Transportation Planning

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Regional Planning Organization

The High Country Council of Governments serves as the lead planning agency for the High Country Rural Planning Organization (RPO).  The RPO has been providing continuing, cooperative and comprehensive transportation planning for the seven county region since being chartered in February of 2002.  The RPO is responsible for:

1)  Developing and prioritizing suggestions for transportation related projects for the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)

  • The RPO develops a Priority Needs List of projects every two years to submit to NCDOT for consideration.

2) Developing comprehensive local and regional multimodal transportation plans

  • The RPO assists NCDOT in developing multimodal comprehensive transportation plans at the county level.
  • The RPO develops and updates locally coordinated human service transportation plans for the seven transit agencies in the region.
  • The RPO develops bicycle and pedestrian plans for the Towns in the region.

3)  Providing transportation related information to local governments and other interested parties

  • RPO staff attends project development meetings on behalf of the RPO members and provides NCDOT with local input.  Project information is the provided to RPO members.
  • Project information is also provided in the RPO newsletter and on this website.

4)  Providing a forum for public participation in the rural transportation planning process

  • The RPO provides for a public hearing prior to the adoption of the Priority Needs List, facilitates public workshops during the planning process, and solicits public comments in the development of transportation plans through press releases and surveys.

The RPO is governed by the 16 member Rural Transportation Advisory Committee (RTAC) that is comprised of elected officials and a member of the NC Board of Transportation.  The 50 member Rural Transportation Coordinating Committee (RTCC) makes recommendations to the RTAC and is comprised of local government managers, public transportation providers, and representatives from NCDOT, Appalachian State University, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.