The City of Tyler serves as the administrative agency of the Tyler Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). The Governor designates the MPO for all urban areas over 50,000 in population. The City of Tyler was designated the MPO for the Tyler urban area in 1974. The MPO, in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), is responsible for carrying out the urban transportation process as required by federal legislation. The MPO is intended to provide a forum for cooperative decision making concerning transportation improvements by the principal elected officials of the local governments. The MPO provides continuity of various transportation planning and improvement efforts throughout the Tyler urbanized area. The Tyler MPO consists principally of two standing committees, the Policy Committee and the Technical Advisory Committee.
The transportation planning study area for the Tyler urbanized area includes the City of Tyler and several other developing areas such as Gresham, Lindale, New Chapel Hill, Noonday and Whitehouse. The Study Area Boundary is contiguous with the incorporated cities of Whitehouse on the southeast, and New Chapel Hill on the east, and Hideaway Lake and Lindale to the north. The study area is intended to include those areas outside the urbanized area most likely to experience urbanization during the 20-year planning horizon.
The MPO is responsible for the "3-C" planning process (cooperative, continuous, comprehensive), operating basic planning activities of the Study. Transportation planning is a process of projecting future transportation needs, investigating and evaluating alternative actions for meeting those needs, assessing the financial ability of the community to implement those actions, and recommending reasonable strategies based on needs and available resources. Elected officials and others in decision-making roles need access to this information to help them develop policies, programs, and projects.
The transportation planning process is continuous. Conditions affecting the transportation system, such as population growth, land use patterns, employment changes, traffic volumes, etc., are monitored. Alternate means for alleviating congestion are identified, and decisions are made on which projects are to be carried out. The proposed projects are evaluated in relation to expected funding levels, prioritized, and listed in order of importance to the community. All transportation modes for the entire metropolitan area are studied and addressed in a comprehensive manner. The transportation planning process is structured to include cooperative input and direction from participating cities, counties, agencies, and the public. This results in the development of a Metropolitan Transportation Plan, which encompasses the 3-C planning process.
Additionally, the MPO is responsible for the development of the annual Unified Planning Work Program, which details the planning work activities of the MPO on a yearly basis. The MPO also is responsible for the development of the biennial Transportation Improvement Program, which is a list of highway, enhancement and transit projects with will be funded during a 3-year time frame.