Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
Wasatch Front Regional Council Salt Lake City: If a plan is adopted before July 1, 2007, is it good for 3 years or 4 years?
If you choose to implement the requirements early, you can take advantage of a four-year cycle, if you have a four-year program of projects in what you submit to us.
Metro: The Oregon MPO Consortium sent a letter to FHWA requesting clarification on the four-year planning cycle, and whether it can be implemented immediately. Will FHWA be responding to this letter during today's conference?
We're getting a lot of questions on the phase in and what happens on July 1st, 2007. We're still looking for comment on that and trying to figure out the best way. Send us your comments on that.
Whatcom MPO Bellingham WA: Will an extension be made to allow plan updates under TEA-21 rules to accommodate SAFETEA-LU? We're in the process of updating our plan currently. It is due to be adopted by our board on in the October of this next year, and my question relates to getting a one-year extension in order to accommodate all the new rules rather than the going through the process now under the old rules.
-Cindy: That's not something we have contemplated. We'll make a note of it. but you do understand if you adopted it next year you would have three years before you had to do a new one.
-MPO: It makes more sense to accommodate the new rules now and be under the new rules for the next four years.
-Cindy: Okay. Let us ponder that a little bit and get back to you. Perhaps our field office or someone here could make a note. Are there any other MPOs that face a similar situation, let us know and we'll share that.
John Czamanske, Orange Co. NY MPO: We are an MPO in a non-attainment area. Our last plan was deemed conforming by FTA & FHWA in Dec 2003. Will we now simply add 4 years such that the new plan would be due by Dec 2007?
I think you can opt to do that if you would like, as long as you comply with the SAFETEA-LU planning requirements.
Memphis MPO: next plan is due March 2007. The next TIP will be due in September 2007. There is a five-month gap between the two plans. The LRTP would be under TEA-21 and the TIP would be under SAFETEA-LU. Will FHWA grant an extension to have the two plans under SAFETEA-LU instead of two?
I suggest we'll take that under advisement as we deliver our proposal for you. We'll consider that a suggestion, not just a question
Martha Lott Memphis MPO: When the MPO’s submit the next required LRTP. Is it all or none…Choose TEA-21 prior to July 1, 2007 and SAFTEA-LU after July 1, 2007? Please understand that some MPO’s will have LRTP under TEA-21 and TIP under SAFETEA-LU
To the extent possible we're trying to avoid a situation when you have a long-range plan under TEA-21. We would encourage you if at all possible to try to at least make a good faith effort to come into compliance with SAFETEA-LU so both the long-range plan and the programming documents are consistent.
Roger Del Rio: Our LRTP was approved in Dec. 2004, is our next update Dec. 2009 or Dec. 2007?
Attainment area. So you would have five years. 2009.
Central Transportation Planning Staff Boston: our schedule calls for approving our TIP and plan in 10/06. Would our next update be 2010 or 2009?
Assuming you're non-attainment under current law you get three years. It would be '09.
Metro: To summarize the Oregon MPO comments that were in our recent letter to FHWA/FTA, we believe that the current 4-year planning cycle interpretation is at odds with the legislation, and not clearly drawn from the interim guidance. At a minimum, we are looking for something more than the somewhat cryptic notes from the New York MPO case as "guidance." Does FHWA/FTA intend to address the guidance in the short term? For MPOs in Oregon, the current interpretation represents a major impact on MPO work programs.
CATS Chicago: Our schedule calls for approving our tip and plan October 2006. this tip and plan will not encompass the new safetea-lu planning requirements . Would our next update be for October 2008 for the tip and October 2009 for the plan or October 2010 for both?
Bhupendra Patel: Wichita Area MPO adopted TIP in Nov 2005 and it includes projects up to 2010. When will be our next update due??
MTC, Oakland: The language in the law says the TIP shall include a list of projects within each four-year period; but your PowerPoint says "at least"...pls. Clarify!
MTC, Oakland: Can the priority list of projects in the TIP be more than 4 yrs? And not just for informational purposes..Pls. clarify...
Metro: (Portland, Oregon) Please respond to Oregon MPO Consortium letter requesting short-term guidance on whether 4 year MTP cycle applies immediately or upon adoption of SAFETEA-LU compliant MTP.
Puget Sound Regional Council: PSRC - Seattle: Can our MPO do a 4-year TIP before 2007 and not satisfy the new Act requirements for our Plan until 2007 or after?
CATS Chicago: our schedule calls for approving our TIP and plan in 10/06. This TIP & plan will not encompass the new planning requirements. Would our next update be 2010 for both, or 2008 for the TIP and 2009 for the plan?
Martha Lott Memphis MPO: please provide guidance on LRTP under TEA21 and TIP under SAFETEA-LU
George Johnson: Does the 4-year TIP still have a Biennial Element, or is it a 4 year fiscally constrained program?
Fiscal constraint still applies. Fiscal constraint applies to the entire TIP and the entire STIP and the entire metropolitan plan. That has not changed.
Guest: Comment: A 4 year TIP update cycle may be impractical (too long) for many MPOs and States due to the frequency and extent of project and funding program changes that can occur over that time frame.
We clearly recognize that. We realize that most MPOs and states as well are amending and updating more frequently than four years. That's consistent with our existing regulation, which calls for a two-year plan, but we do it every year if that's the request of the state. We don't have to put that in the regulation in order for that to be able to happen. We just have done that. That's a good comment and we'll keep that in mind.
CATS Chicago: our schedule calls for approving our TIP and plan in 10/06. This TIP & plan will not encompass the new planning requirements. Would our next update be 2010 for both, or 2008 for the TIP and 2009 for the plan
You can use the dates you stated up there. To the extent on July 1, 2007, you make any changes to that plan, that TIP and STIP, we're going to expect full compliance with SAFETEA-LU. If you make an amendment, an update, or even a sneeze, we're going to expect that on July 1, 2007, there is compliance.
AMBAG, CA MPO: We have been told that SAFETEA-LU includes at least a four-year program for the TIPs. We have been told by the State that federal officials are saying a maximum four years. What is it? We advocate flexibility for additional years.
If they want to go beyond the four-year minimum, you have to demonstrate fiscal constraint on the number of years you have to encompass exactly the way it is now. You can put five years in now on a to year or three year or one year more than we require and you can add more years. It would be the same kind of thing.
MTC, Oakland: The lang. in SAFETEA says the TIP must include a list of projects w/in each four-year period, but your power point says that TIP projects must be listed "at least" four years, but the
It can be longer.
Kathy Urlie: SAFETEA-LU indicates a minimum 4 years of programming for TIPs. However, initial federal direction indicates that only a four-year program of projects will be approved.
MTC, Oakland: What Section of the Act allows "at least 4 years of projects"? Our interpretation is that it contains 4-years of project and priorities - no more no less
Vo: Volusia County MPO - does the 4-year cycle only apply to non-attainment/maintenance areas?
Bhupendra Patel: When a TIP is a 4 yr doc is that 4 yrs at all times
NOACA: Do you recommend that MPOs implement the Plan and TIP at the same time?
I would. Since they're both four-years (it) makes a lot of sense. I suppose one thing we would like to get is some comments from you as well on the issues like that, and whether or not we should allow longer time than four-years as we do now. We have a mandatory two-years and you can go longer if you want to. I think the other issue is I expect that some states will continue to adopt more frequently than every four-years, and if so, is that something we need to cover in the rule, or just something that can happen?
DRCOG, Denver: Can the 4-year TIP contain funding "pools," or must all projects be individually identified?
As I recall, it doesn't change in that regard. You can still group projects, especially the smaller projects, the smaller safety improvements and so forth. Certainly we would expect major projects would be individually identified in the TIPs.
Volusia County MPO - does the 4 yr cycle only apply to non-attainment/maintenance areas
Correct for the plan. For all TIPs, there is a four-year cycle for everybody. If you’re not in a non-attainment area, you are on a five-year cycle for the metropolitan plan.
John Czamanske, Orange Co. NY MPO: At an NTI/NHI training course two weeks ago I spoke with an attorney working in the FHWA Counsel's office. I was told at that time that July 2007 was not a threshold, but an absolute deadline for having a SAFETEA-compliant plan. That appears to be at odds with the language in SAFETEA and the guidance issued so far. For example, if an MPO has a plan approved in September 2005, what the FHWA attorney related would mean that the MPO would have to turn right around and develop a new plan update. Please say that is not the case. :)
That's not the case. That's not correct. The July 2007 deadline applied to any plan or TIP or update that is adopted after that date. Before that date (if you) adopt one, you don't have to comply with the new SAFETEA-LU requirements. So I think either the attorney misspoke or there was some miscommunication there. Hopefully I put your concerns to rest.
MTC, Oakland: If we have a constrained 4-year TIP, can we use this as the annual element or do we need to develop a separate document?
This is a separate document. The annual element is what you propose to fund. This is a document of what you've actually funded and so it can only be prepared after the fact.
Houston-Galveston Area Council, Houston, TX: please clarify whether TIP cannot be updated more frequently than four years?
Steven Gayle: If a State chooses to adopt a STIP every two years, will that trigger a Statewide-planning finding, or does that still only occur every 4 years?
Charlie Kilmer: Please explain the changes to the "New Starts" Program
Atlanta regional commission: can you clarify whether plans must be adopted or approved prior to July 1, 2007, i.e., does conformity determination have to be made by July 1, 2007?
Tom Kane: Question - does the TIP/STIP 4 year requirement apply to all categories of funds. For example, do we need four years of enhancement projects listed, or can we just program them as a lump sum
Cheyenne: Are only federally funded projects listed?
Yes, only requirements of law would be federally funded. If you want to list more you would be welcomed to do that. The only requirement would be for federal projects.
Mary: will FHWA supply the list of projects to the MPOs since FHWA actually obligates the money?
I don't think we obligate the money, but we will certainly assist. The state is in the best position to provide that information, and we would like to see the state DOT provide it. If you need our help in getting that information, our Division office and we in headquarters will assist in doing that and cover any gaps needed
Charles Trainor: Including the MPOs in the 2101 and other funding authorization process--even just cc' status--would help MPOs understand the commitment status.
FTA does not allow access to our TEAM system to the MPOs except for their own grants and I am not sure if we want to open up that. That is something we can look at as to how if you can't get the information for the MPO, from the transit operator, whether the feds can become the fall back is something we're interested in.
Eastgate Regional Council of Governments Youngstown Ohio: Comment: Many MPOs, including Eastgate, already list pedestrian and bikeway facilities.
Atlanta regional commission: Comment: Direct FWHA notification to MPO when fed funds are authorized would be helpful
Rockingham Planning Commission - Exeter, NH: perhaps the rules could include standard information to be supplied to the MPO from the state or other obligating authority
KIPDA MPO Louisville, KY: Please define "realistic" assumptions in terms of the LRP?
The keyword is really reasonable. Of course that's the judgment call. For the long-range plans, it is truly a judgment call because when you're going out twenty years, getting a good handle on the costs, twenty years out for the transportation program, and for the available revenues is a challenge. We recognize that, so we are very flexible in what is reasonable. It might be easier to say what is unreasonable. An example of an unreasonable financial assumption might be that a major project in year 10 of the plan is going to cost 500 million when if you compared it to a comparable project nearby, recently it costs $2 billion. That would not be reasonable. Similarly on the revenue side, if the state has been seeking a gas tax increase from the legislature for the past five years and the legislature turned it down each time, that unless there has been a clear change in circumstances, it is probably not reasonable to assume that gas tax is going to be adopted by the legislature in the next two years. Circumstances could change in the state, so that could convert to a reasonable assumption, but it is really a judgment call, and you have to look to what the track record has been to determine what's reasonable.
DRCOG, Denver: Let the MPOs and DOTs figure out how to meet these new requirements and issue rules only if you find there are issues that warrant it
So don't be prescriptive instead go with a best practice is what you're saying. Okay.
CATS Chicago: What is meant by illustrative projects, can they address needs outside the fiscal constraint?
Yes, they do address needs outside of the fiscal constraint and they say these are the things that we would like to fund if we have the money to fund them. A lot of MPOs have used that kind of document in order to get additional funding resources at the state and local level. They've also been able to use that to move projects if projects are having trouble they can move in a lesser project they have to do a TIP amendment to do that but they can move them.
Rockingham Planning Commission - Exeter, NH: We would request that the rules include specific requirements for the type of information that State DOTs must provide to MPOs so that determinations of fiscal constraint can be made.
- Cindy: In regulation? Because we have that in the guidance pretty clearly.
- MPO: Our comment is that we in the past at least have provided information but it is not specific enough for us to be able to actually make fiscal constraint determinations.
- Cindy: If you want more guidance, do you want -- if you want more detail, do you want it to amend the guidance or to put it in regulation or do you want the division office to knock on the doors of state DOT and say -- be more informative?
- MPO: Whatever works I guess is what we would want. I think the information we get is typically at the state level and really not -- we really can't use it to determine whether our MPO area meets that fiscal –constraint.
- Cindy: Hard for you to know how much of the funds the state has are going to be available to you?
- MPO: That's right.
Volusia County MPO - which takes precedence? Statewide plans or MPO plans with regards to fiscal constraint?
Bhupendra Patel: Is constraint considered authorized, or obligated amounts
SCAG: SCAG: When will the Final Guidance be released?
DVRPC Philadelphia: Will FHWA reconsider its guidance concerning how to show advance construction within the TIP, related to double entry accounting to avoid double counting costs?
Susan Payne, central lane mpo: central lane mpo -- perhaps the state could be required to send MPOs the phases of each project that have been obligated, the cost-- every 6 months, say.
Metro: Will FHWA be providing guidance on how to reflect tolling and value pricing in financial forecasts?
Houston-Galveston Area Council, Houston, TX: Comment: FHWA should develop some guidelines (or ranges) of cost estimates (e.g., construction, maintenance). It is too open
Wasatch Front Regional Council Salt Lake City: We would suggest that the TIP be fiscally constrained over the 4 years, but not on a year-by-year basis.
San Joaquin Council of Governments: We disagree with the comment from TX regarding cost estimates. Much prefer to negotiate directly with our State and FHWA Division Office.
CATS Chicago: We prefer guidance not regulation.
NCTCOG: if we include illustrative projects in the mtp, and the funding appears next year, is it considered to be part of the financially constrained plan or do we need to amend the plan to indicate that the funding has been found?
TMACOG: We agree with fiscal constraint comment.
Vo: Volusia County MPO - we agree with Rockingham's comments concerning fiscal constraint
Steven Gayle: The regulation should do a great deal to clarify the security factor. As you suggest, it is potentially broad. Sharing good practice will be helpful
-Cindy: This one you're saying we should give you a little bit more understanding of what is meant by security when we write the regulations. Although it looks like Steve (Gayle) you're being a little schizophrenic there in saying the regulation should deal with it and sharing good practice. If we could open up the line to Steve (Gayle) and tell us if you really want a lot of regulatory language on it or more in the area of good practices and training and so forth? Non-regulatory efforts?
-MPO: It is schizophrenic. Compare among the MPOs of how broad this can be, I think some clarification is needed. Some of your thoughts are needed in the regulation, not prescriptively, but clear thoughts about:. Is (the security factor) personal passenger security, freight security, board and crossing security? Is it evacuation plans, on and on and on, and then to back it up with substantial (information) as MPOs develop efforts to develop plans. Promptly share those (best practice) across the planning community.
-Cindy: You're saying best practice is what we need to do? Good.
Metropolitan council St Paul: Metropolitan Council: Our locally planned growth and development exceeds our fiscal capacity to keep up with needed transportation improvements. How can we have a consistent plan?
No, no. The transportation plan has to identify what the growth is; if that means that there's going to be demand out there that isn't met by existing facilities. and you don't have enough money to build new facilities. I think that is something people need to know in the plan and we always allowed the vision plan to show what are the things that need to be done in order to meet the demand but can't be afforded. I think we would continue to talk to vision plans. Later in the presentation we're going to talk about the congestion management process. Not that it will be panacea for the circumstances, but a way of analyzing it and setting priorities when the growth exceeds the capacity of the system.
Atlanta regional commission: Security is responsibility of operator or sponsor. Please explain how security projects can be reflected in TIP, RTP or UPWP by MPOs?
Whatcom MPO Bellingham WA: DHS does not take advice from MPOs
TMACOG: Can security be interpreted to primarily mean cameras on freeways? (ITS)
Abilene MPO - Abilene, Texas: Comment: Security on transit systems is easier for me to envision than road and trail security. I am not sure if we are taking law enforcement or terrorism.
Michael Powers: As you develop guidelines and regulations keep in mind the regional plans and TIPs address broader strategic issues, not local walkways, bike paths, security at bus stops, etc.
East-West Gateway Council of Governments, St. Louis: the consistency issue assumes there is comprehensive/coordinated growth and economic development planning taking place. this simply isn't true in areas. that fact must be recognized in the guidance or regulation.
Martha Lott Memphis MPO: Suggestion: Provide examples of what FHWA is looking for under Safety.
Okay. We'll take that on. Not only provide examples but maybe good models of safety conscious planning efforts carried out by those MPOs and state DOTs that are a good foundation for safety planning and provide some good models. It will vary from state to state in that the strategic safety plans and their priorities that move into the STIPs and TIPs should be based on good data analysis; using safety data to figure out where the problems are and where the opportunities to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries.
Houston-Galveston Area Council, Houston, TX: Comment: Previous legislation allowed safety funds to be used for all public roads. FHWA needs to insist that the State DOTs allow some of the safety funds to be used for local roads.
We will certainly encourage this heavily especially to the extent that the data indicates where the safety problems are and the opportunities to improve safety are needed.
Martha Lott Memphis MPO: Define.... Discussion?
Okay. We'll have to figure out how to do that in the regulations, but I suspect it is a discussion. It is some paragraph that lays out your thinking and the opportunities for environmental mitigation. It is not a commitment. A discussion is not a commitment. It is an exploration of needs and opportunities. And it is focused -- the discussion would definitely be key to what's relevant in your particular planning area. If you're in Hawaii, you don't need to discuss protecting habitat for a species that's not in Hawaii. If you're in a desert, you probably don't need to discuss wetland banking.
Rosemary Siipola, CWCOG, Kelso, WA: Rosemary Siipola: Will ITS be a safety requirement? As a MPO and RPO, we have tsunamis and volcanoes, as well as congestion to address.
You have our sympathy. No. Certainly in constructing your safety plans and priorities, you should look at ITS as one of the tools to meet safety needs, but it is not a requirement that you implement ITS to meet safety goals.
PPACG: Guidance on SHSP needs to clearly identify MPO roles in plan development.
Atlanta regional commission: when does SHSP have to be approved. There is more to safety than roadway safety. Please provide explicit guidance on how state dots consult with MPOs
Rosemary Siipola: CWCOG - Kelso, WA: how do you accommodate efforts to cut down on drunk driving fit into the safety factor?
Herkimer Oneida Counties Transportation Study: Provide examples of performance measures that can be incorporated into the SHSP
Michael Powers: The safety guidelines must address liability due to exposure of a problem that is not necessarily a priority programming issue.
Lowell C ELMER: Dixie MPO St. George area of Utah: Recommend Tiered approach to SHSP to accommodate different sized metro areas.
Germaine Beveridge: re CWCOG, Kelso, WA. . . we have the same concerns . .
MTC, Oakland: CEQA requires environmental impact reports on long-range plans...does this suffice for the fed requirement?
Gloria (Shepherd) thinks it does. Brigid, what do you think having been a California expert? Brigid nods “yes”. It is above the floor. It should certainly meet the requirements for discussion.
SCAG: What are the funding requirements for this mitigation?
There are no funding requirements for this mitigation. It is a discussion, not a commitment. Hopefully you'll do good planning. If it makes sense, you'll commit to perhaps some funding for environmental mitigation at the plan level like wetland banking. It is not a requirement. It is your good judgment.
Atlanta regional commission: This has to be explained better!!! This is very very confusing.
a. - Cindy: The part that you find confusing, is it the part about the discussion of environmental mitigation and plans, or is it the part about MIS or is it both.
-MPO: What's confusing is environmental mitigation at a plan level versus a project level. When you were explaining some of those things that you thought might be included in a plan, it was -- just difficult for us to imagine how that can be part of a long-range plan. Then what federal funds are appropriated to make sure these things get done and can you explain a little more what you mean about this wetland banking or environmental banking that you just mentioned?
-Cindy: Okay. Are you familiar with wetland banking?
-MPO: Is that something that needs to be a project in the transportation plan?
-Cindy: No. It doesn't have to be. Many states fund wetland banks because it gives them credit so when they have a project that will affect wetlands, we can get credit for the wetland banking, so the idea is that the plan level, like North Carolina is doing a lot of this. Several other states as well. That is upfront they know they have a lot of wetlands. They need to protect them in North Carolina. They are supporting wetland banks and then when they have a project that needs to be built, they try to avoid the wetland. They try to minimize the impact. In some cases you still take some wetlands so they can get credit from the (Army) Corps of Engineers for the funding they put into a wetland bank. Now, you can do that not only for wetlands, you can do it for habitats and endangered species. Several states are doing this. Perhaps what we can do that would be helpful is provide specific examples of how this is done and who is doing it, maybe even sponsor some work shops for those that would like to learn more about it.
- I guess we just need to know how the state DOT will help us with these requirements.
George Johnson: NPS regulations require state recreation plans to identify priority wetland areas-- this could be a starting point for wetland mitigation discussions
Yes, thank you very much. That would be a good starting point. Start with your recreation area or the National Park Service and they may have some areas they will identify for you that deserve special consideration and you could discuss in your plan
DVRPC Philadelphia: Many environmental resource agencies do not support off-site mitigation. How have those agencies coordinated with this section?
We are working on those agencies especially at the federal level because in many cases off site mitigation is far more valuable and effective and cost effective than the piece-by-piece mitigation that occurs in conjunction with projects. So our division office might be able to help you if you're encountering a problem with a federal resource agency that's an obstacle there.
PPACG: Are potential sites for this mitigation required to be identified?
Volusia County MPO- agree with Atlanta. I do not understand mitigation as it pertains to a region or county
Houston-Galveston Area Council, Houston, TX: Comment: guidance should remain loose at this point. Let MPOs develop their own criteria.
Wendy Klancher: It would be helpful to get information about mitigation NOT done at the project level. Project level mitigation makes more sense than plan level...
RVMPO: What level of environmental review is anticipated EA EIS level?
TMACOG: Are you asking for environmental inventories, and how detailed does that have to be?
Guest: at the planning level, how do you address the wetlands banking or other mitigation efforts, except in terms of general qualitative discussion?
Volusia county MPO - we need better guidance/regulations as to what exactly constitutes "coordination" and "consultation"
- Brigid: I guess what you're saying is what's in the existing regulation is not adequate? There is a definition in existing regulation on consultation and coordination. You might take a look at that and let us know. Are you saying that's not adequate or that's what I was unsure maybe we can ask if we can open that up and ask.
-MPO: My question goes more to what are the different roles between the state and the federal government, not the state MPO rather when we're developing for instance our financial forecasts which is meant to be done in “coordination and consultation” with the state, and the state doesn't do it? So that's what I am getting at. We need a better definition here because my understanding of consultation and coordination and cooperative it is a two way street. And we're not seeing that too much in Florida.
-Brigid: Right. I think that's not a definition problem. I think we tried to be pretty specific in the definitions of what the difference is. Whether or not the communications happens the way, it is supposed to is the problem. I think our field office ought to assist you in working that out with the state. Feel free to contact the division or maybe we'll let them know that they ought to take a look at that area and encourage the state to be more forth coming. And we can also look at whether we can come out with some guidance on with examples of what is good coordination, what is good consultation.
-That would be helpful. Thank you.
Guest: Comment: state cooperation with MPOs on development of the State Transportation Plan is important, and needs to reflect a consideration of MPO priorities and needs assessments. This should be reflected in the guidance and, in a general way, regulatory language
Michael Powers: Distinguish between role of state and MPO in consultation with Tribes
DRCOG, Denver: in the legislation it states: the statewide trans. plan shall be developed for each metropolitan area in cooperation with the MPO. What does this mean?
Congestion Management Process
Bhupendra Patel: What is the difference between a CMS and CMP?
It is not clear to us why Congress made that change.
Regina Aris: Do a MPO need to have their current approved CMS documents re-approved as a CMP?
Ali Bonakdar: What about those of us who don't receive CMAQ funding?
As I said before, most traditional federal funds, the NHS and so forth can be used for ITS improvement and other strategies that improve operations, including the portion that is reserved for the TMAs out of the STP program.
Regina Aris: If yes for approval of the CMP, what constitutes an approval process?
Gloria (Shepherd) thinks it should be through the certification review. We're open to suggestions on that.
Houston-Galveston Area Council, Houston, TX: Why were the CMS requirements changed
We don't know. Congress proposed it. It wasn't anything the administration proposed.
Lowell C ELMER: DixieMPO St. George area of Utah: COMMENT: Our small MPO does not have air quality issues like the TMA areas. Our issues with congestion are related with moving from point A to B. We receive no funding for that situation.
I beg to differ. Most of the federal highway funds and I expect a good share of the transit funds can be used to deal with congestion, and on the operation management side in particular, most of the time federal aid highway funds can be used to implement operation and management strategies. Now, we recognize that capital projects tend to be more attractive and historically claim much of the federal funding, but I think that's shifting because of the high payoff from operation and management strategies and they are competing better and better to get federal funding.
Cheyenne: Shall MPO's conduct management systems on local roads not just functionally classified roads?
Charlie Kilmer: How is the "process" different from "system?"
Atlanta regional commission: Capacity is last option after safety, M&O, transit, etc. are considered. DOTs should be required to fully documented why capacity is selected as the "best" improvement option.
SNHPC Manchester: Difference between CMS and CMP
Metro: (Portland, Oregon) Have you developed training for your district offices to implement the new CMS legislation? It's unclear to us whether it is being implemented as a "process" in Oregon, for example.
Charles Trainor: What is the difference between a "system" and a "process"?
CATS Chicago: Will there be guidance in advance of regulations for CMP?
Juanita S Wieczoreck: Dover/Kent County MPO: Is there a parallel requirement for states to develop a CMP? Our MPO uses the DelDOT CMS to ID congestion in our region (non-TMA).
Charles Trainor: How do you make a TMA's CMS into a CMP?
Guest: Has the timeframe for updating the CMS shifted to 4 years along with Long Range Plan?
Germaine Beveridge: System = conceptual framework; Process = activities and their sequencing -- ? Anyone?
Bhupendra Patel: wouldn't a review and revision with amendment suffice
Metro: (Portland, Oregon) Comment: approval of the CMS should be part of federal certification review.
Vo: Volusia County MPO - as I understand it no funds are dedicated to MPOs to address operational and management issues ... with the state controlling most of the funds how do MPOs adequately address this issue?
Right. I can't think of a dedicated source of funding for O&M although certainly in non-attainment and maintenance areas, the CMAQ funds have been heavily used for operation and maintenance strategies as long as they benefit air quality, which usually they do. And often the MPO has a very large say in how CMAQ funds are spent. There is that opportunity to tap that funding source. Beyond that, the funds that are still reserved out of the STP program for MPOs certainly have pretty wide latitude to use it for operation and maintenance as well as for capital investments. I think, increasingly state DOT's realize that the public expects better operation maintenance of the existing system. As the public becomes aware of ITS strategies, traveler information systems and synchronized signals, there is more and more demand for that, and I think that's a good argument for you to use with the state DOT when they're deciding where to invest their funds. I think FHWA has been a strong advocate of using the federal funds for operations and maintenance.
MTC, Oakland: would short-range transit plans meet the operational management requirement for transit?
It would be part of it. They also have the capital projects in it, but, yes, to the extent they address the capability to fund the operation and any strategies that would be needed in terms of fare increases or other sources of funds, by itself it wouldn't be enough though. You need to address the operational of the highway system as well as the transit (system). The O&M also goes out within five years. In terms of the discussion.
Steven Gayle: Is it the Federal expectation that the MPO plan will be explicit about how (typically local) funds will be used to support the ongoing costs of operations
DVRPC Philadelphia: FHWA must make it very clear the operation refers to system operational capital improvements and not snow removal and pothole filling.
ITCTC - Ithaca NY: Comment: there is increased need for flexibility in the use of STP and other funding sources based on local needs. In our case we need strong O/M and alternative modes investments. We get no CMAQ. We need greater flexibility to adapt "road and bridge" money to other uses.
City of Sioux Falls: what are examples of visualization?
Basically using the web. You can put maps on the web so people can understand where the projects are located. You could have a tool which allows people to go in and identify by punching in a number how much of the projects are going to their community. You can do some scenario planning techniques. Those are the kind of things that are would certainly be qualified as visualization techniques.
Amie Longstreet: Will future TMA reviews include questions regarding implementation of visualization techniques into the public participation plan?
Most certainly. Yes.
Martha Lott Memphis MPO: Define Visualization?
Guest: comment: visualization is a problematic term, unless it is specifically given an expansive functional definition in the regulatory definitions
Atlanta regional commission: Allow for maximum flexibility in visualization requirements
MTC, Oakland: Does this replace requirement for federal public involvement procedures?
No. It will be a component of it.
Martha Lott Memphis MPO: MPO’s are currently required to have Public Participation Plan…. Is this an additional Plan?
We would expect you would probably take the two and combine them into one document. They don't have to be two separate documents.
SA-BC MPO: how will the PPP differ from the currently required PIP
I think the main difference is it does ask for more information about what visualization techniques you're going to use in order to make this information available. One of the key differences is that in developing this public participation is you need to consult with interested parties in developing the plan itself instead of just developing it say within the MPO. That's a key difference. Don't go in a closet somewhere and develop your public participation plan. You need to invite the key interested parties into that or allow them to influence what that plan is.
Association of Central Oklahoma Governments, Oklahoma City: Lawton, OK MPO: How do MPOs w/ less than 200,000 population meet new regulations/programs when the MPO does not receive direct appropriation but must compete w/ all other State DOT projects.
We recognize huge variation among MPOs, the size of MPOs, their capabilities. The new MPOs versus the established ones. Some MPOs may have far more sophisticated ability to use visualization techniques and others not. We do expect to be very flexible on that.
Wasatch Front Regional Council Salt Lake City: Do we need to approve the new participation plan if we already have a public involvement plan?
Yes because they are so different and we said there are different components to it. And, also the visualization in particular. Also, there must be some very specific consultations with stakeholders in the development of it, and so you would need to at least go through that process of a discussion and comment period to make sure that everyone has been involved.
TMACOG: Comment: As planning requirements expand, please provide as much detailed assistance as possible. Ex., description of environmental mitigation techniques that we can incorporate as appropriate; description of specific visualization techniques, etc.
Did you want those to be in the regulation or just something that we would have available as best practices and guidance and available to help you with under technical assistance?
DRCOG, Denver: When does new PPP have to be adopted
Obviously it will be after any plan that is submitted after July 1, 2007, the new public participation plan must in place. It is the July 1, 2007 date that is the same date.
Knoxville Regional TPO: Holding MPO Board meetings in the evening when Board members have other meetings can be problematic.
Boy, the MPO board members are busy. They have multiple meetings in the evening. I guess that is true for elected officials. As long as the plan indicates what the process is and when it occurred, and you get input on that that is acceptable.
Bhupendra Patel: Is this the PIP, now called a PPP?
Maricopa Association of Governments - Phoenix AZ: If we have a process in place, do we need to have a specific document that describes the PPP for consultation?
Martha Lott Memphis MPO: Suggestion: Provide a list of differences and requirements
KIPDA MPO Louisville, KY: KIPDA MPO, Louisville, KY: Please define "interested parties" in PPP development.
Martha Lott Memphis MPO: Memphis MPO Agrees with Knoxville
KIPDA MPO Louisville, KY: Please define "interested parties" in the PPP development.
Herkimer Oneida Counties Transportation Study: Who will take the lead in developing the plan - it should be the MPOs.
One option is to leave it vague. The MPO may want to be the one to take the lead or not. It is a service plan and it is not the long-range plan. It is what kind of projects they need and where do you actually coordinate and where do you make the link up and out of those kinds of things. The main thing is to make sure we are eliminating duplicative services.
George Johnson: Are these plans to be developed by the MPOs, the state, or transit operators -- who are the lead? Are they incorporated into the State & MPO LRPs?
They are incorporated with the LRTP's as I said; we can be flexible on who takes the lead
Atlanta regional commission: Who is responsible for developing this plan?
We already answered that.
MTC, Oakland: In the SF Bay Area we have nine counties - the counties are responsible for developing countywide transit-human service plans. Will this meet the requirement?
As I said, the requirement on the MPO is that this be part of the planning process. Who actually does what is going to be left up to you to decide and so if that's the way you want to work in your area, I guess that would meet the requirements.
ITCTC - Ithaca NY: In our area (Tompkins County,NY) the transit agency does its own transit planning. It would be procedurally difficult to involve the MPO as the lead agency for a transit service plan.
Again, we are interested in whether we need to be prescriptive of what the roles of the individual agencies are. One thing that we may require that may solve this problem is that the requirement now would be subject to the agreement and you would spell out for your own area how this coordination would take place.
Mike Jaffe, SKATS: We're a single transit district area, so wouldn't it make more sense for the transit district to take the lead, with consultation by the MPO?
RVMPO: MPOs should take the lead
Herkimer Oneida Counties Transportation Study: Yes - you should be specific who needs to take the lead!
Juanita S Wieczoreck: Dover/Kent County MPO: Not all MPOs can take the lead in developing this plan.
SA-BC MPO: lead agency will depend on the geographic area for the plan.
Herkimer Oneida Counties Transportation Study: Does this plan require MPO approval regardless of who takes the lead creating it?
Wendy Klancher: One major issue for the HU transit plan is that the money goes to either the STATE or the TRANSIT AGENCY. This makes it more difficult for the MPO to play a significant role in the planning process.
DRCOG, Denver: does "derived from" mean that each project must be previously listed in the plan
It is that it must be listed in the plan. If you're talking about the grants, yes, the grants would have to come out of the plan. Again, plan at this level don't necessarily list every single project, they list kinds of project and they list opportunities, those kinds of things. It may be that there are not specific projects. That's something we'll have to work on as we go through this. Certainly we don't have a list of every street overlay you will do. When you do the plan, you talk about your process for doing street overlays and so it would be similar to that kind of thing. We will be having an outreach for a job access about what that local coordination plan is and what it should include.
CATS Chicago: Can projects derive from in the sense of meeting specified objectives or must they be named?
It depends on the nature of the project. If it is a big project, it is probably going to be named specifically. If not, it can be something that is a description or this is the kind of coordination we're trying to achieve. These are the agencies that would be involved in that. It may not be as specific as an individual dollar amount for an individual operator. On the other hand, if that's the level of detail that's wanted at the local level, I think that's the kind of detail that will be in the plan. We would probably be flexible on that.
Wendy Klancher: I also believe it should be the MPOs who take the lead. Question: Explain the requirement to jointly select projects on competitive basis (JARC and New Freedom)?
Houston-Galveston Area Council, Houston, TX: Comment: transit projects should be consistent with locally developed plans, not derived from.
East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission: Will transit development plans cover this?
Generally not. Generally they're not as involved in coordinating with all of the other operators in the area. If you have been doing that that may be a potential way of covering that. You do need to include the participation of the MPO and other stakeholders.
Fred Abousleman: Please clarify how this will be meshed with United We Ride Planning grants made to states...
It will be very closely coordinated with that. As we said, that's what we have been using to do this in the past. We expect that activity to continue. We expect however to give it more credence than it has by having it be in the transportation planning process. The plan, the United We Ride planning grants can be used to help the coordination happen.
Abilene MPO - Abilene, Texas: Guidance on the intended clients for 5310 would be helpful. Is there a preference for elderly, disabled, or persons who are both?
CATS Chicago: I'm just noting that the 5310 is a statewide program, JARC and new freedom are local. One plan would be covering all of them within the region?
That is correct. And the programming of the 5310 is through the state level.
Herkimer Oneida Counties Transportation Study: For the under 200,000 urbanized areas the state has programming authority for the 5310, 5316, and 5317 - how is this consistent with the development of a workable plan?
The MPO has programming authority, but it has to come out of planning.
Knoxville Regional TPO: Please define "service providers" for Human Services Trans. Plan.
There is going to be a listing for comment on proposed circulars on the FTA programs that require the plan and so we'll be looking for questions like that. Basically it will be service providers funded through any source of funds, not DOT and not just federal.
PPACG: We are in process of developing a RFP for this -- is anyone else?
DVRPC Philadelphia: Will there be a return to competitive JARC funding, or will it remain as earmarks?
Charlie Kilmer: Would you provide an overview of Section 5317? Thank you. OCPC
NIRPC, Gary IN: Will census 2000 data be used to determine funding allocations
ITCTC - Ithaca NY: With staff of 2 I will need this to be a consultant project, show me the money!
Guest: MPO involvement in human service transportation is often not very significant - thus these plans will be somewhat tricky to pull together effectively
SNHPC Manchester: what is New Freedom?
Michael Powers: What are the obligations of the human services providers to participate. We have had mixed results in this area
NIRPC, Gary IN: What are you going to do in 2010
Wendy Klancher: Incorporating the human service plan into the long-range plan does not make sense. These programs fund SHORT-TERM projects not 20 year planned projects. The TIP makes more sense.
Knoxville Regional TPO: Do "Service providers" include non-federally-funded transportation providers?
Lowell C ELMER: DixieMPO St. George area of Utah: This MPO agrees with Wendy.
SA-BC MPO: all TIP projects must also be in MTP
Longview MPO: Comment: It would be very helpful to provide best practices for the process of getting all stakeholders to the table to develop the Transit Plan.
MTC, Oakland: In the SF Bay Area nine counties are responsible for developing county-wide transit and human services plans...will this meet the MPO requirement?
Atlanta regional commission: Can you clarify when the effective date for the coordinated plan will be?
NIRPC, Gary IN: When will guidance come from FTA on JARC New freedoms etc? What data will be used for allocations? What happens when Census 2000 CTTP becomes too old?
Susan Payne, central lane mpo: does the new air quality grace period apply to existing plans, tip conformity determinations?
SCAG: Are there any restrictions in the planning process during the one-year conformity grace period?
None, other than the normal restrictions. We still have to meet some of the planning requirements.
Martha Lott Memphis MPO: Under 12-month grace period of conformity lapse will projects in the LRTP and TIP continue to move forward with funding?
Maricopa Association of Governments - Phoenix AZ: We will be conducting conformity next Spring. In the absence of FHWA guidance, how do we go about "electing" to determine conformity only through the last year of our approved SIP conformity budgets?
Cindy mentioned we are working with EPA on the guidance and hopefully the guidance will layout the process how you can go about sharpening the conformity horizon. In the meantime if you want to go about doing that, you basically can do it right now. If you have any specific questions, give us a call, or call a division office, or talk to EPA about that. You don't have to wait until the guidance to take advantage of this.
Wasatch Front Regional Council Salt Lake City: Any word on whether tighter AQ standards are coming and when (other than PM2.5)?
NCTCOG: will there be any provisions for a conformity "lite" process if only minor amendments are made to a few projects in the mtp, or will a full conformity need to be done as we do now?
There will not be any conformity lite process, as we understand what you're referring to. A conformity determination is still required, but you might have some flexibility in terms of whether you need to run or not. The existing conformity requirements will not change for the particular requirement.
MTC, Oakland: Our next RTP conformity will be in Feb. 09, we will have a TIP in 2008. Does that mean we must reconform our existing RTP to conform our TIP?
Alexandria/Pineville MPO Alexandria: amen!
Maricopa Association of Governments - Phoenix AZ: Who do we call for conformity questions; i.e., who is answering questions now?
Ali Bonakdar: Corvallis (OR) MPO - Will we get a copy of this presentation, the questions, and answers?
We will post the Slides and the questions.
Ellen Roundtree: will you be sending out power point along with questions/comments and answers
We're recording the session and the recording will be available on FHWA's web site.
Bowling green/warren county: will this presentation be available after the call (i.e. online)?
ITCTC - Ithaca NY: Please make PowerPoint presentation available.
George Johnson: Thank you for this forum. Rhode Island Statewide Planning looks forward to working with our partners in the Division (FHWA) & Regional (FTA) offices as we sort through all this new "stuff" together.
Great. We like to work together.
Metro: (Portland, Oregon) We also appreciate the opportunity to comment as part of the forum. We request that you post all the questions and responses as an FAQ.
Vo: Thank you for the opportunity to listen in on this forum we look forward to working with all our partners in the future
Lowell C ELMER: Thanks. We have to depart conference
Germaine Beveridge: Thanks for the forum ... it has provided a great initial framework for us to begin incorporating the new material.
Fred Abousleman: Thank you FHWA/FTA for giving MPOs an opportunity to comment and question...
PPACG: We would support additional regulations on project selection in TMA area for non-NHS/IM/Bridge projects.
AMPO: Thank you.
SA-BC MPO: The only thing constant in life is change. We'll figure out most of it as we go along. Happy Trails to you all.
Rosemary Siipola, CWCOG, Kelso, WA: Rosemary Siipola: Thanks for the session ... very informative ...please remember, we are dealing with local elected officials, local political climates and all that this entails. It's not always cut and died, but it seems to work.
Houston-Galveston Area Council, Houston, TX: Thank you for the opportunity to comment and ask questions. We will be in touch.
Longview MPO: Thank you for the opportunity to provide input and allowing us ask questions. This was very informative and is an effective means to communicate with the MPOs.
Susan McDonald Osborn: THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION
Roger Del Rio: thank you
Martha Lott Memphis MPO: Thank you for all the web cast...Have a wonderful evening
Martha Lott Memphis MPO: SAFETEA-LU Legislation has been passed. FHWA/FTA /EPA are in the rulemaking and guidance process. MPO’s are in the planning process of next plans. How long are the MPO’s going to have to wait to receive rules and guidance?
We've already issued initial guidance. We already mentioned the guidance we intend to come out with EPA. We hope to have the NPRM out in April, and then we would take comments on that, and get a final regulation, our hope is to have that out in January of 2007, so that it would be available at least six months before the requirements were in effect. In the meantime, look at the interim guidance FHWA and FTA jointly issued in September of this year because that gives you a road map how you can operate right now.
Mike Jaffe, SKATS: This forum shows that MPO have lots of questions and suggestions, but are you planning additional ways of having these types of discussion (a web forum) so MPOs can chime in on regulations
Once the NPRM is out, we do plan to have some sessions where we go through the regulations. That's a more formal process in terms of we will have a docket and comments that we receive because everything has to be on the record. We do expect to do a number of those where we go around and talk about what's in the regulation and what our thinking was behind what's in the regulation.
Bhupendra Patel: In previous legislations there were personal meetings will there be any?
I am not sure what you mean by personal meetings. We try to be available at conferences. Our division offices should be accessible to you so you can provide comments to them and they can confer with us. We're not planning a lot of personal one on ones.
Bhupendra Patel: Group meetings in various regions
Yes. We will be going around to different places. When the NPRM is issued, hopefully in April, and as Brigid said at that time we will want to have sessions where we summarize what's in the NPRM and take comments or request for clarification. If you have some suggestions for how and where to do those kinds of sessions, let us know, preferably through NARC or AMPO.
Houston-Galveston Area Council, Houston, TX: What is the FHWA/FTA outline and/or milestones for the rulemaking/guidance process
Volusia County MPO - comment: would suggest that these questions be posted as an FAQ page
We will put those on the web to the extent we respond to them.
DVRPC Philadelphia: There were a number of very good questions and comments today, many of which you did not answer (went past or needed time for a better response). Suggestion: Respond to ALL questions and comments in "visual" form for everyone's benefit.
Whatcom MPO Bellingham WA: Comment: It is apparent from this webinar that there is always lots to learn in the MPO business at all levels
CATS Chicago: Will you answer questions that you didn't get to during this conference later?
Metro: (Portland, Oregon) There were several questions that were skipped over. Will you be compiling these with responses in conjunction with the recorded summary?
Juanita S Wieczoreck: Will a TIP amendment also always require a plan amendment?
It may, but, no, it won't always require it. If it is already in the plan, you don't need to do a plan amendment. If it is not in the plan, we need to do one. It has to be consistent with the plan.
TMACOG: Could you provide more information as to what intermodal connectors qualify as transportation facilities?
Yes. We will we would provide that information as a best practice as a regulation.
AMATS Anchorage Alaska: Has the match requirement for bridge funding changed from 20% to 10%?
Not that I am aware of.
Charles Trainor: In SAFETEA-LU earmarks, how will they be funded? i.e. All at once, or split equally among the remaining 5 years?
Yeah. It won't be all at once. No lottery here. No.
Atlanta regional commission: Earmarks receive 20% funding per year of SAFETEA-LU: how should these projects be placed in the TIP? Can they be placed prior to 2009? If a $10M project received a $1M earmark, do we have to find the remaining $9M from other sources (to the detriment of other priorities)?
The answer to the latter part is yes. Virtually everybody in the transportation sector abhor the extent to which ear marking has gotten out of hand and especially how it is undermining a good planning process, good public involvement, credibility with the public. It is a real problem.
Atlanta regional commission: Title VI, section (k) discusses the selection of projects in TMAS. Will guidance and/or regulations be published on this section so that it is clearer whether the MPO or the state DOT selects projects not funded out of NHS, IM, Bridge?
That's a continuation of the current provision of law. We thought that it was clear in the current regulations but we'll take another look. If anybody else thinks it is unclear, let us know.
Guest: Are there any changes to funding share for any project types. TEA-21 had safety projects at 100% Federal
TEA-21 has safety projects at 100% federal. I am not aware of a change to that 100% funding for safety. Maybe for certain types of safety projects, not all. I am not aware of other changes in the federal share. No one else here is either. Other than the Transportation Community System Preservation Program (TCSP) m which used to be 100% and now it is a standard sliding scale.
SAFETEA-LU: Comment: Please do not lose your perspective that there are a lot of “small” MPOs (pop less than say 100,00) out here with limited funding i.e. 1 or maybe 2 person staff, who may not have the time nor expertise to accomplish all these various goals and requirements. We must be “Jack of all Trades” and cannot be “Masters” of anything. Otherwise we will just have some superficial discussion just to meet the requirement. No matter what happens small MPOs still need flexibility.
We recognize that. We sympathize with the challenge and we'll look for every opportunity to provide flexible to the small MPOs.
Lowell C ELMER: DixieMPO St. George area of Utah: We agree with "SAFETEA-LU" comment above!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Germaine Beveridge: . . as does the YVCOG!
Rockingham Planning Commission - Exeter, NH: We agree with the small mpo flexibility comment as well
NIRPC, Gary IN: We support ARC request on non-nhs, IM Bridge. Thanks for this forum.
Atlanta regional commission: Do earmarks have to be programmed? What if we can't make up the difference?
SCAG: When does FHWA plan to release the funding for earmarked projects in SAFETEA-LU?
Bhupendra Patel: Best practices not legislation on descriptions
Atlanta regional commission: Best practices, leave regulations flexible
Ailene MPO - Abilene, Texas: On public transportation, when should funding to a transit provider be included in the MPO TIP? we will have agencies based outside the planning area providing services inside the area and agencies based inside the area possibly providing service outside the area.
 FHWA/FTA recently clarified guidance on update cycles. In short, MPOs in nonattainment and maintenance areas may opt to apply the four- year SAFETEA-LU transportation plan update cycle immediately. However, any long-range transportation plan, TIP, or STIP requiring MPO or State adoption action (i.e., amendment, revision, or update) on or after July 1, 2007 must be based on documents that completely reflect all SAFETEA-LU planning provisions. All documents, including the long-range transportation plan must completely reflect all SAFETEA-LU planning provisions at that time.