US Department of Transportation

FHWA PlanWorks: Better Planning, Better Projects

US Department of Transportation

FHWA Planworks: Better Planning, Better Projects

LRP-2: Approve Vision and Goals

Long Range Transportation Planning


At this Key Decision, the community's values, whether stated as a vision and goals or simply agreed upon by the stakeholders for the planning area, are used to guide the transportation-specific vision and goals. This decision is the first opportunity for public stakeholders to inform the process, or provide their input. Linkages are also established with the scoping and goal-setting Key Decisions in corridor planning and environmental review, so the vision and goals approved at this Key Decision point should eventually influence what transportation projects are built. In order to facilitate collaboration, partnerships with other planning processes are established at this Key Decision.

There is information developed in prior Key Decisions that informs this step.


The first table describes the purpose and anticipated outcome of a Key Decision. If the decision is federally mandated, the purpose and outcome will relate to the legal intent.

The second table describes roles for key partners with legal decision making authority in the transportation process. The roles indicate the influence a partner can have on a decision, and show each partner where their input is most needed. For a full understanding of roles see the Partner Portal.


To develop a common, comprehensive set of vision and goals for the planning area that incorporate the vision and goals from previous or existing plans, if applicable.


Where no community vision and goals exist, transportation-specific vision and goals consistent with community values. Where a regional community vision and goals exists, transportation-specific goals for the planning area consistent with the regional vision and goals.

Partner Role Type Description
MPO Decision Maker Ensures the LRTP is consistent with the larger regional vision and goals.
FHWA/FTA Advisor Ensures the LRTP reflects the community vision and goals.
State DOT Advisor Provides state goals to inform regional goal development.
Resource Agency Advisor Support a vision and goals that protect the natural and human environment. Advise that ecological goals are considered and provide input on the priority conservation and restoration needs in the planning area and where partners may be able to work together to make a difference across multiple resources of concern.
Public Transportation Operator(s) Advisor Provides transit goals to inform regional goal development.

Questions to Consider

Questions are a way to gather input from partners and stakeholders that can be used to inform the decision. Decision makers can discuss the questions provided to ensure a broad array of interests are considered to support a collaborative process. Questions also allow staff to collect stakeholder interests, ensure these are included in the decision, and provide a response based on the decision outcome. Although Public Transportation is not represented by a PlanWorks Application, the information provided may be useful in a collaborative transportation process.

Category Questions to Consider
Long Range Planning
  • Do the LRTP goals reflect short- and long-term outcomes?
  • Do the vision and goals of the plan reflect a broader community-wide vision and goals?
  • How do the LRTP goals reflect previously established vision and goals?
  • Are all partners willing to remain engaged in the planning process?
  • How does available funding inform the vision and goals?
Corridor Planning
  • Do the long range plan vision and goals consider those from recent or active corridor studies?
Environmental Review
  • What information is available from active or recently completed improvement projects to inform the vision and goals?
Bicycles and Pedestrians
  • How does bicycle and pedestrian accessibility influence the vision and goals?
  • Is there a state, regional, or local complete streets policy to inform setting the vision and goals?
  • Do the vision and goals reflect the bicycle and pedestrian network principles and goals?
Capital Improvement
  • This Key Decision is not associated with the Application.
Economic Development
  • What existing economic/investment goals should the LRTP recognize?
  • What is the source for future year economic forecasts and on what assumptions are they based?
  • How does freight movement impact the vision and goals?
  • What are the needs and goals of freight users?
  • What is the impact of long-range planning decisions on existing and future goods movement operations?
  • Is there an existing freight plan with vision and goals for the freight system?
  • How will the national goals related to highway or multimodal freight influence the vision and goals?
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • How specifically should GHG goal statements be emphasized on their own? Should they be integrated into a broader environmental goal?
  • Will GHG considerations be reflected in the long range plan vision and goals?
  • What type of GHG information is needed to inform the goal setting process?
Health in Transportation
  • How is the current transportation system affecting health outcomes?
  • Are there opportunities for transportation decisions to improve health in the region?
  • What information is available to health and community stakeholders on transportation-related health needs and goals in the region? This may include health disparities among populations, access to community resources and jobs, or other needs.
  • What baseline data, tools, studies, or assessments can health stakeholders provide to improve understanding of transportation’s relationship to health in the region?
  • Are there any identified transportation-related health risks or issues in the region, such as obesity, asthma, crash-risk, pollution-related illness, or inequities in the access to health-promoting resources?
  • Are the transportation vision and goals consistent with goals expressed in any formal health plans and policies in the region?
  • Do community and health stakeholders support the transportation vision and goals?
Human Environment and Communities
  • Are there specific interests or goals for the human environment?
  • What information is available about stakeholders representing the community and individual populations?
  • Do any goals relate to improving the quality of life or equity in the region? If so, has this goal been communicated to stakeholders?
Land Use
  • What are the current land use priorities and goals, and how will they be integrated into the development of the transportation long-range plan vision and goals?
  • How do changes in land use plans and priorities relate to the previous LRTP vision and goals? How does this inform the current goals?
  • To what extent will smart growth principles be considered in the long-range plan?
  • How much and what kinds of growth are planned for the region?
Linking Planning and Operations
  • What goals does the region have for travel time reliability and/or system operations and performance?
  • Do the LRTP goals reflect short- and long-term outcomes related to system performance and operations?
Natural Environment and Implementing Eco Logical
  • Are there priority areas for conservation/mitigation that should be considered in the vision and goals?
Performance Measures
  • How does past system performance inform the vision and goals?
Planning and Environment Linkages
  • Are there PEL studies that should inform the regional vision and goals or vice versa?
Public Private Partnerships
  • Will the use of P3 procurements and innovative sources of finance and revenue be considered or will this be delayed until later phases?
  • Should the plan goals include anything related to innovative financing and procurement options?
Public Transportation
  • Do the vision and goals support a multimodal transportation system?
  • Is transportation safety sufficiently reflected in the vision and goals of the plan?
Stakeholder Collaboration
  • What stakeholder input was received about the draft vision and goals?
  • What stakeholder groups were represented in this input?
  • Are there stakeholder groups not represented that need to be engaged?
  • What do stakeholders value and need?
  • How does stakeholder input compare to the proposed vision and goals?
  • How was stakeholder input reflected in the adopted vision and goals?
  • Which stakeholders are interested in being active participants in developing the LRTP?
Transportation Conformity
  • This Key Decision is not associated with the Application.
Visioning and Transportation
  • Are there conflicts between transportation interests and other interests of the community?
  • Are the transportation vision and goals consistent with the community values? How will this be communicated to the community?


The following list of data may be needed to support the Key Decision. Practitioners collect this information for decision makers to consider. Although Public Transportation is not represented by a PlanWorks Application, the information provided may be useful in a collaborative transportation process.

Category Data to Consider
Long Range Planning
  • Public Involvement data from previous long range plan update
  • Short and long term goals
  • Available funding
Corridor Planning
  • Goals developed in corridor planning where available
  • Public involvement data from corridor planning efforts since the last plan update
Environmental Review
  • Public involvement data from individual project efforts since the last plan update
Bicycles and Pedestrians
  • The goals of bicyclists and pedestrians, and those with limited transportation options
Capital Improvement
  • This Key Decision is not associated with the Application.
Economic Development
  • Economic goals, if available
  • Previously conducted fiscal analyses and economic studies
  • Data supporting economic development
  • Long-range goals and objectives of the freight system users
  • Regional, national, and international trade and transportation trends that may affect future infrastructure needs
  • Existing freight plans
  • National Goals for freight
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Data to illustrate the extent to which GHG emissions are a significant concern to the nation, state, and/or region
Health in Transportation
  • Baseline data on the region’s transportation-related health needs
  • Goals and needs by health and community stakeholders
  • Health and community stakeholders transportation interests
Human Environment and Communities
  • Vision and goals for the region or individual communities
  • Community stakeholder groups or individual population representatives
  • Data supporting improved quality of life and the equitable distribution of impacts and benefits
Land Use
  • Comprehensive/master plans from local jurisdictions
  • Changes in the land use plan/priorities since the last LRTP update
  • Development trends
  • Outcomes of any visioning processes that have been conducted in the region
  • If smart growth is desired or stated as a policy, data demonstrating that LRTP goals will support growth management and produce greater mobility without expanding the road network
Linking Planning and Operations
  • Goals related to system performance, management, and operations that are important to the region.
Natural Environment and Implementing Eco Logical
  • Shared vision of regional goals for transportation, restoration, recovery and conservation
  • Data supporting environmental preservation, conservation, and restoration
Performance Measures
  • Performance metrics and supporting data from previous plans
  • Factors (such as mobility, reliability, economic development, environmental justice, and others) related to the adopted vision and goals
Planning and Environment Linkages
  • Relevant PEL studies
Public Private Partnerships
  • Assessment of how P3 could influence plan vision and goals
Public Transportation
  • Public transportation agency goals
  • Safety goals, plans, and data for support of goals
Stakeholder Collaboration
  • Identified stakeholder visions and goals from formal groups and general public awareness
Transportation Conformity
  • This Key Decision is not associated with the Application.
Visioning and Transportation
  • Analysis regarding the reconciliation of various vision and goals from the region
  • Analysis to draw transportation-specific visions and goals from the broader regional vision and goals
  • Transportation goals to inform the regional visioning process, if applicable


In - depth case studies of successful practices in collaborative decision making were used to develop the Decision Guide.Links in this table point to a specific paragraph or section of a case study that supports a Key Decision. It is not necessary to read through an entire case study to find the example; however, full versions are available in the Library.

PlanWorks Case Study Examples:
US 131 S-curve Replacement - Collaborative Design and Temporary Construction Closure lrp-2

Other Examples:
Colorado Statewide Transportation Plan Multi-Modal Goals and Objectives
California Department of Transportation Complete Streets Program