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Denham commends repeal of regional transportation planning rule

POSTED April 27, 2017 7:20 p.m.

Congressman Jeff Denham has lauded the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of a bill which will repeal regulatory mandates on Metropolitan Planning Organizations and keep decision-making authority for transportation improvements at the local level.

The bill repeals a Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration rule which harms transportation planning in rural areas, known as the Metropolitan Planning Organization Coordination and planning Area Reform Rule. Denham was an original co-sponsor on the House version of the bill.

“The repeal of the MPO Coordination and Planning Area Reform rule is a win for the Valley,” said Denham. “While it works well in other areas, this rule did not take into consideration the unique needs of rural communities like ours and would have complicated a process that is already working well for my constituents.”

MPOs are useful in overlapping urban areas to produce a single long-range transportation plan and maximize efficiencies in America’s transportation system. However, this most recent rule imposes strict new requirements for MPOs that far exceed what is required in law, and would have forced rural MPOs to abandon decades of regional planning and coordination in favor of forced consolidation with communities with much different needs. The Department of Transportation estimates the additional requirements under the recent rule would have cost local planning organizations more than $340 million over four years.

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