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Regional Transportation Planning Organizations (RTPO) & Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organizations (MTPO)


Metropolitan and Regional Transportation Improvement Programs For 2013 – 2016
Metropolitan and Regional Transportation Improvement Programs For 2014 – 2017
Metropolitan and Regional Transportation Improvement Programs For 2015 – 2018
Metropolitan and Regional Transportation Improvement Programs For 2016 – 2019
Metropolitan and Regional Transportation Improvement Programs For 2017 – 2020

January 2017 Amendment to the YVCOG 2017 – 2020 Metropolitan and Regional Transportation Improvement Programs

February 2017 Amendment to the Yakima Valley 2017-2020 Metropolitan and Regional Transportation Improvement Program – Policy Board approved on February 21, 2017

March 2017 Amendment to the Yakima Valley 2017-2020 Metropolitan and Regional Transportation Improvement Program – Draft

Metropolitan and Regional Obligation and Closure Report for Federal Fiscal Year 2016 – Draft

The Draft Plan was developed by YVCOG and guided by the Yakima Valley Metropolitan and Regional Transportation Planning Organization (MPO/RTPO) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and Executive Committee. Public input will be sought through written comments at six locations and via the project website.

Briefly, the strategy for future transportation improvements in the draft Plan calls for:

•Maintaining and preserving prior investments in the regional transportation system
•Completing transportation projects that are underway or have previously been established as having
a strong regional commitment
•Focusing on spot or corridor improvements that resolve operational and safety issues
•Investing in selected widening or construction of new corridors to accommodate forecast travel
demands, shift traffic from existing congestion locations, and support better access to the regional
highway system
•Enhancing transit and transportation demand management programs to better serve the local
community needs and to reduce overall traffic volumes
•Improving special needs transportation services, especially outside the metropolitan area
•Constructing high priority components and missing links of the regional non-motorized transportation
system that are not addressed by other transportation improvement
•Identifying regionally significant projects
•Supporting local agency projects to improve the overall mobility for the communities and reduce the
local traffic demands on the regional system

The draft Plan includes an extensive list of future transportation improvements in the region. These include both improvements on state highways, and regional improvements that will be implemented by local jurisdictions. While a number of future projects involve road widening or construction of new road corridors, the project list also includes many preservation and maintenance projects and improvements to help the flow of traffic at intersections. Transit, pedestrian, bicycle, rail, and freight improvements are also part of the draft Plan, as are commute trip reduction measures.

Larry Mattson, Executive Director, YVCOG Office: (509) 574-1550
Deb LaCombe, MPO Manager, YVCOG, (509) 574-1550

The draft Plan is based on expected population and employment growth throughout the region. It also examines potential environmental issues associated with future implementation of transportation projects and programs.

Copies of the draft Plan are available at the the following locations:

102 North 3rd Street                                      621 Grant
Yakima, WA 98901                                        Sunnyside, WA 98944

NACHES TOWN HALL                                   TIETON CITY HALL
29 East 2nd Street                                         418 Maple Street
Naches, WA 98937                                         Tieton, WA 98947

GRANGER CITY HALL                                    YVCOG Office
102 Main Street                                             311 North 4th Street SUITE 204
Granger, WA 98932                                       Yakima, WA 98901

Spanish language speakers may request further information on the project by contacting 509-574-1550 and asking for the Spanish extension. For special accommodations to participate in a meeting or materials in an alternative format, please call YVCOG at (509) 574-1550 by 10:00 a.m. three days prior to the meeting. For TTY users, please use the State’s toll-free relay service, 7-1-1, and ask the operator to dial (509) 574-1550.

More information is available by calling (509)574-1550

What does the Yakima Valley MPO/RTPO do?

In general,

  • Ensures compliance with state and federal transportation planning requirements to remain eligible for federal transportation project funding.
  • Provides a forum for local, regional and state transportation agencies and other interested parties to participate in discussions of regional transportation issues.

What decisions does the MPO/RTPO Policy Board make?

Reviews and approves

  • Transportation planning documents (UPWP, TIP, MTP/RTP)
  • Contracts with WSDOT for funding (MPO/RTPO, CTR)
  • Contracts for transportation planning services (modeling, area studies)
  • Contracts for Commute Trip Reduction services (guaranteed ride home, interlocal agreements)
  • Transportation project funding
    • STP Regional prioritization process and project selection
    • CMAQ Prioritization process and project selection
    • Transportation enhancement prioritization
    • WSDOT Public Transportation Consolidated Grant – regional priorities

What is an RTPO, why were they created and what
do they do?

Regional Transportation Planning Organizations (RTPO) are formed by voluntary associations of local governments within geographically contiguous counties. RTPO members may include cities, counties, WSDOT, tribes, ports transportation service providers, and private employers.

RTPOs were authorized as part of the 1990 Growth Management Act to ensure local and regional coordination of transportation plans.

RTPO planning must involve cities, counties, WSDOT, transit agencies, ports, and private employers. Among other duties individual RTPOs may perform to serve their membership, RTPOs are required to:

  • Prepare a Regional Transportation Plan
  • Certify that countywide planning policies and transportation elements of local comprehensive plans are consistent with the Regional Transportation Plan
  • Develop a six-year Regional Transportation Improvement Program

Who are RTPOs?

There are 14 RTPOs covering 38 of the 39 counties in Washington. San Juan County is not part of any RTPO.

How are RTPOs different than Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO)?


  • Created by state legislation (GMA) and supported by state funding
  • Covers both urban and rural areas


  • Created by federal legislation and supported by federal funding
  • Covers urbanized areas only

MPOs and RTPOs serve the same basic transportation planning functions – develop a long-range plan, coordinate within a region, and prepare a transportation improvement program. The federal MPO and state RTPO requirements of these organizations are complementary. The lead agency for a RTPO is also the lead agency for the MPO within the region (except Lewis-Clark Valley MPO because it is a bi-state organization.)

Glossary of MPO/RTPO Transportation Terms and Acronyms