Public participation (used interchangeably with public involvement) is an integral part of the transportation process, and helps to ensure that decisions are made in consideration of and to benefit public needs and preferences. Early and continuous public involvement brings diverse viewpoints and values into the decision-making process. Conducting meaningful public participation involves seeking public input at specific and key points in the decision-making process, where such input has a real potential to help shape the final decision or set of actions.
CHARACTERISTICS OF AN EFFECTIVE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS
Source: Transportation Planning Process Briefing Book (2019)
Public involvement affects transportation planners early in the long-range planning process, through the project programming and project development phases of the transportation decision-making process. Effective public involvement allows transportation practitioners to access the public’s rich source of ideas and information, which allows for the early identification of opportunities and issues that may affect efficient project delivery. Planners should strive to employ an array of traditional and virtual public involvement techniques and strategies to broaden its engagement to all communities within a planning area. To ensure maximum effectiveness, planners should also routinely monitor the performance of their engagement techniques and strategies.
WHAT ROLE SHOULD DIFFERENT TRANSIT BODIES PLAY IN THE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS?
ACCESSIBLE LOCATIONS AND ACTIVITIES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
AIR QUALITY CONFORMITY PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT PROCEDURES (40 CFR §93.105(e))
EARLY AND CONTINUOUS OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
ELECTRONICALLY PROVIDED INFORMATION (23 CFR §450.210(a)(vi))
ELECTRONICALLY PROVIDED INFORMATION (Federal Agencies) (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508)
LIMITED-ENGLISH-PROFICIENCY (Executive Order #13166)
PUBLIC INPUT ON PERFORMANCE-BASED PLANNING (23 U.S.C §135 (h)(1))
PUBLIC MEETINGS AND HEARINGS
PUBLIC MEETINGS AND HEARINGS (Federal Agencies)
PUBLIC INTEREST (23 U.S.C. §109 (h))
PUBLIC RECORDS (The Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. §552))
IMPROVING AGENCY DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION (Federal Agencies) (Executive Order 13,392)
TRIBAL TRANSPORTATION INVOLVEMENT https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/tribal/references/)
FEDERAL TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT PROCESS https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/transportation-planning/public-involvement-outreach
Regulations related to the use of VISUALIZATION TECHNIQUES to describe the proposed planning documents (23 CFR §450.210(a) and §450.316(a))