This paper discusses the dramatic change that has taken place in the urban transportation concept. The importance ascribed to social, political, and aesthetic concerns by the transportation planning function has resulted in greater sensitivity on the part of transportation planners to nonphysical elements. Aesthetic and design principles are being identified and are becoming more important in fitting transportation facilities into communities, without disrupting the natural environment. Also discussed are the steps taken by the U. S. Department of Transportation's Office of Environment and Urban Systems to institute a design and development expertise that would be more sensitive to the aesthetic objectives in the metropolitan transportation planning process.The need for reforms within the decision-making process are also discussed. Among them: the need to sort out the appropriate level of government for each transportation function, better coordination and integration of various kinds of planning grants to facilitate multimodal planning, more citizen participation, and development of citizen constituency for transit and for improved transportation planning.