Staff: Whitney M. Patterson
County Office Building, 701 Kelly Road, Cumberland, Maryland, July 2006. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
A metropolitan planning organization (MPO) is a federally mandated and federally funded transportation policy-making organization that is made up of representatives from local government and governmental transportation authorities. Federal law requires the formation of such an organization for any urbanized area with a population of more than 50,000. Federal funding for transportation projects and programs is channeled through this planning process. Congress created these agencies in order to ensure that expenditures of governmental funds for transportation are based on a continuing, cooperative and comprehensive planning process. For each of their respective regions, MPOs are charged with developing a 20-year Long-Range Transportation Plan and a short-term (usually 2 to 6 years) program called the Transportation Improvement Program.
On May 17, 1982, the Cumberland Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) was designated by the Governor after the 1980 Census indicated that the criteria for an "urbanized area" and the establishment of an MPO had been met. At that time, the Governor designated the Allegany County Commissioners to act as the MPO to carry out the urban transportation planning process for the Cumberland urbanized area.
For the urbanized area in western Maryland, the Organization is the federal and state designated regional transportation planning body. In Maryland, it covers Allegany County and the Cities of Cumberland and Frostburg. Also included in the region is Mineral County, West Virginia, which has not yet sent representatives to the Organization.
The Organization carries out its work of planning for the region through the annual Unified Planning Work Program; the Transportation Improvement Program; and the 20-year Cumberland Area Long-Range Transportation Plan. Planning and program management functions are administered and implemented by Allegany County's Transportation Planning staff, which provides technical and clerical support. The City of Cumberland and the City of Frostburg work closely with the Organization's staff to coordinate transportation planning.
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