WILMAPCO’s Transportation Planning Guide


This booklet is designed to help the public understand what WILMAPCO does and how we can help them. If you would like a copy for yourself or for your organization, contact us here.

The Transportation Planning Guide explains the different elements of transportation planning and why it is important to get involved. It lists some of the projects we have helped to implement and shows how you can make a difference.

Below is an abbreviated version of  WILMAPCO’s Transportation Planning Guide. To view the complete guide, please click here.


The Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO) is the transportation planning agency for the Cecil County and New Castle County region. As the federally designated metropolitan planning organization (MPO), WILMAPCO is charged with planning and coordinating the many transportation investments proposed for this region.

The Basics of Regional Transportation Planning

WILMAPCO is responsible for setting the direction in transportation planning. To help guide us, we produce three important documents: the long-range Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). We also maintain a Congestion Management Process (CMP). These are required by federal law and they provide numerous opportunities for public participation.

How do you fit into Planning?

Your role in the process is very important. Without your input and ideas we cannot have a true understanding of your community’s needs.

Regional Successes

After the Coronavirus pandemic, single occupancy vehicle trips were down for the first time in decades. This was largely due to the sharp increase in teh percentage of workers working from home. Fewer cars on the road have also helped ease regional congestion.

Regional Challenges

Continuing suburban sprawl, stubbornly high vehicle crash rates, and enduring social inequities are a few of the key challenges facing teh region today.

Regional Transportation Plan (RTP)

Every four years, WILMAPCO updates the long-range Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). This process involves a great deal of public outreach and discussion regarding the direction we will take and the investments we will make in our transportation system. If you have a major transportation investment or service suggestion that you think is important to the future of the region, bring it forward for possible inclusion in the Regional Transportation Plan.

Transportation Investment MAP (TIA)

The centerpiece of our Regional Transportation Plan is the Transportation Investment Area (TIA) Map.  The TIA map directs the transportation projects to areas with existing communities. This provides the most services for the most people and allows us to help guide where development occurs.

Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)?

The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) contains projects to be funded over the next three years. If you have an idea for specific projects, you should let us know during the TIP process. We hold meetings biennially for you to learn what projects are under consideration. If you would like to add a project, you can complete a TIP submission form, available on-line our at our office. Once WILMAPCO has your submission form, we can enter it into the pool of possible projects identified through the system by the state agencies. You can then attend TIP meetings and WILMAPCO council meetings to view the process and ensure that your voice is heard regarding your suggestion.

How We Help to Improve Mobility

Federal transportation legislation encourages transportation agencies to provide convenient and accessible alternatives to driving. We are concentrating on two approaches: improving the flow of traffic on the roads and developing alternatives that allow people to get around without their cars.

WILMAPCO’s Tools to Help You!

In order for you to get involved, you have to know what’s going on. We do our best to provide you with different ways to learn about upcoming projects and opportunities to participate. Here are just a few of the tools available to you.


Our website is updated regularly and provides extensive information on all the projects we are currently involved in. We post upcoming transportation meetings, provide agendas for our monthly meetings, display reports, documents and studies, and provide links to our member agencies. Plus, there are always some interesting pictures, links, or news stories.


WILMAPCO staff is happy to come out and speak to your civic group, community organization, local business, or governmental meetings. We provide presentations on our general purpose or more specific  topics like air quality, community planning options, or suggestions for better land use practices to improve transportation in your area. We also host “Our Town” events to educate the public about transportation alternatives locally and around the U.S.


You can signup to receive our quarterly printed newsletter, “The Transporter”, to make you aware of what new things are available. To hear about our most up-to-date events, you can also sign up for our monthly e-mail newsletter “WILMAPCO ENEWS.”  To signup for either, click here.

Data Resources and Reports

WILMAPCO produces demographic information and maps with local transportation and land use information. We help provide demographic and transportation information, and predict how it will affect the future. We can create maps, spreadsheets, forecasts for public workshops, working group discussions, or community meetings.  Just email or call us (302) 737-6205.

We have many reports, studies, and plans. You are welcome to view them and provide comments. These include:

  • Congestion Management (identifies congested corridors and provides a variety of solutions)
  • Transportation Justice (identifies social inequities in our region’s transportation system)
  • Safe Routes to School Program (a national program that emphasizes safety, health, community, and choice by encouraging elementary and middle school children to walk and bike to school.)
  • Freight Planning (looking at ways to ensure the flow of freight through our region is safe and efficient).

To learn more about any of our programs, projects, studies or plan, come out to one of our meetings (listed on our homepage), visit our Plans and Reports page, or check out our newsletters.

Click here for a list of common acronyms used in transportation planning.

Participate in the Process!

Transportation planning involves many levels of government and results in different planning products. The public has opportunities to comment on the plans, studies and other documents that guide transportation planning and decision making. The public can and does shape these products.
You can affect the decision-making process and these decisions affect all of our daily lives.