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Get Ready for Visualize 2050!

Thank you for your comments and feedback thus far on the Visualize 2050 National Capital Region Transportation Plan initial project list! The first comment period, which opened on February 15, closed on November 30, 2023. Nearly 1,000 comments were submitted and shared with the Transportation Planning Board (TPB).

Upcoming Steps

The TPB will review a summary of all comments received in December 2023. In early 2024, TPB staff will review the District, Maryland, Virginia, and WMATA proposed regionally significant for air quality projects in preparation for their release for public comment and presentation to the board for approval. These projects will inform the plan’s air quality conformity analysis.

Next Comment Opportunity: March 1 – 30, 2024

March 2024 is the next opportunity for the public to comment on Visualize 2050. At that time, individuals and organizations will have the chance to review the draft scope of the Visualize 2050 air quality conformity analysis which includes, among other information, the proposed regionally significant for air quality project inputs. During the air quality analysis step of the planning process, transportation project investments are examined to ensure the emissions from the future transportation system will meet the region’s air quality goals.

Stay Connected!

Details about the March comment period will be shared on this website and through TPB News. Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter to receive announcements.

What is 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.


Regionally significant projects are:

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
Photo: Potomac Yard Metroway, Virginia (Beyond DC/Flickr)

What exactly is the Technical Inputs Solicitation?

The Technical Inputs Solicitation is the process by which localities, transportation agencies, and states submit projects and programs for board consideration and inclusion in the National Capital Region Transportation Plan and TIP.

Click here or on the image to the right to download the solicitation document (Updated April 2023).

See below for additional resources.

Resources for the Visualize 2050 plan

The following resources are provided to inform regional transportation planning, including but not limited to the project, program, and policy inputs to the constrained element of the long-range transportation plan.

Inputs to the next plan should:

  • Uphold the TPB principles, advance one or more TPB goals, and implement one or more TPB priority strategies, as documented in the TPB Synthesized Policy Framework.
  • Reflect the TPB priorities as demonstrated through the Summary of Scenario Findings (including a detailed Appendix).
  • Consider and apply other insights gained through public opinion research and public comment, performance, and air quality analysis, and more.

The public will be invited to comment during the technical input solicitation process as the members of the board re-examine projects. Learn more on the Get Involved page.


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.”

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

For answers to any of the following questions, please refer to the FAQs document by clicking here.

  • When will the plan be updated? Why is it updated on this schedule?
  • What is different about this update? Isn’t the plan updated on a regular basis anyway?
  • What is the “zero-based budgeting” approach to be used for Visualize 2050?
  • What projects are included in the agencies’ review under the “zero based budgeting” approach?
  • How will the TPB consider how projects respond to the TPB policy priorities and summary of TPB’s scenario studies?
  • In the Regional Policy Alignment documentation (mentioned previously) for the projects in the 2022 update, it suggested that some roadway capacity adding projects reduce rather than increase GHG. How is this possible? How are these responses developed?
  • Will the public have an opportunity to comment during the Zero-Based Budgeting Approach re-examination?
  • Do we expect the final 2050 plan and mix of projects to be very different from the current plan?