Public Involvement Process

Background

Developing an effective public involvement program is a strategic effort that requires assembling a selection of techniques to meet the needs of a given transportation plan, program, or project. Current Federal statutes and regulations derived largely from the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) provide general guidelines for locally developed public involvement processes and procedures. There is, however, great flexibility available to transportation agencies in developing specific public involvement programs. Every given situation is different, and each approach to a specific public involvement challenge will be unique.

Public Involvement Process

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) have jointly issued an Interim Policy on Public Involvement. The goal of this policy statement is to aggressively support proactive public involvement at all stages of planning and project development. State departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, and transportation providers are required to develop, with the public, effective involvement processes which are tailored to local conditions. The performance standards for these proactive public involvement processes include early and continuous involvement; reasonable public availability of technical and other information; collaborative input on alternatives, evaluation criteria and mitigation needs; open public meetings where matters related to Federal-aid highway and transit programs are being considered; and open access to the decision-making process prior to closure.

To achieve these objectives, the FHWA and FTA have committed to:

Publications

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