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Goals and Future Factors

TPB Synthesized Policy Framework

The TPB Synthesized Policy Framework reflects the main points from various National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board policy documents. These include the TPB Vision, Region Forward, Regional Transportation Planning and Priorities, Aspirational Initiatives, and Climate Change Mitigation Strategies. The Framework’s principles and goals should inform planning throughout the region and guide the projects, programs, and policies that are submitted for the long-range transportation plan (Visualize 2050) and Transportation Improvement Program’s constrained element and planning activities beyond the constrained element.

TPB Policy Framework

The Region Forward Vision
Adopted by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG)

The Seven Aspirational Initiatives
Endorsed by the TPB (2018)


The TPB Goals

To guide the planning and implementation of transportation strategies, actions, and projects for the National Capital Region the TPB adopted the Vision in October 1998 that includes a comprehensive set of policy goals, objectives, and strategies. The Regional Transportation Priorities Plan (RTPP), adopted by the TPB in January 2014, is the other main element of the TPB’s regional policy framework. It is meant to focus attention on a limited number of specific strategies with the greatest potential to advance regional goals rooted in the TPB Vision. See the goals below, as well as recent TPB Resolutions that reflect TPB policy priorities on equity, climate change and safety.

RTPP Goals

Provide a comprehensive range of transportation options

Promote a strong regional economy, including a healthy regional core and dynamic Activity Centers

Ensure adequate system maintenance, preservation, and safety

Maximize operational effectiveness and safety of the transportation system

Enhance environmental quality, and protect natural and cultural resources

Support inter-regional and international travel and commerce



The TPB Vision Statement and Goals (1998)

Vision Statement

In the 21st Century, the Washington metropolitan region remains a vibrant world capital, with a transportation system that provides efficient movement of people and goods. This system promotes the region’s economy and environmental quality, and operates in an attractive and safe setting—it is a system that serves everyone. The system is fiscally sustainable, promotes areas of concentrated growth, manages both demand and capacity, employs the best technology, and joins rail, roadway, bus, air, water, pedestrian and bicycle facilities into a fully interconnected network.

TPB Vison Goals

  1. 1. The Washington metropolitan region’s transportation system will provide reasonable access at reasonable cost to everyone in the region.
  2. 2. The Washington metropolitan region will develop, implement, and maintain an interconnected transportation system that enhances quality of life and promotes a strong and growing economy throughout the entire region, including a healthy regional core and dynamic regional activity centers with a mix of jobs, housing and services in a walkable environment.
  3. 3. The Washington metropolitan region’s transportation system will give priority to management, performance, maintenance, and safety of all modes and facilities.
  4. 4. The Washington metropolitan region will use the best available technology to maximize system effectiveness.
  5. 5. The Washington metropolitan region will plan and develop a transportation system that enhances and protects the region’s natural environmental quality, cultural and historic resources, and communities.
  6. 6. The Washington metropolitan region will achieve better inter-jurisdictional coordination of transportation and land use planning.
  7. 7. The Washington metropolitan region will achieve an enhanced funding mechanism(s) for regional and local transportation system priorities that cannot be implemented with current and forecasted federal, state, and local funding.
  8. 8. The Washington metropolitan region will support options for international and interregional travel and commerce.


The TPB Vision, developed collaboratively over several years in the late 1990s, paints a picture of what the region wants its transportation system to be like in the future. The Vision outlines broad transportation-planning goals that provide policy guidance to shape the region’s transportation investments. In 2014, the RTPP identified the most significant challenges that stand in the way of achieving our shared regional goals, to help show us where we must focus and prioritize our efforts. In 2017, the TPB responded to these challenges with the endorsement of the seven Aspirational Initiatives. The TPB staff continues to conduct analysis and lead policy discussions on the evolving challenges we face, including those listed in the RTPP, those listed as part of the federal planning factors, and those described in the Future Factors Section below.

A Rededication to Equity, Safety, and Addressing Climate Change

In 2020, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) approved three resolutions reestablishing commitments to safety, equity, and climate change. The TPB’s equity resolution affirms that equity, as a foundational principle that will be woven throughout TPB’s analyses, operations, procurement, programs, and priorities. The safety resolution established that safety for all modes of transportation is a regional priority which will be monitored and analyzed through performance-based planning and programming with an emphasis on aspirational safety goals associated with Vision Zero and Towards Zero Deaths.

The TPB endorsed new interim GHG reduction goals and new climate resiliency goals. These include a 2030 interim regional greenhouse gas reduction goal of 50% below 2005 levels by 2030; the region’s climate resilience goals of becoming a Climate Ready Region and making significant progress to be a Climate Resilient Region by 2030; and the need to incorporate equity principles and expand education on climate change into TPB members’ actions to reach the climate mitigation and resiliency goals.

These resolutions will help shape the TPB’s work to ensure a more prosperous, accessible, livable, sustainable, and equitable future for all residents.

Future Factors

As the TPB and its partners take strides to meet regional goals and address priorities, we must consider a range of factors when planning for the future. We call these topics, Future Factors. While there are many planning topics that TPB addresses to inform the plan, we highlight these emerging and significant issues in planning for the update to Visualize 2045. TPB also considers the Federal Planning Factors in its work to inform the plan.

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In 2020, the TPB affirmed its commitment to considering equity in everything we do. To consider equity in our work, we need to plan our transportation system to address historic disadvantages due to race, ethnicity, age, and ability. The TPB also needs to consider and mitigate the impacts the transportation has on disadvantaged populations and ensure all people have access to the transportation system.

In response to the 2020 TPB Resolution on equity, the TPB will examine its work through an equity lens and will continue to share information/tools to examine and improve transportation equity in our region.

The TPB and its members work to minimize greenhouse gasses emissions from the transportation sector. The region’s transportation agencies implement strategies and support transportation options that limit emissions to mitigate climate change. Planning for resiliency of the transportation system is also necessary to maintain and protect transportation infrastructure. While we’ve always experienced natural disasters, a changing climate is expected to increase the frequency, duration, and intensity of extreme weather.

When planning for transportation operations and investments, it is important to consider and mitigate any negative impacts on our environment, from the waters that are part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed to landcover and air. The TPB also partners with COG and its members on issues of environmental mitigation.

Safety remains a priority. The TPB and its members are working to reduce transportation fatalities and injuries by conducting analysis to identify priority strategies and implementing transportation planning processes and projects that prioritize safety for people walking, biking, taking transit and in autos. Everyone should be able to get around safely. Whether on foot or bike, in a car, or on a bus, we’re working together to reduce fatalities and injuries so every trip is a safe one.

Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV’s), also known as driverless cars utilize technological advancements to enable vehicles to take over some or all the driving responsibilities that a person has traditionally fulfilled. Driverless cars will impact the future – but how and when remain uncertain. Other technologies will expand our transportation options, improve operations and expand the information at our fingertips. We need to anticipate possibilities and identify how the transportation system needs to adapt with technology.

Considering public health in the transportation planning process is vital to advance the delivery of healthier communities, and underscores investments in walking and biking and other active travel options. Public health considerations include access to transportation options, access to goods and services, and issues such as air quality and traffic safety. Impacts of Covid-19 have raised new transportation planning considerations. By aligning transportation planning with public health considerations, we can plan for healthier communities and better outcomes.

Population in the region will reach nearly 6.9 million by 2045. Land use and development patterns put pressure on transportation infrastructure to meet the growing demands. As the our communities continue to grow, it is crucial that we plan to prioritize land uses that bring together jobs, housing, services, and recreation in a walkable environment served by transit. Through coordination and planning, the transportation system and development patterns can support one another more effectively and help metropolitan Washington accommodate significant growth and continue to prosper.

Most of the federal and state transportation funding is allocated to the upkeep of existing infrastructure. To meet the growing demand for an efficient and resilient transportation system we need to make the most of every dollar.