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Friday, June 25, 2010

Metropolitan Transportation Plan Faces Legal Challenge

All metropolitan planning organizations (that's what KMPO is) are required to produce what's called a Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP), and update it every four years. We are in the process of doing an overhaul on ours right now.

The plan is a long-range plan for the region’s highway, road, rail, bicycling, and walking infrastructure growth. For the most part, it's a guiding document that most people in the public don't pay much attention to.

That's not the case for Puget Sound Regional Council though. Theire MTP, 'Transportation 2040' has been legally challenged by bike advocates and environmental groups on the grounds that the plan doesn't meet state environmental laws.

The complaint from detractors is that it is heavy on planning for personal vehicles and light on mentions of mass transit, walking, and bicycling.

Here's a link to the online publication Publicola with more information.

I believe this legal challenge is going to change the way we all produce public documents, and this will be taken into consideration as we continue through the process of updating the KMPO MTP this summer.

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Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization (KMPO) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Kootenai County, Idaho. Federal law requires urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people to have an MPO. KMPO was formed in 2003, to provide coordinated transportation planning within Kootenai county for the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and the Coeur d'Alene tribe.

KMPO's Board of Directors oversees KMPO for Kootenai County, ID. KMPO's Executive Director and Staff are responsible for day-to-day operational and administrative needs.