Title

MON/FAYETTE ROUTE 51 TO PITTSBURGH TRANSPORTATION PROJECT: A SUCCESS STORY IN INTEGRATING CONGESTION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM ANALYSIS, MAJOR INVESTMENT STUDY, AND NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT PROCESSES

Authors

J S. Shalkowski

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1998

Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - vehicle, planning - route design, land use - planning, policy - environment, policy - congestion, organisation - management, mode - subway/metro

Keywords

Transportation planning, Traffic congestion, Trade off analysis, Regional transportation, Project planning, Programming (Planning), Planning, Pennsylvania, National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Multiple occupancy vehicles, Metropolitan planning organizations, Management planning, Management, Long range planning, Investments, Investment requirements, Investment planning, Intrastate transportation, Highway planning, High occupancy vehicles, Gridlock (Traffic), Comparison studies, Alternatives analysis

Abstract

The 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act placed new emphasis on transportation planning. In response, the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration issued Joint Statewide and Metropolitan Planning Regulations (23 C.F.R. Section 450). These regulations call for two studies, the congestion management system (CMS) analysis and the major investment study (MIS), which must be completed to analyze the best use of the existing transportation network and to determine whether and what transportation investments are needed in a metropolitan area. The intent is to use these studies as input to the metropolitan planning organization's long-range transportation plan. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Planning Commission (SPRPC) cooperatively developed and implemented an effective approach to navigate the Mon/Fayette Route 51 to Pittsburgh transportation project through a collaborative process integrating the CMS analysis and MIS. This approach also met the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's (PennDOT's) Preliminary Alternatives Analysis, one in a series of studies required under PennDOT's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementing guidelines. PTC's goal to advance a preferred major investment alternative into the next phase of project development was accomplished when SPRPC endorsed the integrated CMS analysis/MIS and preliminary alternatives analysis report. Presented is a success story in the effort to integrate the metropolitan planning and NEPA processes at the project programming level. It is hoped that the planning and NEPA principles applied can serve as a model to advance other transportation projects.