Oakland County Federal Aid Task Force

In October 1, 2003 we sent a letter to the Task Force requesting road project scoring changes. Those changes included adding non-motorized safety points that reflect the percentages of non-motorized fatalities within the county. We felt this was justified and would increase incentives for road agencies to improve non-motorized safety. We also asked that points only be awarded for non-motorized facilities that meet AASHTO guidelines. The Task Force sub-committee recommended rejecting these changes. The full vote of the Task Force was split but a majority was opposed.

The following answers are courtesy of the Road Commission of Oakland County.

What legislation enables the Task Force and how is the membership determined?

There are two committees that oversee federal transportation funds in Oakland County. The first, the Oakland County Federal Aid Task Force, functions as a policy group which establishes the general guidelines for the process of allocating federal aid to projects. No specific legislation mandates the existence of the Task Force. The members consist of all cities, townships and villages in Oakland County along with the Road Commission of Oakland County, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Southeast Michigan Area Rapid Transit (SMART). The Task Force meets on an annual basis, usually in the first week of October.

The second committee is a sub-committee of the Task Force called the Oakland County Federal Aid Funding Committee. Again, no specific legislation mandates the existence of the Federal Aid Committee (FAC). However, the FAC functions as an extension of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) which is responsible for the 3-Year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The TIP includes all federal aid transportation projects in Southeast Michigan. SEMCOG is guided by federal law called the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). No legislation determines the members of the Oakland County Federal Aid Funding Committee. Voting members consist of:

Large Communities (> 50,000 Population) – 3 votes

Medium Communities (20,000 50,000 Population) – 2 votes

Small Communities (< 20,000 Population) – 2 votes

Large Townships (> 30,000 Population) – 1 vote

Medium Townships (10,000 – 30,000) – 1 vote

Small Townships (< 10,000 Population) – 1 vote

Road Commission for Oakland County – 2 votes

MDOT – 1 vote

SMART- 1 vote

How does the Task Force score road projects?

There are three funding categories, each of which has their own scoring system:

Road Funding Category
STP Surface
Transportation Program
Scoring Instructions
TEDF-C Transportation Economic Development Fund Category C Scoring Instructions
RRR Resurfacing, Restoration and Rehabilitation Scoring Instructions

How was this scoring system established?

A group of engineers, planners and local officials in Oakland County established these scoring systems after determining that projects funded should not be political in nature, but objective with safety being the number one priority. Oakland County’s model for project rating has actually been recommended for nationwide use by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).