Who is the Capital Region Planning Commission?
The Capital Region Planning Commission (CRPC) is a Council of Governments serving eleven parishes: Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana. Through planning and collaboration, CRPC coordinates and collaboratively addresses regional issues related to transportation, land use, economic development and the environment.
CRPC is the Baton Rouge area's designated Matropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which each metropolitan area must have to carry out regional transportation planning efforts and receive federal highway funds. As a regional MPO, CRPC focuses much of its resources on transportation planning issues and activities, which includes highway planning, the regional ridesharing program, and air quality issues. In addition, CRPC is one of eight sub-state planning and development districts which cover all 64 parishes in the state of Louisiana, providing technical assistance for economic development, comprehensive planning, and zoning to its members.
What is a Metropolitan Planning Organization and what is its role?
A metropolitan planning organization (MPO) is a federally-mandated and federally-funded transportation policy organization within an area with a population of more than 50,000 people in its urbanized area. MPOs were created by congress in 1962 to ensure that the expenditure of federal funds are made within a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive planning process. It is the job of the MPO to facilitate the allocation of scarce federal resources for transportation investments; ensure that planning reflects a shared regional vision for the future, provide a comprehensive review of the region's investment alternatives, provide a venue for collaboration among local governments, citizens, and other parties interested in the planning process. Based on this planning process, the MPO in cooperation with the state transportation agency selects projects and sets priorities for federal transportation investments within the urbanized area.
What is an economic development district?
As the economic development district, CRPC works with local economic development organizations to develop and implement a shared regional comprehensive economic development strategy, commonly referred to CEDS. The designation of Economic Development District by the U.S. Economic Development Administration enables our region to apply for competitive federal funds for planning and infrastructure as well as technical assistance.
How is funding determined by the MPO?
Under federal law, MPO areas with urbanized areas greater than 200,000 people, referred to as Transportation Management Areas (TMAs), are entitles to specific allocations of federal funds called Urban Attributable Funds. In addition, governmental entities or other grant recipients are required to provide a local match share up to 20% on each federal aid-project.
Who selects which projects are studied?
Ultimately, the transportation policy board determines project studies and programs the region's federal funds for capital improvements. However, project ideas and policy suggestions come from a variety of places, including citizens, the business community, and transportation providers among others. Typically, before a project is slated for capital funding in CRPC's Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), the project must be included in CRPC's Long Range Transportation Plan, referred to as the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP).
How can I learn more about CRPC and participate in the transportation planning process?
CRPC has numerous resources available for more information about the organization and its transportation planning processes. Citizens can access our Public Involvement Plan featured on the website, read our quarterly newsletter, or check out the calendar of events page for planning meetings that are open to the public. The public can also participate in our surveys when applicable, and can send comments and suggestions to us via firstname.lastname@example.org. To sign up for our newsletter and email blasts, please send a request to email@example.com.
How can I receive additional information from CRPC?
CRPC publishes a range of studies, reports, and data that can be accessed on our website. However, if you would like to access other materials, please make a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.