Glossary Terms

A - D

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

Federal law that requires public facilities (including transportation services) to be accessible to persons with disabilities, including those with mental disabilities, temporary disabilities, and the conditions related to substance abuse.

Administrative Modification

A revision to a long-range Statewide transportation or MTP, TIP, or STIP that includes minor changes to project/project phase costs, minor changes to funding sources of previously included projects, and minor changes to project/project phase initiation dates. An administrative modification is a revision that does not require public review and comment, demonstration of fiscal constraint, or a conformity determination (in nonattainment and maintenance areas).


A revision to a long-range Statewide or metropolitan transportation plan, TIP, or STIP, that involves a major change to a project, including the addition or deletion of a project or a major change in project cost, project/project phase initiation dates, or a major change in design concept or design scope (for example, changing project termini, the number of through traffic lanes, or the number of stations in the case of fixed-guideway transit projects). Changes to projects that are included only for illustrative purposes do not require an amendment. An amendment requires public review and comment, as well as a re-demonstration of fiscal constraint. If an amendment involves “non-exempt” projects in nonattainment and maintenance areas, a conformity determination is required. In the context of a long-range Statewide transportation plan, an amendment is a revision approved by the State in accordance with its public involvement process.

Air Quality Conformity Analysis (AQCA)

All projects that are determined to add capacity (i.e., adding a travel lane) to the road network must undergo an air quality analysis as part of the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) processes. Capacity adding projects cannot exceed the amount of allowable emissions as stated in the Statewide Transportation Improvements Plan (SIP).

Area Sources

Small stationary and non-transportation pollution sources that are too small and/or numerous to be included as point sources but may collectively contribute significantly to air pollution (for example, dry cleaning services).

Asset Management

A strategic and systematic process of operating, maintaining, and improving physical assets, with a focus on both engineering and economic analysis based upon quality information, to identify a structured sequence of maintenance, preservation, repair, rehabilitation, and replacement actions that will achieve and sustain a desired state of good repair over the lifecycle of the assets at minimum practicable cost.

Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO)

A national nonprofit membership organization serving the interests of metropolitan planning organizations nationwide.

Autonomous Car

An unmanned ground vehicle is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input.[2]

Attainment Area

Any geographic area in which levels of a given criteria air pollutant (for example, ozone, carbon monoxide, PM10, PM2.5, and nitrogen oxide) meet the health-based National Ambient Air Quality Standards for that pollutant. An area may be an attainment area for one pollutant and a nonattainment area for others. A maintenance area (see definition below) is not considered an attainment area for transportation planning purposes.

Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BAPC)

The BPC is comprised of citizens, planners, biking and walking organizations and was established to provide guidance to the Policy Committee on issues related to the non-motorized modes of transportation.  This committee also provides recommendations for the encouragement and education of the public regarding bicycle and pedestrian routes, safety and other issues.

Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan (BPP)

The primary goals of the BPP are to preserve and enhance the bicycling and pedestrian network, to improve the safety, attractiveness and overall viability of cycling and walking as legitimate transportation alternatives to the transportation system. The BPP is reviewed and updated every four years in conjunction with the update of the LRTP.


A transportation facility’s ability to accommodate a moving stream of people or vehicles in a given time period. Capital Program Funds Financial assistance from the major transit capital programs of 49 U.S.C. Section 5309. This program enables the Secretary of Transportation to make discretionary capital grants and loans to finance public transportation projects divided among fixed guideway (rail) modernization, construction of new fixed guideway systems and extensions to fixed guideway systems, and replacement, rehabilitation, and purchase of buses and rented equipment, as well as construction of bus-related facilities.

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

A colorless, odorless, highly toxic gas that is a normal by-product of incomplete fossil fuel combustion. Carbon monoxide, one of the major air pollutants, can be harmful in small amounts if breathed over a certain period of time.

Citizens Transportation Advisory Group (CTAG)

The CTAG is an advisory group to the Policy Committee and functions to encourage citizen participation during the transportation planning process and to advise the Policy Committee of the citizen’s perspective on transportation planning, programs and projects.

Clean Air Act

The original Clean Air Act was passed in 1963, but the national air pollution control program is actually based on the 1970 revision of the law. The Clean Air Act as amended in 1990 made major changes and contains the most far-reaching revisions of the 1970 law.

Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA)

The original Clean Air Act was passed in 1963, but the national air pollution control program is actually based on the 1970 version of the law. The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments are the most far-reaching revisions of the 1970 law. The 1990 Clean Air Act is the most recent version of the 1970 version of the law. The 1990 amendments made major changes in the Clean Air Act.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

A compilation of the general and permanent rules of the executive departments and agencies of the federal government as published in the Federal Register. The code is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to federal regulation.

Code of Federal Regulations Title 23, Part 450

Guides the development of statewide transportation plans and programs; requires early and continuous public involvement.

Code of Federal Regulations Title 49, Part 24

Ensures property owners and people displaced by federal-aid projects are treated fairly, consistently and equitably.

Collector-Distributor (CD) Road

Roadways that parallel the interstate and provide access/egress at multiple cross roads, while eliminating off-ramp and on-ramp movements along the mainline of the interstate, thereby improving traffic flow.

Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB)

Appointed by the governor, the 17-member Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) establishes the administrative policies for Virginia’s transportation system.

Community Impact Assessment (CIA)

Community impact assessment is “a process to evaluate the effects of a transportation action on a community and its quality of life.” It is a way to incorporate community considerations into the planning and development of major transportation projects. From a policy perspective, it is a process for assessing the social and economic impacts of transportation projects as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The assessment may address a variety of important community issues such as land development, aesthetics, mobility, neighborhood cohesion, safety, relocation, and economic impacts.

Congestion Management Process (CMP)

A CMP presents a systematic process for managing traffic congestion and enhancing the mobility of persons and goods.   It includes alternative strategies for alleviating congestion and enhancing the mobility of persons and goods to levels that meet state and local needs.

Congestion Pricing

A type of tolling created to manage traffic congestion.

Conformity (Air Quality)

A CAA (42 U.S.C. 7506[c]) requirement that ensures that Federal funding and approval are given to metropolitan transportation plans, metropolitan transportation improvement programs and FHWA/FTA projects in nonattainment and maintenance areas for the transportation-related pollutants that are consistent with the air quality goals established by a State Implementation Plan (SIP). Conformity, in the context of the SIP, refers to transportation activities that will not cause new air quality violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards or any interim milestone. The transportation conformity rule (40 CRF part 93) sets forth policy, criteria, and procedures for demonstrating and assuring conformity of transportation activities.

Congestion Management Process (CMP)

A systematic approach required in transportation management areas that provides for effective management and operation, based on a cooperatively developed and implemented a metropolitan-wide strategy of new and existing transportation facilities eligible for funding under title 23 U.S.C. and title 49 U.S.C. through the use of travel demand reduction and operational management strategies. 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 and local needs.

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ)

A Federal-aid funding program created under ISTEA. Directs funding to projects that contribute to meeting national air quality standards. CMAQ funds generally may not be used for projects that result in the construction of new capacity available to single occupancy vehicles.

“3 C” Process (“Continuing, Cooperative and Comprehensive”)

Language from federal legislation establishing MPOs and used in reference to the regional transportation planning and programming process.

Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan (Coordinated Plan)

A comprehensive listing of public transportation services supported by FTA’s 5310 formula grant program for the enhanced mobility of seniors and individuals with disabilities, as well as by other Federal departments and agencies, including any transportation activities carried out by a recipient of a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services. The Coordinated Plan is developed and approved through a process that includes participation by seniors, individuals with disabilities, representatives of public, private, and nonprofit transportation and human services providers, and other members of the public.


A broad geographical band that follows a general directional flow connecting major sources of trips that may contain a number of streets, highways and transit route alignments.

Corridors of Statewide Significance (CoSS)

An integrated, multimodal system of transportation facilities that connect activity centers within and without the Commonwealth and promote the easy movement of people, services, and goods vital to the economic prosperity of the state.

Corridor Master Plan (CMP)

The purpose of the CMP is to identify ways to preserve the capacity and ensure the safety of the Commonwealth’s major transportation corridors.

Crash (Highway)

An event that produces injury and/or property damage, involves a motor vehicle in transport, and occurs on a trafficway or while the vehicle is still in motion after running off the trafficway.

Department of Transportation (DOT)

Agency responsible for transportation at the local, state, or federal level. For title 23 U.S.C. federal-aid highway actions, this would mean the Federal Highway Administration and for federal-aid transit actions under title 49 U.S.C, this would mean the Federal Transit Administration.

Design Public Hearing

A Design Public Hearing is held after the Commonwealth Transportation Board approves a route location.

District Grants Program (DGP)

Smart Scale funding that completes with projects in the same construction districts and only open to localities.

E - H


E-ZPass is an electronic toll collection system. Motorists open a prepaid account and attach a small electronic device called a transponder to their windshield or license plate. As they travel through the toll facilities, tolls are automatically deducted from their pre-paid E-ZPass account.

E-ZPass Flex

The E-ZPass Flex is a switchable E-ZPass transponder that will let you take advantage of toll-free travel on designated Virginia High Occupancy Toll (HOT) or the 64, 66 or 95/495 Express Lanes. The E-ZPass Flex will work on any toll facility where E-ZPass is accepted.

Emissions Budget

The part of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) that identifies the allowable emissions levels, mandated by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), for certain pollutants emitted from mobile, stationary, and area sources. The emissions levels are used for meeting emission reduction milestones, attainment, or maintenance demonstrations.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

A National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document that explains the purpose and need for a project, presents project alternatives, analyzes the likely impact of each, explains the choice of a preferred alternative, and finally details measures to be taken in order to mitigate the impacts of the preferred alternative.

Environmental Justice (EJ)

Environmental justice assures that services and benefits allow for meaningful participation and are fairly distributed to avoid discrimination.

Environmental Mitigation

Activities Strategies, policies, programs, actions, and activities that, over time, will serve to avoid, minimize, or eliminate impacts to environmental resources associated with the implementation of a long-range Statewide transportation plan or MTP.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The Federal regulatory agency responsible for administering and enforcing Federal environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and others.

Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice

Addresses avoidance of actions that can cause disproportionately high and adverse impacts on minority and low income populations.

Executive Order 13166 on Limited English Proficiency

Improving access to services for people with limited English proficiency.

FAMPO Technical Committee (FTC)

The FTC was established to advise and to provide technical engineering and planning expertise during the transportation planning process. The FTC consists primarily of engineers, planners, and other professionals who represent the region’s local governments and transportation/transit agencies.


Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Signed on December 4, 2015, this law authorized the Federal surface transportation programs for highway, highway safety, and transit for 2016 to 2020.


For purposes of statistical reporting on transportation safety, a fatality is considered a death due to injuries in a transportation crash, accident, or incident that occurs within 30 days of that occurrence.

Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (FAMPO)

The Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (FAMPO) is a federally-designated transportation planning agency for the City of Fredericksburg, and the counties of Spotsylvania and Stafford, and serves as a regional partnership among the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), transit agencies, local elected leadership, local planning and public works directors, the business community and citizens in the planning area.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

The agency responsible for the safety of civil aviation. It issues and enforces regulations and minimum standards covering manufacturing, operating, and maintaining aircraft, manages air space and air traffic, builds or installs visual and electronic aids to air navigation, regulates and encourages the U.S. commercial space transportation industry, and does research in order to develop the systems and procedures needed for a safe and efficient system of air navigation and air traffic control.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

A branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation that administers the Federal-aid highway program, providing financial assistance to States to construct and improve highways, urban and rural roads, and bridges. The FHWA also administers the Federal Lands Highway Program, including survey, design, and construction of forest highway system roads, parkways and park roads, Indian reservation roads, defense access roads, and other Federal Lands roads.

Federal Certification Review

Pursuant to 23 U.S. C. 134(i)(5) and 49 U.S.C. 1607, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) must jointly certify the metropolitan transportation planning process in Transportation Management Areas (TMAs) at least every four years.  In general, the reviews consist of three primary activities: a site visit, review of planning products (in advance of and during the site visit), and preparation of a report that summaries the review and offers findings.  The reviews focus on compliance with Federal regulations, and associated challenges and successes experienced by the Federally-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), State Department of Transportation (DOT), and transit operator in their cooperative conduct of the metropolitan planning process.

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

This federal department was created by the Department of Transportation Act of 1966.  The purpose of FRA is to: promulgate and enforce rail safety regulations; administer railroad assistance programs; conduct research and development in support of improved railroad safety and national rail transportation policy; provide for the rehabilitation of Northeast Corridor rail passenger service; and consolidate government support of rail transportation activities.

Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

A branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation that administers Federal funding to transportation authorities, local governments, and States to support a variety of locally planned, constructed, and operated public transportation systems, including buses, subways, light rail, commuter rail, streetcars, monorail, passenger ferry boats, inclined railways, and people movers.

Financial Plan

Documentation that must be included in a Metropolitan Transportation Plan and Transportation Improvement Program (and is optional for the long-range Statewide transportation plan and Statewide Transportation Improvement Program) that demonstrates the consistency between reasonably available and projected sources of Federal, State, local, and private revenues and the costs of implementing proposed transportation system improvements.

Financial Programming

A short-term commitment of funds to specific projects identified in both the regional and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

Fiscal Constraint

Making sure that a given program or project can reasonably expect to receive funding within the time allotted for its implementation. The Metropolitan Transportation Plan, Transportation Improvement Program, and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program must include sufficient financial information for demonstrating that projects in those documents can be implemented using committed, available, or reasonably available revenue sources, with reasonable assurance that the Federally supported transportation system is being adequately operated and maintained. For the Transportation Improvement Program and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, financial constraint/fiscal constraint applies to each program year. Additionally, projects in air quality nonattainment and maintenance areas can be included in the first two years of the Transportation Improvement Program and Statewide Transportation Improvement Program only if funds are available or committed.

Fiscal Year (FY)

A federal fiscal or budget year; runs from October 1 through September 30 for the MPO and the federal government.

Formula Capital Grants

Federal transit funds for transit operators, allocated by FTA, and used to purchase rolling stock, for example, buses and trains, as well as to design and construct facilities, for example, shelters and transfer centers.

Geographic Information

System Computerized data management system designed to capture, store, retrieve, analyze, and display geographically referenced information.

George Washington Regional Commission (GWRC)

The planning district commission of Planning District 16 which includes the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford.  Its principal functions include regional and environmental planning, energy-conservation, hazard mitigation and rural transportation planning programs; and operation of GWRideConnect.


Rideshare brokerage that facilitates and promotes vanpooling and transit use in the George Washington Region.

Hazardous Material

Any toxic substance or explosive, corrosive, combustible, poisonous, or radioactive material that poses a risk to the public’s health, safety, or property, particularly when transported in commerce.

High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV)

Vehicles carrying 3 or more people receive this designation and may travel on freeways/interstates, expressways and other large volume roads in lanes designated for high occupancy vehicles.

High Occupancy Lanes (HOT)

HOT lanes are limited-access; normally barrier-separated highway lanes that provide free or reduced cost access to qualifying HOVs, and also provide access to other paying vehicles not meeting passenger occupancy requirements.


Any road, street, parkway, or freeway/expressway that includes rights-of-way, bridges, railroad-highway crossings, tunnels, drainage structures, signs, guardrail, and protective structures in connection with highways. The highway further includes that portion of any interstate or international bridge or tunnel and the approaches thereto (23 U.S.C. 101a).

Highway Safety Improvement Program

Federal-aid highway funding program that funds safety projects that are consistent with the State’s strategic highway safety plan and that correct or improve a hazardous road location or feature or address a highway safety problem.

High-Priority Projects Program (HPPP)

Smart Scale funding that competes with projects across the Commonwealth.

I - L

Incident Management System (IMS)

A systematic process required under SAFETEA-LU to provide information on accidents and identify causes and improvements to the transportation system to increase safety of all users.

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)

Electronics, photonics, communications, or information processing used singly or in combination to improve the efficiency or safety of a surface transportation system. The National ITS architecture is a blueprint for the coordinated development of ITS technologies in the U.S., providing a systems framework to guide the planning and deployment of ITS infrastructure.


The ability to connect, and connections between, differing modes of transportation.

Intergovernmental Agreement

Legal instrument describing tasks to be accomplished and/or funds to be paid between government agencies.

Intermodal Service

Freight moving via at least two different modes of transport. Intermodal service generally involves the shipment of containers and trailers by rail, truck, barge, or ship.

Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991

A legislative initiative by the U.S. Congress that restructured and authorized Federal funding for transportation programs, provided for an increased role for regional planning commissions and MPOs in funding decisions, and required comprehensive regional and Statewide long-term transportation plans.


1) A point defined by any combination of courses, radials, or bearings of two or more navigational aids. 2). Used to describe the point where two runways, a runway, and a taxiway, or two taxiways cross or meet.

Interstate Highway

Limited access, divided highway of at least four lanes designated by the Federal Highway Administration as part of the Interstate System.

Interstate Highway System

The specially-designated system of highways, begun in 1956, which connects the principal metropolitan areas, cities, and industrial centers of the United States. Also connects the U.S. to internationally significant routes in Canada and Mexico.

Incident Management System (IMS)

A systematic process required under SAFETEA-LU to provide information on accidents and identify causes and improvements to the transportation system to increase the safety of all users.

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)

Electronics, photonics, communications, or information processing used singly or in combination to improve the efficiency or safety of a surface transportation system. The National ITS architecture is a blueprint for the coordinated development of ITS technologies in the U.S., providing a systems framework to guide the planning and deployment of ITS infrastructure.


The ability to connect, and connections between, differing modes of transportation.

Intergovernmental Agreement

Legal instrument describing tasks to be accomplished and/or funds to be paid between government agencies.

Intermodal Service

Freight moving via at least two different modes of transport. Intermodal service generally involves the shipment of containers and trailers by rail, truck, barge, or ship.

Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991

A Legislative initiative by the U.S. Congress that restructured and authorized Federal funding for transportation programs, provided for an increased role for regional planning commissions and MPOs in funding decisions, and required comprehensive regional and Statewide long-term transportation plans.


1) A point defined by any combination of courses, radials, or bearings of two or more navigational aids. 2). Used to describe the point where two runways, a runway, and a taxiway, or two taxiways cross or meet.

Interstate Highway

Limited access, divided highway of at least four lanes designated by the Federal Highway Administration as part of the Interstate System.

Interstate Highway System

The specially-designated system of highways, begun in 1956, which connects the principal metropolitan areas, cities, and industrial centers of the United States. Also connects the U.S. to internationally significant routes in Canada and Mexico.

Land Use

Refers to the manner in which portions of land or the structures on them are used or designated for use in a plan, for example commercial, residential, retail, or industrial.

Land Use Plan

A plan which establishes strategies for the use of land to meet identified community needs.

Level of Service (LOS)

The concept of levels of service uses qualitative measures that characterize operational conditions within a traffic stream and their perception by motorists and passengers. The descriptions of individual levels of service characterize these conditions in terms of such factors as speed and travel time, freedom to maneuver, traffic interruptions, and comfort and convenience. Six levels of service are defined, designated A through F, with A representing the best conditions and F the worst.

Limited English Proficiency Plan (LEP)

The LEP Plan outlines how to identify persons who may need language assistance, the ways in which assistance may be provided, staff training that may be required, and how to notify LEP individuals that assistance is available.

Line capacity

The maximum number of trains that can operate safely and reliably over a given segment of track during a given period of time.

Local Match

Funds required by recipients of SPR/PL and Section 5303 funds for matching federal and state grant funds.  Section 5303 and PL funds require a 10% match, with VDOT/VDRPT providing 10% and the remaining 80% provided by the federal source.  SPR funds require a 20% local match.


Railroad vehicle equipped with flanged wheels for use on railroad tracks powered directly by electricity, steam, or fossil fuel, and used to move other railroad rolling equipment.

Location Public Hearing

A Location Public Hearing is held before VDOT is committed to a specific route.

Long-Range Statewide Transportation Plan (SRSTP)

The official, Statewide, multimodal transportation plan covering no less than 20 years developed through the Statewide transportation planning processes.

Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP)

The LRTP is an evaluation of the current status and future needs of our regional transportation system.  The LRTP includes anticipated improvements for all modes of travel over the next 20-30 years including streets and highways, public transportation/transit, railroads, aviation, and bicycle and pedestrian needs.

Low-Income Populations

Those groups whose household income is at or below the Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines and who will be affected by a proposed FAMPO program, policy, or activity. (Ref: DOT Order on Environmental Justice).

M - Q

Maintenance Area

Any geographic region of the United States that the EPA previously designated as a nonattainment area for one or more pollutants pursuant to the CAA Amendments of 1990, and subsequently re-designated as an attainment area subject to the requirement to develop a maintenance plan under section 175A of the CAA, as amended.


Law signed on July 6, 2012 fund surface transportation programs at over $105 billion for fiscal years 2013 and 2014. MAP-21 creates a streamlined and performance-based surface transportation program and builds on the highway, transit, bike, and pedestrian programs and policies established in 1991.

Metropolitan Planning Area

The geographic area determined by agreement between the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for the area and the Governor, in which the metropolitan transportation planning process if carried out.

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

The policy board of an organization created and designed to carry out the metropolitan transportation planning process for urbanized areas with populations greater than 50,000, and designated by local officials and the Governor of the State.

Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP)

The official multimodal transportation plan addressing no less than a 20-year planning horizon that is developed, adopted and updated by the MPO through the metropolitan transportation planning process.


A statute mile (5,280 feet). All mileage computations are based on statute miles.

Minority Groups

Those persons who are African-American, Hispanic, Asian American, American Indian or Alaskan Native. These minority populations are those that are readily identifiable groups who live in geographic proximities who will be affected by a proposed FAMPO program, policy, or activity.


A specific form of transportation, such as automobile, subway, bus, rail, air, bicycle, or foot.

Motor Vehicle Dealer Board (MVDB)

The MCVD is charged with the regulation and oversight of the new and used car and truck dealer industry.

Motor Vehicle Emissions Budget

That portion of the total allowable emissions defined in the submitted or approved control strategy implementation plan revision or maintenance plan for a certain date for the purpose of meeting reasonable further progress milestones or demonstrating attainment or maintenance of the NAAQS, for any criteria pollutant or its precursor, allocated to highway and transit vehicle use and emissions.

National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)

Federal standards that set allowable concentrations and exposure limits for various pollutants. The EPA established these standards pursuant to section 109 of the CAA. Air quality standards have been established for the following six criteria pollutants: ozone (or smog), carbon monoxide, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, lead, and sulfur dioxide.

National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)

Requires that any project using Federal funding or requiring Federal approval, including transportation projects, examine the effects of proposed and alternative choices on the environment before a Federal decision is made.

National Highway Freight Program (NHFP)

Federal-aid highway funding program that funds improvements on the National Highway Freight Network (NHFN). Generally, NHFP funds must contribute to the efficient movement of freight on the NHFN and be identified in a freight investment plan included in the State’s freight plan.

National Highway Performance Program (NHPM)

Federal-aid highway funding program that provides support for the condition and performance of the National Highway System (NHS), for the construction of new facilities on the NHS, and to ensure that investments of Federal-aid funds in highway construction are directed to support progress toward the achievement of performance targets established in a State’s asset management plan for the NHS.

National Transit Database (NTD)

The NTD is a reporting system established by Congress to be the primary source of information and statistics on transit systems in the United States.

Nitrogen Oxide (NOx)

Colorless, sweet-tasting gas emitted directly by automobiles and trucks.

Nitrogen Oxide Emissions

Nitrogen oxides (NOx), the term used to describe the sum of nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (N02) and other oxides of nitrogen, play a major role in the formation of ozone. The major sources of man-made NOx emissions are high-temperature combustion processes, such as those occurring in automobiles and power plants.

Nonattainment Area

A geographic region of the United States that has been designated by EPA as a nonattainment area under section 107 of the CAA for any pollutants for which a NAAQS exists, meaning that Federal air quality standards are not being met.

Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment (OIPI)

OIPI goals are to provide solutions that link existing systems; promote the coordination of transportation investments and land use planning; reduce congestion; improve safety, mobility, and accessibility; and provide for greater travel options.

Operational and Management Strategies

Actions and strategies aimed at improving the performance of existing and planned transportation facilities to relieve congestion and maximize the safety and mobility of people and goods.


Unstable blue gas with a pungent odor formed principally in secondary reactions involving volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides, and sunlight.

Particulate Matter (PM-10 and PM 2.5)

Particulate matter consists of airborne solid particles and liquid droplets. Particulate matter may be in the form of fly ash, soot, dust, fog, or fumes. These particles are classified as coarse if they are smaller than 10 microns, or fine if they are smaller than 2.5 microns. Coarse airborne particles are produced during grinding operations or from the physical disturbance of dust by natural air turbulence processes, such as wind. Fine particles can be a by-product of fossil fuel combustion, such as diesel and bus engines. Fine particles can easily reach remote lung areas, and their presence in the lungs is linked to serious respiratory 69 ailments such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and aggravated coughing. Exposure to these particles may aggravate other medical conditions such as heart disease and emphysema and may cause premature death. In the environment, particulate matter contributes to diminished visibility and particle deposition.

Particulate Matter Emissions

Particulate matter (PM) is the general term used for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. They originate from many different stationary and mobile sources as well as from natural sources, including fuel combustion from motor vehicles, power generation, and industrial facilities, as well as from residential fireplaces and wood stoves. Fine particles are most closely associated with such health effects as increased hospital admissions and emergency room visits for heart and lung disease, increased respiratory symptoms and disease, decreased lung function, and even premature death.

Parts Per Million (ppm)

A measure of air pollutant concentrations.

Passenger Car

A motor vehicle designed primarily for carrying passengers on ordinary roads, includes convertibles, sedans, and station wagons.

Performance Measure (PM)

An expression based on a metric that is used to establish targets and to assess progress toward meeting the established targets.

Planning Funds (PL)

The primary source of funding for metropolitan planning administered by the FHWA.

Policy Committee (PC)

The PC is the policy decision-making board comprised of eleven elected, non-elected voting members and ex officio members.


Includes citizens, public agencies, advocacy groups and the private sectors that have an interest in or may be affected by MPO activities.

Public Participation / Public Involvement

The active and meaningful involvement of the public in the development of transportation plans and programs.

Public Meeting or Hearing

A public gathering for the express purpose of informing and soliciting input from interested individuals regarding transportation issues.

Public Road

Any road under the jurisdiction of and maintained by a public authority (federal, state, county, town or township, local government, or instrumentality thereof) and open to public travel.

Public Transit Advisory Board (PTAB)

The PTAB is appointed and managed by the City of Fredericksburg. This committee provides FAMPO with citizen, private and public partnership input on the public transit needs of the City of Fredericksburg and the region.

R - U


A rolled steel shape laid in two parallel lines to form a track for carrying vehicles with flanged steel wheels.

Regional Councils of Government

Regional councils of government are multipurpose, multijurisdictional, public organizations. Created by local governments to respond to Federal and State programs, regional councils bring together participants at multiple levels of government to foster regional cooperation, planning and service delivery. They may also be called planning commissions, development districts, or other names, and may or may not include the structure and functions of Metropolitan Planning Organizations.

Reformulated Gasoline

Gasoline blended to burn more completely and evaporate less easily. Reformulated gasoline releases fewer volatile organic compounds into the air when it is burned, and ozone is reduced.

Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP)

FAMPO receives these funds annually, based on population.

Regional Transit Policy Plan (RTPP)

The RTPP examined a large number of transit improvement scenarios, representing a range of choices, from relatively low levels of transit service to large expansion that could make transit a more integral component of the region’s transportation system.

Revenue Sharing Program

Provides additional funding for use by a county, city, or town to construct, reconstruct, improve or maintain the highway systems within such county, city, or town and for eligible rural additions in certain counties of the Commonwealth. Locality funds are matched, dollar for dollar, with state funds, with statutory and Commonwealth Transportation Board Policy limitations on the amount of state funds authorized per locality.

Right-of-Way (ROW)

Real property that is used for transportation purposes; defines the extent of the corridor that can be used for the road and associated drainage.


An open way for the passage of vehicles, persons, or animals on land.


A roundabout is a circular intersection where drivers travel counterclockwise around a center island. There are no traffic signals or stop signs in a modern roundabout. Drivers yield at entry to traffic in the roundabout, then enter the intersection and exit at their desired street.


The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). SAFETEA-LU authorized the Federal surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety, and transit for the 5-year period 2005- 2009

Scenario Planning

Scenario planning refers to a set of planning procedures that evaluates the effects of alternative policies, plans and/or programs on the future a community or region. Scenario planning should provide information to decisionmakers as they develop the transportation plan.

Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP)

The Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP) is a document that outlines planned spending for transportation projects proposed for construction development or study for the next six years.

Sources (Pollution)

Refers here to the origin of air contaminants. Stationary sources include relatively large, fixed facilities such as power plants, chemical process industries, and petroleum refineries. Area sources are small, stationary, non-transportation sources that collectively contribute to air pollution, and include such sources as dry cleaners and bakeries, surface coating operations, home furnaces, and crop burning. On-road mobile sources include on-road vehicles such as cars, trucks, and buses; and off-road sources include trains, ships, airplanes, boats, lawnmowers, and construction equipment. Mobile source-related criteria pollutants are carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxides, and particulate matter.

System for the Management and Allocation of Resources for Transportation (Smart Scale)

A prioritization process that evaluates each project’s merits using key factors, including – improvements to Safety, Congestion reduction, Accessibility, Land use, Economic development and the environment,


Individuals and organizations involved in or affected by the transportation planning process. Stakeholders include Federal, State, and local officials, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, transit operators, freight companies, shippers, users of the transportation infrastructure, and the general public.

STARS (Strategically Targeted Affordable Roadway Solutions)

The program strives to develop comprehensive, innovative transportation solutions to relieve congestion bottlenecks and solve critical traffic and safety challenges throughout the Commonwealth.

State Implementation Plan (SIP)

The portion or portions of the implementation plan (as defined in section 302[q] of the CAA), or most recent revision thereof, which has been approved under section 110 of the CAA, or promulgated or approved under section 301(d) of the CAA and which implements the relevant requirements of the CAA. The State Implementation Plan is produced by the State environmental agency.

State Infrastructure Bank (SIB)

A revolving fund mechanism for financing a wide variety of highway and transit projects through loans and credit enhancement. SIBs are designed to complement traditional Federal-aid highway and transit grants by providing States increased flexibility for financing infrastructure investments.

State Planning and Research Funds (SP&R)

The primary source of funding for Statewide long-range planning, administered by the FHWA. State Planning Work Program The SPR Work Program is a State DOT’s work program that describes what Statewide planning and research work activities the State will perform during the grant period.

Statewide Mobility Plan (SMP)

VDOT’s 10-year plan for adding capacity to the transportation system using the Mobility Category Funds of Federal and State Transportation funding.

Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)

A Statewide prioritized listing of transportation projects covering a period of four years that is consistent with the long-range Statewide transportation plan, metropolitan transportation plans, and transportation improvement plans, and is required for projects to be eligible for funding under title 23 U.S.C. and title 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53.

Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG)

Federal-aid highway funding program that supports a broad range of surface transportation capital needs, including many roads, transit, sea and airport access, vanpool, bike, and pedestrian facilities.


A quantifiable level of performance or condition, expressed as a value for the measure, to be achieved within a time period required by FHWA.

Traffic Analysis Zone (TAZ)

Generally defined as areas of homogeneous activity served by one or two major highways.  TAZs serve as the base unit for socioeconomic data characteristics used in various plans and studies.


Employment via electronic communication from a physical office, either at home or at another site, instead of a traditional office.


A railroad facility used for handling freight and receiving, classifying, assembling and dispatching of trains.

Title VI

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in any program receiving Federal assistance (See Environmental Justice).

Title VI Nondiscrimination Plan

The Title VI Nondiscrimination Plan assures that no person shall on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 (P.L. 100.259), be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any agency sponsored program or activity.  Nor shall sex, age, or disability stand in the way of fair treatment of all individuals.

Transportation Alternative Program Funds (TAP)

The TAP provides funding for programs and projects defined as transportation alternatives, including on- and off- road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility, community improvement activities, and environmental mitigation; recreational trail program projects; safe routes to school projects; and projects for planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways,.

Transportation Control Measure (TCM)

Any measure that is specifically committed to in a State Implementation Plan that is either one of the types of listed in section 108 of the CAA or any other measure for the purpose of reducing emissions or concentrations of air pollutants from transportation sources by reducing vehicle use or changing traffic flow or congestion conditions. Notwithstanding the above, vehicle technology-based, fuel-based, and maintenance-based measures that control the emissions from vehicles under fixed traffic conditions are not TCMs.

Transportation Demand Management (TDM)

Programs designed to reduce demand for transportation through various means, such as the use of public transit and of alternative work hours.

Transportation Disadvantaged

People who are unable to transport themselves or to purchase transportation due to disability, income status or age.

Travel Demand Model

This is a tool for forecasting impacts of urban developments on travel patterns as well as testing various transportation alternative solutions to traffic patterns. The travel patterns are determined from US census results and in simple terms tell where residents live and where they go to work or school on a regional wide basis.

Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century

Legislated in 1998, TEA-21 authorized approximately $217 billion in Federal funding for transportation investment for FYs 1998- 2003 used for highway, transit, and other surface transportation programs.

Transportation Enhancements

Specific activities which can be funded with Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds; activities include pedestrian/bicycle facilities, acquisition of scenic easements and scenic historic sites, scenic or historic highway programs, scenic beautification, historic preservation, rehabilitation/operation of historic transportation structures, railway corridor preservation, control/removal of outdoor advertising, archeological planning/research and mitigation of highway runoff water pollution.

Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

A prioritized listing of transportation projects covering a period of four years that is developed by a Metropolitan Planning Organization as part of the metropolitan transportation planning process, consistent with the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, and required for projects to be eligible for funding under title 23 U.S.C. and title 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53.

Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998 (TIFIA)

A Federal credit program under which USDOT may provide three forms of credit assistance—secured (direct) loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit—for surface transportation projects of national or regional significance. The fundamental goal is to leverage Federal funds by attracting substantial private and non-Federal co-investment in critical improvements to the Nation’s surface transportation system.

Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER)

A grant program that supports innovative projects, including multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional projects, which are difficult to fund through traditional federal programs.

Transportation Management Area (TMA)

An urbanized area with a population of 200,000 or more, as defined by the U.S. Bureau of the Census and designated by the Secretary of Transportation, or any additional area where Transportation Management Area designation is requested by the Governor and the Metropolitan Planning Organization and designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

Transportation Systems Management & 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

Trust Fund

A fund credited with receipts that are held in trust by the government and earmarked by law for use in carrying out specific purposes and programs in accordance with an agreement or a statute.

Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP)

A Statement of work identifying the planning priorities and activities to be carried out within a metropolitan planning area. At a minimum, a Unified Planning Work Program includes a description of the planning work and resulting products, who will perform the work, time frames for completing the work, the cost of the work, and the sources of funds.

United States Code

Contains a consolidation and codification of all general and permanent laws of the U.S.

United States Code (USC) Title 23, Sections 134

Participation by interested parties.

United States Code (USC) Title 23, Sections 135  

Provides for reasonable access to comment on proposed plans.

United States Code (USC) Title 23, Section 128

Requires public hearings or the opportunity for public hearings for plans for Federal-aid highway projects.

Urbanized Area (UA)

An area that contains a city of 50,000 or more population plus incorporated surrounding areas meeting size or density criteria as defined by the U.S. Census.

V - Z

Virginia Association of Metropolitan Associations (VAMPO)

Established by the Virginia General Assembly in 2009 provides a forum for the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOS) in the Commonwealth to exchange information and experiences and enhance the transportation planning and programming in a collective manner along with state and federal transportation agencies.

Virginia Department of Aviation (VDA)

The Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV) plans for the development of Virginia’s air transportation system, promotes and educates the public about aviation, and provides flight services to Commonwealth of Virginia leadership and state agencies.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ)

The VDEQ works to protect and enhance the environment of Virginia in order to promote the health and well-being of citizens of the Commonwealth. VDEQ administers state and federal laws and regulations for air quality, water quality, water supply and waste management, issues environmental permits to businesses, local governments, and state and federal facilities and inspects and monitors these permitted facilities.

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) responsibilities include vehicle titling and registration, driver licensing and maintenance of driver and vehicle records. The agency also collects Virginia’s fuel tax, monitors the state’s trucking industry and serves as Virginia’s Highway Safety Office. In addition, the agency effectively enforces motoring and transportation-related tax laws, and efficiently collects and distributes transportation-related revenues.

Virginia Department of Rail & Public Transportation (DRPT)

A state agency that works closely with the Virginia Department of Transportation in order to accomplish its mission of improving the mobility of people and goods while expanding transportation choices in the Commonwealth. Its three primary areas of activity include rail transportation, public transportation, and commuter services.

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)

VDOT is the agency of state government responsible for transportation in the state of Virginia in the United States.  VDOT is responsible for building, maintaining, and operating the roads, bridges and tunnels in the commonwealth. It is overseen by the Commonwealth Transportation Board, which has the power to fund airports, seaports, rail and public transportation.

VDOT Citizen Information Meeting

A VDOT Citizen Informational Meeting is an opportunity for the public to review, in an informal setting, the ongoing development of project information.

VDOT Citizen Participation Meeting/Workshop

A Community-based planning session, a collaborative effort between governments and the communities, serves to identify problems and involve all elements of the community. This session searches for the implementation of solutions to transportation issues.

VDOT Combined Location and Design Public Hearing

A Combined Location and Design Public Hearing is held for a project that is determined not to have feasible alternative solutions for the general location, type of facility necessary, transportation mode, and where there is no major concern about the need for the project. Project plans are normally at the same stage of completion as for a Design Public Hearing. Alternative design features may be presented at this type of hearing.

VDOT Design Public Hearing

A Design Public Hearing is held after the Commonwealth Transportation Board approves a route location or for projects that do not require extensive relocation but before VDOT is committed to a specific design. A Design Public Hearing is also held for projects being developed on existing alignment. This type of hearing is held after a project field inspection is held and plans are completed to a stage that all right of way limits/lines (including easements), stormwater management basins, noise wall locations, retaining wall locations and construction limits, and major design features are delineated on the plans and identified clearly, within the parameters of the information known to date. Existing property lines, property owners, buildings, and other topographical data allow easy identification of impacts to properties. Alternate proposals on major design features may be presented.

VDOT Location Public Hearing

A Location Public Hearing is held before VDOT is committed to a specific route. This allows the Community to be included in the decision on the new location for projects that are determined to have different alternatives. This includes their general location, the type of facility necessary, or the transportation mode under consideration. The final determination of need for a Location Public Hearing is made by the State Location and Design Engineer upon careful evaluation of public interest and the concurrence of FHWA on Federal-aid projects. This type of hearing is held when preliminary engineering studies are of sufficient detail to indicate relative cost differences between the alternatives and the feasibility of their construction based on environmental studies and general engineering practices.

VDOT Public Hearing

A public hearing is a well-publicized opportunity for the VDOT to present its studies and policies while receiving and documenting comments from the public on each proposal concerning engineering, social, economic, and environmental factors and effects resulting from each possible course of action.

Vehicle Miles of Travel (VMT)

The number of miles traveled nationally by vehicles for a period of 1 year. VMT is either calculated using 2 odometer readings or, for vehicles with less than 2 odometer readings, imputed using a regression estimate.

Virginia General Assembly

The Virginia General Assembly is the legislative body of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World established on July 30, 1619. The General Assembly is a bicameral body consisting of a lower house, the Virginia House of Delegates, with 100 members, and an upper house, the Senate of Virginia, with 40 members. Combined together, the General Assembly consists of 140 elected representatives from an equal number of constituent districts across the commonwealth. The House of Delegates is presided over by the Speaker of the House, while the Senate is presided over by the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.

Virginia Office of Public-Private Partnerships (VAP3)

The Virginia P3 office works in conjunction with the Secretary of Transportation, Virginia Department of Transportation, Department of Rail and Public Transportation, Department of Aviation, Department of Motor Vehicles, Commercial Space Flight Authority, and the Virginia Port Authority and focuses on the development of public-private projects across all modes of transportation.

Virginia Port Authority (VIP)

The Port of Virginia (VIP) moves cargo through world-class facilities and transports to and from markets around the globe, carrying the goods and supplies that manufacturers, corporations, and individual consumers use in their everyday lives.

Virginia Surface Transportation Plan (VSTP)

The VSTP serves as a blueprint for effective and sustainable statewide transportation investments, policies and planning initiatives during the coming decades.

Visualization Techniques

Methods used by States and MPOs to convey information in a clear and easily accessible format to promote improved understanding of existing or proposed transportation plans and programs. Such techniques can include GIS- or web-based surveys, inventories, maps, pictures, and/or displays identifying features such as roadway rights of way, transit, intermodal, and non-motorized transportation facilities, historic and cultural resources, natural resources, and environmentally sensitive areas.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

VOCs come from vehicle exhaust, paint thinners, solvents, and other petroleum-based products. A number of exhaust VOCs are also toxic, with the potential to cause cancer.


VTrans is the long-range, statewide multimodal policy plan that lays out overarching Vision and Goals for transportation in the Commonwealth. It identifies transportation Investment Priorities and provides direction to transportation agencies on strategies and programs to be incorporated into their plans and programs.