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Public Involvement / Public Participation

Public Involvement is a fundamental component of effective transportation planning, project development, and implementation. The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) in 2005 - continued to broaden opportunities for public participation in transportation decision-making.

Interested persons have the opportunity for a voice in how our transportation system is developed. This public input provides critical information to State Departments of Transportation (DOTs), Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), public transportation providers and resource agencies to more fully understand and assess potential impacts from possible transportation projects as viewed by the community. Early and continuing public involvement allows transportation and resource organizations to be aware of potential issues, problems and impacts, to discuss them more comprehensively, and to determine how to address such concerns.

Public involvement occurs at all stages of the transportation lifecycle. At the planning stage, public involvement is less about specific project development and more about setting strategic directions and long range objectives. While it can be more challenging to engage interested parties at this stage, there is tremendous value in emphasizing the benefits of public involvement and public participation at these early stages.

The FHWA Resource Center Public Participation Plans offers a seminar/webinar that focuses on new SAFETEA-LU requirements relating to Public Participation Plans, interested parties, and visualization. Notable practices from State DOTs and MPOs are presented. For additional information on Public Involvement / Public Participation contact Jocelyn Jones.


FHWA Public Participation website provides general information and links to other resources,

FHWA Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) website, Public Section: This site links to a variety of technical papers, reports, and other published materials. This portion of the site, a number of links are included to a wide range of PI resources and case studies.

Public Participation / Public Involvement Transportation Planning Process Resource Guide was 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.

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