Frequently Asked Questions
What is an MPO?
An MPO is a transportation policy-making board mandated by federal law. The MPO is directly responsible for making sure federal dollars spent on existing and future transportation projects and programs are based on a continuing, cooperative and comprehensive transportation planning process. Committed to meaningful public engagement throughout the process, the MPO is responsible for establishing priorities to meet short-term (next 4 years) and long-term (20+ years) multi-modal transportation needs their urbanized area.
What is Transportation Planning?
Transportation Planning is everything that has to happen before the shovel hits the ground.
Local jurisdictions and state agencies have comprehensive development plans that include transportation systems. Typically, local and state plans list projects for years before funding is identified to move them towards implementation. At times projects in these plans, or totally new projects are advanced to implementation as a result of emerging economic development opportunities or an initiative lead by the administration at state or local levels. At other times projects are advanced in response to specific issues with stakeholders taking a special interest in them.
FAMPO is the forum where these projects, programs, and policies from one jurisdiction are shared with the other regional jurisdictions, discussed for their consistency and compatibility with the region’s transportation vision, goals, and priorities before being added to the region’s transportation plan and program.
How are projects identified?
Projects are usually identified either in local plans, state plans, or regional plans. Typically, projects are first identified in local government plans. This type of planning is done by county or municipal governments. Local comprehensive plans usually include a transportation element that identifies specific projects that a local government has determined will be needed to accommodate the growth it anticipates over the period of the plan.
States also have ways they identify projects. Each state Department of Transportation (DOT) develops a statewide plan for projects that accomplish a set of goals. These may include projects that are needed to maintain the integrity of the system, enhance safety, or make it easier for people to get around.
There are also regional studies and plans developed by multiple jurisdictions working together. For instance, transit agencies such as VRE, the Virginia Railway Express, and FRED also develop capital plans and programs. All transportation agencies place a priority on preserving and maintaining the system, and emphasize safety.
Another way needed projects are identified is through corridor or sub-area studies, which look at a specific area or transportation “corridor.” State agencies usually conduct these studies. These sub-area studies are typically undertaken when there are opportunities to make changes to the development in the area or along the corridor or when specific travel related issues have been identified.
FAMPO brings them all together
What is the MPO Study Area?
The Study Area represents the planning boundary of the MPO. The study area encompasses the existing census-defined urbanized area and the contiguous areas expected to become urban over the next 20-year period. Federal guidelines do not include explicit requirements for setting or adjusting study areas. The Study Area for FAMPO includes the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Spotsylvania and Stafford.
What is FAMPO’s Mission Statement?
The Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (FAMPO) mission is to provide a cooperative, continuous and comprehensive (“3C”) transportation planning process to build regional agreement on transportation investments, that balance roadway, public transit, bicycle, pedestrian, and other transportation needs and support regional land use, economic, and environmental goals for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods. Special emphasis is placed on providing equal access to a variety of transportation choices and effective public involvement in the transportation planning process.
What are the primary functions of an MPO?
As defined by federal transportation regulations, MPOs direct how and where available federal dollars for transportation improvements will be spent. The primary functions of the MPO are to:
- Establish the goals, objectives and policies governing transportation planning in the region.
- Approve an annual Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) and budget.
- Direct the preparation of, and adopt, the long-range and short-range strategies of the Transportation Plan (CLRP).
- Recommend projects for implementation through the adoption of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
- Perform the air quality conformity determination for the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
What are MPOs key planning documents?
Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP): The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) serves as the annual work program for FAMPO. It identifies funding sources of transportation-related planning activities that FAMPO intends to accomplish during the program year utilizing federal, state and local resources. It supports ongoing work in the areas of long range transportation and land use scenario planning, congestion management program, public participation, corridor planning and other special projects.
Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP): The MPO is required to develop the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). A blueprint guiding priorities for development and transportation projects in the region, the LRTP identifies and prioritizes needed improvements and transportation goals 20+ years into the future. The plan seeks to balance investments in various transportation modes against anticipated funding from federal, state and local sources. The LRTP, updated every 4 years is based on local plans, regional population and economic growth projections, reflects ever-changing conditions and new planning principles.
Transportation Improvement Program (TIP): The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is mandated by Federal legislation and is a fiscally-constrained, four-year list of transportation projects programmed for the FAMPO study area. The TIP identifies, prioritizes and allocates anticipated funding for transportation improvements over the next 4 years. The TIP is updated regularly and includes projects on the Interstate, Primary, Urban and Secondary Highway Systems. It also includes safety, transportation enhancements and public transportation projects. The TIP may also include funding for feasibility studies, preliminary engineering activities and environmental impact studies.
Public Participation Plan (PPP): The purpose of the Public Participation Plan (PPP) is to serve as a guide to encourage public involvement in the regional transportation planning process.It is intended to encourage, facilitate and follow through on public comments, concerns and suggestions by establishing procedures for providing full public access to information and decisions, timely public notices, and early and continuing public involvement in plan development.
Title VI Non-Discrimination Plan: The Title VI Non-Discrimination Plan outlines the procedures, strategies and activities used to facilitate and assure nondiscrimination.
Who makes decisions for FAMPO?
All decisions of FAMPO are made by the Policy Committee (PC) which is the transportation policy decision-making board comprised of eleven elected and non-elected voting members. The Fredericksburg District Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) Representative and the Citizens Transportation Advisory Group Chairman serves as ex officio members.
FAMPO is responsible for transportation planning and funding allocations in the George Washington Region and partners with the public, planning organizations, government agencies, elected officials and community groups to develop regional transportation plans.
Are there any advisory committees for FAMPO?
The MPO has two committees who advise the MPO on specific issues.
The FAMPO Technical Committee (FTC) was established to advise and to provide technical engineering and planning expertise during the transportation planning process. The FTC consists primarily of engineers, planners, and other professionals who represent the region’s local governments and transportation/transit agencies and works with the MPO staff to develop planning and programming recommendations for the MPO Policy Committee.
The FTC meets on the second Monday of each month at 9:00 a.m. at the FAMPO office located at 406 Princess Anne Street in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Call 540-373-2890 for more information. Calendars are posted on our website along with the agendas for each meeting. These meetings are open to the public and public participation is encouraged.
The Citizens Transportation Advisory Group (CTAG) is a citizen advisory group to the MPO and functions as a sounding board for public opinion on transportation issues, promoting ways to improve the quality of the region’s transportation system. The CTAG was established to help provide and encourage active citizen participation in the transportation planning process and to also advise the MPO of the citizen’s perspective on transportation planning, programs and projects.
The CTAG meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the FAMPO office located at 406 Princess Anne Street in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Call 540-373-2890 for more information. Calendars are posted on our website along with the agendas for each meeting. These meetings are open to the public and public participation is encouraged.
Why is the MPO important to the community?
Transportation planning is important to everyone. How well a citizen can travel to work, school, the shopping mall or the hospital affects their safety and quality of life. The population in our region is forecasted to more than double by the year 2040, therefore planning wisely can keep the transportation system working efficiently.
FAMPO provides an independent yet cooperative forum for regional planning and the allocation of millions of dollars in federal transportation funding annually.
FAMPO also helps citizens speak with one voice to their state and federal legislators on transportation-related issues.
Most importantly, effective public involvement ensures scarce tax dollars are used in accordance with the greatest needs and desires of the people.
How do I get engaged in the planning process?
Beyond receiving public comment, the MPO strives to involve the public, stakeholders and partner agencies to participate throughout the transportation planning process.
Public information meetings, public workshops, planning events and focus groups are among the various opportunities for early and recurring participation. However, there is no need for a meeting or event to be held to provide input.
Public comment can be provided at any time and in a myriad of settings.
Feel free to contact us via the contact form on this website, by email, by USPS mail, by phone or by fax.