Innovative Public Involvement Strategies for Improving the Quality and Timeliness of Projects
Context Sensitive Solutions
Community & Cultural Concerns, Environmental Process
Research Idea Scope
transportation decision making and project construction procedures. Guidance
should create a customer orientation that permeates operational practices in project planning, development, and construction, and generally improves the agency’s ability to incorporate feedback. Guidance should focus on transportation agency staffing, including use of public involvement specialists, training of project managers, implementation of community liaisons during project construction, and project scheduling to account for a more realistic process of public involvement that is intensive and on-going throughout planning, project development, and project construction processes.
components of a public involvement plan. In addition, research is needed to provide data on the impact of public involvement on project delivery timeframes and ultimate project cost. Information should be presented in a
format useful to agencies as they allocate appropriate resources for public
involvement. The proposed research would involve:
Selection of a national sample of projects across all modes categorized by type, project development cost, construction cost, level of controversy, and complexity of design elements.
Characterization of the nature and extent of the public involvement process for each project, identifying strengths and weaknesses as appropriate.
Determination of the timelines from project conception through project development to commencement of construction.
Comparison of the matrix of projects and determination of how the variable of public involvement affects the development duration and overall cost.
TERI Administrator Note (2007): related Research
NYDOT, Public Involvement Methodologies and Techniques (Research Underway)
Abstract: Planned deliverables include: inventory and assessment of current practices and capabilities; skills and capacity improvements for public involvement and customer relations; recommendations for policy guidance; case studies and practical applications on various projects programs and PRAs to improve capabilities and capacity. Desired Outcomes: This project is intended to improve public involvement and customer relations effectiveness, capabilities and capacity in order to increase customer satisfaction and public trust of the New York State Department of Transportation.
Urgency and Payoff
This research project will develop guidance for stronger incorporation of public involvement in transportation decision making. It will also involve designing and delivering a training program on improved approaches to public involvement.
The benefits of this work will be to provide transportation agencies with greater guidance on how to effectively engage the public in order to build support for projects and expedite project development. If managed effectively, the process of public involvement has the potential to transforms agency culture into a more customer-oriented organization where decision makers interact directly with their constituents. As a result, transportation stakeholders develop a better understanding of agency operations, and agency officials have a better understanding of public thinking. This mutual education broadly improves the agency’s relationship with the public and results in better projects that are developed in a timelier manner.
Interim Planning Activities for a Future Strategic Highway Research Program: Study 4 - Capacity, Transportation Research Board (2003)