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A Guide to Transportation Decision Making

Documenting Decisions

It is important for government officials to carefully evaluate the choices available to them when making transportation decisions. Local governments and State DOTs are required to document their transportation funding decisions. This allows the public to base their input on current and accurate materials provided by the MPO or State DOT. Documents are prepared before and after decisions are made, which allows everyone to see why decisions were made and to provide additional input.

In addition to the documentation just mentioned, FHWA and FTA also prepare official documents to meet NEPA and other legal requirements. Since every transportation project is different, and some are more complex than others, FHWA and FTA prepare one or more of the following documents for each proposed project in conformance with NEPA requirements:

In preparing an EIS, CE, or EA for projects, FHWA and FTA must consider all relevant SEE impacts; provide opportunity for public involvement and input; and work with other Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies to consider their interests as well.

Although the size and complexity of the three levels of NEPA documentation are different, they all serve the same purpose -- to achieve better decisions by making the impact of choices known; and by involving you, the public, in making community-sensitive transportation decisions.

flowchart of the Project Development Process - click for long description
Updated: 3/22/2012
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