Information Center

Glossary

Alternative

One of a number of specific transportation improvement proposals, alignments, options, design choices, etc. in a study. Following detailed analysis, one improvement alternative is chosen for implementation.

Area of Potential Effect

Area of potential effects means the geographic area or areas within which an undertaking may directly or indirectly cause alterations in the character or use of historic properties, if any such properties exist. The area of potential effects is influenced by the scale and nature of an undertaking and may be different for different kinds of effects caused by the undertaking.

Context Sensitive Solutions

Balance between mobility, community needs and the environment while developing transportation projects. This is achieved through involving stakeholders early and continuously, addressing all modes of transportation, applying flexibility in the design, and incorporating aesthetics to the overall project.

Environmental Impact Statement

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 for projects that may have significant impacts, and is the document that assures that planners, engineers and environmental scientists have studied appropriate alternatives and that citizen are fully aware of the environmental, social, cultural and economic effects of all alternatives. The EIS documents the development and impact analysis of the alternatives as well as the logic for the selection of the preferred alternative.

Historic Property

Historic property means any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the Secretary of the Interior. This term includes artifacts, records, and remains that are related to and located within such properties. The term includes properties of traditional religious and cultural importance to an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization and that meet the National Register criteria.

National Environmental Policy Act

The federal law that requires the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Environmental Assessment (EA), or Categorical Exclusion (CE).

Multi-Modal Transportation

Includes all modes of transportation for a complete transportation system. Examples: cars, trucks, bicycles, pedestrians, high occupancy vehicles, mass transit, rail.

Problem Statement

A concise narrative, prepared as part of a project needs study, defining the fundamental situation or circumstance to be solved. A problem statement will generally describe a particular situation in which an expected level of performance is not being achieved, and will list one or more important factors which cause or contribute to the unacceptable performance.

Stakeholder Involvement

A process that will facilitate effective identification and understanding of the Plan (SIP) concerns and values of all stakeholders as an integral part of the project development process. It includes a formal written plan explaining how public input and comments will be obtained.

Undertaking

Undertaking means a project, activity, or program funded in whole or in part under the direct or indirect jurisdiction of a Federal agency, including those carried out by or on behalf of a Federal agency; those carried out with Federal financial assistance; and those requiring a Federal permit, license or approval.