Transportation Planning

Transportation Planning

As one of the 18 designated Regional Planning Affiliates (RPA) for the Iowa Transportation Commission, Upper Explorerland is tasked with the planning, programming and administration of federally-funded transportation activities in the five-county region.  Our transportation staff works regularly with the RPA-1 Transportation Policy Board, the Transportation Technical Committee, the Transportation Enhancement Committee and the Passenger Transportation Advisory Group to distribute federal transportation funds, complete the required DOT planning documents and manage RPA-1 projects in the DOT programming system (TPMS).  Transportation staff also represents the RPA 1 Board and its Committees in state and regional initiatives that work to improve or support the transportation network within the region.  UERPC transportation staff also serves as the region's transportation resource by providing ongoing assistance as requested from communities, agencies, committees and citizens.  In addition, UERPC maintains regional transportation data and provides project development assistance.
The RPA 1 Transportation Policy Board is comprised of representation from each of the five counties and the two communities within the region with populations over 5000, Decorah and Oelwein.  The Transportation Policy Board guides and sets policy for local transportation planning; ensures compliance with state and federal legislation; and approves funding for roads, bridges, transportation alternatives projects, and regional transit. 

Supporting the Policy Board are committees whose memberships represent expertise and/or interest in the focus of each committee:

  • The Technical Committee, which consists of the five county engineers and street department representatives from Decorah and Oelwein, serves as the Policy Board's technical advisory group.  The Technical Committee initiates, reviews and recommends regional transportation programming to the Policy Board.
  • The Enhancement Committee consists of the five county conservation directors and other regional stakeholders with interest in enhancement activities.  The committee meets to review and recommend projects for transportation alternatives funding and also works to build a sustainable and feasible trail system to provide non-vehicular travel options.
  • The Public Transportation Advisory Group (TAG) is charged with building an improved passenger transportation system for regional residents who do not have access to personal transportation options.  This group consists of local transit representatives, private transportation providers, human service providers and others concerned about transportation for non-drivers.
    • A sub-committee of the TAG, the Job Access Mobility Institute Team has been formed to work on workforce transportation in the region.  This group is focused on increasing Transit ridership and developing commuter routes with improved services and amenities. 

For more information, please contact Rachelle Howe.

Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

The TIP is an annually produced document that describes the federally funded projects and activities that are planned for the RPA 1 region in the next four years.  It is a fiscally constrained plan that identifies the use of federal funds in highway, bridge, alternatives and transit projects.  The projects identified within this document may receive federal funding from a number of different sources which are distributed through a variety of methods, some through formula, others are discretionary (earmarked) and some by a competitive granting process. 

Once approved, the TIP projects are included in the Iowa Department of Transportation's Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

Transportation Planning Work Program (TPWP) Documents

Transportation Planning Work Program (TPWP) Documents

Transportation Planning Work Program annually outlines the transportation planning activities each RPA will undertake for the next fiscal year.

Passenger Transportation Plan (PTP) Documents

Passenger Transportation Plan (PTP) Documents

The Passenger Transportation Plan is a document that is developed to serve as a mobility management tool to help meet the specific passenger transportation needs of the region and further the development of the local and regional public transportation system.  Under the new MAP-21 transportation law, annual updates will no longer be required, but the full document will be completely updated every five years.

Public Participation Plan

Public Participation Plan

The Public Participation Plan's outline in detail the process each RPA will follow to adequately involve the public in their transportation planning activities.

Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP)

Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP)

The purpose of the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) is to guide transportation investments in the five-county RPA-1 region in support of a regional transportation system that is safe for all modes and users, and that facilitates the efficient movement of people and goods. The LRTP articulates the transportation priorities and goals of the people who live in and visit the region through an extensive public outreach process. It includes a description of the region's existing conditions; identifies current and potential future transportation problems and needs; and explores various strategies for addressing those needs. The LRTP identifies short-term projects and long-range transportation policy goals for the region.

Being long-range in scope, the LRTP looks out to a 20-year planning horizon and is updated every five years. RPA-1’s current LRTP (see link below) was approved and adopted by the Upper Explorerland Transportation Policy Board in 2014. An update to the LRTP is currently underway with anticipated adoption in spring of 2019.

All residents of Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard, and Winneshiek Counties, as well as those who visit this region, are invited and encouraged to fill out a community transportation survey. The results of the survey will help identify goals and priorities for the LRTP. The survey can be accessed here:


Title VI Program

Title VI Program

Notifying the Public of Rights Under Title VI

RPA 1 operates its programs and services without regard to race, color, and national origin in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.  Any person who believes she or he has been aggrieved by any unlawful discriminatory practice under Title VI may file a complaint with RPA 1.

For more information on RPA 1’s civil rights program, and the procedures to file a complaint, review the “FTA Title VI Program – RPA 1” document below; call 563-382-6171 or 563-382-6311 (for deaf/hard of hearing use Relay Iowa 711); email; or visit our administrative offices at 325 Washington Street, Decorah, Iowa or 134 Greene Street, Postville, Iowa.

A complainant may file a complaint directly with the RPA by filing a complaint form with Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission Attention: Title VI Program Coordinator, 325 Washington Street, Decorah, Iowa 52101; or 134 West Greene Street, Postville, Iowa 56162, 563-382-6171 or 563-864-7551,  

A complaint may also be filed with the Federal Transit Administration by filing a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, Attention: Title VI Program Coordinator, East Building, 5th Floor-TCR, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20590; or with Iowa Department of Transportation, Office of Employee Services – Civil Rights, 800 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa 50010, 515-239-1422,

If information is needed in another language, RPA 1 utilizes Language Services Associates.

News Headlines

Upcoming Iowa Safe Routes to School Conference on January 24th

Posted: Thu, January 10, 2019

It’s not too late to register! The Iowa Safe Routes to School Conference is an annual conference providing insight, idea sharing, education, and programming on all things Safe Routes to School. 6 years running, the Iowa Bicycle Coalition brings together partners and collaborators from across the state to network, learn, share ideas, and talk about best practices. This year, the Iowa Safe Routes to School Conference will be an opportunity to hear from a wide variety of professionals from public health (Angela Drent, Siouxland Public Health), transportation planning (Jeff Wiggins, City of Des Moines active transportation planner), advocates (Mike Armstrong, Des Moines Bike Collective), planners (Mindy Moore, Snyder & Associates), and Wellmark Healthy Hometown! 

We have a jam-packed day planned! Lunch will be provided for a small fee from "In-the-bag" catering. HERE  is the link to register! 


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Posted: Thu, January 10, 2019

Upper Explorerland RPC is happy to bring back Jeff Schott, now retired as the Director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Iowa in May 2018 to host the basic laws and concepts that apply to city councils and boards and commissions, entitled Open Meeting Laws.  The session will be held on March 14th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 (noon) at the Postville YMCA.

 This two-hour training program includes the following topics:

 Legal Requirements: 

·       Open Meetings Law

·       Public records Law

·       Gift Law

·       Conflicts-of-Interest

·       Other Important Laws 

Doing What Is Right:

·       Duties and Responsibilities

·       Policy Development and Analysis

·       Policy and Program Evaluation and Oversight 

Strategies for Improving Performance:  

·       Strategies for Enhancing Effectiveness

·       Orientation

·       Teamwork

·       Decision-Making

·       Acting Strategically

Jeff Schott from 2006 - 2018, he had been responsible for delivery of the Institute of Public Affairs’ organizational improvement programs, including goal setting, strategic planning, council/board effectiveness training, educational programs and information, public management assistance, and staff training, to hundreds of local governments across Iowa.

Schott has been a featured presenter regarding local government issues and concerns at numerous conferences and workshops for organizations such as the Iowa League of Cities, Municipal Leadership Academies, National League of Cities, Iowa City/County Management Association, Iowa Parks and Recreation Association, Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa State Association of Counties, Northeast, South Central and Des Moines metro regional leagues, and many other state and regional groups.  Schott has been an adjunct instructor in the University of Iowa School of Urban and Regional Planning.

Publications for which Schott has been responsible include the 2016, 2012 and 2008 editions of the Iowa Municipal Policy Leaders’ Handbook, a guide for mayors, council members and city staff in Iowa. The Handbook is designed to help municipal officials understand what is expected and required of them by explaining both the details and the “big picture” involved in being a municipal policy leader.  The Handbook describes the functions and services of Iowa cities, the laws governing municipal activities and contains explanations, tips, checklists, and lists of resources useful to city officials. It provides important information on a variety of critical topics, including: mayor and council roles, council meetings, dealing with the public, financial and budgetary administration, human resources, municipal services, economic development, planning and community development, and many other vital issues.

Please RSVP to Mary Huinker at or by calling 563-864-7551.


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UERPC December Newsletter

Posted: Mon, December 17, 2018

Some of the headlines you can read about this month include:

  • Highway Driving Safety Tips for Wildlife Collisions
  • UERPC Commission Members End Their Terms
  • Decorah's Community Visioning Designs Available for Viewing
  • Be the Change you Wish to See
  • Iowa Finance Authority Awards Funding to Housing Program
  • Beat the Blues Winter Marathon Starts January 1st
  • The UERPC offices will be closed December 24th and 25th and January 1st for the Holidays
  • Holiday Giving - Donating to your Local Food Bank

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Holiday Giving

Posted: Thu, December 13, 2018

Holiday Giving - Donating to your Local Food Pantry or Food Bank

The Holiday season often finds our thoughts turning to those in need.  Giving to a food pantry or food bank is a great way to give during the holidays and beyond.

For a complete listing of food panties or food banks in our area, please click below.

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