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About Visualize 2050

What is Visualize 2050, the National Capital Region Transportation Plan (NCRTP)?

At its core, the NCRTP describes how the TPB, its member jurisdictions, and transit agencies work together to tackle challenges facing the region, gather public opinion, and through policies and investments in projects and programs, advance the most effective strategies to make progress on the region’s goals today and in the future. Developing a metropolitan  transportation plan is a federal requirement for the TPB, and the plan describes why a federal requirement exists and how the TPB meets those requirements.

The plan includes many activities and components. There are two main parts of the plan. The project investments within the financial plan are analyzed to ensure the emissions from the future transportation system meet air quality goals. The second main part of the plan provides a comprehensive description of the regional policy priorities and general strategies to achieve desired future system goals.

What is the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)?

While Visualize 2050 is focused on a transportation future 25 years from now, the TIP is the four-year federal obligation document which describes the TPB board-approved transportation projects scheduled to receive the federal transportation funding and all regionally significant for air quality projects. The TIP includes highway projects, rail, bus, and streetcar projects and bicycle and pedestrian improvements, as well as roadway and transit maintenance projects, operational programs, and many other transportation-related activities. Projects must reflect the NCRTP’s investment priorities. They are developed by transit agencies, localities, and states and are prioritized through the selection processes of the many funding programs available to the region, approved for funding by these agencies before ultimately going to the TPB for approval.


DASH bus Alexandria David Wilson Flickr

What are regionally significant projects?

Any project on a facility that is included in the coded regional network that adds or removes at least one continuous vehicular lane from one major road to the next or adds a new access/egress location or capacity; or

Any transit project that adds or modifies fixed-guideway transit facilities (heavy rail, light rail, bus rapid transit).

Source: Visualize 2045 Technical Inputs Solicitation

What is air quality conformity?

Air Quality Conformity refers to whether the financially constrained element of the long-range transportation plan (LRTP) projects collectively contribute to the air quality improvement goals embodied in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. If the LRTP is found by the TPB to meet regional air quality goals, federal agencies certify that the plan is “in conformity.”

What does financially constrained mean?

Financially constrained means that each project included in this section or element must be capable of being completed using revenue sources that are already committed, available, or reasonably expected to be available in the future.


Hero image: Silver Spring, MD (Elvert Barnes/Flickr)
Transit image: DASH bus, Alexandria, VA (David Wilson/Flickr)