USDOT published an updated version of the technical assistance resource Promising Practices for Meaningful Public Involvement in Transportation Decision-Making. Public involvement from the beginning and throughout a project’s lifecycle has the potential to help projects come to life faster and to better meet the needs of the community. This guide, first released in October 2022, provides a shared definition of meaningful public involvement and promising practices to help DOT funding recipients across all modes of transportation address barriers to inclusion in decision-making.
USDOT defines meaningful public involvement as a process that proactively seeks full representation from the community, considers public comments and feedback, and incorporates that feedback into a project, program, or plan. This process enables the community and agencies to make better-informed decisions through collaborative efforts.
In response to stakeholder feedback and questions, the updated guide now includes a new appendix on Using Federal Funds for Meaningful Public Involvement Activities, including illustrative examples, such as:
- Hiring Community-Based Organizations
- Providing Food at Public Meetings
- Providing Childcare at Public Meetings
- Providing Financial Incentives or Reimbursements for Participation
The Department continues to accept public comments on the guide via docket DOT-OST-2022-0115 to inform potential future updates.