California Department of Transportation

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System Planning FAQs

System Planning facilitates the efficient, economical, and intermodal movement of people, goods, and information. System planning fulfills Caltrans’ statutory responsibility as owner/operator of the state highway system by: 1. serving as Caltrans’ principal mechanism for long range transportation planning in both rural and urbanized areas, and 2. providing information for examining and analyzing the larger transportation system in the broader context of statewide mobility and intermodal connectivity.

System planning promotes the continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive statewide transportation planning process as outlined in 23 U.S.C. §135 and 23 CFR §450. System Planning also supports California Government Code §65086, which calls for “long-term state highway system planning to identify future highway improvements.” Documents created from the Office of System Planning include the CSMP, TCR, TSDP, DSMP, and ITSP, all of which work together to envision a long range plan for routes on the State Highway System.

Corridor System Management Plan
A Corridor System Management Plan (CSMP) is used to outline the multi-jurisdictional and multi-modal management of a corridor experiencing delay due to congestion. A CSMP results in a listing and phasing plan of recommended operational improvements, Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) strategies, and system expansion projects to preserve or improve performance measures within the corridor.  CSMPs are required for all projects receiving Proposition 1B (2006) Corridor Mobility Improvement Account (CMIA) funding.

Transportation Concept Report
Each Caltrans district creates a Transportation Concept Report (TCR) for each State route within that district, which provides a long term (20 years or more) plan for that route. A TCR identifies current operating conditions, future deficiencies, a target level of service (LOS) for each segment in that route, and improvements needed to sustain or reach those targets.

Transportation System Development Program
A district Transportation System Development Program (TSDP) is a long range (20 year) list of planned and programmed transportation projects that could affect the performance of the State Highway System. The TDSP organizes projects into six distinct categories, and then prioritizes them from a Caltrans perspective for consideration in future programming cycles.

District System Management Plan
The District System Management Plan (DSMP) is a long range (20 year) strategic and policy planning document that presents the long range goals, policies and programs the district intends to follow in maintaining, managing, and developing the transportation system. It serves as a resource for informing federal, state, regional and local agencies, and the public and private sector of the plans the district intends to follow in its partnership role with local and regional agencies.

Interregional Transportation Strategic Plan
The Interregional Transportation Strategic Plan (ITSP) is used to lay out a recommended course of actions and priority funding considerations for non-urban interregional “Focus Routes” within California over a 20-year planning period to improve the interregional movement of people and goods. This plan was required by the California Transportation Commission (CTC) in 1998 to guide the investment priorities for the Interregional Transportation Improvement Program (ITIP) and is intended to be updated periodically.