Transportation Studies / ETDM
The State of Florida has completely revamped its procedures for planning transportation projects, conducting
environmental reviews, and developing and permitting projects, with the goal of making transportation
decisions quicker without sacrificing the quality of the human and natural environments. These changes were
initiated by the “streamlining” provisions contained within the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century
(TEA-21), which was passed by Congress in July 1999. Some of the key objectives contained within TEA-21 include:
- Effective/timely decision making without compromising environmental quality
- Integrating review and permitting processes
- Early National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews and approvals
- Full and early participation
- Meaningful dispute resolution
These initiatives were in response to concerns expressed by the public for years about the amount of time it
took to implement a transportation project. It often took 10 to 15 years or more from when a transportation need was first identified until the project was delivered. Furthermore, departments of transportation, regulatory
agencies, citizens and non-governmental organizations had seen the inefficiency in implementation of the
NEPA requirements when long time gaps – often 10 to 15 years –occurred between agency environmental reviews and those conducted during project permitting.
Florida's Efficient Transportation Decision Making (ETDM) is a new way of accomplishing transportation planning and project development for major capacity improvement projects. The ETDM Process enables agencies and the public to provide early input to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) about potential effects of proposed transportation projects. The goal of ETDM is to make transportation decisions more quickly without sacrificing the quality of the human and natural environments.