Metropolitan/Statewide Transportation Plan

The Metropolitan and Statewide Transportation plans are the documents that include the goals, objectives, performance measures and strategies developed in the previous steps. Every plan is organized a little differently, so it may take a little hunting to find the ITS strategies and projects in the plan. ITS is frequently addressed as part of a management and operations section of the plan. Other plans may include a specific ITS section. Frequently, one must look in more than one area of the plan because ITS strategies may support multiple objectives including security, safety, and freight movement in addition to management and operations.

Architecture Use

There are many similarities between a long range plan and a regional ITS architecture. Both have a long time horizon and are multimodal. There are also differences. The long range plan is fiscally constrained while the architecture is not. The long range plan is required by law to be updated every 4-5 years in metropolitan areas. There is no required update period for regional ITS architectures.

One aspect of regional architectures that has become more common in recent years is to include executive summary material - plain descriptions and accessible graphics that explain the architecture to non-technical audiences. This material has myriad uses including possible inclusion in the long range plan. Many current metropolitan and statewide transportation plans include a general description of the regional ITS architecture that is easily derived from the executive summary material.

Every metropolitan region and state has an inclusive, formal process for long range plan development that ends with formal adoption of the plan. Some regions have concluded their regional architecture development processes with a similar formal acceptance or adoption of the architecture. Formal adoption or acceptance of the architecture provides visibility and may encourage more systematic use and maintenance of the architecture.