About the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)
NRPC serves as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Nashua, NH Urbanized Area (UZA).
The MPO is the transportation policy-making organization for the region. It is made up of representatives from local government and transportation authorities, including the NH Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, Federal Highway Administration and the Nashua Transit System. The purpose of the MPO is to administer the federal transportation process and ensure that investments in transportation projects and programs are based on a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive (“3-C”) planning process. The MPO must successfully administer this process in order to acquire and spend Federal money on transportation improvements.
The core MPO functions include:
- Provide a forum for effective regional decision-making. The MPO provides individuals and communities a voice in how transportation resources are prioritized and allocated in the region. The Transportation Technical Advisory Committee, made up of representatives from all municipalities as well as state and federal agencies helps MPO staff guide transportation policies in the region and prioritize projects of regional importance.
- Evaluate transportation alternatives for the region. In order to ensure transportation investments are cost-effective, environmentally sustainable and best leverage existing resources, the MPO evaluates a number of alternatives, and their costs and impacts, before settling on a solution.
- Develop and maintain a Long-Range Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). The MTP is a comprehensive, multimodal “blueprint” for transportation systems and services aimed at both meeting the mobility needs and improving the overall quality of life of residents in the region through the next 25 years.
- Develop and maintain a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The TIP is a four-year work program that lists all regionally significant and federally funded projects, as required by federal transportation legislation. The TIP contains an agreed-upon list of specific transportation improvement projects and associated financial information for the Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).
- Ensure that the TIP and MTP comply with air quality requirements. Emissions from motor vehicles significantly impact air quality and must be considered as part of the transportation planning process. The MPO works to ensure transportation investments reduce or minimize emissions in the region.
- Every Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) must develop, adopt and implement formalized procedures for effective community participation during transportation planning processes. NRPC has developed an inclusive process intended to ensure effective public involvement in the transportation planning activities that meet or exceed applicable federal rules.
Transportation Management Area
As a Transportation Management Area (TMA), the Nashua MPO is afforded the opportunity to program Surface Transportation Program funds and Transportation Alternatives funds which are sub-allocated to the region.
As a TMA, the MPO is required to develop and maintain a Congestion Management Process (CMP) which connects the Long Range planning goals of the region to short range project implementation. As demand and operational management strategies are implemented to address congestion problems, it becomes increasingly important to document these strategies in a structured process to ensure the effectiveness if the investments in the transportation system. The CMP is the tool for documenting this process and connecting the Long Range planning goals of the region to short range project implementation.
Transportation Planning in New Hampshire
New Hampshire created a transportation planning process that has been integrated into the Federal process administered by the MPO. The Ten Year Transportation Plan, as defined under New Hampshire RSA 228:99 and RSA 240, requires New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) to propose a plan for improvements to the State’s transportation system every two years. The purpose is to develop and implement a plan allowing New Hampshire to fully participate in federally supported transportation improvement projects as well as to outline projects and programs funded with State transportation dollars.
Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP)
The purpose of the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) is to present all transportation planning activities anticipated within the Nashua Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) region, regardless of funding sources, in a single document. It is developed to meet the requirements of 23 CFR Part 450, Subpart C. The work program is intended to facilitate review procedures, funding applications, grant decisions and allocations, technical and financial monitoring and periodic evaluation of substantive and procedural aspects for intermodal transportation planning under prescribed guidelines.
The Nashua Regional Planning Commission Prospectus is designed to provide an introduction to, and a framework for, the transportation planning process in the NRPC area. It addresses several important functions pursuant to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations (23 CFR Part 450) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) regulations (49 CFR Part 613) including an overview of the Nashua Metropolitan Planning Organization, functional responsibilities of the participating agencies, the transportation planning process in New Hampshire the public involvement process; and project solicitation and selection.
Title VI, Environmental Justice and DBE Policies
The Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has in place a Program based on Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S. Code Section 2000d) and U.S. Department of Transportation Regulation 49 CFR Part 21 “Nondiscrimination in Federally-Assisted Programs of the Department of Transportation”. The Program is based on Federal Transit Administration Circular FTA C 4702.1B, “Title VI Requirements and Guidelines for Federal Transit Administration Recipients," (October 1, 2012). This program document also includes the NRPC policy statement in regard to the NH DOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program.