About the SAWMPO

The Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (SAWMPO) was established as a result of the designation of the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Urbanized Area (UZA) by the U.S. Census on March 26, 2012. Federal regulations require an urbanized area to create and maintain an ongoing transportation planning process that is overseen by representatives of the local jurisdictions, and state and federal transportation officials.

The SAWMPO is the regional transportation planning organization that provides support for multimodal transportation projects in our area. Special emphasis is placed on providing equal access to a variety of transportation choices, and effective public involvement in the transportation planning process.

Your voice matters and you have a role to play in informing and helping to shape SAWMPO’s programs, plans, studies.Get involved with SAWMPO and subscribe to our mailing list to be notified of opportunities for public comment on our Plans and Studies.

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Base map of the Staunton Augusta Waynesboro area displaying county limits, main roads, and water streams, as well as its position within the map of the state of Virginia.

Establishment of the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Metropolitan Planning Organization

The SAWMPO was created through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the local jurisdictions in the urbanized area, including the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro, Augusta County, and the Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth of Virginia. The MOU was adopted by the MPO at its first meeting, held on August 13, 2012, circulated to the local governments for adoption, and was executed on November 7, 2012. The MPO designated the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission (CSPDC) to serve as the staff of the MPO.

A set of Bylaws was adopted on November 7, 2012, and amended in 2022, to create the structure and representation of the MPO. The MPO Bylaws created two committees, the Policy Board and the Technical Advisory Committee.


What is a Metropolitan Planning Organization?

A Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is a transportation policy-making body consisting of representatives from local, state, and federal governments, as well as transit agencies, transportation providers, and other stakeholders. The United States Congress passed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962, which required the formation of an MPO for any urbanized area (UZA) with a population greater than 50,000.

Metropolitan Planning Organizations recognize the critical links between transportation and other societal goals such as economic health, air quality, social equity, environmental resource consumption, and overall quality of life.


What does the MPO do?

 MPOs work to ensure that expenditures on transportation projects and programs are based on local priorities and mutually agreed-upon goals. MPOs use a comprehensive, cooperative, and continuing (3C) process to accomplish this mission through:

  • Consideration of all possible transportation strategies;
  • An evaluation process that encompasses diverse viewpoints;
  • Collaborative participation from relevant transportation-related agencies and organizations;
  • Open, timely, and meaningful public involvement;
  • Monitoring existing conditions;
  • Forecasting future conditions;
  • Identifying current and projected future problems and needs;
  • Developing long-range and short-range capital and operational plans and strategies for moving people and goods;
  • Estimating the impact of strategies/improvements to the transportation system and environment, including air quality;
  • Developing a financial plan for securing sufficient revenues to cover the cost of implementing strategies.