The National Capital Region’s (NCR) Transportation Planning Board (TPB) recently adopted an Equity Emphasis Areas (EEA) Map that marks a new approach by the organization to ensure equity in their Constrained Long Range Transportation Plan (CLRP). The map was a collaborative effort involving staff from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG), TPB and other local leaders.

The adoption of the EEA Map is the first phase in a federally mandated Title VI analysis of the CLRP to “test for disproportionately high and adverse impacts on low-income and minority communities” (TPB, 2017). The methodology to identify these communities was an iterative process that involved input from several stakeholders in the region.
The EEA Map identifies census tracts in the National Capital Region that meet at least one of two criteria:

    • Tracts that have a concentration of low-income population greater than 1.5 times the regional average
    • Tracts that have a very high concentration of two or more minority groups OR a high concentration of one minority group and an above-average concentration of low-income population.

The analysis found that roughly 30% of the region’s census tracts met at least one of the criteria and have been designated EEAs. During the next phase of the project, further analysis will determine if the TPB’s CLRP provides for equitable future access to jobs, educational institutions and hospitals to residents in the EEAs when compared to other parts of the region.

MWCOG has created a public-facing interactive map that depicts the EEAs as well as provides other supporting data. The data shown on the map cannot currently be downloaded but the plans are being developed to enable this capability. The map services can be accessed at MWCOG’s ArcGIS for Server REST endpoint.

Congratulations to MWCOG and the TPB for their exceptional work on this project! GIS is making a difference at the regional level!



Transportation equity headlined an action-packed March TPB meeting. (2017, April 04). Retrieved April 07, 2017, from