The following is a listing of Transportation & Land Use related terminology and phraseology.

10 MPH Pace Speed
(or: Ten Mile an Hour Pace)

10 mph range in which the majority of vehicles are traveling.

100-Year Flood
(or: One-Hundred-Year Flood)

A flood that has a predicted one percent chance of occurring or being exceeded in a given year (on average, it can be expected to occur once in 100 years). 24 VSA 4303 (8) establishes the 100-year Flood as the Base Flood for the purposes of regulations adopted pursuant to Chapter 117.

3C’s Process
(or: Three C's)

A federally-mandated (via the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962) initiative, requiring a “Continuing, Cooperative, & Comprehensive” transportation planning process to be carried out by states, regions, and local communities.

3PL Provider
(or: Third-Party Logistics)

A third-party or outsourced freight management service provider, customizing shipping, warehousing, and administrative logistics activities.

4A’s of the Federal-Aid Highway Program
(or: Four A's)

The process of funding highways that are desginated as part of the Federal-Aid System; Authorization, Appropriation, Apportionment, Allocation

4PL Provider
(or: Fourth-Party Logistics)

Similar to a ‘Third-Party Logisitcs’ (3PL) service provider, a 4PL specializes in expertise in the design of ‘Supply Chain Management’ systems, but has no freight moving assets (e.g. warehouses or infrastructure) of its own.


National traveller information phone number designated by the FCC.


Underground damage prevention system (e.g. electric, natural gas, telephone, cable, etc.) information phone number designated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In Vermont, this service is known as “Dig Safe”.

85th Percentile Speed
(or: Eighty-Fifth Percentile)

The maximum speed at which 85% of all vehicles are travelling.

Access Management

Techniques of Transportation infrastructure management intended to; reduce congestion and accident rates, lessen need for highway widening, conserve energy, and reduce pollution. Examples include; limiting entrance and exit of traffic on highways, use of medians and turn lanes, placement and timing of signals, as well as implementation of supportive local ordinances.

Access Management Plan

A municipal plan to manage traffic and access onto public roads from adjacent property that complies with 19 VSA 1111. See 24 VSA 4432 (1)


The facilities and services that make it possible to get to any destination, measured by the availability of physical connections (roads, sidewalks, etc.), travel options, ease of movement, and proximity of destinations.

Accessible Pedestrian Signal

A device that communicates information about pedestrian timing in nonvisual format such as audible tones, verbal messages, and/or vibrating surfaces

Accessory Building or Structure

A building or structure that is subordinate to and is used for purposes that customarily are incidental to those of the principal building or principal structure located on the same lot (for example, a freestanding garage, garden shed, or fence).

Accessory Dwelling Unit

24 VSA 4412 (1) (E): A dwelling unit that is located within or appurtenant to an owner-occupied single-family dwelling (an efficiency or one-bedroom apartment that is clearly subordinate to a single family dwelling and complies with the standards and conditions established by 24 VSA 4412 (1) (E) and (F)).

Accessory Use

A land use that is subordinate to and customarily incidental to a principal use located on the same lot (for example, off-street parking for a store).

Act 200

Otherwise known as the Vermont Growth Management Act of 1988, Act 200 originally contained 4 “Process Goals” and 32 “Planning Goals”, which were paired down to 12 Goals in 1990, then increased to 13 in 2003. This law established mechanisms to help integrate Local, Regional, & State perspectives during the planning process, as well establish consideration of the “spillover effects” of land use decisions of one municipality upon another. A major objective of Act 200 was to ensure that decisions were made at the most local level possible.

Act 250

A Vermont State land use law that requires a permit from the District Environmental Commission or the Vermont Environmental Board prior to commencing a major development or subdivision on a property.

Act 78

The law establishing Vermont’s solid waste management program. See 10 VSA Chapter 159.

Active Recreation

Recreational activities in which people actively participate in doing (such as skiing, hunting or leisure walking).

Administrative Officer

A person officially designated by a municipality to administer and enforce a bylaw. See 24 VSA 4448.

Administrative Procedures Act

The laws governing how State agencies adopt rules and regulations and render decisions in administrative proceedings. See 3 VSA Chapter 25.

Advanced Traffic Management System

ITS applications designed to enhance traffic movement usually along transportation corridors.

Adverse Impact

Inadequate, unsafe, or unhealthy conditions that result from a Land Development.

Advisory Commission/Committee

24 VSA 4433: A body established by a municipality to assist the Legislative Body or Planning Commission to prepare, adopt, and implement a municipal plan. An advisory commission authorized by 24 VSA 4433 or by Chapter 118 (Conservation Commissions) may advise Appropriate Municipal Panels, applicants, and Interested Parties in accordance with the procedures established under 24 VSA 4464.


Consideration for the appearance of the natural or built environment.

Affordable Housing

24 VSA 4303 (1): Housing that is owned by its inhabitants or rented by its inhabitants, whose gross annual household income does not exceed 80 percent of the county median income (or of the MSA median income if the municipality is located in an MSA), as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the total annual cost of the housing is not more than 30 percent of the household’s gross annual income. The “total annual cost of housing” includes; A. For housing owned by its inhabitants: principal, interest, taxes and insurance and, B. For housing rented by its inhabitants, rent, utilities, and condominium association fees.

Affordable Housing Development

24 VSA 4303 (2): A housing development of which at least 20 percent of the units (or a minimum of five units) are affordable housing units that are subject to covenants or restrictions that preserve their affordability for a minimum of 15 years or longer, as provided in municipal bylaws.

Agency of Commerce & Community Development

The State agency that contains the departments of Economic Development, Tourism and Marketing, and Housing and Community Affairs.

Agency of Natural Resources

A cabinet-level Vermont state agency that oversees environmental issues for the state and is responsible for SIP adoption (T3 VSA, Chapter 51).


Any of various loose, particulate materials such as sand, gravel or pebbles used in a road aggregate base or surface layer of a road.

Agricultural Runoff

Stormwater that has flowed over property used for agriculture.

Agricultural Soils

See Primary Agricultural Soils and Forestry and Secondary Soils.


For the purposes of Vermont’s Current Use Program of assessing agricultural property for property taxation, 32 VSA 3752 (1) defines “agricultural land” as any land, exclusive of any house site, in active use to grow hay or cultivated crops, pasture livestock or to cultivate trees bearing edible fruit or produce an annual maple product, and which is 25 acres or more in size except as provided below. There shall be a presumption that the land is used for agricultural purposes if it; A. is owned by a farmer and is part of the overall farm unit; B. is used by a farmer as part of his farming operation under written lease for at least three years; or C. has produced an annual gross income from the sale of farm crops in 1 of 2, or 3 of the 5, calendar years preceding of at least: i) $2,000for parcels of up to 25 acres; and ii) $75 per acre for each acre over 25, with the total income required not to exceed $5,000. iii) exceptions to these income requirements may be made in cases of orchard lands planted to fruit producing trees, bushes or vines which are not yet of bearing age.

Air Rights

The right to separately own or use a specific volume of space located in the air above the surface of land.

Airport Improvement Program

FAA program that assists the development of public-use airports by providing funding for airport planning and development projects.

Airport Information Management System

An annually updated database of airport project descriptions, costs, and scoring factors of capital projects negotiated with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Airport Layout Plan

A scaled drawing of existing and proposed land and facilities necessary for the operation and development of the airport. The ALP shows boundaries and proposed additions to all areas owned or controlled by the airport operator for airport purposes, the location and nature of existing and proposed replacement airport facilities and structures, and the location on the airport of existing and proposed non aviation areas and improvements thereon.


Congressional earmarked project, authorized in SAFETEA-LU intended to enhance Vermont’s rail infrastructure on the Western Vermont Corridor.


A public or private vehicular access affording only secondary means of access to abutting property.

Alternatives Analysis

A study which explores the effect of a project on the overall transportation system. Information included in an AA are costs, benefits, and impacts of potential changes to the transportation system.

American Association of Railroads

Association members include primary freight railroad companies in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, as well as Amtrak.

American Association of Retired Persons (Formerly)

Established in 1958, AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, but is simply “AARP” today to reflect that membership is possible for non-retirees also) is a US-based non-governmental organization, non-profit, advocacy, and lobbying group for people age 50 and over.

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

Publishes standards for transportation infrastructure for use throughout the U.S.

American Community Survey

An ongoing nationwide survey that produces about U.S. population and housing. The ACS replaces the decennial census long form questionnaire (from the year 2000 and back), which collected this data every 10 years.

American Factfinder

An online application intended to assist the public in dissemination and reporting of Census data.

American Institute of Certified Planners

A non-compulsory planning certification recognized in the United States.

American Planning Association

A nonprofit education and membership guild for professional planners.

American Public Works Association

Chartered in 1937, the APWA is the international educational and professional association of public agencies, private sector companies, and individuals dedicated to improving public works goods and services.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

A $787 billion Recovery plan includes federal tax cuts and incentives, an expansion of unemployment benefits, and other spending on social entitlement programs. In addition, federal agencies are using Recovery funds to award contracts, grants, and loans around the country. The Recovery Act was intended to jumpstart the economy but many of the projects funded by Recovery money, especially those involving infrastructure improvements, are expected to contribute to economic growth for many years.

American Society of Civil Engineers

ASCE is the oldest national engineering guild in the United States, founded in 1852 at the offices of the Croton Aqueduct, New York City (originally formed as the American Society of Civil Engineers and Architects). ASCE is comprised of Regional Councils, Younger Member Councils, Sections, Branches, Student Chapters and Clubs, International Student Groups. ASCE posits its mission as “making this a better world by design”.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Federal legislation passed in 1990 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.


The process of diminishing a total sum of money by payments over a period of time sometimes used to depreciate (extinguish) the value of a nonconforming structure so that a zoning prohibition of the nonconformity avoids being a Taking.


The inclusion of land that currently is not a part of a government’s jurisdictional territory into that government’s jurisdictional territory. See 24 VSA 1316 and 1461.

Annual Average Daily Traffic

A key statistical indicator for roadway counts (i.e. traffic volume), known as the ‘Annual Average Daily Traffic’, or AADT, has been developed to represent the average amount of vehicular traffic in both directions of travel, passing on a given point of road, over a 24-hour period, on a typical day (i.e. seasonally adjusted) of a specified year.


The process used by an authorized party to contest a zoning decision. A zoning decision made by an Administrative Officer may be appealed to a Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) or to a Development Review Board (DRB); see 24 VSA 4465, 4468, and 4470. A zoning decision made by the ZBA, DRB, or Planning Commission may be appealed to the Environmental Court, unless the decision was made on the record (in which case an appeal is pursuant to Rules 74 and 75 of the Rules of Civil Procedure; see 24 VSA 4471.

Appropriate Municipal Panel

24 VSA 4303 (3): A Planning Commission performing development review, a Board of Adjustment, a Development Review Board, or a Legislative Body performing development review. See 24 VSA 4460.


See; “Truck Apron”

Archaeological Resources

Land, water, or construction that shows evidence of artifacts or significant design elements of human activity, usually from a time period of which only vestiges remain.

Architectual Controls

Regulations and procedures requiring development to conform to design standards intended to increase the likelihood that the structure will be in keeping with the general appearance, historical character, and/or architectural style of the structures in a surrounding area.


Geographic Information System (GIS) software for database development and management.


Windows-based Geographic Information System (GIS) for the layperson to use geographical data.

Arterial Street or Highway

A major street or highway. It is a general term which includes expressways, major and minor arterial streets and interstate, state or county highways having regional continuity. It is a road intended to move a relatively large volume of traffic at medium to high speeds.

Articulated Bus

Segmented bus that has rear portion flexibility, but is permanently connected to a forward portion and has no interior barrier to hamper passenger movement between the two portions. The advantage to this type of vehicle is that seated capacity is increased up to 60-80 people, and a superiour turning radius (diminished off-tracking) to that of a standard bus.

Asphalt Concrete

A macadam or petroleum based, flexible substance used in roadway surface construction (also known as “tarmac” – i.e. tar macadam).

Association of State Floodplain Managers

The Association of State Floodplain Managers is an organization of professionals involved in floodplain management, flood hazard mitigation, the National Flood Insurance Program, and flood preparedness, warning and recovery. ASFPM has become a respected voice in floodplain management practice and policy in the United States because it represents the flood hazard specialists across many sectors and disciplines.

Attainment Area

Air quality designation where measures of selected pollutants do not exceed established (NAAQS) standards.

Automatic Traffic Recorders

A pneumatic triggered device, utilizing rubber tubes installed upon a roadway to count, classify, and record speed data. ATRs are the tool used to capture Total Vehicle volume (used to calculate AADT), truck & bus data, 85th percentile & 10 MPH pace speed data, et al.

Automatic Vehicle Identification

A type of ITS, AVI generally signifies the recognition and recording of motor vehicles, usually automobiles, as they pass through facilities for automatic collection of tolls, thus eliminating stops.

Automatic Vehicle Location

A system which tracks real-time location of fleet vehicles to assist in dispatching.

Average Daily Traffic

The Average Daily Traffic (ADT) indicator of vehicular traffic flow (or bicycle & pedestrian traffic for that matter) is not a representation of the normally used “Annual Average Daily Traffic” (AADT). This is due to the lack of a full set of year-round data from which to develop seasonal coefficients necessary to calculate “AADT”. More accurately described, ADT is an estimate of general volume within the period of time counted only. For Bicycle & Pedestrian traffic counts obtained from infrared radiation sensor equipment, a common factor reducing the level of observation (i.e. undercounting) of data is lack of the pyroelectric sensor’s ability to detect adjacent-travelling bicyclists or pedestrians. In such case, it is good to do a simultaneous manual count for a few hours to verify the level of error.


Describing the return trip of a transportation vehicle (rail, truck, or container). Backhaul often refers to a lower revenue-generating leg of a shipment haul, because the vehicle is either empty or partially loaded.


Crushed angular stone used to distribute the heavy loads of moving locomotives and their freight, facilitate drainage, and reduce vegetation growth along a railroad bed.

Base Flood

A flood with a predicted frequency and elevation that serves as the basis for making policy decisions regarding floodplain use and development.

Basic Freeway Section

The area of freeway between interchanges or weaving areas. Where the term “Freeway” refers to a divided highway with full access control and 2 or more lanes in each direction for the exclusive purpose of moving traffic, consisting of 1. “Basic Freeway Sections”, 2. “Weaving Areas”, and 3. “Ramp Junctions”. A Basic Freeway Section serves no access function and is separated from on and off ramps. It is often called a “Pipeline” or “Main Pipeline”.

Best Management Practices

The methods, measures, designs, performance standards, maintenance procedures, and other management practices intended to prevent or reduce adverse impacts.

Better Backroads Program

A program of the USDA, the Better Backroads Program has been in existence since 1997, focusing on correction of road-related erosion problems for towns. Promotion of the program is handled via technical and financial assistance.

Bill of Lading

Same as ‘Waybill’.


Property bounded on one side by a street and on the other three sides by a street, railroad right-of-way, public park, waterway, or any combination thereof.

Block Face

The portion of a block that abuts a single street.

Blue Ribbon Commission on Innovative Finance

Initiated with a workshop at the University of Vermont campus in June 2007, the charge of the Commission on Innovative Finance is to provide a set of recommendations regarding viable innovative finance strategies to advance the regions’ transportation needs, including all modes (especially public transportation)as well as the necessary connections with our land use, economic, environmental and quality of life needs. The Commission has since drafted recommendations to be phased into policy over time.

Board of Adjustment

See Zoning Board of Adjustment


A wooden or metallic post installed at the entrance of a bikepath or pedestrian way intended to restrict motor vehicle access.


A metaphorical expression indicating a narrowing or reduction of roadway capacity due to; construction, maintenance, congestion, accidents, infrastructure (e.g. bridges, tunnels, reduced lanes, etc.).


Non-containerized freight, or the process of breaking down cargo from a shipping container

Bridge Program

Federal funding program for rehabilitation and reconstruction of bridges.


A redevelopment site believed to contain pollution from a previous land use that limits the reuse of the site.

Buffer (Area, Strip, Zone, Landscape Buffer)

A special area of a lot set aside for the purpose of reducing the Adverse Impacts that a land use on a lot has on nearby land uses. A buffer may be in addition to required Setback distances and may be required to contain a Screen or landscaping.


A structure with a roof supported by columns or walls used to shelter persons or property.

Building Area

The total area of a Lot covered by a building measured on a horizontal plane at the building mean grade level. It may exclude building appurtenances (such as steps, projecting windows, and uncovered porches).

Building Code

Police Power regulations that govern the design, construction and/or maintenance of a building or structure. Uniform building codes prepared by national panels of experts govern specific issues (such as structural design, electrical systems, plumbing systems, sanitation systems, heating, cooling and ventilation systems, fire prevention, and the occupancy of buildings).

Building Coverage

The maximum decimal percentage permitted by a zoning bylaw for a Land Use calculated by dividing the total Building Area of all Principal Buildings and Accessory Buildings (and sometimes the areas of all other impervious surfaces) on a Lot by the total area of the lot upon which the land use is located.

Building Envelope

The net volume of cubic space that is available for the construction of a building or structure, when Setbacks, Building Height, and Bulk Regulations are met.

Building Height

The maximum height (measured in feet or building stories) that a building or structure may be; often measured from the average grade at the base of the building to the peak of the roof (or sometimes to the eaves).

Building Line (Front Line)

The minimum distance that a building or structure may be located from the front of a property, often measured from the Street Line.

Building Permit

Official permission for the construction, repair, alteration or addition to a structure issued prior to construction when the applicant has demonstrated compliance with all applicable bylaws.

Buildout Analysis

A form of analysis predicting the total amount of development that could possibly occur in a given area under existing or proposed legal constraints (e.g. zoning ordinance) and environmental constraints (e.g. wetlands, floodplains, steep slopes, etc.).

Built Environment

The physical features of Land Development (such as Buildings, Streets, and Structures). See Natural Area.

Bulk Regulations

The maximum volume that a building or structure may have. The pre-scribed Floor-Area-Ratio (FAR), combined with the maximum Building Height, act as Bulk Regulations.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) was established by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. BTS administers federal transportation data collection, analysis, and reporting resources.

Burlington International Airport

Burlington International Airport is the preeminent Airport in the State of Vermont, located in South Burlington and owned by the City of Burlington.

Bus Rapid Transit

Fixed-route bus system operating on its own exclusive “Right of Way”.


24 VSA 4303 (4): Municipal regulations applicable to land development adopted under the authority of Chapter 117 (including Zoning, Subdivision Regulations, shore land and flood hazard bylaws, Official Map, and a Capital Budget and Program ).


America’s Byways is a registered umbrella term used to promote a collection of distinct and diverse roads, designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation as a National Scenic Byway. Further, there are also state-designated Byways in Vermont, which may or may not have national designation.

Calcium Carbonate

Gravel, dirt, or recycled asphalt roads have an increased durability when treated with Calcium Carbonate. Usually applied in a liquid or flaked solid form, it penetrates and coats the road aggregate mixture (i.e. various sized particles such as gravel or sand), binding it together to retain road density, compaction, and moisture level. This increases the roadway resistance to wear, reduces dust generation and erosion of the road surface.

Capability & Development Plan

10 VSA 6001 (2): A plan prepared pursuant to 10 VSA 6042. Section 6042 provides for the Natural Resources Board to prepare a plan to guide and accomplish a coordinated, efficient and economic development of the State.


A transportation facility’s (road, railway, etc.) ability to accommodate a moving stream of people or vehicles in a given time period.

Capacity Study

24 VSA 4303 (5): An inventory of available natural and human-made resources based on detailed data collection that identifies the capacities and limits of those resources to absorb Land Development.

Capital Budget

24 VSA 4430 (a): A list and description of the capital projects to be undertaken during the coming fiscal year, their estimated cost, and the proposed method of financing.

Capital Improvement Program

A multi-year plan, which identifies equipment, infrastructure, property improvements, or other tangible purchases, as well as their schedule and financing strategies.

Capital Program

24 VSA 4430 (a): A plan of capital projects proposed to be undertaken during each of the following five years, their estimated cost, and the proposed method of financing.

Capital Project

24 VSA 4430 (a): Includes (1) Any physical betterment or improvement (including furnishings, machinery, apparatus or equipment for that physical betterment or improvement when first constructed or acquired), (2) any preliminary studies and surveys relating to any physical betterment, or improvement, (3) land or rights in land, or (4) any combination thereof.

Capture Rate

The percentage of vehicles which pass a Park & Ride facility, which could be influenced to use it.

Carbon Monoxide

A colorless, tasteless gas produced primarily by inefficient combustion of organic fuels in transportation and industrial activities. Overly high levels of CO reduces oxygen in the bloodstream, preventing normal respiration. CO emissions are regulated by the Agency of Natural Resources.

Carrying Capacity

The capability of a resource to sustain a level of use without having its qualitative features degraded in any significant way.


An alternative to standard car ownership, “Carsharing” offers a means to potentially reduce costs and pollution by renting automobiles on a short-term basis (often by the hour) for the occasional user, utilizing a decentralized parking system called “pods” (often established along transit routes). Carsharing organizations (CSO’s) further administer membership bases, vehicle reservation systems, maintenance, and other administrative functions.

Catch Basin

A catch basin is designed to trap debris so that it will not enter the stormwater drainage system. They are often buried drainage structures that are often placed at regular intervals along the edge of the roadway. Proper placement of catch basins can reduce roadside hazards associated with deep drainage ditches near cross culverts. Catch basins should be deep enough to allow for the collection of gravel and debris and should be inspected and cleaned regularly to prevent collected debris from being washed into connecting culverts or water bodies. Catch basin covers should be selected based on ability to pass debris and not pose a safety hazard to vehicles, bicycles or pedestrians.

Catchment Area

An area of increased influence for use of a site, facility, market, or corridor.

Categorical Exclusion

Federal and State regulations (see; NEPA) require environmental reviews to be performed before expenditure of public funds can be approved for “major projects.” If a project does not meet the definition of “major project” then it may be eligible for what is called a Categorical Exclusion (CE). A CE is the absolute lowest level of environmental review possible for projects. For Vermont transportation projects, VTrans (The State DOT) is responsible for such designation.

Census Transportation Planning Package

CTPP is a demographic dataset intended for transportation planners, which is taken from decennial census. From 1970 to 2000, the CTPP and its predecessor (the UTPP) used data from the decennial census long form (i.e. a component questionaire of the census form sent to 1 in 6 households in Vermont). The CTPP is therefore a sample dataset of the total population. CTPP 2000 has three parts; Part 1. Residence end data summarizing worker and household characteristics, Part 2. Place of work data summarizing worker characteristics, Part 3. Journey-To-Work commuter flow data (which commuties workers live and work within).


The middle of a right-of-way, not considering direction or number of lanes.

Central Business District

Often the geographic center or ‘downtown’ section of a city, town, or village, typifying a concentration of commercial, government, residential, and mixed-use buildings or development

Certificate of Occupancy

See Occupancy Permit

Champlain Water District

Champlain Water District


Separation of conflicting traffic movements into defined paths of travel to facilitate the safe and orderly movement of vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles.

Chapter 117

The Vermont Municipal and Regional Planning and Development Act. See 24 VSA 4301 – 4483.


A traffic-calming measure employing fixed objects (usually curbs, earth, fencing, etc.), which deliberately project into the travel lane or a road or shared-use path creating a curvature pattern in the line of travel.

Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission

Land use planning agency for Chittenden County, Vermont

Chittenden Solid Waste District

Chittenden Solid Waste District

Circumferential Highway

A proposed limited access highway which traffic is routed around the urban core municipalities of the greater Burlington area, connecting VT State Route 127 in Colchester (to the north) to Interstate Route 89 in Williston (to the east).

Class of Railroad

Originally defined by the Interstate Commerce Commission (which was disbanded in the mid-1990’s), Class of Railroad generally refers to a railroad company’s size in terms of its average annual operating revenue. Specific figures (in 2001 dollars), outlining ‘Classes’ 1-3 are: Class 1 = railroads with an operating income above $256m (many miles of track, serving many states with a fleet of locomotives sometimes in the thousands), Class 2 = railroads with an operating income of $40m – $256m (regional railroad serving a few states with perhaps 30-200 locomotives), Class 3 = railroads with an operating income of $20m or less (typically operates only in one state, has only a handful of locomotives, usually operating less than 200 miles of track).

Class of Track

A Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) track designation, establishing maximum authorized speed for passenger and freight trains, whilst placing requirements on the track maintenance criteria, vehicle standards, and train control signal systems. The maximum speed, outlined in Track Classes 1-9 (freight speed/passenger speed) are: Class 1 = 10/15mph, Class 2 = 25/30mph, Class 3 = 40/60mph, Class 4 = 60/80mph, Class 5 = 80/90mph, Class 6 = 110/110mph, Class 7 = 125/125mph, Class 8 = 160/160mph, Class 9 = 200/200mph.

Class of Vehicle

An FHWA vehicle classification scheme distinguishing 14 categories, depending on whether the vehicle carries passengers or commodities.

Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990

Federal legislation that sets allowable levels, known as NAAQS, for various pollutants. Where these standards are not attained, officials must take specified actions within a mandatory time frame or face sanctions such as loss of federal highway funds.


The degree of accuracy of a Metes and Bounds survey used to identify the location of a particular property.

Cluster Development

Land Development that concentrates Land Uses on lots that some-times have been reduced in size below the minimum size required by Zoning, to allow the remaining land on a site to be used for recreation, common open space, or the preservation of environmentally sensitive features.

Code Enforcement

Government efforts to bring properties into compliance with building codes and other bylaws.


The use of excess energy produced in one process or site for another process or site.

Cold Start

The starting of an engine which is significantly below normal operating temperature, of significance in understanding vehicle emissions since the rate and composition of emissions vary with engine temperature. Often the most polluting time of car operation.

Collector Street or Highway

A street or highway that provides for traffic movement between major streets (major corridors or arterials) and local streets. A collector is a road intended to collect traffic from local streets and land-access roads. The term -Collector Highway- does not include a city street or local service road or a country road designed for local service and constructed under the supervision of local government.

Commercial Drivers’ License

A CDL is required for those operating any type of vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight of 26,001 lbs. or greater (such as; tractor trailers, buses, and tow trucks).

Commercial Vehicle Operations

An Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) application for advanced technologies in commercial vehicle operations, including; Satelite Navigation & Real-time monitoring, Load-Tracking Systems, International Border Crossing Clearance, Commercial Vehicle Electronic Clearance or Screening, Automated Roadside Safety Inspection, Automated fuel & mileage reporting, Hazardous Material Planning and Incident Response, et al.

Commodity Flow Survey

Primary source of national and state-level data on domestic freight shipments by American establishments in mining, manufacturing, wholesale, auxiliaries, and selected retail industries.

Community Development Block Grant

A flexible federal program administrated by the Department of Housing and Community Affairs that subsidizes a wide range of community development and economic development activities. Beginning in 1974, the CDBG program is one of the longest continuously run programs at HUD. The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to 1209 general units of local government and States.

Community Facility

A public or private facility used by groups of people (such as a park, school, library, church, or social hall).

Community Land Trust

A nonprofit organization which develops affordable housing, commercial space, and parks while promoting homeowner-ship, historic preservation, local control, and neighborhood revitalization.

Commuter Rail

Generally applies to multi-car, high-speed rail transport utilizing exclusive, frequently at-grade, rights-of-way with service between urban areas or between outlying suburbs and the urban core. Usually involves greater distances and fewer stops than those normally found with light and heavy rail transit within urban areas.

Commuter Shed

Usually refering to a catchment area for a Park & Ride facility, or the origin and destination patterns of commuters along travel corridors or routes.


The characteristic when multiple land uses may be located next to or near one an-other without causing significant adverse impacts on one another.

Compatible Width

24 VSA 4302 (f) (2): One plan is compatible with another plan when the plan’s implementation will not significantly reduce the desired effect of the implementation of the other plan. If a significant reduction would result, the plan may still be compatible if it includes elements described in section 4302 ((f) (2).

Complete Streets

Coined in 2003 by bicycle and pedestrian advocates, “Complete Streets Design Techniques” are employed to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities must be able to safely move along and across a “Complete Street”.

Comprehensive Plan

An officially adopted plan that describes, analyzes, and makes Policies about a wide range of topics (such as community facilities, economy, housing, land use, population, and transportation) to guide the development of an entire area (municipality, region, or state). See 24 VSA 4382 (municipalities) and 4348a (RPCs). See Special Plan.

Compressed Natural Gas

Fuel for natural gas powered vehicles (primarily buses). Natural gas is comprised mostly of methane that is compressed (about 2,400 lbs. per square inch) and stored in high-pressure design containers.


The process by which someone takes ownership of private property by using the power of Eminent Domain.

Conditional Use

A land use that may be authorized only after the Appropriate Municipal Panel finds that conditions specified in the zoning bylaw have been met following a Public Hearing warned by Public Notice.


Real estate with portions designated for separate ownership and the remainder designated for common ownership by the owners of the separately owned portions.


24 VSA 4303 (6): When a bylaw or bylaw amendment is in accord with the municipal plan in effect at the time of adoption and includes all the following: A. Makes progress toward attaining, or at least does not interfere with, the goals and policies contained in the municipal plan. B. Provides for proposed future land uses, densities, and intensities of development contained in the municipal plan. C. Carries out, as applicable, any specific proposals for community facilities, or other proposed actions contained in the municipal plan.


The requirement that the state or metropolitan transportation plan, programs, and projects are consistent with the purpose of the State Implementation Plan (SIP). The CAAA does not permit federal approvals of funding of any project that does not meet this test.


A condition which hinders movement on a transportation facility at optimal legal speeds. Frequently characterized by unstable traffic flows.

Congestion Management Process

Formerly known as a Congestion Management System (CMS), CMP is a federally-mandated program within Metropolitan Planning Organizations to address and manage congestion.

Congestion Management System

A systematic process for managing congestion and enhancing mobility through alternative transportation strategies and timely information to the traveling public.

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality

A program authorized by the 1991 ISTEA provided billions of dollars in funding for surface transportation and other projects that contribute to air quality improvements and reduce traffic congestion. The CMAQ program has been improved and reauthorized in all subsequent federal transportation re-authorization bills.

Congestion Pricing

Charging users of a transportation network during peak periods of traffic, in order to reduce traffic congestion and pollution.

Conservation Commission

A municipal body that may prepare studies and inventories of, recommend municipal acquisition of, and manage property for conservation. See 24 VSA 4501 to 4506.

Conservation Easement

An easement that prohibits an owner from developing, altering, or using a specific property in ways that do not conserve the property as open space or preserve its historic or scenic character.

Consistent with the Goals

24 VSA 4302 (f) (1): Substantial progress toward attainment of the goals established by 24 VSA 4302 or (if the planning body determines that a particular goal is not relevant or attainable) the requirements defined in 24 VSA 4302 (f) (1) are met.

Consumer Price Index

Calculated monthly by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by consumers for a representative basket of goods and services. The CPI is used for a number of purposes, such as; An economic indicator of the effectiveness of economic policy, A method to adjust dollar values for economic inflation or deflation, et al.


A shipping container capable of transport upon a rail flat car or truck flat bed trailer. Same as TOFC.


The practice of using International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Containers as a unit in transport of freight. Containers are strong enough for repeated use, can carry goods on truck, rail, seabourne, and airborne modes, and are outfitted with devices for efficient modal shift. Standard containers come in five general sizes; 20 ft., 40 ft., 45 ft., 48 ft., and 53 ft. Capacity is often expressed in twenty-foot equivalent units (see TEU).

Context-Sensitive Solutions

The process of CSS seeks to preserve aesthetics, historical context, and environmental resources in areas of proposed development, while maintaining efficiency and safety of the transportation system. It is a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach, involving a variety of stakeholders to develop facilities and infrastructure in harmony with their current physical setting.

Continuous Traffic Counters

Operated by VTrans, CTCs are permanently deployed traffic counters, which are capable of collecting traffic data for an entire year or longer.

Continuous Welded Rail

Superior to traditional “jointed track”, where rails are bolted together, CWR provides superior strength for higher speed locomotives and requires less maintenance.

Contract Zoning

An illegal modification of zoning regulations expressly made to suit a particular property owner, rather than to benefit the public welfare.

Contraflow Lane

Otherwise known as a “reversible lane”, it is utilised for buses where the direction of travel is opposite to the flow of traffic in the other lanes. Contraflow lanes are also employed for maintenance purposes, or in cases of emergency evacuation where both sides of an interstate highway are used for outbound traffic.


Comparisons of transportation-planning materials on one agency with those of other agencies and subsequent adjustment of these materials to reduce omissions, duplications, and conflict.

Corduroy Road

In the context of Ancient Roads, a “Corduroy” road is a road built using tree logs as a sub-base where logs or poles layed crosswise. Such roads were common to moisture prone locations.

Core Forest

Those portions of forested area that are at least a certain minimum distance from a zone of human disturbance.

Corner Sight Distance

The minimum distance a driver can see across an intersection corner in tandem with the length of time it takes the driver to safely traverse the intersection (past potential crossing vehicles) on to the roadway, and accelerating up to traffic flow speed.


A geographic area that is defined by major highway and rail facilities, and major flows of travel. Transportation corridors are identified for the purpose of analyzing the patterns and flows of traffic between origins and destinations. In the context of general planning, a corridor is an area (often designated) closely associated with a linear feature (such as a river, highway, utility, or zone of wildlife movement).

Cost-Benefit Analysis

An evaluation of the disadvantages (costs) and advantages (benefits) of a proposed project, policy, action, or decision that often attempts to quantify the disadvantages and advantages into a single unit of measure, such as dollars.


Operations in a warehouse not relating to storage, where freight is shifted from different trucks to consolidate loads for immediate shipping.


A roadway crown is the high point located at the centerline of the road with a uniform slope of surface toward each shoulder. The purpose of the crown is to create a natural means of drainage for stormwater to flow off of the roadway surface. A properly shaped crown facilitates this flow in uniform, thin sheets, thus preventing scour and washout of the roadway surface or seepage into the subbase. A paved road generally has a cross slope of 2% (or 1/4″ decline per foot from crown to shoulder). An unpaved road generally has a cross slope of 4% – 6% (or 1/2″ – 3/4″ decline per foot from crown to shoulder).


A Local Street that is terminated at one end by a vehicular turnaround and that intersects another street at the other end.


Often constructed out of steel, concrete, plastic, or PVC, a culvert is conduit infrastructure used to channel water underneath and away from a road or railway embankment.

Cumulative Impacts

The impact on the environment which results from the incremental impact of an action (such as a transportation project) when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions.

Cutaway Buses

Transit vehicles constructed with a Bus-body attached to a small-to-medium sized truck or van chassis. The vehicles are generally less than 30 ft. long (although some may measure up to 35 ft. long), typically weigh less than 30,000 lbs. (Gross Vehicle Weight), and are designed to accommodate anywhere from 16 to 28 passengers. A cutaway vehicle is smaller than a conventional bus while providing more space, particularly for wheelchairs, compared to other small-to-medium sized vehicle options. With regard to the public transit market, cutaway buses are critical components of paratransit service across the United States. Additionally, private sector transportation also represents a large market for cutaway buses.

D Factor

Directional split of peak-hour traffic


A empty transit vehicle commute to or from a garage, terminal, or a destination between routes.

Decision-Support System

Computer assessment tool that examines the relationships between land use and transportation.


The transfer of ownership of property in a land development from a private owner to a government. The government is not compelled to accept an offer of dedication and may place conditions on its acceptance.


A horizontal change in the travel path of traffic due to a physical feature of a roadway. An example would be a “Splitter Island” of a roundabout. Here traffic is slowed by a geometric curvature (or deflection) from a straight trajectory before entering a channelized approach into the roundabout.

Deighton Total Infrastructure Management System

A proprietary Pavement Management System (PMS) used by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans).

Demand Response

A transit mode comprised of passenger cars, vans, or small buses operating in response to calls from passengers or their agents to the transit operator, who then dispatches a vehicle to pick up the passengers and transport them to their destinations. A demand response (DR) operation is characterized by the following; 1. Vehicles do not operate over a fixed route or on a fixed schedule except on a temporary basis to satisfy a special need, 2. Vehicles may be dispatched to pick up several passengers at different pick-up points before taking them to their respective destinations and may even be interrupted en route to these destinations to pick up other passengers.

Demand Response Service

Shared use transit service operating in response to calls from passengers or their agents to the transit operator, who schedules a vehicle to pick up the passengers to transport them to their destinations.


The number of dwelling units or units of nonresidential use that are authorized or planned for a unit of land area.

Department of Environmental Conservation

The Vermont ANR department that administers most of ANR’s regulatory programs plus several voluntary pollution and waste reduction programs (including: air quality, environ-mental assistance, public facilities engineering, geology, environmental permits, solid waste, hazardous waste, surface water quality, water-shed planning, stormwater management, and drinking water supply).

Department of Fish & Wildlife

The Vermont ANR department that manages Vermont’s fisheries and wildlife resources, enforces the state’s hunting and fishing laws, and studies and inventories non-game wildlife species and natural communities.

Department of Forest Parks & Recreation

The Vermont ANR department that operates the State Parks system, manages State forests and natural areas, and provides assistance in the areas of forestry, recreation, and conservation education.

Department of Housing & Community Affairs

The Vermont agency that provides planning technical assistance and oversees housing and community development programs. See 3 VSA 2472

Department of Public Works

Municipal entity responsible for repair and maintenance of streets, sewers, greenspace, and urban landscape. DPWs also designs and manage the construction of public facilities.

Department of Transportation

State agency responsible for coordination, operation, and safety of transportation facilities and services, including; highways, bridges, railroads, airports, etc.


Design-Build (D-B) is an efficient method to complete transportation projects, where designer engineers and construction contractors are brought together under a single contract. This contrasts to the traditional “Design-Bid-Build” (D-B-B) approach where two different contracting efforts must be undertaken in sequentially; 1. Obtaining engineering services on a negotiated-price basis, and 2. Obtaining construction services on the lowest-responsible-bid price basis.

Design & Engineering

Design & Engineering

Design Hour Volume

Commonly (but, not strictly) the 30th highest hourly traffic volume for a given year. DHV has been considered to be an optimal traffic volume estimation for designing future transportation infrastructure (e.g. intersection and roadway capacity analysis, bridge design, and geometric specifications, et al.) since the 1950 release of the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM).

Design Review Commission

An advisory com-mission established pursuant to 24 VSA 4433 (4).

Design Standard

A minimum or maximum standard prescribed by a bylaw that governs a physical characteristic of a Land Development, Building, or Structure (such as its size or shape).


The place or zone in which a trip terminates.

Detectable Warning

Standardized surface feature built into pedestrian or transit-related infrastructure, which is designed to warn visually impared pedestrians of changes in curbline, slope, crossings, etc. It is generally a tactile standardized feature, intended to function much like a stop sign. It alerts perceivers to the presence of a hazard in the line of travel, whereupon they would stop, and determine the nature and extent of the hazard, before proceeding further.


For the purposes of Act 250, Development is defined by 10 VSA 6001 (3). In the context of Land Development, Development is the division of a parcel into two or more parcels, the construction, reconstruction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation or enlargement of any building or structure, or of any mining, excavation or landfill, and any change in the use of any building or structure, or land, or extension of use of land (24 VSA 4303 (10))

Development Agreement (Improvements Agreement)

A contract between a developer and a government that requires the developer to undertake certain actions (such as construct or install improvements) listed in the agreement according to certain specifications and conditions.

Development Exaction

See Exaction

Development Review Board

Development Review Boards are quasi-judicial, citizen volunteer bodies created under Vermont Statute 24 VSA Chapter 117, intended to interpret and uphold zoning ordinances of their municipality. A municipality may create a DRB to consolidate the functions of a Zoning Board of Adjustment and the subdivision review functions of a Planning Commission (See 24 VSA 4460).

Diesel Multiple Unit

Self-propelled railcar, powered by one or more diesel engines.

Discretionary Funds

Funds whose distribution is not automatic and not by formula but dependent on the decision of some agency or party.

Distracted Driving

A specific type of inattention that occurs when drivers divert their attention away from the driving task to focus on another activity instead. These distractions can be from electronic distractions, such as navigation systems and cell phones, or more conventional distractions such as interacting with passengers and eating. These distracting tasks can affect drivers in different ways, and can be categorized into the following type; 1. Visual Distraction – Tasks that require the driver to look away from the roadway to visually obtain information; 2. Manual Distraction – Tasks that require the driver to take a hand off the steering wheel and manipulate a device; 3. Cognitive Distraction – Tasks that are defined as the mental workload associated with a task that involves thinking about something other than the driving task. The impact of distraction on driving is determined not just by the type of distraction, but also the frequency and duration of the task. That is to say, even if a task is less distracting, a driver who engages in it frequently or for long durations may increase the crash risk to a level comparable to that of much more difficult task performed less often. Because drivers often have a choice regarding when and how often to multitask when driving, their exposure to risk is typically within their control; however NHSTA research has shown that drivers underestimate the overall risk of various tasks.

District Transportation Administrator

Administrative supervisor of regional transportation services or infrastructure.

Diverging Diamond Interchange

A variation on a “Diamond Interchange”, a DDI (also known as the “Double Crossover” intersection) increases safety by reducing the number of potential conflict points of traffic. The DDI accommodates left-turning movements at a signalized, grade-separated interchanges of arterials while eliminating the need for left-turn signal phasing. On an arterial (i.e. a high-volume road), traffic crosses over to the left side of the roadway between the nodes of the interchange. Two-phase traffic signals are installed at roadway crossovers. Once vehicles are on the left side of the arterial roadway, they may turn left onto limited-access ramps without stopping or conflicting with through traffic.

Double-Crossover Diamond Interchange

See “Diverging Diamond Interchange”. The DCD is distinguished from the conventional diamond interchange in that it combines left-turning traffic with through traffic. This is accomplished by having both left-turn and through vehicles cross over to the opposite sides of the roadway at the ramp terminals.

Double-Stack Railcars

Rail-freight configuration allowing double-stacking of shipping containers-on-flat-cars (COFC) during transport. Operation of such a configuration can be hindered by clearance restrictions on rail lines.


A carrier service (or charge) for the cartage of shipping containers from a dock to an intermediate or final destination.


A privately owned, constructed, and maintained vehicular access from a public or private street to off street parking or off street loading spaces.

Dwelling Unit

One or more rooms, intended to be occupied by a household as separate living quarters containing cooking, sleeping, and sanitary facilities.

Dynamic Striping

A traffic calming technique using experimental systems of pavement markings, which is not yet mandated by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).


A congressional budgetary mechanism built into the appropriation bill, often used to undertake specific projects. Earmarks are generally designated as a dollar amount.


A less-than-fee property right that can be positive or negative. A positive easement authorizes a second party to use the property in a specific, limited way (such as a right-of-way that authorizes the second party to cross the property). A negative easement prohibits a property owner from using the property fully (such as a scenic easement that prevents an owner from building a structure on the property that would block the public’s view of a distant mountain). An appurtenant easement benefits a neighboring property; an easement that is not appurtenant is in gross.

Eastern Border Transportation Coalition

Organization providing a cross-border issue forum for each U.S. state, Canadian province, and border service agency.

Economic Development

Policies, actions, and/or projects intended to improve the qualitative characteristics or to expand the quantitative size of the economy.

Economic Development Association

The federal office responsible for the provision of federal economic development assistance to economically depressed areas, especially to areas of high unemployment.


A way of exiting or travelling away from a location. Egress generally describes vehicle or pedestrian movements from the perspective of driveways and walkways which provide “egress from a property”. See also “Access” or “Ingress”.

Electronic Toll & Traffic Management

ETTM systems equip vehicles with electronic tags (or transponders) that communicate with roadside sensors to provide automatic vehicle identification that allows for toll collection at the toll booth, and general vehicle monitoring and data gathering beyond the toll plaza. These systems the potential to reduce congestion, improve safety, energy efficiency, air quality, and to enhance economic productivity at a cost significantly less than additional road construction.


24 VSA 44303 (16): A component of a Comprehensive Plan.

Eminent Domain

The power of a government (or a person delegated such authority by a government) to require an owner to sell private property to the entity exercising the power if the entity pays the owner Just Compensation.

Emissions Budget

An aspect of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) that identifies allowable emissions levels, mandated by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for certain pollutants emitted from mobile, stationary, and area sources. The emissions levels are used for meeting emission reduction milestones, attainment, or maintenance demonstrations.

Emissions Inventory

An emissions inventory is a database that lists (by source of emission) the amount of air pollutants discharged into the atmosphere of a community or region during a given period of time.


When a land use is located too close to another land use, resulting in one or more Adverse Impacts.

Endangered Species

10 VSA 5401 (6): A species listed on the state endangered species list (see 10 VSA 5402) or determined to be an endangered species under the federal Endangered Species Act. The term generally refers to species whose continued existence as a viable component of the state’s wild fauna or flora is in jeopardy.

Enterprise Planning Area

A location designated by this Regional Plan that is recommended to be a center for employment.

Environmental Assessment

The purpose of an EA is to determine if there is sufficient evidence for a proposed project to require a more comprehensive Environmental Impact Study (EIS). Often an EA is a sufficient environmental document in itself when impacts of a project minor or can be mitigated.

Environmental Court

The court authorized to hear appeals of local land use decisions, ANR regulatory decisions, and District Environmental Commission decisions of Act 250 permit applications. See 4 VSA 1001 to 1004.

Environmental Impact Statement

Document that studies all likely impacts resulting from major federally-assisted programs. Impacts include those on the natural environment, economy, society, and the built (existing) environment of historical and aesthetic significance.

Environmental Justice

The fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, and income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, programs and policies.

Environmental Protection Agency

The federal regulatory agency responsible for administering and enforcing environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act.

Equivalent Single Axle Load

Equivalent 18-kip Single Axle Load. A basic premise of truck weight enforcement is that there is a resulting reduction in the rate of pavement deterioration. ESAL measures Truck traffic loading expressed as the number of equivalent 18,000 lb (80 kN) single axle loads.

Essential Air Services

Federal subsidy program for scheduled air services to rural communities


The dedication of property, payment of money in lieu of dedication, or other contribution that a government requires a developer to make as a condition for some government action (such as approval of a development permit).

Exclusionary Zoning

A legal doctrine that prohibits government from using Zoning to exclude specific types of people (such as racial minorities, poor people, or handicapped people) or certain types of lawful Land Uses (such as churches, group homes, or mobile homes) that can take 3 forms: (1) explicit (expressly prohibiting a land use in a zoning ordinance), (2) implicit (failing to include a land use in a list of permitted land uses), and (3) effective (using unreasonable design standards to discourage development of a land use).

Excursion Train

A rail enterprise catering to tourism or leisure markets in the form of seasonal, recreational, historical, or tourist service destinations.


A controlled access, divided arterial highway for through traffic where intersecting roads are bypassed via Grade Separation.

Fare Elasticity

The extent to which ridership responds to fare increases or decreases.

Farebox Recovery Ratio

The proportion of revenue generated through fares by paying customers as a fraction of the cost of total operating expenses. The system-wide farebox recovery rate for the Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA) for 2009 was in the range of 20-25%, with the ratio on the LINK routes substantially higher.

Fatality Analysis Reporting System

FARS is a federal census of crashes involving any motor vehicle on a trafficway, but only in fatal crashes. It is generally considered to be the most reliable national crash database. A large truck is defined in the FARS as a truck with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds. A bus is defined in the FARS as a large motor vehicle used to carry more than 10 passengers, including school buses, inter-city buses, and transit buses. FARS is maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Federal-Aid Interstate

Originally authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, a system for the allocation of funds by formula was developed for Interstates, which was based the most heavily travelled routes of the Federal-Aid Primary system. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973, which required the use of “Functional Highway Classification” to update and modify the Federal-aid highway systems by July 1, 1976 replaced this classification scheme.

Federal-Aid Primary

Originally authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944, a system for the allocation of funds by formula was developed based on area, population, and route miles. The Federal-Aid Primary system was considered the primary travelled roads. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973, which required the use of “Functional Highway Classification” to update and modify the Federal-aid highway systems by July 1, 1976 replaced this classification scheme.

Federal-Aid Secondary

Originally authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944, a system for the allocation of funds by formula was developed based on area, population, and route miles. The Federal-Aid Secondary system was considered the “Farm-to-Market” roads. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973, which required the use of “Functional Highway Classification” to update and modify the Federal-aid highway systems by July 1, 1976 replaced this classification scheme.

Federal-Aid Urban

Those roads within Urbanized Areas (UA) that are designated upon the Federal-Aid System (FAS), and are functionally classed as; 11 (Urban Interstate), 12 (Urban Other Freeway or Expressway), 14 (Urban Other Principal Arterial), 16 (Urban Minor Arterial), or 17 (Urban Collector).

Federal Aviation Administration

U.S. Department of Transportation agency responsible for aviation related programs.

Federal Highway Administration

U.S. Department of Transportation agency responsible for highways.

Federal Railroad Administration

U.S. Department of Transportation agency responsible for railroad programs.

Federal Transit Administration

U.S. Department of Transportation agency that administers federal funding to support a variety of locally planned, constructed, and operated public transportation systems throughout the U.S., including buses, subways, light rail, commuter rail, streetcars, monorail, passenger ferry boats, inclined railways, and people movers.

Fee Simple (Fee Simple Absolute)

The legal term for ownership of the bundle of property rights (such as rights of use, development, possession, transfer, & mineral rights) for a particular property.

Feeder Service

Local transport providing passengers with connections to a longer service.

Field of View

Field of View

Final Plat (or Plan)

A plat prepared in accordance with bylaw standards that depicts the exact design of a proposed subdivision that is submitted to obtain formal municipal approval for the proposal. Such approval typically authorizes the plat to be recorded.


A factual determination made by an Appropriate Municipal Panel that is based on evidence and testimony received at a Public Hearing that serves as the basis for its decision.

Finding of No Significant Impact

If a “Finding of No Significant Impact” is concluded from an Environmental Assessment, a full EIS would not be required for the project.

Fixed-Based Operator

Provider of aviation support services at airports, such as; fueling, line, paint, avionics, aircraft maintenance, hangar, catering, and other ground and/or logistical services.

Fixed Guideway

A public transportation facility, which utilizes and occupies a separate right-of-way (ROW), or rail line, for the exclusive use of mass transportation and other high occupancy vehicles, or uses a fixed catenary system and a right of way usable by other forms of transportation. This term may include modes such as; rapid rail, light rail, commuter rail, automated guideway transit, people movers, ferry boat service, and fixed-guideway facilities for buses (such as bus rapid transit – BRT) and other high occupancy vehicles.

Flag Lot

A Lot that (1) at the Street Line is narrower than the required minimum Lot Width but is wide enough to provide for a Driveway and (2) at the rear of the Lot is wide enough to comply with the required minimum Lot Width.

Flexible Funds

Federal transportation funding that may be used for highway and/or transit.

Floating Zone (or District)

A Zoning District for which there are regulations in the text of the Bylaw, but which is mapped (either automatically or by application) on the Zoning Map only when specific conditions for the establishment of the district are met in a particular area.

Flood Fringe

The portion of a Floodplain that is outside the Floodway.

Flood Hazard Area

24 VSA 4303 (8): The land subject to flooding from the Base Flood.

Flood Zone A

Areas of a 100-year flood (1% chance flooding in a year). Such data represents a starting-point for floodplain mapping and should be used with caution as it may be highly inaccurate in some locations. Site-specific determinations should be done using the official source Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), site inspections, interviews of people who witnessed historic floods, and if needed, hydrologic engineering studies.

Flood Zone B

Areas between a 100-year and 500-year flood (0.2% chance flooding in a year). Such data represents a starting-point for floodplain mapping and should be used with caution as it may be highly inaccurate in some locations. Site-specific determinations should be done using the official source Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), site inspections, interviews of people who witnessed historic floods, and if needed, hydrologic engineering studies.


The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulates any development in mapped floodplains based on the 100-year flood (i.e. those areas which have a 1% chance of a flood in any given year). Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued Flood maps delineate 100-year floodplains, as well as 500-year floodplains (i.e. those areas which have a 0.2% chance of a flood in any given year).


24 VSA 4303 (8) (A): Any combination of structural and nonstructural additions, changes, or adjustments to properties and structures that substantially reduce or eliminate flood damage to any combination of real estate, improved real property, water or sanitary facilities, structures, and the contents of structures.


24 VSA 4303 (8) (B): The channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land area that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without accumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than one foot. New development often is prohibited in the floodway.

Floor Area (Gross)

The total area of all the floors of a building, as measured to the outside surfaces of exterior walls (or from the centerline of party walls separating buildings or dwelling units), but may exclude cellars, crawl spaces, garages, carports, attics without floors, open porches, and balconies.

Floor Area Ratio

A measurement used to determine the building volume permitted on a particular lot that equals the floor area of all of the buildings on a lot divided by the total land area of the lot. For example, an FAR of 3.0 applied to a 20,000 square foot lot would permit a building with up to 60,000 square feet of floor area. The owner also could construct a building with up four 15,000 square foot floors, five 12,000 square foot floors, six 10,000 square foot floors, and so on. The community’s building height regulations would limit how tall the building could be.

Fog Line

Reflective white lines painted along the shoulder of a road demarking the legally extent a motor vehicle is allowed to operate.


A prediction that is based on (1) a mathematical formula that describes the relationship between the measure to be predicted and one or more other factors and (2) predictions of the future values of those other factors.

Forestry & Secondary Soils

10 VSA 6001 (8): Soils that are not Primary Agricultural Soils but have reasonable potential for commercial forestry or commercial agriculture, and have not yet been developed. In order to qualify as forest or secondary agricultural soils the land containing such soils shall be characterized by location, natural conditions and ownership patterns capable of supporting or contributing to present or potential commercial forestry or commercial agriculture. If a tract of land includes other than forest or secondary agricultural soils only the forest or secondary agricultural soils shall be affected by criteria relating specifically to such soils.

Form-Based Code

A departure from the 20th century standard planning practice of developing municipal zoning codes based upon separation of land use. Form-based codes (FBC) facilitate a compatible building environment for public spaces by using physical form as the primary criterion behind a municipality’s zoning code. According to the Form-Based Codes Institute (FBCI); ‘Form-based codes address the relationship between building facades and the public realm, the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another, and the scale and types of streets and blocks. The regulations and standards in form-based codes are presented in both words and clearly drawn diagrams and other visuals. They are keyed to a regulating plan that designates the appropriate form and scale (and therefore, character) of development, rather than only distinctions in land-use types.’

Formula Grants

Funds distributed according to some legislated or regulated scheme.

Forty-Foot Equivalent Unit
(or: 40-Foot Equivalent Unit)

A Forty-Foot Equivalent Unit is used to express shipping or capacity volume of freight. Using the ISO standard of double the 20-foot shipping container (i.e. TEU – Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit) as a means of measurement, FEUs further summarise a general sense of freight traffic moving through major shipping ports commonly reported by government or industry. A FEU is an approximate measure of two containerized cargo units (20 ft. long * 8 ft. wide container), which does not account for container height. An FEU is generally the amount of freight carried by a standard 18-wheel tractor-trailer hauling a 48′ trailer.

Fragile Area

An area of land or water which has unusual or significant flora, fauna, geological or similar features of scientific, ecological or educational interest.


Dividing areas used by wild-life for habitat with land uses or development into areas that are too small or lack all of the needed features to continue to serve as habitat for specific species.


A divided arterial highway designed for unimpeded flow of large traffic volumes, have controlled access, and grade separation from intersecting roads.

Freight Analysis Framework

Federal freight transportation data integration project, obtaining data from various sources to estimate and forecast freight activity among states, regions, and major international gateways.

Fringe Parking

Refers to any designated parking facility located outside a Central Business District (CBD) or other commercial activity center.

Frontage Road

A road abutting a limited-access highway that provides a means of access between the highway and local roads.


The minimum distance that a building or structure may be located from the front of a property, often measured from the Street Line.

FTA Section 5307

Grant program for capital and operating assistance in urban areas with populations greater than 50,000.

FTA Section 5309

Grant for capital programs such as buses and bus facilities.

FTA Section 5310

Grant program to states for assisting private non-profit groups in meeting the transportation needs of the elderly and persons with disabilities.

FTA Section 5317

New Freedom Program. Grant program to encourage services and facility improvements to address the transportation needs of persons with disabilities that go beyond those required by the ADA.

Functional Classification

A Federal Highway Administration road designation scheme for rural, small urban, and urbanized areas. Functional classification defines the role that any particular road or street should play in servicing the flow of trips through a highway network. Standards for highway classification were developed during 1969-1971 using criteria and procedures specified in the 1968 National Highway Functional Classification Study Manual. The scheme may be expressed as: 1 = Rural Interstate, 2 = Rural Principle Arterial, 6 = Rural Minor Arterial, 7 = Rural Major Collector, 8 = Rural Minor Collector, 9 = Rural Local Access, 11 = Urban Interstate, 12 = Urban Other Freeway or Expressway, 14 = Urban Other Principal Arterial, 16 = Urban Minor Arterial, 17 = Urban Collector, 19 = Urban Local Access.


Refering to a transportation or shipping corridor of national or international importance.


The term used to describe the process when residential and nonresidential land uses that cater to affluent households displace existing residential and nonresidential uses that address the needs of less affluent households.

Geographic Information Systems

A software system which assists in the development, storage, analysis, and display of locational or spatial information.

Geographic Information Systems for Transportation

Refers to the principles and applications of applying geographic information technologies to transportation problems (Miller and Shaw, 2001).


Synthetic polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester, or polyamide manufactured into fabrics in a woven or non-woven pattern to form a blanket-like product, which is used to stabilize soft sections on a gravel road.


A main horizontal support beam for a bridge structure that usually handles loads from smaller floor beams and stringers.

Global Climate Change

Global Climate Change

Global Positioning System

A navigation system utilising satellites to provide a GPS-receiver on Earth with accurate coordinates.


The elevation of the ground or paving (often specified either before or after excavation). It also may mean the degree of slope of terrain.

Grade Crossing

Where a roadway intersects a rail line.

Grade Separation

The raising or lowering of a roadway to bridge over another roadway, thereby eliminating traffic conflict.

Granny Flat

An Accessory Dwelling Unit occupied by a family member of the principal dwelling.

Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (Bonds)

GARVEE Bonds are funding mechanisms that enable governmental entities to finance infrastructure or transit projects based on anticipated future revenues, which are then used to repay outstanding debt. A state may use future federal-aid funding obligations to reimburse the retirement of principal loans, interest charges, issuance, insurance, and other associated costs related to the sale of eligible debt-financing instruments.

Gravity Model

An underlying premise of Travel Demand Forecasting/Modelling, based on Sir Issac Netwon’s “Law of Universal Gravitation”. Newton’s gravity model was converted into a geographical context by W.J. Reilly in 1933. This theory is still known today as “Reilly’s Law”. This law has two concepts: 1. That a city attracts most of its commuters from the closest towns. 2. That a larger city attracts larger numbers of commuters than a smaller city. “A city will attract retail trade from a town in its surrounding territory, in direct proportion to the population size of the city and inverse proportion to the square of the distance from the city.” (Reilly, 1929).

Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation

The non-profit Regional Development Corporation that has the mission of attracting, retaining, and expanding environmentally sensitive, high-paying jobs in the Champlain Valley and initiating and supporting advocacy, education, and collaborative programs in promoting its vision.

Green Book

Published by AASHTO, the “Green Book” is formally known as “A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets”. It covers the latest geometric design practices in standard use for highways, intersections, and interchanges.

Greenhouse Gases

Identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), anthropogenic greenhouse gases are recognized by the international scientific community as having the potential to bring about climate change. Such gases include; Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (NOX), Carbon Tetrafluoride, Hexafluoromethanem, Sulfur Hexafluoride, and others.


A designated area planned to perform one or more Open Space Functions.

Gross Domestic Product

GDP is a statistic estimating total market value of goods and services produced by labor and property in a given geographical area, within a given year. GDP replaces the Gross National Product (GNP) indicator as the primary measure of U.S. production in 1991.

Gross Floor Area (Floor Area)

The total area of all of a building’s floors, as measured to the outside surfaces of exterior walls (or from the centerline of party walls separating buildings or dwelling units), but may exclude cellars, crawl spaces, garages, carports, attics without floors, open porches, and balconies.

Gross Vehicle Weight

Gross Vehicle Weight


Water that flows or collects below the land surface, sometimes seasonally and sometimes permanently.

Group Home

A dwelling inhabited by up to a specified number of persons who are not a family, but typically who have a special characteristic that makes them eligible for living in the group home.

Growth Center

Land Use term defined by Vermont staute as an area of land that incorporates a mix of uses that typically or potentially include uses such as; retail, office, commercial, civic, recreational, industrial, and residential within a densely developed, compact area that promotes social interaction. Growth centers are located in or adjacent to a designated downtowns, village centers, or new town centers with clearly defined boundaries that have been approved by one or more municipalities in their municipal plans to accommodate a majority of growth anticipated over a 20-year period.

Growth Management

Practices used to control the amount, type, intensity, location, and timing of development (including conventional land use controls such as Zoning and Subdivision Regulations). The term also is used to refer specifically to more innovative types of regulations (such as a ceiling on the number of building permits issued annually) and practices (such as staging the extension of Infrastructure). The term also is used to describe a community’s use of these practices to forestall, lessen, or prevent predicted growth (rather than accommodating or providing for it).


The physical and biological environment that a community of a plant or animal species requires to remain viable.

Hazard Area

24 VSA 4303 (8) (C): Land subject to landslides, soil erosion, earthquakes, water supply contamination, or other natural or human-made hazards as identified within a local mitigation plan in conformance with and approved pursuant to the provisions of 44 C.F.R. 201.6.

Hazardous Material

Classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), transport of HAZMAT is regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Hazardous Waste

10 VSA 6602 (4): Any waste or combination of wastes that the ANR Secretary has determined may (1) cause or contribute to an increase in serious irreversible or incapacitating reversible illness, (2) cause or contribute to adverse acute or chronic effects on the health of persons or other living organisms, or (3) have an unusually destructive effect on water quality if discharged to the State’s ground or surface waters.


Often used in context of transit service, “Headway” refers to the time interval between buses or passenger trains moving towards a specific destination or transit-stop along a particular route.

Heavy Rail

Rapid rail transit service using rail cars powered by electricity drawn from a third rail and usually operated on exclusive rights-of-way. It usually uses longer trains and has longer spacing between stations than light rail. (For example, the New York City subway system).

High Accident Location

A location on the federal-aid highway system that has experienced a minimum of five accidents over a five-year period and has an Actual Rate to Critical Rate Ratio (ARCR) of 1 or greater. The list of HALs is maintained by the Vermont Agency of Transportation – Highway Research Section.

High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk

A pedestrian-activated beacon located on the roadside and on mast arms over major approaches to an intersection. The HAWK head consists of two red lenses over a single yellow lens. It displays a red indication to drivers when activated, which creates a gap for pedestrians to use to cross a major roadway.

High Occupancy Vehicle

Vehicle carrying two or more people (i.e. a carpool). Roads may have lanes solely for HOV use, such as carpools, vanpools, and buses.

High Risk Rural Roads Program

A federal safety and funding provision addressing the high fatality and incapacitating injury rate, which occurs on rural roads (nationally, about 60% occur on Rural Major & Minor Collectors, as well as Rural Local Access roads).

Highest & Best Use

The type and intensity of lawful land use for a particular property that provides the maximum profit to the owner.

Highway Capacity Manual

Published by the Transportation Research Board (TRB), the HCM outlines fundamental information and computational techniques on the quality of service and capacity of highway facilities.

Highway Commercial

Land Uses that rely on relatively high traffic volumes as a source of patrons (rather than, for example, relying on a nearby residential area for customers). It also refers to an area (such as a zoning district) intended to provide for highway commercial land uses, typically extending in a relatively narrow strip along the sides of a highway.

Highway Performance Monitoring System

A GIS-based national highway information system that includes data on the extent, condition, performance, use, and operating characteristics of US highways.

Highway Safety Improvement Program

Federal program assisting states to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads through the implementation of infrastructure-related highway safety improvements.

Highway Trust Fund

A financing mechanism established under federal law to account for tax receipts (primarily from motor fuel taxes) collected by the federal government and dedicated to surface transportation projects.

Historic Preservation

The research, protection, restoration and rehabilitation of buildings, structures, objects, districts, areas, and sites significant in the history, architecture, archaeology or culture of this state, its communities or the nation (22 VSA 701 (5)).

Historic Preservation Commission

An Advisory Commission established pursuant to 24 VSA 4433 (3) to assist in a municipality’s historic preservation efforts.

Historic Property or Resource

Any building, structure, object, district, area or site that is significant in the history, architecture, archaeology or culture of this State, its communities, or the nation (22 VSA 701 (6)).

Home-Based Trip

A trip that starts and/or ends at home.

Home-Based Work Trip

A trip with one end at work and the other at home.

Home Occupation

An activity carried out for commercial gain by a resident conducted as an Accessory Use in the resident’s dwelling unit.

Hot Spot

A location with higher-than-ambient levels of pollution. Hot spots may be attributed to such things as weather patterns, topography, and traffic intensity.


One or more people who occupy a single Dwelling Unit.

Housing Commission

An Advisory Commission established pursuant to 24 VSA 4433(5).

Housing Unit

One or more rooms, intended to be occupied by a household as separate living quarters containing cooking, sleeping, and sanitary facilities.


Hydrocarbons are a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) that is released into the atmosphere because of incomplete combustion of petroleum fuels or by their evaporation. The strong odor of diesel fuel is associated with HC. The EPA states that 47% of Hydrocarbon emissions in our atmosphere can be attributed to vehicles. Hydrocarbons combined with Nitrogen Oxides, and sunlight form Ozone (O3).

I-95 Corridor Coalition

The I-95 Corridor Coalition is an alliance of transportation agencies, toll authorities, and related organizations, including public safety, from the State of Maine to the State of Florida, with affiliate members in Canada. The Coalition provides a forum for key decision and policy makers to address transportation management and operations issues of common interest. This volunteer, consensus-driven organization enables its myriad state, local and regional member agencies to work together to improve transportation system performance far more than they could working individually. The Coalition has successfully served as a model for multi-state/jurisdictional interagency cooperation and coordination for over a decade. Vermont is considered to be a part of the I-95 region.


A consequence of an effect generated by a Land Use. An impact is most often considered to be significant when it is experienced off of the Lot of the Land Use that generated the effect. See Adverse Impact and Impacts Analysis.

Impact Fee

A local government imposed fee upon developers, which in theory is used to finance infrastructure costs and improvements that handle increased service caused by new development.

Impacts Analysis (Impact Study)

The description and evaluation of the significance of one or more particular types of Impacts. Examples include environmental impact studies (EISs), fiscal impact analyses, and traffic impact studies. The term also refers to a formal method of assessing the impacts that flow from the effects caused by the activities associated with different types of Land Uses in order to determine the most appropriate strategies for balancing the costs and benefits of Land Development.

Impervious Surface

A man-made surface including paved and unpaved roads, parking areas, roofs, driveways, and walkways, from which precipitation runs off rather than infiltrates (10 VSA 1264 (6)).

Improved Land

A building site that already contains Improvements (such as streets, water supply systems, and sewage disposal systems), so that a developer of the site can focus development efforts on constructing Buildings.


The public Infrastructure and private utilities that are provided in a Land Development to make it an attractive site for a particular Land Use.

Improvements Agreement

A contract between a developer and a government that requires the developer to undertake certain actions (such as construct or install improvements) listed in the agreement according to certain specifications and conditions.

Incentive Zoning

An option provided to developers to be relieved of a specific Design Standard (typically within proscribed limits), in exchange for providing an amenity or development feature specified by the Bylaw.

Indirect Impacts

Impacts that are caused by an action (such as a transportation project) that occur later in time and farther removed in distance, but are still foreseeable. Also known as “Secondary Impacts.”

Induced Travel

Formally known as the “Traffic Inducement Effect”, it is a highly debated concept in transportation planning, which postulates that improvements intended to increase highway capacity are only a temporary solution. Simply stated, Induced Travel is any increase in daily travel (measured as Passenger Miles of Travel [PMT] or Vehicle Miles of Travel [VMT]) resulting from a change in the transportation system.

Infill Development

New development or redevelopment (often at greater intensity) on a site that is surrounded by pre-existing development.


Facilities (such as streets and utilities) that are necessary for the use and development of land. The term sometimes refers only to public facilities.


A way of entering or travelling to a location. Ingress generally describes vehicle or pedestrian movements from the perspective of driveways and walkways which provide “ingress to a property”, or more commonly “Ingress & Egress to a property” or “Access & Egress to a property”.

Innovative Finance

A broadly defined term that encompasses a combination of specially designed techniques to supplement traditional federal financing methods for transportation-related projects. Often in the form of “Public-Private Partnerships”, locally authorized “Tax-Increment Financing”, et al., Innovative Finance for transportation seeks to; 1. Maximize the ability of states and other project sponsors to leverage Federal capital for needed investment in the nation’s transportation system; 2. More effectively utilize existing funds; 3. Move projects into construction more quickly than under traditional financing mechanisms; and 4. Make possible major transportation investments that might not otherwise receive financing.

Inscribed Circle Diameter

Diameter of a Rotary, Roundabout, or Circulator intersection. Generally speaking, a smaller ICD of a modern roundabout keeps the traffic speed lower, and hence safer than the larger ICD’s commonly found with rotaries or traffic circles.

Institute of Transportation Engineers

Founded in 1930, the Institute of Transportation Engineers is an international educational and scientific association of transportation professionals who are responsible for meeting mobility and safety needs. ITE facilitates the application of technology and scientific principles to research, planning, functional design, implementation, operation, policy development and management for any mode of ground transportation. ITE further promotes professional development of its members, supports and encourages education, stimulates research, develops public awareness programs and serves as a conduit for the exchange of professional information.

Integrated Noise Model

A computer model that evaluates aircraft noise impacts in the vicinity of airports for environmental assessments and impact statements. The INM has many analytical uses, such as: 1. Assessing current aircraft noise impacts around a given airport or heliport, 2. Assessing changes in noise impact resulting from new or extended runways or runway configurations, 3. Assessing changes in noise impact resulting from new traffic demand and fleet mix, 4. Evaluating noise impacts from new operational procedures, 5. Evaluating noise impacts from aircraft operations in and around National Parks.

Intelligent Transportation Systems

Technology used to improve the efficiency of transportation systems.

Intercept Facility

Otherwise known as a “Satellite Facility”, an Intercept “Park & Ride” facility’s purpose is to provide a less expensive parking alternative to on-site locations within activity centers or the urban core area and reduce SOV use in activity centers. These facilities may capture outgoing as well as incoming activity center traffic and serve as a transfer point from car to shuttle or transit. Characteristics include an urban/activity area fringe location, high capacity, surface or structured parking, and high frequency shuttle/transit connections to activity centers. Implementation funding is likely to come from Congressional earmarks and/or public private ventures.

Interested Person (Party)

24 VSA 4465 (b) provides a lengthy detailed definition of this term for the purposes of Chapter 117. The term includes certain property owners, municipalities, groups of voters or real property owners, state agencies, and ACCD as being eligible to appeal municipal land development review decisions.

Interim Bylaws

A Bylaw adopted under 24 VSA 4415 that is in effect for a fixed time while the municipality is considering a new or amended Comprehensive Plan or Bylaw.


Planning that reflects a focus on connectivity between modes and emphasizes choices, coordination, and cooperation.

Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991

The purpose of this act was to develop a ‘National Intermodal Transportation System that is economically efficient, environmentally sound, provides the foundation for the Nation to compete in the global economy and will move people and goods in an energy efficient manner.’ This act established the provision that MPO’s undertake development of a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), a long-range plan, and an annual work program. It also required for states; a statewide planning process, a statewide transportation plan, and a statewide transportation improvement program (STIP).

Intermodal Transfer Facility

Involves moving containers between rail and truck, or other modal combinations, and can increase efficient transportation services and energy efficiency because a train loaded with containers can carry the same load as dozens of trucks. Such service can contribute to reduced truck traffic on congested highways, reduced damage to highways from heavy trucks, and improved air quality.

International Organization for Standardization

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, ISO is a non-governmental organization (NGO) coordinating the publication and development of a host of International Standards for government, private-sectors. Such standards apply to equipment specifications, data transfer standards, monitoring standards, et al. The acronym “ISO” is derived from the Greek ‘isos’ (meaning “equal”). Hence “ISO” is applicable to any country or language as a mark of an international standard.

International Roughness Index

A pavement condition profiling indicator (used by HPMS, et al.) reflecting ride smoothness. IRI data is captured by a device mounted on a vehicle measuring suspension motion per distance travelled, and may be expressed in inches/mile (in/mi) or meters/kilometer (m/km). An IRI of 0m/km means that a roadway is perfectly smooth. And where there is no maximum for this indicator, it is generally accepted that an IRI of 8m/km is almost impassible unless vehicle speeds are greatly reduced.

Intersection Sight Distance

The AASHTO “Green Book” reference to the “Line of Sight” distance between a vehicle travelling on a roadway and a vehicle attempting to enter the roadway from an intersection or driveway.

Interstate Highway System

A subsystem of the NHS, the Interstate Highway System is also named the “Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways”. The concept of the IHS was first formally studied under mandate by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1938, and was first authorized construction funds under the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1952. It was not until the enactment of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, championed by President Eisenhower, that the Highway Trust Fund was established to finance construction of the entire network for the purpose of facilitating private and commercial transportation, and providing transportation routes for military supplies and troop deployments in case of an emergency or foreign invasion.

Interstate Maintenance Program

Federal program providing funding for resurfacing, restoring, rehabilitating and reconstructing (4R) most routes on the Interstate Highway System.

Jake Brake

Engine-induced braking system on trucks, often associated with noise issues in local neighborhoods.

Job Access/Reverse Commute

Transit improvement plan designed to meet the work-related transportation needs of low-income residents.

Joint Use

Parking lots that allow for commuter parking, which is normally utilised for a different purpose, such as; Shopping centers, Government, or Recreation.

Journey-To-Work Data

Worker/Commuter home-based work trip sample data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau within the long form since 1960.


A method of inventory control where products are delivered to stores or assembly lines only when needed to minimize the high cost of maintaining local inventory and warehousing. The effects on freight demand are to; increase the number of individual shipments, decrease their length of haul and costs, and increase the reliability of on-time delivery.

K Factor

Peak-hour volume percent of Daily Traffic

Key Station Plan

A document designating critical transit facilities needed to expand accessibility for individuals with disabilities and to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.


In the context of Transportation, kiosks are interactive systems set up in airports, transit terminals, or commercial activity centers to assist travelers with transportation or other logistical information.


A unit equalling 1000 pounds of force upon a surface (i.e. “kilopound”). In transportation, it is used to describe the load bearing wear upon a roadway. Often expressed as a component of an indicator of truck wear upon a road surface, it is expressed as “Equivalent Single Axle Load” (ESAL), which is comprised of 18 kip, or 18,000 lbs. per axle on a truck.

Kiss and Ride

Area where commuters are driven and dropped off to take a public transportation service.

Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce

Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce

Land-Based Classification Standards

American Planning Association (APA) standardised model used to categorise land use based on its charcteristics. Such characteristics are defined as; Activity, Function, Structure, Site Development Character, and Ownership Type.

Land Development

The division of a parcel into two or more parcels, the construction, reconstruction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation or enlargement of any building or structure, or of any mining, excavation or landfill, and any change in the use of any building or structure, or land, or extension of use of land (24 VSA 4303 (10)).

Land Evaluation & Site Assessment

Developed by the Soil Conservation Service, a LESA establishes the process set out in 6 VSA 8 for the identification of agricultural lands.

Land Trust

A nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving land with high conservation values through land acquisition and protective conservation easements. Properties are chosen based on their natural, scenic, or historic character or to preserve current uses such as faming or silvaculture.

Land Use

The purpose for which land or the structures on the land are being utilized (e.g., commercial, residential, or retail). Also used as a description of activities found throughout an urban area.

Land Use Allocation Module

The Land Use Allocation Module (LUAM) has been used by CCMPO & CCRPC to forecast future land use patterns. The primary data inputs are; housing & employment by type of Traffic Analysis Zone (TAZ) in the model, physical constrains data, and zoning data.

Land Use Panel

The NRB panel that oversees the activities of the District Environmental Commissions, provides administrative support and enforcement of Act 250 permits, and conducts rulemaking related to the Act 250 program.

Land Use Plan

An Element of a Comprehensive Plan that designates policies regarding the future use of land. The plan may be an ultimate plan (depicting the land uses that are contemplated once all of the community’s land is developed) or it may govern a fixed period of time (such as a five-year plan).


A disposal site where refuse and earth (or other suitable cover material) are deposited and compacted in alternative layers of specified depth in accordance with an approved plan.

Landscape Buffer

A special area of a lot set aside for the purpose of reducing the Adverse Impacts that a land use on a lot has on nearby land uses. A buffer may be in addition to required Setback distances and may be required to contain a Screen or landscaping.

Lane Miles

Road centerline miles multiplied by the number of lanes. Hence, a four-lane road that is 5 miles long is 20 Lane Miles.

Leapfrog Development

A development pat-tern/process in which development occurs at a great distance from areas of Urban Development, such that there is not a smooth transition from more intensively developed areas to less intensively developed (or undeveloped) areas. Typically, it is discouraged because it requires infrastructure to be provided in less efficient ways.

Legislative Body

The select-board in the case of a town, the trustees in the case of an incorporated village, and the mayor, alderpersons, and city council members in the case of a city, and the supervisor in the case of an unorganized town or gore (24 VSA 4303 (9)).


Refering to “Containers” or ISO multimodal shipping Containers; Less-Than-Container-Load.

Less-Than-Fee Property Right

A property right that is less than full ownership of a property (such as a Conservation Easement or Right-of-Way). See Fee Simple.

Less-Than-Truckload Carrier

LTL carriers haul general freight in less than a full truckload quantity, often in a short-haul or regional move. “For-hire” LTL’s often combine freight from multiple shippers and operate local pickup and delivery service in urban areas on regular routes (known as line-haul relays, or terminal to terminal service). “Private” LTL’s typically handle short-haul moves between warehouses and retailers as an in-house service.

Level of Service

A system of indicating delay at signalized intersections, which is graded on a letter scale from A to F, generally outlined by the HCM as: A <= 10 sec, B = 10-20 sec, C = 20-35 sec, D = 35-55 sec, E = 55-80 sec, F > 80sec.

Light Duty Vehicle

Passenger cars, pick-up trucks, vans, or light-duty trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 lbs. or less, plus an adjusted loaded vehicle weight of 5,751 lbs. or less

Light Rail Transit

Generally applies to single- or double-car rail transport that uses mostly mixed, but not usually grade-separated, rights-of-way. LRT is an intermediate-capacity, intermediate-speed mode with service capabilities between heavy rail transit and local bus. Other forms and terms of LRT include; electric trolleys, streetcars, or tramways.

Limited Access Highway

A highway intended for free-flow traffic, which has a limited number of interchanges.

Line Haul Service

Transport along a single corridor without branches.

Line of Sight Distance

The unobstructed view from an intersection down an intersecting roadway. Sufficient line of sight allows for enough driver reaction time and vehicle movement to avoid collisions during turning movements (Also see Intersection Sight Distance).

Linear Reference System

A major component of the Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) program that assigns a separate link and node GIS database for all National Highway System (NHS) Routes, Rural & Urban Principal Arterial roads, and Rural Minor Arterial roads.


An element of a transportation network that represents a segment which terminates in a node at the other end. A link may have a number of attributes, including distances, number of lanes, capacity, and direction, and is often assigned a travel time function to the volume of traffic using the link.

Liquefied Natural Gas

A natural gas fuel comprised mainly of methane, cooled to below its boiling point of -260 degrees Fahrenheit, where it becomes a liquid. LNG is stored at very low temperatures within a special low-pressurized vacuum container. LNG does not burn in liquid form.

Local Emergency Planning Committee

A committee under the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC), LEPC function is to provide resources and guidance to Chittenden County communities through education, coordination and assistance in hazmat planning, as well as to assure public health and safety.

Local Enhancements

Otherwise known as “Local Tranportation Facilities”, it is the State program administering development of Enhancement Projects, Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities, Safe Routes to School Projects, Park-n-Rides, Scenic Byways and “Local” Projects. The majority of the projects have a high degree of local focus and for the most part, development and construction is managed by local municipalities.

Local Service

Transit service involving many stops and low operating speeds with the purpose of picking up or delivering passengers as closely as possible to origins and destinations.

Local Street

Street designed to provide access to and from homes and businesses.

Local Transportation Assistance Program

Federally funded program to enable local governments to improve their roads and bridges by providing training and information.

Local Transportation Facilities

Also known as “Local Enhancements”, LTF is a Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) program established to assist local governments with project implementation for; Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities, Safe Routes to School Projects, Park-n-Rides, Scenic Byways and other “Local” Projects.

Locally Designated Growth Area

An area officially designated by a municipality in an adopted plan or bylaw (regardless whether the area has been designated by the State as a growth center) that is intended to accommodate mixed-use development at densities greater than other areas within the municipality.

Long Range Transportation Plan

A long-range document required by federal law that identifies facilities and programs that should function as an integrated metropolitan transportation system and includes a financial plan that demonstrates how the long-range plan can be implemented. Federal requirement for MPOs and Agencies of Transportation to undertake every five years and looks out 20-25 years.

Longer Combination Vehicles

Vehicles with two or more trailer units that have gross weights of more than 80,000 pounds. LCVs typically include four vehicle types: 1. “ROCKY MOUNTAIN DOUBLE” – (105,000 lbs./Len. 95’/3 Trailers: 1 = 48′, 2 = 28′), 2. “TURNPIKE DOUBLE” – (Wt. 135,000 lbs./Len. 120’/2 Trailers of 48′), 3. “TRIPLE TRAILER” – (Wt. 110,000 lbs./Len. 110’/3 Trailers of 28′), 4. “STAA DOUBLE (WESTERN DOUBLE)” – (Wt. ?/Len. 65’/2 Trailers of 28′).

Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics

Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) is an innovative program within the U.S. Census Bureau using modern statistical and computing techniques to combine federal and state administrative data on employers and employees to derive their commuting patterns. The process generalizes datasets to protect the confidentiality of people and firms that provide information. This data is often useful in determining commuter-sheds in tandem with the Census Transportation Planning Package (CTPP).

Loop Detectors

Sensory equipment installed beneath the road surface that helps to monitor, collect data, and manage incidents of vehicle traffic.

Loop Street (U-Street)

A local street that curves to intersect the same street at each of the loop street’s ends and that intersects no other street (except possibly a cul-de-sac).


A parcel of land intended to serve as a unit of ownership, transfer, rent, use, improvement, or development. 10 VSA 6001 (11): Any undivided interest in land, whether freehold or leasehold, including but not limited to interests created by trusts, partnerships, corporations, co-tenancies and contracts.

Lot Area

The horizontal area contained within a lot’s Lot Lines (typically excluding that portion contained within street right-of-ways).

Lot Coverage

The total area of a Lot that is covered by Impervious Surfaces.

Lot Depth

The horizontal distance between the front Lot Line and the rear Lot Line of a Lot. Some communities measure lot depth using the mean average distance; others use the shortest distance.

Lot Line

The boundary line of a lot.

Lot Width

The horizontal distance between side Lot Lines. Some communities measure lot width at the Building Line; others at the Street Line.

Low Emission Vehicle

A vehicle certified to meet low emission standards set by the California Air Resources Board. These regulations are stricter than the US national “Tier” regulations.

Low Volume Road

According to the MUTCD (Section 5A.01), a low volume road is: “a facility lying outside of built-up areas of cities, towns, and communities, and it shall have a traffic volume of less than 400 AADT.” According to the AASHTO “Green Book” (i.e. Guidelines for Geometric Design of Very Low-Volume Local Roads), a low volume road has an “ADT less than or equal to 400”.

Magnetic Levitation

High-Speed fixed-guideway transportation systems, which utilize magnetic levitation or suspension (which counteracts gravity) instead of conventional rail infrastructure.

Maintenance Agreement

An agreement between a developer and a government that requires a developer who has constructed or install-ed Improvements to be Dedicated to the government to make any repairs or reconstructions and to maintain the improvements for a specified time from the date of acceptance of dedication.

Maintenance Area

Any U.S. region previously designated “Nonattainment” pursuant to the Clean Air Act Ammendments of 1990 (CAAA) and subsequently redesignated to “Attainment”. Such regions are subject to develop a maintenance plan under section 175A of the Clean Air Act as ammended.

Major Subdivision

A Subdivision that does not qualify as a Minor Subdivision.

Mandatory Dedication

The Dedication of property that is required to be made by a developer to a government as a condition for some government action (such as approval of a development permit). See Exaction and Impact Fee.

Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices

Published by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), this manual defines the standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices (signage, pavement markings, traffic signals, etc.) on all streets and highways.

Maritime Administration

The Maritime Administration is the agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation dealing with waterborne transportation. MARAD is responsible for waterborne transportation, the U.S. merchant marine, and other areas, such as; ships, shipping, shipbuilding, port operations, vessel operations, national security, environment, and safety.

Master Plan

An officially adopted plan that describes, analyzes, and makes Policies about a wide range of topics (such as community facilities, economy, housing, land use, population, and transportation) to guide the development of an entire area (municipality, region, or state). See 24 VSA 4382 (municipalities) and 4348a (RPCs). See Special Plan or Comprehensive Plan.

Mean (Arithmetic Mean)

A statistic used to describe the typical (average) value for a group of values that is calculated by dividing the sum of the observed values by the number of observed values. See Median and Mode.

Measures of Effectiveness

Indicators or test results reflecting degree of attainment for specific objectives.


A statistic used to describe the typical (“average”) value for a group of values that is the middle value when the values are arrayed from highest to lowest value. See Mean and Mode.

Memorandum of Understanding

A document providing specific duties and responsibilities to be assumed by two or more parties in pursuit of a project or goal.

Metes & Bounds

A system that identifies a particular parcel of land by describing a series of metes (measurements) and bounds (directions) from defined reference points. The reference points may be such varied things as a tree or corner fencepost, but governments increasingly require a reference point to be more permanent. See Monument.

Metropolitan Planning Area

A location designated by the Chittenden County Regional Plan that is recommended to be a regional or sub-regional center for jobs, housing and community facilities that have an urbanized character.

Metropolitan Planning Organization

Federally established organization responsible for a cooperative, continuous, and comprehensive framework to make transportation investment decisions within their designated area.

Metropolitan Statistical Area

Defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, an MSA is a county or a group of contiguous counties that contain at least one city of 50,000 inhabitants or more, or 2) An urbanized area of at least 50,000 inhabitants and a total MSA population of at least 100,000 (75,000 in New England). The contiguous counties are included in an MSA if, according to certain criteria, they are essentially metropolitan in character and are socially and economically integrated with the central city. In New England, MSAs consist of towns and cities rather than counties.

Metropolitan Transportation Plan

A federally-mandated long-range plan for transportation development and investment based on the goals in the CCMPO Vision Statement.

Metropolitan Transportation System

The multimodal network of highways, arterial and collector roadways, transit services, rail lines, Burlington International Airport, and other intermodal facilities critical to the movement of people and goods in Chittenden County.


A milemarker (i.e. milepost) is a reflective green paddle sign placed alongside highways indicating total mileage from an original control point. For Interstates, the zero milemarker originates at the southernmost, or the westernmost end of the route. However, for other routes, the location of the zero milemarker varies. The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) manages their milemarkers from South to North, and West to East. This is reflected in their distributed GIS data.


A milepost (i.e. milemarker) is a reflective green paddle sign placed alongside highways indicating total mileage from an original control point. For Interstates, the zero milepost originates at the southernmost, or the westernmost end of the route. However, for other routes, the location of the zero milepost varies. The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) manages their mileposts from South to North, and West to East. This is reflected in their distributed GIS data.

Minor Civil Division

A U.S. Census Bureau designated Minor Civil Division (MCD) is a legally specified (by State law) county governmental or administrative subdivision (e.g. township, gore, grant, unincorporated place, et al.). There states where MCDs do not exist. In such case the Census Bureau, in cooperation with state and local officials, delineates county subdivisions known as Census County Divisions (CCD). In some situations, the Census Bureau must complete the coverage of subcounty units by creating additional entities called unorganized territories (UTs) that it treats as being statistically equivalent to MCDs.

Minor Subdivision

A Subdivision that a community’s Subdivision Regulation permits to be reviewed using an expedited procedure and/or reduced plan requirements.

Mixed Income Housing

A housing project in which at least 15 percent of the total housing units are affordable housing units.

Mixed Use

Development of land, a building, or a structure with a variety of complementary and integrated land uses. 10 VSA 6001 (28): Construction of both mixed income housing and construction of space for any combination of retail, office, services, artisan, and recreational and community facilities, provided at least 40 percent of the gross floor area of the buildings involved is mixed income housing. Mixed Use does not include industrial use.

Mobile Source Pollutants

Vehicle-generated pollutants as regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for air quality. These include; Carbon Monoxide (CO), Hydrocarbons (HC) or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Small Particulate Matter (PM-10), and Large Particulate Matter (PM 2.5).


A vehicle emission modelling software, which develops factors for predicting gram per mile emissions of Hydrocarbons (HC), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Particulate Matter (PM), and toxics from mobile sources under various conditions. This model has been upgraded/replaced by a model called MOVES.


The door-to-door experience of traveling or shipping goods throughout our communities and across the region, measured in terms of travel time, comfort, convenience, safety, and cost.


A statistic used to describe the typical (average) value for a group of values that is the value that occurs most frequently in the group. See Mean, Median, and Multimodal.


One of several major types of transportation such as rail, bus, automobile, and non-motorized (bicycle/pedestrian) transportation.

Mode Split

The percentage, or share, of trips captured by the various transportation modes.


In Transportation or Land-Use Planning, a computer model is employed to generate forecasts on future conditions of population levels, traffic, economic development, housing development, etc. Such a tool ought to be considered a Decision-Support system, augementing sound judgement of a decision-making entity.


A marker placed into the ground by a land surveyor to identify a reference point on which a surveying measurement is based (such as the intersection of two boundary lines).


A temporary cessation of the issuance of development permits, pending the community’s completion of a new or amended plan or bylaw, so that property owners do not apply for permit approvals under the existing regulations.

Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator

EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) is developing the “MOtor Vehicle Emission Simulator” (MOVES). The successor to MOBILE6, this more recent emission modeling system estimates emissions for on-road and nonroad mobile sources, covers a broader range of pollutants, and allows multiple scale analysis from fine-scale analysis to national inventory estimation. MOVES is planned to serve as the replacement for MOBILE6 and NONROAD for all official analyses associated with regulatory development, compliance with statutory requirements, and national/regional inventory projections.

Multi-Jurisdictional All-Hazards Mitigation Plan

Hazard Mitigation is a sustained effort to permanently reduce or eliminate long-term risks to people and property from the effects of reasonably predictable hazards. The purposes of this plan are to: 1. Identify specific natural, technological and societal hazards that impact the communities of Chittenden County; 2. Prioritize hazards for mitigation planning; 3. Recommend regional level goals and strategies to reduce any losses from those hazards; and 4. Establish a coordinated process to implement the plan, taking advantage of a wide range of resources.


Using several integrated modes of transportation (rail or bus transit, carpool, bicycle, pedestrian, single-occupancy vehicle, etc.) in a given area.

Multiple Family Dwelling

A building containing more than one Dwelling Unit. Some communities separately regulate as a duplex a building containing two dwelling units.

Municipal Land Use Permit

Any of the following whenever issued: (A) A zoning, subdivision, site plan, or building permit or approval, any of which relate to ‘land development’ as defined in 24 VSA 4303 (10), that has received final approval from the applicable board, commission, or officer of the municipality. (B) A wastewater system permit issued under any municipal ordinance adopted pursuant to chapter 102 of Title 24. (C) Final official minutes of a meeting that relate to a permit or approval described in (A) or (B) that serve as the sole evidence of that permit or approval. (D) A certificate of occupancy, certificate of compliance, or similar certificate that relates to the permits or approvals described in (A) or (B), if the bylaws so require. (E) An amendment of any of the documents listed in (A) through (D).

Municipal Planning Grant

The Municipal Planning Grant (MPG) program is a state-funded program (administered by the Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development) intended to support Vermont towns with; technical assistance for town planning, implementation of plans and ordinances, encouragement of citizen participation and education, and innovative demonstration planning projects. No matching funds are required for this program.

Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System

Roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catchbasins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels, or storm drains, which are owned by a public body and are designed to collect or convey stormwater. MS4 does not include infrastructure that is a combined sewer or part of a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) as defined by 40 CFR 122.2.


A town, a city, an incorporated village, or an unorganized town or gore.

National Ambient Air Quality Standards

Clean Air Act standards for widespread pollutants from numerous and diverse sources considered harmful to public health and the environment.

National Association of Development Organizations

Formed in 1967, NADO is an advocacy organization for federal programs and policies, which promote regional strategies and address local economic development needs.

National Association of Regional Councils

Formed in 1967, NARC is an advocacy organization serving as a national forum for regionalism. Member organizations are comprised of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO), Regional Planning Agencies (RPA/RPC), Council of Governments (COG), etc., which work on transportation, community, economic development, and environmental quality issues.

National Cooperative Highway Research Program

A research program of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) that develops near-term, practical solutions to problems facing transportation planning agencies.

National Environmental Policy Act

Federal law requiring federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision making processes by considering the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and reasonable alternatives to those actions.

National Highway Institute

NHI is the training and education arm of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), established by Congress in 1970.

National Highway System

As of 2008, the NHS is comprised of about 160,000 miles (256,000 kilometers) of roadway important to the nation’s economy, defense, and mobility. The National Highway System (NHS) includes the Interstate Highway System as well as other roads important to the nation’s economy, defense, and mobility. The NHS was developed by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in cooperation with the states, local officials, and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs).

National Highway System Program

The program provides funding for improvements to rural and urban roads that are part of the NHS, including the Interstate System and designated connections to major intermodal terminals. Under certain circumstances, NHS funds may also be used to fund transit improvements in NHS corridors.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

NHTSA was established in 1970 by the Highway Safety Act of 1970. Its mission is to; “Save lives, prevent injuries and reduce economic costs due to road traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards and enforcement activity.”

Natural Area

An area of land or water that is not dominated by man-made features and that may have unusual or significant flora, fauna, geo-logical, or similar features of scientific, ecological, or educational interest.

Natural Gas Vehicle

NGV’s use Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)- composed of Methane, or a less common Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a cleaner alternative to petroleum-based fossil fuels.

Natural Resources Board

The Natural Resources Board (NRB) was created by Act 115 of the Vermont General Assembly to succeed the Environmental and Water Resources Boards on February 1, 2005. The NRB is a nine member board which is divided into two panels, the Land Use Panel and the Water Resources Panel. Each panel has five members, including the NRB Chair.

Necessary Wildlife Habitat

Concentrated habitat which is identifiable and is demonstrated as being decisive to the survival of a species of wildlife at any period in its life including breeding and migratory periods.


An area that shares a common function and/or character. It may refer specifically to (1) an area whose residents regard it to be a separate community or (2) a collection of residential, commercial, and institutional land uses that form a basic unit of community planning.

Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

NEVs are battery powered vehicles that are legally limited to roads with posted speed limits of 35 miles per hour or less on Vermont roads, generally have a maximum loaded weight of 3,000 lbs.


In planning, a network is a computerized representation (often times in the for of a GIS or other digital model) of roadways and intersections that describes a transportation system. For highway engineering, a network is a configuration of highways that constitutes the total system. In transit operations (bus, passenger rail, et al.), a network is a system of transit lines or routes, usually designed for coordinated operation.

New England Central Railroad

A privately operated railroad company.

New Starts

The “Federal Transit Act” authorized temporary discretionary funds intended help start new fixed-route transit systems or services.

New Town Center

The area planned for or developing as a community’s central business district, composed of compact, pedestrian-friendly, multistory, and mixed use development that is characteristic of a traditional downtown, supported by planned or existing urban infrastructure, including curbed streets with side-walks and on-street parking, stormwater treatment, sanitary sewers and public water supply.

Nitrogren Oxides

Precursor emission that forms from high-temperature combustion processes. React with VOCs in the presence of heat and sunlight to form ozone.


A point where two links join a network, usually representing a decision point for route choice but sometimes indicating only a change in some important link attribute.

Noise Exposure Maps

Scaled geographic depictions of an airport, its noise contours, and surrounding land use which are legally required to be made available to the public (prepared under 14 CFR part 150).

Nonattainment Area

A geographic area that in the US EPA has designated as not meeting the NAAQS. The Chittenden County area has not been designated as a nonattainment area for ozone or CO at this time.

Nonconforming Lot or Parcel

A lot or parcel that does not conform to the present bylaws covering dimensional requirements but were in conformance with all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations prior to the enactment of the present bylaws, including a lot or parcel improperly authorized as a result of error by the Administrative Officer.

Nonconforming Structure

A structure or part of a structure that does not conform to the present bylaws but was in conformance with all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations prior to the enactment of the present bylaws, including a structure improperly authorized as a result of error by the Administrative Officer.

Nonconforming Use

A use of land that does not conform to the present bylaws but did conform to all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations prior to the enactment of the present bylaws, including a use improperly authorized as a result of error by the Administrative Officer.


A noncomforming use, structure, lot, or parcel.

Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program

SAFEATEA-LU Section 1807 established the NTPP. This program is providing 25 million dollars each to four communities–Columbia, MO; Marin County, CA; Minneapolis Area, MN; Sheboygan County, WI–to demonstrate how improved walking and bicycling networks can increase rates of walking and bicycling.

Northwest Vermont

The region encompassing Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, and Washington counties.

Notice of Intent

A notice informing the public that an Environmental Impact Statement will be undertaken for a project.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Occupancy Permit (Certificate of Occupancy)

A permit, typically issued at the completion of construction but preceding the use or change in use of a property, documenting compliance with all of a community’s land use regulations and building codes and authorizing the owner to use the property for the purposes specified in the permit.

Off Peak

Trips that occur during period of relatively low traffic.

Off-Street Loading

The portion of a lot, building, or structure that is used (or is required to be used) solely for the loading or unloading of trucks, buses, taxis, etc.

Off-Street Parking

The portion of a lot, building, or structure that is used (or is required to be used) solely for vehicular parking (typically also including access lanes).

Official Business Directional Sign

An official Vermont Agency of Transportation designated business directional sign, which includes a legal business name, logo, directional arrow, and mileage from the business. Black OBDS signs indicate businesses, where brown OBDS signs represent recreational areas (brown signs requiring FHWA approval to use). Towns are assessed an installation fee and an annual maintenance fee for each sign.

Official Map

A map officially adopted by a municipality that depicts the location of existing and planned public streets, lands, and structures.


The tendency for rear tires to follow a shorter path than the front tires when turning. This is a primary concern with Trucks, Buses, or trailered vehicles because rear tires may clip street signs, or drive onto shoulders, walkways, or bike lanes, or cross the centerline on a curve, creating a safety hazard for adjacent and oncoming traffic.

Open Space

An area of land that is valued for natural processes and wildlife, for agricultural and sylvan production, for active and passive recreation, and/or for providing other public benefits.

Open Space Function

The functions intended to be provided by Open Space such as supporting 1) Natural Areas, 2) Working Landscapes, and 3) recreation.

Open Space Plan

A municipal plan to guide public and private conservation strategies.

Origin/Destination Study

A study of where person or vehicle trips begin and end. Such a study may also include trip purposes and frequencies.


An aerial photograph that eliminates the distortion produced on the edges of normal aerial photographs caused by the curvature of the earth’s surface.

Overlay Zone (Overlay District)

A Zoning District (with boundaries that may or may not coincide with those of regular zoning districts) used to impose regulations that supplement those of the regular zoning districts.


A colorless gas with a sweet odor that is not a direct emission from transportation sources, but is formed when VOCs and NOx from car exhausts and some industrial emissions combine in the presence of sunlight. Ground-level ozone is associated with smog conditions and initiates damage to lungs, trees, crops and materials. Requlated by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA).


Flexibly-scheduled transportation services catering to special needs populations such as the elderly and disabled.


An area of land containing one or more lots under common ownership or control.

Park & Ride Facility

A parking lot designated by the state or a municipality for the purpose of commuter travel, allowing for a mode shift from automobile to transit or carpool. According to the 2004 CCMPO Park & Ride Prioritization Plan, there is a distinction between an “Intercept” (or “Satellite”) lot and a “Park & Ride” lot. A Park & Ride lot’s purpose is for car and vanpooling with potential for low frequency shuttle or transit service. It may serve multiple trip destinations. It is characterized by its suburban or rural location, a surface lot (v.s. parking structure), and low to medium capacity. The private car is the dominant method of trip collection and distribution. These facilities are implemented through public funding. The purpose of an “Intercept Lot” is to provide a less expensive parking alternative to on-site locations within activity centers or the urban core area and reduce SOV use in activity centers. These facilities may capture outgoing as well as incoming activity center traffic and serve as a transfer point from car to shuttle or transit. Characteristics include an urban/activity area fringe location, high capacity, surface or structured parking, and high frequency shuttle/transit connections to activity centers. Implementation funding is likely to come from Congressional earmarks and/or public private ventures.

Parking Accumulation

Total number of vehicles parked within a parking facility at a given time, usually during peak use.

Partial Zero Emission Vehicle

A vehicle that has zero evaporative emissions from its fuel system, has a 15 year (or at least 150,000 mile) warranty, and meets SULEV tailpipe emission standards.

Parts per Million

A measure of air pollutant concentrations.

Passenger Car Equivalents

Traffic engineering/modelling practice of converting Trucks, Buses and RV’s to cars for the purpose of Capacity or Level of Service (LOS) analyses. More information on this topic may be found in the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM).

Passenger Facility Charge

A surcharge added to the price of an airfare and used for capital improvements at airports.

Passenger Miles Traveled

1. AIR MODE: One passenger transported 1 mile; passenger-miles for one inter-airport flight are calculated by multiplying aircraft miles flow by the number of passengers carried on the flight. The total passenger-miles for all flights is the sum of passenger-miles for all inter-airport flights… 2. AUTO MODE: One passenger traveling 1 mile; e.g., one car transporting two passengers 4 miles results in 8 passenger-miles… 3. TRANSIT MODE: The total number of miles traveled by transit passengers; e.g., one bus transporting five passengers 3 miles results in 15 passenger-miles.

Passive Recreation

Recreational activities in which people participate principally as spectators (such as watching a baseball game).

Pavement Condition Index

A rating from 0-100 (with a corresponding qualitative rating from ‘Failed’ to ‘Good’), reflecting the condition or level of wear of pavement along a road segment.

Payment In Lieu of Dedication (in Lieu Payment)

The payment of cash made by a developer that is required as a substitute for the dedication of property. See Exaction.

Peak Hour Factor

PHF is used to evaluate roadway capacity. It is the ratio of of total hourly volume to the maximum 15 minute rate of flow within the hour, that is; PHF = Hourly Volume / Peak Rate of Vehicle Flow (within the hour).

Peak Oil

A term refering to the “Peak” of global petroleum production (i.e. location, extraction, and refinement of oil). Though it does not refer to petroleum depletion per se, it does consider the reduction of its finite reserves. “Peak-Oil” alludes to the ever more difficult means for extraction and supply of inexpensive oil to which the staus-quo global economy relies. It further considers the time when it requires the energy of one barrel to extract a barrel of oil.

Peak Period/Peak Hour

The time period (or specific hour) during which the roadway carries the greatest number of vehicles. Traffic impacts are typically evaluated during the morning and afternoon peak hours when the greatest numbers of motorists are traveling to and from work. It may be specified as the morning peak period (traditionally 7-9 AM) or evening (4-6 PM) peak.

Peak Spreading

A Travel Demand Forcasting modeling concept where there is a calculation of a time-of-day shift in the peak period (i.e. when the maximum amount of traffic occurs). Where many travel demand models use only PM peak hour data (anywhere from 4-6 PM), a peak-spreading travel demand model uses an entire day of data (e.g. a “Day-based model” as opposed to a “PM peak model”) to calculate this figure.

Pedestrian Environmental Factor

In traffic modeling, the PEF identifies the pedestrian and bicycle-friendly parts of the transportation network.

Pedestrian Scale

An urban development pattern where walking is a safe, convenient and interesting mode of travel that is at least as attractive as any other mode to all destinations within the area that may have the following illustrative features: 1. land uses that cater to pedestrian customers and clients, 2. continuous, smooth and wide walking surfaces that provide visibility from streets and buildings, 3. safety for pedestrians with few points where high-speed automobile traffic and pedestrians mix, 4. design features (such as storefronts, doorways, trees, bollards, awnings, outdoor seating, signs, and lighting) designed to serve those on foot, and 5. well-integrated into the public transit system.

Perception-Reaction Time

PRT outlines four distinct processes a driver must perform for roadway navigation; Detection, Identification, Decision, & Response. Where PRT varies widely among drivers, AASHTO suggests it to be 2.5 seconds (where 90% of drivers will have a PRT as fast as, or faster than 2.5 seconds). ITE suggests it is 1.0 seconds (where 85% of drivers would have as an aspect of reacting to signal timing, but it would be considerably higher for a braking response upon a highway). Other factors that influence a PRT are; age, fatigue, complexity of reaction, and alcohol.

Performance Guarantee

Financial security (such as a letter of credit, performance bond, escrow agreement, or other surety agreement) or collateral, acceptable to a government as security for a developer’s promises to the government in a development agreement or maintenance agreement.

Performance Standard

A regulation that permits an individual Land Use, Structure, Building, or Land Development to be constructed or used, so long as activity in it does not exceed maximum levels of specific Impacts on adjoining properties (such as noise, vibration; odors, air pollution; dust, dirt; glare, heat, radiation; solid waste, stormwater, traffic, and/ or visual impacts). Performance standards provide for greater flexibility in the design and use of property than do Design Standards, but they also require ongoing monitoring long after a development is constructed. In addition, because remedies to correct problems identified by the failure to comply with a performance standard must be retrofitted, they may be more expensive than initial designs that prevent problems by complying with design standards.

Permitted Use (Permitted by Right of Use)

A Land Use that does not require a special action by an Appropriate Municipal Panel before a Zoning Permit is issued.

Person Trip

The movement of a person from an origin to a destination. A carpool carrying three people from origin-to-destination make one vehicle trip, its occupants together have made three person trips.

Personal Rapid Transit

An energy-efficient, on-demand, guided route, mass-transit system, utilizing small, independent vehicles (e.g. Podcars).

Phased Development

Required timing or other limitation on a particular development under the authority of a Bylaw to avoid or mitigate any undue Adverse Impact on existing or planned community facilities or services. See 24 VSA 4422.

Piggyback Service

A rail and truck combination service where a shipper loads a truck trailer, a truck delivers it to a rail terminal where it is loaded on a flatcar. The railroad then hauls the Trailer-on-Flatcar (TOFC) to a destination terminal, where it is offloaded and trucked to the consignee.

Place of Assembly

A term used by this Plan to describe a Community Facility where people gather to engage in an activity together.

Planned Residential Development

A type of Planned Unit Development that provides for a mixture of housing types or densities and typically involves Cluster Development.

Planned Unit Development

24 VSA 4303 (19): One or more lots, tracts, or parcels of land to be developed as a single entity, the plan for which may propose any authorized combination of density or intensity transfers or increases, as well as the mixing of land uses. The plan, as authorized, may deviate from bylaw requirements that are otherwise applicable to the area in which it is located with respect to lot size, bulk, or type of dwelling or building, use, density, intensity, lot coverage, parking, required common open space, or other standards. See 24 VSA 4417.

Planning Area

An area designated by this Plan where particular Policies recommended by this Plan are applicable.

Planning Commission

The official body that prepares a Comprehensive Plan. This Plan uses the term to mean the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission. See 24 VSA 4341 to 4346. A municipal planning commission is authorized also to prepare bylaws and studies for adoption by the Legislative Body and to perform other functions. See 24 VSA 4321 to 4328, 4384, 4460, and 4463.

Planning Funds

Funds intended for planning purposes only. Such funds are intended to be exclusive of design or engineering of transporation projects, as well as operations or right-of-way acquisitions. Planning funds may however, be used for project scoping.


A drawing (or set of drawings) depicting details of a proposed development submitted by a developer to determine if the proposed Land Development will comply with the requirements of a Bylaw. The bylaw typically requires the plat to have a certain format and to show certain information.

Police Power

The power of government to regulate the activities of private citizens (including the use of property) for the purpose of protecting the public health, safety, welfare, and morals.


Any goal, objective, strategy, or action that is recommended in a Comprehensive Plan or a Special Plan as a guide for subsequent decision making.

Policy Plan

A special type of Comprehensive Plan or Special Plan that has the basic purpose of identifying Policies to be used as general guidance for making a wide range of more specific decisions and actions.

Population Pyramid

A special type of graph that illustrates the proportions of an area’s population who are in different age cohorts for both men and women.

Portland Cement Concrete

Portland Cement Concrete is a durable, but complex substance commonly refered to as “concrete”.

Preliminary Engineering

Project development phase in which project design is determined.

Preliminary Plat

A Plat that depicts the design of a proposed Subdivision and is submitted for the purpose of obtaining an initial approval of the general features and characteristics of the proposal. Such approval authorizes the developer to submit a Final Plat.

Primary Agricultural Soils

Soils that have a potential for growing food and forage crops, are sufficiently well drained to allow sowing and harvesting with mechanized equipment, are well supplied with plant nutrients or highly responsive to the use of fertilizer, and have few limitations for cultivation or limitations which may be easily overcome. In order to qualify as primary agricultural soils, the average slope of the land containing such soils does not exceed 15%, and such land is of a size capable of supporting or contributing to an economic agricultural operation. If a tract of land includes other than primary agricultural soils, only the primary agricultural soils shall be affected by criteria relating specifically to such soils. The NRB’s Land Use Panel has adopted Rule 80 to preserve primary agricultural soils.

Principal Building

The Building in which the Principal Use on a Lot is conducted. See Accessory Building or Structure.

Principal Use

The single dominant or main Land Use on a Lot. See Accessory Use.

Procedural Due Process

This form of the constitutional right of Due Process requires government to use procedures that are fundamentally fair when it administers laws that take or deny a person’s life, liberty, or property (usually that the procedures must have features such as notice, opportunity for the person to be heard, and clearly established and impartial decision making rules).

Professional Traffic Operations Engineer

The Professional Traffic Operations Engineers (PTOE) certification is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). This certification requires that the holder be a licensed professional engineer if he or she practices in the United States, Canada or any other country that provides governmental licensing of engineers.

Project Definition Team

Comprised of various VTrans department heads who review transportation projects.

Project Development Process

Otherwise known as “Scoping”, the Project Development life-cycle of a transportation project generally has several steps: 1. Local Concerns Meeting. 2. Data Collection. 3. Alternatives Development. 4. Alternatives Presentation Meeting. 5. Alternatives Selection. 6. Report Preparation. 7. Report Acceptance by the State DOT (i.e. VTrans) Project Definition Team (PDT).


A prediction based on applying a mathematical formula that describes the pattern of past change in the predicted measure so that it also describes future change.

Property Damage Only

A reportable crash, which does not result in any fatalities or noteworthy injuries.

Public Hearing

A formal procedure conducted to elicit testimony and evidence so that a govern-mental body may make factual findings used to determine if a proposed development satisfies conditions or standards specified by a bylaw.

Public Notice

Notice to the general public and/or to specific persons informing them of a public hearing or a public meeting that meets statutory requirements for form and timeliness. 24 VSA (21): The form of notice prescribed by sections 24 VSA 4444, 4449, or 4464, as the context requires.

Public Nuisance

Something that endangers the health or safety of the public or is offensive to the senses of an ordinary person.

Public-Private Partnerships

Contractual arrangements between government agencies and private-sector entities to finance transportation projects.

Public Safety Answering Pont

A facility that receives emergency calls (such as E-911) and dispatches public safety services.

Public Service Board

The regulatory agency responsible for reviewing proposed utilities and their rights-of-way (the Section 248 process).

Purchase of Development Rights

The acquisition of development rights by a municipality to carry out the purposes of Chapter 117. See 24 VSA 4431.

Quality Assurance Project Plan

A QAPP documents the planning, implementation, assessment procedures, and quality control activities for any particular project. It integrates all the technical and quality aspects of the project in order to provide a blueprint for obtaining the type and quality of environmental data needed for a specific decision or use. All work performed or funded by EPA that involves the acquisition of environmental data must have an approved QAPP.


A line of waiting persons or vehicles. For example; a bottleneck of traffic at a signal, a line taxis at an airport, or people in line to board a bus or aircraft.

Quiet Zones

Areas along a rail line where a ban of train horn use is in effect

Rail Diesel Car

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.


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).


A congressional budgetary term refering to reduction or cancellation of previously granted funding.

Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement

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.


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

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.


The conversion, reuse, and or reconstruction of Buildings, Structures, Neighbor-hoods, and communities.

Regional Planning Commission

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

A formal invitation to organizations to bid on a scope of work for an outlined project.

Request for Qualifications

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.


Total number of “rides” taken by people using a public transportation system during a specified time period.


Any form of shared commuting, which is not Public Transportation (e.g. carpooling, vanpooling, shuttle, etc.).


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

A program which assists local governments in identifying maintenance and repair strategies for roads.


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

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.).


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.


Non-signalized circular intersection with specific design and traffic control features to ensure low travel speeds and efficient traffic movement.


Total number of miles within a fixed-route transit system.


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.


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.


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.

Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users

On 10 August 2005, the new Federal surface transportation act (SAFETEA-LU) was signed into law, authorizing a $286.4 billion transportation program for a 5-year period; FFY 2004-2009. This act covers all surface transportation programs, such as highways, highway safety, transit, freight, and transportation research.

Safe Routes To School

Mandated by federal law (SAFETEA-LU), “Safe Routes To School” is intended to benefit children in primary and middle schools (K-8) by encouraging them to walk and bike to school regularly, routinely, and safely. SR2S integrates elements of transportation, economics, health, physical activity, environmental awareness and safety.

Satellite Facility

Otherwise known as an “Intercept Facility”, a Satellite “Park & Ride” facility’s purpose is to provide a less expensive parking alternative to on-site locations within activity centers or the urban core area and reduce SOV use in activity centers. These facilities may capture outgoing as well as incoming activity center traffic and serve as a transfer point from car to shuttle or transit. Characteristics include an urban/activity area fringe location, high capacity, surface or structured parking, and high frequency shuttle/transit connections to activity centers. Implementation funding is likely to come from Congressional earmarks and/or public private ventures.


The size and proportion of a Building, Structure, or Land Development in comparison with nearby development.

Scenario Planning

A framework and participatory excercise for developing a shared vision for the future by analyzing various forces (e.g. health, transportation, economic, environmental, land use, etc.) which affect a region’s growth. Scenario planning is a collaborative process that tests various future alternatives ability to meet regional and community needs.

Scenic Easement

A Conservation Easement used to limit development on a property in order to protect views of the property itself or to protect views of distant scenery.

Scenic Resources

Visually pleasing landscapes (such as mountains, farms, ridge lines and shorelines) and the locations providing vistas of those landscapes.


A phase in the project development process that moves a recognized problem from an idea through the development of alternatives and environmental screening (also See “Project Development Process”).


A fence, berm, or vegetation, often of a specified height, that visually obscures one area from another.

Secondary Impact

An indirect consequence of an action.

Section 248

The Vermont Law (30 VSA 248) governing how the Public Service Board may approve a proposed utility facility.

Septic System

A tank and a leaching field in which sewage is purified by bacterial action.

Service Center

A term used by this Plan to describe a Community Facility to which people go to obtain a particular public service (such as a community center) or that serves as the base of operations from which a particular public service is provided (such as a fire station).


The required distance that a building, structure, or land use must be from a lot line.


This term is used to denote the imposition of a mandate or duty.

Shared Use Path

A path separated from vehicle traffic by barrier or open space usually on its own right-of-way.


Otherwise known as a “Shared-Lane Arrow”, sharrows are employed on roadways too narrow for striped bicycle lanes and help to provide guidance to bicyclists and warn motorists about the presence of bicyclists. The sharrow is a printed image of a bike symbol underneath two chevrons upon the roadway.


10 VSA 1422 (8): Land between the normal mean water mark of a lake, pond or impoundment exceeding 20 acres and a line not less than 500 feet nor more than 1,000 feet from such mean water mark. See 24 VSA 4424.

Short Ton

A measure of weight equalling 2,000 lbs. The Short Ton is distinguished from the Long Ton (or British Ton), which equals 2,240 lbs., as well as the Metric Ton, which equals 2,204.62 lbs.

Should – 24 VSA 4303 (26)

This term is used to denote that an activity is enouraged but not man-dated.

Signal Optimization Analysis

This analysis maximizes roadway mobility and capacity (without undertaking expensive and inconvenient roadway widening projects) and can help to reduce pollution. More specifically, “Signal Optimization” is the efficient use of a municipality’s or corridor’s traffic signals by improving their timing parameters (Fixed-Cycle, Offset, and Split parameters) within the controller box located at an intersection to lessen acceleration and idle time of vehicles.

Signal Warrant Analysis

As defined by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), a Traffic Signal Warrant Analysis is an engineering study of traffic conditions, pedestrian characteristics, and physical characteristics of the location shall be performed to determine whether installation of a traffic control signal is justified at a particular location.

Single Occupancy Vehicle

Vehicle carrying only a driver.

Site Plan

A Plat that depicts the general layout of a proposed Land Development.

Site Plan Review

The process by which a government reviews the Site Plan for a proposed development to ensure that the development will conform to applicable regulations. See 24 VSA 4416.

Sketch Plat (Plan)

A plat (typically prepared according to less formal standards than a Preliminary Plat or Final Plat) that depicts the general features and characteristics of a proposed subdivision and is submitted so that the Appropriate Municipal Panel may (1) provide informal comments in order to improve the likelihood that a subsequent preliminary plat or final plat will be acceptable and (2) classify the proposed subdivision as a Major Subdivision or Minor Subdivision.

Small Transit Intensive Cities

Federal program (or formula) intended to support public transportation in smaller urban areas that have transit systems that perform as well or better than systems in larger metropolitan areas (according to six performance categories; 1. Passenger miles traveled per vehicle revenue mile, 2. Passenger miles traveled per vehicle revenue hour 3. Vehicle revenue miles per capita, 4. Vehicle revenue hours per capita, 5. Passenger miles traveled per capita, and 6.Unlinked passenger trips per capita). Only MPOs with urban-area populations of less than 200,000 are eligible for this funding.

Smart Corridor

An area that uses advanced technology to maintain the flow of multimodal traffic at maximum efficiency.

Smart Growth

Programs and policies designed to maximize preservation of undeveloped land, natural, and cultural resources, whilst economically evolving the established developed communities. Vermont Statues (24 VSA 2791 (13)) describe Smart Growth as; Growth that: (A) Maintains the historic development pattern of compact village and urban centers separated by rural countryside. (B) Develops compact mixed-use centers at a scale appropriate for the community and the region. (C) Enables choice in modes of transportation. (D) Protects the state’s important environmental, natural and historic features, including natural areas, water quality, scenic resources, and historic sites and districts. (E) Serves to strengthen agricultural and forest industries and minimizes conflicts of development with these industries. (F) Balances growth with the availability of economic and efficient public utilities and services. (G) Supports a diversity of viable businesses in downtowns and villages. (H) Provides for housing that meets the needs of a diversity of social and income groups in each community. (I) Reflects a settlement pattern that, at full build-out, is not characterized by: (i) scattered development located outside of compact urban and village centers that is excessively land consumptive; (ii) development that limits transportation options, especially for pedestrians; (iii) the fragmentation of farm and forest land; (iv) development that is not serviced by municipal infrastructure or that requires the extension of municipal infrastructure across undeveloped lands in a manner that would extend service to lands located outside compact village and urban centers; (v) linear development along well-traveled roads and highways that lacks depth, as measured from the highway.

Soil Conservation Service

Soil Conservation Service

Solar Access

The ability to receive direct sunlight between specific times of the day.

Solid Waste

10 VSA 6602 (2): Any discarded garbage, refuse, septage, sludge from a waste treatment plant, water supply plant, or pollution control facility and other discarded material including solid, liquid, semi-solid, or contained gaseous materials resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, or agricultural operations and from community activities (but does not include animal manure and absorbent bedding used for soil enrichment or solid or dissolved materials in industrial discharges which are point sources subject to permits under the Water Pollution Control Act (10 VSA Chapter 47)).


The distance a bridge extends between two supports, or a single piece of support frame, which spans the length of the bridge structure.

Special Needs Population

Those persons requiring specific housing modifications or arrangements including people with physical or mental disabilities, the homeless, those adjusting to society after being incarcerated, and sometimes the elderly.

Special Plan

A plan that describes, analyzes, and makes Policies about one or more specific topics (such as community facilities, economy, housing, land use, population, and transportation) or for a designated sub-area (such as a Corridor). A Special Plan may or may not be officially adopted as an amendment of a Comprehensive Plan. See 24 VSA 4403 (5) (municipalities) and 24 VSA 4345(6), (11), and (13) (RPCs).

Special Service District

A contiguous, designated area that receives a special type and/ or level of one or more public services or infra-structure that is paid for by a special tax levy on properties located in the area.

Special Services Transportation Agency

Chittenden County non-profit organization providing paratransit services.

Special Trip Generators

In modeling context, special generators represent employers (or employer locations) with unique characteristics that are especially large and therefore need to be handled outside of the normal trip generation approach. Examples for the Chittenden County, VT model include; IBM (Essex and Williston), the University of Vermont, and Fletcher Allen Health Care.

Speed Bumps

A Speed Bump is also a raised pavement area across a roadway. Speed bumps are typically found on private roadways and parking lots and do not tend to exhibit consistent design parameters from one installation to another. Speed bumps generally have a height of 3 to 6 inches (76 to 152 mm) with a travel length of 1 to 3 feet (0.3 to 1 m). From an operational standpoint, speed bump impacts within typical residential operational speed ranges slow vehicles to about 5 mph or less at each bump. Speed bumps of varying design have been routinely installed on private roadways and parking lots without the benefit of proper engineering study regarding their design and placement.

Speed Humps

A Speed Hump is a raised area in the roadway pavement surface extending transversely across the travel way. Speed humps are sometimes referred to as “pavement undulations” or “sleeping policemen”. Most agencies implement speed humps with a height of 3 to 3.5 inches (76 to 90 mm) and a travel length of 12 to 14 feet (3.7 to 4.3 m). Speed humps are generally used on residential local streets. From an operational standpoint, speed humps impact within typical residential operational speed ranges, slow vehicles to about 20 mph (32 km/h) on streets with properly spaced speed humps. Speed humps have evolved from extensive research and testing and have been designed to achieve a specific result on vehicle operations without imposing unreasonable or unacceptable safety risks.

Speed Tables

Speed Tables are essentially flat-topped speed humps, and may have a textured material on the flat section with asphalt or concrete for the approaches. Speed tables are sometimes referred to as “trapezoidal humps” or “speed platforms”. If marked as a pedestrian crossing, speed tables may also be referred to as “raised crosswalks” or “raised crossings”. Most agencies implement speed tables with a height of 3 to 3.5 inches (76 to 90 mm) and a travel length of 22 feet (6.7 m). Speed tables generally consist of 10 foot (3.1 m) plateau with 6 foot (1.8 m) approaches on either side that can be straight, parabolic or sinusoidal in profile. The longer lengths of speed tables provide a gentler ride than speed humps and generally result in vehicle operating speeds ranging from 25 to 30 mph (40 to 48 km/h) on streets depending on the spacing between speed tables. Speed tables are generally used on residential collectors, emergency routes or transit routes.

Spillover Effect (Externality)

A consequence of an action that is unintended or not of primary concern to the action takers.

Splitter Islands

A dual-purpose component of a roundabout that serves to deflect traffic speed of entering and exiting vehicles, as well as provide a temporary refuge to pedestrians where crossing is permitted along roadway approaches.

Spot Zoning

A change in Zoning that usually applies to a relatively small number of properties. A more specific meaning is a zoning change that is unlawful because it is intended to benefit a particular property owner (not the public welfare).


See; “Urban/Sub-Urban Sprawl”

Standard Land Use Coding Manual

Developed by the Housing and Urban Development Agency in 1965, SLUCM was a predecessor to the more current LBCS (APA’s Land-Based Classification Standards). The 1965 SLUCM provided a numeric coding schema using two, three, four, or more digits identifying land-use categories. An additional two to eight digits identified Ownership, Type of Structure an activity was housed, and Secondary Use Codes identifying additional land uses. SLUCM land uses categories were derived from Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes.

State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan

A comprehensive plan for outdoor recreation in each state is a requirement for receiving support from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

State Implementation Plan

Clean Air Act plan which identifies how the state will attain and/or maintain NAAQS standards.

State Planning and Research Funds

Funds intended for planning and research purposes. SPR funding requires that States allocate 2 percent of their apportionments received from federal programs (e.g. Interstate Maintenance, NHS, Surface Transportation, Highway Bridge, CMAQ, et al.) for State planning and research activities. From this 2 percent, States must then allocate 25 percent for research, development, and technology (RD&T).


A planning and management approach to land and natural resources that considers long-term sustainability, environmental impacts, and public benefits of actions as well as public and private dollar costs.

Stopping Sight Distance

The minimum distance a driver can see ahead in tandem with how long it takes for her/him to stop. According to the AASHTO “Green Book”, this distance is comprised of two components; 1. Perception-Reaction Time, which covers the distance a vehicle travels from the moment the driver sees an object necessitating a stop, to the instant the brakes are applied, and — 2. Braking Distance, which is the distance a vehicle travels during the braking maneuver.

Stormwater Detention (Retention)

Natural and man-made measures designed to slow or pre-vent the release of stormwater from a site so it may be released at a controlled rate or percolate into the ground to reduce the risk of flooding and to improve water quality.

Stormwater Runoff

10 VSA 1264 (14): Precipitation and snowmelt that does not infiltrate into the soil, including material dissolved or suspended in it, but does not include discharges from undisturbed natural terrain or wastes from combined sewer overflows.

Strategic Highway Network

A network of highways which are important for U.S. strategic defense policy and which provide defense access, continuity and emergency capabilities for defense purposes.

Strategic Highway Safety Plan

Required by federal law (SAFETEA-LU, 2005), An SHSP identifies a State’s key safety needs, whilst guiding investment decisions to achieve significant reductions in highway fatalities and injuries on all public roads. The SHSP facilitates all State highway safety programs to work in concert to align all its resources to collectively address safety challenges on all its public roads.


A public or private Right-of-Way intended primarily for vehicular use, typically required to be built to specific standards (See Arterial Street, Collector Street, Local Street, Alley, and Driveway).

Street Line

The boundary line of a Street that may extend beyond the paved portion of the street (See Right-of-Way Line).


24 VSA 4303 (27) ~ An assembly of materials for occupancy or use, including a building, mobile home or trailer, sign, wall, or fence.

Sub-base (of Road)

The load bearing and distribution layer of a road underneath the pavement and capping layer. The sub-base is often made of an aggregate such as gravel or crushed-concrete, which is spread and compacted in-place during construction. A Sub-base might also be made of a bound concrete slab in the case of a weak subgrade, or when heavy loads are expected upon the roadway.

Subdivision Regulation

A municipal bylaw that may (1) regulate the procedures and requirements for the submission and processing of plats, and (2) establish standards for the design and layout of streets, curbs, gutters, street lights, fire hydrants, shade trees, water sewage and drainage facilities, public utilities and other necessary public improvements. See 24 VSA 4418 and 4463.


The division or re-division of a lot, tract, or parcel of land into two or more lots for the purpose (whether immediate or future) of lease, transfer of ownership, development, or improvement. For the purposes of Act 250, subdivision is defined by 10 VSA 6001 (19).

Subgrade (of Road)

Classically known as the “Formation Level”, the subgrade of a road is the underlying layer beneath the sub-base. The subgrade is at the lowest level of excavation for a road structure and is leveled off to serve as the foundation. A good subgrade should be at least compacted soil that has a low-permeability.

Substantial Regional Impact

In the context of the State of Vermont planning practice, a proposed development has a Substantial Regional Impact (SRI) if a policy of this Regional Plan that is relevant to the determination of an issue in an Act 250 or Section 248 proceeding makes recommendations that are more specific about one or more characteristics, features, standards, or conditions relating to the proposed development than the recommendations of the municipal plan. SRI is an impact of Land Development that triggers the requirements of 24 VSA 4345a (16), (17), and 4348 (h). An SRI is not automatically in conflict with a regional plan. An SRI is not always an Adverse Impact. 24 VSA 4345a (17) requires each RPC to define SRI as the term is to be used with respect to its region in its Regional Plan. This Regional Plan discusses and defines SRI for Chittenden County at pages 1-14 to 1-18.

Substantive Due Process

This form of the constitutional right of Due Process requires that a government’s laws or actions that take or deny a person’s life, liberty, or property must (1) be based on one or more legitimate governmental purposes, (2) employ means to achieve those purposes that are related to achieving that purpose, and (3) employ means that are reasonable. See Taking.


Within context of the architecture of the National Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Architecture, subsystems are individual pieces of the ITS. Subsystems are grouped into four classes: Centers, Field, Vehicles, and Travelers. Example subsystems are the Traffic Management Subsystem, the Vehicle Subsystem, and the Roadway Subsystem. These correspond to the physical world: respectively traffic operations centers, automobiles, and roadside signal controllers. Due to this close correspondence between the physical world and the subsystems, the subsystem interfaces are prime candidates for standardization.

Sufficiency Rating

A measure of road or bridge adequacy. A section of road that is completely adequate in every respect is rated at 100. Any deficiency in the road that affects the structural condition, efficient movement of traffic, or safety reduces the rating as far down as zero.

Sulfur Dioxide

Petroleum fuels contain traces of sulphur compounds and produce Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) during combustion. The majority of the SO2 pollution comes from power generation, which is a significant cause of “Acid Rain”. Except for the shipping mode, transportion is not a major contributing source of SO2.

Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle

A vehicle producing 90 percent less pollutants than an average gasoline-powered vehicle for the year of manufacture.

Supply Chain Consortium

A private-sector consortium which collects data, develops indicators, advises on “Best Practices” optimizing performance and profitability of a supply chain.

Supply Chain Management

Planning and management of business activities involved in movement of freight. SCM seeks to equalize supply and demand across all tiers of the chain (e.g. Supplier — Primary Manufacturer — Secondary Manufacturer — Regional Warehouse — Distributor — Retailer — Consumer).

Surface Transportation Program

Federal program providing flexible funding for projects on any Federal-aid highway, including the NHS, bridge projects on any public road, transit capital projects, and bus facilities.

Surface Waterbodies

Water bodies where water collects on or flows across the earth’s surface (such as ponds, lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and streams). See Ground Water, Watershed, and Wetland.

Swept Path Width

Amount of roadway covered in negotiating a turn; equals the “offtracking” width (i.e. The difference between the front and rear wheelpaths when a bus or truck is negotiating a turn) plus the tractor unit or bus width.


A court decision that the government has appropriated private property. A Physical Taking occurs if the government physically enters onto or uses private property, even if the government did not intend to do so (such as when a government dam floods private property located upstream from the dam). A Regulatory Taking occurs when a government regulation (such as a bylaw) cannot be upheld as a valid exercise of the Police Power and can be sustained only as an exercise of Eminent Domain. When a court declares that a taking has occurred, the government may be required to pay “just compensation” to the owner for value of the property taken.

Tax Increment Finance District

Locally designated area receiving targeted investments from increased property tax revenue.

Technical Assistance

The CCMPO technical assistance program provides technical support relating to transportation issues for member municipalities and agencies. Services typically provided through this program include: Traffic Counts, Speed Limit Recommendations, Traffic Signal Optimization, Traffic Control Warrant Analysis, Roadway Surface Management Studies, Small Area Transportation Studies, and Safety Studies.

Technical Deficiency

24 VSA 4303 (28) ~ A defect in a proposed plan or bylaw, or an amendment or repeal thereof, correction of which does not involve substantive change to the proposal, including corrections to grammar, spelling, and punctuation, as well as the numbering of sections.

Telecommunications Display Device

Apparatus that converts telephoned information to visual form on a computer screen. Useful to hearing or speech-impaired individuals.

Telecommunications Facility

24 VSA 4303 (29) ~ A tower or other support structure, including antennae, that will extend 20 or more feet vertically, and related equipment, and base structures to be used primarily for communication or broadcast purposes to transmit or receive communication or broadcast signals.


Telecommuting or telework enable potential commuters to work outside the traditional office or workplace, usually at home or in a mobile situation, communicating electronically (by telephone, internet, or teleconference, etc.) with an office from home instead of traveling to it physically.

Terminal Area Forecast

A system that provides an official forecast of aviation activity at FAA facilities. These forecasts are prepared to meet the budget and planning needs of FAA and provide information for use by state and local authorities, the aviation industry, and the public. The TAF includes forecasts for; 1. FAA towered airports, 2. Federally contracted towered airports, 3. Nonfederal towered airports, 4. Non-towered airports. Detailed forecasts are prepared for major users of the National Aviation System, which include; 1. Large air carriers, 2. Air Taxi/Commuters, 3. General aviation, and 4. Military.

Threatened Species

10 VSA 5401 (7) ~ A species listed on the State threatened species list (see 24 VSA 5402) or determined to be a ‘threatened species’ under the federal Endangered Species Act.


Total amount of freight imported or exported via a freight facility measured in TEUs or tons over a given period of time.


The movement of 1 ton of cargo the distance of 1 mile. Ton-miles are calculated by multiplying the weight in tons of each shipment transported by the miles hauled.

Total Maximum Daily Load

The sum of the individual wasteload allocations (WLAs) for point sources, load allocations (LAs) for nonpoint sources and natural background, and a margin of safety (MOS). TMDLs can be expressed in terms of mass per time, toxicity, or other appropriate measures that relate to a state’s water quality standard.


A parcel of land that may lack precise boundaries or may lie on both sides of a street or water body.

Traffic Analysis Zone

Chittenden County is divided into 335 small areas. Each area has relatively similar characteristics within its boundaries. Often derived from Census Blocks, or Block Groups, TAZs represent land use data on housing and employment in the Travel Demand modeling process.

Traffic Assignment

In the four step practice of Travel Demand Modeling, Traffic Assignment is the process of predicting the specific path travelers take from their Origin to their Destination.

Traffic Calming

The use of education, enforcement, and engineering to change the behavior of drivers and increase safety.

Traffic Circle

Traffic circles (or rotaries) are intersections designed for high speed entry and multi-lane maneuvering. Historically, many have given driver Right-of-Way to entering vehicles, causing gridlock and traffic congestion. Because traffic circles suffered high crash rates and operational problems, they fell out of favor in the US during the 1950s and 1960s. Traffic circles are NOT Roundabouts.

Traffic Impact Study

Also known as Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA), these are studies which collect and analyze information to determine need, impact, and impact mitigation for major roadway improvements. Some activities of a TIS include; Traffic counts, Crash evaluation, Capacity & Level Of Service calculation, Signal Warrant analysis, Development of condition diagrams, Forecasting future traffic volumes with new development and/or alternatives.


Directional signs placed at strategic locations along high-volume roads, indicating direction to convenient routes or points of access to facilities.


A shipping container capable of transport upon a rail flat car or truck flat bed trailer. Same as COFC.


The movement of a train, which can consist of many cars, the distance of one mile. A train-mile differs from a vehicle-mile, which is the movement of one car (vehicle) the distance of one mile. A 10-car (vehicle) train traveling 1 mile is measured as 1 train-mile and 10 vehicle-miles. Caution should be used when comparing train-miles to vehicle-miles.

Transferable Development Rights

A Bylaw that allows for development rights to be transferred from one or more designated sending areas to one or more designated receiving areas. See 24 VSA 4423.


Generally refers to urban passenger transportation service, (private or public) along established routes with fixed or variable schedules at published fares.

Transit Options

Infrastructural refinements which assist commuters with intermodal intermodal transitions. Examples of Transit Options are; Trail connection to bus, rail or ferry station, Bike racks on buses, Bike parking/rental/sharing at transit stations, Improved pedestrian access to transit, Long-term bike storage at Park & Rides or transit centers, et al.

Transit-Oriented Design

High density and mixed use land development around transit system stops. TOD employs land-use, site design, and architectural principles that make it more conducive for transit (e.g., intersection designs to facilitate bus turning movements, bus pullout lanes, transit kiosks and shelters) and non-motorized travel (higher density, mixed uses within walking distances of each other, bike lanes, sidewalks, and streetscape features such as benches) and may include design features that are intended to restrict auto use (such as reduced off-street parking areas).

Transit-Oriented Development

Mixed-use (residential, commercial, and industrial) development and zoning designed around commuter rail or bus facilities and infrastructure.

Transit-Ready Development

Similar to TOD, TRD prepares a neighbourhood, corridor, or area for future transit expansion with neighbourhood densities, road networks, pedestrian infrastructure, and public facilities designed as transit destinations.

Transition Planning Area

A location designated by this Regional Plan where future development is especially encouraged to use limited land resources and infrastructure and to protect natural resources.


Transload facilities provide shippers/receivers with access to rail transportation and storage capacities that otherwise would be unavailable. This enables a local business to purchase a rail car load of product at a lower price per unit, and provides opportunities for several shippers/receivers to consolidate their freight to take advantage of the economies offered by rail. This translates into lower costs and reduced dependence on trucks. Facility features may include; cranes, forklifts, undertrack unloading equipment, conveyors, truck and rail car scales, and rail moving equipment to expedite placement of rail cars for loading and unloading.

Transportation Action Grant

A CCMPO sponsored competitive planning grant program designed to encourage innovative, action-oriented transportation planning initiatives in Chittenden County.

Transportation Advisory Committee

A committee that recommends plans and programs to the CCMPO Board (formerly know as the Technical Advisory Committee).

Transportation Capital Program

The annual program devised by the State of Vermont to determine and prioritize transportation capital investments statewide. These needs and cost estimates are updated annually in the program. This process is coordinated with the CCMPO through the TIP development process.

Transportation, Community and System Preservation Program

Federal program that provides funding for planning grants, implementation grants, and research to investigate and address the relationships between transportation, community and system preservation.

Transportation Control Measures

Actions, which are usually found in a State Implementation Plan (SIP), that improves traffic flow, reduce vehicle use, or decrease congestion with the objective of lessening air pollutant emissions.

Transportation Demand Management

Low-cost programs that focus on decreasing travel and the use of SOVs, and increasing the use of other modes.

Transportation Enhancement Program

Federal funding program for projects designed to enhance transportation related quality of life. Such projects and programs generally relate to such activities as; Bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and safety programs, Scenic and historic highway programs, Landscaping and scenic beautification, Historic preservation, and Environmental mitigation.

Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century

Enacted in July 1998, TEA-21 calls for integrating all modes of transportation – cars, trains, trucks, buses, ferries, walking and biking – into a single, efficient and ‘seamless’ transportation system. It mandates greater local control over transportation funding decisions through MPOs, such as the CCMPO.

Transportation for Livable Communities

A CCMPO grant program that supports development that strengthens the link between transportation investments and community livability.

Transportation Improvement Program

A list of federally funded projects planned for a four-year period and consistent with the goals of the MTP.

Transportation Management Area

An area designated by the US Secretary of Transportation, having an urbanized area population of over 200,000, or upon special request from the Governor and the MPO, or under special circumstances designated for the area.

Transportation Management Association

A voluntary association of public organizations, private agencies, and businesses joined to develop cooperative transportation programs in a given area.

Transportation Planning Initiative

An effort by VTrans to ensure that the public plays a significant role in determining which transportation problems to be addressed and the scale of those improvements.

Transportation Research Board

TRB is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council, advising the President and Congress specifically on the development of transportation. TRB is a forum engaging engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public, private, and academic sectors to promote progress and innovation through interdisciplinary research.

Travel Demand Forecasting (Modelling)

A four-step (some consider it a five-step) process used to predict future traffic on a transportation network. The five steps, in order, are; 1. Trip Generation, 2. Trip Distribution, 3. Mode Split/Mode Choice, 4. Traffic Assignment, and 5. Model Validation and Reasonableness Checks.


The value of a measurable indicator (e.g. average daily traffic, volume-to-capacity ratio, population density) that, when reached, will cause a set of agreed-upon actions to be taken (e.g. conduct traffic study).

Trip Attraction

The process of attracting trips to a zone. It is generally a function of the land uses in a zone.

Trip Distribution

The process of determining trip exchanges; the number of trips between each pair of zones.

Trip Generation

The first step in the four-step Travel Demand Modeling process, which estimates the number and types of trips types taken by travelers (e.g. Home-To-Work, Nonwork-To-Home, etc.).

Trip Generation Manual

Published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), the Trip Generation Manual is intended to advise planners and engineers on trip generation rates based on land use category, building type, and other site plan related information. Trip generation rates have been developed from compiled traffic data collected from thousands of traffic studies. The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) released its own version of the Trip Generation Manual in 2010 in answer to the challenge that ITE trip generation rates are not representative of small urban and rural areas in Vermont.

Trip Reduction Ordinance

Local regulations requiring employers, developers, or housing managers to provide incentives for workers or residents to use alternative modes of transport.

Truck Apron

Component of a roundabout central island, which accommodates the “Offtracking” of large trucks or buses, but is not intended to be driven by automobiles. Truck aprons generally are a raised and widened concrete or brick pad constructed along the perimeter of the central island.

Truck Load

“Truckload”, or “Full Truckload” carriers (FTL or TL) usually haul freight in single moves from shipper to receiver (See FTL for a more detailed description).

Truck Network

Road network designated for freight truck travel. The national network has no overall vehicle length limits, nor permit requirements (e.g. I-9, I-89, I-189, and parts of US 7 & US 4). The Vermont network requires permits for any vehicles longer than 72′. The remainder of state highways (not on the truck network) require a permit for trucks and have a 68′ vehicle length limit.


A framed structure of a bridge, comprised of a series of triangles or other stable shapes (made from a network of connected beams). A “plane truss” example is where all members and joints lie within a 2-dimensional plane, while a “space truss” has members and joints extending into 3 dimensions.

Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit
(or: 20-Foot Equivalent Unit)

A Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit is used to express shipping or capacity volume of freight. Using the ISO standard of a 20-foot shipping container as a means of measurement, TEUs further summarise a general sense of freight traffic moving through major shipping ports commonly reported by government or industry. A TEU is an approximate measure of containerized cargo capacity (20 ft. long * 8 ft. wide container), which does not account for container height.

Typical Day

A weekday exhibiting travel patterns which occur on a regular basis. Generally, there is standard practice for collecting traffic-related data on Mondays through Thursdays of weeks without holidays or other occurrences that arguably influence travel patterns.

Ultra Low Emission Vehicle

A vehicle producing 50 percent less pollutants than an average gasoline-powered vehicle for the year of manufacture.


A drainage structure buried to the subgrade level along the edge of the roadway. Underdrain components usually include geotextiles, uniform coarse stone (free draining material), and a pipe. The underdrain works by providing an opportunity for excess water in the adjacent subgrade layer to drain away, while keeping the soil particles in place. Underdrains can be used under or near drainage ditches on almost any cut slope sections, especially where water seeps to the surface or other evidence of excess water is present.

Unified Development Bylaws

The integration of two or more Bylaws authorized by Chapter 117 into a single bylaw to consolidate the development review and permit process. See 24 VSA 4419.

United States Department of Agriculture

Formed in 1862, the USDA is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and abroad.

United States Department of Housing & Urban Development

U.S. Housing & Urban Development

United States Department of Transportation

A federal department of the United States government overseeing transportation, established by Congress in 1966.

United We Ride

Federal initiative created by Executive Order #13330 intended to break down the barriers among Federal programs as they relate to transportation to ensure that transportation services are seamless, comprehensive and accessible. Specifically, UWR is tasked with seeking ways to simplify access to transportation services for persons with disabilities, persons with lower incomes, and older adults.

Unlinked Passenger Trips

Total number of passengers who board public transportation vehicles. It should be noted that passengers are counted each time they board vehicles no matter how many vehicles they use to travel from their origin to their destination

Urban Blight (Urban Decay)

Urban decay (or urban rot) is the process whereby a previously functioning city, or part of a city, falls into disrepair and decrepitude. It may feature deindustrialization, depopulation or changing population, economic restructuring, abandoned buildings, high local unemployment, fragmented families, political disenfranchisement, crime, and a desolate, inhospitable city landscape. For a Vermont Legal definition of the term “blight”, please click the linked term for this entry.

Urban Design

The intentional design of structures, neighborhoods, and entire cities to improve their function and to make them more beautiful.

Urban Development

Land Development that has the Land Uses, Improvements, Scales, and Densities that are typical of cities.

Urban Growth Boundary

A regional boundary, which is created to efficiently utilise land and regulate urban/sub-urban development into agricultural, forest lands, and other natural areas. By zoning high density development within the UGB, there is greater leverage to encourage the continual redevelopment of land and buildings within urban cores (thereby keeping “downtowns” active), as opposed to unabated land consumption encroaching into natural areas. UGBs can further reduce infrastructure and transportation expenses by maintaining a local compact development strategy.

Urban Municipality

According to 24 VSA 4303 (31), an Urban municipality is a city, incorporated village, or any town that is not a Rural Town.

Urban Renewal

A federal program during the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s that attempted to pro-mote the Redevelopment of urban areas by acquiring many private properties in an area (sometimes using Eminent Domain), demolishing buildings, and consolidating the lots into larger parcels.

Urban Traffic Management System

ITS applications focused on traffic efficiency improvements in an urban area.

Urbanized Area

First delineated in the 1950 Census, urbanized areas are densely settled territory, which the U.S. Census Bureau defined from 1950 to 1990 as having a population of 1,000,000 or more. Since the 2000 Census, Urbanized Areas are defined as: Core census block groups or blocks that have a population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile, and a total population of 50,000 or greater. Areas of the same population density, but having a total population ranging from 2,500 to 50,000 are defined in the 2000 Census as an “Urban Cluster” (UC).

Urban/Sub-Urban Sprawl

A scattered, untimely, and poorly planned urban or sub-urban development occurring in urban/sub-urban fringe, as well as rural areas. It is an inefficient policy and planning practice, which consumes land necessary for agricultural or natural resource protection. “Sprawl” typically manifests in the form of; “Leapfrog” development, “Strip-mall” or “Ribbon” development, and large-lot single family units. A term describing the antithesis is known as “Smart-Growth”.


See ‘Land Use’


The process of evaluating the accuracy of a transportation model.


A service where passengers share the use and expense of a van to commute to work.

Variable Message Sign

Electronic highway signs where the displayed message can be changed to inform motorists of diferent road, traffic, or weather conditions, etc.


Permission granted by a ZBA or DRB to use or alter a structure in a way that does not comply with the strict application of a zoning requirement, but which does conform with the requirements of 24 VSA 4469.

Vehicle Hours of Delay

An indicator reflecting the time it takes to travel a roadway during peak periods v.s. the time it would to travel at a free-flow 35 miles per hour.

Vehicle Hours of Travel

Transportation performance measure that considers the amount of time trip-making takes.

Vehicle Miles Traveled

An indicator of occuring traffic, calculated using Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) multiplied by the length of a particular road in question. One car traveling one mile represents 1 unit of VMT.

Vehicle Trip

An Origin-to-Destination journey by a single vehicle. A bus carrying 40 people from an origin to a destination makes one vehicle trip, while its occupants make a total of 40 person trips.

Vehicles Per Day

Traffic Volume or Capacity is generally expressed in “Vehicles Per Day” or “Vehicles Per Hour”.

Vermont Agency of Transportation

Agency that establishes state policies and plans, and implements programs and projects, for all modes of transportation.

Vermont Association of Planning & Development Agencies

Organization comprised of Regional Planning Commission directors and the Chittenden County MPO director, chartered to coordinate a combination of environmental and economic planning strategies

Vermont Association of Snow Travellers

VAST is Vermont’s non-profit, private volunteer snowmobiling organization, responsible for maintenance of Vermont trails. VAST has thousands of members and is one of the oldest such organizations in the U.S.

Vermont Center for Geographic Information

Initiated in 1994, under Act 204 (10 VSA Chapter 8), the Vermont Center for Geographic Information, Inc. (VCGI) is a non-profit public corporation tasked with the development and management of GIS data, and coordination of GIS activities for the State of Vermont.

Vermont Council on Rural Development

Founded in 1992, the Vermont Council on Rural Development assists Vermont communities develop their capacity to create a prosperous and sustainable future through coordination, collaboration, and the effective use of public and private resources.

Vermont Housing Finance Agency

The State agency that provides loans to housing developers, allocates federal and State Housing Tax Credits to facilitate housing development, and provides housing subsidies to qualifying households.

Vermont League of Cities and Towns

Founded in 1967, VLCT is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization serving Vermont municipal officials.

Vermont Online Bridge & Culvert Inventory Tool

An online user-friendly application to record and update bridge and culvert data for structures owned by communities in Vermont. The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) was directed by the Vermont Legislature to complete and deploy an integrated software product to handle data entry, access and status reporting of town bridge and culvert inventories currently collected by Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs), the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization, municipalities, and their contractors. Data within VOBCIT complies with the state “Bridge & Culvert Data Exchange Standard”.

Vermont Planners Association

A Vermont membership-based, non-profit organization of professional planners, citizen planners, landscape architects, engineers, housing and economic development specialists, and developers.

Vermont Rail Advisory Council

Instituted in 1993, VRAC was created to advise the Governor and The Agency of Transportation on rail issues. Meeting about 5-6 times per year, members are recruited from private rail industry, operators on state-owned railroads, freight shippers, environmental and economic development organizations, regional chambers of commerce, regional planning commissions, the House & Senate Transportation Committees, and travel and recreation organizations.

Vermont Rail Advocacy Network

A grassroots network of advocates promoting greater rail mode utilization for passenger and freight in Vermont.

Vermont Railway

A privately operated railroad company.

Vermont State Standards

Formally known as the “Vermont State Standard for the Design of Transportation Construction, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation on Freeways, Roads and Streets”, VSS was developed during the mid-1990’s, standardizing the physical design parameters and guidelines of Vermont bridges and roadways. VSS was initially created for two purposes: 1. To provide clear technical direction to the designers of transportation projects in Vermont. AND: 2. To achieve roadway and bridge designs which provide access, mobility and safety for users, and which are also sensitive to the social and environmental context of Vermont.

Vermont Statutes Annotated

The official codification of the laws enacted by the Vermont General Assembly (i.e. Legislature).

Vermont Transportation Authority

Operator of passenger rail services.

Vested Right

A right vests when it becomes a right that a government cannot lawfully deny. For example, a developer may obtain a vested right after an application for a development permit is approved, so that the community cannot enforce any subsequent changes to its bylaws to compel the developer to modify the proposed development or to prevent its construction.


The area within view of a defined observation point or corridor.

Village Center

According to 24 VSA 2791 (10), a Village Center is a tradition-al center of the community, typically comprised of a cohesive core of residential, civic, religious, and commercial buildings, arranged along a main street and intersecting streets. Industrial uses may be found within or immediately adjacent to these centers.

Village Planning Area

An area designated by this Plan that are recommended to be local centers for jobs, housing, and community facilities with the character of a Vermont village.

Vision Statement

An element of a Comprehensive Plan that strives to summarize what the desired future conditions for an area or the desired future outcomes of a process should be.

Volatile Organic Compounds

A group of chemicals that reacts in the atmosphere with NOx in the presence of heat and sunlight to form ozone. Examples include gasoline fumes and oil-based paints.

Volume to Capacity Ratio

An indicator of congestion levels measured by the number of vehicles per hour (volume) divided by the maximum number of cars the road is designed to handle (capacity).

Warrant Analysis

A process outlined by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) which helps determine whether an intersection meets the criteria for the installation of a traffic signal or stop signs.

Water Pollution

The addition of pollutants to water in concentrations or in sufficient quantities to result in measurable degradation of water quality.

Water Resources Panel

The NRB Panel that oversees the development of water resources management and wetlands protection policies for Vermont through (1) the adoption of State water quality standards and rules regulating, for example, the use of public waters, lake levels, and development impacts on significant wetlands and their protective buffer zones and (2) rulemaking authority to designate and protect significant wetlands and to designate outstanding resource waters.


An area of land that drains water, sediment, and dissolved material to a common outlet at some point along a stream channel.

Way To Go Week

Vermont annual TDM program that encourages the population to commute non-SOV for one week in the month of May.


A receipt evidencing contract and instructions for the transport of cargo. Otherwise known as a “Bill of Lading”.

Weigh-in-Motion Detectors

A device employed to capture specific truck-axle or gross vehicle weight as trucks travel over a sensor. Such information is useful in highway or bridge design, as well as truck size and weight enforcement.

Wellhead Protection Area

An area designated by the Vermont Department of Health to protect the quality of public water supplies.


According to 24 VSA 4303 (32), a wetland is an area of the state that is inundated by surface or groundwater with a frequency sufficient to support vegetation or aquatic life that depend on saturated or seasonally saturated soil conditions for growth and reproduction. Such areas include marshes, swamps, sloughs, potholes, fens, river and lake overflows, mud flats, bogs, and ponds, but exclude such areas as grow food or crops in connection with farming activities.

Winooski Valley Park District

The district that works to make the public waters of the Winooski River accessible for recreational activity by establishing a system of public parks along the Winooski River. See 24 VSA 4861.

Working Landscapes

Activities for gain that are based on natural resources (such as agriculture, silvaculture, and mining).


A railroad connector shaped like the alphanumeric character “Y”. A wye serves to assist in redirecting rail traffic or reverse direction of travel of a locomotive.


An area of land (whose size is deter-mined by a required Setback distance) that may not be occupied by a Principal Building (or in some communities, also not by certain Principal Uses, Accessory Structures, or Accessory Uses).

Yellow Book

Originally published by the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads (predecessor to FHWA) in 1955, The “Yellow Book”, is officially titled; “General Location of National System of Interstate Highways, Including All Additional Routes at Urban Areas Designated in September, 1955”. This publication outlined the original plan for the Interstate Highway System with included maps.


Principle where circulating vehicles within a roundabout, traffic circle, or rotary have the Right-of-Way over entering vehicles. Such practice eliminates traffic gridlock within the intersection. However this policy may vary by state, region, or other jurisdiction.

Zero Emission Vehicle

Vehicles which do not produce tailpipe and evaporative emissions, where emission-control systems cannot fail, and do not cause emissions from gasoline purchase or its refinement. Of the vehicles which fall in this classification are; Bicycles, Electric vehicles, Compressed-air vehicles, Fuel-cell vehicles, Solar & Hydrogen-powered vehicles, and other human or animal-powered vehicles.


Local government laws controlling the use and development of land within a jurisdiction. More throughly, zoning is the Police Power regulations that govern the use and development of land, buildings, and structures. Zoning regulations are different than other types of regulations because zoning regulations may vary in different areas of the community (called Zoning Districts). In Vermont, a municipality establishes zoning by enacting a Bylaw that may permit, prohibit, restrict, regulate, and determine land development, including (1) specific uses of land, water courses and other bodies of water, (2) dimensions, location, erection, construction, repair, maintenance, alternation, razing, removal and = use of structures, (3) areas and dimensions of land and bodies of water to be occupied by uses and structures, as well as areas, courts, yards and other open spaces and distances to be left unoccupied by uses and structures, and (4) the timing or sequence of growth, density of population, and intensity of use. See 24 VSA 4411 to 4414.

Zoning Administrator

Local administrator in charge of enforcing municipal zoning regulations. The ZA also is responsible for providing information to the public, reviewing plans and documentation for compliance, and assisting applicants with their requests for variances.

Zoning Board of Adjustment

A municipal-level, quasi-judicial body responsible for issuing Zoning Variances, Conditional Use Permits, and hearing appeals. The ZBA interprets the intent of law and sets local land use policy.

Zoning Map (Official Zoning Map)

The map officially adopted as part of a Zoning Bylaw that identifies Zoning District boundaries.