Grand Valley Metro Council

Metropolitan Transportation Plan

GVMC 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP)


GVMC invites Kent and eastern Ottawa County residents to comment on the findings of GVMC’s transportation needs analysis. To determine current and future transportation needs by mode, GVMC worked with various stakeholders from organizations representing transit, passenger rail, air travel, freight movement, and non-motorized modes of transportation. GVMC also analyzed pavement and bridge condition, traffic congestion, and safety for all users of the transportation system. This analysis will be the basis for proposing solutions to meet the current and forecasted transportation needs by mode for the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). Results of the analysis by mode are below.

Update: Based on feedback received, the modal needs analysis has been updated. Please click here to view.

Hard copies of the mode analyses are available at GVMC’s office. Comments will be accepted through Tuesday, October 15. Interested citizens can submit comments in the following ways:

  • In person at GVMC’s office

  • Online using the “submit a comment” button above

  • Over the phone at 616.776.7603

  • Email

  • Or by mail

GVMC’s office is located at 678 Front Ave. NW, Suite 200, Grand Rapids, MI  49504. Comments should be addressed to Andrea Faber.

To view our press release about the needs analysis, please click here.

To stay informed about the effort, sign up for regular updates on our Public Involvement page. GVMC will keep the public informed during the development of the MTP, which is expected to be completed by spring of 2020, and offer numerous opportunities for area residents to get involved in the planning process or provide input. GVMC staff will send out email updates to our Interested Citizen/Agency Group, hold public meetings, and have a presence at community events to get feedback from the public. The public will be able to submit comments in person, online, over the phone, or by mail, at any time during the development of the MTP.

Individuals with disabilities requiring auxiliary aids or services and those requiring an interpreter or translation service should contact Andrea Faber by phone at (616) 776-7603 or email for assistance. 

GVMC 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP)

To view the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan, click here. A hard copy of the document is available for viewing at the GVMC offices. 

To view the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan financial analysis, please click here

Executive Summary

The Grand Valley Metropolitan Council, as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Kent and Eastern Ottawa Counties, is responsible for the development of a multi-modal Long Range Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). The purpose of the MTP is to ensure that transportation investments in our area enhance the movement of people and freight efficiently, effectively, and safely. Without an MTP federal transportation funding could not be allocated in the region.  The MTP must be fiscally constrained, project specific, take into consideration public opinion, environmental justice, and meet established air quality standards when applicable. This MTP has a 25-year horizon, balancing transportation investments through the year 2040.

The vision for the 2040 MTP is to: “Establish a sustainable multimodal transportation system for the mobility and accessibility of people, goods, and services; it will provide an integrated system that is safe, environmentally sound, socially equitable, economically viable, and developed through cooperation and collaboration.”

Goals and objectives of the MTP address system accessibility, mobility, inter-modalism, efficiency, system preservation, safety, reliability, land use, public participation, coordination, fiscal responsibility, livability, sustainability, and economic development.

Early in the process GVMC conducted a survey of the general public to determine the perceptions of needs of the public in many areas of the transportation system.  The results of this survey were accounted for in the deliberations of the various committees throughout the process.  The survey asked respondents to identify three things that would positively enhance transportation in the area.  The results are not surprising.  System condition was by far the largest need identified by the public, followed by widening busy roads and intersections and using technology to reduce traffic congestion.  The graphic to the right shows the complete results.

GVMC maintains several subcommittees to continually address various transportation elements.  Road conditions, non-motorized, safety, passenger rail, freight, transit, and congestion are all areas that are actively discussed continually by transportation professionals and decision makers throughout the MTP four-year cycle.  This allows for a comprehensive viewpoint of the needs of the system as a whole. 

Determination of Highest Priority

System needs are determined using various approaches during the MTP development.  Taking into account all of the data that is available and public perception of need, the various committees develop a list of needs for the transportation system as a whole.  When all of the needs have been identified, the GVMC Technical and Policy Committees, with input from the MTP Steering Team--formed to guide the development of the MTP, develop a list of identified transportation investment priorities.  Transportation investment priorities identify areas where future available transportation funds should be allocated.  This allocation of funds determines future specific priorities that are included within the MTP project list.  After a thorough review of all available funding, it was determined that approximately $505 million is available over the life of this MTP for discretionary projects.  In other words, the MPO may use these funds for projects deemed to be of the highest priority for the region as a whole.  GVMC has determined that the highest priority for all available flexible funding is for projects that contribute to the improvement of the region's system pavement condition.  Data in recent years has shown that pavement conditions in the region are falling. As time passes without funding to address these deficiencies, the system will only continue to deteriorate, and the solutions will become increasingly more costly.

The MTP project list was developed to address the deficiencies identified in the plan and reflect this priority but is limited by estimated future available revenues. The first four years (2014–2017) of the MTP project list are equivalent to the FY2014-2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) project list and demonstrate the short-term transportation projects identified for funding in this region. Other individual projects listed in the MTP project list reflect projected transportation capacity deficiencies with preferred alternatives identified.

Identified Need and Illustrative Vision

Throughout the development of this MTP efforts were made to establish a basic vision of what we collectively would like our transportation system to be in the year 2040.  Issues related to the condition of the pavement, to the reliability of travel times, to the convenience of the local transit system, to the availability of alternate means of transportation, and the efficiency of moving freight throughout the system were all analyzed. The results of this analysis concluded that in order to greatly improve pavement condition from 64% good/fair up to 80%, an additional $665 million in dedicated funding would be necessary through the year 2040.  To reduce the percent of congested non-trunkline roadways by 80%, an additional $30 million would be needed. To realize a completed non-motorized network, an additional $25 million would be required.  To fully implement the ITP Master Plan an additional $206 million would be needed. To fully implement the needs identified in the GVMC Safety Plan an additional $37 million is necessary.  All tolled the illustrative list for local federal aid in the region totals $963 million over and above the needs listed for area trunklines.  GVMC and its member communities are dedicated to focusing future planning efforts in an effort to develop a strong vision of the future conditions of the transportation system in the region.  The chart below depicts these needs.

Element Identified Need Dedicated Funding Illustrative Balance
Congestion Mitigation $70,805,000 $40,460,000 -$30,345,000
Non-Motorized $56,704,125 $31,532,500 -$25,171,625
Pavement Condition $1,170,000,000 $505,000,000 -$665,000,000
Safety $54,840,000 $18,075,000 -$36,765,000
Transit $1,114,000,000 $908,000,000 -$206,000,000
Total $2,466,349,125 $1,503,067,500 -$963,281,625


Public Involvement

GVMC is committed to ensuring that citizen input will figure prominently throughout the planning processes and contribute to transportation problem identification through public comment periods, public meetings, and review of the MTP document. Federal statute requires the public have reasonable opportunity to comment on transportation plans and programs. In accordance with the Public Participation Plan, GVMC encourages ongoing public participation. For more information about how you can participate in the MPO transportation planning process visit our Get INVOLVED page.

Contact GVMC Transportation Staff

The GVMC staff is always looking for comments and input. Please contact Andrea Faber, Transportation Planner, at (616) 776-7603 with your MTP-related comments and questions. You may also send written comments to: Grand Valley Metropolitan Council, 678 Front Ave NW, Suite 200, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49504.

If you are interested in receiving mail or e-mail notifications about transportation issues in Kent and eastern Ottawa counties, email Andrea Faber with your name and mailing address and/or e-mail address.

2035 GVMC Long Range Transportation Plan

Click here to view the 2035 GVMC Long Range Transportation Plan(Archived)

Banner photo by Natekal23 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons