The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham recognizes that transportation is the key to connecting and moving people, goods and services. Whether it is getting to work by car, biking to the store, or moving freight, transportation is at the forefront of ensuring a high quality of life for the greater Birmingham region of north central Alabama.
View Transportation Projects in a larger map. All areas are approximate.
Federal legislation requires urbanized areas having more than 50,000 people to establish a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) that provides a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive planning process as a requirement to spend federal highway or transit funds. In the Greater Birmingham region, the responsibility for administering the metropolitan planning process has been entrusted to the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham (RPCGB). RPCGB is the host agency for the Birmingham MPO, the official transportation planning agency for the Birmingham transportation study area comprised of Jefferson and Shelby Counties. The RPCGB also is the host agency for the Heart of Alabama Rural Planning Organization (HARPO).
The Birmingham MPO is primarily responsible for planning, prioritizing, and selecting transportation projects for federal funding that has been appropriated by the United States Congress through the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration either through discretionary funding or by formula. The Birmingham MPO also is responsible to for ensuring the region is in compliance with federal planning requirements and national ambient air quality standards. The Birmingham MPO's membership is comprised of representatives from local and state government, FHWA and FTA business leaders, citizens, as well as representatives from the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA), the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT). In addition to these primary functions, the Birmingham MPO also contributes to ongoing conversations about public transportation, land use, economic development, energy usage, climate change and the environment, transportation system safety and security, and public health.
By contrast, the HARPO is a voluntary association of county and local governments in Blount, Chilton, St. Clair, and Walker Counties that plans rural transportation systems and advises the ALDOT on rural transportation policy. Although voluntary, the HARPO process is very similar to that of the MPO in that the HARPO also considers the long range transportation needs of the rural counties and seeks to advise the ALDOT about solutions as well as provide recommendations for project prioritization and funding.
Regardless of whether the transportation focus is in an urban or rural setting, the RPCGB's transportation planning efforts are responsive to the changing social, economic, environmental and demographic conditions of the Greater Birmingham region.
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