So how do you fit into the transportation-planning process? Your role in the process is very important. Without your input - your ideas - State and local governments cannot develop a full understanding of your community's needs.
Although some people may think that transportation officials can gather all necessary information on their own, that is not actually the case. You may know information that is more current or detailed than is available to transportation professionals. You may also see things in a different way than transportation officials. This is why it is so important for you to be involved.
The transportation-planning process is ongoing, so there are several ways to make transportation planners aware of your needs and concerns, and to help develop transportation solutions. To make sure that you are following the latest developments, you can:
Put your name on a mailing list to receive newsletters, updates, and other information from your MPO(s) and State DOT(s).
Attend meetings of State and regional transportation boards.
Provide your input on transportation plans and programs.
Volunteer to serve on a focus group or advisory committee.
Ask a transportation official to attend a meeting of your Rotary Club, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, American Association of Retired Persons, Kiwanis Club, school board, or other community or civic organization and ask that official to explain the transportation-planning process to you and your neighbors.
Find out what specific public-participation opportunities are available in your area by contacting your MPO, State DOT, transit agency, and local government agency.
Remember that vision plans, long-range transportation plans, and transportation improvement programs are the key documents produced during the transportation-planning process.
These documents build the foundation for individual transportation projects. They are all part of the big transportation picture and are important to your transportation future. Get involved!