The following list of acronyms explains some of the terminology associated with transportation and its various departments. If you do not see a definition for a particular acronym, or if you would like further clarification on an acronym that is listed below, please feel free to contact the El Paso County Department of Transportation at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Continuing, Cooperative, Comprehensive –
Generally used to defining qualities of the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) planning process.
Alternative Analysis –
A process for evaluating alternative methods to address transportation needs in a region.
American Automobile Association –
Average Annual Daily Traffic -
The total traffic for a year divided by 365.
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Army Corps of Engineers
Asphalt Concrete Paving
American with Disabilities Act
Automated Data Collection
Average Daily Traffic
Automated Mapping and Facilities Management
Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking –
A tool used by the federal government to solicit public input into the development of a proposed regulation; notice usually published in the Federal Register.
American Planning Association –
National organization of professional planners; focus includes planning policy, lobbying and public information.
Colorado Air Pollution Control Division
American Public Works Association
Colorado Air Quality Control Commission
PPACG Air Quality Technical Committee
American Society of Civil Engineers
American Society for Testing and Materials
Automatic Vehicle Classification
Automatic Vehicle Identification - Automatic Vehicle Monitoring System or Automatic Vehicle Location System. A system in which electronic equipment on a vehicle sends signals back to a central control facility, locating the vehicle and proving other information about its operations or about its mechanical condition. AVI is also referred to as Automatic Vehicle Monitoring System and Automatic Vehicle Location System.
Average Vehicle Occupancy –
The ratio of person trips to vehicle trips; often used as a criterion in judging the success of trip reduction programs.
Average Vehicle Ridership –
The number of employees scheduled to start work during specified hours divided by the number of vehicles arriving at the site during those same hours.
Average Weekday Daily Traffic –
The total traffic for an average weekday. An average weekday is a representative weekday computed as the mathematical average of several typical weekdays selected at random throughout the year. A typical weekday has no anomaly such as heavy traffic due to a special public event or light traffic due to inclement weather. Average Saturday and Sunday data, including holiday service, are determined they same way.
Benefit/Cost Ratio –
Benefit/Cost Ratio is used to compare the benefit versus the cost of proposed alternatives. For highway projects, benefits may include reduced fuel consumption, travel time, and air pollution; cost may include construction, right-of-way, and maintenance.
Builders Erosion and Stormwater Quality Control Plan
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Baptist Road Rural Transportation Authority
Bureau of Transportation Statistics
Clean Air Act Amendments –
1990 amendments to the federal Clean Air Act which classify non-attainment areas and lay out rules for dealing with air pollution in such areas; specifically brought transportation decisions into the context of air quality control.
Citizen Advisory Committee –
Advisory committee utilized by most metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) for citizen input into the transportation planning process.
Computer Aided Drafting
Computer Automated Engineering
Commuter Assistance Program –
Program funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation which supports numerous congestion-reducing programs in a community in order to achieve the community's traffic reduction and air quality goals.
Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association
Concrete Box Culvert
Central Business District –
The downtown retail trade and commercial area of a city or an area having high land values, traffic flow, and concentration of retail business offices, entertainment, lodging, and services.
Center for Business and Economic Forecasting
Colorado Department of Human Services
Colorado Department of Transportation
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Colorado Economic and Demographic Information System
Code of Federal Regulations –
Compilation of the rules of the executive department and agencies of the federal government.
Critical Movement Analysis –
For signalized intersections, CMA focuses on lane groups or movements which control signal requirements. CMA focuses on the identification and provision of capacity for such flows called critical movements. CMA is also used in capacity analysis.
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality –
A special provision of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) that directs funds towards projects in Clean Air Act Non-Attainment areas for ozone and carbon monoxide.
Corrugated Metal Pipe
Congestion Management System –
A systematic process which provides information on transportation system performance and alternative strategies to alleviate congestion and enhance the mobility of persons and goods. A CMS includes methods to monitor and evaluate performance, identify alternative actions, access and implement cost-effective actions, and evaluate the effectiveness of implemented actions.
Control of Access –
This is also referred to as access control. COA is the regulated limitation of access and is achieved by regulation of public access rights into (ingress) and out of (egress) properties abutting a roadway. There are two types: full control of access and partial control of access.
Consumer Price Index
Corrugated Steel Pipe
Colorado Springs Utilities
Citizens Transportation Advisory Board ( Colorado Springs)
Community Transportation Coordinators –
People contracted by the Transportation Disadvantaged Commission to provide complete, cost-effective and efficient transportation services to transportation disadvantaged (TD) persons.
Census Transportation Planning Package
Clean Water Act
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
Drainage Criteria Manual
Directional Design Hour Volume –
Typically, the DDHV is the thirtieth highest hourly traffic volume in one direction for the design year, commonly twenty years from the time of construction. DDHV is given in units of vehicles per hour.
Draft Environment Impact Statement –
An environmental document that is prepared when it is initially determined that the action/project may cause significant impact to the environment, when environmental studies and early coordination indicate significant impacts, or when review of the environmental assessment indicates that the impacts anticipated to result from the project may be significant. The DEIS compares all reasonable alternatives to the proposed project and summarizes the studies, reviews, consultations, and coordination required by legislation and Executive Orders to the extent appropriate at the draft stage in the environmental process. This document lists all entities from which comments are being requested.
Design Hour Volume –
Typically, the DHV is the thirtieth highest hourly traffic volume for the design year, commonly twenty years from the time of construction. The DHV is given in units of vehicles per hour.
Distance Measuring Instrument
United States Department of Energy
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
Department of Transportation –
Agency responsible for transportation at the local, state or federal level.
Denver Regional Council of Governments
Divided Urban Highway
Daily Vehicle Miles of Travel –
The total miles traveled by all vehicles in a specific area over a 24-hour period; often used to compare changes in travel patterns over time.
Environmental Assessment –
A document that assesses an action that is not a categorical exclusion and does not clearly require the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS), or where the Federal Highway Administration believes an environmental assessment would assist in determining the need for an EIS.
Employee Commute Options –
Programs required by the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) which require employers with 100 or more employees (with 33 employees arriving during peak period) to reduce the number of trips to the work site.
Engineering Criteria Manual
Environmental Impact Statement –
An environmental document that is required when an action will significantly affect the environment.
A Travel Demand Model (for forecasting traffic)
Environmental Protection Agency –
A federal agency charged with protecting the natural resources in the nation.
El Paso County Department of Health and Environment
Erosion and Stormwater Quality Control Plan
Employee Transportation Coordinator –
A person who helps employees at a particular work site use carpooling, vanpooling, and other ridesharing programs.
Federal Aviation Association –
A federal entity responsible for overseeing air commerce, air traffic control, noise abatement, and other related issues.
PPACG Fountain Creek Watershed Technical Advisory Committee
Final Environmental Impact Statement –
An environmental document that is prepared following the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), which includes the results of the public involvement process and agency input on the DEIS. This document summarizes the substantive comments on social, economic, environmental, and engineering issues made as a result of the public involvement process, and documents compliance with requirement of all applicable environmental laws, Executive Orders, and other related requirements.
Federal Emergency Management Administration –
Administers of the Federal Emergency Management Act.
Federal Highway Administration –
Federal Motor Vehicle Emission Control Program
Finding of No Significant Impact
Finding of Responsibility
Federal Railroad Administration –
The FRA was established as a component of the US Department of Transportation.
Federal Transit Administration –
The FTA operates under the authority of the Federal Transit Act. The FTA was established as a component of the US Department of Transportation.
Effective green time –
The time (in seconds) within a given traffic signal phase during which drivers actually proceed through an intersection (green time minus starting delay time).
Green time –
The time (in seconds) within a given traffic signal phase when the light is green.
g over C ration –
The ratio of the effective green time (g) to the traffic signal's cycle length ©.
Geographic Information System
Global Positioning System
Gross Vehicle Weight
Highway Advisory Commission ( El Paso County)
High Accident Location
Highway Advisory Radio –
A radio station which broadcasts highway conditions and traffic information.
Home Builders Association/Housing and Building Association
Hot bituminous pavement
Highway Capacity Manual –
The recognized manual describing accepted methodology for computing the capacity and level of service for various types of road; published by the Transportation Research Board (TRB).
Highway Capacity Software –
Computer software for analyzing the capacity of signalized and non-signalized intersections and their level of service (LOS).
Hazard Elimination System
Hot Mix Asphalt
High Occupancy Vehicle –
Vehicles having more than one occupant. Examples include carpools, vanpools, buses, and mini-buses. Transportation systems may encourage HOV use by having designated HOV lanes.
Highway Performance Monitoring System –
The system used by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to provide information on the condition of the nation's highway system, its use, performance, and needs.
Highway Safety Issues Group
Highway Safety Information System
High Speed Rail –
A railway system which can transport people or goods at speeds in excess of 125 miles per hour.
Highway Safety Research Center
Highway User Tax Fund
Hourly Volume –
The volume of traffic (given in units of vehicle per hour) that traverses across a segment of a roadway in one hour. The HV may be determined from traffic counts or may be a projected calculation.
Inspection and Maintenance Program
Invitation for Bid
Interchange Justification Study
Intermodal Management System –
Systematic process to improve the coordination in planning and implementation of air, water, and land-based transportation facilities and services; required for transportation facilities connected to the National Highway System (NHS) as a part of ISTEA; must be in used by October 1, 1997; for non-NHS transportation facilities, the extent of an IMS is left to the discretion of state and local officials.
Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991
Institute of Transportation Engineers –
An international society of professionals in transportation and traffic engineering; published Trip Generation (a manual of trip generation rates by land use type).
Intelligent Transportation System –
Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee
Joint Participation Agreement –
Legal instrument describing intergovernmental tasks to be accomplished and/or funds to be paid between government agencies.
Local Improvement District
Level of Service –
A qualitative assessment of a road's operating condition; generally described using a scale of A (little congestion) to E/F (severe congestion).
Long Range Plan –
A 20-year forecast plan required of state planning agencies and MPOs; must consider a wide range of social, environmental, energy, and economic factors in determining overall regional goals and consider how transportation can best meet these goals.
Light Rail Transit
Long Term Pavement Performance
Metropolitan Government Pavement Engineers Council
Major Investment Study –
A study and resulting document which replaced Feasibility Studies under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) for major improvement projects involving significant Federal funds. A MIS includes the study of factors that may justify a proposed project such as its cost effectiveness and overall effectiveness and incorporation of intermodal transportation. The MIS also requires consideration of other transportation modes as well as broader public and agency input.
Major Metropolitan Transportation Investment –
A highway or transit improvement of substantial cost that is expected to have a significant effect on capacity, traffic flow, level of service, or mode of service at the transportation corridor or sub area scale.
EPA Approved model to predict pollutant emissions from vehicles
Measures of Effectiveness -
MOE include: average vehicle speed, vehicle stops, delays, vehicle-hours of travel, fuel consumption, and pollutant emissions. MOE provide insight into the effects on the traffic stream of the applied improvement strategy.
Memorandum of Understanding
Metropolitan Planning Area –
The geographic area within which the metropolitan transportation planning process is carried out.
Metropolitan Planning Organization –
An association of local agencies established for mutual benefit to help coordinate planning and development activities within a metropolitan region. Establishment of the MPO is required by law in urban areas with populations over 50,000 if federal funds to be used. The MPO is not a level of government. However, the MPO has “effective control” over transportation improvements within the area since a project must be a part of the MPO's adopted plan in order to receive federal funding.
Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council –
An advisory council (consisting of one member from each MPO) that serves as the principal forum for collective policy discussion in urban areas; created by law to assist the MPOs in carrying out the urbanized area transportation planning process.
Metropolitan Statistical Area –
Refers to a central county(ies), and an adjacent county(ies) that is closely tied to it, that contains a city of urbanized area with a population of at least 50,000, and has a total population of at least 100,000; boundaries correspond to existing political jurisdiction boundaries; areas are designated by the U. S. Office of Management and Budget; term replaced SMSA after the 1980 census.
Metropolitan Transportation Plan –
A transportation plan with a twenty year planning horizon; developed by each MPO; must be updated at least triennially in non-attainment areas and every five years in attainment areas; should be cost feasible.
Major Thoroughfare Task Force
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
Non Attainment Area
Any geographic area of the U.S. that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated as an area which does not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS).
National Ambient Air Quality Standards
Federal standards that set maximum levels of allowable concentrations of various air pollutants.
North American Free Trade Agreement A formal agreement, or treaty, between Canada, Mexico and the United States of America to promote means for improved and increased free trade between the three countries. The affect of NAFTA on transportation was to increase the need to upgrade existing and build new, transportation facilities between and within the countries.
National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners
National Cooperative Highway Research Program
National Conference of State Legislatures
National Environmental Policy Act
Federal law passed in 1969 which requires an analysis of environmental impacts of federal actions (including the funding of projects).
North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization
National Highway System The NHS is one of the three major components of the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. A major new Federal-Aid system was established in the NHS. It includes the Interstate System, other routes identified as having strategic defense characteristics, routes providing access to major ports, airports, public transportation and intermodal transportation facilities, and many principal urban and rural arterials which provide regional service.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Notice of Intent A notice that is prepared to inform the public that an Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared for a project.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
Nationwide Personal Transportation Study
A transportation study, periodically undertaken by the Bureau of Census, which looks at travel patterns and frequency, transit use, and other travel characteristics at a national level.
National Transportation System An intermodal system consisting of all forms of transportation in a unified, interconnected manner to reduce energy consumptions and air pollution while promoting economic development and supporting the Nation's preeminent position in international commerce. The NTS includes the National Highway System, public transportation and access to ports and airports.
National Transportation Safety Board
A study which identifies where a selected sample of persons or cars came from (origin) and where they are going (destination); used to help understand travel patterns and trip purposes.
Office of Financial Management
FHWA's Office of Highway Information Management
Office of Marine Safety
Office of Urban Mobility
Park and Pool Similar to Park and Ride, except motorists leave their individual vehicles and complete their trip in a car pool or HOV other than a mass transit vehicle.
Park and Ride P&R lots are designed to intercept automobiles at outlaying locations along transit way corridors (e.g. bus routes).
Program and Resource Plan
A ten year plan that establishes financial and production targets for transportation programs.
Pedestrian Accident Location
Patrol Allocation Model
Principal Arterial System
Project Development Process
Passenger Ferry Account
Peak Hour Factor The PHF is a ratio of the total hourly traffic volume to the maximum 15-minute traffic rate within the hour. PHF represents the flow variation within an hour. Observations consistently show the flow rate found in the peak 15-minute period within an hour is not sustained throughout the entire hour. PHFs for multilane highways range from 0.76 to 0.99.
Peak Hour Traffic
Higher traffic volumes occur in the evening and in the morning because of work-related trips. The evening peak is typically the highest since non-work related trips are also made in this period. The percentage of Average Daily Traffic (ADT) which occurs in the evening peak hour commonly ranges between 7% and 12%.
Pavement Management Application
Pavement Management System
A systematic process utilized by state agencies and MPOs to analyze and summarize pavement information for use in selecting and implementing cost-effective pavement construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance programs; required for roads in the National Highway System (NHS) as a part of ISTEA: the extent to which the remaining public roads are included in the process and left to the discretion of state and local officials; criteria found in 23 CFR 500.201-.209; must be in use by October 1, 1997.
Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments
Parts per million
Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority
Pavement Quality Index
Plans, Specification, and Estimate
Public Service Announcement
Public Transportation Facilities and Equipment Management System
A systematic process utilized by state agencies and MPOs to collect and analyze information on the condition and cost of transit assets on a continual basis; data is to be used to help people choose cost effective strategies for providing and keeping transit facilities and equipment in good condition; process must be developed in Transportation Management Areas (TMAs); the use of the CMS in non-TMAs is left to the discretion of state and local officials.
Ride Condition Index
Reinforced Concrete Pipe
Request for Bids
Request for Proposal
Request for Qualifications
Road Improvement District
Regulation Identification Number
Identification number given to each federal action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations.
Record of Decision
The final approval of an Environmental Impact Statement issued by the Federal Highway Administration.
Right of Way
The land (usually a strip) acquired for or devoted to transportation purposes.
Regional Planning Council
A multipurpose organization composed of representatives of local governments and appointed representatives from the geographic area covered by the council, and designated as the primary organization to address problems and plan solutions that are of greater than local concern or scope.
Regional Transportation Authority
Regional Transportation Plan
Regional Transportation Planning Organization
Socioeconomic Advisory Committee
Springs Community Improvements Program
State Comprehensive Plan
Written goals, objectives and strategies that provide long rand guidance for the social, economic and physical growth of the state.
Surface Distress Index
Social, Economic and Environmental
The SEE affects of a project are assessed in environmental documents such as a Draft Environmental Impact Statement or Environmental Assessment.
State Environmental Policy Act
State Implementation Plan
Required documents which identify state actions and programs that will be utilized to help the state meet the national ambient air quality standards and comply with federal and state air quality laws.
Highway Safety Management System
A systematic process utilized by state agencies and MPOs to provide information necessary for selecting and implementing effective highway safety strategies and projects designed to reduce the number and severity of traffic accidents; required for roads in the National Highway System (NHS) as a part of ISTEA; must be in use by October 1, 1997; the extent to which the remaining public roads are included in the process is left to the discretion of state and local officials.
Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area
A vehicle having only one occupant.
Spill, Prevention, Containment, Control
Strategic Regional Policy Plan
A plan developed by each regional planning council (RPC), which contains goals and policies addressing affordable housing, economic development, emergency preparedness, natural resources of regional significance, and regional transportation issues; must be consistent with the state comprehensive plan.
State Transportation Advisory Committee
PPACG Specialized Transportation Advisory Subcommittee
Statewide Transportation Improvement Program
The official statewide, intermodal transportation plan that is developed through the statewide planning process.
Statewide Transportation Plan
Surface Transportation Program
A new block grant type program established as one of the three major components of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act to supplement the National Highway System (NHS). The STP may be used by states and localities for any roads, including NHS, that are not functionally classified as local or rural minor collectors. These roads are now collectively referred to as Federal-aid roads.
Surface Transportation Program Category 4C for “Urban Mobility/Rehabilitation
This funding category is to address transportation needs within the urbanized areas with populations of 200,000 or greater. Restrictions for funding include that the projects are to be selected by the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in consultation with the Department. These funds can be used on any roadway with a functional classification greater than a local road or minor collector. Each urbanized area received an annual allocation based upon population.
Surface Transportation Policy Project
A national public interest group dedicated to ensuring that transportation policy and investments help conserve energy, protect environmental and aesthetic quality, strengthen the economy, promote social equity, and make communities more livable; emphasize the needs of people, rather than vehicles, in assuring access to jobs, services and recreational opportunities.
Taxpayer's Bill of Rights
Transportation Advisory Committee/Technical Advisory Committee
Traffic or Travel Analysis Zone
Transportation Benefit District
Transportation Concurrency Exception Area
A specific geographic area where transportation concurrency requirements do not apply; area must be designated in a local comprehensive plan.
Transportation Control Measure
Actions aimed at reducing air pollutant emissions from traffic; includes trip reduction ordinances, parking management, traffic flow improvements, etc.
People who are unable to transport themselves or to purchase transportation due to disability, income status or age.
Transportation Demand Management
Strategies to reduce peak period congestion which focus on managing travel demand; includes shifting solo drives to carpools or transit, staggered work hours, telecommuting and other similar concepts.
Transit Development Program
A short term (5 years) plan that identifies the intended development of transit, including equipment purchase, system management and operation.
Transportation Enhancement Activity
Specific activities which can be funded with Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds; activities include pedestrian/bicycle facilities, acquisition of scenic easements and scenic historic sites, scenic or historic highway programs, scenic beautification, historic preservation, rehabilitation/operation of historic transportation structures, railway corridor preservation, control/removal of outdoor advertising, archeological planning/research and mitigation of highway runoff water pollution.
Transportation Equity Act for the 21 st Century (1998)
Transportation Enhancements Subcommittee
Transportation Improvement Account
Transportation Improvement Board
Transportation Improvement Program
The TIP is a staged, three-to-five-year prioritized program of transportation projects covering a metropolitan planning area which is consistent with the metropolitan transportation plan.
Transportation Management Area
An urbanized area with a population over 200,000 (as determined by the latest decennial census) or other area when TMA designation is requested by the Governor and the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), and officially designated by the metropolitan planning area served by an MPO within which the TMA is located.
Transportation Management Organization
Traditional Neighborhood Design
A development concept which focuses on the neighborhood as the basic building block; incorporates mixed uses, hierarchy of streets, pedestrian orientation and architectural design.
A mixed use community or neighborhood designed to encourage transit use and pedestrian activity.
Map that shows topographical lines.
Transportation Reporting and Accounting Information System
The Travel Demand Model (for forecasting traffic)
Transportation Research Board
Transportation System Management
Actions or construction that control or improve the movement of cars and trucks on the highway system and buses on the transit system. TSM also includes the coordination of the available transportation systems for the more efficient operation.
Federal Department of Transportation
Urban Arterial Trust Account
Unified Planning Work Program
The ratio of flow rate to capacity. The V/C may be the actual or projected rate of flow on a designated lane group during a peak 15-minute interval divided by the capacity of the lane group. The V/C ratio is a measure of capacity sufficiency, that is, whether or not the physical geometry provides sufficient capacity for the subject movement. Low V/C ratios depict relatively free flow conditions. High V/C ratios depict more congested conditions. Actual V/C ratios are calculated from vehicle count data and the geometrics of a roadway. V/C ratios are used to broadly define the problem areas on a freeway and to make preliminary operational decisions concerning the freeway. In some cases, the V/C ratio is used to define Level of Service.
Vehicle Hours Traveled
Variable Message Board
Variable Message Sign
Vehicle Miles Traveled
Vehicles Per Day
This is a measure of traffic volume and is used as the unit for Average Annual Daily Traffic.
Vehicles Per Hour
A ratio used in defining the hourly volume.
The one-way movement of a vehicle between two points.
Colorado Water Quality Control Commission