The French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization (FBRMPO) is a partnership between local and state government that makes decisions about transportation planning in urbanized areas and meets planning requirements established by federal authorizing legislation for transportation funding. In addition, FBRMPO is required to prepare long range transportation plans for the planning area with a minimum 20-year horizon. Additional tasks include developing an annual planning work program and assistance in prioritization of projects to be included in the State Transportation Improvemement Program (NCDOT’s funding for a 10-year period). FBRMPO was created in 1962 as the region centered around Asheville continued to experience growth and reached a population density threshold of 50,000 which constitutes the federally-mandated created of a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). The MPO currently serves over 414,000 people across 21 municipalities.
Local governments in the MPO planning area include: Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania Counties, and the municipalities of Asheville, Biltmore Forest, Black Mountain, Canton, Clyde, Flat Rock, Fletcher, Hendersonville, Laurel Park, Maggie Valley, Mars Hill, Mills River, Montreat, Waynesville, Weaverville, and Woodfin.
The body of local officials that provides policy direction and approval for all FBRMPO projects and proposals is the Board, previously refered to as the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC). The current voting Board membership is as follows:
- Two members of the Asheville City Council;
- Two members of the Buncombe County Commission;
- Two members of the Haywood County Commission;
- Two members of the Henderson County Commission;
- One member of the Madison County Commission;
- One member of the Black Mountain Board of Aldermen;
- One member of the Biltmore Forest Board of Commissioners;
- One member of the Town of Canton Council;
- One member of the Town of Clyde Council;
- One member of the Village of Flat Rock Village Council
- One member of the Town of Fletcher Town Council;
- One member of the City of Hendersonville City Council;
- One member of the Town of Laurel Park Town Council;
- One member of the Town of Maggie Valley Town Council;
- One member of the Mars Hill Board of Aldermen;
- One member of the Town of Mills River Town Council;
- One member of the Montreat Board of Commissioners;
- One member of the Town of Waynesville Town Council;
- One member of the Weaverville Town Council;
- One member of the Woodfin Board of Aldermen;
- One Division 13 Representative of the North Carolina Board of Transportation;
- One Division 14 Representative of the North Carolina Board of Transportation;
The following are current non-voting members of the Board:
- One member of the Transylvania County Commission
- Federal Highway Administration (North Carolina Division Administrator)
The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) is a framework for the planning activities and efforts that the French Broad River MPO will undertake during a fiscal year. Serving as both a budget and guide, the UPWP is adopted on an annual basis in accordance with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) guidelines. The UPWP illustrates the funding allocations from federal transportation planning funds, including highway and transit programs. The FBRMPO UPWP includes special studies scheduled to take place during the fiscal year.
Federal law requires the FBRMPO to adopt a Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) that is multi-modal, fiscally-constrained, has a minimum 20-year planning horizon, adheres to the adopted public involvement policy, and uses growth forecasts consistent with latest local land use plans. The MTP must be updated every 5 years. The MTP also defines which projects can be programmed into the TIP. The current MTP, MTP 2040 was originally adopted in September 2015 with amendments in May 2018.