On October 1, 2017, GNRC became responsible for carrying out the staffing and administrative functions of the federally-designated MPO, in accordance with a Transportation Planning and Policy Agreement adopted on September 20, 2017.
The agreement designates the GNRC as the administrative and fiscal agent for the MPO Transportation Policy Board, a responsibility previously held by the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) of Nashville-Davidson County. This change was made to account for the steady expansion of the MPO planning area outside of Davidson County that has occurred over the last three decades, and to better position the region to respond to challenges resulting from rapid economic growth and development.
The integration of the MPO program into GNRC helps streamline and improve regional coordination among local governments across Middle Tennessee, align infrastructure planning with economic development initiatives, and bring Middle Tennessee in line with the state of practice in peer regions across the nation. Nearly 70 percent of metro areas across the U.S. with a population of one million or more people have the federally-required MPO function integrated into their regional council or its GNRC equivalent.
Timeline and Archived Material
In August 2016, the executive boards of the Nashville Area MPO and the GNRC entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that established a framework for the two organizations to explore ways to enhance coordination among local communities and between regional organizations in Middle Tennessee. As part of that agreement, a joint committee was created to develop recommendations for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of regional decision-making and to better align transportation planning programs with other regional activities related to economic development, infrastructure investment, and quality of life.
The Joint Committee included appointments by GNRC Chairman Mayor Ken Moore (City of Franklin) and MPO Chairman Mayor Hutto (Wilson County) and is co-chaired by Mayor Kim McMillian (City of Clarksville) and Mayor Mary Esther Reed (Town of Smyrna). The committee included representation from the GNRC, the Nashville Area MPO, the Clarksville Urbanized Area MPO, the Middle Tennessee RPO, and the largest cities located within each Census-defined urbanized area of the region. The purpose of the Joint Committee was to lead the study of options and develop recommendations for improving coordination and decision-making across Middle Tennessee according to a set of shared goals. Members serve on the committee to find opportunities that are mutually beneficial to both organizations and their respective local community.
In September 2017, following a year of meetings and study the Joint Committee recommended that the Nashville Area MPO program be integrated into the GNRC. Their recommendation was enacted by the governing bodies of the MPO and GNRC in September and became effective October 1, 2017.