Regional Goals, Objectives, and Strategies

Connecting a region's planning processes to the ITS services in the architecture makes the architecture more useful to the region and more maintainable over time.



Transportation planning considers changes to be made to a region's transportation network in order to address regional needs. These needs are expressed by a set of goals, objectives or strategies. A goal is a broad statement that describes a desired end state. In the metropolitan or statewide transportation planning process, goals stem from the values inherent in the area's vision (e.g. Increase the safety of the transportation system for motorized and non-motorized users). Objectives are specific, measurable statements related to the attainment of goals. Strategies are approaches that a region may take to address the goals or objectives.








23CFR940.9 and FTA National ITS Architecture Policy Section 9 indicates that "A regional ITS architecture shall be developed to guide the development of ITS projects and programs and be consistent with ITS strategies and projects contained in applicable transportation plans". Making the connection between Strategies and the Regional ITS Architecture addresses this requirement and provides a way to link the architecture to the planning process.




Key Activities



Identify key Planning Documents

-         Long-range planning

-         Planning for Operations

-         Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO)


Engage Stakeholders to define which planning attributes to consider

-         Gain consensus on which attributes to consider


Connect planning terms to the architecture (e.g. to the Service Packages)

-         Use RAD-IT to document connection

-         ARC-IT provides suggested connections




Sources of Information


-         Metropolitan Transportation Plan

-         ITS Strategic Plan

-         Regional TSMO Plan




Results of Process


-         Connection of regional planning goals/objectives to ITS services in the architecture



Relationship to Other Components

As shown in the figure below (which uses the shorthand-Planning Objectives / Strategies), Regional Goals, Objectives, and Strategies can be related to Services and user needs in the Regional ITS Architecture. In addition, when projects are defined, the projects can be related to the objectives and strategies through the services defined for the project.


Same graphic as presented earlier showing the components that make up a regional ITS architecture with the Planning Objectives and Strategies button or item highlighted.

Regional ITS Architecture ComponentsPlanning



When updating a Regional ITS Architecture it is important to consider how stakeholders will use the resultant update. Use of the architecture falls into two general areas:  Use for Transportation Planning and Use for Project Development. In order to make the connection to transportation planning, an architecture update effort should connect the Services (and/or projects) of the architecture to the relevant aspects of planning. There are several aspects of planning that could be considered including:

-         Long-range planning

-         Planning for Operations

-         Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO)


The basic activities in the development or update are described below:


1.     Identify Key Planning Documents.

Identify which planning documents to consider in making the connection between the architecture and planning attributes.


2.     Engage Stakeholders to define which planning attributes to consider.

Each update process includes interaction with a set of key stakeholders, some of whom are from the planning disciplines. A suggested approach is to engage them in a discussion of which planning attributes to consider when making the connection to the architecture. Since they may be the users of the architecture in the planning community, making a connection that is relevant or resonates with these stakeholders is essential. Decide upon the two levels of attributes which will be supported in RAD-IT (see discussion on the RAD-IT tab) and gain consensus with the planning stakeholders on the choice.


3.     Make connection from Planning Attributes to the architecture (e.g. to the Service Packages)

The next step is to map those planning attributes to service packages of the architecture. The ARC-IT website has a set of connections between planning attributes and service packages that can be used as a basis for the mapping. Providing this mapping as part of the architecture provides a real connection between the architecture and planning. In addition to service packages, the planning attributes can be connected it Projects in RAD-IT providing an additional connection point between planning and the architecture.


Tips iconYou are really looking for operations planning documents for the region. If a focused operations planning document like a TSMO is available, consider using the outputs of these efforts to make a connection to the architecture through the defined strategies, some, but not all of which, will have a technology component. If there is not a TSMO, then you will typically be parsing a broader long range plan for operations and technology related goals, objectives, and strategies. It is also important to cite your references and include a link to the actual documents used if available.




The key information connecting planning to the architecture can be found on the RAD-IT Planning tab, which is shown below for the sample database.


Planning Tab in RAD-IT


RAD-IT allows two levels of planning terms to be connected to the architecture. The default hierarchy is "Objective" and "Strategy", as shown in the example, but these terms are customizable. The two levels of planning attributes could be defined as "Goals" and "Objectives", "Objectives" and "Strategies", or "Needs" and "Actions", or any other pair of attributes. RAD-IT allows you to name the statements so they match the terminology used in the regional plan(s).


RAD-IT allows any two levels to be used, depending on what a particular region is using for its various planning document. For each statement, you can define the source document, the statement itself, any additional descriptive material available for the statement, and the service packages that map to the particular statement. In addition, RAD-IT allows the mapping of performance measures and projects to each planning statement.



The connection to Planning contained in RAD-IT can be added to an architecture website. The examples below show two different ways to represent this information.


This example shows the mapping of service packages to one objective. This is an example of a website generated directly from the RAD-IT file.


Screenshot from the Memphis Urban Area Regional ITS Architecture the regional architecture showing one of the Planning objectives for the region and the associated service packages.

RAD-IT Planning Example - Memphis


This next example shows a portion of the mapping of Goals and Actions to both service packages and projects. This is an example of a custom designed website generated using information from a RAD-IT file.


Example: Portion of Planning Tab for the New York City Sub-regional ITS Architecture

RAD-IT Planning Example - New York City