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Municipal Resources for Land Use And Transportation Planning

Request Municipal Assistance or Training

All services are free to municipalities.

Download the PennDOT Connects Municipal Assistance Guide (PDF)

Planning Assistance

  • Are you involved with municipal land use and transportation planning activities?
  • Could your municipality use assistance to help shape future land use or transportation projects?
  • Would you like to learn how to advance your community’s planning and transportation-related goals?
  • Have you heard about PennDOT Connects, but would like to know more about the free training and assistance available to your municipality?

If you answered "Yes" to at least one of these questions, your community could benefit from PennDOT Connects Assistance.

Transportation Planning Assistance

Depending on the nature of a request, municipalities will receive assistance via email or phone to supply technical resources or know-how. In selected cases, an on-site visit may be necessary to facilitate face-to-face discussion and collaboration.

Phone/Email Assistance: Phone and email assistance provide users prompt replies to questions about guidance documents; planning tools; best practices; success stories; funding opportunities; PennDOT forms, policies, processes, and standards; and planning partner contacts. Generally, these requests are handled within a week of requesting assistance.

On-Site Assistance: With on-site assistance, municipalities have the opportunity to work with a PennDOT Connects expert on a more detailed request that is specific to their community and transportation project planning and programming issues. The technical expert will visit on-site and meet with the municipal officials, associated stakeholders, and planning partners at a half-day workshop-style meeting. Relevant PennDOT District planners and planning partners from the local Metropolitan or Rural Planning Organization are invited to participate in the site visit.

Support for on-site assistance could include guidance and facilitation on addressing planning and safety issues, presentation of research on best planning practices, assistance with specific planning and design-related issues, and/or support in following planning regulations to help begin or move a project forward.

After the meeting, the PennDOT Connects technical support expert will prepare a report to document the resources and assistance provided.

What types of assistance are available?

  • PennDOT Connects General Information
    • What is the project initiation form?
    • Which state road projects are planned for neighboring municipalities?
    • What projects near me are on the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)
  • Community Character
    • What plans do we need to have in place to prepare for future road projects that might impact our community’s sense of place?
    • How can we plan for the future while preserving historic and cultural parts of our community?
  • Multimodal Transportation
    • How can we better plan for sidewalk and bike path expansions? How do we get started with this process?
    • What is the best way to control access to nonconforming uses/businesses and improve safety in our downtown business district when sidewalks are added?
    • What type of data do we need to collect to support a local priority of walkability?
  • Improving Mobility and Efficiency
    • What can be done to better manage access for locally generated traffic along key highway corridors?
    • How do we reclaim our Main Street when our current roadway system emphasizes mobility (for cars) over accessibility?
  • Improving Safety
    • How can we incorporate safer pedestrian crossings as the main state road undergoes repaving? Is there funding available to pay for safety enhancements?
    • How do we moderate driving behavior and address safe walking to schools to improve safety on state routes within our community?
  • Funding
    • We need help in developing a funding strategy to upgrade our curb and sidewalks. How do we ensure early coordination of maintenance projects scheduled by PennDOT to address ADA design at the intersections of local and state routes?
    • What funding resources are available to improve bike accessibility?
  • Protecting Natural Resources
    • What can be done to preserve key areas eventually needed for public purposes, such as parks, wellhead protection, or new roadways?
    • We want to expand our urban forestry program, but our current ordinances impede tree planting along streets. How can we remove these barriers? Are there issues with planting trees along state roads through our community?
  • Accommodating Growth and Redevelopment
    • What techniques can be used to manage growth around a planned highway interchange?
    • How can our municipality use the PennDOT Highway Occupancy Permit (HOP) process to plan for growth and implement access management practices?
  • Economic Development
    • What is the best way to coordinate with PennDOT on a Main Street Program?
    • Is there funding available to get us started with planning and implementing a Main Street Program?
  • Stormwater Management
    • We are a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) community and value our stormwater as a natural resource. What is the best way to introduce green infrastructure into our policy and regulations?

Transportation and Land Use Training

  • Does new development or old growth patterns in your community hinder the ability of cars, trucks, bikes, and pedestrians to move about safely and efficiently?
  • Are you prepared to advocate for your municipality to maintain or improve your community character?
  • Are you seeking funding sources to support transportation projects?
  • PennDOT Connects is ready to provide training to support your efforts and to connect you with the people to build a transportation partnership.

On-Site Personalized training

You provide the meeting room, and PennDOT Connects will provide the technical expert.

PennDOT Connects offers free training on transportation and land use planning topics. The goal of the training is to assist with your planning efforts and help your municipality and PennDOT partner during transportation projects. You may select a preset training or choose among the submodules to create a training session that meets your needs. Each training explains the planning topic, provides resources, gives examples, and offers the next steps. A PennDOT Connects technical expert will come to your community FREE OF CHARGE to deliver the training and facilitate discussions on how these planning concepts may be used in your community.

Modules on General Planning Topics: Each module provides approximately a half-day of training focused on a planning topic. Below is a list of the modules and the included submodules. If the modules don't suit your needs, you may select a group of submodules from the list below. A PennDOT Connects technical expert will deliver the modules you request, facilitate discussions, and answer questions. Each submodule offers about 10-15 minutes of training.

Improving Safety
  • Access Management Regulations and Coordinated HOP Processing
  • Site Design and Roadway Standards
  • Traffic Operations
  • Zoning for Mixed Uses and to Accommodate Higher Densities
  • Zoning Overlays
Maintaining or Improving Community Character
  • Adaptive Reuse of Land and Buildings
  • Multi-Municipal Zoning and Intergovernmental Cooperative Planning and Implementation Agreements
  • Parking Considerations
  • Site Design and Roadway Standards
  • Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND)
  • Urban Growth Areas/Rural Preservation
  • Zoning for Mixed Uses and to Accommodate Higher Densities
Funding the Maintenance of the Existing Transportation System
  • Capital Improvement Programming (CIP)
  • Developer Negotiation
  • Loan and Funding Reimbursement Programs
  • Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
  • Transit Revitalization Investment Districts (TRID)
  • Transportation Impact Fees
  • Transportation Partnerships
Improving Mobility and Efficiency
  • Access Management Regulations and Coordinated HOP Processing
  • Official Map
  • Site Design and Roadway Standards
  • Traffic Operations
  • Zoning for Mixed Uses and to Accommodate Higher Densities
Encouraging Multimodal Transportation
  • Parking Considerations
  • Site Design and Roadway Standards
  • Zoning for Mixed Ues and to Accommodate Higher Densities
  • Transit for Revitalization Investment Districts (TRID)
Accommodating Growth within the Transportation and Natural Environments
  • Access Management Regulations and Coordinated HOP Processing
  • Adaptive Reuse of Land and Buildings
  • Multi-Municipal Zoning and Intergovernmental Cooperative Agreements
  • Official Map
  • Urban Growth Areas/Rural Preservation
  • Zoning for Mixed Uses and to Accommodate Higher Densities
  • Zoning Overlays
  • Transit Revitalization Investment Districts (TRID)

Available Training Courses 

PennDOT Connects – Powered by Communities

PennDOT Connects is a Commonwealth priority for improving transportation and communities. PennDOT Connects–Powered by Communities is a course organized around three major development phases: planning, programming, and project delivery. The specific collaboration opportunities for municipalities, PennDOT, and regional planning organizations will be reviewed for each phase. The course helps municipal officials understand how their input adds value during each phase.

The course will:

  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of municipalities, including being a "conduit" to other community stakeholders.
  • Describe the value of planning in relation to PennDOT Connects and the broader benefits.
  • Explain the various opportunities for collaboration with PennDOT and the MPOs/RPOs through every phase of planning and project delivery — and the associated benefits.
  • Explain how municipalities and PennDOT/MPOs/RPOs can partner to help ensure that transportation projects are developed in consideration of local priorities.

Local Safety Road Plan (LSRP)

This training will teach a municipality how to develop a local road safety plan that provides a framework for identifying, analyzing, and prioritizing safety improvements on local roads. The content of a local road safety plan is tailored to local issues and needs and will vary accordingly. The process of developing a plan results in a prioritized list of issues, safety concerns, actions, and improvements, which can then be used to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on local roads. Municipalities should consider developing a local road safety plan to use as a tool for reducing fatalities, injuries, and crashes and properly allocating limited safety resources. This Local Road Safety Plan can also be incorporated in your comprehensive plan. The plan should be viewed as a living document that can be updated to reflect changing local needs and priorities.

Planning for Bicycle, Trails, and Greenways 

This training will help you plan for and implement bicycle facilities, trails, and greenways in your municipality. It will discuss the benefits and issues of providing these facilities in your community and the process for developing a community-based plan. It will also present information on design standards, safety features at roadway crossings, ADA compliance, and relevant research. This training will:

  • Provide your municipality with the process and tools to develop a community-based plan;
  • Identify safety features for the facilities, especially for trail/roadway crossings and other conflict points; and
  • Discuss the benefits of having a plan and trail network in your community as well as lessons learned from around PA.

PennDOT and Regional Planning Organizations

PennDOT and its Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and Rural Planning Organization (RPO) planning partners have a long-standing relationship jointly preparing transportation studies, plans, and programs to make the best transportation project investments possible with available resources.

This strategic alliance is now of even greater importance for PennDOT Connects implementation. Together, the MPO/RPO planning partners and PennDOT can effectively collaborate and communicate with municipalities — and other community stakeholders (e.g., transit operators, economic development agencies, etc.) — to improve transportation system performance and achieve more livable communities.

The collaborative effort of municipalities, MPO/RPO planning partners, and PennDOT is key to ensuring that opportunities to improve transportation and communities are realized.

PennDOT maintains a list of MPO/RPO contacts.