Transportation Planning involves a number of steps:
- Monitoring existing conditions;
- Forecasting future population and employment growth/decline, including assessing projected land use in the region and identifying major growth corridors;
- Identifying current and projected future transportation problems and needs and analyzing, through detailed planning studies, various transportation improvement strategies to address those needs;
- Developing long range and short range programs of alternative capital improvement and operational strategies for moving people and goods; Estimating the impact of recommended future improvements to the transportation system on environmental features, including air quality;
- Developing a financial plan for securing sufficient revenues to cover the costs of implementing strategies.
Relationship between Transportation and Land Use
The purpose of transportation is to move people and goods from one place to another. The transportation system affects community character, the natural and human environment, and economic development patterns. A transportation system can improve the economy, shape development patterns, and influence quality of life and the natural environment.
Land use and transportation are symbiotic. Development density and location influence regional travel patterns, and in turn, the degree of access provided by the transportation system can influence land use and development trends. Urban or community design can facilitate alternative travel modes. For example: a connected system of streets with higher residential densities and a mix of land uses can facilitate travel by foot, bicycle, and public transportation, in addition to the automobile. Conversely, dispersed land development patterns may facilitate vehicular travel and reduce the viability of other travel modes.
Eight Federal Planning Factors
These factors, defined by federal statue serve as de facto national transportation planning goals. Whether or not these goals apply to Richland County, and to what extent, is strictly the decision of the MPO.
- Support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area, especially by enabling global competitiveness, productivity and efficiency.
- Increase the safety of the transportation system for motorized and non-motorized users.
- Increase the security of the transportation system for motorized and non‐motorized users.
- Increase the accessibility and mobility of people and for freight.
- Protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, improve the quality of life, and promote consistency between transportation improvements and state and local planned growth and economic development patterns.
- Enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight.
- Promote efficient system management and operation.
- Emphasize the preservation of the existing transportation system.