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Introduction to the Metropolitan Transportation Planning Process MPO 101. Michigan Transportation Planning Association 35 th Annual Conference July 14, 2011 Flint, MI. Objectives of this Workshop. List and describe the functions of the MPO/TMA

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Introduction to the metropolitan transportation planning process mpo 101 l.jpg

Introduction to the Metropolitan Transportation Planning ProcessMPO 101

Michigan Transportation Planning Association 35th Annual Conference

July 14, 2011

Flint, MI

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Objectives of this Workshop Process

  • List and describe the functions of the MPO/TMA

  • Learn about the major planning decisions/products of the MPO/TMA

  • Discuss major policy and planning issues these bodies may face.

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MPO Basics Process

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What do MPOs ProcessDo?

  • Metropolitan transportation planning process in cooperation with the State DOT and transit operators

  • Determine responsibilities in concert with the State DOT(s) and transit operators

  • Cooperatively develop, update, and approve:

    • Unified Planning Work Program

    • Transportation Plan

    • Transportation Improvement Program

  • Have a proactive Public Involvement Process

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MPO Composition Process

  • Policy Board

    • Local Elected and Appointed Officials

    • Major Modes of Transportation

    • State Officials

    • Citizens

  • MPO Staff

  • Technical Committees

  • Other Committees

    Membership is inclusive

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Role of the Board Process

  • Develop a regional vision

  • Establish regional policy

  • Adopt UWP, Transportation Plan, and TIP

  • Ensure that the decisions reflect the concerns of residents of the region

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Voting Structure of the Board Process

  • All Board members with voting privileges can vote

  • Board can contain “ex-officio” members that participate but don’t vote

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What Do ProcessBoard Members Need from Staff?

  • Reliable and timely information in an understandable format

  • Information includes options and analysis of their consequences

    • Costs

    • Policy

    • Benefits

    • Environmental consequences

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Role of the Staff Process

  • Provide information & technical support to Board Members

  • Prepare documents

  • Foster interagency coordination

  • Facilitate input and feedback from the public

  • Manage the planning process

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Working Beyond Jurisdictions Process

  • MPO is the forum for discussion

    • Place to air issues

    • Find solutions that benefit all jurisdictions/regions

  • MPOs work with adjoining regions

    • Consistency of projects

    • Multi-regional projects

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The People in the Process Process











Special Interest








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Key Decisions and Products Process

  • Unified Work Program (UWP)

  • Long Range Transportation Plan (The Plan)

  • Transportation Improvement Program/Plan (TIP)

  • Public Participation Plan

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Unified Work Program (UWP) Process

  • Lists the metropolitan area’s program of planning studies

  • Identifies sources of funding, schedules and responsible agencies

  • Coordinates the planning by all regional participants

  • Describes all Federally-funded studies

  • Lays out MPOs Strategic Plan

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Sources of Federal Funding Processfor UWP Development

  • PL and STP funds administered by FHWA

  • Section 5303 funds administered by FTA

  • FHWA and FTA capital funds may also be used for planning (STP and Section 5307)

  • Statewide Planning and Research (SPR)

  • State and Local Funds

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The Transportation Plan Process

To be eligible for Federal funds:

  • a project must be consistent with the approved transportation plan

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The Transportation Plan… Process

  • Documents conclusions and decisions

  • Includes long term and short term policies, strategies, and actions

  • Covers capital improvements and operations

  • Addresses federal requirements including:

    • movement of people and goods

    • Environmental Mitigation

    • Environmental Justice

  • Is financially constrained by reasonably available resources

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Requirements for the Transportation Plan… Process

  • 20+ horizon at time of adoption

  • An update every 4 or 5 years depending on air quality status

  • Multi-modal coverage

  • Fiscal constraint

  • Early and continuous public involvement including consultation

  • Consideration of the 8 Planning Factors

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Transportation Plan ProcessFiscal Constraint

  • Demonstrate consistency with available and projected revenues

  • Identify proposed new revenue sources and strategies to ensure their availability

  • Balance Revenues and expenditures

  • Unfunded projects are not officially part of the Plan

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Transportation ProcessImprovement Program (TIP)

  • Allocates limited transportation funds to projects and programs

  • List of transportation projects to be implemented in the short-term (no less than 4 years)

  • Includes nearly all federally funded surface transportation projects

  • Includes all regionally significant projects – regardless of funding source in air quality non-attainment and maintenance areas

  • Identifies funding source for each project

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Programming Transportation Improvements Process

  • TIP adoption requires identifying top priority projects for funding

  • The total cost of worthy projects always exceeds available funding – must set priorities

  • The TIP and STIP are products of the programming process

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TIP Fiscal Constraint Process

  • Financially constrained by year

  • Demonstrate which projects can be implemented with current revenue sources

  • Identify strategies for ensuring the availability of new funding sources

  • In non-attainment/maintenance areas, projects with available or committed funding can appear in first 2 years of TIP

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Requirements for the TIP… Process

  • Covers at least 4 years

  • Updated at least every 2 years.

  • Consistent with approved Transportation Plan

  • Conforms to air quality requirements

  • Financially constrained by year

  • Approved by MPO and Governor

  • Included in State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)

  • Can be amended during its life span (subject to approval by Governor and inclusion in STIP)

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Characteristics of a ProcessSuccessful Programming Process

  • Early consensus on planning goals

  • Effective communication among technical and policy leaders

  • Continuous public involvement

  • Qualitative as well as quantitative criteria

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Federal Requirements for Public Involvement Process

  • MPOs must prepare a public involvement plan

  • Plan must be proactive and provide for:

  • Complete information and timely public notice

  • Early and continuing involvement

  • Full public access to key decisions

  • Explicit consideration and response to input

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Objectives of Public Involvement Process

  • Provide timely information about transportation issues and processes

  • Seek public review and comment

  • Respond to public comments

  • Provide access to key decisions

  • Continuing involvement of the public in developing plans and TIPs

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Congestion Management Process Process

  • Required for TMA/MPOs over 200,000 population

  • Approach to identifying, analyzing, & evaluating system-wide congestion

  • Serves as input into planning & programming processes

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Federal Transportation Funding Process

  • Federal Aid is provided to the state in several ways and categories:

    • Core Programs

    • Other allocated funding, i.e. LTAP, SPR

    • “Earmarked funding” such as High Priority Projects

    • Emergency Relief

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Amount of funding is based on formulas Process

  • Each state is different (75/25 split in Michigan Public Act 51 of 1951)

  • Final dollar amounts are subject to Congressional obligation limitation

  • Equity Bonus

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Future Funding is subject to change Process

  • SAFETEA-LU expired in 9/2009

  • Administration & Congressional priorities may change

  • Future motor fuel revenues may vary

  • The Highway Trust Fund has been saved from insolvency by Congress.

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Other Federal-aid Fund Facts Process

  • The Federal-aid Highway Program is a reimbursable program

  • With few exceptions, Federal funds must be matched with funds from other sources (i.e. state or local)

  • Must be coordinated with the MPO and the State DOT

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Traditional State and ProcessLocal Funding Sources

  • User fees (dedicated and non-dedicated)

  • Bonds (revenue and general obligation)

  • General revenues

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Innovative Financing Process

  • Public/private partnerships

  • Tolls – Congestion pricing

  • Advance construction

  • GARVEE bonds and TIFIA loans

  • State Infrastructure Bank

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What is Operations? Process

  • Strategies and approaches to improve system performance

    • Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)

    • Traffic Signal Operations

    • Reversible lanes

    • Incident Management

    • Transportation Demand Management (TDM)

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Freight Movement Process

  • Good freight movement is vital to a region’s economy

  • MPO should examine how freight moves in and out of its region

  • Engage the freight community to find “win-win” solutions to problems

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Safety Process

  • 2010 saw a reduction in fatality levels not seen since the 1950s.

  • MPO can examine system for trends and allocate resources to address safety related issues.

  • MPOs can serve as a forum for safety related discussion with applicable agencies.

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What is Air Quality Conformity? Process

  • Link between air quality planning and transportation planning

  • Analytical process to ensure that transportation plans, programs, and projects meet the SIP’s emissions budgets for mobile sources

  • Pass/fail test on meeting the SIP’s emissions budgets

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Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Process

  • Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, or national origin

  • Proactive Public Involvement key to compliance

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Questions? Process

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Thank You Process

Chris Dingman

FHWA-Michigan Division

315 W. Allegan, Room 201

Lansing, MI 48933


[email protected]

Spencer Stevens

FHWA-Office of Planning Oversight and Stewardship

1200 New Jersey Ave. SE

Washington, DC 20590

717-221-4512 or 202-366-0149

[email protected]