What We've Found
A public involvement plan should be created to consider all public involvement activities that are best suited for the needs of each particular project. Accordingly, the project development team should devise the public involvement plan for every project as it is advanced through project development. The plan may range from individual property owner contacts
for small projects to a series of public involvement meetings
or public hearings for more complex projects. Some public involvement plans may include formation of a citizens’ advisory group
to involve a large number of property owners or special interest groups on projects where significant environmental issues or concerns must be addressed. The key is to create a plan that allows the Cabinet to communicate with the public in order to make the best transportation decision.Just the Facts
The project team needs to establish an outline of the public involvement plan as early in the project development phase as possible. The plan must include any federally required public hearings and may be supplemented by additional public involvement meetings, which will contribute to better decisions on the location or detail of a project. This plan may be adjusted as the project advances and should therefore be reviewed by the project team at critical stages in project development. The plan should also consider other means of communication in order to obtain public input. Examples may include telephone
, and focus groups
.How To Do It
1. Identify the purpose of the plan
- What transportation decisions are to be made?
- What is the desired level of involvement/influence?
2. Be involved with the project development process
3. Determine the history of public involvement related to this project
4. Understand the affected communities/public
- Community profile: social, economic, and political structure of the community
- Key community issues and interests
- Assessment of community awareness/knowledge about this project
- Identification of special sensitivities and/or requirements related to public involvement methods and activities
5. Describe the overall approach for public involvement
- Gathering of input
- Opportunities for direct involvement
- Pathways for incorporating input into decision-making
- Feedback to public about decision-making
- Plan for monitoring/evaluating/readjusting the public involvement plan
6. Define the specific action steps, techniques, and timing for public involvement
- Who will do what?
- Within what timeline?
- With what resources?
The information for this page was obtained from the Public Involvement section of the Highway Design Manual, which can be found here.