LAREDO URBAN TRANSPORTATION STUDY

2004 UNIFIED PLANNING WORK PROGRAM

 

I.  INTRODUCTION       

The Laredo Urban Transportation Study, in its capacity as the Laredo Metropolitan Planning Organization, provides continuous, cooperative and comprehensive transportation planning for the Laredo Metropolitan Area as required by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).  The Laredo Metropolitan Transportation Plan was submitted to the Texas Department of Transportation and U. S. Department of Transportation in December 1999.

 

The FY 2004 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) was adopted by the Laredo Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee on July 24, 2003 following a thirty-day comment period required by the adopted Public Involvement Process.

 

A.  PURPOSE

The UPWP describes and schedules work to be undertaken by the Laredo Urban Transportation Study during the 2003-2004 fiscal period.  The UPWP also includes a financial and participation summary.  All elements described are consistent and in support of transportation planning objectives. 

 

TEA-21 requires that the Laredo Metropolitan Transportation Plan address the following seven factors in considering the transportation needs of the Laredo metropolitan planning area.  The 2004 UPWP includes tasks that will allow ongoing evaluation of community transportation needs in relation to these seven factors.

1.         Support the economic vitality of area-global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency.

2.         Increase the safety and security of the transportation system for motorized and non-motorized users.

3.         Increase the accessibility and mobility options available for freight and to people.

4.         Protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, and improve the quality of life.

5.         Enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system across and between modes for people and freight.

6.         Promote efficient system management and operation.

7.         Emphasize the preservation of the existing transportation system.

 

B.  DEFINITION OF AREA

The Laredo Metropolitan Area includes the City of Laredo and portions of Webb County.  (See Map, Appendix B.)

 

C.  ORGANIZATION

The Laredo Metropolitan Planning Organization is governed by the Policy Committee established in accordance with bylaws adopted June 9th, 1994 and amended on July 21, 2000.  The Committee is chaired by the Mayor of the City of Laredo and includes as voting members: the Laredo District Engineer, the Webb County Judge, three members from the City of Laredo City Council, two Webb County Commissioners, and the Director of Transportation Planning and Development.  The State Senator for District 21, the State Representative for District 31 and the State Representative for District 42 serve as non-voting, ex-officio members.  The Policy Committee is the body of the MPO that provides review and has decision-making authority over transportation planning efforts in the Laredo Metropolitan Area undertaken by the planning staff of the Laredo Urban Transportation Study acting as the Metropolitan Planning Organization and by the Texas Department of Transportation (See Appendix A).  Technical Committee responsibilities include professional and technical review of work programs, policy recommendations and transportation planning activities.  The Technical Committee includes:

City Representatives:

·        Laredo City Planner

·        The General Manager of the City Transit System

·        Laredo Director of Traffic Safety

·        Laredo Airport Manager

·        Laredo City Engineer

·        Laredo Bridge Director

State Representatives:

·        Director of Transportation Planning and Development

·        TxDOT Planning Coordinator (Vice-Chair)

·        TxDOT Transportation Funding/ Safety Administrator                     

·        TxDOT Area Engineer

·        TxDOT TPP Field Representative (Austin)

Federal representatives:

·        FHWA Planning Representative (Austin)

School system representatives

·        A representative of the Laredo Independent School District

·        A representative of the United Independent School District

County and Regional Representatives:

·        Webb County Planning Director

·        South Texas Development Council Regional Planning Director

·        The General Manager of the Rural Transit System

·        Webb County Engineer

Private Sector Representatives:

·        A representative of the Texas Mexican Railway Company

·        A representative of the Union Pacific Railroad Company

·        A representative of the Laredo Transportation Association

·        A Transportation Provider Representative who shall also serve on the Laredo Transportation Advisory Committee

MPO staff includes the MPO Planning Director, a transportation planner, and support staff.

 

D.  PRIVATE SECTOR INVOLVEMENT

The private sector is encouraged to participate in the development of all transportation programs and plans.  Private transportation providers are invited to participate in TIP development as members of the Technical Committee and as project evaluation committee members. Private consultants will be used for the completion of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan Update, Rail Line Relocation Feasibility Study, Existing Land Use Assessment and travel demand modeling.

 

E.  PLANNING ISSUES AND EMPHASIS

The 2004 UPWP addresses the following transportation areas of concern in the MPO area:

* Growth and Development Projections

* Long range planning

* Impact of railroads on the community   

 

II.  TASK 1.0 - ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT

 

A.  OBJECTIVE

To ensure that the Laredo Metropolitan Area transportation planning process is fully a cooperative, comprehensive and continuing activity; to monitor ongoing planning activities; to ensure that all modes of transportation are given consideration as elements of a single urban transportation system and are considered in the overall planning process; to ensure public involvement in the transportation planning process.

 

B.  EXPECTED PRODUCTS

The smooth and efficient operation of the Metropolitan Planning Organization to include the following: fulfillment of planning objectives; compliance with state and federal requirements; continuation of a proactive public involvement process; reports and certifications; development of the 2005 UPWP; updates to the Transportation Improvement Program and updates to the Laredo Metropolitan Transportation Plan.

 

C.  PREVIOUS WORK

The 2004 UPWP is an ongoing planning activity as required by the Federal Highway Act of 1962, Title23, US Code as amended.  Previous work has included the preparation of the 2003 UPWP, reports and certifications, and staff training.

 

D.  SUBTASKS

1.1       Program support administration.  This includes program administration, record keeping, monitoring completion of UPWP projects, audit, preparation of reports and the 2005 UPWP, assisting in the development and revisions to the Transportation Improvement Program, interagency coordination, facilitating citizen participation, and preparation of meeting minutes.

 

1.2       Travel, training, equipment and supplies that are not directly related to any other program element.

 

1.3       Title VI civil rights evaluation (following FHWA/FTA guidance).  This includes briefing the MPO Policy and Technical committees on Title VI topics, developing a complaint process for the general public and reviewing the existing Public Involvement Process with emphasis on Title VI/ Environmental Justice issues.

 

E.  FUNDING & PARTICIPATION SUMMARY

 

UPWP Task

FTA Task

Responsible Agency

TPF Funds

GTPF

Local            (In-Kind)

Total*

1.1

44.21.00

LUTS

39,000

0

3,900

42,900

1.2

44.21.00

LUTS

16,000

0

1,600

17,600

1.3

44.21.00

LUTS

4,000

0

400

4,400

 

Total

 

59,000

0

5,900

64,900

 

TxDOT State Funds

   30,000

 

III.  TASK 2.0 - DATA DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE

 

A.  OBJECTIVE

Maintain a database on population, housing, land use and transportation characteristics.  Monitor growth patterns in the study area for their impact on community transportation systems.  Integration of data into GIS for organization, retrieval and analysis, and to forecast pertinent information to continue and further the goals and objectives of comprehensive transportation planning.

 

B.  EXPECTED PRODUCTS

Updated population, land use, housing employment and street databases and maps.  A fully integrated mapping/data base system to be used in data retrieval, analysis, projection, mapping, and graphic publication elements of future transportation planning tasks.

 

C.  PREVIOUS WORK

Compilation of land use data and GIS equipment updates.

 

D.  SUBTASKS

2.1       Growth and development monitoring and projections.  This includes ongoing updates and maintenance of data and maps related to population, land use, housing and employment.  Collect and analyze data related to minority and low-income groups within the MPO boundary.  Develop estimates and forecasts of population and employment.  Update computer equipment and software.  Train personnel on GIS and computer equipment/software use.  Purchase materials and supplies for printing maps.

 

E.  FUNDING & PARTICIPATION SUMMARY

 

UPWP Task

FTA Task

Responsible Agency

TPF Funds

GTPF

Local             (In-Kind)

Total*

2.1

44.22.00

LUTS

2,500

0

250

2,750

 

Total

 

2,500

0

250

2,750

 

 

IV.  TASK 3.0 - SHORT RANGE PLANNING

 

A.  OBJECTIVE

To complete those activities associated with near-term planning and implementation for projects that will be undertaken within the next five years.

 

B.  EXPECTED PRODUCTS

Short range planning activities will result in strategies that will support those planning policies needed to preserve the continuing flow of traffic.   

 

C.  PREVIOUS WORK

A consultant was engaged to develop the ADA Paratransit Plan Update.  The plan will be submitted to federal and state agencies after revisions and additional public involvement efforts that will be conducted by El Metro.

 

D.  SUBTASKS

 

3.1       Travel demand modeling.  This includes training on usage of the Laredo Travel Demand Model as well as equipment and software updates and conducting alternative analysis for various projects.

 

E.  FUNDING & PARTICIPATION SUMMARY

 

UPWP Task

FTA Task

Responsible Agency

TPF Funds

GTPF

Local           (In-Kind)

Total*

3.1

44.24.00

LUTS

25,000

0

2,500

27,500

 

Total

 

25,000

0

2,500

27,500

 

 

 

V.  TASK 4.0 - METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION PLAN / LONG RANGE PLANNING

 

A.  OBJECTIVE

To continue study and analysis of projects and data for long-range planning elements and long-range project studies.

 

B.  EXPECTED PRODUCTS

Updates and revisions to the 2000-2025 Laredo Metropolitan Transportation Plan.

 

C.  PREVIOUS WORK

The Laredo Metropolitan Transportation Plan was submitted to TxDOT and U.S. DOT in December 1999.  The Laredo Metropolitan Transportation Plan was completed during the 1999-2000 fiscal year. 

 

D.  SUBTASKS

4.1       2005-2030 Laredo Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP)

Update existing MTP to conform to state and federal requirements.  This includes an evaluation of the existing transportation system, public transportation, environmental conditions and transportation needs and developing a financially constrained implementation plan.  The project will include a land use and socioeconomic conditions and forecast element. 

 

E.  FUNDING & PARTICIPATION SUMMARY

 

UPWP Task

FTA Task

Responsible Agency

TPF Funds

GTPF

Local            (In-Kind)

Total*

4.1

44.23.01

LUTS

200,000

0

20,000

220,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

200,000

0

20,000

220,000

 

 

VI.  TASK 5.0 - SPECIAL STUDIES

 

A.  OBJECTIVE

To further the goals and objectives of the transportation planning process through special studies undertaken by MPO staff or consultants in support of existing or projected local needs.  To maintain the transportation management systems required by federal and state regulations, to assist decision-makers in selecting cost-effective strategies to improve the efficiency and safety of and protect the investment systems.

 

B.  EXPECTED PRODUCTS

These are specific studies and projects that address special problem areas or help promote and support transportation related topics.

 

C.  PREVIOUS WORK

The Laredo Bus Rapid Transit Plan was funded through the 2003 UPWP.

 

D.  SUBTASKS

 

5.1       Rail Line Relocation Feasibility Study

Evaluate existing conditions to assess the feasibility of relocating existing railroad lines.  The study will provide recommendations regarding capital improvements necessary, potential location for rail lines, cost-benefit ratios, an implementation plan with short and long-term strategies, cost estimates, alternative recommendations, and order of implementation for infrastructure improvements. 

 

5.2       Existing Land Use Assessment

Collect and assimilate data on existing land use conditions within the Laredo urban area.  Work may be performed in-house or contracted out and will consist primarily of on-site (windshield) surveys to collect land-use data.  The data will be prepared and submitted in digital format.  The study is a carryover project from FY2003.

 

E.  FUNDING & PARTICIPATION SUMMARY

 

UPWP Task

FTA Task

Responsible Agency

TPF Funds

GTPF

Local            (In-kind)

Total*

5.1

44.27.00

LUTS

60,000

0

6,000

66,000

5.2

44.27.00

LUTS

9,825

0

982

10,807

 

Total

 

69,825

0

6,982

76,807

 

 

 

 

BUDGET SUMMARY

 

UPWP   Task

FTA Task

Description

TPF(1) Funds

GTPF

Local Funds

Total*

1

44.21.00

Administration/Management

59,000

0

5,900

64,900

2

44.22.00

Data Development/Maintenance

2,500

0

250

2,750

3

44.24.00

Short Range Planning

25,000

0

2,500

27,500

4

44.23.01

Long Range Planning

200,000

0

20,000

220,000

5

44.27.00

Special Studies

69,825

0

6,982

76,807

 

Total

 

356,325

0

35,632

391,957

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TxDOT State Funds (2)

 

 

 

30,000

 

 

 

 

(1)        Transportation Planning Funds

FHWA (PL 112 Funds) (3)                              303,956

FTA (5303) (4)                                                  52,369

Total TPF                     356,325

 

(2)        Identifies TxDOT’s in-kind match for FHWA (PL-112) funds.  The match is applied on a statewide basis and not for each MPO.  This is why the TxDOT State Funds column in the UPWP budget does not equal the required 20% in-kind match.

                                     

(3)        These are federal funds only.  The anticipated carryover amount from FY 2003 is $10,000.

 

(4)        The TxDOT-TPP(S) in-kind match for FTA Section 5303 funds is applied in full to each MPO in the State.  TxDOT-TPP will provide the LUTS with its Section 5303 in-kind match of $13,092 for FY 2004.

 

 

APPENDIX A

 

LAREDO URBAN TRANSPORTATION STUDY

POLICY COMMITTEE

 

Honorable Elizabeth G. Flores

Mayor

City of Laredo

Honorable Jose Valdez Jr.

City Councilmember

City of Laredo

Honorable Eliseo Valdez

City Councilmember

City of Laredo

Honorable John C. Galo

City Councilmember

City of Laredo

Honorable Louis H. Bruni

Webb County Judge

Webb County

Honorable Judith G. Gutierrez

Webb County Commissioner

Webb County

Honorable Felix Velasquez

Webb County Commissioner

Webb County

Mr. Luis A. Ramirez, P.E.

District Engineer

TxDOT

Mrs. JoAnn Garcia, P.E.

Director of TPD

TxDOT

**Ex-Officio**

 

 

Honorable Judith Zaffirini

Senator - District 21

State of Texas

Honorable Richard Raymond

Representative - District 42

State of Texas

Honorable Ryan Guillen

Representative- District 31

State of Texas

 

 

 

APPENDIX B

 

METROPOLITAN AREA BOUNDARY MAP

TEXAS TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION APPROVED

 

 


 

 

MAP HERE

 

 


 

 

 

APPENDIX C

 

DEBARMENT CERTIFICATION

NEGOTIATED CONTRACTS

 

1)         The Laredo Urban Transportation Study (LUTS), as Contractor, certifies to the best of its knowledge and belief, that it and its principals:

 

a.         Are not presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible or voluntarily excluded from covered transactions by any federal department or agency;

 

b.         Have not within a three-year period preceding this proposal been convicted of or had a civil judgment rendered against them for commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with obtaining, attempting to obtain, or performing a public* transaction or contract under a public transaction; violation of federal or state antitrust statutes or commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, or receiving stolen property;

 

c.         Are not presently indicted for or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a governmental entity * with commission of any of the offenses enumerated in paragraph (1) (b) of this certification; and

 

d.         Have not within a three-year period preceding this application/proposal had one or more public transactions* terminated for cause or default.

 

2)         Where the Contractor is unable to certify to any of the statements in this certification, such Contractor shall attach an explanation to this certification.

 

* Federal, State, or Local

 

 

 

___________________________

MPO Policy Committee Chairperson

 

 

 

___________________________

Date

 

 

APPENDIX D

 

LOBBYING CERTIFICATION

 

CERTIFICATION FOR CONTRACTS, GRANTS,

LOANS AND COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS

 

The undersigned certifies to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, that:

 

1)         No federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid by or on behalf of the undersigned, to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any federal agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with the awarding of any federal contract, the making of any federal grant, the making of any federal loan, the entering into of any cooperative agreement, and the extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement.

 

2)         If any funds other than federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement, the undersigned shall complete and submit Standard Form - LLL, “Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying,” in accordance with its instructions.

 

3)         The undersigned shall require that the language of this certification be included in the award documents for all subawards at all tiers (including subcontracts, subgrants, and contracts under grants, loans, and cooperative agreements) and that all subrecipients shall certify and disclosure accordingly.

 

4)         This certification is a material representation of fact upon which reliance was placed when this transaction was made or entered into.  Submission of this certification is a prerequisite for making or entering into this transaction imposed by Section 1352, Title 31, U.S. Code.  Any person who fails to file the required certification shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 for each such failure.

 

 

 

___________________________

MPO Policy Committee Chairperson   

 

 

 

___________________________

Date

 

APPENDIX E

 

CERTIFICATION OF COMPLIANCE

 

I, Elizabeth G. Flores, Chairperson of the Laredo Urban Transportation Study, a duly authorized representative of the Laredo Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), do hereby certify that the contract and procurement procedures that are in effect and used by the forenamed MPO are in compliance with 49 cfr 18, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements with State and Local Governments," as it may be revised or superseded.

 

 

 

___________________________

MPO Policy Committee Chairperson

 

 

 

___________________________

Date

 

 

APPENDIX F

 

MPO SELF-CERTIFICATION FOR ATTAINMENT AREAS

 

In accordance with 23 CFR 450.334, the TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, and the Laredo Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Laredo urbanized area hereby certify that the transportation planning process is addressing the major issues in the metropolitan planning area and is being conducted in accordance with all applicable requirements of:

 

(1)        23 U.S.C. Sections 134 and 135, 49 U.S.C. Section 5323(l), 23 CFR Part 450.220 and 49 CFR Part 613 (Federal Register, Oct. 28, 1993);

 

(2)        Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Title VI assurance executed by each State under 23 U.S.C. 324 and 29 U.S.C. 794;

 

(3)        Section 1101(b) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (Pub. L. 105-178) regarding the involvement of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in FHWA and FTA funded planning projects (Sec. 105(f), Pub. L. 97-424, 96 Stat. 2100; 49 CFR, Subtitle A, Part 26);

 

(4)        The provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-336, 104 Stat. 327, as amended) and U. S. DOT regulations “Transportation for Individuals with Disabilities” (49 CFR Parts 27, 37 and 38);

 

(5)        The provision of 49 CFR Part 20 regarding restrictions on influencing certain activities.

 

Witness these signatures this __________ day of _________________________, 2003.

 

 

 

TEXAS DEPARTMENT                     LAREDO URBAN TRANSPORTATION STUDY

OF TRANSPORTATION                   POLICY COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON

LAREDO DISTRICT

 

 

 

___________________________                  ___________________________

District Engineer                                               MPO Policy Committee Chairperson

 

 

 

___________________________                  ___________________________

Date                                                                 Date

 

 

 

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION TO APPENDIX F

 

METROPOLITAN AND STATEWIDE PLANNING

The Laredo MPO certifies that it provides continuous, cooperative and comprehensive transportation planning, addressing major issues facing the Laredo urban area and that its planning process is conducted in accordance with all applicable transportation planning requirements, including the seven planning factors outlined in TEA-21.  All requested reports and necessary documentation is submitted as required and on a timely basis.  The Laredo MPO extends full cooperation and consultation as needed with the State on planning activities and programs.

 

CLEAN AIR ACT

The Laredo MPO is in attainment status in regards to air quality (Ozone, CO and PM-10).  However, air quality issues are incorporated into the transportation planning process and environmental impacts are addressed in most studies funded through the MPO.

 

TITLE VI, CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964

The Laredo MPO implements a Public Involvement Process that facilitates the participation of minority and low-income populations in transportation decision-making and strives for increased public involvement as part of the metropolitan planning process.  By constantly evaluating its public involvement efforts, as well as developing new techniques, the MPO attempts to increase community awareness to address the needs of low-income populations within the urban area.  As part of the MPOs efforts to increase public awareness, attempts are being made to establish working relationships with the local media.  The resulting publicity may increase the exposure of MPO activities and increase the involvement of the community.  MPO Policy Committee meetings are also televised in order to allow the community to keep abreast of MPO planning activities.

 

Every decision by the MPO is made with the challenge of ensuring that projects do not disproportionately have adverse impacts on minority or low-income populations.  In addition, special efforts are made to identify minority and low-income sectors within the urban area.   Because 94% of the population within the urban area is of Hispanic origin, data and mapping efforts focus primarily around low-income populations, as determined by US Health and Human Services guidelines and utilizing US Census information as it becomes available.  The products developed as part of this effort will allow for better planning by all agencies involved and will assist in identifying needs in areas inhabited by traditionally underserved populations.

 

MPO and City staffs are active in addressing environmental justice issues in Laredo.  This is evidenced by the implementation of the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), which is managed by the Department of Community Development.  The CDBG is a Federal entitlement program that provides assistance to income-qualified families in designated target areas.  Historically, the City has provided affordable housing, public facilities and public infrastructure improvements (streets, sidewalks, sewer and waterlines, etc.) to low-income areas of the community.

 

DISADVANTAGED BUSINESS ENTERPRISES (DBE)

The Laredo MPO is committed to maximizing the opportunity of minority and women owned enterprises to participate in the performance of contracts financed in whole or in part with Federal funds.   The Laredo MPO maintains a list of consultants that is used for mailing requests for proposals and these are also noticed in the newspaper.  The MPO honors all written requests by consulting firms for inclusion to the list.  Furthermore, all consulting contracts address DBEs through Article XXIII (Minority Business Enterprises) and any work subcontracted by a hired consultant must adhere to these provisions (Article XIII).

 

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990

The Laredo MPO exercises good judgment in ensuring that discrimination based on disability does not enter into the transportation planning process.  This includes taking into account the special needs of disabled persons in all aspects of the planning and implementation of new transportation projects.  In regards to public transportation, paratransit service is provided to persons with disabilities with efforts to accommodate special needs.  Since 1994, the Laredo transit system (El Metro) has complied with the ADA Paratransit Plan for Laredo, TX.  The Laredo MPO also coordinates with the City of Laredo Planning Department and the Sidewalk Access Committee, which was developed for the sole purpose of identifying and addressing ADA access issues along major thoroughfares.

 

RESTRICTIONS ON INFLUENCING CERTAIN FEDERAL ACTIVITIES

The Laredo MPO (both Policy Committee members and staff) commit and certify that no Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any federal agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with the awarding of any federal contract, the making of any federal grant, the making of any federal loan, the entering into of any cooperative agreement, and the extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement.  This component of self-certification is also upheld through the “Lobbying Certification” (Appendix D) included in the UPWP.