Planning Glossary

 

The following is a listing of Transportation & Land Use related terminology and phraseology developed by CCRPC. View a list of Acronyms only

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Term Acronym Definition
Rail Diesel Car RDC A self-propelled, diesel-powered rail passenger car originally built by the Budd Company of Philadelphia between 1949 and 1956 (also termed the “Budd Car”). This vehicle was the original “DMU”. A remanufactured, Federal Railroad Administration-approved version is available to date.
Rail Sidings   Sidings increase the capacity of a single track. A single-track line has auxiliary tracks known as sidings. Sidings are located along the line, which allows trains moving in opposite directions to pass each other and allows faster trains to overtake slower trains. The capacity of the rail line and the reliability of operation are affected by the time required to move between sidings.
Rail-with-Trail RWT Also termed a “Rail-Trail”, a RWT is a shared-use path located on, or abutting an abandoned or converted railroad line.
Raw Land   A building site that is not developed with Improvements (such as streets, water supply systems, and sewage disposal systems). See Improved Land.
Real Property (Real Estate)   Land, buildings, and structures (and the legal rights to them).
Recission   A congressional budgetary term refering to reduction or cancellation of previously granted funding.
Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement RAP Removed and/or reprocessed pavement materials containing asphalt and aggregate produced from pavement materials removed for resurfacing or reconstruction. When crushed and graded, RAP provides a high quality aggregate coated in asphalt that can be blended with conventional aggregates to create aggregate base and surface layer materials that produce roadways with good drainage characteristics and durability. Care must be taken when blending the RAP material with conventional aggregates as it has been found that above 20% to 25% RAP content decreases the strength of the roadway because less compaction of the blended material can be achieved. There are also unresolved environmental concerns regarding the leachability characteristics of RAP where it may be in contact with groundwater.
Record   The act of including a deed, plat, or other legal instrument in the official system of records dealing with Real Property ownership.
Record of Decision ROD A record of agreement that a proposed project meets all applicable requirements of an EIS. An ROD is issued by the designated lead agency in the study.
Redevelopment   The conversion, reuse, and or reconstruction of Buildings, Structures, Neighbor-hoods, and communities.
Regional Planning Commission RPC Enabled by state law, RPCs assist communities within their region to develop local and invoke regional comprehensive land use, transportation and economic development plans which have regulatory recognition in Vermont Act 250 land use proceedings and state agency planning efforts.
Renewable Energy Resources   24 VSA 4303 (24): Energy available for collection or conversion from direct sunlight, wind, running water, organic-ally derived fuels, including wood and agricultural sources, waste heat, and geothermal sources.
Request for Proposal RFP A formal invitation to organizations to bid on a scope of work for an outlined project.
Request for Qualifications RFQ A formal invitation to organizations to submit their qualifications and merits to undertake a scope of work for an outlined project.
Restrictive Covenant   A provision in a deed, title, or other legal document establishing the ownership of real property that establishes a rule, condition, restriction, or prohibition on the use or transfer of the property. Because covenants are imposed by private parties (not the government), they can be more restrictive than governmental land-use regulations.
Retroreflective   A type of material on signage or pavement markings used to optimize brightness for the nighttime driver. Retroreflective material make signage legible at further distances by reflecting most all of the light striking it from a light source directly back towards it. This reflection is contained in a narrow cone that spreads out wide enough to include the driver (almost directly behind a vehicle’s headlamps). Hence, this special type of “back to the source” reflection is called “retroreflection”. A sign may be reflective, but without this engineered cone of retroreflection, it would be considered “diffuse reflection”. When the viewer is not near a light source, many diffuse-reflecting materials will usually be brighter than retroreflective materials.
Ridership   Total number of “rides” taken by people using a public transportation system during a specified time period.
Ridesharing   Any form of shared commuting, which is not Public Transportation (e.g. carpooling, vanpooling, shuttle, etc.).
Right-of-Way ROW A pathway or road with a specific description (e.g. ‘Access and egress 22 feet wide from the centerline of Main Road in Huntington’). ROW may also entail rights to cross property to go to and from another parcel, to pass across another’s land, or right to cross without a specific description (e.g. a floating easement). Railroads own title to a right of way upon which to build permanent tracks.
Riparian Buffer   Riparian buffers are vegetated areas next to water resources that protect water resources from nonpoint source pollution (e.g. vehicles and other traffic) and provide bank stabilization as well as aquatic and wildlife habitat. Buffers can be a strip of grass, shrubs, and/or trees along the bank of a river or stream, which filters pollution and runoff, providing a transition zone between water and human land use.
Road Diet   A term used to convey phenomena of increased safety and reduced traffic congestion via a reduction in the number of travel lanes on a roadway, usually (but not always) from four lanes to three.
Road Surface Management System RSMS A program which assists local governments in identifying maintenance and repair strategies for roads.
Roadrailer   Type of equipment involving the use of rubber-tired track trailers fitted on to rail wheelsets, combined with other units to form a train.
Roadway Safety Audit Review RSAR A formal safety performance examination of a road or intersection by an multi-disciplinary team. An RSAR reports on potential safety concerns and investigates strategies to improve safety at the specified location. Issues that should be addressed in the report ought to include; 1. Aspects of a safety concern in or around the roadway, and 2. Opportunities to mitigate or eliminate identified safety concerns.
Rolling Stock   Total number of vehicles comprising a transit system (e.g. rail cars, busses, vans, etc.).
Rotary   A large, circular, one-way, multi-lane, and often higher-speed (above 30 MPH) intersection that commonly serves as an access and exit point to interstates, freeways, limited-access highways, or major arterials. Rotaries are NOT roundabouts. Most commonly found in the northeastern U.S., rotaries large size (> 600′ width) and low deflection around their center island allow for high speeds (in some cases as high as 45 MPH). Because of this, and Right-of-Way often being given to entering vehicles, rotaries have much higher crash and injury rates than do the more modern Roundabouts.
Roundabout   Non-signalized circular intersection with specific design and traffic control features to ensure low travel speeds and efficient traffic movement.
Route Choice   The process of simulating the sequence of roadways an individual will choose for a trip, given the trip’s origin, destination, and mode.
Route-Miles   Total number of miles within a fixed-route transit system.
Rubbernecking   In traffic parlance, “Rubbernecking” is driver reduction of otherwise normal traffic speed for a roadway, in order for to observe the scene of an accident (having significant safety and environmental impacts).
Rumble Strips   Rumble strips are raised or grooved patterns constructed on, or in travel lane and shoulder pavements. The texture of rumble strips is different from the road surface. Vehicle tires passing over them produce a sudden rumbling sound and cause the vehicle to vibrate. Road agencies use rumble strips to warn motorists of an upcoming change that may require them to act. For example, the need to slow down for a toll plaza ahead, change lanes for a work zone around the curve, stop for a traffic signal, or steer back onto the roadway. Rumble strips in travel lanes often precede intersections, especially dangerous ones. They are used primarily on expressways, interstate highways, and parkways, although some States install them on 2-lane rural roads that have high numbers of single-vehicle crashes.
Runoff   See ‘Stormwater Runoff’
Rural Growth Areas   10 VSA 6601 (16): Lands which are not natural resources referred to in 10 VSA 6086(a)(1)(A) through (F), 6086(a)(8)(A), and 6086(a)(9)(B),(C),(D),(E) and (K) (the natural resources criteria for approving an Act 250 permit).
Rural Planning Area   An area designated by this Plan where development is recommended to be of a type, scale, and density in keeping with Vermont’s traditional rural landscape.
Rural Town   24 VSA 4304 (25): A town having, as at the date of the most recent U.S. census, a population of less than 2,500 persons, as evidenced by that census, or a town having 2,500 or more but less than 5,000 persons that has voted by Australian ballot to be considered a rural town.
Rutting   Surface depression along the wheelpath of a road caused by excessive wear. When rutting occurs, rainwater can collect in the wheelpath, which can lead to increased probability of hydroplaning.

Other Transportation Glossaries

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110 West Canal Street, Suite 202
Winooski, Vermont 05404-2109