Glossary of Terms

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AESTHETICS - The considerations of landscaping, land use and structures to insure that a proposed roadway is pleasing to the eye of the viewer from the roadway and to the viewer looking at the roadway.

ADA - The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, State and local government services, and telecommunications.

BICYCLE LANES - A portion of the roadway that has been designated by striping, signing and pavement marking for the preferential or exclusive use by bicyclists. Bicycle lanes make the movements of both motorists and bicyclists more predictable and as with other bicycle facilities there are advantages to all road users in striping them on the roadway.

COLLECTOR STREET - A street which serves the internal traffic movement within the city and connects with the major arterial system.

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION - Participation by the public in the roadway planning process through public hearings, informational meetings, committees, news blogs/websites and through participation in surveys and interviews.

COMMUNITY VALUES - The social, economic and environmental factors unique to a given community.

COMPLETE STREETS - Streets designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work. Safety is a critical goal along with the efficient flow of traffic and other considerations such as parking, emergency vehicles, utilities, stormwater treatment, and snow management.

Complete streets can offer many benefits in all communities, regardless of size or location including:  economic vitality; improve safety for all users; encouraging more walking and bicycling; ease of parking and general transportation woes; and safer travel routes for children

CORRIDOR - An area of variable width between two points. In highway work, corridors are defined areas where the needs for improvement are studied.

CURB CUT - An opening in the roadway curb that allows access for pedestrians or vehicles. Driveways are typical curb cuts.

CURB RAMP - A ramp providing a smooth transition between sidewalk and street that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

DESIGN CAPACITY - Maximum number of vehicles that can pass over a lane or roadway during one hour without operating conditions falling below a preselected acceptable design level.

DESIGN STANDARDS - Industry standards for such design features as curvature, grades, roadway width, drainage facilities, etc.

EDGE ZONE - The segment of the sidewalk adjacent to the buildings or roadway right of way.

FURNITURE ZONE - The segment of the sidewalk where street furniture is placed. Street furniture consists of light poles, landscaping, trash receptacles, newspaper dispensers, public art, bicycle racks, benches, tables, etc.

INFRASTRUCTURE - The basic facilities, services, and installations needed for the functioning of a community, such as transportation, water and power lines, and public institutions.

LAND USE - The actual use occupying or purpose for each parcel of land (e.g. industrial, commercial and residential, etc.).

LANE - Part of the roadway marked out for use by a single line of vehicles in such a way as to control and guide drivers for the purpose of reducing traffic conflicts. Most public roads have at least two lanes, one for traffic in each direction, separated by lane markings.

LEVEL OF SERVICE - The term used to indicate the quality of service provided by a facility under a given set of operating conditions. These conditions include speed, travel time, traffic interruptions, freedom to maneuver, safety, driving comfort and convenience, and operating costs. Level of Service is commonly abbreviated as LOS.

MARKED CROSSWALK - Areas on the street (delineated by paint, brick, etc.) indicating where pedestrians should cross the road.

MASTER PLAN or COMPREHENSIVE PLAN - A policy-based document that provides the vision of a community, but does not or cannot regulate properties or land use. It dictates public policy in terms of transportation, utilities, land use, recreation, and housing over a large geographical areas and a long-term time horizon.

PARALLEL PARKING - A method of parking a vehicle in-line with other parked vehicles. Vehicles parked in parallel are in one line, parallel to the curb, with the front bumper of each facing the back bumper of the next.

PEDESTRIAN - Any person travelling on foot.

PEDESTRIAN CROSSING - Designated crossings where pedestrians may safely cross a busy highway or roadway.

RIGHT OF WAY - A strip of land that is granted, through an easement or other mechanism, for transportation purposes, such as for a trail, driveway, rail line or highway.

ROAD CAPACITY - The maximum volume and rate that automobile traffic can pass along a road within a particular set of conditions.

ROUNDABOUT - A roundabout is a type of circular intersection in which road traffic must travel in one direction around a central island. Signs direct traffic entering the roundabout to slow down and give the right of way to drivers already in it. Roundabouts can calm traffic in addition to providing a more steady traffic flow than conventional intersections.

SHARED LANES - Roadway lanes where bicycles and motor vehicles share the same lane.

SHARROW - A “sharrow” or shared-lane marking is a pavement marking symbol to assist bicyclists with lateral positioning to indicate more appropriate positioning away from the curb or parked vehicles.

SHOULDER - The portion of the roadway adjacent to the traveled way for accommodation of stopped vehicles, for emergency use, and for lateral support of the base and surface courses.

SIDEWALK - A paved walkway that allows pedestrians to walk along, but separated from, the roadway.

SIGHT DISTANCE - The line of sight available to the driver to see another car for the purpose of entering the road, passing another car, or to see a fixed object for stopping.

SIGNING - Visual method of providing the vehicle driver with guide, warning and regulatory information along a highway.