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 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 the Transportation Planning Guide. To view the complete document in Adobe Acrobat, click here.
Who is WILMAPCO?
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). All three documents 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.
Expected major changes for our region’s future may include rapidly changing growth patterns, evolving lifestyle choices, stresses on the quality of our human and natural environments, public health risks and the ramifications of past planning practices and policies. Forward thinking and planning help to identify, work on and solve current and future challenges.
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.
What is the 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 in the fall and winter 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
With the passage of ISTEA, TEA-21 and SAFETEA-LU, transportation agencies are encouraged 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 must know what’s going on. We do our best to provide you with different ways to learn about our upcoming projects. 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 to entertain you.
WILMAPCO staff will 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” workshops to educate the public about transportation alternatives locally and around the U.S.
Sign up to be on our mailing list and you will receive our quarterly, ” 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.”
Data Resources and Reports
WILMAPCO has the capabilities to produce demographic information and maps providing local transportation and land use information. We have a Smart Growth Model that can help municipalities to change demographic and transportation information and predict how it will affect future trends and elements. We can create maps, spreadsheets, forecasts or anything you need for public workshops, working group discussions or community meetings.
We have many reports and documents to help us with our planning and outreach. You are welcome to view them and provide comments. These include:
- Congestion Management (identifies congested corridors and provides a variety of solutions)
- Environmental Justice (outlines how we monitor projects in minority and low-income areas to ensure they are receiving equal and adequate benefits.
- School Children’s Transportation Program (helping 6-8th graders understand the connection between land use and transportation.
- Freight Report (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 or studies, come out to one of our meetings. They are listed on our Home Page and in 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. Congress has provided $284 billion for transportation programs and
state and local officials decide how this money will be spent. Those choices affect all of our daily lives.