The Commission provides program administrative support to the Calhoun Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) of the Calhoun Area Metropolitan Transportation Study. The Calhoun Area MPO has six member jurisdictions; Oxford, Anniston, Hobson City, Weaver, Jacksonville and urban portions of Calhoun County. The MPO was established in 1975 when a joint agreement was signed with the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDoT) in order to comply with the transportation planning requirements of the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1962. The 1962 Act specified that urbanized areas with a population of 50,000 or more must develop a 3 “C” planning process that is comprehensive, cooperative, and continuing. The 1975 joint transportation planning agreement was renewed by the member jurisdictions in April 2007. The MPO updated its bylaws in April 2003.
The MPO centers around three main committees. The Policy (Voting) Committee consists of elected officials from the member jurisdictions, the Executive Director of the EARPDC, the ALDoT 4 th Division Engineer and non-voting representatives from the Federal Highway (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The Policy Committee meets at 10:00 am, the 3rd Thursday of each month. The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) composed of technical and engineering personnel from the member jurisdictions and meets at 10:00 am the 2nd Wednesday of each month. The Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) is made up of over 40 local citizens with an interest in transportation and meets approximately every other month. Meeting notices are mailed and posted on the EAC main page. The CAC is the primary committee providing on-going public review and comment on MPO projects as part of the required Public Involvement Plan.
The Policy Committee (MPO), the TAC and the CAC are public meetings held in the EAC 3rd floor conference room at 1130 Quintard Avenue, Anniston, Alabama. The CAC and TAC can advise and recommend projects, policies and action but the Policy (Voting) Committee has final decision making authority. The MPO receives approximately $1.9 million in federal funds annually, and is authorized to schedule and fund improvements for a network of functionally classified roads in the urban area on an 80/20 federal/local cost share basis. Functionally classified roads are divided into three types; principal and minor arterials, and urban collector roads which feed into these arterials. In the un-incorporated county areas rural collectors can be either minor or major collectors.
The MPO is tasked with the development of three major transportation plans and in order to receive federal funds; an annual Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), a four year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), and a multi-year Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). In addition, the MPO must develop a Public Participation Plan and provide opportunities for citizen review and comment before final adoption of any of the three planning documents. In addition, each fall the MPO publishes an annual listing of projects authorized for funding by the Alabama Dept. of Transportation (ALDoT) during the previous fiscal year.
Each year the MPO develops the UPWP which outlines the several transportation planning activities and tasks for the MPO staff for the upcoming fiscal year. The UPWP includes a budget for each task and a table indicating MPO member dues necessary to provide the 20% local match to receive administrative funds. The Draft FY 12-15 TIP has been developed and is currently being offered for public review and comment by the MPO. The Final FY 12-15 TIP was adopted September 15, 2011 and subsequently amended on June 21st and September 20, 2012. . Every three years the MPO develops and adopts a four year TIP identifying a four year schedule of transportation improvement projects. The TIP consists not only of MPO projects sponsored by the local jurisdictions but also includes all related projects funded by and through the several funding sources including, the ALDoT, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Federal Highway Works Administration (FHWA), the State Safety Program, Federal Railroad Administration, special Congressional earmarks or demonstration projects, the Interstate Maintenance Program, the Defense Access Program, the Industrial Access Road program and others. In November 2003, as a part of and a supplement to the TIP, the MPO developed and adopted a Bicycle/Pedestrian Plan for the area which identifies potential pedestrian and bicycle facility improvement projects and policies. A goal of the Bicycle/Pedestrian plan is to increase safety and quality-of-life and to ensure that non-motorized transportation is established as a part of the transportation network. Projects and policies in the Bicycle/Pedestrian Plan can be funded by or through several options including; the general fund of the local jurisdiction, Transportation Enhancement Program grants, National Recreational Trails (NRT) grant program or an allocation of MPO funds. MPO staff have provided on-going administrative, grant application development, and technical assistance for the construction of the Chief Ladiga Trail, rails-to-trails project. Each year in December the MPO publishes an End of the Year Report which briefly summarizes activities for each of the MPO committees and programs. The report is distributed to the media, CAC and MPO members and all interested citizens.
The MPO’s Policy Committee meets at 10:00 am the third Thursday of each month in the 3rd floor conference room of the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission (EARPDC) at 1130 Quintard Drive in Anniston. This is a public meeting and this is a handicapped accessible building and room. For more information contact:
For on-line Traffic Counts/Data for the Calhoun County area go to:
Alabama Department of Transportation www.dot.state.al.us
Chief Ladiga Trail Info http://epic.jsu.edu/clt/
Northeast Alabama Bicycle Club www.neaba.org
Federal Highway Administration www.fhwa.dot.org
Federal Transit Administration www.fta.dot.gov/
Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations http://www.ampo.org//
Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals www.apbp.org/
Rails to Trails Conservancy www.railtrails.org/