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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