Northern Middlesex Council of Governments
Serving the communities of Greater Lowell Massachusetts.
Links of Interest
The local transportation planning process is carried out under the authority of the Northern Middlesex Metropolitan Planning Organization (NMMPO). The regional transportation policy making body, the Northern Middlesex Metropolitan Planning Organization, is composed of the chairpersons of the Lowell Regional Transit Authority (LRTA) and the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments (NMCOG), the Secretary of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Executive Director of the MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning, and the Administrator of MassDOT Highway Division. The Executive Director of the Office of Transportation Planning acts as Chairman of the MPO. In addition, the following are also voting members of the MPO: the chief elected official from the City of Lowell elected to serve as the city's representative to the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments, a selectman elected to serve on the Council and further elected by the Council to serve as that town's representative to the NMMPO, and an LRTA Advisory Board member representing a community within the NMMPO boundaries other than the City of Lowell, who may also be an elected official. A representative from the Federal Highway Administration and a representative from the Federal Transit Administration serve as ex officio, non-voting members of the MPO.
The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a programming and management document containing all federally funded transportation projects planned in the Northern Middlesex region over the next four years. All transportation documents that will be funded under Title 23, U.S.C., or with Federal Transit Act funds, must be included in the document. In addition, projects requiring FHWA or FTA approval, but not funded under Title 23, U.S.C., or with Federal Transit Act funds, must also be listed in the TIP. Similarly, transportation projects funded with Federal funds from other federal agencies, as well as projects funded with local and private monies should be described in the document for informational purposes, in order to reflect the integrated and intermodal nature of the metropolitan transportation planning process.
All of the transportation and supportive planning activities to be carried out in the NMCOG region are detailed in the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). The UPWP is required by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) as the basis for all Federal funding assistance for transportation planning to state, local and regional agencies, and is developed annually. Funds for transportation planning come from separate agencies within USDOT dealing with individual transportation modes such as highways, mass transit, and airways, and from MassDOT. The UPWP provides a way to coordinate these many different planning activities as well as to relate transportation planning concerns to overall comprehensive planning in the region and to support the "3C" (comprehensive, cooperative, continuing) Transportation Planning Process.