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Goals and Future Factors

TPB Policy Framework

Through the projects, programs, and policies in Visualize 2045, TPB takes strides to achieve its goals and address its priorities. The TPB documents that comprise the policy framework communicate the region’s transportation goals, priorities, and needs that member agencies ought to consider when developing and selecting projects to fund and implement. Learn more here about the goals, challenges, and factors we must consider as we plan for the future of the transportation system.

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, 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.