Public Involvement Techniques
1.B - Bringing a Core Participating
People want to have a voice in transportation decision-making for
their communities, and agencies must have public involvement to
create a successful planning or project development process. But
where does an agency begin? One approach is to start with a core
group of participantspeople the agency knows are likely to
have a strong interestand then broaden the public involvement
program based on work with the core group. This section presents
three different approaches to establishing a core group of participants:
- Community-based organizations;
- Civic advisory committees;
- Citizens on decision and policy bodies; and
- Collaborative task forces.
Agencies form core groups for either a limited or an extended period
of time, depending on the issues at hand. Core groups usually meet
regularly and are sometimes assigned the tasks of reaching out and
informing others who may want to participate. Membership of a core
group should reflect the range of affected interests. To encourage
people to participate, it is sometimes essential to provide support
to offset out-of-pocket expenses or training to improve peoples
communication and problem-solving skills and enhance their knowledge
of planning methods and terms.
A core group helps agencies establish a working relationship with
the community and take its pulse as a plan or project moves forward.
Agencies often use core groups as key participants in decision-making;
for example, in selecting evaluation criteria or narrowing a set
of possible alternatives.
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For more information about the TPCB program, contact Michelle
at FHWA (202-366-9206) or John Sprowls
at FTA (202-366-5362).