A Survey of Transportation Planning Practices in State Departments of Transportation

Report No: 99-R18

Published in 1999

About the report:

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), and now its successor the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), fundamentally altered the transportation planning process, providing new opportunities and new challenges for state and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs). In Virginia, the Transportation Planning Division (TPD) of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is the lead state agency for transportation planning. TPD is charged with satisfying state and federal requirements for transportation planning, including ISTEA and TEA-21 requirements; however, it is assisted in the delivery of transportation planning services by various levels of activity and responsibility in VDOT's district offices. There are numerous ways in which any given state department of transportation (DOT) can organize itself, allocate responsibility, manage personnel, and establish procedures and practices to perform tasks associated with the planning process. The purpose of this project was to survey the transportation planning practices in state DOTs, document the findings, and identify practices that might be considered for use by VDOT. The practices investigated included: organization and management of transportation planning; coordination between the DOT and MPOs; public involvement procedures for transportation planning activities; intermodal planning and congestion management procedures; use of consultants for transportation planning activities. Thirty-eight DOTs responded to the survey. Summary findings are presented, a comparison of VDOT and other DOT practices is made, and potential practices to enhance transportation planning in Virginia are identified.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • E. D. Arnold, Patricia A. Weichmann, Jeffrey A. Capizzano

Last updated: December 12, 2023

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