Communication and Public Awareness

Glossary

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Note: Underlined words will link to their definitions in the glossary.

Term Definition
3-C Planning Process A description of the type of planning process used by metropolitan planning organizations to develop transportation plans. The three “C’s” stand for “continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive.”

A

Access Management The regulation of interchanges, intersections, driveways, and median openings to a roadway. Access management is used to maintain roadway safety and mobility while providing access to adjacent land uses through controlling access location, design, spacing, and operation. Examples of access management include restricting the number of driveways into a parking lot, routing cars on frontage roads, and restricting left-turns out of driveways.
ACHD Commuteride Ada County Highway District’s vanpool program. The program also coordinates ridesharing, manages park-and-ride lots, and provides assistance to area employers regarding alternative transportation options.
ADA The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; a federal law mandating sweeping changes in building codes, transportation, and hiring practices to prevent discrimination against persons with disabilities, not just in projects involving federal dollars, but all new public places, conveyances, and employers.  The significance of ADA in transportation is mainly in terms of transit operations, capital improvements, and hiring.
Ada County Highway District (ACHD) The agency responsible for Ada County's roads and bridges, except for those managed by theIdaho Transportation Department. It is the only countywide highway district in the State of Idaho and encompasses all roadways in unincorporated Ada County as well as those in Ada County’s cities.
Air Quality Conformity Analysis An analysis that determines if certain transportation plans and programs meet (conform to) federal air quality goals; namely forecasts of vehicular emissions resulting from the implementation of transportation plans stay within acceptable levels. These acceptable levels of future pollution are determined by the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for air quality. This analysis is required by federal law in areas that have violated air quality standards. Within the COMPASS planning area, conformity analysis is required for northern Ada County.
Ambient Air The outdoor air in a given area.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) A federal law mandating sweeping changes in building codes, transportation, and hiring practices to prevent discrimination against persons with disabilities, not just in projects involving federal dollars, but all new public places, conveyances, and employers.  The significance of ADA in transportation is mainly in terms of transit operations, capital improvements, and hiring.
Apportionment

The amount of funds Congress authorizes for each program in a Congressional funding bill (i.e. MAP-21 for transportation).  This is the starting “budget” for various programs.  However, funds could be limited based on the amount of annual funding provided in the Appropriation bill, and further limited based on available obligation authority.

Appropriation

The amount of funds contained within a Congressional bill that authorizes the government to spend money for a certain program. 

Area of (City) Impact Also known as the city’s planning area. It is the land area surrounding the limits of each city, negotiated between each individual city and the county in which it lies. Each city has comprehensive planning authority for its area of impact, but until annexation occurs, zoning and development entitlement is handled by the county.
Arterial Street A class of street serving major traffic, but not designated as a highway. Examples of arterials in Ada and Canyon Counties include Cleveland Boulevard in Caldwell, 12th Avenue in Nampa, and Broadway Avenue in Boise.
At-grade Intersection An intersection where all vehicles traverse the intersection at ground level, or “at grade.” There is no grade separation (overpass or underpass).
Attainment (area) Meeting (attaining) federal air quality standards as set out in the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990. An attainment area is any geographic area that meets those requirements.  An area that does not meet these standards is a “nonattainment area.”
Average Daily Traffic (ADT) The average number of vehicles passing a fixed point in a 24-hour time frame.  A convention for measuring traffic volume.

B

Base Year The baseline or lead-off year of a study or analysis. The year to which other years are compared.
Bikeway A facility, such as a path or bike lane, intended to accommodate bicycle travel for recreational or commuting purposes. 
Blueprint for Good Growth A partnership of governments in Ada County in charge of local land use and roadway planning: Ada County, Ada County Highway District, Boise, Eagle, Garden City, Meridian, Kuna, Star, and the Idaho Transportation Department. The purpose of the partnership is to coordinate land use and transportation planning in Ada County.
Boise Cutoff The section of the rail line between the City of Nampa and the City of Boise north of Interstate 84.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) A transit system that looks and feels like a rail system, but operates like a bus system with rubber tires and no rail. BRT may or may not operate on a dedicated lane.
Bypass Lane A right-turn lane where transit vehicles are not required to turn right, gaining the ability to travel through an intersection without waiting in a queue of vehicles. Also called a “queue jump lane.”

C

CAA Clean Air Act. Federal air quality laws enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Capacity A transportation facility’s ability to accommodate a moving stream of people or vehicles in a given time period. Increased capacity can come from building more roads, installing more public transit, or from many other sources.
Capital (project) A project or purchase that involves purchasing or building a “thing,” as opposed to a purchase of a service. For example, buying a bus or building a road are capital purchases/projects, while operating a bus or maintaining a road are not.
Capital Improvement Program (CIP) A medium- to long-range plan to coordinate funding and phasing of capital projects.
Capital Program Funds Financial assistance from the Capital Program of 49 U.S. Code. 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.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) A colorless, odorless, tasteless gas formed in large part by incomplete combustion of fuel.  Human activities (i.e., transportation or industrial processes) are largely the source for CO contamination.
Carpool An arrangement where two or more people share the use and cost of privately owned automobiles in traveling to and from pre-arranged destinations together.
Categorical Exclusion (CE or Cat Ex) One potential outcome of a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. Categorical exclusions apply to projects that do not have a significant impact on the human and natural environment.
Census An official count of a population. Most commonly, “the Census” is referring to the decennial census, which is conducted every ten years (years ending in "0") by the U.S. Census Bureau. The decennial census is required by the U.S. Constitution.
Census Tract Small, relatively permanent subdivisions of a county that are delineated for all metropolitan areas and other densely populated counties by local census statistical area committees following guidelines set by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
CIM Communities in Motion, the regional long-range transportation plan for Ada and Canyon Counties.
CIP Capital Improvement Program. A medium- to long-range plan to coordinate funding and phasing of capital projects.
Clean Air Act (CAA) Federal air quality laws enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
CoarseParticulates (PM10) Any airborne pollutant particle (e.g., dust, dirt, soot, or liquid droplet) less than or equal to 10 micrometers in diameter. One of the six “criteria pollutants” for air quality established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and one of the pollutants generated by on-road mobile sources.  Northern Ada County is designated as a “maintenance area” for PM10, meaning that it had violated the federal air quality standard in the past, but is now in compliance with the standard and has an EPA-approved “maintenance plan” to ensure it maintains its compliance.
Collector Any street that primarily moves traffic from local roads to arterials.
Community Choices The "preferred growth scenario" (vision for growth) upon which Communities in Motion 2030 and Communities in Motion 2035 were based. A vision of land use for the Treasure Valley that encourages growth inside city “areas of impact,” and mphasizes higher densities and mixed-uses with jobs, shopping, and services closer to housing. The Communities in Motion 2040 Vision is the vision for growth for Communities in Motion 2040.
Communities in Motion (CIM): The regional long-range transportation plan for Ada and Canyon Counties. The plan serves as the defining vision for the Treasure Valley’s transportation systems and services and indicates the transportation improvements scheduled for funding over the next 20 years. CIM was adopted in 2006 and updated in 2010. It will next be updated in 2014. “Communities in Motion” is often accompanied by a year (e.g., Communities in Motion 2035), which indicates the horizon year of that specific Communities in Motion plan. The horizon year changes with each plan update.
Communities in Motion 2040 (CIM 2040) Vision The "preferred growth scenario" for Communities in Motion 2040. The Communities in Motion 2040 Vision provides new housing and jobs along transit corridors and in major activity centers with a strong focus on maintaining the region’s recreation and open space areas. New growth would be comprised of a variety of housing types, served by infrastructure, nearby services, and outside of prime farmland or environmental constraints. This vision supports local comprehensive plan goals and densities, and includes entitled developments as of July 2012. This vision would support high capacity transit for State Street (Highway 44) and a route parallel to Interstate-84, as well as multimodal infrastructure and services throughout the region. Key goals include walkability, preserving farmland, minimizing congestion, increasing transportation options, improving jobs-housing balance, better access to parks, and maintaining environmental resources. (Adopted by the COMPASS Board October 15, 2012). “Community Choices” is the preferred growth scenario for Communities in Motion 2030 and 2035.
COMPASS Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho
Complete Streets A concept in transportation design that considers the adjoining land use, site access, community character,pedestrians, multi-modal needs, environmental, and other community interestsand considerations when developing transportation system improvements.A Complete Street may be an outcome of a Context Sensitive Design process.
Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality Program (CMAQ) A federal program that provides federal transportation funding to nonattainment and/or maintenance areas for projects that improve air quality.
Congestion Management System (CMS) A systematic process for managing traffic congestion.  A CMS provides information on transportation system performance and finds productive ways to manage the growth of congestion and enhance the mobility of people and goods, to levels that meet state and local needs.
Conformity analysis) The compliance of any transportation plan, program, or project with air quality implementation plans.  The conformity process is defined by the Clean Air Act. A “conformity analysis” is the process by which compliance (conformity) is demonstrated.
Context Sensitive Design A collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to transportation planning and design that involves all stakeholders in evaluating and developing options for a transportation facility that fits its setting. It‘s an approach that leads to preserving and enhancing scenic, aesthetic, historic, community, and environmental resources, while improving or maintaining safety, mobility, and infrastructure conditions. A Complete Street may be an outcome of a Context Sensitive Design process.
Corridor 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.
Cost of Living The cost of purchasing those goods and services which are included in an accepted standard level of consumption. A low cost of living enables local household and public money to buy more than in areas with higher costs of living.
Creative Class The creative class is a socioeconomic class that is considered by some to be a key driving force for economic development of post-industrial cities in the States. The creative class is comprised of professional working in the fields of science, engineering, education, computer programming, research, healthcare, business, finance, and the legal sector.
Cultural Resources Historic, archaeological, and similar resources related to a society’s culture and history.
Cycle Length At a signalized intersection, this is the time required for a complete sequence of signal indications at an intersection.

D

Density The amount of development that exists in a given area. It is typically used to
measure dwelling units per acre
Department of Transportation (DOT) Can refer to the US DOT or to a state DOT. (Idaho DOT is known as Idaho Transportation Department – ITD)
Development Monitoring Report An overview of development activity using building permit information collected from city and county jurisdictions in Ada and Canyon Counties. This report is developed yearly by COMPASS; copies can be found online at www.compassidaho.org/prodserv/gtsm-devmonitoring.htm.
District 3 One of six ITD-designated districts in Idaho, this district is composed of the 10 southwest Idaho counties, including Canyon and Ada Counties.
DOT Department of Transportation. When used alone, this usually indicates the US Department of Transportation. In conjunction with a place name, it indicates a state, city, or county transportation agency (e.g., the Utah Department of Transportation). Idaho’s department of transportation is called the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD).

E

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Report that details any adverse economic, social, and/or environmental effects of a proposed transportation project for which federal funding is being sought.  Adverse effects could include air, water, or noise pollution; destruction or disruption of natural resources; adverse employment effects; injurious displacement of people or businesses; or disruption of desirable community or regional growth.
Environmental Justice (EJ) The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Fair treatment means that no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic groups should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from the operation of industrial, municipal, and commercial enterprises and from the execution of federal, state, local, or tribal programs or policies. An Executive Order (Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Population) was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994 to focus federal attention on the environmental and human health conditions of minority and low-income populations with the goal of achieving environmental protection for all communities.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA; US 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.
Environmental Resources The natural environment, coupled with historic, social/economic, and community resources.
Emissions Budget The part of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) that identifies the allowable emissions levels mandated by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for certain pollutants emitted from mobile, stationary, and area sources. The emissions budget is used for meeting emission reduction milestones, attainment, or maintenance demonstrations.
EPA (US EPA) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; 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.
Existing System Efficiency Upgrading or supplementing the function of existing facilities through operational improvements.
Expressway A highway that functions similar to an interstate and is mainly intended to provide a route within a region. Currently, there are no expressways in the Treasure Valley.
Express Route A transit service that connects park-and-ride lots with major employment centers. The service typically operates only during peak commute times with very limited stops and headways of up to 15 minutes.

F

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) An branch of the US Department of Transportation that has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S.
Facility As used in transportation, a “facility” refers to all the fixed physical assets of a transportation system, such as roads, bus terminals, bridges, bike paths, and train stations.
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) A branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation that supports state and local governments in the design, construction, and maintenance of the nation’s highway system (Federal Aid Highway Program) and various federally and tribal owned lands (Federal Lands Highway Program). Through financial and technical assistance to state and local governments, the Federal Highway Administration is responsible for ensuring that America’s roads and highways are safe and technologically sound.
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a US government agency that insures loans made by banks and other private lenders for home building and home buying. The goals of this organization are to improve housing standards and conditions, provide an adequate home financing system through insurance of mortgage loans, and to stabilize the mortgage market.
Fiscal  (Financial) Constraint The concept that long-range transportation plans and Transportation Improvement Programs must be financially realistic, balancing capital and operating costs with reasonable revenue expectations. 
Fine particulates (PM2.5) Any airborne pollutant particle (e.g., dust, dirt, soot, or liquid droplet) less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers in diameter. One of the six “criteria pollutants” for air quality established by the US Environmental Protection Agency, and one of the pollutants generated by on-road mobile sources. 
Frequency The interval of time scheduled between the arrivals of two consecutive buses at the same stop. Also called “headway.” 
Flexible Funds Federal transportation funds that can be used for highway or transit projects. 
FONSI Finding of No Significant Impact. One outcome of the NEPA process, a FONSI is issued when environmental analysis and interagency review during an “environmental assessment” process find a project to have no significant impacts on the quality of the environment.
Formula Capital Grants Federal transit funds for transit operators; allocation of funds overseen by Federal Transit Authority.
Functional Classification The process by which streets and highways are grouped into classes, or systems, according to the type of service they are intended to provide. For example, local streets are intended to serve residential areas, not heavy traffic; while interstates are designed for heavy traffic. Learn more at www.compassidaho.org/documents/prodserv/CIMupdate/Functional_Classification_In_a_Nutshell.pdf.
Federal Transit Administration (FTA) A branch of the US Department of Transportation that provides financial assistance to develop new transit systems and improve, maintain, and operate existing systems. FTA provides leadership, technical assistance, and financial resources for safe, technologically advanced public transportation to enhance mobility and accessibility, to improve the Nation’s communities and natural environment, and to strengthen the national economy.
Fixed Route (Bus Service) A bus line that operates on a specific route that does not vary from day to day. Also referred to as “Fixed Line.”

G

Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle (GARVEE) Bonds that allow state and local agencies to fund, schedule, and complete large construction projects in a much shorter time frame.  Bonding decreases project costs by avoiding future inflation and allow contractors to make more efficient use of labor and equipment.  The ability to avoid inflation in real property values decreases project right-of-way costs. 
Geographic Information System (GIS) A computerized data management system designed to capture, store, retrieve, analyze, and display geographically referenced information.

H

Headway The interval of time scheduled between the arrivals of two consecutive buses at the same stop. Also called “frequency.”
High Capacity Transit Service One of many bus or rail technologies, such as bus rapid transit, light rail, or heavy rail, designed to provide frequent service along heavily traveled corridors.
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) A vehicle carrying two or more people.

I

Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) The state agency responsible for Idaho’s state-owned roadways and bridges.
Interstate Highway System (“Interstates”) The system of highways that connects the principal metropolitan areas, cities, and industrial centers of the United States.  Also connects the United States to internationally significant routes in Canada and Mexico. From a “functional classification” standpoint, an interstate is the highest level of arterial roadway and includes the highest levels of access control. This is a road that is part of the federally designated interstate system. Access is controlled, which allows for high traffic volumes and speeds.
Inspection and Maintenance Programs (I/M) Local government programs that require vehicles to be inspected and repaired to comply with specific air quality standards, most commonly for carbon monoxide and ozone. Commonly referred to as “emissions testing.”
Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) The application of advanced technologies to improve the efficiency and safety of transportation systems. 
Intermodal The ability to connect, and the connections between, modes of transportation. “Intermodal” is often used interchangeably with “multimodal,” though there is a subtle difference.
ITIP Idaho Transportation Investment Program; a short-term (X-year) budget for transportation projects on Idaho Transportation Department facilities throughout the state of Idaho. The ITIP is comparable to a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for    that includes highways, bridges, public transportation, railroads, aviation, and non-motorized transportation. 

J

Jobs/Housing Imbalance When people do not live near where they work, the impacts to the transportation system increase proportionally. The jobs/housing ratio divides the number of jobs in an area by the number of employed residents. A ratio greater than 1.0 indicates a net incommute; less than 1.0 indicates a net out-commute. When people do not live near where they work, the impacts to the transportation system increase proportionally.

K

Key Number Numbers are assigned to a programmed (budgeted) project for tracking purposes.

L

Land Use Refers to the manner in which portions of land or the structures on them are used (i.e., commercial, residential, retail, industrial, etc.).
Level of Service (LOS) A rating (A – F) of the effectiveness of a roadway in serving transportation needs. “Auto level of service” refers to a road’s effectiveness in handling auto traffic, while “multimodal level of service” refers to a corridor’s effectiveness in handling multiple transportation modes, such as transit and pedestrian.
Light Rail A rail system with relatively frequent service along mostly exclusive or segregated rights of way. An urban rail public transportation system that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems. Light rail typically features electric rail cars separated from other traffic but sometimes, if necessary, is mixed with other traffic in city streets.
Local Road/Street A street intended solely for access to properties bordering it.
Local Option Sales Tax A special-purpose tax implemented and levied at the city or county level. A local option sales tax is often used as a means of raising funds for specific local or area projects, such as improving area streets and roads, or refurbishing a community's downtown area. Requires a passing vote by the general public before they can be implemented and are typically levied for temporary time period. Currently, Local Option Sales Taxes are only allowed in Idaho in resort communities.
Local road From a functional classification standpoint, local roads include most residential and other “small” streets. They are typically not identified on functional classification maps.
Refers to roads managed by local cities and highway districts, as opposed to those managed by the Idaho Transportation Department.
Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Or Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) (the Plan) – a document resulting from regional or statewide collaboration and consensus on a region’s or state’s transportation system, and serving as the defining vision for the region’s or state’s transportation systems and services.  In metropolitan areas, the plan indicates all the transportation improvements scheduled for funding over the next 20 years. A document resulting from regional or statewide collaboration and consensus on a region’s or state’s transportation system, and serving as the defining vision for the region’s or state’s transportation systems and services. In metropolitan areas, the plan indicates all the transportation improvements scheduled for funding over the next 20 years. Communities in Motionis the LRTP for Ada and Canyon Counties.

M

Maintenance Ensuring the long-term existence of current facilities through regular and routine care (such as chip seals, overlays, bulb replacement, etc.).
Maintenance Area A former nonattainment area that currently meets the requirements for clean air as set out in the Clean Air Act Amendment of 1990. 
Major Destinations Destinations or places that attract many traffic trips such as shopping centers, major employment centers, large educational facilities, regional parks, large entertainment areas, or downtown centers.
Map-21 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act; the current federal transportation law, as of July 6, 2012.
Median Housing Price The home price that falls in the middle of the total number of homes for sale in an area.
Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Regional policy body, required in urbanized areas with populations over 50,000, and designated by local officials and the governor of the state.  Responsible, in cooperation with the state and other transportation providers, for carrying out the metropolitan transportation planning requirements of federal highway and transit legislation. COMPASS is the MPO for Ada and Canyon Counties.
Minor Arterial Minor arterials connect with and augment the principal arterial system and generally are used for shorter trips. More emphasis is placed on land access than principal arterials.
Mixed-Use A development or building that includes a combination of residential and commercial or office uses. Typically, office or retail uses would be found on the street level, with residential uses on the upper floors. A mixed-use development can reduce the dependency on the single-occupant automobile as basic goods and services are locating within walking distance or even within the same building.
M & O (M/O) Management and operations.
Mobile Source Mobile sources of air pollution.  Some examples include motor vehicles, aircraft, seagoing vessels, and other transportation modes. 
Mobility Corridor A roadway designed for high volumes and intended for regional movements. While the number of lanes may vary, these roadways may have more than two travel lands per direction.
Mode A specific form of transportation, such as automobile, subway, bus, rail, or air.
Multimodal: A system involving more than one mode of transport, which may include automobile, bus, rail, carpooling, van-pooling, bicycling, and walking.  (“Multimodal” is often used interchangeably with “intermodal,” but there is a subtle difference.)
Models Simulations of the “real world” that can be used to show the impact of changes in a metropolitan area on the transportation system (such as adding a new road or transit line, or increases in population or employment).
MSA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Multiplier or Multiplier Effect: An effect in economics in which an increase in spending produces an increase in income and consumption greater than the initial amount spent. For example, if a corporation builds a factory, it will employ construction workers and their suppliers as well as those who work in the factory. Indirectly, the new factory will stimulate employment in the factory's vicinity.
Multimodal Center A transit station where passengers can transfer between different modes of transportation, such as bus, light rail, bicycle, and walking.

N

Nampa Urbanized Area An area with a specific boundary comprised of the Cities of Nampa, Caldwell, and Middleton, as well as small parts of Canyon County.  The U.S. Census Bureau designates urbanized areas, but allows local governments to “smooth” the boundary.
National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) Federal standards that set allowable concentrations and exposure limits for various ambient air pollutants. 
National ITS Architecture A systems framework to guide the planning and deployment of ITS infrastructure.  The national ITS architecture is a blueprint for the coordinated development of ITS technologies in the United States.  It is unlikely that any single metropolitan area or state would plan to implement the entire national ITS architecture.
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) Established a national environmental policy requiring 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 System (NHS) A federal funding program used to implement improvements to roadways designated as part of the National Highway System.
NOx Emissions Budget Budget Year 2008 = 29.5 tons per day
Budget Year 2015 = 29.5 tons per day
Budget Year 2023 = 34.2 tons per day
Non-attainment (area) Not meeting (attaining) federal air quality standards as set out in the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990. A nonattainment area is any geographic area that is not meeting those requirements. An area that does meet these standards is an “attainment area”
Northern Ada County The area north of the “Boise Base Line.”  The invisible line runs across the county west to east approximately seven miles south of Kuna.

O

Obligation Authority (OA) A "ceiling" on the amount of federal assistance that may be promised (obligated) during a specified time period.
Oxides of nitrogen (NOx) Oxides of nitrogen; a precursor (building block) of ozone.
Ozone (O3) A colorless gas with a sweet odor.  Ground-level ozone is not a direct emission from transportation sources.  It is formed when volatile organic compounds, such as pesticides and solvents, and NOx combine in the presence of sunlight.  Although the ozone in the upper atmosphere protects us from harmful ultraviolet rays, ground-level ozone is the main component of smog.

P

Park-and-Ride A facility for transit passengers to park their vehicles while carpooling, vanpooling, or riding transit.
Paratransit A variety of smaller, often flexibly scheduled and routed transportation services using low-capacity vehicles, such as vans, which operate within normal urban transit corridors or rural areas.  These services usually serve the needs of people that standard mass transit services would serve with difficulty, or not at all.  Often, the patrons include the elderly and people with disabilities.
Parts per Million (PPM) Parts per million – measurement for pollutants in the air.
PD Preliminary development. Used to describe projects in the Regional Transportation Improvement Program that have some development activity but no programmed year of construction.
PE Preliminary engineering.  Analysis and design work to produce construction plans, specifications and cost estimates.
Performance Standards or Measures Indicators of how well the transportation system is performing with regard to such things as level of congestion, average speed, reliability of travel, and accident rates.  Used as feedback in the decision making process.
Preferred Growth Scenario The land use and growth model that is adopted as the official growth scenario of the Communities in Motion plan. This scenario guides decisions and policy making for COMPASS and its member agencies. The preferred scenario for Communities in Motion 2035 is ―Community Choices. The workshops will be used to develop a preferred scenario for Communities in Motion 2040.
Planning Funds Primary source of funding for metropolitan planning designated by the FHWA.
PM2.5
PM10 Course particulate matter, particles smaller than 10 microns in diameter, which are more likely to lodge in human lungs than larger particles.
PM10 Emissions Budget Budget Year 2008 = 31.0 tons per day
Budget Year 2015 = 42.9 tons per day
Budget Year 2023 = 60.1 tons per day
Premium Route A transit service that runs on major corridors connecting park-and-ride lots and city hubs. Premium route service provides limited stops on a dedicated transit land and headways between 15 and 30 minutes all day.
Principal arterials Principal arterials serve major regional activity centers and carry most of the traffic entering and leaving urban areas, as well as the majority of “through” traffic. They have more access than an expressway, but less than a minor arterial.
Primary Route A transit service that directly links major activity centers. A primary route provides frequent stops and headways between 15 and 30 minutes during peak hours and 30 to 60 minutes during off-peak hours.
Programming (or Financial Programming) A short-term commitment of funds to specific projects identified in a regional Transportation Improvement Program.
Programmed Projects Projects that have been budgeted for implementation within the next three years.
Public Anyone who resides, has an interest, or does business in a give area potentially affected by transportation decisions.  This includes both individuals and organized groups.
Public Participation The active and meaningful involvement of the public in the development of transportation plans and programs.
Public Transportation Transportation by bus, or rail, or other conveyance, either publicly or privately owned, providing to the public general or special service (but not including school buses or charter or sightseeing service) on a regular and continuing basis. Also known as "mass transit", "mass transportation", and "transit".
Public Private Partnerships A contractual agreement between a public agency (federal, state or local) and a private sector entity.

Q

Queue Jump Lane A right turn land where transit vehicles are not required to turn right, gaining the ability to travel through an intersection without waiting in a queue of through vehicles. Queue jump/bypass lands typically operate in conjunction with transit signal priority at certain intersections. Also called a “bypass lane.”
Quality of Life Personal satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with the conditions in society.
Quickway A type of bus rapid transit (BRT) service in which several bus routes share a single busway or bus lane. Feeder buses with routes that begin in various neighborhoods along the corridor are routed through to the final destination, eliminating the need to transfer. This service pattern can provide skip-stop and express services.

R

Reformulated Gasoline Gasoline blended to burn more completely and evaporate less easily.  Fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released into the air, potentially reducing ozone formation.
Regional Transportation Advisory Committee (RTAC) A COMPASS standing committee that advises the COMPASS Board on regional transportation and related planning issues. Committee work includes recommending priorities for federal funding requests and the technical review of core agency documents such as the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). Members constitute a primary communications link between COMPASS and its members. As such RTAC members are expected to represent their respective agencies’ at the meetings and to communicate to their agencies information regarding COMPASS plans, studies, and other activities. 
Regionally Significant Projects In the planning community, regionally significant projects serve regional transportation needs such as access to and from the major activity centers in the region, and would normally be included in the modeling of a metropolitan area’s transportation network. These projects include, at a minimum, all principal arterial highways and all fixed-guideway transit facilities. Regionally significant projects meet a specific definition developed the Northern Ada County Interagency Consultation Committee on Air Quality (ICC).
Record of Decision (ROD) Presents the selected transportation decision analyzed in an EIS, the basis for that decision, and the environmental commitments to mitigate for project impacts to the human and natural environment.
Reverse Commute Travel from home to work, or from work to home, against the main directions of traffic.
Right of Way (ROW) Priority paths for the construction and operation of highways, light and heavy rail, railroads, etc. The strip of land, often public property, used for moving goods, services and utilities, such as a street, highway, sidewalk, or railroad.
ROW Right of way. A parcel of land dedicated or reserved for use as apublic way, which in urban areas may include streets, sidewalks, utilities, or other service functions.
RTAC Regional Transportation Advisory Committee. A COMPASS standing committee that advises the COMPASS Board on regional transportation and related planning issues. Committee work includes recommending priorities for federal funding requests and the technical review of core agency documents such as the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). Members constitute a primary communications link between COMPASS and its members. As such RTAC members are expected to represent their respective agencies’ at the meetings and to communicate to their agencies information regarding COMPASS plans, studies, and other activities. 
Running Way The facility or environment in which transit operates. For example, bus rapid transit may travel in a median arterial busway, mixed traffic, and/or bus pullouts.

S

Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) Authorized in 2005, SAFETEA-LU authorized federal funding for transportation investments for fiscal years 2005-2009.  Approximately $286.4 billion in funding was authorized, the largest amount in history, which is used for highway, transit, and other surface transportation programs.
Safety Improving the function of the transportation system to provide the safest environment for the public. 
Scenario planning A framework for developing a shared vision for the future that test various future alternatives that meet state, community, and regional needs.
Single Occupancy Vehicles (SOV) Cars with just one occupant, the driver.  The large number of single occupancy vehicles on the road at rush hour in cities is recognized as a major cause of pollution.
Sprawl Urban form that connotatively depicts the movement of people from the central city to the suburbs. Concerns associated with sprawl include loss of farmland and open space due to low-density land development, increased public service costs, and environmental degradation as well as other concerns associated with transportation.
Stakeholders: Individuals, organizations, and agencies with an interest in, or who are affected by, an issue.
Streetcar: A passenger rail vehicle that runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way.
State Implementation Plan (SIP) Produced by the state environmental agency. Contains specific strategies for controlling emissions and reducing ambient levels of pollutants, in order to satisfy the CAA requirements for demonstrations of reasonable further progress toward attainment.  Transportation plans must conform to state implementation plans.
Smart Growth A set of policies and programs designed to protect, preserve, and economically develop established communities and valuable natural and cultural resources.
State Planning and Research Funds (SP&R) Primary source of funding for state planning and research.
SOP Single occupancy vehicle. A vehicle occupied by only the driver.
Sprawl Urban form that connotatively depicts the movement of people from the central city to the suburbs.  Concerns associated with sprawl include loss of farmland and open space due to low-density land development, increased public service costs, and environmental degradation as well as other concerns associated with transportation.
Stakeholders Individuals, organizations, and agencies with an interest in, or who are affected by, the transportation planning process.  Includes federal/state/local officials, MPOs, transit operators, freight companies, shippers, and the general public.
State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) A staged, multi-year, statewide, intermodal program of transportation projects, consistent with the statewide transportation plan and planning processes as well as metropolitan plans, TIPs, and processes.
Station A facility where transit vehicles stop for passengers to board, alight, and transfer between routes.
Sub-area Plan A study and plan for future transportation improvements within a small area such as a smaller city or a section of a larger city. 
Surface Transportation Program (STP) Federal-aid highway funding program that funds a broad range of surface transportation capital needs including: many roads, transit, sea and airport access, vanpools, bike, and pedestrian facilities. “STP-R” refers to funds for rural areas, “STP-U” refers to funds for urban areas, and “STP-TMA” refers to funds for Transportation Management Areas (in Idaho, this is the Boise Urbanized Area)
Sustainability: Sustainability is the capacity to endure.
Streetcar A passenger rail vehicle that runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way.

T

TCM Transportation control measures; specific measures that reduce emissions by either reducing vehicle use or reducing traffic flow.  Examples:  improved public transit, high-occupancy vehicle lanes, shared-ride services, bicycle/pedestrian facilities, and flexible work schedules.
TDM Transportation demand management; Programs designed to reduce demand for transportation through various means, such as the use of transit and of alternative work hours.
Telecommuting The practice of working from home and communicating with the employer via the phone and/or internet.
Third Place Social surroundings separate from home and the workplace. Third places are important for civil society, democracy, civic engagement, and establishing feelings of a sense of place.
TIP Transportation Improvement Program; a financially constrained three-year program covering the most immediate implementation priorities for transportation projects and strategies from the metropolitan transportation plan.
TMA Transportation management area; any urbanized area over 200,000 in population.
Transit Transportation mode that moves larger numbers of people than does a single automobile.  Generally renders to passenger service provided to the general public along established routes with fixed or variable schedules at published fares. A transportation mode such as a bus or train that moves larger numbers of people than does a single automobile.
Transit Oriented Development The amount of development, including housing, jobs, and other attractions, needed to support a transit system. Transit supportive densities are typically only expected within one-quarter mile of transit stops.
Transit Network The set of routes served by all types of transit in a region.
Transit Performance A measure of how well a transit system operates and meets the community’s needs, based on factors such as travel times, capacity, and availability.
Transit Preferential Treatments Improvements to the transportation system that help transit operate more efficiently and reliability. These treatments include exclusive signal phasing, transit signal priority, queue jump/bypass lanes, and curb extensions/boarding islands.
Transit Service Plan A plan that provides details about the current and future transit system, such as transit type, service availability, routes, and headways.
Transit Signal Priority An operational strategy that facilitates the movement of transit vehicles through traffic-signal controlled intersections by modifying the normal signal operation.
Transit Supportive Housing Density The amount of housing density needed to support a transit system.  Seven units per gross acre is the minimum density that is considered transit supportive.  Transit supportive density can be derived a variety of ways including a wide mix of densities that averages seven units per acre or more.  This type of density is only expected within one-quarter mile of transit stops.
Transportation Analysis Zone (TAZ) A Transportation analysis zone (TAZ) is the unit of geography most commonly used in conventional transportation planning models. The size of a zone varies, but for a typical metropolitan planning software, a zone of under 3,000 people is common.
Transportation Control Measures (TCM) Specific measures that reduce emissions by either reducing vehicle use or reducing traffic flow.  Examples:  improved public transit, high-occupancy vehicle lanes, shared-ride services, bicycle/pedestrian facilities, and flexible work schedules.
Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Programs designed to reduce demand for transportation through various means, such as the use of transit and of alternative work hours.
Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) A financially constrained three-year program covering the most immediate implementation priorities for transportation projects and strategies from the metropolitan transportation plan.
Transportation Management Area (TMA) Any urbanized area over 200,000 in population.
Travel Demand Forecast Model A computer program that provides a forecast of average (week) day traffic (ADT) for each link of a given transportation network and demographic data set. The model is regularly maintained and updated to include all completed roadway projects.  Future-year model networks include anticipated widening and new roadway projects.
Trend The term used to describe the current, low density development pattern in the Treasure Valley.
Telecommuting Communicating electronically (by telephone, computer, fax, etc.) with an office, either from home or from another site, instead of traveling to it physically.
Title VI Part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Prohibits discrimination in any program receiving federal assistance.
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.

U

Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) The management plan for the metropolitan planning program.  Its purpose is to coordinate the planning activities of all participants in the planning process.  The UPWP is also the budget document for the metropolitan planning organization.
Urbanized Area An area with a population of 50,000 or more, as designated by the US Census Bureau.
Urban Agriculture The practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in, or around, an urban area. Urban agriculture contributes to food security and by increasing the amount of food available to people living in cities and by allowing fresh vegetables and fruits and meat products to be made available to urban consumers.

V

Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Term used for describing the total number of miles traveled by a vehicle in a given time.  Most conventional VMT calculation is to multiply the average length of trips by the total number of trips.

W

Walkability The measure of the overall walking conditions in an area. Factors commonly used to define or measure walkability include land use mix, street connectivity, medium to high residential density, ground-level retail, access to mass transit, presence and quality sidewalks and pedestrian crossings, aesthetics, nearby local destinations, air quality, street furniture, and traffic flow. Walkability has been found to correlate with physical activity and has also been found to have economic benefits for an area.

Z

Zoning Local laws established to control the uses of land within a particular area. Zoning laws are used to separate residential land from areas of non-residential use, such as industry or businesses. Zoning ordinances include many provisions governing such things as type of structure, setbacks, lot size, and uses of a building.