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.