APPENDIX C: THE MAJOR GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES IN TRANSPORTATION DESIGN IN VIRGINIA


Contents | Next section

Agency or OrganizationStandards, Guidelines, Policies or Ordinances Governing the Design of Road Projects
Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

Organization made up of representatives from local government agencies and staff to coordinate work in a region
  • Federally-mandated and funded transportation policy planning organization for urban areas with population greater than 50,000
  • MPO made up of key decision-makers from member agencies to coordinate decisions
  • MPO identifies projects to be included in Transportation Improvement Programs (TIP) and the Constrained Long-Range Plan (CLRP)
  • MPO does not have any taxing authority
  • MPO holds public meetings annually for soliciting input on the TIP and CLRP
  • There are 14 MPOs in Virginia, 385 MPOs in the U.S., some of which include multiple states
Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB)

Board members appointed by Governor. They guide the work of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)
  • CTB guides transportation policy for the entire Commonwealth
  • CTB declares policies and regulations governing VDOT operations as well as Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (VDRPT)
  • CTB has no taxing authority but does allocate funding
  • Long-term improvement programs are generated by the CTB
  • CTB holds public meetings around Virginia on proposed long-term improvement plans
  • VTrans is a long-range plan updated every 5 years allowing citizen input
  • Advocates can comment on proposed road projects as well as on projects linked to transit
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)

State governmental organization responsible for most public roads in Virginia
  • Agency with responsibility for transportation in Virginia (other than transit)
  • Builds, operates and maintains the majority of roads, bridges and tunnels in Virginia
  • State and regional bike coordinators work on bicycling policy and design issues
  • Employs consultants for design and contractors for construction on many projects
  • State bike advisory committee, with volunteer roles for advocates
  • VDOT and VDRPT work closely and both report to the Secretary of Transportation
County Board of Supervisors (BOS)

Elected officials who form the local governing body for a county
  • Elected governing board of a county with limited taxing authority
  • Sets priorities for improvements to the secondary highway system
  • Proposes and approves plans for future land development
  • Establishes and adopts county policies and commissions
  • Provides input to CTB and VDOT on future transportation plans at both the planning and design stages
  • May serve on MPO board
County Department of Transportation (DOT) or Department of Public Works (DPW) or Department of Environmental Services (DES)

County government
  • Provides guidance and input to CTB or VDOT about specific projects
  • Most counties (except Arlington and Henrico) have limited authority over roads
  • Generally county DOT, DPW or DES maintains few local roads
  • May have county bicycle coordinator working on bicycling policy and design issues
  • May have bicycle advisory committee or trails committee
City DOT or DPW

City government
  • Often maintains secondary roads
  • Sets priorities for improvement on the urban street system within its boundaries
  • May have considerably smaller staff than county
  • Unlikely to have dedicated bicycling staff
  • 39 independent cities in Virginia, not all have their own DOT or DPW
  • May have local bike advisory committee

Contents | Next section
Guide for Reviewing Public Road Design and Bicycling Accommodations for Virginia Bicycling Advocates