Information Center

 
 
Glossary
A

Access, Accessibility The opportunity to reach a given end use within a certain time frame, or without being impeded by physical, social or economic barriers. Typically, accessibility is the extent to which transportation improvements make connections between geographic areas or portions of the region that were not previously well connected.


Alternative An alternative includes various improvements designed to address transportation deficiencies in the project area.


Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) Federal Law that requires public facilities, including transportation services, to be fully accessible for persons with disabilities.

B

Butterfield Park District Based out of Lombard, IL, the Butterfield Park District strives to promote ongoing development of a park system by providing recreational opportunities for all residents. The Butterfield Park District offers diversified programs and activities that encompass personal enjoyment, contribute to self-fulfillment and enhance residents quality of life. Butterfield Park District is on the Steering Committee for EBDRT.

C

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) Formed in 2005, CMAP integrates planning for land use and transportation in the seven counties (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will) of northeastern Illinois. The new organization combined the region's two previously separate transportation and land-use planning organizations -- Chicago Area Transportation Study (CATS) and the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission (NIPC) -- into a single agency.

Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) Provides electric service to more than ​​4​ million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. ComEd is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, the nation’s leading competitive energy supplier. ComEd is on the Steering Committee for EBDRT.

Consensus When a majority agrees upon a particular issue, while the dissenting remainder agrees that their input has been heard and duly considered and that the process as a whole was fair.

Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) An interdisciplinary approach that seeks effective, multimodal transportation solutions by working with stakeholders to develop, build and maintain cost-effective transportation facilities which fit into and reflect the project's scenic, economic, historic, and natural surroundings.

Corridor A corridor is a general path from one point to another.

D

Destination The place where a trip ends.

DuPage County Division of Transportation (DuDOT) County government division committed to providing safe, efficient, and well-maintained county highways and bikeways to improve the general welfare of travelers in DuPage County communities and foster the orderly economic development of the county.

DuPage County Stormwater Management Commission (DCSM) DCSM’s mission is to coordinate the stormwater activities of more than 90 jurisdictions throughout DuPage County.

E

Environment Surrounding conditions or circumstances. Usually used as a reference to nature (the natural environment) but also can include man-made conditions (the built environment).

Environmental Factors In transportation, these factors include air, water and living (eco) systems, as well as community and social factors such as aesthetics/visual, archeology, culture, economics, history and noise.

Environmental Mitigation Methods, strategies or actions to reduce the negative effects, direct, indirect and cumulative, of transportation project on the environment.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) EPA is the federal source agency of air quality control regulations affecting transportation.

Evaluation Criteria A standard or measure that permits a comparative evaluation of an alternative.

F

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Division of the U.S. Department of Transportation that funds highway planning and programs.

Floodplain An area of low-lying ground adjacent to a river, formed mainly of river sediments and subject to flooding.

Floodway a channel built to take the floodwaters of a river.

Forecast A calculation or estimate of future conditions.

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County (FPDDC) A special purpose unit of government whose mission is to protect open space in DuPage County.

G

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) A computer software tool that is used to solve problems based on geographically related information. It is a system linked to a graphics system capable of collecting, storing, analyzing, manipulating and displaying spatial information.

H

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.

I

Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) The Illinois Department of Transportation has responsibility for planning, construction and maintenance of Illinois' extensive transportation network. This network encompasses highways, bridges, airports, public transit, and rail freight and rail passenger systems.

Illinois Tollway The Illinois Tollway is dedicated to providing and promoting a safe and efficient system of highways while ensuring the highest possible level of service to our customers. The Tollway is a user-fee system – no state or federal tax dollars are used to support maintenance and operations. Operations are funded by toll and concession revenues.

Infrastructure A term connoting the physical underpinnings of society at large, including, but not limited to, roads, bridges, transit, water and waste systems, public housing, sidewalks, utility installations, parks, public buildings and communications networks.

Intersection A point at which separate roadways cross, meet, or overlap.

L

Land Use Refers to how land and the structures (development) on it are used, i.e., commercial, residential, retail, industrial, etc.

Level of Service (LOS) A qualitative measure describing operational road (traffic) conditions and the perception of motorists of the existing conditions. Six levels of service are defined for each type of facility, ranging from A to F, with level of service A representing the best operating conditions and level of service F the worst. Initially used to define the road network, the concept has been expanded to include bicycle and pedestrian conditions.

Local Street A street intended solely for access to adjacent properties.

M

Metra Metra provides commuter rail service in the Chicago Metropolitan area. Metra, with 495 miles of track, serves 230 stations in the counties of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, McHenry and Kane.

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Formed in cooperation with the state, the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) develops transportation plans and programs for the metropolitan area. For each urbanized area, an MPO must be designated by agreement between the Governor and local units of government representing 75% of the affected population (in the metropolitan area), including the central cities or cities as defined by the Bureau of the Census, or in accordance with procedures established by applicable State or local law. The MPO for the Chicago land area is Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP).

Mobility The ability to move or be moved from place to place. Typically, mobility is the ease with which movement can occur between geographic areas or parts of the region.

Mode, Intermodal, Multimodal Form of transportation, such as automobile, transit, bicycle and walking. Intermodal refers to the connections between modes and multimodal refers to the availability of transportation options within a system or corridor.

Model A mathematical formula that represents the activity and the interactions within a system so that the system may be evaluated according to various conditions: land use, population, households and employment (socio-economic), transportation, or others.

N

Network A graphic and/or mathematical representation of multimodal paths in a transportation system.

Non-Motorized Non-motorized transportation, also known as active transportation and human powered transportation, includes walking and bicycling, as well as small-wheeled transport (skates, skateboards, push scooters and hand carts) and wheelchair travel.

Northeastern Illinois Regional Greenways and Trails Plan The officially adopted Northeastern Illinois Greenways and Trails Plan (RGTP) is a long-range, multi-jurisdictional plan which envisions a network of continuous greenway and trail corridors, linked across jurisdictions, providing scenic beauty, natural habitat, and recreational and transportation opportunities. The plan includes two main components: conceptual alignments for the planned trail and greenway network, and an accompanying text that lays out values, goals, objectives, and recommended actions. The regional trails plan assists implementers and funding agencies in advancing their projects, as proposals that relate to the plan can be more attractive to funding agencies. Since 2013, CMAP has been using the RGTP to guide funding decisions for the Transportation Alternatives program. 

P

Pace Pace primarily provides bus service in suburban areas outside the City of Chicago. Within the City of Chicago, the Chicago Transit Authority provides bus service.

Person Trip A one-way trip made for any purpose, by any travel mode, by one person.

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.

Public Participation The active and meaningful involvement of the public in the development of transportation plans and improvement programs. Federal transportation legislation regulations require that state departments of transportation and MPOs proactively seek the involvement of all interested parties, including those traditionally under served by the current transportation system.

Public Road Any road or street under the jurisdiction of and maintained by a public authority and open to public traffic.

Public Transit Generally refers to passenger service provided to the general public along established routes with fixed or variable schedules at published fares. Related terms include transit, mass transit, public transportation or paratransit. Transit modes include commuter rail, heavy or light transit, bus, or other vehicles designated for commercial transportation of non-related persons.

Purpose and Need The Purpose and Need incorporates detailed technical analysis and public involvement findings to date to define the purpose of the project and the need for the improvements.

Q

Quality of Life A term used to describe the lifestyle conditions of an area. Conditions include the scale and depth of opportunities or choices in housing, employment, transportation, the natural environment, education, health care, and recreational and entertainment activities.

R

Region An entire metropolitan area including designated urban and rural sub-regions.

 

Regional Trail Multi-jurisdictional facilities offering recreational opportunities and transportation uses, connecting communities and greenways throughout the region.  Regional trails include a variety of facility types, suitable for bicycling, walking, and paddling, but also offer diverse uses such as roller-blading, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing.

Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) The Regional Transportation Authority, created in 1973, oversees the operation and funding of public transit in the Chicago metropolitan area. There are three service boards under the RTA: the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace.

Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) A Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) is a long-term blueprint of a region's transportation system. Usually RTPs are conducted every five years and are plans for thirty years into the future. The plan identifies and analyzes transportation needs of the metropolitan region and creates a framework for project priorities.

Right-of-way (ROW) The land (usually a strip) acquired for or devoted to transportation purposes.

T

Transportation Network Arrangement of transportation systems for the movement of passenger and cargo. Transportation systems include grid systems, radial networks, circumferential networks and eclectic networks.

U

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) The principal direct federal funding and regulating agency for transportation facilities and programs. FHWA and FTA and units of the US DOT.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) The USACE is directed by Congress under the Clean Water Act to regulate the discharge of dredged or fill material into all WOUS, including wetlands. The intent of the law is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation’s waters through control of the discharge of dredged or fill material.

V

Village of Glen Ellyn Glen Ellyn is a village in DuPage County, Illinois and is located just 23 miles west of Chicago and is one of the area’s premier suburbs with 27,000 resident. The Village of Glen Ellyn is on the Steering Committee for EBDRT.

Village of Lombard Lombard is a western suburb of Chicago with approximately 45,000 residents. The Village of Lombard is on the Steering Committee for EBDRT.

W

Waters of the United States (WOUS) All waters which are currently used, or were used in the past, or may be susceptible to use in interstate or foreign commerce, including all waters which are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide.

Wetland A distinct ecosystem that is inundated by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail. The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil.