for some time.

This report is intended to support timely accommodation of SAFETEA-LU provisions by presenting examples of current practice from metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and state departments of transportation (DOTs) to illustrate a range of approaches for addressing several selected planning provisions. The "illustrative examples" presented in this report were drawn from a cross-section of large and small MPOs and DOTs and are offered for consideration by all practitioners as they formulate and implement their own plans to achieve SAFETEA-LU compliance.

The illustrative examples contained in this report were obtained from a variety of sources and were subjected to careful review by the staff of FTA and FHWA. The primary sources of the illustrative examples were:Commendations for effective planning practice offered by FTA and FHWA during the course of planning certification reviews of MPOs serving transportation management areas; Information from publications and internet postings of various national stakeholder organizations; andCase studies from the FHWA/FTA 2006 Transportation Planning Excellence Awards.

As mentioned above, this report is the first edition of an expanding inventory of SAFETEA-LU practice. FTA and FHWA will continue to review program documents, published research reports, case studies reported by stakeholder organizations, and other sources to identify additional material to assist MPOs and DOTs in implementing SAFETEA-LU.

Finally, this document does not review the full impact and effectiveness of the "illustrative" examples presented. Rather, the focus is on the planning methodologies involved in producing that work, which are offered for review and consideration as resources for implementation of SAFETEA-LU. Planning practitioners are advised to consider the forthcoming examples as "illustrative" references only as they undertake the important work of developing their own approaches

This report presents illustrative examples of MPO and State planning activites in the following SAFETEA-LU planning topic areas:

  1. Consideration of Planned Growth and Economic Development Planning
  2. Transportation Systems Security/Emergency Preparedness
  3. Environmental Mitigation Activities
  4. Public Participation Plan for Metropolitan Planning
  5. Consultation with Other Types of Planning
  6. Consultation with Tribes
  7. Consultation with Economic Development Agencies
  8. Visualization Techniques in Transportation Plan and TIP Development
  9. Electronic Publication of Plans and TIP/STIP
  10. Coordinated Public Transit-Human Service Plan
  11. Publication of Annual Listing of Projects

We hope this information is useful to you in your work to implement the planning provisions of SAFETEA-LU and would appreciate any feedback you wish to provide. We welcome suggestions for improving the usefulness of the information presented, as well as suggestions of additional candidates for future publication on the topics included in this edition, as well as other planning topics set forth in SAFETEA-LU.

Please forward your information to:

Charles R. Goodman
Director, Office of Systems Planning
Federal Transit Administration, TPE-10
Office of Planning and Environment
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20590

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I. Consideration of Planned Growth and Economic Development Planning

SAFETEA-LU requires that the statewide transportation planning process and the metropolitan planning process shall provide for consideration of projects and strategies that will protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, improve the quality of life, and promote consistency between transportation improvements and state and local planned growth and economic development patterns [49 USC 5303(g)(3) and 23 USC 134(g)(3)].

Examples related to consideration of planned growth and economic development are provided in the consultation with economic development agencies section and with the link to FHWA Land Use and Transportation web page.

In order to strengthen the link between these factors, many states and regions are undertaking studies and programs in statewide and regional planning. Following are selected examples of a range of approaches taken by MPOs in considering planned growth and economic development in the development of their plans.

Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, Chicago, IL

Based on significant regional input through its Common Ground initiative, Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission (NIPC) has developed the 2040 Regional Framework Plan (Framework Plan) to help guide local decision-making in the development of the long range transportation plan. The Framework Plan serves as a guiding structure to integrate regional and local plans, policies, and goals. The Framework Plan also examines regional development while accommodating planned growth and preserving valued assets. As part of the Framework Plan, local land use plans and regional-level decisions are coordinated by facilitating greater intergovernmental cooperation and by strengthening the link between land use planning and investment in transportation and other infrastructure across the region. The Framework Plan analyzes the accessibility provided by existing facilities and the economic and environmental impacts of new transportation projects. The Framework Plan has established a process to provide forums for local interaction with state transportation agencies as well as coordination of local planning and action in stream corridors or watersheds. NIPC's 2040 Regional Framework Plan received one of the American Planning Association's top national honors in 2005.

North Central Texas Council of Governments, Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

North Central Texas Council of Government's (NCTCOG) areas served include the Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Denton, Lewisville, and McKinney urbanized areas and surroundings. NCTCOG's Mobility 2025 Update establishes sustainable development as the region's new strategic approach to transportation planning, programming, and construction. Sustainable development leverages the land use/transportation relationship to improve mobility, enhance air quality, support economic growth, and ensure the financial stability of the transportation system. Mobility 2025 Update provides planning support for mobility options (rail, automobiles, bicycling, transit and walking). The plan helps local governments present a range of development opportunities to the private sector. The plan recognizes four categories of sustainable development: Strategic Urban Development, Integrated Land Use Planning/Urban Design, Transit-Oriented Development, and Access Management - with local strategies for implementation.

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II. Transportation Systems Security/Emergency Preparedness

SAFETEA-LU requires that the statewide metropolitan planning process and the metropolitan planning process for a metropolitan planning area shall provide for consideration of projects and strategies that will increase the security of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users [49 USC 5303(h)(1)(C) and 23 USC 134(h)(1)(C)].

Following are selected examples of a range of approaches taken by MPOs or state DOTs in creating emergency management plans for their respective regions.

Houston-Galveston Area Council, Houston, TX

Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) received funding from the Texas Division of Emergency Management (DEM) to prepare a regional hazard mitigation plan. H-GAC and 70 local governments developed a comprehensive plan that identifies regional hazards, vulnerabilities, and capabilities. The MPO held disaster mitigation planning workshops with community leaders as one tool for developing the mitigation plan. In the meetings participants where asked to complete a Risk and Capability Assessment; build a region wide consensus on disaster mitigation goals; and discuss possible mitigation actions. The final results from these meetings were incorporated into the Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan. H-GAC invited city and county representatives, planning consultants, and County Emergency Management Coordinators from each of the eight counties in the region to contribute in creating the mitigation plan. H-GAC reached out to the public during the participation of the mitigation plan through public meetings, website feedback, press releases, and public notices to stakeholder groups. H-GAC coordinated with the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County's Region Safety Security and Emergency Preparedness Committee on security issues as a means of consultation with the regional transit operator. This collaborative effort kept H-GAC informed of Metro Transit Authority's Regional Transit Security Strategy Guide that was previously prepared as a result of a transit security grant.

Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, Hampton, VA

Hampton Roads Planning District Commission HRPDC coordinates the Regional Emergency Management Technical Advisory Committee (REMTAC). REMTAC promotes the multilateral operation of emergency support functions such as evacuation and shelter planning and disaster planning for special needs populations. HRPDC also maintains an emergency management website which provides educational disaster preparedness information and local emergency contacts for residents of the region.

Green River Area Development District, Owensboro, KY

The Green River Area Development District works with Homeland Security as part of their planning process to consider potential projects that will increase the security of the transportation system. Meetings are held between the two agencies and information is shared in the collection and assimilation of GPS data and projects.

The Homeland Security Corps program started in 2002 with the mission being aimed at increasing the capacity of public health, public safety and disaster preparedness agencies by recruiting and training community volunteers to be activated in the event of a disaster and to educate the public on health and safety issues. Members train with their agency and participate in table top and live exercises. Members recruit and train community volunteers and organize groups including:
Citizen Corps programs:

Members educate the public on health and safety issues by participating in school programs, community events and distributing information. Service sites for Homeland Security Corps include: County Emergency Management Agencies, American Red Cross Chapters, Law Enforcement Agencies, Fire and Rescue Training Agencies, Solid Waste Management and Geographic Information Systems.

Oregon Department of Transportation, Salem, OR

In 1997 the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and local agencies identified lifeline routes for each county in Oregon. This list was used to prioritized bridges for seismic retrofit work and provided a good starting point for describing priority routes needed for emergency response.

The Transportation Planning Section at ODOT performs long-range planning activities for the State of Oregon. This group has taken the following actions to ensure that transportation security is appropriately addressed within the state. The STIP update and Oregon Transportation Plan update is overseen by a committee structure that includes the Oregon Transportation Commission and three policy subcommittees (Mobility and Economic Vitality; Sustainability and Transportation Choices; and Safety and Security). Safety and security activities include: development of a multimodal Strategic Transportation Action Safety Plan based on risk analysis and creation of a safety leadership group consisting of public and private agencies to address safety issues and to develop a safety program. ODOT has prepared a series of background papers to brief the 14-member Safety and Security Committee, and to provide an overview of actions taken by ODOT and its partners in preparing for man-made and natural disasters. ODOT has also used the Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation as a means of coordinating with MPOs and transit agencies in the region on security issues. ODOT consulted with the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon on the Regional Transit Security Grant in 2005.

Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District, Taunton, MA

The Southeast Regional Advisory Council (SRAC) meets with local Emergency Management Directors, Chiefs of Police, Fire Chiefs, Emergency Medical Services, Boards of Health, Hospitals, Regional Transit Authorities, and Sheriff Offices to make specific recommendations for the Commonwealth's State Homeland
Security Strategy and EOPS' Guidelines. The SRAC considers the risk assessment of the region, and shared concerns from their respective disciplines. In addition to the time in Council meetings, representatives makes time to meet with non-Council members of their discipline to get input and feedback. The above meetings is part of the metropolitan area planning process to consider projects that will increase the security of the transportation system.

San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego, CA

San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) created the Public Safety Committee that focuses on homeland security/emergency preparedness and integrated Traffic Management Centers across regional borders, in cooperation with federal intelligence agencies. SANDAG also prepared a Transit Emergency Planning Manual based on the experiences of those participating in emergency preparedness. SANDAG hosted an Emergency Transportation Operations Preparedness and Response Workshop. The North San Diego Transit District and the San Diego Trolley system received a transit security grant to implement a strategy guide for regional transit security. These efforts were coordinated with SANDAG.

Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments

The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) has created the Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee to provide leadership and coordination of the homeland security and domestic terrorism preparedness efforts in the region. The committee - comprised of the region's county emergency management associations, county representatives, and other interest groups - will review these individual efforts from a regional perspective to insure that no vulnerabilities exist in the region's response efforts. The committee will strive to maximize public and private resources to assess further needs to provide effective protection for the citizens of the OKI region. The Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee has been created to develop a Regional Emergency Response Plan to maximize local strengths while eliminating any weaknesses in local emergency response efforts. The committee also provides a forum for the creation and implementation of new ideas related to homeland security and identification of the appropriate clearinghouse for funding regional projects.

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III. Environmental Mitigation Activities

SAFETEA-LU requires that MPOs and DOTs include in their metropolitan and statewide transportation plans a discussion of types of potential environmental mitigation activities and potential areas to carry out these activities, including activities that may have the greatest potential to restore and maintain the environmental functions affected by the plan. These discussions shall be developed in consultation with federal, state, and tribal wildlife, land management, and regulatory agencies [49 USC 5303(i)(2)(B), 5304(f)(4)(A)(B) and 23 USC 134(i)(2)(B)].

Following are selected examples of a range of approaches taken by MPOs to consult with other agencies and develop environmental mitigation activities in their plans.

San Diego Regional Planning Agency, San Diego, CA

San Diego has an Environmental Mitigation Program (EMP) which includes a funding allocation category for the costs to mitigate habitat impacts for regional transportation projects. The EMP is unique in that it goes beyond traditional mitigation for transportation projects by including a funding allocation for habitat acquisition, management, and monitoring activities as needed to help implement the Multiple Species Conservation Program and the Multiple Habitat Conservation Program. The EMP has $850 million to spend on mitigation from a regional sales tax. This funding is tied to mitigation requirements and the environmental clearance approval process for projects outlined in the Regional Transportation Plan. The Environmental Mitigation Program Working Group advises the Regional Planning Committee on issues related to the implementation of the EMP. Members of the working group include representatives from the City of San Diego, County of San Diego, the four San Diego Regional Planning Agency (SANDAG) sub-regions, state and federal wildlife agencies, and several organizations representing disciplines and interests involved in the implementation of the EMP. SANDAG is preparing a master agreement to establish the roles and responsibilities of the participating agencies and to formalize the implementation of the EMP. SANDAG encourages discussions on mitigation issues and transportation projects with affected agencies early in the planning process. The second link below shows a map of the San Diego Region Habitat Preserve Planning Areas.

Central Massachusetts MPO Environmental Consultation for the Regional Transportation Plan Update

During the development of the 2007 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) staff, on behalf of the Central Massachusetts MPO (CMMPO), hosted an Environmental Consultation Session on January 11, 2007. The purpose of the session was two-fold: 1) inform the environmental community about the compilation of the RTP document, and 2) encourage feedback regarding their ongoing involvement in the overall transportation planning process. The session provided a forum for interactive conversation between agency staff and the Central Massachusetts environmental community. The around-the-table consensus achieved indicated the value of holding consultation sessions to engage in early discussions of environmental concerns and potential mitigation strategies.

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IV. Participation Plan

SAFETEA-LU requires that MPOs develop and utilize a participation plan. A participation plan shall be developed in consultation with all interested parties and shall provide that all interested parties have reasonable opportunities to comment on the contents of the transportation plan [49 USC 5303(i)(5)(B)(i) & (ii) and 23 USC 134(i)(5)(B)(i) & (ii)].

Following are selected examples of a range of approaches taken by MPOs in preparing their participation plans and involving the public and stakeholders in the planning process and the development of the participation plan.

Baltimore Metropolitan Council/Baltimore Regional Transportation Board, Baltimore, MD

The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) has developed a Public Involvement Plan and Strategy Guide. The Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) is responsible for developing the Public Involvement Plan. The plan is also made available to the public online and by hard copy at various libraries, local government planning offices, and the BMC office. In accordance with the 1993 planning regulations, there is a 45-day comment period when the plan is updated or revised. A few of the strategies used by the MPO to enhance and support public outreach includes: reaching out to non-participating low income and minority populations, publicizing Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB) activities through various media venues (TV, radio, newspapers, newsletters, press releases), hold open houses and conduct informational workshops to educate participants on specific topics and planning documents, and establishment of a speaker's bureau to speak to civic groups, neighborhood associations, professional organizations, and other groups. The BMC conducts an annual performance evaluation of the plan describing and evaluating public involvement efforts and strategies. This evaluation report is reviewed by the CAC for comments.

Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, Portage, IN

Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) has established a Public Involvement Task Force to develop their Public Involvement Plan. The Public Involvement Task Force includes representatives of public transit operators, minority organizations, the elderly, municipal government, environmentalists, and other transportation stakeholders. The plan states goals and objectives which will be incorporated in all NIRPC programs and which will integrate broad-based citizen participation in all major regional planning activities. The plan includes a public involvement process evaluation for every major planning initiative of the organization. To ensure the continued relevance of the Plan to NIRPC operations, the PIP is reviewed and modified as needed every three years.

A few of the public involvement tools utilized by NIRPC follows:

Kern Council of Governments, Bakersfield, CA

Kern Council of Governments (Kern COG) has established a process to involve the public and stakeholders in the development of their public participation plan. Many of the strategies used in the public involvement process are also used in the development of the public participation plan. These strategies include: utilization of various media venues, mailing lists, website ads, and an email list to obtain input from the public in developing the participation plan. The draft participation plan is made available for public comment for 45 days before it is finalized and presented to the policy board for adoption. Kern COG has an extensive and innovative outreach program for their public involvement process.

Board meetings are broadcast on television, newspaper ads and documents are published in English and Spanish, and interactive activities are used at regional planning workshops. The Council takes a proactive approach to involving the minorities and low income population into the planning process. Kern COG staff goes out into the community and attend street fairs and community festivals. Kern COG has hired a marketing agent to raise the level of involvement of low income and minorities in the planning process. Other Kern COG activities include: targeting health clinics for low income patients, sending Spanish speaking staff to events, subscribing to language translation services for over-the phone interpretation to non-English calls to the agency, and developing a public involvement chart detailing public outreach efforts required at different points during the planning process.

Chatham Urban Transportation Study, Savannah, GA

The Chatham Urban Transportation Study (CUTS) Public Involvement Plan is intended to provide a framework for initiating public involvement. The objective is to facilitate a public dialogue at all stages of the transportation planning process. Guidance in developing the participation plan was provided by the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). The CAC is a representative of a cross-section of the community and functions as a public information and involvement committee. This committee is comprised of 30 members drawn from 9 municipalities. CUTS has also implemented a project entitled "Connecting Savannah" which was primarily concerned with bringing together people and projects. This project focused on early stakeholder involvement actively engaging those with a stake in the outcome. The approach worked with a variety of stakeholder groups in their own settings, at their preferred meeting times and locations. This approach gives community members the opportunity to identify with and gain access to the planning process at an early stage and make a difference; where opinions and concerns of the community as a whole matter.

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V. Consultation with Other Types of Planning

SAFETEA-LU requires that MPOs and DOTs consult, as appropriate, with state and local agencies responsible for land use management, natural resources, environmental protection, conservation, and historic preservation concerning the development of a long-range transportation plan [49 USC 5303(i)(4)(A), 49 USC 5304(f)(2)(D)(i), and 23 USC 134(i)(4)(A)].

Following are selected examples of a range of approaches taken by MPOs in consulting with other agencies.

Land Use Management

Atlanta Regional Commission, Atlanta, GA

Land use management agencies are involved in the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) planning process through its board and committees. The board represents local government which is comprised city and county zoning and planning officials. The ARC has a Land Use Coordinating Committee (LUCC) that is a subcommitte of the Environment and Land Use Committee. The LUCC reviews land use policies, evaluates system-wide plans, and evaluates land use impacts of transportation projects as part of the planning process in the development of the long range transportation plan. The ARC meets on a regular basis with the State DOT, the environmental protection agency, and the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority on land use management planning. ARC also meets with the Chamber of Commerce, Home Buiders Association, businesses, non-profit organizations, and advocacy groups as part of the planning process to obtain comments on land uase management in the metropolitan area.

The Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) is a program offered by the Atlanta Regional Commission that encourages local jurisdictions to plan and implement strategies that link transportation improvements with land use development strategies to create sustainable, livable communities consistent with regional development policies. The development and implementation of the LCI was made possible through the forging of partnerships between ARC and the Georgia DOT, FHWA, local governments, non-profit organizations, business, and residents in the Atlanta region. The committee that selects studies for funding each year includes organizations such as the Homebuilders Association, Urban Land Institute, Trust for Historic Preservation, Georgia Conservancy, and the Regional Business Coalition. Partnerships are also sought during the implementation of completed LCI plans.

San Diego Regional Planning Agency, San Diego, CA

The San Diego Regional Planning Agency (SANDAG) has established a formal process in which it works with three groups to coordinate and plan land use management. The three groups are the Regional Planning Technical Working Group (TWG), the Stakeholders Working Group (SWG), and the City/County Transportation Advisory Committee (CTTAC). The TWG is comprised of Planning Directors throughout the region; the SWG are the various interest groups and/or agencied involved in land use planning; and the CTTAC are comprised of Public Work Directors from the regions cites. Monthly meetings are held with these three committees to discuss land use management and its tie-in with the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). The TWG and SWG make recommendations to the SANDAG Regional Planning Committee and the CTTAC provides recommendations to the SANDAG Transportation Committee.

The SANDAG Board of Directors adopted a Regional Comprehensive Plan (RCP) for the San Diego region. The RCP provides an overall vision and policy framework for better connecting transportation and land use within this region, and promotes smart growth and sustainability as key principles. One of the RCP's early actions is the development of a "Smart Growth Concept Map" illustrating the location of existing, planned, and potential smart growth areas, which would be used in updating the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and determining eligibility for smart growth-related incentives. The purpose of the program is to showcase exemplary land development around the region and is coordinated with the development of the transportation plan.

Environmental Protection

A link to the web site on FHWA's Planning and Environment linkages is provided.

Association of Central Oklahoma Governments, Oklahoma City, OK

The Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) created Central Oklahoma Clean Cities which is a locally based, private industry and government partnership sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Its objective is to facilitate the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) and to support the installation of an alternative fuel refueling infrastructure throughout the nation. Charter stakeholders included fuel suppliers, vehicle manufacturers and dealers, fleet managers, equipment suppliers and testing facilities, vehicle maintenance training facilities, utility providers, environmental groups, and federal, state, and local government agencies. Two importatnt partners in the Clean Cites program are the American Lung Association and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. This program is the basis of ACOG's environmental protection process. Meetings are held with the partners in the Clean Cities Program as part of the transportation planning process and the development of the Plan.


San Joaquin Council of Governments, Stockton, CA

The San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) utilizes several methods to initiate consultation with a variety of agencies (including conservation) in the development of the long-range regional transportation plan (RTP).

SJCOG administers a countywide Multi-Species Habitat Conservation and Open Space Plan (SJMSCP). A Memorandun of Underestanding has been adopted for the SJMSCP. The SJMSCP conservation strategy relies on minimizing, avoiding, and mitigating impacts for the SJMCP-covered species. Minimization of impacts to SJMSCP-covered species takes a species-based approach emphasizing the implementation of Incidental Take Minimization Measures aimed at averting the actual killing or injury of individual SJMSCP-covered species and minimization of impacts for such species on open space lands converted to non-open space uses. Implementation of the SJMSCP includes a standing SJCOG committee called the Habitat Technical Advisory Committee (HTAC), on which several resource agencies are regularly represented including the Department of Conservation and the Fish and Wildlife Service. This provides a direct agency-to-agency relationship that has extended beyond the HTAC, and into the transportation planning process in particular. For example, the Fish and Wildlife Service representative that is active on the HTAC is the same person providing input into the RTP environmental impact assessment. The SJMSCP is coordinated with the development of the transportation plan.

Direct contact with local, state, and federal resource agencies also occur as part of the RTP's Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (EIR), prepared under the California Environmental Quality Act. The EIR addresses the full range of environmental impacts resulting from the transportation programs and projects included in the RTP. SJCOG's current 2007 RTP Update effort, directed at addressing SAFETEA-LU requirements, includes a Programmatic EIR. In response to SJCOG's EIR update effort, several agencies are consulted including: the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Conservation, California Department of Transportation, Union Pacific Railroad, the Northern Valley Yokut Tribe, and the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency.

Historic Preservation

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Harrisburg, PA

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, has undertaken the monumental task of compiling an inventory of all state and locally owned bridges that are greater than 20 feet in length and constructed prior to 1957. An early effort to survey historic bridges began in the 1980s, but was limited to state owned bridges. PennDOT contracted with A.G. Lichtenstein and Associates, Inc., to evaluate each of the approximately 12,000 bridges, both individually and thematically, for their potential eligibility to the National Register of Historic Places. The ultimate goal of this project is the creation of a Bridge Management Plan that will identify which bridges can and should be preserved. This effort is part of the planning process and the development of the long range transportation plan.

The Metropolitan and Rural Planning Organizations are required to present their long range plans at an Agency coordination meeting. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission sits on that coordinating committee as well as other resource agencies. PennDOT included the PA Historical and Museum Commission on the 75 member Development Team for the PA Mobility Plan. The Development Team plays a key advisory role and provides suggestions on various ideas for enhancing its usefulness to the stakeholders who will be directly involved in plan implementation. The plan has a specific objective, strategy and actions which relate to preserving natural, historical and cultural resources. These are largely centered around an initiative to improve our planning and NEPA process in the Commonwealth.

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VI. Consultation with Tribes

SAFETEA-LU requires that the long-range transportation plan shall be developed, as appropriate, in consultation with state, tribal, and local agencies responsible for land use management, natural resources, environmental protection, conservation, and historic preservation [49 USC 5304(f)(2)(D) and 23 USC 135(f)(2)(D)].
Following are selected examples of a range of approaches taken by MPOs and state DOTs in consulting with tribes:

Arrowhead Regional Development Commission, Duluth, MN

The Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) has created a 20-year transportation plan for the Fond du Lac Reservation. ARDC will inventory existing conditions, identify community transportation goals, review planning and objectives with surrounding jurisdictions, and develop plan recommendations. This consultation with the Fond du Lac Reservation is part of the planning process in the development of the long range plan. A key goal of the planning process will be to provide a base for the Fond du Lac Reservation that will allow for regular updates to the plan as projects are completed and conditions change. ARDC will work with reservation staff to determine what the transportation needs of the reservation will be in the future. In addition land use patterns, recreational needs, commercial needs, and social needs will all be considered. These needs will be combined with a review of planning and objectives with surrounding jurisdictions to develop a big picture of the future of the reservation transportation system. The Fond Du Lac transportation plan is a critical element within the ARDC long range transportation plan.

ARDC meets with MNDOT on the needs of the reservation council regarding MNDOT's road plans and transit system plans. ARDC coordinates with MNDOT to identify the transportation and community needs of the Fond du Lac Reservation in the development of the long range transportation plan.

Thurston Regional Planning Council, Olympia, WA

The relationships between Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC), the Nisqually Indian Tribe, and the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation provide an example of strong partnership and collaboration between tribes and a metropolitan planning organization. The cooperative efforts made between TRPC and these two tribes have resulted in improved visibility of tribal needs in the county, improved regional coordination of projects, more complete data, and an awareness of other common regional transportation needs. TRPC works closely with the two tribes. Both tribes have engaged in discussions on land use and transportation issues with TRPC. In addition, as members of TRPC, both tribes attend the council's monthly meetings, and each has a full vote on the council. The Chehalis Tribe was very involved in the development of the most recent Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and participated in the policymaker subcommittee that focused closely on the goals and policies and recommendations of the RTP. The Chehalis Tribe also was also involved in the "Vision Reality Disconnect" project that looked at whether growth management policies were working as envisioned.

Arizona Department of Transportation, Phoenix, AZ

The Arizona Tribal Strategic Partnering Team (ATSPT) is a tribal coordination effort initiated in June 1999 through the efforts of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Transportation Planning Division, ADOT Civil Rights Office, and ADOT Partnering Section. ATSPT's purpose is to bring together representatives from state, tribal, federal, and local governments and/or agencies to discuss state-tribal related transportation issues and to develop inter-agency forums through which those issues can be addressed. The ATSPT meets on a quarterly basis with meeting discussions being documented and distributed to participating agency and tribal representatives and to key officials within ADOT and MPOs. The ATSPT is a trusted coalition of tribal and non-tribal, multi-jurisdictional advisors who facilitate strategies to resolve tribal transportation issues by maintaining relationships, and educate and uphold all partners' laws and policies through free-flowing communication.

Georgia Department of Transportation, Atlanta, GA

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) had long-term plans to replace a bridge and conduct road improvements near New Echota, the first capitol of the Cherokee Nation, dating from 1825-1838. In anticipation of these future projects, GDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Georgia Division office implemented a study to determine if the site was a traditional cultural property eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. This study involved extensive consultation with three federally-recognized Cherokee tribes. This practical consultation with the tribes resulted in the development of a good working relationship among the three tribes, GDOT, and FHWA.

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VII. Consultation with Economic Development Agencies

SAFETEA-LU states that the Secretary of US DOT shall encourage each MPO to consult with officials responsible for other types of planning activities that are affected by transportation in the area (including state and local planned growth, economic development, environmental protection, airport operations, and freight movements) or to coordinate its planning process, to the maximum extent practicable, with such planning activities [49 USC 5303(g)(3) and 23 USC 134(g)(3)].

Further examples of consideration of planned growth and economic development planning are available. Additional information can be found on the FHWA Land Use and Transportation web page.

Following are selected examples of a range of approaches taken by MPOs in consulting with economic development agencies.

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Pittsfield, MA

Outreach to economic organizations during the RTP process specifically, is achieved by the following three mechanisms:

  1. Notice of the RTP regional meetings is sent to town halls, such that all municipal employees, including community development direcotrs, town managers, administrators and mayors are notified
  2. The MPO has economic development representation in the form of a Community Development Director
  3. The MPO's Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) has economic development representation via the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce and the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce.

The MPO and TAC membership are integral components of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) consultation process with economic development organizations and solicitation for public comment and part of the planning process and development of the RTP.

BRPC supports regional and local economic development initiatives in partnership with the Berkshire Council for Growth and Berkshire Connect. The goal is to promote the growth, stability and prosperity of businesses providing quality jobs for a diverse work force. Berkshire regional economic development strategies strive to balance economic development and resource preservation.

One of the studies completed and approved by the Berkshire County MPO is the Southwest Pittsfield Economic Development Area Transportation Study. Renamed the South Street Alternatives Study, this study took a comprehensive look at current and potential future development proposals in the area around Dan Fox Drive and the Pittsfield Municipal Airport that complement the City of Pittsfield's other revitalization projects and identified multi-modal transportation measures that ensured efficient access to serve planned development in this area.

Several projects that were identified as recommendations of the South Street Alternatives Study are listed in the 2007 RTP as high priority projects.

One of the recommended studies in the 2007 RTP is an evaluation of Tamarack Road in Pittsfield. Tamarack Road is the link from Dan Fox Drive; it serves the Airport and adjoining economic development sites.The purpose of the study is to assess the feasibility of alternatives that would upgrade the road and thus, improve accessibility.

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VIII. Visualization Techniques in Transportation Plan and Metropolitan TIP Development

SAFETEA-LU requires that the MPO and State DOT shall, to the maximum extent practicable, "... employ visualization techniques to describe plans" [49 USC 5303(i)(5)(C)(ii), 23 USC 134(i)(5)(C)(ii)], and 5304(f)(3)(B)(ii).

FHWA has developed a Visualization in Planning website where you can learn about noteworthy practices and innovative uses of visualization.

Following are selected examples of a range of approaches taken by MPOs and state DOTs in using visualization techniques in transportation plan and TIP development.

Metro, Portland, OR

Metro, the MPO for the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area employs high resolution maps to illustrate its long range transportation plan. High resolution maps are also available for the street system, the regional public transportation system, freight system, regional trails and greenways, regional bicycle and pedestrian system. Metro's Data Resource Center provides preprinted maps, state-of-the-art mapping, spatial analysis, regional economic analysis and demographic forecasting for Metro, its regional partners, businesses and the public.

Atlanta Regional Commission, Atlanta, GA

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) offers an interactive map of its Mobility 2030 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and TIP on its website. The service uses ArcIMS software and a GIS to create a user interface to map projects in the RTP and TIP. Projects can be selected on a map, and detailed information can be obtained such as project description, project sponsor, schedule and detailed funding information. Projects can also be located by project number; jurisdiction in which is project is located; type of project such as transit, highway, pedestrian or bicycle; or by selecting a particular intersection.

Volusia County MPO, Daytona, FL

The Volusia County MPO has a frequently noted "low tech" citizens outreach program called "Strings and Ribbons". The MPO has undertaken the "String and Ribbon" approach to solicit input from citizen groups in both Volusia and Flagler counties. Strings and Ribbons is a consensus building game that provides participants with a concrete and interactive method of participating in the development of the MPO's 20-year Long Range Transportation Plan. By playing the game, participants learn about the impact and importance of transportation planning for their community. In addition, the game allows technical staff to gain better insight into the desires of the community at large.

Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Oakland, CA

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the MPO for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, employs extensive use of maps, charts, illustrations, graphic, diagrams, sketches, images, and photographs and databases on its website to illustrate its long range transportation plan. These techniques are also employed at public outreach meetings and are available for review by the public at the MTC office. These techniques enable the public to view transportation projects within the metropolitan area. The website uses high resolution maps to illustrate current vs. projected population and employment; PowerPoint presentations to illustrate the transit expansion plan and regional rail plan; and interactive mapping to show population, household, and employment projections.

Pima Association of Governments, Tucson, AZ

The Pima Association of Governments (PAG) offers a Regional Data Center (RDC) on its website. The RDC includes GIS interactive mapping of traffic counts, air quality, census information, and travel demand to forecast current and future roadway usage. Also included are: demographic data including population characteristics; photographs of map images including interactive viewing capabilities; and pictometry including buildings and structures within the metropolitan area. Maps can be downloaded or viewed online.

New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, New York, NY

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC), the MPO for New York City, Long Island, and the lower Hudson Valley, employs GIS mapping and database capabilities on its website. The site is equipped so that users can map locations and obtain data relating to vehicle counts, origin-destination data, household surveys, socioeconomic data and travel/speed data. The TIP can also be mapped and TIP data can be viewed.

Washington State Department of Transportation, Olympia, WA

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has an online interactive map which allows users to choose projects from the STIP and obtain detailed project information such as project status, project benefits, public involvement activities, environmental protection and detailed financial information. Maps and photographs are employed to increase public comprehension.

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IX. Electronic Publication of Plans and TIP/STIPs

SAFETEA-LU requires that MPOs and DOTs shall, to the maximum extent practicable, make public information on the transportation plan "... available in electronically accessible format and means, such as the World Wide Web, as appropriate to afford reasonable opportunity for consideration of public information" [49 USC 5303(i)(5)(C)(iii), 23 USC 134(i)(5)(C)(iii), and 23 USC 135(f)(8)].

Following are selected examples of a range of approaches taken by MPOs and DOTs in using electronically accessible formats to publish plans and TIPs.

North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, Newark, NJ

The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJPTA), the MPO for the 13-county northern New Jersey region, has developed the NJPTA Online Transportation Information System (NOTIS) to publish its long range plan and TIP. NOTIS is an interactive tool to allow access to information on planned and programmed transportation projects in northern New Jersey. NOTIS offers the option of a map-based search or a text-based search. The map-based search shows project locations on an interactive map. A project may be selected on the map to obtain detailed information such as project number, project name, detailed description, location (county or municipality), funding source and project schedule. Also included is a link to a detailed map of the project. The text-based search allows projects to be identified by county or municipality, project ID, roadway route number, and transit mode.

Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, Dayton, OH

The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC), the MPO for the Dayton, Ohio area, is employing Web-TELUS (Transportation, Economic, and Land Use System) to manage its TIP. TELUS is a fully integrated web-based information-management and decision-support system developed by the New Jersey Institute of Technology. TELUS includes both web and desktop versions. Web-TELUS is available to the public online and allows users to query and view the TIP. TELUS allows users to search, query and view maps of TIP projects. Projects can be queried by project number, funding source, mode and location. Once the desired project is found through the query, detailed information can be obtained on the project including description, project status, funding information, and location on a map. TELUS also allows a map-based search where users can point and click on a project to obtain the desired project information. Web-TELUS can connect to existing data sources at the state DOT or MPO to facilitate data sharing and keep information current. It also facilitates standardization between MPOs, automates report generation, and provides a user-friendly interface. Web-TELUS is available free of charge.

Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Oakland, CA

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the MPO covering the nine-county San Francisco Bay area, has implemented a system known as WebFMS (Web Fund Management System) to manage its TIP. The system allows the general public and MTC partners, to access the TIP online. WebFMS can query projects by TIP ID number, the county in which the project is located, project sponsor, project name or project description. Once the desired project is found through the query, detailed information can be obtained on the project including project description, project status, funding information, legislative district (state or federal) and implementing agency contact information.

Alaska Department of Transportation, Juneau, AK

The Alaska Department of Transportation (ADOT) has developed an application named E-STIP to manage and publish its STIP electronically. E-STIP is available on ADOT's website to allow the public to search for projects according to search criteria including location, project ID, funding category, ADOT region, highway number, MPO, or election district. To improve public comprehension, the information on each project is presented in narrative form rather than a collection of tables. Information on each project includes project description, detailed funding information including type of funding, fiscal year, phase of project, score given to the project by an evaluation board, and photographs or sketches of the project. E-STIP allows users to periodically check on the status of key actions as a project progresses.

Denver Regional Council of Governments, Denver, CO

The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) includes an appendix to its TIP which includes a formatted one-page summary for each project which is electronically published. The summary contains prescribed fields such as project type, project scope, project sponsor, function the project fulfills, project status, and detailed funding information. Sketches, maps, photographs and illustrations are included to depict the programmed projects.

In addition to the examples above, the following are highlighted on the TPCB site:

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X. Coordinated Public Transit-Human Service Plan

SAFETEA-LU requires that proposed projects under three FTA formula funding programs - Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities [49 USC 5310(d)(2)(B)(i) & (ii)]; Job Access and Reverse Commute [49 USC 5316 (g)(3)(A) & (B)]; and New Freedom [49 USC 5317 (f)(3)(A) & (B)] - must be derived from a locally developed and coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan. Local officials will determine the appropriate "lead" which may or may not be the MPO.
Following are selected examples of a range of approaches taken by MPOs to prepare and coordinate public transit-human service plans.

Maricopa Association of Governments, Phoenix, AZ

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), the MPO for Phoenix metropolitan area, has developed the Elderly Mobility Initiative, with intensive public involvement from area seniors regarding transportation barriers and potential solutions. The initiative resulted in the development of a Regional Action Plan on Aging and Mobility, which provided specific regional strategies in the areas of alternative transportation, older driver competency, infrastructure and land use and education and training. MAG works with the Maricopa County Social Services Department and various non-profit human service providers to coordinate transportation services and develop the underlying transportation networks (primarily fleets and drivers) to service their clients' transportation needs. MAG brought together its transportation and human services staff, along with representatives from the City of Phoenix, Arizona DOT, regional transit providers, and the County Social Services Department to develop an FTA JARC application. MAG has conducted a series of public outreach meetings and public hearings to complete an assessment of the human services transportation programs and needs in the metropolitan area. These efforts will result in the development of a coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan.

San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego, CA

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) commissioned the development of the San Diego Regional Welfare to Work Transportation Plan to identify the needs of clients from the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. CalWORKs was developed by the State of California and requires each county to develop a welfare-to-work plan to meet the needs of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program recipients. This is a key ingredient to the efforts towards development of the coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan. The plan included participation from the following institutions: SANDAG, Metropolitan Transit Development Board, American Red Cross, Lockheed Martin IMS, Maximus, County Transit Services, Caltrans, County of San Diego, Health and Human Services, North County Transit District, and Workforce Partnership. The plan identified exisiting transportation services and provides an analysis of location of clients and employers. The plan also dicussed service gaps and transportation barriers identified from interviews with stakeholders and other outreach efforts and recommended improvement strategies. The improvement strategies included modifications to existing transit services, complementary transit services, improved access to information, automobile based strategies, and public policy changes.

East-West Gateway Council of Governments, St. Louis, MO

The East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWGCOG), the MPO for the bi-state St. Louis metropolitan area, created a regional strategy for access to jobs, bringing transportation providers together with low-income job-seekers, employers seeking workers, workforce development agencies, child care providers, and other agencies. The strategy has been focused around the corridor that surrounds the area's MetroLink light rail line, but has also involved employers and job-seekers in areas outside the urban core. EWGCOG maintains the Paratransit Advisory Committee (PAC), an advisory body that works with EWGCOG and other policy-makers on both strategic planning and project programming for special transportation services. Membership of the PAC includes local governments, state agencies, the regional transit operator, paratransit service providers, and paratransit riders. EWGCOG worked with neighborhood churches to establish "mobility counselors," i.e. representatives from each parish to provide training and information to the public about regional transportation services and the transportation planning process. These efforts will result in the development of a coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan.

Mid-America Regional Council, Kansas City, MO

The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) developed a regional Job Access and Reverse Commute transportation plan in partnership with local transit operators, social service agencies, and employment centers. The regional Job Access and Reverse Commute transportation plan describes a comprehensive approach to providing transportation services to welfare recipients and low-income individuals. MARC passes through federal grants to local government authorities and nonprofit agencies that propose to increase and improve mobility options for low-income individuals by providing transportation services that support skills development, childcare and employment. Proposals were solicited and funds were awarded to address unmet transportation needs in the region, such as: split shifts/evening/weekend and holidays; multiple child care destinations; and education and skills training. These efforts are part of the development of the coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan.

Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments, Fargo, ND

The Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments (Metro COG) established the Metropolitan Transportation Initiative (MTI), a consortium of local municipalities, public and private transportation providers, social/human service agencies, and private sector employers in the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area. MTI is responsible for the maintenance and implementation of the Metropolitan Access to Jobs Plan (MATJ). The MATJ is the guiding document for federal Job Access Reverse Commute dollars used in the metropolitan area.

Metro COG is in the process of developing a Special Transportation Plan to identify the transportation needs of the elderly, persons with disabilities, and low income persons. The MTI is part of this process to identify transportation needs and service gaps and project concepts in the development of a coordinated public transit-human service plan. Metro COG has held input meetings with various stakeholders and user groups and theses efforts will lead to the preparation of a public transit-human services transportation plan.

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XI. Publication of Annual Listings of Projects

SAFETEA-LU requires that "An annual listing of projects, including investments in pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities, for which Federal funds have been obligated in the preceding year shall be published or otherwise made available by the cooperative effort of the State, transit operator, and metropolitan planning organization for public review. The listing shall be consistent with the categories identified in the TIP" [49 USC 5303(j)(7)(B) and 23 USC 134(j)(7)(B)].
Following are selected examples of a range of approaches taken by MPOs in preparing and publicizing the annual listing of projects.

Denver Regional Council of Governments, Denver, CO

The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) organizes its Annual Listing of Federally Obligated Projects according to federal funding category with the program year corresponding to the federal fiscal year. Pedestrian and bicycle projects are included in the funding categories along with the other projects. The report provides a narrative summary of the percentage of obligations according to highway, transit, bicycle and pedestrian, and other air quality project categories, as well as a tabular project listing. The report also provides a useful overview of the transportation planning and programming process underlying development of the TIP and resulting fund obligation.

Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Columbus, OH

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and ODOT coordinate their efforts to generate the data that goes into the annual listing of federally obligated projects report. The report is organized into three tables:

Table 1 list information for projects for which federal funds were obligated in FY 2006. The table includes a project description, sponsoring agency, types of bicycle amd pedestrian facilities, funding sorce, project phase, and amount obligated. Projects are grouped by the primary type of work (arterial expansion, bikeway, bridge repair, transit, etc).

Table 2 is a listing of projects in Table 1 that include the construction of bicycle facilities in some phase of the project. It only highlights the projects in Table 1 that include bicycle facilities and does not contain any additional information.

Similarly, Table 3 is a listing of projects Table 1 that include the construction of pedestrian facilities in some phase of the project. It only highlights the projects in Table 1 that include pedestrian facilities and does not contain any additional information.

The report on the obligated listings provides an introduction, background, how the report is organized, and guide to the headings and abbreviations used in the report.

Updated: 10/20/2015
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