Transportation Planning Funding and the MCRPC

Across the country, transportation planning is the responsibility of metropolitan planning organizations (MPO) established by the Federal government. The McLean County Regional Planning Commission is the agency designated as MPO for the Bloomington-Normal region. The planning process includes the local governments of McLean County, City of Bloomington, and the Town of Normal, plus Connect Transit, Central Illinois Regional Airport, and the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The transportation planning process includes forecasting future population growth, forecasting future travel demand, identifying growth corridors and analyzing transportation improvements. Key documents produced by the metropolitan planning process are the Unified Work Program, Long Range Transportation Plan, and the Transportation Improvement Program.

Some MPO’s take on other responsibilities outside their purview as an MPO, and this is the case with MCRPC. In addition to its designation as MPO, the MCRPC is also a regional planning agency, undertaking comprehensive plans and other local planning efforts.

A comprehensive plan is a document designed to guide the future actions of a community. It depicts how and where the city will grow and change to accommodate expected population and job growth. In recent years, local comprehensive plans have indeed become more “comprehensive.” The latest Bloomington Comprehensive includes chapters on Fiscal Impact Study, Education, Arts, Culture & History, Healthy Community, Neighborhoods. The Normal Comprehensive Plan includes Economic Vitality, Health and Sustainability, Humanitarian and Social Aspects, Town and Gown, Community Identity and Public Places. As the forward by the Normal City Manager states, “This robust document goes far beyond the traditional topics of comp plans,confined to strategies for land use, transportation, and the development of infrastructure.”

This article is not about master plans and comprehensive planning. That’s another discussion for another day.

Comprehensive planning is not transportation planning. The Unified Work Programs for FY2017 and FY2018 show federal transportation planning funds as the funding source for comprehensive planning activity. In fact, the UWPs show a significant portion of the transportation planning funds the last couple of years being used for local planning. Are federal officials aware that federal transportation funds are being spent for local planning activities in McLean County?

See PDF page 23:

This picture is on that page – a large part has nothing to do with Transportation:

You can see where Complete Streets came from and wasting millions on Connect Transit.  The McLean County Regional Planning Commission thinks they can change your behavior.  Governments who try always fail.

More planning is taking place.  I received a FOIA today for what’s on the agenda now.  Here’s what stood out to me:

See the complete FOIA here:  Proposed Strategic Priorities FY 2019-FY2023

This pic is from page 3.  Your roads aren’t being fixed because they want you to dump your car.  They don’t want you to have the freedom to travel when and where you want to, only a car provides that.  

Government no longer works for you, they control you!   The bikes lanes aren’t used.  Empty buses further destroy the streets.  Even Amtrak traffic is down.  Money that should be spent fixing roads is being wasted on their wants, not what you need.  There isn’t any “Great Need” for multi modal except in their heads.

The only way to fix it is to dump them – and the current director of the McLean County Regional Planning Commission.






15 thoughts on “Transportation Planning Funding and the MCRPC

  1. Central planning does not work and never will. There are 1,000s of micro variables that cannot be foreseen making it impossible to centrally plan the future. Of course, the process is heavily influenced by politics and political correctness. Does the transportation account for the massive declines State Farm will experience for the years to come?
    Declining enrolment at colleges like ISU? Net outmigration in Ilinois? And the impact of these factors on tax receipts?

  2. That design plan CT is presenting tonight will be brought to DC for One Voice to solicit Federal Funding for “multi-modal.”

  3. What do you mean government can’t accurately plan where a city will grow? Just take a look at the West side of Bloomington. Thankfully the government had the foresight to put in that huge 4 lane highway Mitsubishi Motors. That area is booming so much that they may have to expand it!

    1. It’s okay. Bloomington-Normal has a history, past and now present, of bailing out millionaire speculators with government boondoggle projects and agencies in support of these projects. I’m sure they’ll all be lining up to kiss the ring and shake their tin cups.

  4. Dab nab it .. these tinkers of control Need To get the boot . .They aren’t concerned with anything but an agenda that meets their desire. What a load of crap they push and sell as a brighter future . just because They and their bud see glitter and sparkle , does not impress anyone nor serve those as they were elected to do … We don’t need proof they are the future , when they can’t even maintain the present ..

    1. MCRPC is not an elected body. The members are appointed by the Mayors and subsidized with City tax dollars.

      1. Members are appointed by the County Board and federal funds account for 63% of their income (this past year according to their website).

      2. Abigail—Bloomington provides about $90K annually to MCRPC. Renner appointed Michael Gorman or at least recommended him.

      3. All I know is this – Amelia Buragas is on Bloomington City Council and a huge advocate for this Connect Transfer Center that was presented on last night. She participated in the conversation with Farnsworth who presented. Her husband works at Farnsworth. He also sits on the McLean County Regional Planning Commission. No conflicts there, none at all. Welcome to Oz and DO NOT look behind the curtain.

      4. Skunk, true. The local governments supply funds to MCRPC, but the majority of MCRPC funding is federal. And it’s federal transportation planning money as the above article stated. Bloomington has representation on the Commission, but are appointed by the County Board.

  5. Transportation involves moving people and goods and 1% transit, 1% bicycle, 5% pedestrian does not equal a “great need” for transportation. These planners live in a dream world, have lost common sense and can’t provide sane and realistic planning.

  6. They’re NOT planners, they are a gang of BLINDER WEARING, narrow minded, this is WHAT the public NEEDS, non cohesive thinking? folks who want you to live in THEIR ideal world. and shop, live, work, etc, where they do, so they were “cool” first.. When in reality (which they love to obfuscate) they are so far out of touch that they have become permanently delusional.

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