Transportation planning is one of the chief planning priorities PAG is tasked with as a metropolitan planning organization (MPO). This complex task involves working with local, county, state and tribal members who serve on PAG’s Regional Council to anticipate the region’s needs, develop a long-range transportation plan to secure funding to meet these needs, and, in some cases, help oversee the completion of projects to meet those needs.
These responsibilities arise in being a designated Transportation Management Area (TMA) by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. The designation can be made in urban areas that exceed 200,000 people. PAG uses population estimates, travel modeling, environmental assessments and more to help meet regional transportation planning needs of the region’s jurisdictions and residents.
Regional planning considerations include infrastructure condition, economic opportunities, population growth, changing transportation needs, air quality and funding sources.
The two primary vehicles for regional transportation planning are the long-term Regional Mobility and Accessibility Plan, which identifies priority transportation projects for a 25-year period, and the shorter-term Transportation Improvement Program, which is updated every two years and reflects five years of scheduled and funded projects. Planned projects, such as those in the Regional Transportation Authority’s 20-year, voter-approved plan must appear in both documents. The RTA is managed by PAG.
PAG also conducts transit, pedestrian, bicycle and freight planning for consideration in its long-range transportation planning efforts.