What is the Erie MPO?
A Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is a transportation policy-making board made up of representatives from local government and transportation agencies with authority and responsibility in metropolitan planning areas. Federal legislation (the current iteration is MAP-21) requires the formation of an MPO for any urbanized area (UA) with a population greater than 50,000.
MPOs were created in order to ensure that existing and future funding expenditures for transportation projects and programs were based on a continuing, cooperative and comprehensive (3-C) planning process. Federal funding for transportation projects and programs is channeled through the MPO.
The geographic boundaries of MPOs vary. Also, the administering agencies for MPOs vary.
In our area the Erie MPO service area includes all of Erie County, and the Erie County Department of Planning serves as the administrative agency and staff of the Erie MPO.
What does the Erie MPO do?
There are five core functions of the Erie MPO:
• Establish a setting: Establish and manage a fair and impartial setting for effective regional decision making in the County.
• Identify and evaluate alternative transportation improvement options: Use data and planning methods to generate and evaluate alternatives. Planning studies and evaluations are included in the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP).
• Prepare and maintain the Erie County Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP): Develop and update a long-range transportation plan for Erie County covering a planning horizon of at least twenty years.
• Develop the Erie County Transportation Improvement Program (TIP): Develop a short-range (four-year) program of transportation improvements based on the long-range transportation plan.
• Involve the public: Involve the general public and other affected stakeholders in the four essential functions listed above.
In accordance with federal regulations, the Erie MPO is required to carry out transportation planning in cooperation with PennDOT and with the EMTA.
Who serves on the Erie MPO?
From an organizational perspective, there is no required structure for an MPO. The Erie MPO’s structure is determined by the Erie MPO Bylaws. The MPO is comprised of 2 standing committees:
• The Coordinating Committee, which is the official policy board of the MPO that approves all plans and projects; and
• The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), which reviews plans and projects in detail and makes recommendations to the Coordinating Committee.
COORDINATING COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
Membership Information listed in Table
TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
ECDP staff serves the Erie MPO committees by preparing documents, fostering interagency coordination, facilitating public input and feedback, and managing the planning process. The ECDP staff also provides the committees with technical assessments and evaluations of proposed transportation initiatives. The ECDP may also contract with consultants to generate needed data and perform studies and assessments outside the staffing capacity of the department.
How do I contact the Erie MPO and take part in the Transportation Planning Process?
• Contact the Erie County Department of Planning. As the administrating agency for the Erie MPO, the Erie County Department of Planning (ECDP) is the primary contact for all questions and comments regarding the MPO and the planning process.
Christopher M. Friday is the lead staff for all ECDP transportation programs and serves as the Secretary of the Erie MPO.
Christopher M. Friday
Phone #: 814.451.7325
Address: 150 East Front Street Suite 300
Erie, PA 16507
Contact your local Erie MPO representative. The membership of the Erie MPO is mostly made up of local elected officials and municipal professionals. Even municipalities that are not directly represented on the MPO are represented through either the Erie County Association of Boroughs or the Erie County Association of Township Officials. One of the most effective ways to have your voice heard in the process is to contact your local officials directly. (Link to “Municipal Contact Information”)
• Attend an Erie MPO Coordinating Committee meeting. The Coordinating Committee is the official policy board of the Erie MPO. All meetings are open to the public, and every meeting has time on the agenda reserved for public comments. (Link to Meeting Schedule)
• Request to be added to the Erie MPO e-mail list. The MPO maintains an e-mail list of any interested residents and organizations who would like to receive Coordinating Committee meeting agendas, notices for public meetings related to specific transportation initiatives and projects in Erie County, and additional information on pertinent Federal and State transportation issues.
If you’d like to receive these notifications, simply call (814) 451-7325 or e-mail Christopher Friday, firstname.lastname@example.org and request to have your e-mail address added to the list. No other information is required, and your e-mail address will not be provided to any other organization or government agency.