To meet its mission and legal mandates, East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWG) develops plans and programs for the St. Louis region’s surface transportation system. EWG also undertakes multi-disciplinary planning and research projects that are aimed at addressing diverse issues that affect the St. Louis region like tax policy, environmental quality, public safety, workforce development, access to jobs, economic development, and community planning. EWG’s Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) provides more information about EWG’s current fiscal year planning activities.
EWG’s transportation planning efforts are part of the federal metropolitan transportation planning process and include the development of the St. Louis region’s short-range transportation plan or the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and Long-Range Transportation Plan. Beyond these two plans, EWG’s Transportation Planning department implements programs and projects that address a wide variety of transportation areas including roadway functional classification, bike / ped, safety, freight, transportation systems management and operation, and many others.
EWG’s Community Planning initiatives include regional development and sustainability, community engagement, and local government services. As part of this planning work, EWG examines the specific impacts of infrastructure investment on the natural environment, monitors and analyzes air quality issues, conducts water quality planning, and provides planning capacity to local governments to improve the integration of transportation, housing, economic development, and environmental decisions. EWG’s community engagement process involves cross-cutting elements of the agency’s planning activities, as well as other agencies that are interested in regional issues. EWG’s local government services includes technical assistance, information dissemination, policy analysis, and education to elected and non-elected officials, local government staff, and community members.
EWG, in partnership with the St. Louis Area Regional Response System (STARRS) has established a forum where professionals in many key fields related to emergency management can work together to better prepare the St. Louis region to prevent and respond to natural disasters and terrorist acts. STARRS develops plans and systems that are necessary for an effective regional security response. The projects undertaken by STARRS involve a wide variety of disciplines including: health care, public safety, public health, emergency response, communications, and many others. STARRS, together with EWG, provides the equipment and training that local agencies need to respond to major incidents and disasters.
Research and Analysis
EWG pursues research and analysis initiatives to better understand and monitor issues identified as important to the fiscal, economic, and social well-being of the St. Louis region. Through data collection and analysis, EWG engages in a comprehensive analysis of St. Louis’ regional transportation and public service investment policies. The work performed by EWG’s Research Services department supports many functions of the agency, including those related to EWG’s transportation planning obligations, and includes activities like regional travel demand modeling, land use modeling, analyses of socioeconomic and demographic trends, forecasts, and monitoring ongoing development activities. EWG also has a regional geographic information system (GIS) which represents a collaborative effort between EWG and local, state, and federal agencies to acquire, maintain, and distribute spatial data.