The Rockingham Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is responsible for conducting the federally required continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive “3C” metropolitan transportation planning process for the 26 communities in the Rockingham Planning Commission region. To do so, the MPO works the general public and local, regional, state and federal planning partners to develop long and short-range plans, policies, and priorities to guide local decision making on transportation issues.
The MPO is the transportation policy-making organization for the region. It is made up of representatives from local government and transportation authorities, including the NH Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, Federal Highway Administration and the Nashua Transit System. The purpose of the MPO is to administer the federal transportation process and ensure that investments in transportation projects and programs are based on a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive (“3-C”) planning process. The MPO must successfully administer this process in order to acquire and spend Federal money on transportation improvements.
Primary MPO functions include:
Establish a setting for effective decision making: The MPO provides a fair and impartial setting for effective regional transportation planning and decision making in the region.
Identify and evaluate transportation improvement options: Develop transportation improvement options and use data and planning methods to evaluate whether those options support criteria and system performance targets.
Prepare and maintain a Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP): The LRTP is a comprehensive, multimodal “blueprint” for transportation systems and services aimed at both meeting the mobility needs and improving the overall quality of life of residents in the region through the next 20+ years.
Prepare and maintain a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP): The TIP is a four-year program of priority transportation improvements that lists all regionally significant and federally funded projects, as required by federal transportation legislation. The TIP contains an agreed-upon list of specific transportation improvement projects and associated financial information for the MPO, and represents immediate priority actions to achieve the area’s goals and associated system performance targets.
Identify and track performance measure targets: MPOs establish performance targets in coordination with the State and Public Transit Operators that address performance measures related to surface transportation and public transportation. MPOs prepare plans that include a system performance report that tracks progress on measures required by federal law as well as additional, locally significant performance indicators that support decision making.
Involve the public: The metropolitan planning process must engage the public and stakeholders on an ongoing basis to spur dialogue on critical issues facing the region and provide opportunities for the public to contribute ideas and weigh in on decisions.
Maintain conformity with Air Quality Standards: As part of a former non-attainment area and a current maintenance area for transportation-related pollutants, the MPO must ensure that the LRTP and TIP conform with the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for improving air quality.