Danville-Pittsylvania Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)
The Danville (Pittsylvania County) Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) serves as the area's transportation agency for planning in the urbanized area of the Danville Metropolitan Statistical Area designated by the Governor and approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 1983. At that time, the West Piedmont Planning District Commission (WPPDC) became the administrative agent for the MPO with the approval of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the City of Danville, Pittsylvania County, and FHWA. As administrative agent, the PDC staff works closely with the MPO Policy Board to advance corridor studies and other projects on behalf of the Danville MPO.
The Danville MPO establishes a budget and work plan for its annual planning related activities through approval of its Unified Transportation Planning Work Program (UPWP) on a fiscal year basis beginning July 1 and ending June 30. In addition, the MPO approves its Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) that addresses capital expenditure efforts undertaken on behalf of the MPO's local governments by the VDOT and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), both operating under the auspices of the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB). Historically, the Danville MPO's TIP project programming period parallels the expenditures in the Danville area for primary, urban, and secondary systems; safety improvements; enhancement grant program projects; and funding for special programs such as the U.S. Route 58 Corridor Improvements Program. The Danville MPO is also responsible for maintaining a Long-Range Transportation Plan that normally maintains a twenty-five year planning horizon.
What is an MPO?
The Metropolitan Planning Organization is an entity encouraged by federal legislation whose mandate is to help ensure that current and future expenditures for transportation programs and projects have a basis or foundation in a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive planning --the "3-C" planning process.
What area is served by the Danville MPO?
Several federal agencies have been involved in defining MPO's, including the Census Bureau, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Federal Highway Administration/U.S. Department of Transportation. In the early 1980's it was recognized that an urbanized area of 50,000 population existed within Danville and portions of Pittsylvania County, so steps were taken to establish the MPO agency and an initial boundary. Since then a study area boundary also has been established at a distance outside of the urbanized area boundary. With the 2000 Census, these boundaries were changed to a limited extent.
What is the MPO Policy Board?
The Danville MPO has a governing body whose voting members are made up of three members from the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors, two members from the Danville City Council, the Danville City Manager, and a member from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). A number of voting alternates are also specified. The Policy Board meets to determine policy matters and vote on issues brought to them by the Chairman and/or MPO Administrator. The Board meets when sufficient agenda items warrant a called meeting. Meeting information is posted on the PDC's Calendar of Events. Click the following for a listing of the: MPO Bylaws, MPO Policy Board, Staff Contact Persons, Technical Committee/Project Management Team, Citizens Advisory Committee, or Freight Committee Membership.
How is the Danville MPO contacted?
The Executive Director of the West Piedmont Planning District Commission is a primary contact person and can be reached at 276-638-3987 (voice); 276-638-8137 (fax); firstname.lastname@example.org (email); address: MPO Administrator, West Piedmont Planning District Commission, P.O. Box 5268, Martinsville, VA 24115-5268. Alternatively, the Danville City Manager, Danville City Engineer, Danville Regional Airport Manager/Director of Transportation Services, and Pittsylvania County Administrator are other avenues for contacting the MPO.
What does the MPO do?
The Danville MPO develops plans and programs that are subject to approval by federal transportation agencies in order for federal-aid in transportation funding to flow to the region governed by the MPO. The national transportation legislation, FAST Act (Fixing America's Surface Transportation) and MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21 Century), dictates that primary MPO activities shall include development and maintenance of a Long-Range Transportation Plan and a Transportation Improvement Program. The agency also develops a Unified Transportation Planning Work Program on an annual basis to outline planning activities that are to take place and the funding determined to be required to undertake the annual efforts. This plan effectively serves as both the MPO's budget and work program.
Constrained Long-Range Transportation Plan for Year 2040
The current Long-Range Transportation Plan covers a period out to the Year 2040. The document includes a map showing color coded segments of existing corridors where improvements are recommended and some new segments where new construction is recommended in the future sometime before Year 2040. Also included are text and tables further detailing the recommendations.
The MPO has an approved Transportation Improvement Program for a four year period, from Fiscal Year 2018 to Fiscal Year 2021. The document details projects to improve the area's transportation system, facilities, and services based on what is believed at the time to be amounts of funding reasonably thought to be available for the work during each respective three year time period. The program covers transportation elements such as urban streets, primary roads, secondary roads, safety program projects, enhancement program projects, and Route 58 corridor improvement program projects.
The Danville MPO initially adopted its annual Unified Transportation Planning Work Program in the spring of 2018 for Fiscal Year 2019. This plan formally establishes the activities of the MPO's Policy Board (the organization's governing body), its staff, its committees, and in most years, the consultants contracted by the MPO to undertake special planning studies to address specific corridors or intersections within the MPO area in detail.
During FY 2019, the following consultant-led studies are being conducted: 1) Piedmont Drive Corridor Study to improve safety, signalization, and traffic configurations between Central Blvd and U.S. 58 Business (Riverside Drive) and 2) Danville River District Access Study to establish improved access between Danville's River District and U.S. 58/29 Bypass (Danville Expressway).