April 23, 2014 – Prior to the Bi-State Regional Commission budgeting process, staff annually prepares the Transportation Planning Work Programs (TPWP) for the Quad Cities metropolitan planning area (MPA) and Region 9, serving rural Scott County and Muscatine County. The Work Programs reflect staff work tasks/activities for the coming fiscal year related to cooperative, continuing, and comprehensive (3 “C”s) transportation planning. The TPWPs include budgets for transportation planning short and long range activities and delineate federal, state and local planning funds. Activities include staffing transportation meetings, technical assistance, such as grant writing and traffic or trail studies/analysis, as well as the development of various modal plans and transportation funding programming. As an example, $13.5 million dollars was programmed to roadway projects in the Quad Cities and Region during the current fiscal year.
In the Bi-State region, major transportation issues furthered by these federal planning dollars include:
· River Crossing and Transportation Capacity Improvements
· Air Quality Improvement and Congestion Management
· Long Range Plan Implementation and Planning
· Passenger Transportation Coordination and Mobility Enhancements
· Integration of Safety and Security
· Monitoring the Status of Federal Funding and Programs.
With federal transportation appropriations, the total planning effort for urban transportation planning amounts to $843,674 in the urban area and $62,305 in Region 9. The Commission approved resolutions to authorize application of the federal planning grants and execute the respective grant contracts. The urban program includes authorization to utilize $53,039 in Illinois State Comprehensive Regional Planning Funds for matching funds and the remainder for technical assistance and intermodal planning. The Region 9 program utilizes $10,000 in local Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds. Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation introduced three planning emphasis areas which included transitioning to performance based planning and programming, promoting regional cooperation and coordination across various MPO and state boundaries, and working on access to essential services. These new emphasis areas align with the work activities identified in the TPWPs.