Rural Planning Organization

The Southwestern Rural Planning Organization (RPO) is an agency that provides transportation planning and mapping/GIS support to Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties, and the municipalities therein. It serves as a forum for local officials and citizens to interact with NCDOT staff on a regular basis, and for NCDOT to obtain substantial and meaningful local input on transportation plans and projects. More information on Rural Planning Organizations can be found on the North Carolina Association of RPOs website.

The RPO is comprised of three groups:

1. The RPO administrative staff of the Southwestern Commission.

2. The Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC), composed of local government elected officials, namely mayors and county commissioners. The TAC is the policy-making body of the RPO. The TAC is currently chaired by Dillsboro Mayor Mike Fitzgerald.

3. The Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC), made up of planners and town and county managers. The TCC is the advisory committee to the TAC. The TCC is currently chaired by Jackson County Planning Director Gerald Green.

Comprehensive Transportation Plans (CTP):

The Southwestern RPO works with the NC DOT Transportation Planning Branch and a local task force to produce a Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP) for each county. Click here for information about CTPs.


For more information about transportation planning in your county, click on the county name on the list above left.


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Transportation Prioritization 3.0 Final Project List

Current List of Transportation Projects in Southwestern RPO (updated September 3,  2014)

Current List of Significant Transportation Projects in Southwestern RPO (updated August 18, 2014)

Strategic Transportation Investments: Summary Explanation of NCDOT’s Data Driven Transportation Prioritization Methodologies

Southwestern RPO Local Prioritization Methodology for Prioritization 3.0:  this methodology is used by the RPO to give local input to the NC Department of Transportation on which transportation projects are the highest priority in our area.

Southwestern RPO Public Involvement Policy

Strategic Transportation Investments – Click for more information about NCDOT’s new method of prioritizing and funding projects.

View the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution’s Collaboration Assessment Report on Corridor K .