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2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan

2045 MTP

The federal government requires the MPO to update their Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) at least every five years. The MTP should list the highway, public transportation, bicycle, pedestrian and other transportation projects to be implemented over at least the next twenty years to address expected travel demand. It also has to be based on local land use plans and demonstrate that the expected revenues will cover the expected costs – this is also called fiscal constraint. As a practical matter, the MTP is important because projects to be submitted into the prioritization process for possible state and federal funding must come from the MTP. And, local governments use the MTP to reserve right-of-way for future highway and rail transit projects.

The series of tabs on this Web page present the process, documents and maps used to develop the 2045 MTP. The tabs are ordered to coincide with the process; they start with the Goals and Objectives, lead to the Alternatives Analysis, and end with the Adopted Plan.

If you need assistance, please contact Andy Henry, , (919) 560-4366, ext. 36419.

2045 MTP Goals and Objectives

The final DCHC MPO Goals, Objectives and Performance Measures are available at the following link. A version that includes the data for the completed Performance Measures is available on the “Adopted” tab of this Web page.

Request for Public Comment

The DCHC MPO conducted an online survey to get public input on the creation of the Goals and Objectives. Almost 800 people completed the survey. A summary and analysis of the survey in on the document linked below.

Draft Goals and Objectives

The first step in planning for the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan is to create a set of Goals and Objectives. It is important to understand that this document will drive the MPO’s policies and project decision-making process in the future. In addition, the MPO attaches performance measures to the Goals and Objectives that will help the MPO Board and the pubic assess the extent to which the region’s transportation system is meeting the Goals and Objectives.

This Webpage presents the process that was used for developing the Goals, Objectives and Performance Measures.

The MPO requested that the public review the draft Goals, Objectives and Performance Measures and provide feedback to the MPO. This public comment period was from Friday, February 12, 2016 through Friday, April 1, 2016. There were several options for participating, including and online survey and the workshop and hearing identified below.

Public Workshop
Stop in anytime between 4 and 7 pm at the Durham Station Transportation Center (corner of W. Pettigrew St. and W. Chapel Hill St.) on Thursday, March 17, 2016 to learn more about your future transportation system and provide your comments on the Goals, Objectives and Performance Measures.

Public Hearing
You can provide feedback on the Goals, Objectives and Performance Measures to local elected officials (DCHC MPO Board) on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 9:00 AM in the Committee Room (2nd Floor of Durham City Hall, 101 City Hall Plaza). Persons with disabilities will be accommodated -- provisions must be requested at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.

Comments and questions should be directed to:

Andy Henry, City of Durham, Transportation Department
101 City Hall Plaza
Durham, NC 27701
E-mail: Phone:(919) 560-4366, ext. 36419


The MPO forecasts socioeconomic data (SE Data), such as dwelling units, population and employment, to the year 2045 and uses that data as a key input into the travel demand model (called the Triangle Regional Model, or TRM). The process starts with the 2045 guide totals, which are county- level population and employment projections for the year 2045, and proceeds to the Community Visualization model that distributes the dwelling units and employment to particular parcels based on land availability and suitability. The following document will provide details of this process and the output:

2045 MTP Guide Totals
Community Visualization

Connect 2045 -- Scenarios

Different scenarios, or different ways that the region might develop, are created under the name Connect 2045. More information on how and why these scenarios are created can be found here. This section presents the outputs of the various scenarios.

AIM High
This scenario was selected and used for the final 2045 MTP. It pushes the limits but is still market possible. It is based on draft data from a regional study on rail station development potential. It has a higher density and mixed use around future rail stations than the Community Plan scenario.

Community Plans
This scenario is based on the adopted local land use plans and can be considered the "most likely" scenario.

The icons above provide an interactive daily congestion maps for the years 2015 and 2045. See the information below under Congestion Maps for more information.


What is a Deficiency Analysis?
The concept is fairly simple. The analysis compares today’s travel conditions with that of a future year. Thus, the Deficiency Analysis shows staff, the MPO and the public where transportation investments in highways, transit and other modes are needed to address the future travel demands. It will guide the development and evaluation of the various transportation alternatives that will be considered in a subsequent step of the 2045 MTP development.

What Future Year is Used?
The measures and maps are based on a travel demand model that estimates conditions in two different years:

2013- This is 2013 population and employment using the existing transportation system of streets, transit, etc., and reflects the current travel conditions. In some cases, the year 2015 has been used for the base year.

2045 E+C- This is the estimated 2045 population and employment using the existing transportation system plus any projects that are committed to construction or implementation. “E+C” means “Existing plus Committed.” This “no build” scenario allows us to see where future deficiencies are to be expected.

What is the Next Step?

With the MPO’s Goals and Objectives in mind, staff will use the deficiency data to create several alternatives to meet the future travel demand. This Alternatives Analysis will be released to the public and will include public meetings and a hearing to help gather people’s comments.

2045 MTP Deficiency Analysis

The following link is a presentation on the Deficiency Analysis. This Web page provides the detailed tables and maps that comprise the Deficiency Analysis and presents the Socioeconomic Data (SE Data) used to generate the analysis.

Congestion Maps

The congestion maps estimate the level of congestion in the year 2045 if no additional transportation projects are implemented. This is often called the No Build Scenario. In this case, the travel demand model puts the trip demand for the 2045 population and 2045 employment on to the current transportation network that might also have a few additional approved projects (e.g., East End Connector and Alston Ave widening) that are close to beginning construction. The maps depict the level of congestion by dividing the traffic volume by the road capacity. So, if the road has 8,000 vehicle trips per hour and the road capacity is 10,000 vehicles; the V/C (volume to capacity value) will be 0.80. Note that the MPO's travel demand model uses a Level of Service (LOS) of "E," or the V/C = 1.0. Most motorists would experience LOS E as highly congested and the overall travel delay would be great especially in urban areas and those areas with intersections and driveways. Thus, most motorists would experience a V/C higher than 1 as highly congested (orange lines on the map), and a V/C higher than 1.2 as long delays (red lines on the map).

The thumbnail map at the top of this page provides an interactive daily congestion map.

Afternoon Peak
The congestion maps below show the average V/C for both roadway directions for the afternoon peak hour (i.e., 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Roadways in which the V/C exceeds 1 are labeled with the actual V/C value.

The congestion maps below show the daily V/C for each roadway. Roadways in which the V/C exceeds 1 are labeled with the actual V/C value.”

Travel Time

The table and maps below show the travel time between key destinations in the Triangle region in 2013 and 2045, and calculates the change in that travel time. These travel times are for the afternoon peak hour. The map shows the average travel time for the afternoon peak hour, the connector lines becoming a "hotter" color as the percentage increase in travel time from 2013 to 2045 becomes greater (i.e., congestion increases).

Isochrone Maps

An isochrone map shows lines that connect the points that have the same travel time from a specified point. The isochrone maps below show the travel time to key destinations in the Triangle region in fifteeen minute increments. The destinations are the downtowns or center of Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park.

Performance Measures

The Performance Measures are a broad set of calculations that provide an indicator of the mobility, trip volume, mode choice and congestion in the overall transportation system. The measures are not specific to a travel corridor or transportation project but are useful for broad comparisons of different transportation system alternatives. The first table below compares the 2013 and the 2045 Existing plus Committed (E+C, also known as the No Build) models for the DCHC MPO. The remaining tables provide the same data at the county level.

SE Data

The Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG), in partnership with the MPO, forecasts Socioeconomic Data (SE Data; such as dwelling units, population and employment) to the year 2045. This forecast is used as key input into the Triangle Regional Model (TRM -- the regional travel demand model). The TRM is a principal tool for identifying the future transportation deficiencies in our area and helping to propose transportation improvements to address those deficiencies. This model is used for long range plans, major transit and transportation studies and transportation project environmental analyses.

The guide totals document below shows the expected population and employment growth from 2013 through 2045 for Triangle counties. These guide totals are input to a land use model called Community Visualization that uses a set of rules and database of available land to geographically distribute the population and employment. The two set of maps show the forecasted distribution for households and employment by MPO and county. Finally, the distribution tables show the detailed household and employment growth capacity in each county and how the guide totals were distributed.

2045 MTP Alternatives Maps

Presentation on Alternatives Analysis


This Web page presents background and public involvement information, and then the analysis metrics and maps for the Alternatives Analysis. A compilation of the comments received on the Alternatives Analysis at the public workshops and by email are provided at the following linked document:

Alternatives Analysis -- Overview

An Alternative is a combination of a transportation network, which includes a set of highway, transit and other transportation improvements, and a land use scenario that depicts the distribution of population and employment for the year 2045. These Alternatives are run in the Triangle Regional Model (TRM) to produce a set of transportation metrics that describe how well the Alternative meets future travel demand.

It should be noted that it is very unlikely that one of the Alternatives in its entirety would be advanced as the Preferred Option. The final 2045 CTP will be a combination of projects and policies from the various Alternatives.

Citizen Participation  

 The following information and links provide opportunities for the public to provide input on the long-range plan:

  • Workshops
  • Public Hearing: The MPO Board will conduct a public hearing on September 13, 2017, 9AM, in the Committee Room on the 2nd Floor of Durham City Hall. The public can sign up to speak directly to the TAC on the Alternatives.
  • Local Elected Officials and Boards
  • Comments can be sent to:

Andy Henry
City of Durham/Transportation Dept.
101 City Hall Plaza
Durham, NC 27701
(919)560-4366, extension 36419

  • Comment Period: The public comment period for the Alternatives will run from August 9, 2017 through September 20, 2017.

Contact Us

For more information, citizens can contact:

Andy Henry
(919)560-4366, extension 36419

Alternatives Analysis Background

The MPO developed four future scenarios. Each scenario is based on a combination of a mobility investment (or assumption of improved highway, transit and other transportation facilities) and a development foundation (or, land use assumptions). The following documents provide more information on these scenarios.

Development Foundation
For information on the two different land use assumptions used in the four scenarios, see the 2045 MTP's land use Web page:

Mobility Investment
The link below is an interactive map that shows highway network improvements in Mod-MTP, Asp-MTP and Asp-Transit Alternatives (which is the 2040 MTP network), and those for the Mod-Hwy Alternative (with is the 2040 MTP & Highway Plus network). The user can click on the highway and interchanges to get a pop-up that has additional information on the project.

      Map: Highways and Interchanges in the Alternatives

Alternatives Analysis Data and Maps

Congestion Maps
The poster-sized maps at the links below and interactive maps at the top of this Web page provide the daily congestion values for the principal roadway segments in the MPO.

Travel Choice Neighborhoods (TCN)

Travel Choice Neighborhoods focus on the mode choice change in areas that are expected to experience significant transit investment.


This measure provides the time, speed and cost of travel in the most important travel corridors of the MPO for each Alternative. The two tables show indicators of congestion. The Travel Time Index indicates the level of congestion by dividing the peak period travel time by the free-flow travel time. For example, a TTI of 1.2 means that a 10-minute free-flow trip will take 12 minutes in the afternoon peak. The Hourly Cost of Congestion shows the value of the additional time it takes for all the motorists, both car and truck, while traveling in that corridor under congested conditions. All of the values in the tables are colored – the higher, or more congested values, are a hotter color, i.e. red.

Travel Time -- Key Destinations

The tables and maps below compare the travel time between key destinations in the Triangle for the 2013 Base Year and each of the four Alternatives. The Alternatives consistently increase the travel time between these destinations because the MPO’s counties will experience population and employment increases of approximately 300,000 and 200,000, respectively, by the year 2045.

Isochrone Maps

Isochrone travel maps connect the points that have the same travel time from a specified center. They resemble contour maps. They are useful for illustrating the labor, retail, residential and other markets in terms of travel time. The tables and maps below depict the afternoon peak hour and compare the four different alternatives for each center.

Performance Measures

These measures are not specific to a particular roadway or travel corridor but instead cover the entire transportation system, and therefore are useful for comparing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the different transportation Alternatives. Most of the data used for calculating the Performance Measures comes from the Triangle Regional Model (TRM), which is the travel demand model for the entire region.

Highways and Intersections
Fixed Guideway Transit

The icons above link to interactive maps for the Highway and Interchanges, and Fixed-Guideway Transit portions of the Preferred Option.

Public Comment

The DCHC MPO released the Preferred Option for the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) for a 42-day public comment period that ran from November 1, 2017 through December 12, 2017. The public provided input several different ways:

  • Public Hearing : The MPO board conducted a public hearing on November 8, 2017, 9am, in the Committee Room on the 2nd Floor of Durham City Hall. The public signed up at that meeting to speak directly to the Board on the Preferred Option.
  • Comments : Staff compiled public comments and forwarded them to the MPO Board. Comments were sent to:
          Andy Henry
          DCHC MPO/Transportation Dept.
          101 City Hall Plaza
          Durham, NC 27701
          (919) 560-4366, extension 36419

  • Next Steps: The public could request to speak to the MPO Board when the 2045 MTP was on subsequent Board agendas. These meetings were also at 9am in the Committee Room.
  • Contact Us

    For more information, citizens can contact:

    Andy Henry
    (919) 560-4366, extension 36419

    Preferred Option


    The full report and report sections below present the Preferred Option. Interactive maps of the highway and fixed-guideway projects of the Preferred Option are at the top of this Web page.

    Preferred Option (complete report)

    Report by sections

    Congestion Maps

    The document below introduces the user to congestion maps, and the map link below is an interactive map that shows the level of congestion on individual roadway segments for the Preferred Option. There is also a link to a set of printable, static maps, which uses the same data as the interactive map.

Highways and Intersections
Fixed Guideway Transit

The icons above link to interactive maps for the Highway and Interchanges, and Fixed-Guideway Transit portions of the Adopted 2045 MTP. These maps are temporarily not available online. To request the data please contact Andy Henry,, (919) 560-4366, ext. 36419.

The DCHC MPO Board adopted the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) and full report on March 14, 2018. The Board originally released the draft Plan (called the Preferred Option) on November 1, 2017 for public comment and then approved the projects and financial plan on December 13, 2017. They released the full report for a 30-day public comment period on January 10, 2018, but subsequently extended that comment period to March 2, 2018.

The DCHC MPO Board adopted Amendment #1 to The 2045 MTP on January 16, 2019. The report documents below include The Amendment #1 changes. The Amendments web page here provides information on that process.

2045 MTP Report

Report - single document

Report - By chapters

2045 MTP Maps

Goals, Objectives and Performance Measures

The MPO has developed goals that are aligned with a set of objectives and then a set of performance measures. The MPO has referred to the goals and objectives throughout the 2045 MTP process to make decisions on projects and budget, and will adopt them with the final 2045 MTP. The data for the performance measures is still being assembled. See the link below for the most recent version.


The MPO has also established eight key targets to help guide the direction of long-range planning. The linked document below presents the Targets. Note that the Target data is still being assembled.

Public Comments

The MPO received over 50 comments on the 2045 MTP. A compilation of these comments can be found at the following link:

Amendment #2

The DCHC MPO Board adopted Amendment #2 to the 2045 MTP on November 13, 2019. An updated copy of the 2045 MTP can be found on the Adopted web page. The remainder of this page provides Amendment #2 process information.

Purpose of Amendment #2

There are several reasons for the change in Amendment #2:

  • FY 2020-2029 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP): The long-range plan, i.e., 2045 MTP, must be consistent with the funding plan, i.e., FY 2020-2029 TIP. The TIP has delayed construction of many roadway projects and this must be reflected in the MTP. In the draft Appendix 1 (highway table), the year shown to the left of some entries indicates the new implementation horizon for that project.
  • Interchanges: The MPO wants to ensure that new interchange locations are clearly understood. The interchanges for several major roadway projects have been broken out into separate project entries in the highway table. These are marked with “Int” to the left of the entries in the draft table.
  • Project Data Updates: The TIP has updated some project descriptions and data, e.g., cost, and these changes are shown in the draft highway table.
  • Shared Use Paths (SUPs): SUPs are the safest and most attractive bicycle/pedestrian facility for many major arterial roads. The draft highway table indicates which roadways should have a SUP by displaying an asterisk with the project number.
  • Premium Transit Corridors: Premium transit service is needed in several corridors such as the former Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit (D-O LRT) corridor and the corridors that connect with Wake County Bus Rapid Transit projects (BRT). These corridors are described in draft Section 7.3
  • Other Changes: Draft Section 7.1 and 7.5 has policy changes related to roadway access and appropriate bicycle/pedestrian facilities on arterials.

Draft Documents

A presentation and the proposed changes to the 2045 MTP are available at the following links:

Amendment #1

Provide Your Comments

Citizens are encouraged to review Amendment #1 to the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) and send their comments to Andy Henry,, (919) 560-4366, ext. 36419, through January 8, 2019. Citizens are also invited to speak directly to the MPO Board at a public hearing for this amendment on January 16, 2019, 9 am, Committee Room, 2nd floor of Durham City Hall (101 City Hall Plaza, Durham, NC, 27701). It is expected that the Board will adopt Amendment #1 at the January 16th meeting. Note: citizens with special needs who need transportation to this meeting or assistance to communicate at the meeting can contact Mr. Henry.

Purpose of Amendment #1

The purpose of the changes in Amendment #1 is two-fold. Some detailed project descriptions will change to ensure that the FY 2018-2027 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the 2045 MTP match. Also, the 2045 MTP will be adopted alongside the Air Quality Conformity Determination Report (AQ CDR) to ensure that the travel demand modeling and other key assumptions are the same for both the 2045 MTP and AQ CDR. It is important to note that these are minor changes. No projects are added, deleted or modified, and these changes do not change the cross-section, costs, construction year or other important design considerations that would impact the traffic capacity, financial plan or Triangle Regional Model (TRM).

The draft 2045 MTP report (including Amendment #1) is provided at the following links:

Additional information and a report copy of the Air Quality Conformity Determination Report can be found here

List of Changes

Amendment #1 makes the following changes to the 2045 MTP:

  • Greater detail on population and job forecasts: Because the air quality analysis for our region requires evaluation for several interim years, including 2025, 2035 and 2040, we are adopting and reporting values for these interim years, as was done in the original report for our plan’s “horizon” year, 2045. These are not changes to our growth forecasts, just more detailed reporting.
  • Section 4.3 – Performance Measures of Effectiveness and Target Values: The DCHC MPO recently adopted several transportation targets that are required by federal transportation legislation (FAST Act), including transit asset management, safety, bridge and roadway condition and travel time reliability targets. These targets have been added to this table.
  • Section 6.5 – Performance Evaluation Measures: The MPO used an updated run of the Triangle Regional Model (TRM) for Amendment #1 and therefore the model output data that is in this large table of measures will change. Note that the difference between the previous and updated values in this table will be very small.
  • Section 9.1 – Transportation – Air Quality Conformity: The MPO was not required to complete Air Quality Conformity analysis when the original 2045 MTP was adopted in March 2018. That status changed and the MPO is now completing the Air Quality Conformity analysis, and therefore has added an explanation in this section to describe Conformity analysis and why the analysis is required.
  • Appendix 1 – Road Project List: The MPO wants to ensure that the details of the project descriptions in the 2045 MTP and the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) exactly match to assist agency review of the MTP and STIP. The minor details of twenty-eight DCHC MPO roadway projects have been changed in the MTP to ensure matching with the STIP. The following table shows the changes: 2045 MTP Appendix 1 Changes .
  • Appendix 7 – Air Quality (MOVES output): The MPO was not required to complete Air Quality Conformity analysis when the original 2045 MTP was adopted in March 2018. Nonetheless, the MPO added a simple air quality analysis for this appendix. Amendment #1 has a copy of the newly required Research Triangle Region Conformity Determination Report (i.e., air quality analysis report).