by John Prendergast, Managing Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1994, Vol. 64, Issue 4, Pg. 40-43

Document Type: Feature article


The 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act made metropolitan planning organizations very important players in transportation decisionmaking. MPOs have been around since the mid-1960s, following the 1962 Federal Highway Act, which first formally legislated cooperation between state DOTs and local communities in urban areas. However, ISTEA greatly expanded their authority. For the first time, MPOs how have authority to allocate federal funds coming into their regions. Plans must not exceed available funding, unlike past wish lists of projects, and must also address relevant air quality and congestion management issues, compliance with other laws, especially the Clean Air and Americans With Disabilities Acts, and a host of other mandated factors. The article examines whether or not MPOs have the capacities to meet their new responsibilities.

Subject Headings: Air quality | Urban areas | Federal government | Quality control | Business organizations | Decision making | Highways and roads | Legislation

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