Meeting Federal Regulations

The Financially Constrained Long-Range Transportation Plan (CLRP) must meet federal requirements as established in the final U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) transportation planning regulations related to MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century), the federal transportation authorization bill passed in 2012. The regulations established new requirements and reaffirmed existing requirements for metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in developing long-range transportation plans. Major new requirements are noted in the text boxes below and include the development of a participation plan, a congestion Management Process, environmental consultation and a transportation safety element. Follow the links below to learn how the TPB met the wide range of federal regulations in its transportation planning efforts.

Air Quality Conformity

Congestion Management Process

Consideration of the Planning Factors

Consultation and Mitigation Discussion

Environmental Justice, Title VI and ADA

Financial Constraint

Freight Planning

Human Service Transportation Coordination

Management, Operations and Technology

Other Requirements

  • Annual Listing of Projects
  • Metropolitan Planning Agreement
  • Certification Review
  • Cycle and Updates
  • Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP)

Public Participation

Security and Emergency Preparedness Planning

Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

Transportation Safety

Air Quality Conformity

The TPB must make sure that the projects in the CLRP and TIP, taken collectively, support the attainment of the federal health standards. This is a requirement of the federal Clean Air Act. The plan's air quality conformity assessment included (1) comparing forecasted mobile source emissions to emissions ceilings (called “mobile emissions budgets”) for volatile organic compounds (VOC), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO) established in the air quality plans for the region; and (2) comparing forecasted mobile source emissions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and precursor NOx (vehicle emissions which lead to additional PM2.5 formulation) with base year 2002 levels to ensure such emissions do not increase through time . The conformity analysis found that forecasts of mobile emissions for VOC, NOx, and CO are within required budgets for the forecast years of 2015, 2017, 2020, 2025, 2030, and 2040. The analysis also found that forecasts of PM2.5 emissions are signficantly lower than base year 2002 levels.

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Congestion Management Process

In 2007, the TPB established a Congestion Management Process (CMP) which provides information on transportation system performance, and to consider alternative strategies to alleviate congestion and enhance the mobility of persons and goods.  The CMP has four main components:  1) Congestion monitoring of major highways; 2) Identification and analysis of strategies to alleviate congestion; 3) Implementation of reasonable strategies and an assessment of their effectiveness and 4) Integration of strategies into major roadway construction projects. With the CMP, the TPB aims to use existing and future transportation facilities efficiently and effectively, reducing the need for highway capacity increases for single-occupant vehicles (SOVs).

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Consideration of the Planning Factors

The eight federal planning factors are encompassed by the TPB Vision and are considered when developing the CLRP.  Each planning factor is included in one or more of the TPB Vision goals, objectives and strategies, except for security, which is implicitly addressed in the TPB Vision. In the Call for Projects for the CLRP, the implementing agencies were asked to consider the TPB Vision in developing their project submissions and to identify which planning factors are addressed by the project. The planning regulations added safety and security as two separate planning factors, which are addressed by the TPB in on-going planning activities.

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Consultation and Mitigation Discussion

The TPB consulted with natural resource, conservation, environmental protection and historic preservation agencies regarding the development of the CLRP. These agencies provided comments on the plan, contacts for future engagement and environmental GIS data.  This regional data was used to create maps of environmentally and/or culturally sensitive areas for comparison with the CLRP. The CLRP also includes an environmental mitigation discussion which identifies potential activities to moderate the environmental impacts of the long range transportation plan.

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Transportation for Persons with Disabilities, Low-Income Individuals and Older Adults

To ensure on-going participation from low-income and minority communities and persons with disabilities, the TPB created the Access for All (AFA) Advisory Committee in 2001 to advise the Board on transportation issues, programs, policies, and services that are important to these communities and individuals.  The TPB Access for All Advisory (AFA) Committee has developed recommendations to improve transportation services for people with disabilities and older adults. Each year, the AFA comments on the Draft CLRP. In addition, The TPB’s Coordinated Human Service Transportation Plan, updated in December 2009, identities unmet transportation needs for people with disabilities, low-income individuals and older adults.  The Coordinated Plan guides the selection of projects to be funded by the TPB’s Federal Transit Administration Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) and New Freedom Programs.  The TPB also has Language Assistance Plan and follows the COG accommodations policy to provide access to documents, meetings or any other planning activities limited English proficiency populations and those with disabilities.

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Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), as the administrative agent for the TPB, adopted the "Title VI Plan To Ensure Nondiscrimination in all Programs and Activities" which includes a policy statement, Title VI assurances and nondiscrimination complaint procedures. The Title VI Plan describes how COG and the TPB meet a number of Title VI requirements. As part of the TPB’s activities to ensure nondiscrimination, the CLRP is analyzed to ensure that low-income, minority and disabled populations are not disproportionately and adversely affected.

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Human Service Transportation Coordination

The TPB became more involved with human service transportation coordination efforts to improve transportation for low-income populations, persons with disabilities and older adults. The TPB established a Task Force to work on this topic, approved a Coordinated Human Service Transportation Plan in April 2007 (updated in December 2009) and conducted its fourth solicitation for Job Access Reverse Commute and New Freedom Funds as the designated recipient for these Federal Transit Administration programs in the Washington DC-VA-MD Urbanized Area. In all, 35 projects have been funded to date. The preparation of the Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan was coordinated and is consistent with the CLRP.

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Financial Constraint

 

The financial plan for the CLRP demonstrates that the forecast revenues reasonably expected to be available are equal to the estimated costs of expanding and adequately maintaining and operating the highway and transit system in the region through 2040. The forecasts were prepared by the transportation implementing agencies and jurisdictions, with technical integration and documentation provided by consultants.

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Freight Planning

On July 21, 2010 the TPB approved the National Capital Region Freight Plan for 2010 - the first freight plan for the Metropolitan Washington area. It fefines the role of freight in the region, provides information on current and forecasted conditions, identifies regional freight concerns such as safety and security, and includes a National Capital Region Freight Project Database.

The TPB's Freight Subcommittee has been active since 2008. The Subcommittee meets regularly to exchange information among stakeholders and provide advice to the TPB on regional freight issues.  The Subcommittee also conducts occasional site visits such as to the CSX Transportation rail facilities in Washington.  TPB staff maintains contact with the freight community via a monthly e-newsletter, Focus on Freight.  Additional outreach efforts include attending nearby MPO meetings, freight-related association meetings, and maintaining a TPB Freight Program Web Site.  TPB staff also expanded the content of the freight planning portion of the CLRP web site. 

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Management, Operations and Technology

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) are the application of current and evolving computer and communications technology to transportation systems. The benefits seen from ITS have uncovered another key aspect of transportation systems—management and operations (M&O) – maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of the transportation system. To address these issues, the TPB has a Management, Operations and Intelligent Transportation Systems (MOITS) Policy Task Force and MOITS Technical Subcommittee. Related programs include the Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination (MATOC) Program, the Regional Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Architecture and the Traffic Signals Subcommittee.

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Other Requirements

 

Annual Listing of Projects

With the assistance of and in cooperation with the transportation implementing agencies in the region, the TPB has prepared an annual listing of projects for which federal funds have been obligated each year since 2001.

Metropolitan Planning Agreement

In the Washington Metropolitan region, the roles and responsibilities involving the TPB, the three state DOTs, the local government transportation agencies, WMATA and the state and local government public transportation operators for cooperatively carrying out transportation planning and programming have been established over several years. As required under the final planning regulations, the TPB, the state DOTs and the public transportation operators have documented their transportation planning roles and responsibilities in the Washington Metropolitan Region in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was executed by all parties on January 16, 2008.

Certification Review

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) conducted a joint review of the TPB's planning process during an on-site visit April 19 and 20, 2010. The Federal team also met with the Citizens Advisory Committee and the Access for All Advisory Committee to discuss public involvement. Under Federal Planning regulations FHWA and FTA must review and certify that the TPB's planning process meets the requirements of the Metropolitan Transportation Rule at 23 CFR Part 450 Subpart C and 49 CFR part 613 every four years. In a May 2011 report, FHWA and FTA determined that the TPB met the planning requirements.

Cycle and Updates

The TPB updates both the CLRP every year and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) every two years. Typically, projects are submitted for inclusion in the air quality conformity analysis of the CLRP in the winter or spring, are released for public comment, and then are approved by the TPB for air quality conformity testing. A travel demand and emissions analysis is conducted, and then the Draft CLRP, TIP and air quality conformity analysis are released for another public comment period in late summer or fall, after which time the TPB is asked to approve the three documents.

Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP)

Each year, the TPB adopts a Unified Planning Work Program that incorporates all federally-assisted state, regional and local transportation planning activities proposed to be undertaken in one document. The UPWP describes all work activities utilizing federal funding and details the tasks and budgets that will be accomplished each year to meet the federal planning requirements, such as preparing the TIP and updating the CLRP.

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Public Participation

 

A Participation Plan has been developed that articulates the TPB’s commitment to a transparent interface with the public and with relevant public agencies to support the regional transportation planning process, including the development of the CLRP. The long-range plan had two public comment periods during its development; the first was held from February 10 to March 12, 2011 on the projects to be included in the air quality conformity analysis, and the second was held from October 13 to November 12, 2011 on the draft 2011 CLRP and the draft air quality conformity determination.

The TPB has two standing citizen committees: The Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC), the main standing body for providing citizen input into the deliberations of the TPB; and the Access for All (AFA) Advisory Committee which provides input to the TPB on concerns of low-income individuals, minority individuals and persons with disabilities.

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Security and Emergency Preparedness Planning

Transportation plays multifaceted roles in incidents and emergencies. The need for coordination among transportation agencies during incidents having multi-jurisdictional or regional impacts fostered creation of the Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination (MATOC) Program. The MATOC Program aims to advise agencies as they respond to major incidents, through improved technological data sharing systems, coordinated operating and notification procedures, and better availability of transportation information for the public.

In declared emergencies and major disasters, transportation becomes one of a number of support functions to a public safety agency-led response. Regionally, public safety and emergency management planning are addressed under the auspices of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Board of Directors and its group of public safety programs and committees. The COG Board is advised by the National Capital Region Emergency Preparedness Council on regional preparedness planning matters, as well as by a number of specialized public safety committees in theHomeland Security Program. The TPB and its programs maintain liaison with the COG programs, and provide technical transportation expertise as necessary.

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Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a 6-year financial program that describes the schedule for obligating federal funds to state and local projects. The TIP contains funding information for all modes of transportation including highways and high occupancy vehicle (HOV) facilities as well as transit capital and operating costs. The TIP represents an agency's intent to construct or implement a specific project and the anticipated flow of federal funds and matching state or local contributions. State, regional and local transportation agencies update the TIP each year to reflect priority projects in the CLRP. A public forum was held during the course of the development of the TIP on June 14, 2012. The FY 2013-2018 TIP is available online and in a searchable database.

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Transportation Safety Planning

The Transportation Safety Element of the CLRP integrates the important topic of safety in the planning process, including tracking safety funding in the TIP, sharing best practices, regional traffic safety data compilation and sharing, participation in the State Highway Safety planning process, and coordination of the metropolitan planning aspects of state, regional, and local safety efforts, especially education and enforcement. A Transportation Safety Subcommittee of the TPB advises staff on the Safety Element and Safety programs.

The TPB conducts a yearly "Street Smart" campaign to raise awareness and promote safer behavior among drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.

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