Rural Long-Range Transportation Plan
The quality of life and economy of rural America depends on an efficient, effective, comprehensive and coordinated multimodal transportation system that provides choices for the movement of people and goods and allows quick transfers between modes when and where they’re needed. The need to maintain transportation linkages between rural and urban areas is very important to the economy, public health and safety, and the social structure of rural America.
Rural Planning Strategy
Effective rural transportation planning improves the multimodal and intermodal transportation system and helps ensure that the quality of life and economy in rural America is maintained and enhanced. It does so by providing a strategic perspective on system investment over an extended period of time.
Good rural transportation plans consider a wide range of investment, operational and technology options that can meet the multimodal transportation needs of transportation system users. Most importantly, effective rural transportation planning provides the users and stakeholders of the transportation system with ample opportunity to participate in the planning process, thus ensuring maximum input into the desires, visions and directions for transportation system investment.
Rural Planning Objectives
- Improve safety to reduce the human and material costs that are unintended consequences of the operation of the transportation systems in rural areas.
- Allow residents of rural areas and small communities access to destinations and goods to attain their desired quality of life.
- Provide transportation service that will afford rural areas and small communities the opportunity to reach their economic growth and trade potential.
- Enhance the social strength and cohesiveness of small communities and protect the natural environment of rural areas.
- Maintain the national security and border integrity necessary for the wellbeing of all Americans.
Rural Planning Outcomes
- Safety – Highway deaths and injuries decrease, rail-highway crossings are upgraded, roads are upgraded to reduce run-off-the-road incidents, and medical response time is shortened.
- Travel Options – Non-auto alternatives for those who cannot or choose not to drive increase, and solutions are found to increase and support rural tourism.
- Environment – Rural air and water, as well as cultural, historic, scenic and natural resources, are protected, and transportation complements land use in rural areas and small communities.
- Economic Activity – Efficient transport of passengers and freight through rural areas and small communities allows these communities to compete on an equal footing for the business created by the provision of new and different transportation services.
- Response to Demographic Changes – Older residents’ transportation needs are met, and mobility choices to access jobs are assured.