At SRTC our role is to manage the transportation planning process and facilitate coordination between all the area jurisdictions when it comes to transportation. That includes channeling federal money for projects and programs through the planning process and to local projects. While we have many ‘partner’ agencies, a lot of people ask me who oversees that process and makes sure we’re doing our job? Well, besides yearly audits and working closely with federal transportation agencies, federal law requires that all Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs, of which SRTC is one) have a Planning Certification Review every four years. Well guess what- it’s our year.

The Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration will jointly conduct a review of SRTC from Sept. 27- 29, 2011. It’s a very in-depth process covering all the areas we work in- the Unified Planning Work Program, the transportation planning process, the Metropolitan Transportation Plan and Transportation Improvement Program, financial planning, project selection, air quality, public outreach, Title VI, transportation safety and security, land use and livability and MUCH more. The process literally involves three days of interviews requiring us to show how we are meeting federal guidelines for all areas of the planning process as well as meeting or exceeding our own goals.

While a large part of the Certification Review is us sitting in a room answering questions, you also play a part. A public meeting will be held as part of the process to provide the public opportunity to express thoughts and comments on the transportation planning process and how it meets the needs of the area. The meeting is Tues., Sept. 27 from 5:30-7 p.m. at SRTC, 221 W. First Ave., Suite 310, Spokane, WA. This is your chance to ‘grade’ SRTC and help us improve our process, so take advantage of it. Any questions?

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