Tribal & regional planning

Learn about Tribal, metropolitan and regional transportation planning organizations, and the resources and rules related to these regional planning partners.

We coordinate with our state's Tribal transportation planning organization, 12 metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and 17 regional transportation planning organizations (RTPOs) on Tribal and regional transportation plans. This page describes administrative and technical assistance, coordination support activities, pass-through services and other ways we are active in the regional transportation planning process.

Resources for region planning organizations

Demographic analysis tools

  • Identify limited English proficiency (LEP) populations by county with the U.S. Department of Justice's LEP Language Map App.
    See page 6 of the LEP Data Resources and Instructions Guide(PDF 4.71MB) to use the tool.
  • Identify various demographic variables, including race, with the Environmental Protection Agency's EJSCREEN.
    Pair the “Report Widget” feature (see the EJScreen User Guide (PDF 10MB) page 31) and the Get 2014-2018 ACS report link (see instructions page 45) to create a report of the selected area with U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) data in PDF format.
  • Identify persons with disabilities populations with the Washington Tracking Network’s Information by Location tool, which is maintained by the Washington State Department of Health.

Federal and state statutes

WSDOT/MPO/RTPO reference materials contain federal and state statutes and regulations concerning the duties and requirements of MPOs and RTPOs.

Unified planning work program (UPWP)

Each MPO and RTPO is required to develop a unified planning work program (UPWP) that describes the transportation planning tasks and activities proposed for the next one- or two-fiscal year period. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) must approve MPO UPWPs in order for these organizations to qualify for federal planning money and to accomplish the work in their UPWPs.

Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

We review Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) amendments monthly for adherence to federal rules by WSDOT’s Multimodal Planning & Data and Local Programs divisions. TIP amendments are then approved by the Secretary of Transportation for inclusion into the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The projects in the MPO TIPs are included in the STIP, which is approved by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transportation Agency.

Metropolitan planning organizations

MPOs provide a forum for local decision making on transportation issues. These organizations represent areas with 50,000 or more populations and they cooperate with the state to develop transportation plans and programs in urban areas.

Washington's MPOs

  • Benton-Franklin Council of Governments
  • Chelan-Douglas Transportation Council
  • Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments
  • Lewis Clark Valley MPO
  • Puget Sound Regional Council
  • Skagit Council of Governments
  • Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council
  • Spokane Regional Transportation Council
  • Thurston Regional Planning Council
  • Walla Walla Valley MPO
  • Whatcom Council of Governments
  • Yakima Valley Conference of Governments

Map of Washington state's metropolitan planning organizations (PDF 1.2MB)

Regional transportation planning organizations

In areas of Washington where a MPO exists, state law requires RTPOs to be the same organization. The RTPO program extends transportation planning to rural areas not covered by the federal program. They represent local governments from cities, counties, Tribes, ports, transportation service providers, and private employers who voluntarily work together to identify local transportation needs in rural areas of the state. RTPOs can form in a single county or in multiple neighboring counties. San Juan County is the only county in the state that is not part of a RTPO.

Washington's RTPOs

  • Benton-Franklin Council of Governments
  • Chelan-Douglas Transportation Council
  • Island RTPO
  • Northeast Washington RTPO
  • Okanogan Council of Governments
  • Palouse RTPO
  • Peninsula RTPO
  • Puget Sound Regional Council
  • Quad-County RTPO
  • Skagit Council of Governments
  • Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council
  • Southwest Washington RTPO
  • Spokane Regional Transportation Council
  • Thurston Regional Planning Council
  • Walla Walla Valley Sub-RTPO
  • Whatcom Council of Governments
  • Yakima Valley Conference of Governments

Map of Washington state's regional transportation planning organizations (PDF 1.5MB)

Tribal planning partnerships

WSDOT's Tribal Liaison Office works with 35 federally recognized tribal governments. We meet with Tribal representatives of the Tribal Transportation Planning Organization once a year to participate in statewide transportation planning and discussions of both Tribal and state transportation system needs.

Centennial Accord Plan

The Centennial Accord Plan (PDF 5MB), was created in accordance with the 1989 Centennial Accord and the 1999 Centennial Accord Implementation Guidelines. The Centennial Accord mandated that each state agency must have a procedure to implement effective government-to-government relations. The WSDOT Centennial Accord Plan includes the WSDOT Secretary's Executive Order on Tribal Consultation (PDF 2.5MB), a Dispute Resolution Policy and detailed descriptions of the programs, services and funding available to Tribes from key WSDOT divisions and offices. In keeping with the Centennial Accord Implementation Guidelines, WSDOT evaluates and regularly updates the plan.

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