Planning Rule

The NPRM is closed.  Final Rule released.

U.S. DOT Releases  Final Statewide  and Metropolitan Planning Rule.  Download the Federal Register Notice Here: Final Planning Rule

The document is over 200 pages long – we recommned downloading it on an as needed basis.  The document is titled: Document FHWA-2005-22986-170  and  can be found on  if you encounter problems.

We have also completed our review of the rule in comparison to what NARC and many MPOs and COGs submitted to the docket.  This comparison can be found here: NARC Comparison

The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) played a very active role in the rulemaking process.  NARC held the first public forum on the rules, which was held on June 18th at NARC’s 40th Annual Meeting in San Antonio.  This forum was syndicated over the internet to interested parties who could not attend. Approximately 90 people participated in this forum.

NARC collected preliminary input from members throughout June and July.  Input was accepted on a one-on-one basis and through private internet message boards.  During August, NARC held three conference calls/webinars to discuss specific areas of regional agency interest.  Approximately 25 people participated in each conference call.  At the conclusion of the input process, NARC produced a 12 page document with 55 individual comments on the proposed rules.

NARC was generally very successful in modifying or cancelling proposed regulations that were injurious to regional agencies or otherwise unclear.  NARC could not have been as successful without the assistance of our members.  Our members echoed NARC’s comments and vice versa, helping to increase the number of comments on specific issues.  MPOs and COGs submitted over one third of all comments to the proposed rule.  NARC also received support from colleague organizations, particularly the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership and the American Public Transportation Association.

Prior Rulemaking Activities:

Comment Posting System
NPRM Resources
FHWA/FTA Listening Sessions

NARC Comment Posting System

To assist our members in reviewing and commenting on the proposed rules on Metropolitan and Statewide Planning, NARC has created this interactive comment posting system.  The proposed rule has been indexed with a table of contents that allows users to quickly access sections important to them.  For each section, the actual text of the proposed rule is provided, along with a summary of changes from TEA-21.  There is a dedicated message board where you can post comments on that section.  NARC will compile all postings and use them in our communication with FHWA and FTA on this issue.   You will need to complete a brief registration and confirm your email address before you can post comments.  The following 5 links will take you to various components of the NPRM:

Part A- Definitions

Part B- Statewide Transportation Planning

Part C- Metropolitan Transportation Planning

Fiscal Constraint

Linking Transportation Planning and NEPA

Please keep in mind:

  1. This posting system is for NARC members ONLY.  Your email will be verified.  In order to protect your confidentiality and privacy, all registrations must be approved by NARC.
  2. To post a comment, hit the “reply” button on the message board
  3. Your comments can be of any length
  4. You can enter as many comments on as many subjects as you like.
  5. Feel free to reiterate another person’s comment.  This tells us that the issue is important to many MPOs!
  6. Positive comments are also appreciated!  Let us know if you think a rule is beneficial.
  7. You can include weblinks and upload documents into your comments.
  8. Entering comments on the NARC website does not substitute for submitting written comments to the Federal Register.

NPRM Resources

On June 9th, the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration issued a joint Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Metropolitan Transportation Planning and Statewide Transportation Planning.  These proposed regulations will form the foundation of MPO operations and transportation planning activities for several years to come.  It is important that all MPOs be familiar with the proposed rules and provide written comments on items they object to, agree with, or desire more clarification.  FHWA and FTA will use these comments when drafting the final rules.

The full NPRM can be viewed here (.html) or here (.pdf)

As you read the NPRM, you may need to reference the Code of Federal Regulations

FHWA and FTA have engaged in an open and cooperative process for releasing and collecting comments on these regulations. NARC encourages all MPOs to file their own comments at the Federal Register.  This task is easily accomplished byClicking Here.  The docket number for this NPRM is FHWA-2005-22986.

FHWA/FTA Listening Sessions

NARC Listening Session on Metropolitan and Statewide Planning Regulations
NARC was pleased to be the host of one of the first listening sessions on this NPRM.  The listening session took place on June 19th at the NARC Annual Conference in San Antonio.  Officials from the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration presented the rules and took comments and questions from the live and online audience.  Download a copy of the Powerpoint presentation. (1 MB)

Upcoming Listening Sessions on this NPRM

July 19 – 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Atlanta GA
Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth Street SW
Atlanta, GA 30303

July 21 – 9:00 – 12:00 Noon
New York NY
Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House
One Bowling Green
New York City, NY 10004

July 24 – 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Kansas City MO
Radisson Hotel and Suites Kansas City-City Center
301 Wyandotte, Kansas City, MO 64105

August 1 – 9:00 – 12:00 Noon
San Francisco CA
Metropolitan Transportation Commission Building
101 Eighth Street, Oakland, CA 94607

August 7 – 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Chicago IL
Harold Washington Library Center
400 South State Street, Chicago, Illinois 60605

August 9 – 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Cambridge MA
John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
55 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02142


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