As part of the Every Day Counts round seven (EDC-7) virtual summit held in February, the National STIC Network Showcase provided a platform for State Transportation Innovation Councils (STICs) to share more than 100 homegrown innovations developed and implemented in their States with a wider audience to expand their potential use and impact. The virtual summit featured presentations from State and local agencies on several of these homegrown innovations, including the following from New Jersey and Washington State, which can be watched on-demand from the summit website.
The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), one of New Jersey’s metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), has used several innovative forms of virtual public involvement (VPI) to increase community participation in its long-range planning process. To gather public input, NJTPA used online ads geo-targeted to regions and invited people to participate in an online survey covering the plan’s seven focus areas. The campaign reached 1.6 million people over 6 weeks and received a robust response. NJTPA also created a Tuesday Symposium series for planning and transportation professionals, advocates, and other interested parties that focused on emerging issues and equity themes in transportation.
Another of New Jersey’s MPOs, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), convenes a Futures Group to discuss emerging trends and forces affecting the region. A subset of the larger Futures Group conducts exploratory scenario planning exercises as part of long-range planning. Dialogue within the Futures Group benefits both DVRPC and the group’s participants, who are able to take what they learn back to their organizations.
The Washington State DOT (WSDOT) created and implemented a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Plan to guide these practices into all aspects of its work, both internally and externally. The plan is a blueprint for creating a more inclusive work culture and business and career opportunities for underrepresented individuals and business owners, and enhancing community engagement.
To create its DEI Plan, WSDOT formed an
agency-wide workgroup of employee volunteers from all disciplines. The workgroup collaborated with both internal and external partners in focus areas such as diversity, workforce, data-informed decisions, and Washington State’s Healthy Environment for All Act. WSDOT reports that the DEI plan is helping improve the agency’s decision-making practices, enhancing access, and creating a culture of belonging for the community and employees.
Disclaimer: The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this document only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document. They are included for informational purposes only and are not intended to reflect a preference, approval, or endorsement of any one product or entity.
Except for the statutes and regulations cited, the contents of this document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the States or the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide information regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.
Recommended Citation: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration - Washington, DC (2023) Innovator Newsletter, September/October 2023, Volume 17 (98). https://doi.org/10.21949/1521759