About Us

About the DSATS

The DeKalb Sycamore Area Transportation Study (DSATS) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) which administers the federal and state funding for highway and public transit projects in the DeKalb Urbanized Area. DSATS is staffed by the City of DeKalb Illinois and all activities performed by the organization are overseen by a Policy Committee (PC), with the technical oversight of the organization performed by a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), and DSATS staff.

DSATS provides transportation planning services (see DSATS Functions) for the communities within the DSATS Region (PDF). According to the 2005-2009 American Community Survey of the U.S. Census, the population of the DSATS region was 62,167.

The DSATS Region

In the U.S., urbanized areas with populations over 50,000, are required to create a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) defines Metropolitan Transportation Planning as the process of examining travel and transportation issues and needs in metropolitan areas. It includes a demographic analysis of the community in question, as well as an examination of travel patterns and trends. The planning process includes an analysis of alternatives to meet projected future demands, and for providing a safe and efficient transportation system that meets mobility while not creating adverse impacts to the environment. In metropolitan areas over 50,000 population, the responsibility for transportation planning lies with designated Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO).

Urbanized Area

The Census Bureau designates a new list of Urbanized Areas (UZAs) every 10 years, following the conclusion of each decennial census. The designation of UZAs by the U.S. Census Bureau has significant implications for the metropolitan planning process. Most significantly, current Federal law requires that every UZA be represented by a metropolitan planning organization (MPO) which carries out the metropolitan transportation planning process for the UZA and surrounding areas.  In 2000 the US Census designated the DeKalb metropolitan region as a UZA.  This region includes the:

Planning Area

The US Census defines the Urbanized Areas across the United States.  These boundaries are generally based on population densities in a region.  The metropolitan area of influence, however, usually exceeds further out into the region where population densities are less than what is defined by the US Census.  The FHWA allows MPO's to define  their own Planning Area, which is a larger regional area whose transportation systems are influenced by the metropolitan region.  DSATS has defined our regional planning areas on the following boundaries:

  • Eastern Boundary: East County Line Road. This is the boundary between DeKalb and Kane Counties.  Kane County is part of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) MPO.  The Village of Malta is split by this boundary and is therefore part of both DSATS and CMAP.
  • Northern Boundary: Base Line Road is a major east-west roadway which extends the length of DeKalb County.  This provides a logical termini for the north extent of the DSATS Planning Region.  If the City of Sycamore and the City of Genoa continue to grow towards each other, the northern boundary may be extended to include Genoa in the future.
  • Western Boundary: Glidden Road to Rich Road to Nelson Road.  The western boundary is less well defined.  Glidden Road and Nelson Road are major roadways which provide a logical termini to the Western Boundary.  Malta to the west is the home to Kishwaukee College, which is a major educational facility that serves many residents in the DSATS region.  In the future, as growth continues, DSATS may consider extending the planning area to include Malta.
  • Southern Boundary: Keslinger Road is a major East-West Road the extends through almost all of DeKalb County.  To the east in Kane County, Keslinger becomes a major roadway and serves both the Elburn and LaFox Metra Train Stations.  This road is seen is a logical termini for the southern boundary of the DSATS planning area.