The Bannock Planning Organization (BTPO) is a non-profit association created by local governments for the purpose of conducting long-range transportation planning. Only governments or governmental agencies may be members of the association.
The purposes for which this association exists are to conduct and/or coordinate various planning services, activities and functions of, and for, the parties. These may include preparations, reviews and/or recommendations of plans, policies and programs related to planning and regulatory responsibilities for:
- Transportation planning;
- Transportation Improvement Program (project selection);
- Air quality planning;
- Population and employment projections;
- Such other purposes and authorities consistent with the conduct of planning services for members or in the pursuit and/or performance of cooperative agreements for regional planning as hereinafter provided.
What is a Metropolitan Planning Organization?
Urbanized areas larger than 50,000 people must designate an official “Metropolitan Planning Organization” (MPO) as the agency through which this transportation planning process is conducted. BTPO has been the MPO for the Pocatello/Chubbuck Urbanzed Area since 1982. The designation of metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) as the forum of cooperative transportation decision making for principal elected officials was first required in 1975 as part of transportation planning regulations issued jointly by the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (predecessor to the Federal Transit Administration) and the Federal Highway Administration. These regulations make the MPO, along with the State, responsible for carrying out the urban transportation planning process.
MPOs have five main functions:
- Establish and manage a level playing field for effective multi-modal, intergovernmental decision making in the metropolitan area.
- Develop, adopt and update a long-range multi-modal transportation performance plan for the metropolitan area that focuses on three types of performance: mobility and access for people and goods, system operation and quality of life preservation.
- Develop and continuously pursue an appropriate analytical program to evaluate transportation alternatives and support metropolitan decision making.
- Develop and systematically pursue a multi-faceted implementation program designed to reach all the metropolitan transportation plan goals using a mix of spending, regulating, operating, management and revenue enhancement tools.
- Develop and pursue an inclusive and pro-active public involvement program designed to give the general public and all the significantly affected sub-groups access to and important roles in the four essential functions listed above.