We're getting better at plain-speak though. It's something we talk about anytime we develop a new document or other materials that the public will see, because it's not only alienating and confusing to everyday people, but policy-speak can detract from the message you're trying to convey.
The folks at Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, a coalition of safe street community groups, have come up with a way to be less "wonky" in communicating with citizens about transportation matters. Their method centers around people and their experiences—not infrastructure, modes or buzzwords. And they've put together a cheat sheet of some of the "substitution" words they use to convey their messages. Take a look and tell me if you think this would help you understand more easily when talking transportation.