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What is a Transportation System Plan?

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A TSP describes the existing transportation system and the projects, programs, and policies that will allow a community to meet its transportation needs and aspirations now and 20 years into the future.

Questions the TSP Process will Help You Answer

What do we have now?
What do we have now?
What do we want?
What do we want?
What will we need in the future?
What will we need in the future?
How will we fund our projects?
How will we fund our projects?
What should we do first?
What should we do first?

Making your TSP a success

A successful TSP is as unique as the community it describes: its policy framework, planning direction, and selected projects and programs reflect a community’s objectives and priorities to meet local multimodal transportation needs. Successful TSPs are developed in coordination with city, county, regional, and state agency partners. It is also important to involve transit providers, organizations that support walking and bicycling, and other similar organizations. Successful TSPs also have meaningful engagement from a wide range of community members.

Regulatory compliance

TSPs are required by the Transportation Planning Rule (TPR) as documented in Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 660-012-0015 for non-metropolitan areas and 660-012-0100 for metropolitan areas. These rules provide detailed directions on how to prepare a TSP. A TSP must be locally adopted and acknowledged by the State of Oregon. A TSP may also need to coordinate with other local or regional TSPs and planning documents, as well as with the Oregon Transportation Plan (OTP) and its modal and topic plans.

Example Transportation System Plans

Region 1: Portland Metro

Region 1 currently has one Metropolitan Planning Area: Portland Metro. Portland Metro covers the cities of Beaverton, Cornelius, Durham, Fairview, Forest Grove, Gladstone, Gresham, Happy Valley, Hillsboro, Johnson City, King City, Lake Oswego, Maywood Park, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Portland, Rivergrove, Tigard, Troutdale, Tualatin, West Linn, Wilsonville, and Wood Village, as well as parts of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties.

​Gladstone TSP (2017)

The City of Gladstone TSP focuses on active transportation modes, multimodal connectivity, and the jurisdiction's connection to regional systems (e.g., Regional Transportation Plan or regional transit network). It is organized around modal elements and focused on system needs, with mapped modal plan projects, project lists, and photo illustrations of design treatments included into each modal chapter.

Multnomah County TSP (2016)

The Multnomah County TSP was developed in conjunction with the county's Comprehensive Plan update. Most notably, the Multnomah County TSP:

  • Addresses a wide range of users (from farm equipment operators to a growing bicycling community)
  • Addresses areas with unique needs (e.g., Sauvie Island)
  • Supplements discussions of safety with a comprehensive map of crash types
  • Presents transportation solutions in a highly graphical, accessible toolbox
  • Provides a robust set of policies with an emphasis on health, equity, and inclusion of wildlife considerations (crossings)
  • Addresses bridges as a distinct element in the system plan

Washington County TSP (2015)

Washington County created a TSP Users' Guide designed to be a user-friendly version of the Washington County TSP. This document, like the TSP itself, makes effective use of graphics and photos to illustrate the modal elements that make up the transportation system. Development code amendments adopted in conjunction with the TSP focus on implementation of the active transportation and transit elements of the plan.

West Linn TSP (2016)

The West Linn TSP features quantifiable targets to accompany goals instead of standard objectives. These are used as performance measures for TSP implementation. The bicycle element includes guidance from the League of American Bicyclists regarding bicycle-friendly communities and bicycle facility design guidance in a graphic matrix format. The plan includes constrained cross-section options for all functional classifications from minor arterials to local streets, and it has a well-developed transportation system management and operations section.

Wilsonville TSP (2013)

​The 2013 Wilsonville TSP represents a new generation of reader-friendly TSPs with simple chapter categories and a heavily graphic orientation. The plan establishes an extensive set of policies that are more topic-oriented and includes policy areas such as connectivity and interchange management areas. Active transportation options are provided in both cross-sections and plan views for shared-use path, trail, and protected bike facility designs. The TSP presents recommended projects and programs in their own respective chapters and includes performance measures based on measures recommended by Metro.

Region 2: Willamette Valley and North Coast

Region 2 currently has four Metropolitan Planning Areas: Salem/Keizer, Eugene/Springfield, Albany, and Corvallis. Salem/Keizer covers the cities of Salem, Keizer, and Turner, as well as parts of Polk and Marion Counties. Eugene/Stringfield covers the cities of Eugene, Springfield, and Coburg, as well as parts of Lane County. Albany covers the cities of Albany, Millersburg, and Tangent as well as parts of Benton and Linn Counties. Corvallis covers the cities of Corvallis and Philomath as well as parts of Benton County.

​Eugene TSP (2017)

The Eugene TSP, an adopted TSP from a large community includes a major university and an airport, and features extensive modally oriented policies. Policies specifically address complete streets, climate change, and equity, reflecting a triple-bottom-line planning and decision-making approach. The TSP explains its relationship to the state-mandated Regional TSP and the federally mandated Regional Transportation Plan. The TSP provides helpful graphics showing bicycle and pedestrian facility types, including neighborhood greenways, and organizes pedestrian and bicycle projects by treatment type.

​Cottage Grove TSP (2015)

The Cottage Grove TSP is a small community TSP and a good example of a simple, clearly organized document. The transportation projects are divided into financially constrained and illustrative (aspirational) categories. The plan identifies a wide range of pedestrian and bicycle treatments in the standards section; however, it does not provide design guidance (e.g., cross-sections) for the treatments.

Gearhart TSP (2017)

The Gearhart TSP presents four improvement packages for different funding scenarios, including a financially constrained scenario. The plan includes a discrete section on emergency routes; describes Lifeline Routes and evacuation routes; and provides an evacuation route map with the Lifeline Route (US 101), bridges and culverts, and tsunami assembly areas. Specialized street cross-sections allow for queuing on narrow local streets and include guidelines for modifying design elements in constrained areas. The TSP makes funding recommendations related to the City's existing road district tax (a rare funding source) and other sources appropriate to the community's tourism-based economy (e.g., transient room tax). The plan acknowledges that a project extensive enough to reduce congestion on US 101 would likely have unacceptable impacts on the community. The state and city must therefore address congestion by means such as introducing travel demand options; enhancing local street connectivity; maximizing system efficiency; and increasing walking, biking, and transit ridership.​

Region 3: Southwestern Oregon

Region 3 currently has two Metropolitan Planning Areas: Middle Rogue and Rogue Valley. Middle Rogue covers the cities of Grants Pass, Gold Hill and Rogue River as well as parts of Josephine and Jackson Counties. Rogue Valley covers the cities of Eagle Point, Central Point, Medford, Jacksonville, Talent, Phoenix, and Ashland, as well as parts of Jackson County.

​Jackson County TSP (2017)

Jackson County has roadway authority over several unincorporated urban areas and must coordinate transportation system planning with a number of cities and the Rogue Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). An important accomplishment embodied in the Jackson County TSP is the inclusion of updated goals and policies that clarify the county's development-related expectations and requirements as they pertain to transportation improvements. TSP goals and policies articulate the county's expectations regarding design guidelines and development regulations, jurisdictional transfer, and transit improvements. In addition, the Goals and Policies section contains creditable objectives related to coordination within the MPO, financing and project prioritization, and planning a multimodal transportation system that is responsive to environmental and scenic resources.

Phoenix TSP (2016)

The city of Phoenix straddles and is adjacent to major state facilities including I-5 and OR 99. The project lists in its TSP identify which projects may be bundled with others listed. The Phoenix TSP incorporates and refers to elements of the Fern Valley Interchange Area Management Plan, including alternative mobility targets and a trip budget overlay zone. In a strong visual display, the plan provides project cost by mode pie charts for both city project costs and those shared by ODOT and the developer.

Talent TSP (2015)

The Talent TSP categorizes projects into two tiers. Projects reasonably likely to be funded are in tier 1 and those that need new or additional funding are in tier 2. The TSP provides innovative cross-sections that enhance the safety and operations of the bicycle and pedestrian modes, particularly on key facilities in the city. The plan emphasizes trail improvements and connections, including those for the regional Bear Creek and Wagner Creek Greenways. The improvements recommended in the TSP are referred to as complete street and trail projects.

​Brookings TSP (2017)

The Brookings TSP provides a good overview of the city's demographics and the location of vulnerable communities (Title VI and Environmental Justice populations). The plan includes strong active transportation elements such as:

  • A map of pedestrian and bicycle network opportunities and constraints
  • A bicycle parking inventory
  • Performance measures including pedestrian level of service and bicycle level of stress (in color-coded mapping)
  • Safety/crash analysis for non-motorized modes

The TSP also features specialized street cross-sections including hillside and residential street designs differentiated by the number of dwellings accessing the street and the proximity of parking. Recommended projects are effectively formatted as prospectus sheets. Bicycle improvement projects are notable and include recommended kiosk locations for information, rest stops/seating, bike tools, and other resources.​

Region 4: Central Oregon

Region 4 currently has one Metropolitan Planning Area: Bend. Bend covers the city of Bend and parts of Deschutes County.

​Klamath Falls Urban Area TSP (2012)

The Klamath Falls Urban Area TSP is a jointly adopted plan that documents both city and county facilities within the city's Urban Growth Boundary. Recommended projects are documented in geographic information system-based maps and are further defined in specific project prospectus sheets.

Crook County TSP (2017)

The Crook County TSP is organized around modal elements and focused on system needs. Within each modal element section, the TSP outlines a cost summary with the expected county contribution to roadway projects. Each section includes a table listing project descriptions, cost, funding partners, relative priority, and a modal plan map that identifies the locations of the listed projects. Another feature is the Roadway Design Standards section, which describes how county roadways are to be designed to city standards within the City of Prineville's urban growth boundary, providing clear direction for updating the two governments ' Urban Growth Management Agreement.

Region 5: Eastern Oregon

Region 5 currently does not have a Metropolitan Planning Area.

​Pendleton Active Transportation and Transit Plan TSP Update (2016)

The Pendleton Active Transportation and Transit Plan is a focused, graphical, and reader-friendly document. The plan presents projects in tables and prospectus sheets, a format the city intends to use in future grant proposals. The project prospectus sheets provide a color-coded, at-a-glance evaluation of how well the projects address planning goals. The plan includes a robust trail section with enhanced project prospectus sheets and trail cross-section options. The detailed transit plan addresses the variety of transit services in the Pendleton area and is based on service provider plans, an original survey, and other data analysis. The plan concludes with a graphical, high-level health-impact evaluation.

Weston TSP (2015)

Weston is a very small community with no state facilities within city limits. Its 2015 TSP includes local street cross-section options to accommodate combinations of parking and drainage swales as well as cross-section renderings showing vehicles typically seen in the community (e.g., tractors). The plan includes projects just outside the Urban Growth Boundary that the city would like ODOT and Umatilla County to take into consideration. The TSP features prospectus sheets for each project, a particularly strategic and helpful tool for cities such as Weston that have no internal funding source for transportation. Policy and development code amendments (Volume II) emphasize transportation options for health benefits and cost-effectiveness.

Nyssa TSP (2011)

A small community on the Oregon/Idaho border, the City of Nyssa is traversed by state highways. The 2011 TSP​ is an update of the non-motorized elements of its TSP focused on active transportation and trails. The plan incorporates helpful illustrations for the use of sharrows and a targeted set of projects to improve connections to the school and a detailed section on trails. Lists of recommended projects specify levels of project readiness.

For more examples of TSPs and other planning documents, see the Transportation Planning Online Database.


City of Gladstone TSP 101 Presentation

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