The release of urbanized areas (UZAs) and transportation management areas (TMAs) following the 2010 Census affects rural and urban geographies in many places, as communities were added to the urbanized area of existing metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and 36 new urbanized areas were identified that will need to form MPOs or join adjacent existing MPOs. Although many communities expected that their population had reached the threshold of 50,000 required for establishing an MPO, the discussions over changing the population threshold had kept those areas in limbo until final passage of MAP-21 maintained the threshold.
Useful resources for newly urbanized areas include:
- FHWA and FTA’s The Transportation Planning Process: Key Issues—A Briefing Book for Transportation Decisionmakers, Officials, and Staff
- FHWA and FTA’s Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program’s Focus Area on Metropolitan Transportation Planning
- FHWA Metropolitan Planning page
- FHWA’s Census Urbanized Areas and MPO/TMA Designation page, including a schedule of key milestones and detailed FAQ
- FHWA’s case studies of MPOs formed after the 1990 Census and 2000 Census (both sets provide useful information for new MPO areas)
- FHWA’s HEPGIS website, where you can view the boundaries of the 2000 and 2010 Census Urbanized Areas and existing MPO boundaries, as well as download UZA and MPO boundary shapefiles among other resources
- FTA’s Transit at the Table Report Series (covering large urban, smaller urban, and rural areas)
- Sessions at the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO) Annual Conference (September 11 – 14, Saratoga Springs) will address new MPO issues
NOTE: AMPO has funding from FHWA to support travel to the conference up to $600 for new MPO areas for a limited number of people. Contact Rich Denbow at [email protected] for more details.