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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

Tribal Transportation Planning

Affirmed in treaties, Supreme Court decisions, and executive orders, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has a government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribal Governments and requires that the FHWA and other Federal agencies consult with Tribes regarding policy and regulatory matters. Additionally, 23 USC 134 and 23 USC 135 establish consultation requirements with tribes through the Statewide and Metropolitan transportation planning and programming processes.

Transportation planning is the process of developing strategies for operating, managing, maintaining, and financing the area's transportation system to achieve the community's long-term transportation goals and vision. It looks for ways to solve current transportation problems while anticipating and addressing issues likely to occur in the future. Tribal governments use this information to make well-informed decisions on how to spend available funding set aside for transportation projects.

Transportation planning enables communities to identify broad goals to meet transportation needs through informed decision-making. The multimodal strategies for achieving these goals should address current and future land use, economic development, travel demand, public safety, health, and social needs among others. With the utmost respect for Tribal sovereignty, the FHWA is committed to building more effective day-to-day working relationships among the Federal government, State Departments of Transportation, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, local governments, and Indian Tribal Governments regarding tribal transportation planning.

For more information on tribal transportation planning, please visit the Transportation Planning Capacity Building Tribal Transportation Planning Focus Page which contains resources, publications, legislation and guidance, event calendar, recent and upcoming peer events, and related websites. The site also contains tribal planning news, regulations, policies, training opportunities, and contact information on tribal transportation planning.

Updated: 8/22/2014
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