USDOT Connects You to Opportunity Part 1: The Transportation Toolkit
Did you know that you may already be a potential transportation leader – even if you have no prior experience? Because you travel every day on roads, railways, airways, sidewalks and trails to connect with the places you live, work, and play, you most likely have a lot of ideas for how to make these systems better.
Many people don’t realize that they have an important role in deciding where and how transportation systems get planned, funded, designed, built and maintained. While transportation agencies around the U.S. offer opportunities for public involvement, the process may be confusing and intimidating, especially for people who have never heard of a MPO or a TIP.
DOT is launching the Every Place Counts: Leadership Academy to help demystify the transportation process. The Leadership Academy can help emerging unrepresented community leaders – people with great ideas but who may not be experts in transportation – to work their local and state transportation agencies in a proactive, constructive way.
Together, we can build transportation systems that really work for “Every Place” in the U.S.
If you don’t understand the process, it’s hard to get meaningfully involved in transportation decisions. So, my team at DOT created a set of tools that can help you learn about transportation and even give you the skills to teach your friends and neighbors:
- The Transportation Toolkit explains the basics using clear design and plain language. This Toolkit helps people figure out how to be effective in transportation decisions. For example, it explains how to find good data to show the need for a transportation project and when may be the best time to contact an agency with an idea.
- For people who want a high-level overview, the Quick Guide introduces you to the content of the Toolkit in a short, colorful booklet.
- For people interested in learning more, an Online Resource Library has resources with more detail on topics like the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and civil rights laws.
- A Facilitator’s Guide can help emerging community leaders lead their own Leadership Academy through a set of activities that help participants learn the content of the Toolkit.
In October, we shared an early version of this Transportation Toolkit with over 100 members of the public. These participants represented Americans young and old, across several states. They had a lot of great ideas to improve the Toolkit.
Starting today, you’ll see the Toolkit, the Quick Guide, the Resource Library, and the Online Resource Library on our web page (www.transportation.gov/LeadershipAcademy) so people like you can download these resources and host Leadership Academies in your own communities.
Together, we can make the future of transportation planning and project delivery sustainable, inclusive, and attuned to community needs. We can make sure Every Place Counts.