Since the 1970s, Kentucky has implemented a statewide transportation planning process to solicit public involvement through locally elected officials and other representatives of local communities and assist the Cabinet in the identification, evaluation and prioritization of needs. In response to several federal transportation reauthorization acts, this process was expanded to include more comprehensive public involvement, extensive data collection and evaluation of transportation systems and needs. A major portion of this program is accomplished through a cooperative program with the nine Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), 15 Area Development Districts (ADDs) and the 12 Highway District Offices. The regional planning program addresses the non-MPO of Kentucky. The KYTC contracts with the 15 ADDs to assist in transportation planning in areas outside of the MPO boundaries and develops the work plans for the ADDs to help address the federal requirements.
Each ADD maintains a transportation advisory committee with representatives of local government, transportation users and provides economic, industrial, planning and land-use interests, other special interests, traditionally transportation underserved representatives and the general public. Through the interests and involvement of the committees and an extensive data collection and system analyses effort by the Transportation Planner, transportation needs are identified, documented and then prioritized every two years and provided as input to Kentucky’s Six-Year Plan. As part of this comprehensive process, regional goals, public involvement plans and analyses of major access routes serve as developed and utilized. The ADD Transportation Planners, although not Cabinet employees, are extensions of the KYTC staff through an annual contract process.