The purpose of the MPOs is to coordinate the activities of the urbanized areas with the South Dakota Department of Transportation so that we complement each others' activities and are not counter-productive.
The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Coordinator acts as the liaison between SDDOT and the three active MPOs in South Dakota by representing the Department on various MPO committees and providing technical assistance as requested.
There are three active MPOs in South Dakota:
Rapid City Metropolitan Planning Organization
Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council (SIMPCO)
Sioux Falls Metropolitan Planning Organization
FHWA/FTA has a website, Metropolitan Capacity Building Program, specifically for the MPO Coordination activities around the country.
There are three committees that review and approve or recommend approval of transportation plans for each MPO. The three consist of a citizen advisory committee, a technical advisory committee, and an executive decision making committee. The MPO Coordinator is part of the technical advisory committee. The Department of Transportation's MPO Coordinator provides advice on plans and projects that are brought to the technical advisory committee. Some major products delivered from the MPOs to the SDDOT are the metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), and the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) for each MPO. They also do numerous special studies of transportation issues in the metropolitan planning areas.
TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a four-year plan for projects in six major areas. The major areas are the following:
- Streets and Highways
- Public Transportation (Transit)
- Safety Projects
- Railroad Crossings
- Bicycle Facilities
- Pedestrian Walkways
All the TIPs are financially constrained. All the entities work to produce a TIP and prioritize the projects found in the TIP. The general public, affected public agencies, representatives of transportation agencies, private providers of transportation, resource agencies and other interested parties are allowed to make comment on TIP drafts. TIPs need to conform to both the LRTP and the eight planning factors in the Fixing Americaâ€™s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). The LRTP contains the elements the MPO wants to accomplish in the next 20 years. The eight planning factors are the following:
- Support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area by enabling global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency
- Increase the safety of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users
- Increase the security of the transportation system for motorized and non-motorized users
- Increase the accessibility and mobility options available to people and freight
- 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
- Enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight
- Promote efficient system management and operation
- Emphasize the preservation of the existing transportation system