Formation of New Metropolitan Planning Organizations

The objective of this project is to provide case studies of effective metropolitan transportation planning practices that will assist local and state officials address the needs of the newly designated urbanized areas (UZAs), including the formation of new metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs). This project supported development of case studies on ten active and newly formed metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), established subsequent to the 1990 Census. Ten case studies were prepared to assist local and state official better understand how each area/case study responded to the requirements of MPO formation. The case studies provide first hand, initial start-up information regarding the administrative, policy, and technical development of a metropolitan transportation planning practice, as experienced by the ten active MPOs designated subsequent to the 1990 census. Just as the 1990 Census resulted in the designation of new UZAs and prompted the need to initiate metropolitan planning and establish new MPOs, the Year 2000 Census also identified new UZAs. These new UZAs, in turn, need either to form new free-standing MPOs or affiliate with an existing MPO. These case studies were prepared to assist local and state officials, in the process of addressing newly designated urbanized areas. The Census Bureau defines UZAs, and transportation policy requires MPOs to be established in urbanized areas. UZAs are defined as areas with a population of 50,000. In metropolitan areas with more than 50,000 population, the responsibility for transportation planning lies with the designated MPO.