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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

MPO - Metropolitan Planning Organization ???

I have so many people ask me what an MPO is and comment that they never knew it existed, so I thought it might be a good idea to do a post on it....


Metropolitan planning organization

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A metropolitan planning organization (MPO) is a federally mandated and federally funded transportation policy-making organization in the United States that is made up of representatives from local government and governmental transportation authorities. The United States Congress passed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962, which required the formation of an MPO for any urbanized area (UZA) with a population greater than 50,000. Federal funding for transportation projects and programs are channeled through this planning process. Congress created MPOs in order to ensure that existing and future expenditures of governmental funds for transportation projects and programs are based on a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive (“3-C”) planning process. Statewide and metropolitan transportation planning processes are governed by federal law (23 U.S.C. §§ 134–135). Transparency through public access to participation in the planning process and electronic publication of plans now is required by federal law. As of 2005, there are 385 MPOs in the U.S.
Core functionsThere are five core functions of an MPO:
  1. establish a setting: establish and manage a fair and impartial setting for effective regional decision-making in the metropolitan area (UZA)
  2. evaluate alternatives: evaluate transportation alternatives, scaled to the size and complexity of the region, to the nature of its transportation issues, and to the realistically available options
  3. maintain a long-range transportation plan (LRTP): develop and update a fiscally constrained long-range transportation plan for the UZA covering a planning horizon of at least twenty years that fosters
    • mobility and access for people and goods,
    • efficient system performance and preservation, and
    • quality of life
  4. develop a transportation improvement program (TIP): develop a fiscally constrained program based on the long-range transportation plan and designed to serve the UZA’s goals while using spending, regulating, operating, management, and financial tools
  5. involve the public: involve the general public and all the significantly affected sub-groups in the four essential functions listed above.
If the metropolitan area is designated as an air quality non-attainment or maintenance area, then
  1. protect air quality: transportation plans, programs, and projects must conform with the air quality plan, known as the “state implementation plan” (SIP), for the state within which the UZA lies.
Presently, most MPOs have no authority to raise revenues such as to levy taxes on their own, rather, they are designed to allow local officials to decide collaboratively how to spend available federal and other governmental transportation funds in their urbanized areas. The funding for the operations of an MPO comes from a combination of federal transportation funds and required matching funds from state and local governments.

If you would like to know more, visit the link to Wikipedia's site.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_planning_organization

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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.