Utah’s population is projected to grow to almost five million by 2050. More people means more goods and services to be delivered, more employees commuting to work, and more errands to run.
As we grow, we will need new and better ways of getting around. To keep people connected and commerce moving, Utah needs a transportation system that is coordinated with land use and economic development opportunities, providing more transportation choices to access the things Utahns need.
Transportation planning in the region is a cooperative effort of state and local agencies. The Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC) is responsible for coordinating this transportation planning process as the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Wasatch Front.
WFRC is an Association of Governments (AOG) comprised of elected officials from Box Elder, Davis, Morgan, Salt Lake, Tooele, and Weber counties. One representative from the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and one representative from the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) also serve on the Council, as well as six nonvoting members from the Utah State Senate, the Utah House of Representatives, the State Planning Director, the Utah League of Cities and Towns, the Utah Association of Counties, and Envision Utah.
Two main products are developed through the transportation planning process, which is comprehensive in nature, and addresses all modes of transportation. Developed every four years to reflect the dynamic and ever-changing needs of the region, the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) identifies transportation projects needed over the next 20-30 years, and is incorporated into the Unified Transportation Plan. Updated once a year, the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) provides a carefully reviewed prioritization of and plan for funding regional roadway, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian improvement projects over the next six years.
In addition to preparing the RTP and TIP, WFRC also performs the following functions.
- Provides a forum for discussion and cooperation among local representatives concerning region-wide issues, primarily including transportation and growth planning.
- Assists with the coordination and representation of local programs, plans, and projects with federal and state agencies.
- Provides a more effective organizational structure for local governments to coordinate transportation plans and programs that overlap city or county boundaries or are regional in nature.
- Promotes regionally adopted growth principles among the member municipalities and counties to guide development
- Sponsors and/or participates in other studies to establish transportation needs and solutions.
- Manages the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program for cities with populations less than 50,000 in Morgan, Weber, and Tooele counties.
- Previously prepared two Natural Hazard Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plans, the standard set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the Wasatch Front region.