Memo: Census 2000 Results for New MPOs and TMAs
||Census 2000 Results for New MPOs and TMAs
||December 21, 2000
|ORIGINAL SIGNED BY:
Cynthia J. Burbank, Program Manager
Planning and Environment CBU
ORIGINAL SIGNED BY:
Charlotte Adams, Associate Administrator for Planning
|| FHWA Division Administrators
FTA Regional Administrators
The first results from Census 2000 will be the population counts for States. These
counts determine the number of Congressional seats for each State. These results are due in December 2000. The first small area data, population counts by race and ethnicity by census block, will be released by April 1, 2001.
MPOs and TMAs are designated based on urbanized area population (50,000 threshold for MPOs and 200,000 threshold for TMAs). The Census Bureau plans to issue a Federal Register notice by February 2001 recommending a new definition of urbanized areas and urban clusters. Subsequent to the Federal Register notice, there will be a comment period. Because of this, the Census Bureau is not planning to define and release urbanized area boundaries until Spring 2002.
Governors and local officials will have 12 months from the time the urbanized area boundaries are released to establish an MPO. A new urbanized area does not require a new MPO, it could be integrated into an existing MPO; a State/local choice.
The earliest time at which the apportionment of metropolitan planning (PL) funds to the States will be affected will be for FY2003 funds apportioned on October 1, 2002. Within a State, the State's current PL formula would be used to allocate planning funds to MPOs within the State, unless modified by the State with input from the existing MPOs and approved by the FHWA Division Administrators and FTA Regional Administrators. A State may provide State Planning and Research, National Highway System and Surface Transportation Program funds to support "start up" planning activities in anticipation of MPO designation.
For more detail, please see the attached sheet of "Frequently Asked Questions."
Frequently Asked Questions
When will new MPOs and TMAs need to be designated?
- New MPOs (50,000 population or greater in urbanized area) and TMAs (200,000 population or greater in urbanized area) will need to be established AFTER the Census Bureau has defined new Urbanized Areas (UAs) based on Census 2000 population figures.
- The Census Bureau currently plans to publish the new UAs approximately April-June 2002.
- Governors' and local officials generally have 12 months to establish a new MPO.
- The Secretary will publish a list of all new TMAs in the Federal Register to designate them shortly after their identification by the Census Bureau.
- If a new urbanized area adjoins an existing one, the existing MPO can be modified to incorporate the new area rather than to establish a new MPO.
What is an urbanized area? An urban cluster?
- Current definition: An urbanized area is comprised of one or more places and the adjacent densely settled surrounding area together include at least 50,000 people. "Densely settled" means having a population density of 1000 persons per square mile (generally) based on census blocks. Some small portions of an area not reaching the density threshold are included for spatial continuity or edge smoothing.
- The Census Bureau will be issuing a Federal Register Notice by February 2001 for a REVISED DEFINITION of urbanized areas. The notice will say when the comment period is open.
- Urban Clusters definition: Urban Cluster will be smaller areas, e.g. 2,500 to 49,999 population, with minimum density of 1000 persons per square mile. The surface transportation program does not rely on or require this concept. Hence, it will have no bearing on funding, planning, or MPO designation.
- The Census Bureau plans to delineate the new Urbanized Area and Urban Clusters from March 2001 thru December 2001. The publication of the urbanized areas and urban clusters should come out approximately April-June 2002 (i.e., 3-4 months after completion by Census Bureau). At this time Census Bureau does not know if they will make them available on a flow basis or all at once. They do not plan to ask for public comment on their identification of individual urbanized areas and urban clusters.
When will the distribution of PL and STP funds have to change to account for these new MPOs and TMAs?
- The earliest time at which the apportionment of metropolitan planning (PL) funds to the States will be affected will be for FY2003 funds apportioned on October 1, 2002. Within a State, the State's current PL formula would be used to allocate planning funds to MPOs within the State, unless modified by the State with input from the existing MPOs and approved by the FHWA division. A State may provide State Planning and Research, National Highway System and Surface transportation program funds to support "start up" planning activities in anticipation of MPO designation.
- The allocation of STP obligation authority for new TMAs would begin with FY 2003.
If an existing MPO adds new urbanized areas to its overall planning area, what changes need to be made to its governing board?
- The MPO should take changes in geographic definition into account in reviewing representation on its governing board. Current MPO by-laws would be the basis for determination of any board changes. The FHWA and FTA will not define any specific required changes or approve them. They may review changes in representation during planning reviews.
At what point do existing MPOs that become TMAs have to modify their governing boards?
- The Secretary will publish a list of new TMAs to formally designate them.
- The MPO should review the policy board membership to ensure that representation includes operators of major modes of transportation within its planning area boundary within 12 months of TMA designation.
- FHWA and FTA will review policy board membership at the first certification review of the MPO.
Does the definition of new Metropolitan Areas by OMB affect MPOs?
- No. The critical definition that affects MPOs and TMAs is the definition of urbanized areas (see above).
- Metropolitan Area Standards Review Committee submitted to OMB the draft standards for Metropolitan areas, and these were published in the Federal Register on August 22, 2000. Plans call for publication of the final standards before December 31, 2000.
- Metropolitan Areas are based on accumulations of whole COUNTIES. Counties are put together based on the "economic interaction" between the counties, reflecting commute flows.
- While these definitions will change reporting of data in some national reports, we see little impact to transportation. Because commuting flow is part of the equation in the definition of Metropolitan Areas, it helped keep the journey to work questions included in the Census 2000 long form.
Should State DOTs and MPOs be concerned about whether the Census Bureau uses "adjusted" or "unadjusted" counts from the Census 2000?
- "Adjusted" or "unadjusted" refers to whether or not revisions to population counts will be made based on estimates of undercounting. It is commonly believed that the poor and disenfranchised are more likely to be undercounted than middle-class or upper income persons. Therefore, figures adjusted for the undercount will more likely add population to areas of low income.
- Congressional apportionment, that is the number of seats in Congress for each State, will be determined using unadjusted counts from the Census 2000.
- The Secretary of Commerce has decided that the decision to use adjusted or unadjusted figures from the Census 2000 for purposes other than Congressional apportionment can be made by the Director of the Census Bureau. (Federal Register , October 6, 2000, p. 59713-59714) This is a decision that is probably most critical for State redistricting. The file used for State redistricting is the PL-94-171 file which will be issued no later than April 1, 2000. This file includes population counts by race and Hispanic origin and those over age 18 (voting age) for geographic units as small as census blocks. Generally, State voting districts are accumulations of census blocks.
- The CTPP Working Group has decided that we will use whatever decision is used for other Census products which rely on the long form. That is, if Summary File 3 (SF3) will use adjusted figures, so will CTPP. Likewise, if SF3 uses unadjusted figures, so will CTPP.
Additional information is available at the Census Bureau website (www.census.gov), and for CTTP products at www.trbcensus.com.