Several TPB staff members, including the TPB News team, will head to Savannah, Georgia, October 17-20 for the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations’ (AMPO) Annual Conference. The four-day gathering will be an opportunity to meet and learn from staff of other MPOs around the country as well as to share highlights from the TPB’s work as part of two expert panel sessions.
The AMPO Annual Conference is an important venue for staff from the country’s 400+ MPOs to meet each other, learn about how other MPOs do their work, trade tips and best practices, and collaborate on responding to emerging challenges in metropolitan planning. This year’s conference will cover a wide range of issues, including implementing new federal performance-based planning and programming requirements, developing regional freight plans and engaging private freight providers, planning for automated vehicles, and promoting active transportation and public health.
Two expert panels will feature presentations by TPB staff. One will focus on how MPOs meet federal Environmental Justice requirements aimed at assessing the impact of regional transportation plans and programs on low-income and minority communities. TPB transportation planner Sergio Ritacco will be showcasing the TPB’s work on identifying “Equity Emphasis Areas” as a tool for assessing the impacts of the TPB’s long-range plan. Sergio’s presentation will include information on the technical methodology for identifying Equity Emphasis Areas as well as the process for gaining buy-in from regional stakeholders. Other MPOs have also done similar work and will be sharing their different approaches to this analysis.
The other panel featuring TPB staff will focus on MPO public involvement strategies, including developing public involvement plans and carrying out communications and outreach activities. Ben Hampton and Abigail Zenner, who make up the TPB communications team (and are responsible for TPB News!) will highlight the TPB’s efforts to use the internet and social media to share and explain its work with stakeholders and the public. Other MPOs will share their successes and lessons learned in reaching out to and engaging the public.
AMPO is an important advocate for MPOs and a resource for the TPB to learn from and share with other MPOs around the country. The organization was founded in 1994, partly through the efforts of longtime TPB staff director Ron Kirby, who died unexpectedly in November 2013. TPB staff continue to honor and benefit from Ron’s legacy by attending the AMPO Annual Conference each year.
We’ll have more updates about from this year’s conference and what we learn. Stay tuned to TPB News and follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #TPBatAMPO!