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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

FHWA/FTA Questions and Answers on Public Involvement in Transportation Decisionmaking

This guidance responds to questions raised during the eight regional FHWA/FTA outreach meetings on the planning regulations (23 CFR 450) as well as at other meetings where the planning regulations have been discussed. The FHWA and FTA have established a public docket as a single point for public input on this guidance and the FHWA/FTA Interim Policy on Public Involvement. Comments to this docket on guidance published in the Federal Register should be received on or before April 30,1995, at the following address:

FHWA Docket No. 94-27
Federal Highway Administration
Office of the Chief Counsel
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Room E82-328
Washington, D.C. 20590-9898

  1. Why are changes in public involvement needed under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and related policies and regulations?
  2. What are some of the key considerations in planning for effective public involvement?
  3. What are the indicators of an effective public involvement process?
  4. When should an agency update its public involvement process?
  5. How does the State DOT and/or MPO involve the public in developing or revising the public involvement process?
  6. Is the State DOT or MPO required to have a 45-day public comment period on revisions to its currently adopted public involvement process?
  7. How do FHWA and FTA define the "public"?
  8. How should an agency identify and address the transportation needs of persons and groups who have been traditionally underserved by existing transportation systems?
  9. Who are the public and private providers and users of unconventional transportation services and how should they be included in the public involvement process?
  10. How do the public involvement requirements for project development and the NEPA process apply to public involvement for major transportation investment studies (MIS)?
  11. With respect to Federal Lands Agency projects (especially Indian Reservation Roads projects), how can the State DOT and MPO ensure that public involvement has taken place within the planning process in the STIP/TIP?
  12. Does reasonable public access to technical and policy information include access to technical assumptions underlying the planning and emissions models used in carrying out transportation decisionmaking and air quality conformity determinations?
  13. How can State DOTs and MPOs demonstrate "explicit consideration and response to public input," as required by 23 CFR 450.212 and 23 CFR 450.316?
  14. What types of revisions to plans, TIPs, and STIPs do not require additional opportunity for public comment and/or publication under 23 CFR 450.316(b)(viii) and 23CFR450.212(d)?
Updated: 5/16/2013
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