Role & Function
Role of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)
- Transportation planning and programming.
- Developing and implementing work programs.
- Develop a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for a 3 to 5 year horizon.
- Develop a Regional Transportation Plan for a 20+ year horizon.
- Is a Forum for the "Three C" process - Cooperative, Continuous and Comprehensive planning process.
To accomplish the role, the functions of the MPO are:
- Prepare and adopt 20 year Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).
- Develop a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) which the Governors and the MPO approve.
- Develop a Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP).
- Track air quality conformity for compliance with state plans where applicable.
- MPO, State and transit agencies must cooperate in developing financial estimates for LRTP and TIP.
- Conduct technical studies, including travel surveys, demographics and travel demand modeling.
- Ensure fiscal constraint (balance revenues to expenditures).
- Initiate public involvement.
Guidance From Legislation
The legislation that mandates the metropolitan level planning provides the following guidance in the preparation of transportation plans.
"The process for developing the plans and programs shall provide for consideration of all modes of transportation and shall be continuing, cooperative and comprehensive to the degree appropriate, based on the complexity of the transportation problems to be addressed."
Factors & Issues
The following factors and issues are what the Policy Board needs to be considering in the development of the Long Range Transportation Plan.
- Support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area.
- Increase the safety and security of the transportation system for motorized and non-motorized users.
- Increase the accessibility and mobility options available to people and for freight.
- Protect and enhance environment, promote energy conservation and improve quality of life.
- Enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight.
- Promote efficient system management and operation.
- Emphasize the preservation of existing transportation system.
There are three major components of the planning process. At this point, it is important to note the transportation plans may not be ‘pie in the sky' or ‘wish lists' but must be realistic in nature. The legislation requires plans to be fiscally constrained - that is, it demonstrates the consistency of proposed transportation investments with already available and projected sources of revenue. However, it is permissible to include illustrative projects - such as a new bridge or major new corridor - if appropriate.
The formation of the MPO provides several advantages to the community including:
- The MPO designation and status greatly strengthens the community's voice in promoting projects in state and regional transportation planning processes and in receiving funding for those projects.
- The MPO allows planning to occur on a regional basis so that each project considers impacts on the other cities and counties within the MPO.
- The MPO provides specific funds for the local public transit system.
- The MPO provides specific funds to plan and develop transportation projects.