Regional councils in Michigan have been involved in transportation planning since their inception in the late 1960s. Through successive administrations of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), regional councils have formed important partnerships with MDOT and local road agencies to implement a number of transportation programs. While the scope and nature of transportation responsibilities vary from region to region, the major programs are summarized below:
- Many regional councils implement the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) planning process for transportation planning and programming. Each urbanized area in Michigan and across the United States acts as a liaison between local communities, their citizens, and in the State of Michigan, MDOT. MPOs are important because they direct how and where available state and federal dollars for transportation improvements will be spent.
- All regional councils are involved, in partnership with MDOT and local road agencies, in multi-county regional transportation planning.
- Regional councils are also an important partner in Michigan’s innovative transportation asset management program, which annually inventories the condition of Michigan’s 39,000 miles of federal-aid roads.