Skip Navigation

Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

 
Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS) ATMS technologies apply surveillance and control strategies to improve traffic flow on roadways.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) Federal law prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities.  The legislation requires public entities and public accommodations to provide accessible accommodations for people with disabilities.
AM Peak Period The time period in the morning when the greatest demand for transportation occurs. The AM Peak Period is typically from approximately 7:00 AM to approximately 9:00 AM.
Arterial Road A roadway intended to carry "through" traffic, designed with restricted access.

B

back to top
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) BRT is a high speed bus system operated within an exclusive right-of-way. BRT incorporates exclusive transitways, modern stations, on-board fare collection, high-tech vehicles and frequent service. BRT systems can be built incrementally and designed for vehicles – rather than people – transfer from local bus routes to the high speed lines.
Bus A transit mode comprised of passenger vehicles with rubber tires operating on selected routes and schedules over roadways. Vehicles are powered by diesel, gasoline, battery, electricity or alternative fuel engines contained within the vehicle.
Bus Routes Predetermined paths on streets or guideways with designated stops or stations.
Busway Exclusive two-lane roadway reserved for buses and emergency vehicles.

C

back to top
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program A federal program that provides funds to transportation agencies for projects that will reduce air pollution from transportation sources. The program is administered by FHWA and FTA under the federal transportation bill.
Collector Road A roadway linking local road traffic to an arterial roadway, are classified as collector roadways.
Commuter Rail A transit mode that is an electric or diesel propelled railway for urban passenger train service typically operating between a central city and adjacent suburbs.
Congestion A traffic condition characterized by slower speeds, longer traffic times, and a large number of vehicles on the road.
Corridor A long, generally slender land area with an existing or planned transportation facility at the center. The general purpose of a corridor is to define a study area for future transportation planning improvements.
Crosswalk Portion of a roadway where pedestrians are permitted to cross the roadway. A crosswalk can be marked or unmarked.

D

back to top
Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) A transit rail vehicle powered by one or more on-board diesel engines.

E

back to top
Express Buses Bus routes where passengers are picked up in outlying suburban areas and then travel non-stop to a single high density area such as downtown Kansas City.
Expressway Roadways not on the Interstate Highway System with limited access points designed to move high volumes of traffic at high speeds. Access to Expressways is provided at major street intersections and occasionally at an interchange.

F

back to top
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) A Federal agency that approves and oversees highway projects using federal funds.
Federal Transit Administration (FTA) A federal agency that approves and oversees transit projects using federal funds.
Fixed Guideway A mass transportation facility using and occupying a separate right-of-way or rail for the exclusive use of mass transportation vehicles or other high occupancy vehicles.

G

back to top
Grade Separated Crossings Facilities such as overpasses, underpasses, skywalks or tunnels that allow pedestrians and/or motor vehicles to cross a street at different levels.
Growth Management A general term used regarding regulation of new land use and development. Growth management is often associated with the attempt to control urban sprawl.

H

back to top
Headway The time interval between vehicles moving in the same direction on a particular route.
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Passenger vehicles or mass transit buses carrying one or more passengers (excluding the driver).
HOV Lanes Generally, a term for carpool lanes.  HOV lanes include an exclusive or controlled access right-of-way that is restricted to high occupancy vehicles (buses and/or passenger cars/vans carrying one or more passengers) for a portion or all of the day.

I

back to top
Intermodalism The use of multiple types of transportation to reach one destination. Intermodalism includes combining the use of more than one mode of transportation on a given trip. The modes may include buses, trains, automobiles, bicycles and pedestrian transport methods.
Interstate Highways Limited access roadways designed for high speed travel over long distances. Interstate highways generally connect large metropolitan areas or serve as a “by-pass” around a large metropolitan area.
Island A pedestrian refuge within the right-of-way and traffic lanes of a highway or street. An island may also be used as an area for light rail or bus rapid transit stations.
Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) The application of advanced technologies to improve the safety and efficiency of transportation systems.

L

back to top
Level of Service (LOS) A qualitative measure that characterizes operational conditions within a traffic stream and their perception by motorists and passengers. The descriptions of LOS categories characterize traffic flow conditions in terms of such factors as speed, travel time, freedom to maneuver, traffic interruptions, comfort and convenience. The LOS categories range from "A", which is full free flow traffic conditions, to "F" which is complete gridlock. LOS is C signifies full but constant traffic flow with only occasional interruptions.
Light Rail Transit (LRT) A transit mode typified by an electric railway with medium volume traffic capacity compared to heavy rail. Light rail transit is characterized by passenger rail cars operating individually (or in short, usually 2 car trains) on fixed rails in a shared or exclusive right-of-way.
Limited Access Roadways with access limited to specific points with arterial or other limited access roadways.  Access rights along the roadway right-of-way have been purchased by the government entity responsible for the roadway thus eliminating individual property access to the roadway. Limited access roadways are designed to facilitate the movement of high traffic volumes at high speeds over great distances.
Local Road A road that serves individual residences or businesses and distributes traffic to collector and arterial roadways.
Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) A transportation plan developed by the MPOs in partnership with transit agencies and the KDOT to encapsulate at least 20 years of transportation planning and policy.

M

back to top
Median An island in the center of the roadway that provides pedestrian refuge and reduces the distance between safety points. A median may also be used as an area for light rail or bus rapid transit stations.
Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) The areawide agency charged with the conduct of the urban transportation planning process. In this 5-county area, the MPOs include the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and the Lawrence/Douglas County MPO. Together with the KDOT, MPOs carry out the planning and programming activities necessary for Federal capital funding assistance. The MPOs are designated by agreement among the various units of local government and the Governor.
Midblock Crossing A pedestrian crossing point positioned in the center of a block rather than at an intersection.
Mode Refers to a means of transportation (auto, bus, rail, pedestrian, bicycle, etc.).

N

back to top
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Federal legislation signed into law in 1970 that promotes the ehancement of the environment. The law requires that federal agencies prepare a statement of environmental impact to accompany any action that is "major", "significant", or "federal".

P

back to top
Pedestrian A person who travels on foot or who uses assistive devices, such as a wheelchair, for mobility.
PM Peak Period The time period in the afternoon or evening when the greatest demand for transportation occurs. The PM Peak Period is typically from approximately 4:00 PM to approximately 6:00 PM.
Public Transportation As defined in the Federal Transit Act, transportation by bus, rail, or other conveyance, either publicly or privately owned, providing to the public general or special service (but not including school buses, charter or sightseeing service) on a regular and continuing basis. Public transportation is also synonymous with the terms mass transportation and transit.

R

back to top
Right-of-Way Real property rights (whether by fee simple ownership, by easement or by other agreement) acquired across land for a purpose (i.e., transit facilities, roadways, sidewalks and utilities).
Roadway Functional Classification A system of classifying roadways based on their function (the type of traffic typically handled by the roadway) rather than their capacity or location. Roadways are classified as Freeway, Major Arterial, Minor Arterial, Collector and Local from the highest, most intensive function to the lowest.

S

back to top
Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users
(SAFETEA-LU)
Federal legislation that authorizes the Federal surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety, and transit for the five-year period 2005-2009.
Sidewalk portion of a roadway intended for pedestrians.
Smart Bus Transit vehicle equipped with ITS applications.

T

back to top
Transportation Enhancement Projects that include providing bicycle and pedestrian facilities; converting abandoned railroad rights-of-way into trails; preserving historic transportation sites; acquiring scenic easements; mitigating the negative impacts of a project on a community by providing additional benefits; and other projects.
Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) A five-year list of authorized local transportation projects approved by the MPOs. The TIP includes a prioritized list of all projects that will be constructed with Federal and State transportation funding.
Transit Oriented Development (TOD) A term used for urban development that encompasses a direct and planned access to transit facilities.
Transportation Works for Kansas
An $8 billion 10-year transportation program passed in May 2010 by the Kansas Legislature. T-WORKS is designed to create jobs, preserve highway infrastructure, and provide multimodal economic development opportunities across the state.

U

back to top
Urbanized Area An area defined by the U.S. Census Bureau that includes one or more incorporated cities, villages and towns (central place) and the adjacent densely settled surrounding territory (urban fringe) that together have a minimum population of 50,000 persons.

V

back to top
Vehicle Hours [miles] The hours (miles) a vehicle travels, from the time it pulls out from its garage to go into revenue service to the time it returns to the garage from revenue service. For conventional scheduled services, vehicle hours include revenue time, layover time and deadhead time.
Vision A creative plan for the future focusing on goals established by a group. In transportation, a vision looks beyond immediate transportation solutions (i.e., new roadways) and plans the framework and methods for attaining future transportation goals.
V/C Ratio Used as a principal measure of congestion. The “V” represents the volume or the number of vehicles that are using the roadway at any particular period. The “C” represents the capacity of a roadway at its adopted LOS. If the volume exceeds the capacity of the roadway (volume divided by capacity exceeds 1.00), congestion exists.

Z

back to top
Zoning The traditional method of allocating land uses to land. Zoning is enacted and enforced by local governments (city or county).
Did You Know?