Friday, March 29, 2013

How Should We Spend Federal Funds?

The Washington State Department of Transportation each year gives metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) like SRTC "targets" each year of how much in federal funds we need to provide to our member jurisdictions to pay for their transportation programs or projects.

We just found out that our target went up, so now we have to find some additional projects to fund than what we thought we would be giving money to. As a result, we're considering providing funds to three projects that aren't in our Transportation Improvement Project, in order to successfully meet our target.
But in order to legally give the money to those projects, the projects have to be included in our Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The TIP is a four-year listing of transportation improvements within the county that are on the regional transportation network. The TIP is incorporated into the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). Placement on the STIP is required for any transportation project that receives federal funding.

So that brings me to today. In order to get the projects into the TIP, an amendment must be made to it. And any amendment requires a public review and comment period. So go to the TIP page on our website, at http://www.srtc.org/tip_page.html, and review the proposed projects, then let us know if you think this is a good way to use the additional funds. Information is included on that page on how to submit comments.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.