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The Transportation Planning Process: Key Issues


  • Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Federal Transit Administration


US DOT; Publication Number: FHWA-HEP-07-039


Transportation helps shape an area’s economic health and quality of life. Not only does the transportation system provide for the mobility of people and goods, it also influences patterns of growth and economic activity by providing access to land. The performance of the system affects public policy concerns like air quality, environmental resource consumption, social equity, land use, urban growth, economic development, safety, and security. Transportation planning recognizes the critical links between transportation and other societal goals. The planning process is more than merely listing highway and transit capital projects.It requires developing strategies for operating, managing, maintaining, and financing the area’s transportation system in such a way as to advance the area’s long-term goals.

This book provides government officials, transportation decisionmakers, planning board members, and transportation service providers with an overview of transportation planning. It contains a basic understanding of key concepts in statewide and metropolitan transportation planning, along with references for additional information. Part I discusses transportation planning and its relationship to decisionmaking. This section is general, and provides a broad introduction to the planning process. Part II presents short descriptions of important policy and planning topics. This section includes more technical information than Part I, but is not intended to provide details of each policy issue.

Publication Date

September 2007 (2007-09)

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