The Kingsport MTPO is an inter-governmental agency that is responsible for transportation planning and programming in the greater Kingsport metropolitan area. Each urban area in the United States has a MPO/MTPO which acts as a liaison between local communities, their citizens, and the state departments of transportation (DOTs). MTPOs are important because they direct where and how available state and federal dollars for transportation improvements will be spent.
The office of the MTPO Coordinator and most of the staff is housed within the City of Kingsport’s Transportation Planning Department, although core staff can draw from many departments for assistance on various projects. The MTPO also utilizes personnel within the Tennessee and Virginia Departments of Transportation for advice and technical assistance.
The Kingsport MTPO was founded in 1977 through the efforts of the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Federal Transit Administration. Membership includes all of the above as well as the City of Kingsport, Sullivan County, LENOWISCO Planning District Commission (representing Gate City, Weber City and Scott County Virginia) and the Office of Local Planning (representing Mount Carmel, Church Hill, Hawkins County and a small portion of Washington County).
The Kingsport metropolitan area became eligible for MPO/MTPO status when it reached the minimum requirement of 50,000 in population after the 1970 Census. The Federal Transportation Act of 1964 created MPOs/MTPOs throughout the United States in order to improve metro area traffic flow through the planning and development of urban-area streets and highways. The “metro” planning concept was based on the fact that streets and highway systems go beyond city, state, or other jurisdictional boundaries and an agency should be formed to manage this type of arrangement. MPOs/MTPOs also provide a location for regional assistance to area governments/jurisdictions in developing improvements and/or solutions to traffic flow problems and other transportation activities. Although primarily for larger cities, the process also includes planning and development of mass transit systems.
- Long-Range Planning, which includes the production of a 20-year highway and transit plan that includes recommended improvements (new or altered thorough fares).
- Project Development & Implementation, to include creation and development of various projects/programs of the TIP (Transportation Improvement Program). Project development may include aspects of the design and engineering process, as well as tracking/management of a variety of other tasks to completion of the project.
- Data Collection, includes ongoing collection of traffic and demographic data, which provides a continuous perspective on traffic patterns as well as future expectations for growth.
- Traffic Systems Management, involves monitoring of safety and related performance, traffic control, and methods to improve the level of service to motorists.
- Administering the funding and scheduling of area street and highway projects, particularly those funded by the Federal and State Governments (within this task the MTPO may occasionally develop studies and/or advanced planning reports for specific highway projects, as directed by the DOTs).
Link to: Kingsport MTPO Civil Rights