What is the transportation planning process?

A transport planning process is the process of defining future policies, objectives, investments, action plans and spatial planning projects to meet future transportation-related needs. As is being done today, it is a collaborative process that incorporates the views of a wide range of stakeholders including various central and local government agencies, state-owned enterprises and the private sector. Transport planners, planning organizations or federal agencies use a multidisciplinary approach to analyze a variety of alternatives and impact on the transportation system to contribute to profitable outcomes.

Transport planning process is also called international transport planning, and is involved in the inspection, evaluation, and design of transport facilities (usually roads, highways, bike lanes, and public transport lines). The crisis of the COVID-19 epidemic has had a profound effect on public transportation and service delivery worldwide. As more and more countries begin to roam back to normal, new public transportation systems and transport policies are being developed. These measures mean a significant reduction in service capacity and increase in the use of transportation planning resources in transportation planning process as compared to the previous COVID-19 period.

A bypass the Old Town in Szczecin, Poland.

CC BY-SA 3.0 | Image credits: https://en.wikipedia.org | Michael König

Methods and sustainability

Transportation planning has historically followed a logical planning model to define goals and objectives, identify problems, develop alternatives, explore alternatives, and improve systems. Other planning models include strategic character, transport-focused development, satisfaction, rising planning, organizational process, collaborative planning, and political dialogue.

Organizers are increasingly expected to adopt a multi-pronged approach, mainly due to the growing importance of nature. For example, the use of the concept of morality to persuade drivers to leave their vehicles and use public transport instead. The role of the transport planner shifts from technical analysis to promoting sustainability through integrated transport policies. For example, in Hanoi, an increasing number of motorcycles not only are hurting the environment's air quality but also slowing down economic growth. Over time, the plan is to reduce traffic congestion through changes in urban planning. With economic stimulus and other attractive means experts hope to reduce traffic in the short term and to improve performance measures.

Although value-based methods of looking at transport patterns are considered the basis for transport planning, the role of qualitative analysis and combination of methods and the use of critical analysis frameworks has increasingly been recognized as an important aspect of transport planning. In producing, evaluating and selecting policy and project options.

The metropolitan transportation planning process

The metropolitan transport planning process is a process that leads to decisions about transport policies and programs. In this process, the editors improve information about the implications of using alternative methods including transportation services, such as new highways, bus lanes, or parking limits. This information is used to assist decision-makers or federal officers in their choice of transport policies and programs. The transportation planning process must work within the framework of the objectives as well objectives of the study area. At the beginning of the process, ways to improve communication and local government officials, organs of state and local citizens must be accounted for to ensure that the objectives and objectives reflect the current values ​​of the society.

Technical process

Most regional transport planners use the so-called rational planning model. The model views planning as a logical and technical process that uses quantitative data analysis to determine the best way to invest in new and existing transport infrastructure.

The increase in the popularity of models may be due to the rapid increase in the number of vehicles on the road, the increase in suburban areas and the significant increase in government or national government spending on urban transportation. All of these events dominated the culture of planning in the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

The US process, according to Johnston (2004) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) (2007), usually follows a pattern that can be divided into three distinct categories. In each of the three phases, the metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) or agency should also consider air quality and environmental issues, address planning questions in a financially delayed manner and involve the community. In the first phase, called pre-analysis, the MPO looks at what problems and problems the region is facing and what goals and objectives it can set for itself to help address those issues. During this phase, the MPO also collects data on a variety of regional indicators, develops a set of alternative approaches to be considered as part of the planning process and compiles measurable outcomes to be used to determine whether goals and objectives have been achieved. Johnston notes that many MPOs work poorly in this area, and although many of these activities appear to be really “unnecessary” planning resources.

Technical analysis

The second phase is technical analysis. The process involves a lot of technical guidance, but basically the development of models can be categorized as follows. Prior to launch, MPO collects large amounts of data. This data can be thought of as falling into two categories: data about the transport system and data about nearby land use.

Urban Transportation Modeling System (UTMS)

Urban Transportation Modeling System (UTMS), although it is often referred to as a four-step process. As a nickname suggestion, UTMS has four steps: travel production, travel distribution, mode selection and route allocation. In motion production, the region is divided into a large number of small analysis units called traffic analysis areas. Based on the number and characteristics of the cities in each area, a certain number of trips are produced. In the second step, the distribution of travel, the journey is divided into categories based on its origin and purpose: usually, these categories are homework, homework and other non-domestic work. In each of the three categories, the journey is compared to the origins and areas using data collected.

Mode selection

In the mode selection, the trip is assigned to a mode based on local availability, local resources in that area and the cost of each mode in terms of cost and time. Since most trips by bicycle or on foot are usually shorter, it is assumed to stay in one place and not included in the analysis. Finally, in the route allocation, the trip is provided by the network. As certain parts of the network are provided for the trip, the speed of the vehicle decreases, so other trips are allocated to other routes in such a way that all travel times are equal. This is important because the main goal is to fully integrate the whole system, not just one person. The finished product is the flow of traffic and the speed of each link in the network. Ideally, these models can include all of the different behaviors associated with the transportation planning process, including complex transport policy questions that are naturally more natural. Due to the complexity of transportation-related issues, this is often not possible in practice.

Context and Applications

This topic is important for professional exams in both undergraduate and graduate studies and in particular:

  • Bachelors of Technology (Civil Engineering)
  • Masters of Technology (Civil Engineering)

Practice Problems

Question 1) - Identify the correct sequence of the forecast process for the four-step journey from the following.

  1. Route Offering-> Travel Generation -> Modal Split -> Trip Distribution
  2. Trip Generation -> Trip Distribution -> Modal Split -> Route Offering
  3. Travel Distribution -> Route Offering-> Trip Generation -> Modal Separation
  4. Modal Split -> Route Offering-> Travel Generation -> Travel Distribution

Answer - b)

Explanation - The correct sequence is Trip generation>Trip distribution>Modal split>Route Assignment.

Question 2) - On which of the following is the transportation planning process based?

  1. Factual data and analysis
  2. Planning agency
  3. Federal data
  4. Performance measures

Answer - a)

Explanation - The transportation planning process is based on factual data and analysis.

Question 3) - To which of the following does the transportation planning process features relate?

  1. No metropolitan planning
  2. Urban planning
  3. Both A and B
  4. None of the above

Answer - b)

Explanation - Transportation planning process features are related to urban or city planning features.

Question 4) - The design components of transportation engineering include the measurement of transport areas. 

  1. TRUE
  2. FALSE
  3. It can be true or false
  4. I can't say

Answer - a)

Explanation - The components of a transport engineering design include the measurement of transport areas, the determination of building materials, and the thickness used in the paved road to design the geometry.

Question 5) - What is the main cause of accidents in cities?

  1. Very wide roads
  2. Traffic congestion
  3. Non-metropolitan agency
  4. Improper planning

Answer - d)

Explanation - A major cause of accidents in urban areas is poor planning and lack of adequate resources.

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