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Federal Requirements for Long Range Planning

Federal regulations stipulate that the long-range transportation plan (LRTP) shall “include both long-range and short-range strategies/actions that provide for the development of an integrated multimodal transportation system (including accessible pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities) to facilitate the safe and efficient movement of people and goods in addressing current and future transportation demand.”

Elements of the Long-Range Transportation Plan

The current plan is Maximize2040: A Performance-Based Transportation Plan. Required elements include:

  1. Current and projected transportation demand of persons and goods in the metropolitan planning area
  2. Existing and proposed transportation facilities that should function as an integrated metropolitan transportation system, with emphasis on facilities that serve important national and regional transportation functions
  3. Description of the performance measures and targets used in assessing the performance of the transportation system
  4. System performance report evaluating the condition and performance of the transportation system with respect to performance targets
  5. Operational and management strategies to improve the performance of existing transportation facilities to relieve vehicular congestion and maximize the safety and mobility of people and goods
  6. Consideration of the results of the congestion management process (CMP)
  7. Assessment of capital investment and other strategies to preserve the existing and projected future metropolitan transportation infrastructure, provide for multimodal capacity increases based on regional priorities and needs, and reduce the vulnerability of the existing transportation infrastructure to natural disasters
  8. Transportation and transit enhancement activities
  9. Design concept and design scope descriptions of existing and proposed transportation facilities in sufficient detail to develop cost estimates
  10. Discussion of types of potential environmental mitigation activities
  11. Pedestrian walkway and bicycle transportation facilities

Fiscal Constraint – Financial Plan

The financial plan of the LRTP shows the amount of revenue the region reasonably anticipates will be available over the next 20-25 years. This is important because the LRTP must demonstrate fiscal constraint. That is, the total estimated cost of the projects and programs in the LRTP cannot exceed the amount of revenue expected to be available.

Consultation with Stakeholders and the Public

As documented in the Public Participation Plan, the MPO shall provide interested parties with a “reasonable opportunity to comment on the transportation plan.

Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) – The UPWP describes the BRTB’s and BMC staff’s planning-related tasks and provides schedules and budgets for these tasks for the coming fiscal year.

Public Participation Plan / Consultation with Interested Parties – The FAST Act requires MPOs to consult with state and local officials, transit operators, and the public when conducting transportation planning, with attention paid to stakeholders who have not traditionally been involved in transportation decisions. The Public Participation Plan defines the process for providing interested parties with opportunities to be involved in transportation planning.

Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) – The LRTP provides information on the region’s transportation goals and policies as well as socioeconomic, environmental, and other factors that will affect the operation of the transportation system over the next 20-25 years. The LRTP includes a list of planned major federally funded capital projects, their estimated costs, and the revenues reasonably expected to be available to fund the projects. The LRTP is updated every four years.

Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) – The TIP is a 4-year listing of federally funded transportation projects, generally updated every year. The TIP is the programming element of the LRTP, listing projects with committed funds and schedules.

Congestion Management Process

All metropolitan areas with populations greater than 200,000 must have a congestion management process (CMP). A CMP enables transportation planners and decision makers to apply data on system performance to assess alternative strategies for managing congestion.

Air Quality Conformity

The EPA has designated the Baltimore region as a nonattainment area with regard to the 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). As a result, the LRTP must demonstrate air quality conformity with the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for attaining air quality standards.