FEDERAL-AID POLICY GUIDE
December 9, 1991, Transmittal 1
URBAN AREA BOUNDARIES
- Fixing of Boundaries
- Submission and Approval
- PURPOSE. To prescribe guidelines for the establishment, submission, and approval of urban area boundaries.
- AUTHORITY. 23 U.S.C. 101(a).
- Section 105 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973 modifies Section 101(a)
of title 23, U.S.C., and allows the fixing of urban area boundaries in a manner
which will provide increased flexibility to various federally aided highway
and transit programs.
- An urban area is either:
(1) an urban place as designated by the Bureau of the Census
having a population of 5,000 or more and not within any urbanized area; or
(2) an urbanized area as designed by the Bureau of the Census.
- In areas where paragraph 3b(1) is applicable, the boundaries of the area
shall encompass theentire urban place as designated by the Bureau of the Census
plus that adjacent area as agreed upon by local officials in cooperation with
theState. It should be noted that for Federal-aid purposes an urban place,
as designated by the Bureau of the Census, must have a population of at least 5,000 persons.
- In areas where paragraph 3b(2) is applicable, the boundaries of the area
shall encompass the entire urbanized area within a State as designated by
the Bureau of the Census plus that adjacent area as agreed upon by local officials
in cooperation with the State. A list of urbanized areas is given in Table
34 of the U.S. Summary of 1980 Census of Population. A tabulation of urbanized
areas compiled from this table is shown in the Attachment.
- The legislation requires that new urban area boundaries shall be fixed
by responsible State and local officials in cooperation with each other.
(1) In urbanized areas, the term "responsible local officials"
means the principal elected officials of general purpose local governments
acting through the metropolitan planning organization. The State shall cooperate
with these officials and with local public transit operators, where appropriate,
in establishing the boundary locations for urbanized areas.
(2) In nonurbanized urban areas, the term "responsible local
officials" means the prin cipal elected officials of general purpose
local governments. The State shall cooper ate with these officials and with
local public transit operators, where appropri ate, in establishing the
boundary locations for nonurbanized urban areas.
- FIXING OF BOUNDARIES
- Boundaries should be fixed so as to smooth out irregularities, maintain
administrative continu ity of peripheral routes, and encompass fringeareas
having residential, commercial, industri al, and/or national defense significance.
Transportation terminals serving the area such as airports and seaports should
also be included within the redefined area if they lie within a reasonable
distance of the urban area boundary that would otherwise be selected. Careful
con sideration should be given to the selection of boundary locations which
will include logical control points for transportation linkages such as interchanges,
major cross roads, etc., where the inclusion of such areas will not unduly
distort the urban area as would otherwise be selected. Boundaries should not,
however, be modified to accommodate a single project.
- Urban area and urbanized area boundary determinations should also consider
the service areas of transit operations. Such considerations are particularly
important if boundaries are to determine eligibility of capital projects,
e.g. commuter railroad lines and stations, and rail transit and bus lines.
- Urban area boundaries are fixed primarily for capital project funding
and are not to be con fused with boundaries established for the com prehensive,
cooperative and continuing urban transportation planning process.
- In cases where a single urban area extends across State borders, the
contiguous States are encouraged to agree on the proposed boundary locations
at the State line and avoid irregular ities.
- SUBMISSION AND APPROVAL
- The boundary location should be delineated on maps of a scale necessary
to show all prominent highways and streets, all fixed transit right-of-way
facilities, all major bus routes, corporate limits, township lines, etc.,
as well as the new limits of the urban area. The maps, together with any supporting
documentation,should be submitted to the Federal Highway Ad ministration (FHWA)
division office for approv al. The submission should indicate the formal approval
of the responsible State and local officials.
- Before giving approval to the proposed boundary locations in urbanized
areas of over 200,000, the FHWA approving official should secure the concurrence
of the regional representative of the Urban Mass Transportation Administration
(UMTA). In addition, in areas under 200,000 where the designation of urban
boundaries has significant transit implications, UMTA concur rence should
also be sought before formal ap proval is given to the proposed boundary locations. In areas where UMTA approval is neces sary, the FHWA Division Administrator
shall secure such concurrence from UMTA.
- FHWA approval shall be indicated by signature of the Division Administrator
on the maps in the space provided.
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