- Transportation Planning
Transportation planning plays a fundamental role in the state, region, or community’s vision for its future. SJTPO provides a forum for cooperative decision-making among responsible state and local officials, public and private transportation providers, and the public.
A transportation system based on regional collaboration that moves people and goods in a safe and efficient manner, inclusive of all modes and users.
Transportation Planning Process
The steps that SJTPO follows for developing, evaluating, and implementing a performance-based Planning Process.
The Transportation Planning Process cycle begins with laying out the overall strategy. During this planning stage, stakeholders (governments, authorities, the public, etc.) work together to prepare, adopt and occasionally amend the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), which serves as the budget for SJTPO activities.
Data relevant to the various areas included in the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) (including population and population distribution, natural resources, economic, housing, transportation, and land use) are then collected and compiled into an Existing Conditions or Existing Uses report. The data collected determines stakeholder needs and evaluates the financial resources needed to meet them.
Data relevant to the various areas included in the Long-Range Plan (including population and population distribution, natural resources, economic, housing, transportation, and land use) are then collected and compiled into an Existing Conditions or Existing Uses report. The data collected determines stakeholder needs and evaluates the financial resources needed to meet them.
From that data, the development of the RTP can occur. Regional goals and strategies are essential to the purpose of the RTP. SJTPO, along with local governments, special districts, and the public, prepare, adopt, update, and amend the RTP, which normally projects out 20 years into the future. The RTP contains text, maps, graphs, and charts that show SJTPO’s vision, goals, strategies, and recommendations that guide the physical development of the region.
After the development of the RTP, a short-term list of fiscally constrained priority projects is generated. This list of projects is determined by various stakeholders and data analyses and deemed important to a region’s needs, goals, and objectives. This list of projects leads to shorter-term fiscally constrained priority projects, known as the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The projects included in the TIP list are projects that will be implemented.
Once projects are included in the TIP, they are eligible to proceed with the many phases or work that lead to completion. These include Preliminary Engineering (PE), Final Design (FD), Right-of-Way (ROW), Construction (CON), and Construction Inspection (CI). This process involves many agencies and partners and can take several years to complete, even for smaller projects.
A final step in the transportation planning process is monitoring and evaluating the project implementation, with the aim of improving its design and function while in action. Monitoring provides constant feedback on a project’s progress, problems, and efficiency. The evaluation studies the outcome of a project with the aim of informing future project design. Evaluation studies can determine the extent to which the project produced the intended impacts and the distribution of the benefits between different stakeholders and evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the project as compared with other options.
Public engagement is essential and is done to varying degrees throughout the transportation planning process. The extent of public engagement is dependent on a number of factors, including the size of the project, its impact on the community, and the presence of traditionally underserved populations in the impacted community. The Public Involvement Plan (PIP) documents SJTPO’s process for engaging with the public.
Promote Accessibility and Mobility for the movement of People and Goods
Mitigate Traffic Congestion and Promote Efficient System Operation
Restore, Preserve, and Maintain the existing transportation system
Support the Regional Economy
Improve the Resiliency and Reliability of the transportation infrastructure, particularly along the Atlantic and Delaware Bay Shorelines
Increase and enhance opportunities for Travel and Tourism
Improve Transportation Safety
Enhance the Integration and Connectivity of the transportation system
Protect and enhance the Environment and complement Land Use Planning
Core and Vital Documents
SJTPO has nine documents that are often referred to as “core documents.” This term is used to describe a plan that requires a public comment of at least 30 days as well as at least one public meeting to be held when the plan is substantially revised. SJTPO’s “core documents” are as follows:
- Access for All Transit Plan: The Access for All Transit Plan serves as the Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan for the SJTPO region. The Access for All Transit Plan identifies the unmet transportation needs and recommends measures to increase service quality and reduce the cost of providing services to a segment of the region’s population that is unable to or not permitted to operate a vehicle. The Access for All Transit Plan must be updated every five years.
- Congestion Management Process (CMP): The CMP report documents the process for effective management and operation of new and existing transportation facilities in the SJTPO region to make use of various travel demand management (TDM) and operation management strategies. The CMP is reviewed annually and updated on an as-need basis.
- Limited English Proficiency Plan (LEP): The LEP Plan identifies people who are limited in English proficiency (also known as LEP persons) and thoroughly evaluates SJTPO’s efforts to provide meaningful access to services, information, and participation in the transportation planning process. The LEP Plan is reviewed annually and updated on an as-needed basis.
- Public Involvement Plan (PIP): The PIP documents the rules SJTPO will follow and identifies methods that SJTPO will utilize to ensure that planning efforts include the public to the greatest degree reasonably possible. The PIP is reviewed annually and updated on an as-needed basis.
- Regional Transportation Plan (RTP): The RTP is the “top-level” plan of the SJTPO that guides planning activities and investment decisions. The RTP provides the long-term (at least 20 years) vision for the regional transportation system and identifies the goals and strategies needed to meet the needs of the system. The RTP is updated every five years.
- Transportation Conformity: Transportation Conformity is a complex and technical process that documents the demonstration of transportation conformity for projects and programs with the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). To make this determination, air quality emissions are measured against the current 8-hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The Transportation Conformity determination is updated every five years.
- Transportation Improvement Program (TIP): The TIP is a list of surface transportation projects and programs reflecting the major investments in the region over a minimum of four years. The TIP is updated every two years and can be amended in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), the North Jersey Transportation Planning Association (NJTPA), SJTPO, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), and the New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ TRANSIT).
- Title VI Implementation Plan: The Title VI Implementation Plan details the assurances and procedures that SJTPO and its subrecipients of federal funds must follow to adhere to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ensure that no persons are excluded from participation based on their race, color, or national origin. The Title VI Implementation Plan is reviewed annually and updated on an as-need basis.
- Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP): The UPWP serves as the budget for SJTPO. The UPWP describes all transportation and planning-related activities to be conducted by SJTPO staff, subregional partners, and member agencies during the state fiscal year, effective July 1 to June 30. The UPWP is updated annually.
SJTPO’s “vital documents” are documents that help residents and stakeholders understand SJTPO’s purpose and importance in the four-county region and will be proactively translated into Spanish and translated into other languages upon request. These documents are as follows:
- Access for All Transit Plan Executive Summary: The Access for All Transit Plan Executive Summary is available in English and Spanish on the Access for All Transit Plan webpage.
- Environmental Justice (EJ) Report Executive Summary: The EJ Plan Executive Summary is available in English and Spanish on the Environmental Justice webpage.
- Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan: The LEP Plan has been translated into Spanish and is available on the LEP webpage.
- Public Involvement Plan (PIP) Executive Summary: The PIP Executive Summary is available in English and Spanish on the PIP webpage.
- Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) Executive Summary: The RTP Executive Summary is available in English and Spanish on the RTP webpage.
- The Public Engagement Guide to Transportation Planning in South Jersey: The Guide is available in English and Spanish on the Public Engagement Guide webpage.
- Title VI Complaint Form: The Title VI Complaint Form must be completed if a person or group of persons believes they have been aggrieved by an unlawful discriminatory practice by SJTPO under Title VI. The form is available in English and Spanish on the Title VI webpage.
- Title VI Complaint Procedures: Materials that directly allow the public to understand and exercise their rights under Title VI with regard to SJTPO are available on the Title VI webpage.
- Title VI Notice: The Title VI Notice is SJTPO’s commitment to the public to assure full compliance with Title VI of Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice, and related nondiscrimination statutes and regulations in all programs and activities. The Title VI Notice is available on the Title VI webpage.
- Transportation Improvement Program (tip) Executive Summary: The tip Executive Summary is available in English and Spanish on the TIP webpage.
- Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Executive Summary: The UPWP Executive Summary is available in English and Spanish on the UPWP webpage.