Mercer County Transportation Planning

Unified Work Program

SHENANGO VALLEY AREA TRANSPORTATION STUDY
Fiscal Year 2016-2018 Unified Planning Work Program

Click here for the full 2016-2018 Unified Planning Work Program. (.PDF file)

Introduction

The Unified Planning Work Program establishes an outline of work tasks to be undertaken by the Shenango Valley Area Transportation Study (SVATS) during the 2014-2060 Fiscal Year.  The SVATS Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has the responsibility to plan and program transportation projects receiving federal funding for all of Mercer County.  The SVATS MPO has undertaken this duty since it’s inception in 1981.

One Rural Planning Organization (RPO), one Pennsylvania MPO, and one MPO serving the Youngstown, Ohio area border the SVATS MPO.  Due to changes in the urbanized area of the MPO, MercerCounty has been combined with the Youngstown area.  With this change it became necessary to develop a “memorandum of understanding” (MOU), which outlines the working relationship between the two MPOs.  The SVATS MPO adopted the MOU on January 31, 2003.

Long Range Plan

In order to undertake the transportation planning process in Mercer County, a Long Range Plan (LRP) was developed.  The original plan was adopted by the SVATS MPO in November of 1994, with amendments being made in 1997.  A newly approved LRP was adopted by the MPO and the Mercer County Commissioners as part of the County Comprehensive plan in April of 2006.  The LRP provides information necessary to the planning and programming process.   Information contained in the LRP includes data on such items as population, land use, existing facilities, planning factors, 25-year project listing, and congestion/intermodal management issues.  Because Mercer County has been redesignated as a non-attainment county for Air Quality, we will once again be required to update our LRP on a three-year cycle.  The LRP provides a closer look at the major corridors within the County and is modeled after the statewide plan.  As changes occur in the future to the TIP they will be reflected and reviewed for consistency with the comprehensive plan

TEA-21 & Clean Air Act Amendments

What is contained in the LRP is based on two federal laws, the 1998 Transportation Equity Act for 21st Century (TEA-21) and the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1990.  All transportation related planning in Mercer County is based on these two laws.  In addition to the requirements of having a LRP, the SVATS MPO also produces a local Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which contains the short range listing of transportation improvements for the County.

The CAAA establishes a program and sets a timetable for improving the nation’s air quality.  Mercer County currently classified as a “basic” ozone non-attainment area.

MPO Committees & Responsibilities

The SVATS MPO is a federally mandated organization responsible for transportation related issues in Mercer County. Professional staff members of the Mercer County Regional Planning Commission (MCRPC) run the daily business of the MPO. PennDOT District 1-0 and Central Office staffs work with the MCRPC staff on a regular basis and are intimately involved with the programming of funds and the implementation of projects.

The SVATS MPO consists of two committees. The larger of the two committees is the Coordinating Committee. This group is responsible for insuring the maintenance of planning eligibility for state and federal grants and the maintenance of both the Long-Range Plan (LRP) and the more short-range Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). This committee meets on at least a quarterly basis to vote on any action items that come before the MPO and to discuss transportation-related issues in Mercer County. During 2000, the Coordinating Committee grew by four communities, and two more communities joined in 2008. As a result, the MPO now has 25 members, the maximum currently allowed according to MPO Bylaws.  The SVATS MPO continues to promote equal representation throughout the County.

The Coordinating Committee is made up of twenty-five voting members as listed below:

 

City of Farrell Borough of Wheatland Springfield Township
City of Hermitage Findley Township Wilmington Township
City of Sharon Hempfield Township Wolf Creek Township
Borough of Clark Jefferson Township Mercer County
Borough of Greenville Liberty Township Mercer County Regional COG
Borough of Grove City Pine Township PennDOT District 1-0
Borough of Mercer Pymatuning Township PennDOT Central Office
Borough of Sharpsville Shenango Township  
Borough of W. Middlesex S. Pymatuning Township  

 

The other MPO committee is the Technical Committee, which has the duty to study and report on technical aspects as directed by the Coordinating Committee and to initiate studies and recommendations on technical aspects in pursuance of the objectives of the UPWP. This committee meets on an as-needed basis and has been historically less-active than the Coordinating Committee.

The Technical Committee is comprised of the following twelve members:

 

City of Farrell MCRPC (2 votes) Mercer County Regional COG
City of Hermitage Township Association(2 votes) PennDOT District 1-0
City of Sharon Boroughs Association (2 votes) PennDOT Central Office
   

 

The SVATS MPO also works closely with the major transit providers for the County—Shenango Valley Shuttle Service (SVSS) and Mercer County Community Transit (MCCT).  The SVSS runs several routes providing fixed route service to the Shenango Valley.  The MCCT provides on demand service to all areas of Mercer County