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14 A Guidebook for Corridor-Based Statewide Transportation Planning Linkage Between Corridor Planning and the NEPA Process Federal planning regulations provide the option to use a "corridor or subarea study" as a tool for linking planning and NEPA. The basic features of a corridor or subarea study are defined in the regulations. These include the following: A corridor or subarea study is prepared by a state DOT, MPO, and/or transit opera- tor as part of the statewide or metropolitan planning process. The corridor or sub- area study itself is not a process for federal agency decisionmaking and therefore does not require NEPA review. A corridor or subarea study can be used to produce a wide range of analyses or decisions for adoption in the NEPA process for an individual project. These include Purpose and need or goals and objective statement(s); General travel corridor and/or general mode(s) definition (e.g., highway, transit, or a highway/transit combination); Preliminary screening of alternatives and elimination of unreasonable alternatives; Basic description of the environmental setting; and/or Preliminary identification of environmental impacts and environmental mitigation. The regulations define criteria that a federal agency must consider in deciding whether to adopt planning-level analyses or decisions in the NEPA process. These include Involvement of interested state, local, tribal, and federal agencies; Public review; Reasonable opportunity to comment during the statewide or metropolitan transportation planning process and development of the corridor or subarea planning study; Documentation of relevant decisions in a form that is identifiable and available for review during the NEPA scoping process and can be appended to or refer- enced in the NEPA document; and The review of the FHWA and the FTA, as appropriate. Source: AASHTO, Practitioner's Handbook 10: Using the Transportation Planning Process to Support the NEPA Process, Washington, DC (2008). Any addition to potential projects, low-investment or "non-investment" strategies could also be recommended for better management of the existing transportation system, such as travel demand management, land use planning and zoning, and congestion pricing. Such strategies could be included in the statewide transportation plan as tools and actions that the state DOT and others could adopt for enhancing the performance of the state transportation system. Development of Technical Guidance Section 3 of this Guidebook presents a "checklist" matrix of the steps and tasks for undertaking an SWCP process, along with a discussion of the reason and some further explanation of the issues for each task.