Public Involvement for Transportation Planning – Transportation Planning Division

Date(s) - Sep 25, 2015
10:00 am - 11:30 am

The first portion of the webcast will focus on “Go Boston 2030: Imagining Our Transportation Future.”  Go Boston 2030 is a City of Boston initiative to envision a bold transportation future for Boston for the next 5, 10, and 15 years. The 18-month process is being driven by data and steered through an unprecedented and inclusive public engagement process. Hear how the Boston Transportation Department developed their Vision Report through a “Question Campaign” and a “Visioning Lab” and about the process being planned for building an Action Plan the next phase of their community process.  The webcast’s next section will be “2035 Regional Transportation Plan: Using Web 2.0 Channels to Engage Stakeholders in Better Public Policy.”  The increasing use of social-media tools in public outreach activities offers local governments and their regional planning organizations ways to connect with traditional and new audiences in areas of importance to their communities. Mary Beth Ikard, Social Media Coordinator the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, will offer her thoughts on how to use Web 2.0 tools (namely, Facebook & Twitter) to engage stakeholders in what MPO leadership regards as bold, progressive improvements to Middle Tennessee’s governing transportation policies. The final portion of the webcast will be “Innovative Strategies for Public Involvement: A Case Study of Tennessee Department of Transportation.”  This will highlight findings from a grant funded research study from Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and Federal Highways Administration (FHWA). This research study capitalizes on the unique and diverse expertise of the faculty team and research assistants assembled from Tennessee State University (TSU) and the University of Memphis (U of M). Although, it is understood that public participation is fundamental to the planning process, practitioners struggle with low levels of participation. Transportation planners, practitioners, and scholars have had difficulty in selecting an appropriate public participation tools and strategies for their Public Involvement Plans (PIPs) and/or outreach programs. This case study expands the research on public participation by taking an investigative look into TDOT’s Public Involvement Plan (PIP) and their public involvement efforts. The research study identified methods of disseminating information that most effectively communicate the transportation decision making process in such a way to help citizens understand the importance of their role in the process. The research team also discovered no matter which tools TDOT incorporates into their Public Involvement Plan (PI) to enhance public participation, the most important key is to incorporate a tool that is the “best fit” for the community and/or region where the potential projects will be implemented or the engagement is desired.

Speakers: Alice Brown, Mary Beth Ikard, Kimberly L. Triplett.  1.5 CM approved.

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