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U.S. Department of Transportation Releases Public Involvement Guide

Thursday, October 13, 2022

As States, Tribes and Local Governments Across the Nation Get to Work on Projects Funded by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, New Guide Provides Promising Practices for Meaningful Public Involvement, Helping to Deliver Projects Faster

WASHINGTON -- Today the U.S. Department of Transportation released its Promising Practices for Meaningful Public Involvement in Transportation Decision-Making document, a first-of-its-kind guide for DOT funding recipients and partners that conduct public involvement in the transportation space.

“We know that working with the community, early and often, is one of the best ways to successfully deliver good transportation projects on time,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This guide will help transportation projects get done faster and better serve the entire community.”     

Meaningful public involvement from the beginning has the potential to help projects come to life better, faster and more thoroughly suited to the communities they benefit and impact. To identify obstacles to the full representation of all affected communities, the Department collected information from multiple sources, including transportation stakeholders and communities, to identify obstacles to inclusion in the transportation decision-making process and how to address them. Challenges identified include the use of one-size-fits-all strategies and the lack of accountability for acting on community inputs.  

Today’s guide provides promising practices and concrete examples of what constitutes meaningful public involvement to help address these barriers to inclusion in transportation decision-making. It follows through on a commitment in the Department’s Equity Action Plan, supports implementation of the Department’s Justice40 initiative, and helps ensure inclusion of all community voices in implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

As the Department updates regulations and orders under related authorities, such as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, this guide will help provide a common understanding of meaningful and effective public involvement practices. 

Over the coming months, the Department will be offering additional training and technical assistance around this guide. As a living document, DOT welcomes feedback and input as well as real-life examples of funding recipients that have been able to implement these practices and will accept public comments to inform potential future updates. More information on these trainings and contact information can be found here.