Transportation in Allen County
The Lima-Allen County Regional Planning Commission (LACRPC) as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) of the Lima Urbanized area, in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and in coordination with local jurisdictions is responsible for the coordination of transportation planning activities within the Allen County area. For transportation purposes the MPO embraces all of Allen County including those portions of the City of Delphos located in Van Wert County, and the Village of Bluffton located in Hancock County.
Federal legislation is a major part of the framework that guides transportation planning. Such legislation establishes the priorities and funding mechanisms to carry out the transportation planning process and deliver necessary infrastructure and services. Historically, the legislative process has built upon previous efforts, with new legislation amending and/or expanding previous agendas to meet the nation's changing transportation needs.
Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act)
On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law P.L. 114-94, the Fixing American's Surface Transportation Act, or "FAST Act", the first Federal law in over ten year to provide long-term funding certainty for surface transportation. The FAST Act authorizes $305 billion over fiscal years 2016 through 2020, providing funding for highway construction and reconstruction, highway and motor vehicle safety, public transportation, motor carrier safety, hazardous materials safety, rail, as well as research, technology, and statistics programs.
The FAST Act is built on a multi-modal transportation legacy as seen within the context of its "highway-bill" predecessors. Quick links, to previous highway bills, are available here, including the most recently expired, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act - Legacy for Users, or SAFETEA-LU, was signed by George W. Bush in August 2005. SAFETEA-LU was set to expire on September 30, 2009; however, the legislation remained in effect by way of Continuing Resolution, until President Obama signed MAP-21 into law on July 6, 2012. SAFETEA-LU was built on previous landmark transportation legislation established in both the Intermodal Surface Transporation Equity Act (ISTEA) - 1991 and Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) - 1998.
Long Range Transportation Plan
In an attempt to meet the transportation needs of the community the LACRPC has developed and continues to update the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (Appendix A, Appendix B, Appendix C). The 2040 Long Range Transporation Plan is a long-range plan - a strategy of capital improvement programming developed to guide the effective investment of public funds in transportation facilities. The Plan provides the framework from which the area's short range Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is developed. The TIP identifies the highway, transit, bikeway, and pedestrian projects scheduled to be constructed over a four-year time frame. The ambition of the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan is the development of a truly intermodal transportation system, one that is efficient, fiscally sound, environmentally friendly, and which provides the regional infrastructure to better compete in the global economy.
Travel Demand Model
A Travel Demand Model (TDM) is a computerized simulation model that allows transportation planners to develop future traffic conditions and identify alternatives to address future congestion in current planning activities. Planning Commission staff work with ODOT personnel to maintain a traditional 4-step gravity model that reflects trip generation, trip distribution, mode choice, and traffic assignment. The local model reflects all of Allen County inclusive of those portions of the Village of Bluffton and City of Delphos located in Hancock and Van Wert counties respectively. The model is comprised of 366 travel analysis zones (TAZ) which reflect zonal transportation network characteristics such as roadway speeds, lanes, widths, etc., as well as 17 socio-economic data items reflective of the TAZ's unique population, employment, households, dwelling units, etc. The model is sensitive to truck flow and transit usage as well as time-of-day that includes information across four periods: AM peak, midday, PM peak and overnight. Traffic forecasts are based on forecasted land use, demographics, and travel patterns generated by the Planning Commission and unique to the region. Model outputs allow for various scenario developments and resulting future traffic impacts and provide the basis for "Certified Traffic" forecasts, congestion management system statistics, and pollution emission estimates. Below are Allen County TDM documents available for review.
|Ohio Travel Demand Models
According to the Clean Air Act, regions that are in non-attainment or maintenance of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for specific pollutants, including: ozone, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, or nitrogen dioxide, must be able to demonstrate that any highway or transit activities will not cause new air quality violations, worsen existing air quality violations, or delay timely attainment of the relevant air quality standard, or interim milestone. Therefore, all federally funded long-range transportation plans, transportation improvement programs as well as transportation projects must demonstrate consistency with the State Implementation Plan (SIP) or state air quality plan for meeting NAAQS air quality standards.
Although Allen County was designated an 8-Hour Ozone non-attainment on June 11, 2004, the MPO worked with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to develop a SIP to document regional strategies needed to achieve emission reductions necessary to meet the air quality standards. An outcome of the collaboration identified mobile source emissions (emissions from vehicles traveling on the planned transportation system) thresholds which cannot be exceeded. Per the most recent U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) conformity determination on the Long Range Plan dated September, 2013, the Plan is consistent with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) testing criteria. Following is a link to the Allen County Mobile Emissions Estimate.
Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)
The Long Range Transportation Plan is monitored amd implemented through the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) process. Coordinating the short range TIP for the Lima Urbanized Area represents one of the LACRPC's major responsibilities as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). The TIP provides a four-year prioritized listing of a bikeway/pedestrian walkway, bridge, highway, transit, and paratransit projects, utilizing federal funding.
Local political subdivisions, the Allen County Engineer, and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District One office initiates TIP projects. Projects from these agencies are submitted to the LACRPC as requests for federal funding. Most local and state projects must be programmed in the TIP to be eligible to receive federal transportation monies.
The 2016-2019 TIP project list includes road construction projects, bike/pedestrian projects, bus/transit as well as other transportation-related projects and service planned for FY 2016 - 2019 (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2019). The FY 2016- 2019 TIP was adopted at the Transportation Coordinating Committee meeting and submitted to ODOT to become part of the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
FY 2016-2019 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)
FY 2016-2019 TIP Amendments
State Fiscal Year 2015 Obligated Projects
This link is a Table of Obligated Projects in the LACRPC area, including investments in transit, roadway, pedestrian walkways, and bicycle transportation facilities, for which Federal funds were obligated in State Fiscal Year 2015.
FTA Specialized Transportation Program
The Ohio Department of Transportation released the 2016 Specialized Transportation Program funded by the Federal Transit Administration, Section 5310, to provide capital grants for the purchase of vehicles and equipment by private, non-profit agencies or state approved coordination projects. The federal legislation was enacted to help local communities meet the special transportation needs of elderly individuals and individuals with diabilitites, enabling them to remain productive members of the community by offering transportation alternatives where existing transportation services are unavailable, insufficient, or inappropritate.
Funds are available each year and are distributed through a competivitve application process. While the Program provides 80% of the costs of capital items; the remaining 20% must be provided by local funding. In addition, participating agency services must be part of a Locally Developed Coordinated Public Transit - Human Services Transportation Plan. There are two types of applicants - those from urbanized areas and those from non-urbanized (rural) areas.
Application packets for ODOT's 2016 Specialized Transportation Program were due to ODOT no later than Friday, November 20, 2015.
For your perusal, the application packet is available at the following link:
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