Today the Transportation Planning Organization (TPO), Hampton Roads' Federally-mandated transportation planning board, met. A number of substantial things.
First, the TPO adopted it's FY 2011 Budget. It's not totally separated from the HRPDC Budget, but Staff promised two entirely separate budgets in FY 2012.
The astounding thing: departing Newport News Mayor Joe Frank wanted to reduce the public participation funds. That's right: the public participation funds. He compared the draft Budget to what northern Virginia is spending, and declared it too much. First, the amount is high in FY 2011 given that a couple large plans are in the pipes. Second, only a retiring politician would publicly suggest cutting the public participation funds.
The economic vitality scoring mechanism for transportation project prioritization was approved. The full prioritization tool will be sent to the TPO in July for approval.
Speaking of July, the same month will see the final consultant's report on High Speed Rail. Get this, Flat Earthers: it sees Step 3 (110 mph) and Step 4 (150 mph) as privately-operated, privately-built, unsubsidized, profitable services.
The TPO voted to send all 5 TIGER II grant applications from the region to Washington unprioritized. That was after a long debate which noted the region getting shutout in TIGER I. The state legislators present castigated the TPO for failure to prioritize.