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Transportation Planning 101

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  1. Transportation Planning 101

    French Broad River MPO New Member Orientation
  2. What is a Metropolitan Planning Organization? “The forum for cooperative transportation decision making for the metropolitan planning area” Source: 23 CFR Part 450.104
  3. MPOs, a very brief history Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962 created the federal requirement for urban transportation planning The Act required transportation projects in urbanized areas of 50,000 or more in population be based on a “3C”, continuing, comprehensive and cooperative planning process if using federal $
  4. Regional Transportation Planning Organizations in NC Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) Over 50,000 in “urbanized” population Federally mandated & 80% funding Rural Planning Organizations (RPOs) Everything else Federal recognition, “consultation” requirement, initial funding by NCDOT
  5. Planning Organizations in NC
  6. The (Bigger) Kahunas: TMAs MPOs over 200,000 in urbanized population get access to additional funds but have greater reporting and planning responsibilities (CMP)
  7. 46% of NC in TMAs
  8. The French Broad River MPO Began in 60s Centered around Asheville “Urbanized Area” in 2000 grew to include Henderson & Haywood
  9. Let’s Get Started-Urbanized Area (UZA) a densely settled core of census tracts and/or census blocks that meet minimum population density requirements, along with adjacent territory containing non-residential urban land uses as well as territory with low population density included to link outlying densely settled territory with the densely settled core.
  10. More on UZA The French Broad River MPO did not draw these boundaries. They are done by the US Bureau of the Census, and the MPO is bound to do transportation planning for those areas per 23 USC § 134(e)(2)(A): (2) Included area.— Each metropolitan planning area— (A) shall encompass at least the existing urbanized areaand the contiguous area expected to become urbanized within a 20-year forecast period for the transportation plan
  11. The Negotiable Part That Matters:The MPA In addition to the Census-designated UZA, the MPO is bound to do transportation planning for additional areas per 23 USC § 134(e)(2)(A): (2) Included area.— Each metropolitan planning area— (A) shall encompass at least the existing urbanized area and the contiguous area expected to become urbanized within a 20-year forecast period for the transportation plan
  12. Why is the MPA so Important? Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA) – MPO/TMA Jurisdiction Sets MPO Area of Responsibility ~ for Planning ~ for Programming ~ Overall Governance Tips for Setting Boundary Must encompass the UZA(s) and the contiguous geographic area(s) likely to become urbanized within the next 20 years
  13. 2012 Brings More Change
  14. MPO Structure Transportation Advisory Committee Governing body Elected officials representing member governments + Board of Transportation members New MAP-21 may require additional representation-transit
  15. MPO Structure Role of the TAC: Develop a regional vision Establish regional policy Adopt annual work program (UPWP), Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), Prioritized Needs List (PNL), and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Adopt Conformity Determinations for Plan and TIP (in AQ non-attainment and maintenance areas) Ensure that the decisions reflect the concerns of residents of the region
  16. MPO Structure Technical Coordinating Committee Advisory Body Mostly staff of member governments and NCDOT with expertise in transportation and/or land use planning Transit agencies and bike/ped interests represented
  17. MPO Structure The staff Support the TAC, TCC, subcommittees Plan development and prioritization Policy research and recommendations Public outreach Data maintenance to support the above
  18. Our Partners: Rural Transportation Planning Organizations 1998 Federal law brought “rural consultation” requirement July 2000, Article 17 General Statue 136 §210-213 created RPOs to work cooperatively with NCDOT to plan rural transportation systems & advise on rural transportation policy RPOs became active between 2002 and 2005 as non-metro counterpart to MPOs
  19. Our Partners: Rural Transportation Planning Organizations Originally funded by the state, they now use federal planning funds administered by NCDOT Must have minimum of 3 contiguous counties OR 50,000 population Can program air quality funds; do not receive urban funds (STP-DA)
  20. Our Partners: NCDOT Many levels/silos Transportation Planning Branch Local Divisions, Construction SPOT & Programming Modal Units (Transit, Bike/Ped, Rail) Project Development, Design, Environmental Support (GIS/Mapping, Crash, Pavement, OCR & BOWD, etc.)
  21. A Brief History of NCDOT The North Carolina Department of Transportation was formed in 1915 as the State Highway Commission. The Executive Organization Act of 1971 combined the state highway commission and the DMV to form the NC Department of Transportation and Highway Safety. In 1979 "Highway Safety" was dropped when the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP) was transferred to the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.
  22. Board of Transportation The board governs the department and helps make decisions. Nineteen board members appointed by the governor, one each from one of the fourteen divisions, plus others representing specific functions of the department; meet once a month.
  23. Transportation Planning Branch Provides multimodal transportation planning services to municipalities, counties, regions, MPOs and RPOs Statewide Plan & Strategic Corridor Planning, incl. functional classification Statewide coverage of quality traffic count information using innovative analysis and traffic data collection methods
  24. Divisions NCDOT Divisions were created out indirectly out of the 1921 state Highway Act It recognized the Highway Commission Board with 9 commissioners appointed by the governor to represent a specific geographic region After numerous boundary shifts, the divisions we know solidified in 1953
  25. Division & Funding Region Map
  26. Divisions Have 2 Basic Functions Construction = build projects in the current fiscal year's portion of the STIP. Maintenance = Road Maintenance Bridge Maintenance Roadside Environmental Traffic Services Road Oil / Pavement Preservation
  27. Small Construction Funds
  28. SPOT “Strategic Planning Office (of) Transportation” Public wanted politics removed from transportation decision-making; Governor Purdue issued Executive Order #2: “The Secretary of the Department of Transportation shall implement throughout the Department a professional approval process for all highway construction programs, highway construction contracts, highway construction projects, and plans for the construction of projects.”
  29. SPOT Strategic Planning Office (of Transportation) created; Implemented NCDOT’s first strategic prioritization process in 2009; “SPOT” now generally refers to both the staff and the process Tenets of process codified by General Assembly in 2012 Short Session
  30. Modal Units “Modal” relates to the “mode” of transportation; usually it refers to non-highway in NCDOT Transit (Public Transportation Division) Bike & Pedestrian Ferries Ports Rail Air
  31. PDEA The Project Development and Environmental Analysis Branch (PDEA) was formed in response to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, which called for efforts to prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and the biosphere. They guide our project through the NEPA process and conduct public outreach related to the project
  32. Support GIS-Coordinates Data & Mapping Crash-Tracks Accidents Pavement-Tracks Road Health Office of Civil Rights & Business Opportunity and Workforce Development (OCR & BOWD)-Ensures Title VI Compliance
  33. Our Partners: FHWA(Federal Highway Administration) The Office of Road Inquiry (ORI) was founded in 1893. It went through many changes through 1949 when it became the Bureau of Public Roads under the Department of Commerce. US DOT as its own department, with FHWA as part of it, was created (as we know it) on October 15, 1966.
  34. Our Partners: FTA(Federal Transit Administration) President Johnson signed the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964 into law, creating the Urban Mass Transportation Administration. In 1991, the agency was renamed the Federal Transit Administration. Public transportation includes buses, subways, light rail, commuter rail, monorail, passenger ferry boats, trolleys, inclined railways, and people movers. The federal government, through the FTA, provides financial assistance to develop new transit systems and improve, maintain, and operate existing systems. The FTA oversees grants to state and local transit providers, primarily through its ten regional offices. Also part of US DOT
  35. How it all fits together Planning Processes Statewide Vision Plan Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP) Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Congestion Management Plan (CMP Prioritization (SPOT) Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Various Transit Plans Title VI, EJ, and Outreach Planning Limited English Proficiency Plan (LEP) Public Involvement Plan (PIP)
  36. Life of a Transportation Project State State Feds State Feds CMP-informs the middle 3
  37. CTP Overview Codified in NCGS 136-66.2; it also specifies that an area must have a land development plan CTPs show highway, transit/rail, and bicycle/pedestrian modes; Specifics on access controls for highways (is it a freeway, expressway, boulevard, etc.) Mutual MPO and BOT Adoption No financial constraint—”wish list”
  38. LRTP Overview Takes the "wish list" and filters it through a budget of available funds. Projects that make the cut are put into a construction time frame over 25 years. This plan is a federal requirement and is also used when a region is not meeting federal air quality standards; the plan must show that the projects in plan will help improve air quality. One of the most important parts of the LRTP is the Travel Demand Model—the output informs the project “purpose and need” for federal requirements and the design team will use it to scope the scale of the project.
  39. Congestion Management Plan (CMP) Federal requirement from TEA-21 (1998), originally auto-centric; SAFETEA-LU (2005) made it multi-modal. The essential elements of CMP include: Measuring multi-modal transportation system performance; Identifying the causes of congestion; Assessing alternative actions; Implementing cost-effective actions; Considering management and operations strategies; and Evaluating the effectiveness of implemented actions
  40. Aside: “The Model” Staff are working on updates to the next LRTP model input on an ongoing basis Currently preparing the foundation year (2010 to match the Census) to begin projections for population, dwelling units, employment, and land use in 5-county region
  41. Aside: Our “Customer Trade Area”
  42. Prioritization SPOT list replaces the old “Priority Needs List” (PNL) for most purposes Past prioritizations had an open call for projects; staff goal is to pull projects from CTP & LRTP first & respect process
  43. SPOT Process Process ranks projects based on a data-driven score, with different criteria for 3 levels of facility (statewide, regional, and local) Separate process for Urban Loops and Mobility Fund (non-equity $) also data-driven
  44. Matching the Projects to the Money Federal and State funds generally come with specific transportation goals in mind Those create the “strings” tied to individual funding categories and programs Here is a quick overview of the funding landscape before we get to Prioritization & TIP
  45. Federal Programs Takeaway: Federal funding is complicated Caveat: MAP-21 may have combined a few of these
  46. Funding Constraints: State Project Updates The “Equity Formula” passed in 1989 and continues to be debated. It has 3 parts: 25% of the money is equally divided among 7 funding regions made up of 2 NCDOT Divisions 25% based on system miles of “intrastate” roads not yet 4-laned 50% based on population
  47. Show Me The Money NC is more Dependent on Gas Tax
  48. MFT Rate & Fuel Consumption Vehicle Prices, Units Sold & Rate Fee Rates & Transactions State Revenue Sources Fees 25% Motor Fuel Tax 60% Highway Use Tax 15%
  49. Sources, Funds & Allocation Motor Fuel Tax 60% Highway Fund 75% MFT Rate & Fuel Consumption ≈ 2/3 Total State Revenues 25% DMV Fees 25% ≈90% Highway Trust Fund Fee Rates & Transactions ≈10% Highway Use Tax 15% 100% ≈ 1/3 Total State Revenues Vehicle Prices, Units Sold & Rate 50
  50. State Transportation Revenue Sources2001 to 2011 - Actual2012 to 2020 - Forecasted
  51. 12 10 8 6 4 2 - 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 (2) (4) (6) (8) Present – Federal Outlook Highway Account Balance in Billions Transit Account Balance in Billions
  52. NC Comparison of Retail Fuel Prices and Fuel Consumption Takeaway: Price and consumption not as related as we might think
  53. NC Comparison of Retail Fuel Prices and Motor Fuel Tax Rate Takeaway: The relative portion we pay to maintain the system shrank
  54. Show me the Money Revenues are flat or declining
  55. Show Me The Money
  56. The Money Pie Project Updates
  57. 6-10 YEAR “PIPELINE” LIST Project Updates This is the first half of the Transportation Improvement Program, or TIP There are parallel documents that have to match if we want the Feds to be happy—the local TIP and the state TIP (STIP) This is the first place we see a project matched up with real funding
  58. 6-10 YEAR “PIPELINE” LIST Project Updates NCDOT’s SPOT office created a list of those $10 Billion new projects: 85% were highway. They also created a list of what the full $65 Billion might look like: only 64% of new projects were highway. Implication: 21% of non-highway projects are losing out to highways
  59. 5 YEAR “COMMITTED” LIST Project Updates
  60. 5YEAR“COMMITTED” LIST Projects that are in process or under construction
  61. Your Project is Funded, Now What? National Environmental Policy Act Alternatives Analysis Minimize Impacts to physical AND cultural environment Title VI Ensures transportation decisions to not adversely affect particular sets of people “disproportionately”
  62. You have funding and a preferred alternative It passes muster for NEPA and Title VI Yes? Prepare to get building (see next 2 slides) No? Revisit problem areas and try to resolve
  63. “Merger”-Consensus on NEPA Merger process provides a forum for appropriate agency representatives to discuss and reach consensus on ways to meet the regulatory requirements of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act during the NEPA/SEPA decision-making phase of transportation projects. PDEA is sponsor.
  64. Why Does it Take So Long? After a project is included on the LRTP/CTP , it may take many years for the project to be funded. Here are some of the steps involved in the highway construction process: Congestion and need are evaluated by NCDOT. Traffic studies and other planning is conducted. Alternate route studies are collected. Preliminary relocation studies are collected and evaluated. An environmental impact study is prepared. Preliminary engineering is accomplished and public hearings are held. Location of the corridor is approved. Design and detailed plans are prepared. Right of Way personnel contacts property owners. Real estate market studies, evaluations, appraisals and detailed relocation studies are conducted. Comprehensive appraisal and evaluation review by Right of Way representatives is conducted. Negotiations begin. Needed property is acquired by agreed settlement with the owner. Relocation assistance is provided when applicable. Payment is made to the property owner and the title is transferred. Condemnation of property is instituted, if necessary. Appeals are made, if necessary, with regard to real property tax reimbursement. Appeals are made, if necessary, with regard to relocation benefits. The highway project is advertised to contractors to submit their bids. The bids are reviewed by department members and contracts are awarded by the North Carolina Board of Transportation. The highway is built. The highway is opened for public use. Generally it takes 7-12 years to build a project after it is funded. This time could be shorter or longer depending on the complexity of the study. Takeaway: Transportation projects are complicated
  65. Exceptions: Division Projects Tend to be either small projects OR Safety/Infrastructure Health projects like repaving Generally do not have significant NEPA component
  66. What the MPO Staff Do Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Describes the tasks set for the staff during the current fiscal year Includes budget amounts based on work items defined by FHWA FTA component housed at City of Asheville
  67. UPWP Category Breakout
  68. Staff Tasks
  69. Other Things You Will See Today Highway Project Prioritization & Small Construction Transit Issues Bike & Ped Issues