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Glossary

3-C Process
Continuing, comprehensive and cooperative transportation planning process.
Capacity
A transportation facility's ability to accommodate a moving stream of people or vehicles in a given time period.
Collaboration
Any cooperative effort between and among governmental entities (as well as with private partners) through which the partners work together to achieve common goals. Such collaboration can range from very informal, ad hoc activities to more planned, organized and formalized ways of working together. The collaborative parties work toward mutual advantage and common goals. They share a sense of public purpose, leverage resources to yield improved outcomes, and bridge traditional geographic, institutional, and functional boundaries.
Congestion Management System
Provides information on transportation system performance and finds alternative ways to alleviate congestion and enhance the mobility of people and goods to levels that meet state, regional and local needs. TEA-21 requires each Transportation Management Area (TMA) to develop a CMS that is a systematic process for managing congestion. Through the use of travel demand reduction and operational management strategies, the CMS provides information on transportation systems performance and identifies alternative ways to alleviate congestion and enhance the mobility of people and goods, to levels that meet state and regional/local needs.
Intelligent Transportation System (ITS)
Electronics, communications, and information processing that are integrated to improve the efficiency or safety of surface transportation.
ITS Architecture
Defines a framework within which interrelated systems can be built that work together to deliver transportation services.
ITS Operational Concept
An operational concept identifies the roles and responsibilities of participating agencies and stakeholders in the development of the ITS architecture.
Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP)
A document resulting from regional or statewide collaboration and consensus on a region or state's transportation system, and serving as the defining vision for the region's or state's transportation systems and services. In metropolitan areas, the plan indicates all of the transportation improvements scheduled for funding over the next 20 years. It is fiscally constrained, i.e., a given program or project can reasonably expect to receive funding within the time allotted for its implementation.
Maintenance
In general, the preservation (scheduled and corrective) of a highway or transit line. It includes the preservation of the surface, shoulders, roadsides, and structures, including right-of-way (ROW) maintenance; and such traffic-control devices as are necessary for safe, secure, and efficient use of a highway/transit line.
Management and Operations (M&O)
See Transportation Systems Management and Operations.
Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP)
The official intermodal transportation plan that is developed and adopted through the metropolitan transportation planning process for the metropolitan planning area.
National ITS Architecture (also "national architecture")
A common framework for ITS interoperability. The National ITS Architecture comprises the logical architecture and physical architecture which satisfy a defined set of user services. The National ITS Architecture is maintained by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and is available on the DOT web site at http://www.its.dot.gov/arch/.
Operational Improvement
A capital improvement for installation or implementation of a transportation system management and operations program. This includes traffic and transportation security surveillance and control equipment; a computerized signal system; a motorist information system; an integrated traffic control system; an incident management program; equipment and programs for transportation response to man-made and natural disasters; or a transportation demand management facility, strategy, or program; and such other capital improvements to a public road as the Secretary may designate by regulation. The term does not include a resurfacing, restorative, or rehabilitative improvement; construction of an additional lane, interchange, or grade separation; or construction of a new facility on a new location.
Operating Costs for Traffic Monitoring, Management, and Control
The costs associated with transportation systems management and operations and the continuous operation of traffic control. These costs include labor costs; administrative costs; costs of utilities and rent; costs incurred by transportation agencies for technology to monitor critical transportation infrastructure for security purposes; and other costs associated with transportation systems management and operations and the continuous operation of traffic control.
Operations
The provision of integrated systems and services that make the best use of existing transportation systems in order to preserve and improve customer-related performance. This is done in anticipation of, or in response to, both recurring and non-recurring conditions. Operations includes a range of activities in both urban and rural environments, including: routine traffic and transit operations, public safety responses, incident management, snow and ice management, network/facility management, planned construction disruptions, and traveler/shipper information.
Operations and Maintenance (O&M)
The range of activities and services provided by the transportation system and the upkeep and preservation of the existing system. Specifically, operations includes the range of activities/services provided by transportation system. Maintenance relates to the upkeep and preservation of the existing system.
Performance Measurement
The process that supports the decision making process by generating indicators of how well the transportation system is achieving the desired or expected outcomes.
Performance Measures
Indicators of transportation system outcomes with regard to such things as average speed, reliability of travel, and accident rates.
Planning Factors
A set of broad objectives defined in Federal legislation to be considered in both the metropolitan and statewide planning process. Both TEA-21 and its predecessor, ISTEA, identify specific factors that must be considered in the planning process. TEA-21 consolidated what were previously 16 metropolitan and 23 statewide planning "factors" into seven broad "areas" to be considered in the planning process, both at the metropolitan and statewide level:
  1. Support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area, particularly by enhancing global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency;
  2. Increase the safety and security of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users;
  3. Increase the accessibility and mobility options available to people and freight;
  4. Protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, and improve the quality of life;
  5. Enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight;
  6. Promote efficient system management and operation; and
  7. Emphasize the preservation of the existing system.
Planning for Operations
A set of activities that takes place within the context of an agency, jurisdiction, and/or regional entity with the intent of establishing and carrying out plans, policies, and procedures that enable and improve the management and operation of transportation systems.
Project
An undertaking to construct a particular portion of a highway; or if the context so implies, a particular portion of a highway so constructed; and any other undertaking eligible for assistance under this title.
Region/Regional
Metropolitan or any other multi-jurisdictional area.
Region (as defined for ITS)
The geographical area that identifies the boundaries of the regional ITS architecture and is defined by and based on the needs of the participating agencies and other stakeholders.
Regional ITS Architecture
A regional framework for ensuring institutional agreement and technical integration for the implementation of ITS projects or groups of projects.
Regional Concept for Transportation Operations
A Regional Concept for Transportation Operations (RCTO) presents a regional objective for transportation operations and what is needed to achieve that objective within a reasonably short timeframe, possibly three to five years. It is a description of the desired state for transportation operations presented as an operations objective accompanied by a set of physical improvements that need to be implemented, relationships and procedures that must be established, and resource arrangements that are needed to accomplish the operations objective. Both the operations objective and what is needed to achieve it are accomplished through deliberate and sustained collaboration among stakeholders.
Regional transportation operations collaboration and coordination
The activity of those responsible for transportation operations working together in a sustained manner.
Regional Transportation Systems Management and Operations (RTSM&O)
A multi-modal and cross-jurisdictional program of systems, services, and projects intended to optimize the performance of existing infrastructure. The term "transportation systems management and operations" means an integrated program to optimize the performance of existing infrastructure through the implementation of multimodal and inter-modal, cross-jurisdictional systems, services, and projects designed to preserve capacity and improve security, safety, and reliability of Federal-aid highways. The term includes regional operations collaboration and coordination activities between transportation and public safety agencies; and improvements to the transportation system such as traffic detection and surveillance, arterial management, freeway management, demand management, work zone management, emergency management, electronic toll collection, automated enforcement, traffic incident management, roadway weather management, traveler information services, commercial vehicle operations, traffic control, freight management, and coordination of highway, rail, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian operations.
State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)
A staged, multi-year, statewide, multimodal/intermodal program of transportation projects. It is consistent with the statewide transportation plan and planning processes as well as metropolitan plans, TIPs, and processes.
Transportation Demand Management (TDM)
Programs designed to reduce demand for transportation through various means, such as the use of transit and of alternative work hours.
Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)
A document prepared by a metropolitan planning organization (MPO) that lists projects to be funded with FHWA/FTA funds for the next one- to three-year period.
Transportation Management Area (TMA)
All urbanized areas over 200,000 in population, and any other area that requests such designation.
Transportation Planning
A continuing, comprehensive and collaborative process to encourage and promote the development of a multimodal transportation system to ensure safe and efficient movement of people and goods while balancing environmental and community needs. Statewide and metropolitan transportation planning processes are governed by Federal law and applicable state and local laws.
Transportation Systems Management
A coordinated and integrated decisionmaking approach to (1) construction, (2) preservation, (3) maintenance, and (4) operations of transportation facilities with the intent of maximizing transportation system performance. The goal of transportation systems management is safe, reliable, predictable and user-friendly transportation. The operations aspect of system management includes: scheduled/recurring activities (e.g., preventive maintenance, signal retiming, snow removal), planned disruptions (e.g., work zones), unscheduled/non-recurring disruptions (e.g., incidents, accidents, unanticipated repairs), special events (e.g., Olympics, sporting events, inaugurals), and real-time transportation system management (e.g., traveler information, ramp metering, lane controls).
Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSM&O)
An integrated program to optimize the performance of existing infrastructure through the implementation of systems, services, and projects designed to preserve capacity and improve security, safety, and reliability. The term includes improvements to the transportation system such as traffic detection and surveillance, arterial management, freeway management, demand management, work zone management, emergency management, electronic toll collection, automated enforcement, traffic incident management, roadway weather management, traveler information services, commercial vehicle operations, traffic control, freight management, and coordination of highway, rail, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian operations.
Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP)
The management plan for the (metropolitan) planning program with the purpose of coordinating the planning activities of all participants in the planning process.
Vision
The regionally-agreed statement of the overall aims of the regional transportation plan. In the context of regional transportation operations, a "vision" is the regionally-agreed statement of the overall aims of the regional transportation plan; describes the 'target' end-state. Typically, a regional transportation vision will drive its goals (policy statements – the ends toward which effort is directed), objectives (measurable results), and strategies (ways/means to achieve objectives).
Work Zone
An area of highway with construction, maintenance, or utility work activities. A work zone is typically marked by signs, channelizing devices, barriers, pavement markings, and/or work vehicles. It extends from the first warning sign or rotating/strobe lights on a vehicle to the END ROAD WORK sign or the last temporary traffic control device.