What is an MPO?
MPO stands for Metropolitan Planning Organization. Each urbanized area in the United States with a population of 50,000 or more is required by the federal government to have a metropolitan planning organization (MPO). MPOs are responsible for the continuing, cooperative and comprehensive transportation planning process for their urbanized area.
Urbanized Areas are designated by the United States Census Bureau and are a reflection of urban growth, not political boundaries. For example, growth in the Indianapolis area has reached into the eight counties surrounding the City of Indianapolis. Therefore the Indianapolis Urbanized Area (as designated by the Census Bureau) includes multiple political entities, namely the City of Indianapolis / Marion County, and parts of Boone, Hamilton, Madison, Hancock, Shelby, Johnson, Morgan and Hendricks County.
This is the reason why MPOs are responsible for the transportation planning process for urbanized areas and not single political entities. The Federal Government wants to ensure that the transportation planning process and resulting transportation network are cohesive and functional for areas that have grown together. In other words, transportation planning needs to be regional in scope because transportation systems cut across governmental boundaries.
What is CAMPO?
CAMPO is short for Columbus Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. CAMPO is the MPO for the City of Columbus and Bartholomew County as designated by the Governor of Indiana. CAMPO is responsible for the continuing, cooperative and comprehensive transportation planning process for the Columbus Metropolitan Planning Area.
The structure of CAMPO consists of the following:
- CAMPO Policy Board
- CAMPO Technical Advisory Committee
- CAMPO Staff
- and most importantly the citizenry.
CAMPO Policy Board
The CAMPO Policy Board is the decision making body of the MPO. It is comprised of the following officials:
City of Columbus
- City Council President
- Plan Commission President
- County Council President
- Plan Commission President
- County Commissioners President
CAMPO Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)
The CAMPO TAC is the technical arm of the MPO. It is a working group consisting of professional staff members from transportation stake holders in the Columbus metropolitan planning area. The TAC is responsible for analyzing and reviewing transportation projects, reports, and issues with the purpose of making recommendations to the MPO Policy Board. The TAC is advisory in nature, not a decision making body. It is comprised of the following officials:
- Bartholomew County Engineer
- Columbus City Engineer
- Columbus Public Safety Director
- Columbus / Bartholomew Planning Director
- Columbus Regional Airport Director
- Columbus Transit Manager
- Columbus City Utilities Director
- Columbus / Bartholomew GIS Coordinator
- Bartholomew County School Corp Transportation Director
- INDOT Division of Environmental Planning and Engineering Representative
- INDOT Division of Program Development Representative
- INDOT Division of Budget and Fiscal Management Representative
- INDOT Division of Multimodal Transportation Representative
- INDOT Seymour District Representative
- Federal Highway Administration Field Operations Engineer
- Edinburgh Town Manager
- Freight Carrier Representative
CAMPO staff consists of one full time person. Staff is responsible for all of the legwork to support the recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee and decisions of the Policy Board. This includes everything from the writing and preparation of plan documents and resolutions, scheduling of meetings, to things such as this website.
The MPO works for you, the citizen. The planning process affects the transportation network that your tax dollars pay and paid for. Therefore your input is very important to the planning process. There are several ways to be involved, from taking part in public workshops, attending policy board meetings, talking with your elected officials, and providing written or verbal input directly to the MPO staff. If you have made it this far into the website, you are obviously interested, so please don’t be shy.