This morning Hampton Roads' Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) held it's December meeting.
First of all, Paul Fraim made an issue out of the name of the MPO itself. He wants one that is more descriptive of what the MPO actually does.
The headline matter of the day was the reorganization of the MPO itself. A recent Federal review hit the MPO with 11 Corrective Actions (CAs) needed. (Most reviews find only 1-2 CAs.) It had been anticipated that the MPO might act on them today. They received a consultant's report. However, their own MPO Committee wanted to move only on minor and urgent matters today, dealing with the major ones at a special meeting in February. The major areas left to tackle are Membership (including weighted voting), Advisory Committees, and the Metropolitan Planning Agreement.
One of the CAs attacked the MPO for lack of public comment allowed at meetings. 4 of us spoke this morning; you should have seen the look on the Staffer's face when I handed her two sign-up cards (one for me; one for another gentleman). Two addressed the governance matters. I spoke on Agenda Item 6, which included extending light rail both Newtown Road - Dome site and EVMS - Norfolk NOB. Reid Greenmun was one of those who spoke on governance; he got in a last minute stab at light rail. (Reid, forget that was on the agenda when you wrote your remarks?)
Speaking of which, the MPO unanimously approved $1.5 million for the LRT extensions study. The funny part: Reid Greenmun said he supported studying the EVMS - Norfolk NOB line. (That Reid would support LRT anywhere in Hampton Roads made for some laughs afterwards.)
The MPO received a Presentation on Gilmerton Bridge replacement. Doing so will require that traffic be reduced to two lanes for a considerable time, leading to much discomfort among members.
Finally, there will be an attempt to schedule a joint MPO - Hampton Roads (General Assembly) Caucus meeting on Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel expansion. However, the holidays and the looming session will make that difficult.