Transportation Planning Studies
How Do We Plan?
For Large-Scale Planning Studies there are several major steps of activities that take place during transportation planning.
- The first step is the Preliminary Needs Assessment (PNA). In this step the project team determines the need for a planning study and helps establish a foundation for the remainder of the planning process.
- The second step is Exploring Existing and Future Conditions. In this step the project team reviews available information from previously-completed planning documents (plans, studies, and visions) to develop a baseline understanding of issues, opportunities, and needs that could be addressed by transportation strategies. This work, to assemble data and summarize it into useful information, provides a foundation for decision-making in the remainder of the planning study.
- The third and final step is Identifying Potential Solutions and Implementation Actions. In this step the project team considers the issues and opportunities identified in Exploring Existing and Future Conditions, formulates and better defines the solutions that are the best candidates to address them, and drafts a plan for moving ahead with next steps in project development and implementation. The result will be additional information on candidate projects to advance to Project Development and Environmental (PD&E) studies and other implementation steps, better documentation and decision making to eliminate potential solutions that are not viable, and a stronger link between the work done in planning, project development, and implementation.
The following flowchart outlines the major steps mentioned above and details the internal step processes, key decision points, public and partner engagement activities, and products (shown in bold italic). A pdf version of the flowchart can be found here.
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