Public Involvement Techniques
Besides dispensing information and arousing interest in a transportation
plan or project, public involvement programs elicit public feedback
and support. Public comment comes to agencies in the form of questions,
challenges, or suggestions for alternative ways of dealing with
Why is feedback important and how can it be used?
Feedback—positive and negative—provides new ideas and
perspectives to help agencies devise plans and projects that meet
the publics needs. It also helps them determine how well the
public understands specific issues and where additional information
is needed for better understanding and support. A more specialized
use of feedback is to determine the success of an outreach program—how
many people have been reached, what percent of the public is represented,
and what portion supports the proposal. As agencies assess feedback,
they take stock of plans and programs to be certain they are providing
the intended public service in the best possible way. Thus, feedback
from the community vitally affects an agencys decision-making
process and the results it generates.
How do agencies improve methods of getting feedback?
This chapter provides a guide to the following steps toward reaching
people and getting their feedback:
A. Establishing places people can find information;
B. Designing programs to bring out community viewpoints and
resolve differences; and
C. Taking initial action steps.
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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).