Here is a listing of research and published documents on public participation in transportation decision-making that FHWA and many other organizations have conducted and produced.
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FHWA-HEP-17-023 - This research included working with transportation planners, practitioners and other decision makers in rural areas and small communities to develop effective, locally appropriate, replicable strategies for public involvement in transportation planning and programming, especially to engage environmental justice communities. Planning organizations in rural and urban areas of less than 200,000 population developed strategies to mitigate or avoid prospective environmental justice issues. Working initially with six competitively selected small planning organizations; the research found that effective practices for public involvement in transportation planning in smaller organizations required agencies to be both selective because of their small staff yet diverse to address unique issues.
FHWA-HEP-06-009 - Although English is the predominant language spoken in this country, the 2000 Census estimated that 17.9 percent of the Nation's population spoke a language other than English at home. It is Federal Highway Administration policy to provide "meaningful access" to transportation decisionmaking to all affected and interested people. Executive Order 13166, Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency, requires this outreach include people of limited English proficiency. Combined with nondiscrimination statutes, meaningful access would extend to people who cannot read and understand what is read; thus, the need to include outreach to low-literate populations as well. This report documents "best practices" in identifying and engaging low-literacy and limited-English-proficiency populations in transportation decisionmaking.
Pub. No. FHWA-HEP-15-044 - Also available as Adobe PDF for printing. (819 KB) Public involvement is just one of the terms planners use for gathering information from the public. Other terms include public participation, public outreach, and public engagement. These terms are virtually interchangeable. They are all about ensuring that people have a voice in their transportation systems. This guide provides a variety of tools to secure meaningful input from the public on transportation plans, programs, and projects-and it can help agencies improve their overall public involvement techniques.
This is a reference that provides a wide variety of public involvement techniques to transportation agencies. It includes the 14 techniques originally published in Innovations in Public Involvement for Transportation Planning (1996). Additionally included are new techniques for working with community-based organizations, using electronic media and reaching out to ethnic, minority and low-income groups and people with disabilities. This publication is organized in four chapters with subsections grouping techniques thematically by function. Each chapter ends with a final subsection called "Taking Initial Steps."
This Resource Guide has been developed to briefly review key issues in public involvement/public participation, summarize key requirements, and highlight a variety of notable practices, tools and techniques, particularly in the transportation planning process. It provides a range of websites, publications, notable practices, training and other resources on public involvement/public participation. While the primary focus of this guide is on public involvement/public participation at the planning stage, related references and resources are highlighted that are also applicable and useful throughout project development and delivery.