In accordance with urban transportation planning requirements imposed by the Code of Federal Regulations, the Whatcom Council of Governments serves as the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Bellingham Urbanized Area. An MPO is required in any urbanized area with a population of 50,000 or more for that region to receive federal transportation funding. The U.S. Department of Transportation has promulgated guidelines to ensure that a “continuing, cooperative and comprehensive” transportation planning process exists to meet established federal, state and local mobility goals. Among the principal products required of an MPO are a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and an annual schedule of funded planning activities known as the Unified Planning Work Program.
With the codification of the Washington State Growth Management Act of 1990, Regional Transportation Planning Organizations (RTPOs) were established and WCOG was designated as the RTPO for Whatcom County. The principal responsibility of an RTPO is to prepare and regularly update a regional transportation plan. Since metropolitan and regional transportation plan requirements share common elements, WCOG has combined these plans into one document, known as Whatcom Mobility 2040.
To ensure that metropolitan and regional transportation planning are carried out in a coordinated process that minimizes unnecessary duplication of work and oversight, the MPO and RTPO policy boards have been merged into the Whatcom Transportation Policy Board (WTPB). In addition to governing the metropolitan and regional transportation planning processes, the WTPB is charged with allocating the combination of federal, state and local funds to the numerous projects contained in the TIP. The WTPB may also request WCOG staff to perform analyses or other research to assist them in understanding the often complex issues they are called on to address.
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Ross Cline, Sr.
Secretary (non-voting member)
Robert H. Wilson, AICP
Whatcom Council of Governments
Citizens' Transportation Advisory Group Chairwoman
Rep. Sharon Shewmake
Transportation Technical Advisory Group Representative
Sen. Doug Ericksen
Western Washington University
Whatcom Community College
Rep. Debra Lekanoff
Rep. Jeff Morris
Bellingham Technical College
Sen. Liz Lovelett
Rep. Luanne Van Werven