Acadiana Metropolitan Planning Organization

The Acadiana  Metropolitan Planning Organization is the governing authority for transportation planning for the Lafayette Urbanized Area.  

The Acadiana MPO is housed within the Acadiana Planning Commission,  one of the eight planning and economic development districts authorized in state law (R.S.33:131). The Acadiana Planning Commission is the fiscal agent for the Acadiana MPO.

“There are four core functions of an Metropolitan Planning Organization:

  • Manage a fair and impartial setting for effective regional decision-making in the metropolitan area.  This includes extensive public outreach and citizen participation.
  •  Evaluate transportation alternatives, scaled to the size and complexity of the region, by the nature of the transportation issues and the realistically available options.
  • Maintain a Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).  Develop and update a fiscally-constrained long-range transportation plan for the metropolitan area covering a planning horizon of at least 20 years that fosters:
    • Mobility and access for people and goods,
    • Efficient system performance and preservation, and
    • Quality of life.
  • Develop a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP): Develop a fiscally-constrained program based on the long-range transportation plan that is designed to serve the area's goals, using spending, regulating, operating, management and financial tools.”

 Federal legislation creates and helps fund such local special purpose regional units of local government as the Acadiana Metropolitan Area Organization, or MPO.  Its responsibilities are established in Title 23, CFR 450.316.

An urbanized area (UZA) is an area with a population of 50,000 or more. Federal legislation defining Urbanized Areas and a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) process includes:
  • 1962 Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962 requiring the formation of a Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA)
  •  2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)
  • 2012 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st century (MAP-21).  

The Lafayette Urbanized Area is a multi-parish region that is defined by the federal government’s Department of Transportation. It is based on current census data. Based on the 2010 census, the Lafayette Urbanized Area includes Lafayette Parish and parts of Acadia, St. Landry, Iberia, St. Martin Parishes and Vermilion Parishes.  The authority is in place to better coordinate federal, state and local transportation programs and projects. 

POWER AND SERVICES

The Acadiana Metropolitan Planning Organization is charged with developing, maintaining and prioritizing short- and long- range transportation infrastructure plans and projects. 

Plans adopted by the Acadiana  Metropolitan Planning Organization include:

  • 2040 Transportation Plan
  • 2040 Bikeway Plan
  • 2014 Freight Plan

The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) is a document mandated by the US Department of Transportation.  The purpose of the Unified Planning Work Program is to document, for each fiscal year, all planning activities and subsequent funding of the Lafayette Urbanized Area.  The document itself is prepared by the Acadiana Metropolitan Planning Organization.


The Transportation Policy Committee (TPC), the governing board for the Acadiana Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The Transportation Policy Committee (TPC) makes the final recommendations for all transportation infrastructure projects federal funds in the Lafayette Urbanized Area.  

Members of the Transportation Policy Committee are appointed by the member jurisdictions in the Lafayette Urbanized Area.   The 28-member board of the TPC must consist of a non-voting representative of the Federal Highway Administration, a representative from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and  Development, and proportional representation of the populations of each of the geographic areas within the Lafayette Urbanized Area--whether that be a parish or a municipality.  Method of appointment is determined by each such geographic area.  A number of the members appointed are elected officials of the governing entities.

 Prior to adoption by the Transportation Policy Committee (TPC), project applications go through two other committees to make informed recommendations to the TPC.

(1) the Citizens Advisory Committee provides citizen input on transportation initiatives in the Lafayette Urbanized Area.  The members are appointed individually by the members of the Transportation Policy Committee.

These appointees are lay people, neither professionals nor elected officials.  They serve as a sounding board, providing recommendations and selected to be representative of  area demographics.  The CAC meets bi-monthly.

(2) the Transportation Technical Committee is the next step for consideration and review in order to make an informed, professional  recommendation to the Transportation Policy Committee.  This committee reviews recommendations made by the Citizens Advisory Committee and then provides technical guidance to the policy makers.  The Transportation Technical Committee (TTC) members are technical personnel  from the various government entities  within the Lafayette Urbanized Area.

Final decisions of the Transportation Policy Committee are based on this multi-level, multi-faceted study, research, and consideration of proposals.

II.  FUNDING

Funds for the Acadiana Metropolitan Planning Organization come from three main sources.

  • grants from the Federal Highway Administration,
  • grants from the Federal Transit Administration
  • matching funds from the local MPO member entities

Funds by federal authorities are granted with the explicit 20% match of the local Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) document preparation is funded in part by the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.


Transparency

Agendas are posted on the Acadiana Metropolitan Planning Organization website and at the meeting place location 48 hours in advance of meetings.  Visualization attachments are provided for each agenda item.  


The meetings of all three committees are open to the public.  Forms for public comment are provided for each meeting.  A schedule of meetings is published on the website.

Minutes are kept in the office of the Acadiana Metropolitan Planning Organization. 


Sources

Government Documents

Louisiana R.S. 33:131

"Rules of Policy and Procedure," Transportation Policy Committee, Lafayette Metropolitan Planning Organization, 2014 (currently in revision).

Reports
Lafayette Metropolitan Planning Organization, Unified Planning Work Program: FY2010/2011. (Lafayette Consolidated Government, July 2010.)

Citizen Information and Participation Plan, 2015

Websites
“Lafayette Consolidated Government”  http://www.lafayettegov.org/

  www.planacadiana.org


Interviews
Interview with Mike Hollier, Planning Manager, Department of Traffic and Transportation Lafayette Consolidated Government. May 7, 2010.

Cathie Gilbert, Planning Manager, Lafayette Consolidated Government, September, 2015.

Melanie Bordelon, MPO Manager, Sept. and Oct., 2015.


Updated September, 2015


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