The Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (DCHC-MPO) is the regional organization responsible for transportation planning for the western part of the Research Triangle area in North Carolina. The DCHC-MPO is an umbrella organization comprised of the MPO Board, the Technical Committee (TC), local governments, and the State. The MPO Board, designated by the Governor, is a policy body that coordinates and makes decisions on transportation planning issues.
The DCHC urbanized area includes:
Durham County (entire county)
- a portion of Orange County including the Towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough
- Northeast Chatham County
DCHC is also one of the ten urban areas in North Carolina designated as a Transportation Management Area (TMA). TMA’s are urban areas with a population of over 200,000 people.
The major requirement of the DCHC MPO is to fulfill Federal Transportation legislation, including the Highway Act of 1962. These regulations require those urban areas with a population of 50,000 or more to conduct a 3-C transportation planning process. The Continuing, Comprehensive, and Cooperative (3-C) planning includes the development of a long-range transportation plan.
In North Carolina, the long-range transportation plan is carried out by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) for municipalities and urban areas. All municipalities are required to have a long-range transportation plan which is mutually adopted by both the governing body of the respective municipalities and NCDOT.