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Regional Commission & Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Roles & Responsibilities for Bicycle, Pedestrian, & Trail Planning 
Presentation for ProWalk/ProBike/ProPlace 
September 2014
Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) 
“The Atlanta Regional Commission is the Regional Leader in identifying Values, developing Policies, and executing Plans that matter to residents and communities that ensure Competitive Advantage and that preserve long term Sustainability.” 
•Founded in 1947 (oldest in the country) 
•Covering parts of 18 counties and nearly 70 municipalities for transportation planning 
•Nearly 5 million residents covering over 8,300 square miles 
•Roughly half of the State of Georgia’s population, a continuing political balance 
•World’s largest toll-free calling area!
Understanding the Bicycle Project Planning and Implementation Process--Roles & Responsibilities for Bicycle, Pedestrian, & Trail Planning
Federal Mandate 
•Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO): federally mandated and federally funded transportation policy-making organizations made up of representatives from local government and governmental transportation authorities; 
•Established by Congress per Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962; 
•Required for any urbanized area (UZA) with a population greater than 50,000; 
•Federal funding for transportation projects and programs are channeled through this planning process; 
•Core functions: establish a setting; evaluate alternatives; maintain a long-range transportation plan (LRTP) for mobility and access for people and goods, efficient system performance and preservation, and quality of life; develop a transportation improvement program (TIP); involve the public; protect air quality 
•Transparency through public access to participation in the planning process and electronic publication of plans required by federal law. 
•Received direct sub-allocation of many Federal funds under MAP-21 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_planning_organization
State Mandate 
•Georgia is fundamentally a home rule state – no non-local, regional, or state control over zoning or comprehensive planning… 
•However 12 regional commissions in Georgia “assist local governments on a regional basis and to develop, promote and assist in establishing coordinated and comprehensive planning in the state.” 
•ARC engages in a continuous program of research, study, and planning of matters affecting its area: Land Use; Transportation; Solid Waste; Storm Water; Parks & Open Space; Air & Water Quality; Environmental Quality; Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice; Health Facilities & Services; Consolidation of common services between political jurisdictions. 
•ARC develops and maintains Federally-mandated RTP, TIP, and SIP (air quality) as well as State-mandated Regional Development Plan to “anticipate and apply comprehensive approaches to accommodate economic and population growth that will occur in the Atlanta region during the next 25 years.”
Regional Impact, Local Relevance: Translating Priorities into Projects 
•Sub-allocation of Federal funds, including Surface Transportation Program (STP- Urban), Transportation Alternatives (TAP), and various public transit funds; 
•Reciprocal agreement to proportionally distribute Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality (CMAQ) funds in partnership with Georgia DOT; 
•Both Federal and State mandates allow a higher emphasis on connections between land use, transportation, air quality, and quality-of-life than state agencies; 
•Significant effort research, writing, and publishing reports on the state of various factors in the region – relied upon heavily by many local governments; 
•A continual balancing act between deciding which projects qualify as “regionally significant” versus purely local; 
•Consensus building between political leaders at the local, regional, and state levels – as well as our peer agencies and partners; 
•Emphasizing transparency, outreach, and equity in our regional plans and processes
Factor 
Weight 
Population 
16 
MARTA Rail 
12 
Regional Center 
12 
Colleges / 
Universities 
10 
Total Employment 
10 
Existing Bikeways 
8 
GRTA Bus 
8 
High ETA / Equity 
8 
MARTA Bus 
8 
Retail Employment 
6 
Schools 
4 
Planning: Estimating Regional Active Transportation Demand
Project Prioritization
Programming & Funding
Project Implementation
Project Implementation
Project Implementation
Byron Rushing 
Bicycle & Pedestrian Planner 
Transportation Division 
Atlanta Regional Commission 
brushing@atlantaregional.com 
404-463-3345

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Understanding the Bicycle Project Planning and Implementation Process--Roles & Responsibilities for Bicycle, Pedestrian, & Trail Planning

  • 1. Regional Commission & Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Roles & Responsibilities for Bicycle, Pedestrian, & Trail Planning Presentation for ProWalk/ProBike/ProPlace September 2014
  • 2. Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) “The Atlanta Regional Commission is the Regional Leader in identifying Values, developing Policies, and executing Plans that matter to residents and communities that ensure Competitive Advantage and that preserve long term Sustainability.” •Founded in 1947 (oldest in the country) •Covering parts of 18 counties and nearly 70 municipalities for transportation planning •Nearly 5 million residents covering over 8,300 square miles •Roughly half of the State of Georgia’s population, a continuing political balance •World’s largest toll-free calling area!
  • 4. Federal Mandate •Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO): federally mandated and federally funded transportation policy-making organizations made up of representatives from local government and governmental transportation authorities; •Established by Congress per Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962; •Required for any urbanized area (UZA) with a population greater than 50,000; •Federal funding for transportation projects and programs are channeled through this planning process; •Core functions: establish a setting; evaluate alternatives; maintain a long-range transportation plan (LRTP) for mobility and access for people and goods, efficient system performance and preservation, and quality of life; develop a transportation improvement program (TIP); involve the public; protect air quality •Transparency through public access to participation in the planning process and electronic publication of plans required by federal law. •Received direct sub-allocation of many Federal funds under MAP-21 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_planning_organization
  • 5. State Mandate •Georgia is fundamentally a home rule state – no non-local, regional, or state control over zoning or comprehensive planning… •However 12 regional commissions in Georgia “assist local governments on a regional basis and to develop, promote and assist in establishing coordinated and comprehensive planning in the state.” •ARC engages in a continuous program of research, study, and planning of matters affecting its area: Land Use; Transportation; Solid Waste; Storm Water; Parks & Open Space; Air & Water Quality; Environmental Quality; Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice; Health Facilities & Services; Consolidation of common services between political jurisdictions. •ARC develops and maintains Federally-mandated RTP, TIP, and SIP (air quality) as well as State-mandated Regional Development Plan to “anticipate and apply comprehensive approaches to accommodate economic and population growth that will occur in the Atlanta region during the next 25 years.”
  • 6. Regional Impact, Local Relevance: Translating Priorities into Projects •Sub-allocation of Federal funds, including Surface Transportation Program (STP- Urban), Transportation Alternatives (TAP), and various public transit funds; •Reciprocal agreement to proportionally distribute Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality (CMAQ) funds in partnership with Georgia DOT; •Both Federal and State mandates allow a higher emphasis on connections between land use, transportation, air quality, and quality-of-life than state agencies; •Significant effort research, writing, and publishing reports on the state of various factors in the region – relied upon heavily by many local governments; •A continual balancing act between deciding which projects qualify as “regionally significant” versus purely local; •Consensus building between political leaders at the local, regional, and state levels – as well as our peer agencies and partners; •Emphasizing transparency, outreach, and equity in our regional plans and processes
  • 7. Factor Weight Population 16 MARTA Rail 12 Regional Center 12 Colleges / Universities 10 Total Employment 10 Existing Bikeways 8 GRTA Bus 8 High ETA / Equity 8 MARTA Bus 8 Retail Employment 6 Schools 4 Planning: Estimating Regional Active Transportation Demand
  • 13. Byron Rushing Bicycle & Pedestrian Planner Transportation Division Atlanta Regional Commission brushing@atlantaregional.com 404-463-3345