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Transportation Management Area Planning Certification Review Primer

Introduction

Consistent with 23 U.S.C 134(k)(5) and 49 U.S.C 5303(k)(5), the primary purpose of a certification review is to formalize the continuing oversight and day-to-day evaluation of the planning process. The certification review process ensures that the planning requirements of 23 U.S.C. 134 and 49 U.S.C. 5303 are being satisfactorily implemented. In a broader sense, the certification review process is a valuable opportunity to provide advice and guidance to a Transportation Management Area (TMA), defined as an urbanized area with a population over 200,000, for enhancing the planning process and improving the quality of transportation investment decisions.

While the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) interact with TMA planning officials, State DOTs, Transit operators, etc on a routine basis — reviewing and approving planning products, providing technical assistance, and promoting good practice — the formal assessment during a certification review provides an objective view of the TMA transportation planning process. It can serve as a catalyst to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the planning process, and help ensure that the major transportation planning issues facing a metropolitan area are being addressed. In addition, by identifying noteworthy practices, which can be shared with other states, MPOs, and transit operators, the certification process provides an opportunity for continued progress in expanding the art of transportation planning while implementing the regulations.

Because planning certification reviews are major events for an MPO and its partner planning/transportation agencies, the FHWA and the FTA have developed the accompanying topic "outlines" to serve as a primer for those individuals and organizations involved in the certification review process. This primer provides a basic understanding of the key concepts and expectations addressed through a review, along with references to pertinent laws, regulations, policies, and other resources. The primer, however, is not intended to provide details on all the steps of or all the topics covered through the certification review process. Neither does it set a standard, establish a policy, or promulgate a regulation for TMA planning processes.

The primer reflects a compilation of the collective experiences of many certification reviews undertaken since the passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) in 1991. With this "Introduction", the primer is organized into three major sections with subsections:

This primer is available electronically at the following website: www.planning.dot.gov and will be updated periodically to include additional topics or information.

Questions about any of the topics discussed in this book should be directed to the transportation planning staff in your state or region. For additional support, contact your local FHWA division or FTA regional office. For information on how to reach FHWA or FTA staff, visit the FHWA and FTA websites at: www.fhwa.dot.gov and www.fta.dot.gov, or the Transportation Planning Capacity Building website at www.planning.dot.gov.

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Topic Outlines

Part 1 — Certification Process

Section 1-1: Process Overview

Federal Statute

   23 USC 134(k)(5)
   49 USC 5303(k)(5)

Primary Federal Regulations
   23 CFR 450.334(b)
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm

Introduction

  • Stewardship of planning process
  • Planning process addresses the major issues facing the area
  • Noteworthy practices and opportunities for continued progress
  • All planning partners appropriately cooperate in the planning process

Scope of Review — More information in Section 1.3 below

  • Compliance with planning regulations
  • Technical and administrative elements of the process
    • Study Organization
    • Metropolitan Planning Boundaries
    • Agreements and Contracts
    • UPWP Development
    • Transportation Planning Process
    • Regional Transportation Plan Development
    • Financial Planning
    • Air Quality
    • TIP Development/Approval/Amendment/Project Selection
    • Public Outreach
    • Self Certification
    • Title VI and related requirements
    • Congestion Management Process (CMP)
    • List of obligated projects
    • Environmental Mitigation
    • Consultation and coordination
    • Management and operations
    • Safety
    • Security
    • Freight
    • Visualization
    • Documentation of planning process
    • Travel demand models
    • Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
  • Identify topics to include in the review
    • Not necessary to cover all possible topics to same extent or in same manner
    • Progress from previous reviews
    • Current/recent conditions
    • Maturity of planning process
    • Issues addressed through desk audit/routine oversight or periodic review
    • Issues requiring discussion during on-site review
  • Frequency of Review
    • Review held a minimum of once every four years
      • Option to conduct review more frequently based on need/circumstances
    • Consequences if certification lapses
      • STIP/TIP and STIP/TIP approvals delayed
  • Review Approach
    • Federal agencies
      • Set timeframe (may be 6–9 months or more) and organize review
      • Establish scope of review
      • Prepare for and hold on-site review
      • Follow up post-site visit

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Section 1-2: Organization of the Review

Federal Statute

   23 USC 134(k)(5)
   49 USC 5303(k)(5)

Federal Regulations

   23 CFR 450.334(b)
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

Establishing the Review Date

  • Date for on-site visit
    • Efforts begin early
    • Consider
      • current certification expiration
      • date of last visit
      • time to complete report
      • availability of affected parties

Developing Overall Schedule

  • Time sequence for completing all steps of review

Establishing the Certification Review Team

  • Commitment of time and resources
  • Assignment of various roles and responsibilities during review process
    • On-site visit
    • Public involvement meeting logistics
    • Report preparation
    • Formal presentation(s) to MPO policy committee/others

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Section 1-3: Scope of Review

Federal Statute

   23 USC 134(k)(5)
   49 USC 5303(k)(5)

Federal Regulations

   23 CFR 450.334(b)
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • Drawing on Knowledge from Routine Contacts
    • Status reports provided by State, MPO, and transit operator
    • Formal reports from other related Federal reviews, with explanations and context
    • Files and notes from prior site visits and on-going oversight (correspondence, minutes of MPO committee meetings, etc.)
    • Written records from specific meetings with the State, MPO, and transit operators on progress related to past findings.
    • Key planning documents, such as the Plan, TIP, AQ conformity, and UPWP
    • Information from FTA Triennial Reviews of transit providers
    • Civil Rights investigations/complaints
    • Other records/files
    • Risk Assessment Tools
    • Attendance at MPO meetings and stakeholder events
  • Examining Past Reviews and Assessing Progress
    • Prior findings from previous reviews
      • Corrective Actions, and
      • Recommendations
      • Noteworthy Practices
    • Written records from specific meetings with the State, MPO, and transit operators on progress related to past findings.
  • Looking at External Factors
    • Organizational changes
    • Formation of a new "umbrella" agency, which includes the MPO, or other organizations affecting the MPO or involved in the regional transportation planning process
    • Economic and demographic forecasts
    • Political issues (votes or controversies)
    • Change in MPO planning or air quality boundaries
    • Funding issues and changes
    • Proposed new projects
    • Issues and trends in regions that are adjacent or are otherwise closely connected to the MPO's region
  • Office Desk Review
    • Comprehensive assessment of the planning process before the site visit
      • Key information gathering technique to determine focus of review process
    • Responses to written questions from planning agencies
    • Latest planning products: Metropolitan Plan, TIP, UPWP, CMP, PPP, agreements, conformity determinations, etc.
    • Option of making findings/compliance checks on certain aspects of the planning process
  • Determining Review Content
    • Appropriate level of review for various review topic/issues
    • Limit redundancy
      • For example, desk audit can be comprehensive, allowing the on-site visit to be selective
    • Topics can be selected for follow-up review at future date
      • Document decisions on follow-up reviews in final review report

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Section 1-4: Preparation for On-site Review

Federal Statute

   23 USC 134(k)(5)
   49 USC 5303(k)(5)

Federal Regulations

   No specific regulations

Items to Review/Confirm

  • Assigning Team Responsibilities
    • Team conference call or meeting
    • Topics and corresponding moderators and note takers
    • New Federal initiatives and emphasis areas
    • Carryover topics from previous reviews
    • Designate individual to develop draft agenda for distribution at least 1 month prior to review
  • Developing the Final Agenda (minimum 2 weeks prior to review)
    • Confirm discussion leaders are prepared
    • Identify/discuss key issues
    • Discuss format, scope and responsibilities for report writing
    • Distribute agenda to MPO, State DOT, Transit operators, etc who will be participants in the on-site review.

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Section 1-5: On-Site Review

Federal Statute

   23 USC 134(k)(5)
   49 USC 5303(k)(5)

Federal Regulations

   No specific regulations

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • Elements of Visit
    • Kick-off Meeting
      • Purpose of meeting
      • Highlight topics to be covered
      • Discuss timeline for issuing an updated Certification finding
      • Reemphasize that FHWA and FTA are part of the process and work with the State DOT, MPO, and Transit Operator
    • Planning Process Overview
      • Include State and transit operator
      • Highlight changes that have occurred locally
      • Items for review team to be aware of
    • Status of Previous Certification Review Findings
      • Highlight previous resolved and un-resolved findings
    • Discussion Topics for the Current Review
      • Priority topics identified (via assessing progress on past findings, routine contacts, office review, and other sources)
    • Public Involvement
      • Coordinating Public Involvement Logistics
        • Federal review team, with assistance from MPO or others, selects appropriate site and time for meeting
          • Neutral location recommended
          • Accommodate large group
          • Reserve for a minimum of two hours
          • Accessible to public transportation
          • Hearing impaired
          • Foreign language interpreters, if needed
          • Compliance with American with Disabilities Act
        • Announcements/public notices sent to all interested persons and groups
        • Provide a federal contact-e-mail and/or address
        • Notices mailed no later than ten (10) days prior to the public meeting
      • Conducting Public Involvement
        • Method is documented in Public
        • Participation Plan and/or Citizen's Guide
        • Sign-in sheet and/or speaker's card
        • Federal team manages the meeting
        • Explain purpose of meeting
        • Describe elements of the TMA certification review and the Federal planning requirements
        • Summarized the results of previous reviews
        • Describe what will happen during and after public meeting
      • Addressing Meeting Comments
        • Federal team records comments
        • Identify common themes and relate them to appropriate elements of the review
    • Meetings with Local Interested Parties and Elected Officials
      • Solicit opinions of the process and strengths/weaknesses of the process.
    • Outreach and Training
      • New Federal initiatives, regulations, or noteworthy practices from other areas
    • Close-out Meeting — Federal team will:
      • Thank participants for their time
      • Highlight progress since last certification
      • Summarize items discussed during the current review
      • Outline remaining steps leading to new certification report
      • Discuss the need for formal presentation to policy board
      • Preliminary findings-areas of concern that need further consideration
  • Planning Topics
    • Study Area Organization Structure
    • Metropolitan Planning Area Boundaries
    • Agreements and Contracts
    • Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Development
    • Transportation Planning Process
    • Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) Development
    • Financial Planning
    • Air Quality
    • TIP Development and Project Selection
    • Public Outreach
    • Self-certification
    • Title VI and Related Requirements
    • Congestion Management Process (CMP)
    • List of Obligated Projects
    • Environmental Mitigation
    • Consultation and Coordination
    • Management and Operations Considerations
    • Transportation Safety Planning
    • Security in the Planning Process
    • Integrating Freight in the Transportation Planning Process
    • Visualization Techniques
  • Preparing for Media and Interested Party Participation
    • Be aware of local requirements and level of interest

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Section 1-6: Post-Site Visit

Federal Statute

   23 USC 134(k)(5)
   49 USC 5303(k)(5)

Federal Regulations

   23 CFR 450.334(b)
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • Identifying Certification Categories and Actions
    • Meets or substantially meets requirements vs. Does not meet requirements
    • Approved TIP = certified in some manner
    • No TIP = cannot certify
    • Other actions possible, depending upon outcome of review
  • Defining Key Terms
    • Findings
    • Corrective Action
    • Recommendation
    • Commendations-Noteworthy Practices
  • Indirect Issues
    • Internal situations
  • Size and Complexity
    • Smaller TMA area vs. larger and more complex TMA area
  • Defining Corrective Actions
    • What FHWA/FTA expect
    • When FHWA/FTA expect it to be resolved
    • Consequences of non-compliance
  • Certification Report Styles
    • Summary, intermediate, or stand-alone report, based on
      • Audience
      • Significance/complexity of findings
      • Intended outcome
  • Certification Report Content
    • Standard content/outline
      • Preface
      • Executive Summary
      • Introduction
      • Prior Review Elements
      • Current Review Elements
        • Requirements/Background
        • Current Status
        • Findings
        • Listing of Commendations, Recommendations and Corrective Actions
      • Public Comments
      • Conclusions/Recommendations
      • Appendices
    • Balance of findings accurately representing the planning process
    • Highlight/share noteworthy practices
  • Developing the Draft/Maintaining the Schedule
    • Final report preparation
      • Ideally:
        • Final draft ready 45-60 days after site visit
        • Final report ready 60-90 days after site visit
  • External Review
    • Reviewed agencies can expect chance to review at least portions of the draft review report for factual accuracy
    • Federal team members may have face-to-face briefings on findings with affected parties
  • Presentation of Findings
    • Describe outcome of the review
      • Commendations
      • Needed improvements (recommendations)
      • Corrective actions
      • Clarify US DOT expectations
    • Transmitting Certification Report
      • Follow procedure used to notify agencies of the review, OR
      • Transmit to MPO Board with copies to State DOT/Transit operators/others, OR
      • Transmit separately to planning partners
    • Transmittal Letter
      • Thanks to participants
      • Core message
        • Describes key points and summarize outcome
        • Clearly identifies notable practices and any corrective actions and US DOT expectations
      • Dated/signed before previous certification expires
      • Date of letter sets due date of next certification
    • Present findings to MPO Policy Board
      • Joint FHWA Division/FTA Region presentation
      • Short, concise, balanced
      • Provide report to Board members to review before presentation
    • Can make presentations to other agencies/organization
  • Follow-up
    • Appropriate action depends upon nature of findings
      • Corrective actions require formal FHWA/FTA follow-up
      • Recommendations warrant certain follow-up
      • Do not wait until next certification review to address findings
    • Corrective Actions (CAs)
      • May restrict project advancement
      • Establish milestone dates/deadlines for addressing CAs
      • Develop approach with MPO/planning partners to resolve issues
      • Determine needed assistance from FHWA/FTA and other sources
      • Federal agencies will develop federal steps to monitor/assess progress
        • Assess if/when
          • CAs fully resolved or
          • Sufficient progress warrants time extension
      • Remove conditional/limited certification or deadline extended
      • Formal notice to MPO/planning partners when CAs addressed to federal team satisfaction
    • Recommendations
      • May follow-up through routine oversight activities
        • May not require formal monitoring, milestones, deadlines
        • Address according to level of problem
      • Affected agencies will indicate how they will address recommendations
      • Federal agencies will offer appropriate assistance, resources, feedback

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Part 2 — Certification Topics

Section 2-1: Organizational Structure of Study Area

Federal Statute:

   23 USC 134(d)
   49 USC 5303(d)

Primary Federal Regulations

   23 CFR 450.310
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • Regulatory Requirements
    • Requires designation of MPO for each urbanized area, consisting of
      • Local elected officials
      • If MPO is (re)designated after 12/18/91(in accordance with 23 CFR 450.310), the policy board will include officials of agencies that operate major modes of transportation
    • Remains in effect unless/until formal redesignation
  • Application for Certification (at least for first review)
    • Review date/document/status of (re)designation
    • Examine appropriateness of current membership
    • Set up and membership of other MPO committees

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Section 2-2: Metropolitan Planning Area Boundaries

Federal Statute:

   23 USC 101(37)
   23 USC 134(e)
   49 USC 5303(e)

Federal Regulations

   23 CFR 450.312
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • Regulatory Requirements
    • Difference between terms/boundaries
      • Census Urbanized Area (UZA) Boundary
      • FHWA Urbanized Boundary (UAB)
      • Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA) Boundary
      • Nonattainment Area Boundary
    • Key application: MPA
      • MPA established according to law
      • Include the UZA and area expected to be urbanized over next 20 years
      • MPA may be expanded to cover entire designated nonattainment/maintenance area
  • Application to Certification
    • MPA defines area from which federally-funded projects are drawn from financially-constrained plan and TIP
      • Federal transportation planning processes apply to entire MPA
    • Urban transit systems limited within or providing service to MPA
    • UZAs not eligible for transit operating funds (with certain exceptions)
    • STP rural funds cannot be spent inside UAB
    • Formula TMA STP funds can be used anywhere within the MPA
    • Restrictions on/allowances for billboards along interstate/other primary highways
    • PL and MP funds must be used within MPAs, except for minimum apportionment states if certain requirements are met
    • UAB affects functional classification of roads

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Section 2-3: Agreements and Contracts

Federal Statute:

   23 USC 134(c),(d),(f),(i),(j)
   49 USC 5303(c),(d), (f), (i),(j)
   49 USC 5304

Primary Federal Regulations

   23 CFR 450.314
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • Regulatory Requirements
    • MPO, State DOT, public transportation agencies cooperate in "3-C" planning process
    • Respective roles, responsibilities, and procedures specified in agreements
      • Between MPO and State DOT
      • Between MPO and public transit operators
      • In nonattainment areas, between MPO and AQ agency(ies)
      • Single agreement for all encouraged to extent possible
    • More than one MPO in single metropolitan area, agreements between MPOs, State(s), and AQ agency(ies) to assure coordination
  • Application for Certification
    • Agreements current and reflect most recent legislation/regulations
    • Agreements correspond to a "3C" planning process
    • Current planning procedures reflect content of agreements

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Section 2-4: Unified Planning Work Program Development

Federal Statute:

   23 USC 134(c),(h)
   49 USC 5303(c), (h)

Primary Federal Regulations

   23 CFR 420.109
   23 CFR 450.308
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • Regulatory Requirements
    • MPO develops UPWP in cooperation with State DOT, transit operators
      • UPWP reflects:
        • planning priorities
        • who will perform work
        • description of work
        • schedule for work completion
        • intended products
        • cost estimates of activities
        • financial summary of all funds
        • all activities funded under Title 23 and the Federal Transit Act
    • UPWP may be combined with Prospectus or another work program with other federal planning funds
  • Application for Certification
    • UPWP is product of a cooperative approach
    • All required elements are included
    • UPWP consistent with objectives/priorities of Transportation Plan
    • Provides strategic direction for transportation activities

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Section 2-5: Transportation Planning Process

Federal Statute:

   23 USC 134
   49 USC 5303

Primary Federal Regulations

   23 CFR 450.300
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • Responsibilities, Cooperation, and Coordination
    • Cooperative development and determination of mutual responsibilities
      • UPWP
      • Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP)
      • TIP
      • CMP
      • Corridor refinement studies
    • Approval Actions
      • TP by MPO
      • TIP by MPO and Governor
    • Coordination of TP and SIP (in non-attainment or maintenance areas)
      • MTP development with the SIP
      • Development of TCMs
      • MTP conforms to SIP
    • Multiple MPOs cooperation
      • MPA established by MPOs and Governor(s)
      • Jurisdictional boundaries by MPOs and Governor(s)
      • MPOs consult together and the State(s)
    • Participation in Plan development by
      • State(s)
      • Federal agency(ies) if Federal land(s)
      • Native American tribal governments if tribal areas
  • Elements:
    • Planning factors are identified
    • Proactive public involvement (PI)
      • Complete and timely information, as appropriate, to
        • Citizens
        • Affected public agencies
        • Private providers of transportation
        • Local, State and Federal environmental agencies
      • Consistent with provisions in the Public Participation Plan (PPP)
      • Minimum comment period of 45 days on process
      • Full public access to key decisions
      • Early and continuous PI in MTP and TIP development
      • Preparation of technical and other reports to assure MTP development reasonably available to interested parties
      • Process periodically reviewed by MPO for effectiveness
      • Consistent with Title VI of Civil Rights Act of 1964
      • Identifies actions necessary for Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 compliance
  • Relation to Congestion Management Process (CMP):
    • CMP provides for
      • Effective management of new and existing transportation facilities through
        • Reduction of travel demand
        • Operational management strategies
      • Evaluation of SOV capacity increasing projects in non-attainment areas

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Section 2-6: Metropolitan Transportation Plan Development

Federal Statute:

   23 USC 134(c) and (i)
   49 USC 5303(c) and (i)

Primary Federal Regulations

   23 CFR 450.322
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • Development
    • 20 year minimum
    • Long and Short Range strategies
      • Lead to development of an integrated Intermodal transportation system
      • Facilitates efficient movement of people and goods
    • MTP addresses
      • Demand analysis
      • Congestion management strategies
      • Planning Factors as modified by SAFETEA-LU
      • Pedestrian walkway and bicycle facilities
      • Transportation system preservation
      • Multimodal evaluation of transportation and SEE impacts of the TP
      • Consideration of
        • Area's comprehensive land use plan and development objectives
        • National, State and local housing goals and strategies
        • Community development and employment plans and strategies
        • Environmental resource plans
        • National, State and local goals and objectives, such as linking low income households with employment opportunities
        • Area's overall SEE (social, economic, and environmental) and energy conservation goals and objectives
      • Transportation enhancements
      • Financial plan documenting consistency between transportation investments and available and projected sources of revenue
      • Public official and citizen involvement
        • Consistent with provision of the Public Participation Plan
        • Public outreach/review/feedback throughout phases of plan development
        • Availability of document for public review in electronic formats, if possible
      • Inclusion of all regionally significant projects
      • Air Quality Conformity needs in air quality non-attainment and maintenance areas
        • Formal air quality conformity determination
        • Design concept and scope descriptions of all existing and proposed transportation facilities

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Section 2-7: Financial Planning

Federal Statute:

23 USC 134(i)(2)(C)
23 USC 134(j)(1)(C)
23 USC 134(j)(2)(B)
49 USC 5303(i)(2)(C)
49 USC 5303(j)(1)(C)
49 USC 5303(j)(2)(B)

Primary Federal Regulations

   23 CFR 450.322(f)(10)
   23 CFR 450.324(e)(2) & (3),(h) thru (k)
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • Metropolitan Transportation Plan
    • Revenue estimates:
      • Cooperatively developed by State, MPO and public transit operator(s)
      • Reflect existing revenues and historical trends
      • Include reasonable public and private sources
      • May include new funding sources supported by implementation plan
    • Identifies estimated system level costs for operation and maintenance (O&M) of system
    • Cost estimates:
      • Process for determination documented
      • Reviewed
      • Periodically updated
      • Ranges or bands acceptable in the outer 10 years
    • Balances and demonstrates consistency of existing and proposed revenue sources with all forecasted O&M and project costs
    • Reflects Year of Expenditure (YOE) revenues and cost estimates
    • In non-attainment and maintenance areas, addresses specific financial strategies to ensure implementation of required air quality projects
  • TIP
    • Financially constrained by year
    • Accounts for costs of operating and maintaining the existing system
    • Identifies projects that can be implemented with current revenue sources and which require proposed revenue sources
    • Includes:
      • All Federally funded transportation projects
      • All regionally significant non-federally funded projects
      • Only projects (or phases of projects) if full funding reasonably expected to be available for entire project completion
      • Only projects that have funds reasonably expected to be available for construction and operations
      • Amount and category of Federal funds proposed to be obligated per program year
    • Revenue estimates cooperatively developed by State, MPO and public transportation operator(s)
    • Revenue estimates include public and private sources that are reasonably expected to be available
    • Revenue estimates may include strategies for ensuring availability of new funding sources
    • Costs estimates should be reviewed and process documented
    • Cost estimates should be reviewed periodically
    • Identify total project cost that may extend beyond the years covered in the TIP
    • Reflects Year of Expenditure (YOE) revenues and cost estimates
    • In non-attainment and maintenance areas, includes in the first two years only projects for which funds are available or committed
    • Gives priority to eligible TCMs
  • What to Look for
    • Examine how revenues are forecasted and how cost estimates are derived
    • Documented cooperative processes
    • Procedures on use of innovative funding techniques and Advance Construction (AC)
    • Operations and maintenance costs
  • Applicability to Certification
    • Treatment of illustrative projects
      • Metropolitan Transportation Plan
      • TIP
    • Treatment of AC and other innovative financing techniques
    • Financial perspective of TIP amendments
    • Revenue forecasts
      • Cooperative process for development
      • Consistency across different agencies
    • Precision of cost estimates
      • Maintenance
      • Operation
      • Projects
    • Major Projects
    • YOE
    • "Vision" planning and alternative funding

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Section 2-8: Air Quality
(Non-attainment & Maintenance areas)

Federal Statute:

   1990 Clean Air Act Amendment Section 176 (c)(1)

Primary Federal Regulations:

   23 CFR 450.312(b)    23 CFR 450.314(b) & (c)    23CFR 450.316(b)    23 CFR 450.320(d) & (e)    23 CFR 450.322(a),(c),(f)(10) & (k)    23 CFR 450.324(a),(b),(e), (i),(j),(m)    23 CFR 450.326    23 CFR 450.334(a)    49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • Agreements/Coordination
    • Between MPO and designated air quality planning agency
    • Among MPO, State DOT, State AQ and local AQ agencies if entire area not included in MPA
    • Among MPOs, State DOT, State AQ and local AQ agencies if more than one MPO covers the non-attainment/ maintenance area
    • Acceptable Interagency Conformity process
    • Involvement in establishing air quality emission budgets
  • MTP Process
    • Coordinated MTP development with SIP development process
    • MTP conforms to SIP when adopted
    • All SOV, significantly increasing capacity projects came from CMP
    • MPO, FTA and FHWA conformity determination on any new or revised MTP
    • Transportation and emission modeling acceptable
  • MTP Content
    • Existing and future transportation facilities include design concept and scope
  • TIP Process
    • MPO, FTA and FHWA conformity determination on any new or amended TIP
    • Opportunity for at least one public meeting during development
    • Timely implementation of eligible TCMs
    • If amended by adding or deleting projects that affect transportation related emissions, a new conformity determination was completed
  • TIP Content
    • Existing and future transportation facilities include design concept and scope
    • Include all regionally significant transportation projects proposed, regardless of funding
    • Identify TCM projects and describe their progress
    • List all projects found to conform in the previous TIP that are now part of the base case for conformity

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Section 2-9: TIP Development and Project Selection

Federal Statute:

   23 USC 134(j)
   49 USC 5303(j)

Primary Federal Regulations:

   23 CFR 450.324 and 450.326    49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • Regulatory Requirements
    • TIP is no more than four years old
      • Cannot certify if TIP is more than four years old or nonexistent
      • See 23 USC 134 (k)(5)(B)
    • Date of adoption of TIP/inclusion in the current STIP
    • If applicable, date of FHWA/FTA conformity determination
    • Public comment opportunities/process
      • Availability of TIP in electronic formats (e.g., Internet) if possible
    • TIP covers four years of projects minimum (to meet federal requirements)
    • In nonattainment/maintenance areas, SIP-identified TCMs given priority
    • Financial constraint demonstrated by year
    • TIP is multi-modal
      • Contains all regionally significant projects, regardless of how they are funded
      • Projects consistent with current Metropolitan Transportation Plan
    • Sufficient descriptive information for project or phase
      • Total cost
      • Amount of federal funds for each year
      • Proposed source of all funds
      • Project funding recipient/sponsor
      • Estimated total project cost, which may extend beyond the four years of the TIP
      • If needed, description of TCMs and sufficient detail provided for conformity
      • Limit on FTA section 9 funds
    • Small scale projects may be grouped
    • No suballocation of STP or section 9 funds unless based on needs identified through planning process considerations
    • Prioritizing/implementing elements of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan
    • Status of major projects from previous TIP
    • In nonattainment/maintenance areas, demonstrate progress of implementing TCMs
    • Annual list of projects (obligated preceding year — See checklist # 2-14)
  • Other Requirements
    • 23 CFR 450.326
      • Modification of TIP
        • Public involvement process followed
        • In nonattainment/maintenance areas, new conformity determination when affecting regional emissions levels
    • 23 CFR 450.326
      • TIP included in STIP without modification
    • 23 CFR 450.330
      • Project selection procedures
        • TMAs, projects selected by the MPO in consultation with State DOT
          • Exceptions: NHS, bridge, interstate maintenance, and Federal Lands projects
        • If TIP meets 23 CFR 450.324, use "agreed to" list in first year
        • Expedited procedures allowed for second-fourth years
        • Timely implementation of TCMs
  • Application for Certification
    • Project selection process
      • MPO selects, except for projects on NHS and funded with Bridge, IM, and FLH program
      • MPO consults with state DOT and transit operators
    • Formal Project Prioritization Process
      • Move projects within four year framework of TIP without amendments
      • Administrative Amendment procedures
    • Grouping of small individual projects into lump sum/line item listings
    • Cooperative development of TIP
      • Clearly defined
      • Available to participants
      • Joint decision-making
      • Flexible funding provisions

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Section 2-10: Public Outreach

Federal Statute:

   23 USC 134(i)(5)
   23 USC 134(j)(4)&(7)
   49 USC 5303(i)(5)
   49 USC 5303(j)(4)&(7)

Primary Federal Regulations:

   23 CFR 450.316
   23 CFR 450.318(b)(2)
   23 CFR 450.322(i)
   23 CFR 450.324(b)
   49 CFR 613.100

Other:

   MPO's Adopted Public Participation Plan (PPP)

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • Common Process
    • PPP is developed in consultation with "all interested parties"
    • Adopted public outreach and involvement policy that clearly outlines process, including:
      • Required periods for comment
      • Required public information actions
      • Identification of actions to which the policy applies
    • Proactive outreach
      • Efforts consistent with region's size, complexity and diversity
      • Efforts focused to inform low income and minority populations
      • Make information, opportunities to respond and provide comment, and meeting places and times reasonably available
      • Efforts to organize and present information in an easily understandable format
      • Efforts to clearly focus on key issues and alternatives under consideration
    • Provides complete information
    • Timely, public notice and information about transportation issues and processes
    • Full public access to key decisions and time for public review and comment
    • 45 day minimum public comment period prior to adoption or revision of Public Participation Plan
    • Explicit consideration and response to public input
    • Consideration of the needs of people traditionally underserved by transportation systems, including low-income and Title VI, as well as actions necessary for ADA compliance
    • Coordination with other planning activities that affect or are affected by transportation
    • Periodic review of the effectiveness of the public participation plan/involvement process
    • Coordination with statewide public involvement processes
    • Provide a clear process demonstrating how public comments are considered in the regional planning process
    • Addresses accommodation of population with limited English proficiency.
  • MTP Process
    • Opportunity for public official and citizen involvement
      • Involvement in early stages of development
      • Provisions for public review and comment, including accessibility to plans through electronic formats (e.g., through the Internet), when possible
    • Consultation with other agencies, as appropriate, responsible for land use management, natural resources, environmental protection, conservation, historic preservation, and wildlife management (see Chapters 2-15 and 2-16, below)
  • TIP Process
    • Early and continuing public involvement in development
    • Provisions for public review and comment, including accessibility through electronic formats (e.g., through the Internet), when possible
    • In non-attainment TMAs, an opportunity for at least one formal public meeting during the development process

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Section 2-11: Self-Certifications

Federal Statute:

   No specific citation

Primary Federal Regulations:

   23 CFR 450.328(a)
   23 CFR 450.334(a)
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • What to Look for
    • Transit authority, State DOT and others involved
    • Criteria (to establish self-certification) appears reasonable
    • Public comment
      • Opportunities for public notice/review
      • Documentation available to support self-certification
      • Public comments are addressed
    • Documented self-certification review/adoption procedures
    • Planning/transportation agencies have procedures, policies, and/or guidelines that address Title VI, ADA, DBE, Older Americans Act, etc.., as required by regulation
    • Policy Board
      • Aware of requirements
      • Provided documentation/support
      • Clear understanding/acceptance of self-certification
    • Processes exist for evaluations and follow-up

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Section 2-12: Title VI and Related Requirements

Federal Statute:

   Various

Primary Federal Regulations:

   23 CFR 450.316
   23 CFR 450.334(a)(3)
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • What to Look for:
    • Minority and low income population concentrations and issues identified
    • Standards, measures and benchmarks are reasonable to demonstrate significant disparity of impacts in accessibility to and delivery of transportation facilities/services
    • Groups provided with various opportunities to meaningfully engage in the regional transportation planning process
    • Identity and address the needs of groups with limited English proficiency
    • Needs of groups identified and considered during the planning process
    • The MTP, TIP, and other aspects and products of the planning process are consistent with Title VI and related laws/requirements

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Section 2-13: Congestion Management Process

Federal Statute:

   23 USC 134(k)(3)
   23 USC 135 (i)
   49 USC 5303(k)(3)

Primary Federal Regulations:

   23 CFR 450.320
   23 CFR 500.109
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • Requirements
    • Development of CMP in TMAs
      • Provides safe and effective management of new/existing transportation facilities
      • Based on cooperatively developed and implemented metropolitan-wide strategy
      • Uses travel demand reduction (TDR) and management and operations (M&O) strategies
    • State-directed programs that can constitute a CMP
    • A CMP must include
      • Methods to monitor/evaluate performance of system
      • Definition of congestion management objectives and appropriate performance measures to assess the extent of congestion and evaluating effectiveness of strategies
        • Tailored to needs of area
        • Established cooperatively by State, MPO(s), local officials, operators of major modes of transportation
      • Data collection and system performance monitoring
      • Identification and evaluation of anticipated performance; strategies can include
        • Demand management including growth management and congestion pricing
        • Traffic operational improvements
        • Public transportation improvements
        • ITS technologies
        • Additional capacity, when necessary
      • Implementation schedule
      • Periodic assessment of effectiveness of implemented strategies
    • New TMAs have 18 months from designation to develop functional CMP
  • What to look for:
    • Operation objectives
    • Adherence to the recommended 8-step CMP approach
    • Performance measures
    • Data collection
    • Process to measure system performance/congestion
    • Causes of congestion
    • Development, evaluation, ranking of alternative strategies (including network-wide strategies)
    • Strategies that reduce SOV travel
    • In nonattainment areas, SOV capacity increasing projects come from CMP which identifies all reasonable management strategies
    • Demonstrated commitment to and tracking of implementation of TDM and M&O strategies to manage SOV facilities
    • CMP is fully integrated with the planning process
    • Process to evaluate the effectiveness of implemented strategies

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Section 2-14: List of Obligated Projects

Federal Statute:

   23 USC 134 (j) (7)(B)
   49 USC 5303(j)(7)(B)

Primary Federal Regulations:

   23 CFR 450.332

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • What To Look for
    • Established process for conveying information on annual obligations to the MPO and general public
    • Information provided is adequate to produce the Annual Listing
    • Listing published for public review -in a timely manner (no later than 90 calendar days following the end of the program year)—for all projects for which funds are obligated each year
    • Listing may be included in the TIP or Metropolitan Transportation Plan
    • Listing of obligated projects issued separately for the years when the TIP or MTP is not updated
    • All transportation modes included
    • Projects receiving funding from both Federal and non-Federal sources
    • Public comments on listing
    • Method for comparing the projects in the Annual Listing to the TIP

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Section 2-15: Environmental Mitigation

Federal Statute:

23 USC 134(g)(3)
23 USC 134(j)(2)(B)
49 USC 5303(g)(3)
49 USC 5303(j)(2)(B)

Primary Federal Regulations:

23 CFR 450.322(f)(7)
23 CFR 450.322(g)(1–2), (i) & (j)
23 CFR 450.316(a)(1–3) & (b)
49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • What to Look for
    • Discussion of types and potential area(s) to carry out mitigation activities
    • MPO may establish reasonable timeframes for performing consultation
    • Potential environmental factors to discuss:
      • Land use, including farmland
      • Neighborhood cohesion and community disruption
      • Water quality
      • Wetlands
      • Floodplains
      • Endangered Species
      • Section 4(f)
      • Hazardous Waste Sites
      • Air Quality
      • Noise
      • Historic and archeological sites
      • Secondary and cumulative impacts
      • Property acquisitions and displacements
      • Changes to accessibility
    • Consultation efforts with applicable resource agencies should include:
      • Develop list of agencies and contacts
      • Develop consultation agreements
      • Incorporate environmentally sensitive areas into planning process
      • Assess system wide impacts
      • Work with agencies in defining potential mitigation measures and locations
      • If necessary, adjust MTP
    • Documented consultation and evaluation process
    • Identified potential mitigation measures and locations

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Section 2-16: Consultation and Coordination

Federal Statute:

23 USC 134(g)(3)
23 USC 134(j)(2)(B)(ii)
23 USC 134(i)(4)
49 USC 5303(g)(3)
49 USC 5303(j)(2)(B)(ii)
49 USC 5303(i)(4)

Primary Federal Regulations:

23 CFR 450.316(b–e)
23 CFR 450.322(g)(1–2)
23 CFR 450.322(f)(7)br> 49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:


    • Documented process(es) which include:
      • Consultation with agencies and officials responsible for other planning activities
      • Consideration of other transportation services
      • Appropriate involvement of Native American governments if in MPA
      • Appropriate involvement of Federal Public Lands if in MPA
    • Consultation, as appropriate, with officials shall involve comparison of MTP with:
      • Available State conservation plans or maps; or
      • Available inventories of natural or historic resources
      • Federal, State and Tribal land management, wildlife, and regulatory agencies in developing and considering potential environmental mitigation
  • What to Look for
    • Formal documented process for conducting consultation
    • Process should address other planning agencies and officials including Federal Lands Management and Tribal governments, as appropriate
    • MPO should make an effort to periodically evaluate the effectiveness
    • Listing (names and addresses) of agencies contacted
    • Efforts to organize and present information in an easily understandable format
    • Evidence demonstrates coordination occurred and any knowledge gained was used
    • Evidence of plans, maps, and data obtained from agencies contacted

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Section 2-17: Management and Operations (M&O)
Considerations

Federal Statute:

   23 USC 134(h)(1)(G)
   23 USC 134(i)(2)(D)
   49 USC 5303(h)(1)(G)
   49 USC 5303(i)(2)(D)

Federal Regulations:

   23 CFR 450.322(f)(10)(i)
23 CFR 450.324(h)
49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • What to Look for (overall)
    • Multi-modal approach to optimize performance of existing transportation system
    • Regional coordination and collaboration among many parties
    • Provision of higher levels of transportation system service without higher cost of physical infrastructure improvements
    • Specific goals and policies to incorporate M&O strategies in planning process
    • Measurable objectives that can be used to track progress
      • For non-recurring and recurring congestion
    • Coordinated program for data collection and system monitoring
    • Demonstration that ITS strategies are consistent with ITS Regional Architecture
  • What to Look for in the MTP/TIP
    • Vision, goals, and objectives that address regional M&O to improve system performance
    • Prioritized and regionally important short-term and long-term projects based on multi-modal planning process and most likely drawn from the CMP
    • Financial plans contain adequate assessment of costs and revenues associated with M&O activities
  • Congestion Management Process (CMP) — see Section 2-13 for more details
    • Reflects important performance measures to track multi-modal options and mobility
    • Does not only address vehicle traffic congestion
    • Evaluates expected performance and benefits of congestion management strategies
    • Does not need to be fiscally constrained, but should provide potential
      • Implementation schedules
      • Agency/organization responsibilities
      • Funding sources
    • Includes
      • Demand management measures
      • Traffic operational improvements
      • Public transportation improvements
      • ITS technologies
      • If necessary, additional system capacity
      • Periodic assessment of the effectiveness of M&O strategies after implementation
  • Applicability to Certification
    • Consistency of data, objectives, and strategies between the CMP, MTP, TIP
    • Use of data and evaluation process (probably drawn from the CMP) to assess effectiveness of M&O strategies
    • Process to track and evaluate implementation of the CMP and M&O strategies
    • Methodology to assess and document costs of and anticipated revenues for M&O activities in MTP/TIP

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Section 2-18: Transportation Safety Planning

Federal Statute:

   23 USC 134(h)(1)(C)
   23 USC 148
   49 USC 5303(h)(1)(C)

Federal Regulations:

   23 CFR 450.306(a)(2)
   23 CFR 450.306(h)
   23 CFR 450.320
   23 CFR 450.322(h)
   23 CFR 450.324(c)(1)
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • What to Look for
    • Comprehensive, system-wide, multi-modal, and proactive strategic process to integrate safety considerations into planning
      • Collaborative process
      • Data-driven approach
      • Comprehensive approach
    • Address transportation safety in plans and programs on par with other priorities by demonstrating
      • Transportation planners are familiar with safety issues and concerns
      • Transportation plans include safety element with identified goals, objectives, and strategies
      • Data is used to benchmark and measure safety concerns
      • TIP project selection process includes safety criteria and data analysis
      • Highway safety projects in TIP consistent with Strategic Highway Safety Program (SHSP) goals
  • Applicability to Certification
    • Demonstrate that safety is incorporated into the planning process through
      • Inclusion of measurable safety goals/objectives in transportation plans
      • Addressing safety issues/projects addressed in a consistent manner through the transportation plan, TIP, and, for highway projects, SHSP
      • Key planning and safety professionals collaborate in development of transportation plan and TIP
      • Inclusion of safety planning work activities in the unified planning work program (UPWP) such as safety trends analysis/forecasting
      • Planning Staff training in transportation safety planning
      • Planning staff participate in the development and implementation of the SHSP

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Section 2-19: Security in the Planning Process

Federal Statute:

   23 USC 134(h)(1)(C)
   49 USC 5303(h)(1)(C)

Federal Regulations:

   23 CFR 450.306(a)(3)
   23 CFR 450.322(h)
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • What to Look for
    • MPO encouraged to create a local definition to meet both regional needs and intent of planning factor
    • Recognition of the benefits of collaboration and coordination early in the planning process
    • Communication with local counterparts to prepare for emergency situations
    • Role of MPO appropriate to circumstances and needs in respective regions
      • May require MPO to define a new and different role in regard to planning response to emergencies
    • MPO efforts are part of or build on existing emergency preparedness process/programs
  • Applicability to Certification
    • For some MPOs, security planning may be a relatively new endeavor
    • Issues to cover include
      • How is security planning defined in the region?
      • How does the MPO collaborate with security/emergency response professionals and organizations?
      • How are security planning activities/roles described in the UPWP, transportation plan, CMP, other documents?
      • What potential emergencies are of greatest local concern?
      • If evacuation is needed, are there plans to provide for the "transportation disadvantaged"?
      • Does the MPO have a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)?

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Section 2-20: Integrating Freight in the Transportation Planning Process

Federal Statute:

   23 USC 134(h)
   49 USC 5303(h)

Federal Regulations:

   23 CFR 450.104 — Definitions
   23 CFR 450.306(a)
   23 CFR 450.316(a)
   23 CFR 450.316(b)
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • What to Look for
    • Efforts to include freight planning as part of the overall planning process
    • UPWP
      • Studies related to improvements in rail, intermodal freight transfers, intermodal connectors to enhance integration and connectivity of the transportation system across modes
    • MPO Organization Roles and Responsibilities
      • Development of staff expertise regarding freight issues
      • Need for additional training
      • Agency awareness of freight planning resources, including FHWA's Freight Professional Development program and "Talking Freight" web seminars, and NHI and other training courses
    • Metropolitan Transportation Plan and TIP
      • Contain references to current and future proposed intermodal, freight-related transportation facilities and connections
      • NHS intermodal connector system is periodically reviewed and updated, as needed
    • Travel Demand Forecasting
      • Up to date travel demand forecast estimates and traffic data with ability to identify areas of recurring congestion
      • Origin-destination studies capture freight movements with metropolitan area
      • Development and application of regional freight analysis models
      • Status of data collection/assessment concerning freight system performance
        • Planning funds can be used for data collection and travel model calibration and validation
    • CMP
      • Monitoring of delay and other system performance relating to freight movements and development of associated performance goals
      • Availability of maps indicating areas of recurring congestion (possibly using GIS format) that particularly impact freight system performance
    • Public Participation Plan
      • Demonstration that the MPO and/or other planning partners have proactively engaged the private sector, freight providers and similar entities
      • Use of maps developed to show freight system characteristics and performance to enhance public understanding of freight and congestion issues
    • Freight Advisory Committees
      • Optional, but can useful as part of public participation process or technical support to the planning process
      • If it exists, demonstrate how such a committee has influenced the transportation planning and decision-making processes in the region
      • If does not exist, assess how such a committee could be structured and provide input into the regional planning process

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Section 2-21: Visualization Techniques

Federal Statute:

   23 USC 134(i)(5)(C)(ii)
   49 USC 5303(i)(5)(C)(ii)

Federal Regulations:

   23 CFR 450.316(a)(1)(iii)
   49 CFR 613.100

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • What to Look for
    • Use of visualization techniques in planning documents
    • Use of creative graphics instead of or to augment more traditional tables or charts of data
    • Use and evidence of visualization techniques for public information/participation purposes
    • Evaluation of effectiveness of visualization techniques
    • Use of multimedia presentations to help public "visualize" alternatives or various scenarios for proposed plans and project modes
    • Use of GIS database to display information
    • Illustrations of outputs from travel forecasting models used to develop/support transportation plans and programs and other activities
    • Broadcasts of MPO board or other planning meetings via local government access cable channels
    • Website(s) that make use of appropriate images/graphics to share information and obtain feedback from the public
    • Awareness of the FHWA "Visualization in Planning" website and other resources
  • Applicability to Certification
    • Demonstration that the planning process takes advantage of a variety of techniques and advancing technologies
    • Effectiveness of applied visualization techniques and efforts to evaluate/revise techniques when warranted
    • Examination of feedback from public, based on clarity of outreach efforts, including value of visualization techniques
    • Evaluation of the needs and capabilities of the TMA MPO (and planning partners) under review and the appropriate level of the sophistication of the visualization techniques employed within the TMA

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Section 2-22: Land Use and Livability

Federal Statute:

   23 USC 134(g)
   23 USC 134(h)(1)
   23 USC 134(i)(2)(B)
   23 USC 134(i)(4)
   49 USC 5305(c)

Federal Regulations:

   23 CFR 450.306(a)(5)
   23 CFR 450.316(d)
   23 CFR 450.320(c)(4)(i)
   23 CFR 450.322(f)(7) & (g)

Items to Review/Confirm:

  • What to Look for
    • Reference to the US DOT Livability Initiative and/or the HUD-EPA-DOT Partnership for Sustainable Communities
      • Discussion about livability principles* and status of "livability" projects in the region, including any related activities sponsored by or funded through HUD, EPA, and/or DOT programs
    • "Growth management" or other land use strategies have been considered in the development of the CMP, particularly in nonattainment areas (i.e., where there are restrictions on SOV-capacity increasing projects)
    • An organized effort to consult with officials responsible for state and local planned growth, economic development, and environmental protection
    • Strategies to enhance consistency between transportation improvements and state and local planned growth and economic development patterns
    • Discussions in the MTP of types of potential environmental mitigation activities and potential areas to implement them
    • In the planning process and in transportation planning documents, level of consideration and integration of
      • Bicycle and pedestrian and/or other nonmotorized travel
      • Transportation and Transit Enhancements
      • Safe Routes School projects and programs
      • Context Sensitive Solutions
    • Regional goals and policies which reflect quality of life, livability, sustainability standards and ideals
    • Visioning activities and/or scenario planning
    • Level of outreach to groups and stakeholders, including attempts to interact with agencies and organizations that are concerned about (affordable) housing, public health and fitness, water resources, infill and brownfield development, and others not traditionally involved in the transportation planning process.
    • Complete streets and green infrastructure policies, programs and projects
    • Climate change and/or energy conservation goals, policies, and programs
    • Innovative programs and/or funding or technical support to improve the integration of transportation and land use planning and development, especially among local member jurisdictions.
    • Project selection criteria or other methods to advance transportation projects that come out of plans to achieve regional livability, sustainability, land use or similar goals.
  • Applicability to Certification**
    • The MTP demonstrates an integrated, multimodal approach to transportation planning with consideration of broader community values and goals, and which gives appropriate consideration to providing transportation options within its boundaries, including travel demand management strategies, nonmotorized travel and public transportation options.
    • A varied cross section of interested parties, stakeholders, and the public have been actively encouraged to be involved in the transportation planning process.
    • Environmental mitigation activities have been considered and discussed in the MTP and any to be implemented are identified in the MTP, including their physical locations.
    • Consultation with local officials responsible for state and local planned growth and economic development and with natural resource, environmental protection and land use management agencies is documented in the development of plans and programs.

*The "livability" principles that are set forth through the HUD/EPA/DOT Partnership for Sustainable Communities are:

  • Provide more transportation choices
  • Promote equitable, affordable housing
  • Enhance economic competitiveness
  • Support existing communities
  • Coordinate and leverage federal policies and investment
  • Value communities and neighborhoods

**It is unlikely that corrective actions would come out of this topic area, unless, for example, the TMA fails to adequately address related issues such as planning for bicycle and pedestrian systems/programs, developing a CMP, or implementing robust public involvement or interagency consultation processes.

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Part 3 — Additional Considerations

Section 3-1: Documentation

Federal Statute

   5 USC 552
   23 USC 134 and 135 (various sections)
   49 USC 613.100

Federal Regulations

   23 CFR 450 (various sections)
   23 CFR 420.117(e)

Items to Review/Confirm

  • Considerations
    • Issues concerning level of documentation of planning activities, agreements, required plans/studies/reports, etc.
    • Level of accountability for results and outcomes of planning process, including
      • UPWP
      • PPP
      • MTP
      • TIP
      • CMP
      • Annual Listing of Obligated Projects
  • Documentation Purposes
    • Accountability
      • Builds trust with the public and among cooperating agencies
      • Increases credibility and confidence in decisions
      • Record of decisions, actions and technical information useful for future reference
    • To inform certain audiences
      • Can provide various levels of detail
        • "Popular" versions for wide distribution
        • Versions intended for policy board and others involved in planning process needing greater detail and background
        • Technical papers to provide transportation data/procedures and other specific information, etc.
  • What to Look for
    • Documentation for (not all inclusive):
      • Planning products and review/approval actions
      • Technical processes (e.g., regional emissions analysis)
      • Application of procedures
      • Data collection
      • Evaluations
      • Forecasting
      • Agreements
      • Committee/policy board actions
      • Contracts
      • Progress reports
      • Self-certifications
      • Comments/feedback from public/stakeholders/cooperating agencies

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Section 3-2: Checklist for Travel Forecasting Methods

Federal Statute

   23 USC 134 (i)
   49 USC 5303 (i)
   42 U.S.C. 7506(c)

Federal Regulations

   23 CFR 450.322(b), (e) & (f)
40 CFR 93.122 (b), (c) and (d)

Items to Review/Confirm

  • Key Indicators of Risk
    • Metropolitan area designated as serious, severe, or extreme ozone or serious carbon monoxide nonattainment area
    • Metropolitan area designated as nonattainment or maintenance area.
    • Travel demand models used previously by MPO
    • FTA transit new start grant
    • Major projects that will significantly increase highway capacity
    • Transportation projects where there is strong and coordinated opposition by local advocacy groups
    • The MPO is a defendant in, or threatened with, legal actions in which the adequacy of their travel forecasting methods was challenged
  • Key Indicators of Agency Technical Capabilities
    • Who is responsible for travel forecasting at the MPO?
    • Formal memorandum of agreement to delineate technical responsibilities, lines of communication and review, authorized expenditures and reimbursement procedures
    • Who, if anyone, on the MPO staff is responsible for evaluating the technical work of the contractor?
    • Formal training or experience in the use of travel forecasting methods.
    • MPO organization structure includes a technical committee to review planning assumptions and forecasting methods
    • Strategic plan and a guaranteed minimum level of funding in its UPWP for maintenance and improvements to its travel forecasting methods
    • Peer review or other independent assessment of their travel forecasting methods
  • Documentation
    • Inventory of current state of transportation
    • Key planning assumptions used in developing the forecasts
    • Descriptions of the methods used to develop forecasts of future travel demand

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Section 3-3: Intelligent Transportation Systems
(ITS)

Federal Statute

   TEA-21 5206(a) & (e)*

Federal Regulations

   23 CFR 940

Items to Review/Confirm

  • MPOs must have a regional architecture within 4 years of when first ITS project advances to final design
  • ITS projects must be consistent with 23 CFR 940
  • Project level architecture consistent with national ITS architecture
  • Projects use system engineering process
  • As appropriate use US DOT adopted standards
  • Compliance in accordance with Federal-aid procedures

*These provisions were not codified into 23 USC

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For more information about the TPCB program, contact Michelle Noch at FHWA (202-366-9206) or John Sprowls at FTA (202-366-5362).

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