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Don Kostelec @KostelecPlan
, 8 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Reading an MPO’s Triennial Review by @USDOT reveals disconnects the Feds don’t understand. You can’t criticize an MPO for not properly incorporating bike/ped/transit considerations into DOT-submitted TIP projects when DOT threatens a region’s funding if MPO objects to a project.
Yeah, that was a wonky tweet. Here’s the decoder ring description: MPOs are reviewed every theee years by a @USDOT panel of @USDOTFHWA @FTA_DOT reps. They look at long range plans, TIP, congestion management process, etc.
The resulting report typically identifies progress since the last review, commendations on things done well, and “corrective actions” for the MPO to address before the next review.
It’s a paper tiger process that reveals what I am calling “MPOs and other Urban Myths” in a chapter of my book. MPOs are relegated by most state DOTs into being paperwork arms of the DOT for their primary responsibilities.
So when I ball at the results of the Triennial Review from USDOT, it’s because they oftentimes criticize the MPO for something that he state DOT may usurp as an authority.
FHWA has an office in every state capital. You’d think they’d serve as a type of oversight of DOTs. But they don’t. As the head of the FHWA office in North Carolina told me, “We are here to serve at the pleasure of NCDOT.”
I knew right then that the FHWA state office wouldn’t be any help when NCDOT ignored basic ADA requirements, failed to follow their own policies for bicycle facility design, and ignored federal guidance on active transportation.
So when a city or neighborhood can’t get fair consideration of vulnerable road users needs from a state DOT, who do they turn to? The MPO is oftentimes compromised and state FHWA office hides behind the state DOT. It why cities have the “learned hopelessness” I mentioned earlier.
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