A couple of weeks ago, two federal agencies renewed some authority that they give to the regional planning commission (SEWRPC), but told the planners they needed to better communicate with the public, using plain English and not plannerspeak (my word, not theirs).
And, of course, SEWRPC dutifully said it was making great strides in that assignment.
So on the SEWRPC homepage, www.sewrpc.org, here is the very first single paragraph of text that. ironically, comically, describes that federal reauthorization.
"Certification of the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission Metropolitan Transportation Planning Process
During the fall of 2008, The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) conducted a federally required quadrennial review of the metropolitan transportation planning process carried out by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC). The objective of this review was to determine whether the metropolitan transportation process meets the Federal transportation planning requirements outlined in 23 CFR 450.300 and to assure that an adequate process exists to ensure conformity of plans and programs in accordance with the procedures contained in 50 CFR Part 51. The 2008 certification review was based on routine FHWA and FTA interaction with the Commission in day-to-day operations; a review of SEWRPC planning products and processes; a field review meeting with staff from SEWRPC, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and local transit operators October 22-23, 2008; a public comment period from October 8 to November 8, 2008; and, a public open house meeting on the evening of October 23, 2008. Based on the reviews conducted and ongoing oversight by FHWA and FTA, the Commission’s metropolitan transportation planning process has been certified as meeting the Federal transportation planning requirements. The report documenting the evaluation of SEWRPC planning processes can be found here."