Northern Oklahoma Regional Transportation Planning Organization (NORTPO) is a Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO), as designated by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT). Our region consists of 16 counties in north central and northwest Oklahoma.
An RTPO is an organization that identifies local transportation needs, conducts planning, assists local governments, and supports the statewide transportation planning process in non-metropolitan regions of a state. States can designate RTPOs as a method for formalizing the engagement of officials from areas with a population size less than 50,000 as they incorporate rural transportation needs in the statewide transportation planning process. RTPOs oversee development of the regional transportation planning process, and the regional public participation process in the non-metropolitan areas of the state. The plan writing format follows a hierarchy that includes goals, objectives, and policies to assist NORTPO in planning and prioritization of transportation system projects and studies.
The Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) is the centerpiece of the transportation planning process. Since 2015, NORTPO has developed LRTPs for nine counties: Alfalfa, Blaine, Garfield, Grant, Kay, Kingfisher, Major, Noble, and Woodward. These plans serve as a part of the region wide effort of NORTPO to identify and examine both short and long range goals for development. A regional approach to long range transportation planning is necessary because of the rural nature and diverse characteristics of the population in Oklahoma. The identified planned transportation improvement projects will be prioritized with the goal of being implemented within the next 20 years.
In 2012 ODOT contracted with Oklahoma Association of Regional Councils (OARC) to implement a transportation planning process in three selected Council of Governments (COGs). Subsequently those COGs developed RTPOs: Northern Oklahoma Regional Transportation Planning Organization (NORTPO), Southwestern Oklahoma Regional Transportation Planning Organization (SORTPO), and Central Oklahoma Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CORTPO). Since 2012, two additional RTPOs came on board: Northeastern Oklahoma Regional Transportation Planning Organization (NEORTPO) and South Central Oklahoma Regional Transportation Planning Organization (SCORTPO). These RTPOs are working together as part of a state-wide pilot for regional transportation planning.
The RTPO program at NODA is supported by four staff members, Payton Herron who performs the mapping and data collection, Devon Westbrook who writes the plans and analyzes the data, and Vicki Eggers and Cecil Michael assist with oversight, and their experiences in economic development and rural fire service, respectively.
Any questions concerning the NORTPO or the plans can be directed to Devon Westbrook.