Tennessee Long-Range Policy Plan

Study Overview

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has created a new long-term vision for transportation in Tennessee. The 25-Year Long-Range Transportation Policy Plan provides the foundation for prioritizing transportation investments across the State. This new plan will aid in accomplishing TDOT's mission to serve the public by providing the best multimodal transportation system in the nation. This plan was last updated in 2015. 

Major Findings

The Guiding Principles represent seven interrelated value statements that express the major priorities of TDOT and provide tangible actions as the Department works towards their vision:

- Preserve and Manage the Existing System - Protect existing assets and maintain efficiency of the system through cost-effective management and new technologies.
- Support the State’s Economy - Make transportation investments that support economic growth, competitiveness and tourism; build partnerships with communities and regions to link employment, commercial/retail areas and other key activity centers.
- Maximize Safety and Security - Reduce injuries and fatalities in all modes of transportation; minimize construction-related safety incidents; improve disaster preparedness and incident response.
- Provide for the Efficient Movement of People and Freight - Optimize the movement of people and goods by providing greater access to transportation services for all people and by building better connections among different modes of transportation.
- Build Partnerships for Sustainable and Livable Communities - Provide early and ongoing opportunities for broad public input on plans and programs; work closely with local public and private planning efforts; coordinate land use and transportation planning.
- Protect Natural, Cultural, and Environmental Resources - Maintain the integrity of communities and historical sites; minimize impacts on natural resources and conserve energy.
- Emphasize Financial Responsibility - Provide accountability; maximize Tennessee’s share of federal transportation funding; develop alternative funding strategies; select projects based on identified regional needs; allow flexibility in local management of projects where feasible.


TDOT's Long Range Policy Plan presents the following recommendations to guide the department's ongoing commitments:

- Increase efforts in working with city, county, and regional organizations relative to land use and transportation in order to proactively plan for and accommodate future transportation demands. This will include creating technical resources, processes, and training to build capabilities internally as well as with Tennessee communities.
- Move forward in the Department’s interactions with Rural Planning Organizations (RPO) to create a process that fosters a more needs-based approach including land use and transportation.
- Promote and enhance Tennessee’s Environmental Streamlining Agreement (TESA).
- Advance the Department’s current practices in the area of sustainability as a means of maximizing return on investment.
- Make available the latest planning data and tools and provide these resources to the Department’s many planning partners (e.g., Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO), RPOs, Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development (ECD), transit agencies, etc.).
- Administer the Department’s customer survey periodically and use findings to track performance and re-evaluate customer priorities based on their level of satisfaction.
- Increase center-to-center communication between Traffic Management Centers (TMCs) and incident management partners to facilitate greater day-to-day coordination and cooperation.
- Coordinate with surrounding states, specifically in the implementation of Traffic System Management & Operations (TSM&O) practices for multi-state MPO areas.
- Work through Tennessee’s Freight Advisory Committees and local communities to increase knowledge of and efficiencies in freight movements in Tennessee.
- Increase RPO responsibilities to encompass more multimodal considerations (e.g., transit planning, non-motorized, etc.). 
- Enhance the sharing of safety-related data among and between all agencies including local and regional governments.
- Enhance partnerships further with local and regional agencies to better evaluate behavioral and engineering safety needs.
- Use peer exchange forums to advance best practices in behavioral and engineering roadway safety in Tennessee.
- Implement the use of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Highway Safety Manual to increase the effectiveness of safety analysis and evaluation of Tennessee’s highways.
- Explore and implement emerging technologies (e.g., Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), TSM&O, Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM), etc.) that enhance safety and security for all modes of transportation.
- Seek opportunities to educate elected officials regarding legislation impacting roadway safety.
- Evaluate training and standard procedures on environmental compliance as the Department delivers and maintains the transportation system.
- Employ process improvement practices for continuous improvement of TDOT’s oversight and involvement in project environmental review.
- Promote asset management as a means of maintaining and preserving Tennessee’s transportation infrastructure in a state of good repair (i.e. to desired target conditions).
- Increase capabilities and technical resources in asset management to advance greater understanding and investments in Tennessee’s transportation infrastructure.





  • Tennessee Long-Range Policy Plan

Completion Date

  • 2015


  • Various

Study Partners

  • TDOT
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