Every metropolitan area in the nation has a metropolitan planning organization (MPO) to help guide investments in its transportation network. As the MPO for Pinellas County, Forward Pinellas is responsible for prioritizing transportation projects and helping to determine the need for those projects in Pinellas.
With this role comes great responsibility to ensure that we do it right. As an agency that focuses on both transportation and land use, Forward Pinellas has a lot of different rules and laws governing how we conduct our day-to-day business. While the land use side of our agency is regulated by state law, the transportation work that we do is governed by both state and federal regulations.
There are a lot of rules and regulations that Forward Pinellas must follow to ensure that we are spending federal funding appropriately, properly vetting all transportation projects that may ultimately receive funding, and in general, are being responsible stewards of the resources invested in Pinellas County.
Every four years, a team of experts from the federal government does a comprehensive evaluation of our agency. This process is referred to as our Federal Certification, where the federal authorities ‘certify’ that Forward Pinellas continues to meet the legal and regulatory requirements of being an MPO. This process began in October with an overall audit of the agency and will culminate in a virtual site visit in January 2021. During this visit the Federal Review Team will ask questions and gather more in-depth information on how Forward Pinellas carries out the planning process. This is also an opportunity for us to highlight some of the things we are doing to make a difference in our community and some of the things we’d like to do in the future. That’s where you can help.
As we prepare for certification, Forward Pinellas has been gathering lots of technical and operating documents to show the Federal Review Team how we operate as an agency.
We also want to hear from you– our residents and partners who help us improve mobility throughout Pinellas County every day. We want to hear your thoughts on the things that you think we are doing well as an agency and areas where you think we could improve. What things could we be doing to add more value to you? Are there areas where you think we are doing a great job?
Take this quick, 5-question survey and help us understand what we are doing well and identify areas where we could be focusing more of our attention.
Want to learn more about our Quadrennial Certification? Visit www.forwardpinellas.org/certification