Metropolitan planning organizations are certified by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) every four years. The MPO’s review took place from April 29th through May 1st. The purpose of the review was to highlight good planning practices and to share information among the organizations as well as to ensure that federal regulatory requirements for transportation planning are being met. The FHWA and FTA heard from the community as well. The MPO hosted an open house to accept comments from residents about the MPO’s transportation planning process as part of its 2013 certification review. The open house was held on April 29th.
FHWA and FTA have provided initial findings to the MPO; the complete review will be available in summer 2013. Commendations were offered for The Tomorrow Plan, the MPO’s Quick Clearance Memorandum of Understanding, the planning agreement between DART and the MPO, and the use of STP funds for transit projects. Recommendations related to documenting planning issues facing the region in the Unified Planning Work Program, improving coordinaion between the Iowa DOT and the MPO, developing a planning agreement between the Iowa DOT and the MPO for modeling, including transit in the travel demand model, reviewing the steps for self-certification, finalizing and utilizing the Congestion Management Process, updating the ITS architecture, determining the methodology for an environmental justice (EJ) analysis, and updating the Public Participation Plan.