As the MPO, we serve the West Central Indiana Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA)) that includes the cities of Terre Haute and Brazil; the Towns of Staunton, Harmony, Knightsville, Seelyville, Riley and West Terre Haute; both the urbanized and rural portions of Vigo County and Clay County north of W County Road 300 N. MPA boundaries are typically adjusted after each decennial census based on the urbanized area boundaries drawn by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Congress created MPOs in order to ensure that existing and future expenditures of governmental funds for transportation projects and programs are based on a continuing, cooperative, and comprhensive ("3-C") planning process. In carrying out the prescribed 3C transportation planning process the THAMPO uses a methodology designed to assess many internal and external factors, and to foster the active involvement of planning partners, stakeholder groups, and the general public. This methodology can be illustrated as follows:
The six core functions performed by THAMPO, the other 13 MPOs in Indiana, and the 400+ MPOs in the United States are to:
- Establish and manage a fair and impartial setting for effective transportation decision-making in the MPA.
- Evaluate transportation alternatives, scaled to the size and complexity of the MPA, to the nature of its transportation issues, and to the realistically available options.
- Develop and maintain a fiscally constrained Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) for the MPA covering a planning horizon of at least 20-years that fosters: mobility and access for people and goods, efficient system performance and preservation, and quality of life.
- Develop and maintain a fiscally constrained Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) that identifies projects, consistent with the MTP, that have been selected for development and advancement over the next 4-years.
- Help protect air quality by ensuring transportation plans, programs, and projects conform to Indiana’s air quality plan.
- Provide citizens, affected public agencies, etc., reasonable opportunities to be engaged in the “3-C” process and to comment on the MTP and the TIP.
Our work as an MPO is overseen by the Transportation Policy Committee (TPC), which serves as the MPO’s policy and decision-making body. The committee receives technical advice and assistance from our staff and the Transportation Technical Committee (TTC). The Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) provides citizen and stakeholder input on proposed transportation projects, the MTP, TIP and other related plans. All committee meetings are generally open to the public and all three committees operate under a single set of bylaws approved by the TPC.
The Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA) is determined by agreement between the THAMPO Transportation Policy Committee, as the decision making body of the MPO, and the Governor of the State of Indiana. Each MPA encompasses at least the existing urbanized area and the conigous are expected to become urbanized within a 20-year forecast period for the transportation plan. The MPA may encompass the entire metropolitan statistical area or consolidated metropolitan statisitical area, as defined by the Brueau of the Census. Based upon the 2010 diennel census the agreed upon MPO for the Terre Haute Area MPO is:
As a condition to maintaining eligibility for Federal-aid, 23 U.S.C § 134 requires designation of an MPO and implementation of the prescribed metropolitan planning process in each urbanized area with a population of 50,000 or more. This designation is made by agreement between the Governor and units of general-purpose local government that together represent at least 75 percent of the affected population in the MPA. THAMPO was designated the MPO for the Terre Haute UA in 2020.
23 U.S.C. §134 states:
(a) POLICY. - It is in the national interest -
(1) to encourage and promote the safe and efficient management, operation, and development of surface transportation syste,s that will serve the mobility needs of people and frieght, foster economic growth and development within and between States and urbanized areas, and take into consideration resiliency needs while minimizing transportation-related fuel consumption and air pollution through metropolitan and statewide transportation planning processes; and
(2) to encourage the continued improvement and evolution of the metropolitan and statewide transportation planning processes by metropolitan planning organizations, State departments of transportation, and public transit operators as guided by the planning factors identified in subsection (h).
(h) SCOPE OF PLANNING PROCESS. -
(1) IN GENERAL. - The metropolitan planning process for a metropolitan planning area under this section shall provide for consideration of projects and strategies that will -
(A) support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area, especially by enabling global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency;
(B) increase the safety of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users;
(C) increase the security of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users;
(D) increase the accessibility and mobility of people and for freight;
(E) protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, improve the quality of life, and promote consistency between transportation improvements and State and local planned growth and economic development patterns;
(F) enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight;
(G) promote efficient system management and operation;
(I) improve the resiliency and reliability of the transportation system and reduce or mitigate stormwater impacts of surface transportation; and
(J) enahnce travel and tourism.
The Code of Federal Regulations governing this process can be found at: https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&rgn=div5&view=text&node=23:188.8.131.52.11&idno=23
The purpose of this Roles and Responsibilities document is to summarize the planning requirements and describe how INDOT will coordinate with Indiana’s fourteen Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to implement the 3‐C (continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive) planning process. This document will also serve as a cooperative agreement with MPOs and RTPOs across the state.