Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bicycle Program Basics

I get the question a lot "Who are you with? The City, the County, or the State?" The short answer is "None of the above." Here's the long answer:

The Bicycle Program is housed within the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (http://www.knoxtrans.org/) -- let's say TPO -- which is responsible for long-range, multimodal (hence the bicycle and Smart Trips programs) transportation planning for the Knoxville urbanized area, PLUS (this is where it gets complicated) the air quality non-attainment area. It boils down to us doing planning for Knox, Blount, Sevier, Loudon, Jefferson, and Anderson counties (there's a bit of Roane and Cocke in there, but small portions without much population). Appointed and elected officials serve on the TPO Technical Committee and Executive Board. The TPO Executive Board is responsible for divvying up federal transportation funds that come through the state to our area.

OK, now for more complication. The TPO itself is housed within the Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission. MPC does comprehensive planning, and administration of zoning and land subdivision regulations for Knoxville and Knox County. When you hear about "MPC," sometimes it's referring to the staff but more often, it's referring to the appointed commission, comprised of 15 members; seven members appointed by the Mayor of Knoxville and eight members appointed by the Knox County Executive and confirmed by the Local Government Planning Committee, Tennessee State Planning Office.

Funding for the Bicycle Program comes from federal transportation money that goes to the TPO, and matching funds that come from MPC. (MPC gets its funds from City of Knoxville, Knox County and development fees.)

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