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Working Together on Transportation Planning: An Approach to Collaborative Decision Making

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This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the Department
of Transportation in the interest of information exchange.  The United
States Government assumes no liability for the contents or use


U.S. Department of Transportation                400 Seventh St., S.W.
Federal Transit Administration                  Washington, D.C. 20590

                         (Recvd July 8, 1995)                  C-95-17

Dear Transit Colleague:

I am pleased to provide you with a copy of the enclosed publication,
"Working Together on Transportation Planning: An Approach to
Collaborative Decision Making." This report provides information to
Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in developing a consensus-
based planning approach in which MPOs work in partnership with
transportation stakeholders including community groups, special
interest groups, minorities, public agencies, private sector
interests, and elected officials to develop transportation plans and
programs with maximum community involvement.  It also provides
detailed examples that demonstrate how MPOs can design collaborative
processes that meet the intent of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990
and the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991
(ISTEA) and strengthen the plans produced by the MPOs.

Chapter one describes the project and the research methodology. 
Chapter two summarizes the impact of ISTEA on MPOs during the revision
of their transportation decision making process, Chapter three
presents a four stage consensus building model which can direct MPOs
in implementing a collaborative planning process.  The final chapter
describes how to measure the success of the collaborative process once
implemented.  Case studies of the public involvement processes used by
six MPOs are included in the appendix.

If you need additional copies, please contact your Regional Office.


                                       Gordon J. Linton



                          WORKING TOGETHER ON

                       TRANSPORTATION PLANNING:


                            DECISION MAKING

                             Prepared for

                           Office of Policy

                    Federal Transit Administration

                   U.S. Department of Transportation

                    Report No. FTA-DC-26-6013-95-1

                             Prepared by:


                         in association with:

                 Program For Community Problem Solving

                               May 1995


                           Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                                    1
  Introduction                                                       1
  Collaborative Transportation Planning: The MPO Experience To Date  1
  Approaches For Implementing A Collaborative Planning Process       2
  Evaluating the Success of A Collaborative Process                  3
  Acknowledgments                                                    4

CHAPTER I                                                            5

INTRODUCTION                                                         5
  A. PURPOSE OF REPORT                                               5
  C. APPROACH USED TO DEVELOP REPORT                                 5
  D. HOW THE REPORT IS ORGANIZED                                     6

CHAPTER II                                                           8

COLLABORATIVE TRANSPORTATION PLANNING:                               8

THE MPO EXPERIENCE                                                   8
  A. THE ISTEA AND CAAA PLANNING PROVISIONS                          8
     1. The Need For Greater Participation                           9
     2. Providing Timely Information                                10
     3. Representation of Non-Traditional Stakeholders              10
     4. Expanding the Public's Decision Making Role                 11
     1. Strategies                                                  12
        a. Using Innovative Planning Techniques                     12
        b. Appointing Non-Traditional Stakeholders to Key
            Committees                                              13
        c. Creation of Effective Citizen's Advisory Committees      13
        d. Assistance of Consultants or Facilitators
     2. Lessons Learned                                             16
     1. Engaging The Public                                         17
     2. Assuming New Authority                                      18
     3. Developing A Regional Perspective                           18
     4. Balancing Limited Resources                                 19

Working Together on Transportation Planning


CHAPTER III                                                         20

  B. PRINCIPLES OF COLLABORATION                                    21
     1. Getting Started                                             23
     2. Defining the Task                                           23
     3. Making Choices                                              24
     4. Implementing Decisions                                      25

       RESOLUTION SYSTEMS                                           25

CHAPTER IV                                                          27


  A. SUCCESS INDICATORS                                             27
  B. METHODS OF MEASURING SUCCESS                                   28

CONCLUSION                                                          29

RESOURCES                                                           30

  GLOSSARY                                                          30
  BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                      31

  RESOURCE ORGANIZATIONS                                            34
     MPO Contacts                                                   34

APPENDIX                                                            37

  CASE STUDIES                                                      37
     TRIBES                                                         37
     ISTEA and Tribal Involvement                                   37
     Education Workshop About Organizational Procedures and Customs 38
     A Training and Consultation Workshop on Collaborative
     Transportation Planning                                        38
     Organizational Kick-off Meeting for MOU Development Process    38
     ISTEA Provisions for MIS                                       39
     RFP for Public Involvement in MIS                              40
     Eastern Corridor MIS Objective                                 40
     Public Involvement Elements                                    40
     Three Phases to Complete MIS                                   41
  C. EAST-WESTGATEWAY COORDINATING COUNCIL                          41
     Three Part Public Involvement Process                          42
     Kickoff Conference                                             42
     Citizen Advisory Committees                                    43
     Informational Efforts                                          43

Working Together on Transportation Planning


  Conclusion                                                        44

     Established New Partnerships                                   44
     Long-Range Plan Development                                    45
     Conclusion                                                     46

E. ADA PLANNING ASSOCIATION                                         47
     2010 Regional Transportation Plan Update                       47
     Boise Visions                                                  48
     Bench/Valley Transportation Study                              49
     Conclusion                                                     51

F. SANTA BARBARA GENERAL PLAN UPDATE                                51

Working Together on Transportation Planning



                           Executive Summary

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991
has redefined the role of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs)
in the transportation decision making process.  In addition to
providing MPOs with greater authority in defining regional
transportation systems, the Act emphasizes intermodal planning and
greater community and private sector involvement in developing plans
and programs.  It is essential for MPOs to continue their ongoing
collaborative forums related to transportation decision making.  This
report is designed to explore innovative methods of enhancing public
and private sector participation during the transportation planning
process and to assist MPOs in modifying and/or developing flexible
collaborative decision making strategies.1


Chapter One describes the project and research methodology.  A
research assessment (available upon request from NARC) of twenty-eight
MPOs was conducted to collect information on public involvement
techniques used during the development of a longrange plan or
transportation improvement program.  Based on the data collected, six
MPOs were selected for additional investigation.  An examination of
best practices utilized in other fields was also conducted.  Finally,
Chapter One describes how the report is organized.

Collaborative Transportation Planning: The MPO Experience To Date

Chapter Two summarizes ISTEA and its impact on MPOs during the
revision of their transportation decision making processes.  Section A
provides a brief overview of the ISTEA and CAAA planning provisions. 
Section B focuses on the public participation provisions included in
the joint Statewide and Metropolitan Planning Regulations developed to
assist the implementation of ISTEA.  The discussion covers the need
for greater proactivity and provision of timely information.  Greater
opportunities for representation of non-traditional stakeholders and
the expansion of the public's decision making role are also examined,

Due to the complex structure of many MPOs, efforts to encourage a
regional approach to transportation decision making have proven to be
extremely difficult.  The multistate status of many MPOs, fragmented
land use policies at the local level, and tendencies to make decisions
based on parochial interests contribute to the obstacles evident in
developing plans supported by the entire region.  MPOs face a major
challenge in engaging community leaders and the general public in
planning processes geared to produce long-term benefits for the region
as a whole rather than immediate direct benefits to particular
neighborhoods.  The creation of a process based on consensus is an
important vehicle to encourage flexibility and promote dialogue
between diverse groups with conflicting interests.

Often, those groups directly affected by transportation decisions are
the most difficult segments of the metropolitan population to reach. 
Many citizens, such as members of

1  In this document,"collaboration"is used to mean joint planning
   efforts, where an MPO works with community residents, special
   interest groups, elected officials, and other agency
   representatives as true partners in the planning process

Working Together on Transportation Planning                     Page 1


minority groups, people with low incomes, and transit-dependent
individuals, are unaware, unable, or for other reasons, do not take
advantage of their opportunities to provide input into the planning
process on a regular basis.  Traditionally, many citizens have not
become involved in transportation planning processes unless a
controversial issue being considered directly affects them.  The
challenge is to reach such citizens and stimulate participatory
interest at the grassroots level.  In order to accomplish this goal,
MPO staffs need to develop new strategies to engage the public.

Section C reviews MPO efforts and recommendations for creating
effective public participation strategies while section D discusses
reasons to push further to achieve a truly collaborative process. 
MPOs will need to negotiate differences between the diverse groups
attempting to influence the process and help them to identify mutual
goals.  A collaborative decision making process based on consensus
building can create such opportunities.

The final section discusses challenges MPOs face in establishing
collaborative planning processes, as well as examples of what some
MPOs are doing to address these challenges.

Approaches For Implementing A Collaborative Planning Process

Linking public involvement and collaborative problem solving can
assist MPOs in developing successful public participation programs. 
Local governments and citizens can reap the benefits of developing a
collaborative decision making process.  Collaborative problem solving
is a proactive process that provides a dialogue during all stages of
planning.  Controversial issues are explored through a consensus
building process, thereby preventing situations where parties might
feel they are not treated fairly or left out entirely.  The
fundamental principal of collaboration is that it is based on
inclusiveness.  In order to operate a decision making process based on
consensus: 1) all stakeholders should be involved at the beginning of
the process; 2) all potentially affected parties must be afforded an
opportunity to participate in the process; and 3) community and
private sector input should be reflected in the final product.

MPOs and/or local elected officials can make the process compelling by
demonstrating its relevance to community and private sector groups. 
The process itself must then be designed by the group.  Through
collaboration the stakeholders participating in the process can forge
a partnership leading to an ongoing relationship that will address
longterm planning efforts.

Chapter Three presents a four-stage consensus building model, which
can direct MPOs in implementing a collaborative planning process.  The
four stages of the consensus building model include getting started,
defining the task, making choices, and implementing decisions.  The
four-stage model provided can be used as the starting point in
developing more collaborative local processes.  Local conditions will
influence process development.  The model presented can be modified to
fit the needs of the organization using it, because it is important
for MPOs and citizens to design a process with which all feel

Many of the MPOs that developed effective public participation
programs created a public participation plan which was linked to the
decision making process for their long-range plan.  After establishing
committees with representation from community and private sector
groups, the goals and objectives of the long-range planning team were
developed by the group.  The evaluation criteria were also developed
in a similar fashion.  MPOs

Working Together on Transportation Planning                     Page 2


can develop regional plans that are strongly supported by community
and private sector groups by creating opportunities for meaningful
involvement by all stakeholders throughout plan development.

Evaluating the Success of A Collaborative Process

Chapter Four briefly describes how to measure the success of the
collaborative process once implemented.  An evaluation component is
also considered important in determining whether adjustments are
needed to the process developed by an MPO, Techniques that can be used
to measure success include identifying the beneficial outcomes of the

This report presents a variety of challenges, that MPOs, local
governments, and ultimately, transportation stakeholders should
address, concerning the provisions of ISTEA, but it also demonstrates
that with the right resources, these entities are capable of meeting
these challenges.  By providing opportunities for meaningful
involvement in the transportation decision making process, MPOs may
gain public support for transportation plans and projects.  Some MPOs
have demonstrated the potential for developing effective programs but
are confronted with many challenges such as limited resources and
political constraints.  Developing a public participation process that
is based on consensus building has proven to be effective in forging a
partnership among all stakeholders that is proactive, resource
efficient, and beneficial to all parties involved

Increased concern with the transportation system and the quality of
the air we breathe reflects the need for a change in the way we
conduct business.  A collaborative effort directed on a regional level
appears to be an effective way of addressing the existing
transportation and air quality problems in the United States.

Working Together on Transportation Planning                     Page 3



This document was developed jointly by the National Association of
Regional Councils (NARC) and the Program for Community Problem Solving
(PCPS) with funding provided by the Federal Transit Administration. 
NARC promotes understanding of multi-purpose regional councils,
represents its members before Congress and the federal government, and
provides technical assistance and educational services.  PCPS, a
consortium of six associations, assists communities across the country
in using collaborative approaches for controversial issues, such as
long-range planning, multi-sectoral partnerships, and program

NARC would like to thank the following transportation stakeholders for
their participation in this effort:

Southern California Association of Governments, Los Angeles, CA
Chicago Area Transportation Study, Chicago, IL
Metropolitan Transportation Council, New York, NY
Metropolitan Transportation Commission, San Francisco, CA
Atlanta Regional Council, Atlanta, GA
East-West Gateway Coordinating Council, St. Louis, MO
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Washington, D.C.
Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, Detroit, Ml
Maricopa Association of Governments, Phoenix, AZ
Central Massachusetts Metropolitan Planning Organization, Worcester, 
Capitol Region Council of Governments, Hartford, CT
Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Council of Governments, Cincinnati, OH BCKP
Regional Intergovernmental Council, Dunbar, WV
North Front Range Transportation and Air Quality Planning Council,
Fort Collins, CO
Ada Planning Association, Boise, ID
Mid-America Regional Council, Kansas City, MO
Metropolitan Service District, Portland OR
Bannock Planning Organization, Pocatello, ID
Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, Springdale, AR
Chatham Urban Transportation Study, Savannah, GA
Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, Essex Junction, VT
Green River Area Development District, Owensboro, KY
Transportation Advisory Committee, Hickory, NC
Amalgamated Transit Union
Highway Users Federation for Safety and Mobility
National Association of Neighborhoods
National Resources Council of Maine
1000 Friends of Oregon
Save the Bay
United Parcel Services
Western North Carolina Alliance.

Working Together on Transportation Planning                     Page 4


                               CHAPTER I



This report provides examples to MPOs and other transportation
stakeholders for developing collaborative decision making processes
for producing transportation plans and programs to meet the challenges
of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the Intermodal Surface
Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991.  These legislative initiatives
empower MPOs, State DOTs, and the communities they serve to work
together throughout the development and adoption of transportation
plans.  This report shows, through detailed examples and practical
advice, how MPOs can design collaborative processes that fulfill the
intent of these Federal statutes and strengthen the plans produced by


Collaborative decision making as applied to transportation planning
refers to a consensus-based planning approach in which MPOs work in
partnership with citizens, special interest groups, other agencies,
and elected officials to develop transportation plans and programs
with maximum community support.  This partnership is developed at the
beginning and continues throughout the plan development and approval
process, in contrast to the review and comment approach historically
utilized by many government agencies to provide stakeholders with
input after the plans have been developed.

There are several benefits from using a well-conducted collaborative
problem solving process, including:

   -  Maximum creativity, resources, and power brought to bear on
      tough issues;

   -  Effective engagement of diverse segments of the public;

   -  Consensus on a maximum number of issues;

   -  Smoothest possible implementation of resulting decisions; and

   -  Strengthened working relationships between the MPO and the

Collaborative forums can be very effective vehicles for
intergovernmental coordination and the development of multi-sector
partnerships valuable for plan implementation.


The development of this report began with a research assessment of
MPOs' Current public involvement practices.  Data collected from the
assessment were used to determine which MPOs would be selected for
more detailed case studies.  Additional research activities included
collecting data from a variety of private sector, public.interest, and
advocacy groups, and an examination of collaborative practices being
used in other

Working Together on Transportation Planning                     Page 5



The purpose of the research assessment was to develop an understanding
of how MPOs currently conduct their decision making processes and to
evaluate current practices used by the MPOs to elicit public
participation during the transportation planning process.  NARC, the
Program for Community Problem Solving (PCPS), and the Federal Transit
and Federal Highway Administration staff together selected twenty-
eight MPOs for initial data collection.  The sample included MPOs
representing a diversity of population sizes, air quality
designations, and regional locations.

Based on the data collected, case studies were conducted at six MPOs
having innovative public involvement processes.  The case studies were
designed to obtain in-depth, qualitative data about decision making
methods currently used by MPOs.  The six MPOs selected for further
study were: Bannock Planning Organization in Pocatello, Idaho; Ohio-
Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments in Cincinnati, Ohio;
Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Planning Commission i n Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania; Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission
in Savannah, Georgia; Ada Planning Association in Boise, Idaho; and
East-West Gateway Coordinating Council in St. Louis, Missouri.  The
investigation consisted of three-day visits to each site to obtain
additional information from the full set of stakeholders participating
in the decision making process.

The initial assessment of collaborative decision making also included
an examination of "best practices" utilized in other fields. 
Information was gathered on techniques that could assist in developing
a framework for decision making processes useful for MPOs.


Chapter Two, Collaborative Transportation Planning: The MPO
Experience, is divided into six sections.  A brief summary of the
provisions of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of
1991, and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 is included.  The
public participation provisions are then highlighted, followed by a
discussion of the lessons MPOs have learned from their efforts to
date, and of new directions they are taking to provide greater
opportunities for public input.  The chapter concludes with a
discussion of challenges in making collaboration work and examples of
strategies MPOs are using to overcome them.

Chapter Three, Approaches to Implementing a Collaborative Planning
Process, discusses the public involvement/collaboration continuum. 
The link between public involvement and collaborative problem solving
is evaluated.  Some of the approaches used by MPOs to provide
opportunities for public input are examined, and strategies to create
a consensus-based decision making process are identified.  The
principles of collaboration are defined, and a four-stage model for
collaborative planning provides a framework for MPOs interested in
implementing such a process.  The final section explores the benefits
of institutionalizing a collaborative decision making system versus ad
hoc development of a decision making process.

Chapter Four, Evaluating the Success of Your Collaborative Process,
briefly provides examples to MPOs on how to evaluate their process to
determine what adjustments are necessary to improve subsequent
efforts.  A variety of "success indicators" and methods of measuring
the effectiveness of the process is provided.

The report also includes a resource section which contains a glossary
of relevant

Working Together on Transportation Planning                     Page 6


transportation terms, a bibliography, a list of resource
organizations, and appendices.  The appendix includes a description of
three of the case studies conducted during the initial data collection
phase and an example of an effective process implemented using
collaborative decision making in another field which can be applied in
the transportation arena.

Working Together on Transportation Planning                     Page 7


                              CHAPTER II

                Collaborative Transportation Planning:

                          The MPO Experience


The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991
and the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1990 link the development
of transportation plans and programs to improve the nation's
transportation system with the attainment of national air quality
standards.  Together, they provide the foundation for moving people
and goods more effectively in the future.

ISTEA contains various innovative provisions and alters the focus of
transportation planning.  Bob Kochanowski, Executive Director of the
Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Planning Commission in Pittsburgh,
says that ISTEA not only levels the playing field between highway and
transit interests, "it changes the game's rules, spots the underdog
points, moves the competition into a new stadium, drafts new players,
and even invites the spectators onto the field.  The Act is a grand
experiment in democracy in the transportation arena, and there's
plenty of room for everyone.

The CAAA stresses tighter integration of transportation and air
quality planning processes than preceding clean air legislation. 
Regional and State transportation plans must be consistent with State
air quality plans that include strategies to meet or attain Federal
air quality standards.  Strict Federal penalties, including the
withholding of Federal funds, may be imposed if the provisions
provided in the CAAA are not met within prescribed deadlines.  The
CAAA prohibits the expenditure of any funds on transportation
projects, included in a transportation plan, unless the entire plan is
consistent with or conforms to the State air quality plan.

In regions classified as non-attainment areas because of unacceptable
pollution levels, the transportation plans must include strategies,
identified in the State Implementation Plan (SIP), such as
ridesharing, high occupancy vehicle lanes, busways, etc., that will
help the area reach acceptable air quality standards within a time
period prescribed by the Act.  In non-attainment Transportation
Management Areas, ISTEA reinforces the CAAA by requiring that any new
highway or transit project, which will significantly increase single
occupant vehicle capacity, must be a part of an approved Congestion
Management System including a variety of Transportation System
Management and Transportation Demand Management strategies to reduce
congestion and air pollution.

Together, ISTEA and the CAAA change the decision making arrangements
in transportation.  They strengthen the role of metropolitan planning
organizations, minimize the barriers between highway and transit funds
to provide greater spending flexibility, and establish new criteria to
be followed in developing transportation plans and programs, including
the attainment of clean air standards.

1  Thomas, Clarke M. ISTEA: A Different Kind of Highway Act. 
   University of Pittsburgh, Institute of Politics.

Working Together on Transportation Planning                     Page 8


Transportation planning is shifting greater attention to goods
movement.  Consideration should be given to freight and the intermodal
aspects of the transportation system because they have significant
impact on how well the system operates.  Establishing more efficient
connections between modes is important.  Private sector freight
shippers including rail, sea, and air must be included in examining
intermodal issues.

The need for broad public participation underlies many of these
changes.  The roles of citizens and interest groups are enhanced to
include early and meaningful participation in developing plans from
the beginning of the process to its end.  Some of the most important
changes and their relation to greater public participation are
described below.


The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Highway
Administration (FHWA) jointly issued the final planning regulations
(23 CFR Part 450) guiding the development of statewide and
metropolitan plans and programs on October 28, 1993.  These
regulations require MPOs to have "a proactive public involvement
process that provides complete information, timely public notice, full
public access to key decisions, and supports early and continuing
involvement of the public" (23 CFR 450.316(b)(1)).

The public involvement portion of the joint planning regulations
expands the decision making process involved in developing and
implementing transportation plans and programs.  If ISTEA is to be
successful, broad public involvement in making transportation
decisions must occur.  Traditional planning procedures have generally
considered the direct input of communities in the final stages of a
linear decision making process in which an MPO or State DOT staff
prepares a plan and then attempts to "sell it" to various constituents
including the business community, environmental organizations, and
citizen groups.

In addition to the joint planning regulations, in December of 1994 the
FTA and the FHWA issued an interim policy on public involvement. 
Consistent with the Clinton Administration's objective of "putting
people first", "it is the policy of the FTA and FHWA to aggressively
support proactive public involvement at all stages of planning and
project development.  State departments of transportation,
metropolitan planning organizations, and transportation providers must
develop, with the public, effective involvement processes which are
custom-tailored to local conditions." As a part of this policy, FTA
and FHWA commit to promoting an active role for the public in the
development of plans and programs, to sponsoring outreach, training,
and technical assistance programs, and to evaluating processes and
procedures implemented by MPOs and states.

1. The Need For Greater Participation

In order to encourage citizen participation, MPOs must educate the
public about their services.  The Metropolitan Transportation
Commission (MTC) in Oakland, CA, has utilized a variety of approaches
to educate the public during the development of its longrange plan. 
The MTC Public Information Division has sponsored special conferences,
workshops, and public meetings where information is presented both
orally and in writing, in a format that can be readily understood
outside of transportation circles.  In addition, the staff goes to the
public instead of expecting the public to come to the MPO by
sponsoring activities such as small community meetings.

MPOs need to develop strong outreach programs in order to develop new
relationships of

Working Together on Transportation Planning                     Page 9


mutual trust and understanding with citizens and private sector
groups.  In order to accomplish this, local elected officials serving
on MPO boards must increase their involvement in their communities. 
The joint planning regulations state that "...where appropriate,
existing MPOs should increase the representation of local elected
officials on the policy board and other committees as a means for
encouraging their greater involvement in MPO processes (23 CFR 450.306
(i)).  Many MPOs, that have created effective public participation
plans, concentrated initial efforts on educating local elected
officials and mayors and then directly involved them in community
outreach programs developed by the MPO staff.  The Ada Planning
Association in Boise, ID, involved local elected officials during its
long-range plan outreach activities, which included having elected
officials from varying jurisdictions sponsor public meetings (See
Appendix, page 47).

Early public involvement can steer the development of future highway
and transit improvement alternatives into areas of support and away
from deadlock at the end of the process.  Broad participation is
necessary in linking transportation strategies to related issues such
as environmental and socioeconomic goals.  The implementation of
transportation strategies to reduce pollutant levels will need
substantial public involvement to be successful.  Ridesharing, HOV
use, transit ridership, congestion pricing, and other pieces of the
solution depend on an informed public for implementation.  Early
public involvement in developing these strategies will help to ensure
their success.

2. Providing Timely Information

Federal regulations indicate the process should provide for "...timely
information about transportation issues and processes to citizens,
affected public agencies, representatives of transportation agency
employees, private providers of transportation, other interested
parties and segments of the community affected by transportation
plans, programs, and projects ... (23 CFR 450.316(b)(1)(ii)). In an
effort to inform stakeholders about the process, the regulations state
that the process "provide reasonable public access to technical and
policy information used in the development of plans," (23 CFR 450.316
(b)(1)(iii)) and give "adequate public notice of public involvement
activities and time for public review and comment at key decision
points, including, but not limited to, approval of plans and TIPs (23
CFR 450.316( b)(1)(iv))."

Despite the belief by some transportation staffs that involving the
public delays the planning process, various MPO experiences indicate
that timely involvement by the public can actually speed up the
process.  As noted by East-West Gateway staff, "strong citizen
participation may result in a better plan and better assurances for
implementation." By creating opportunities for the public to be
involved throughout the process, planners may avoid costly delays and
litigation.  Early, continuous, and meaningful involvement is often
effective in cultivating citizens' sense of ownership in plans and

3. Representation of Non-Traditional Stakeholders

Many public participation plans provide opportunities for "interested
parties" to receive additional information about the transportation
planning process.  Unfortunately, "interested parties" often only
include those groups that traditionally participated in the process
(e.g., interest groups, environmentalists, and "professional
citizens").  There needs to be greater emphasis placed on attracting
participation from the "uninformed public." Public participation plans
should be designed to "seek out and consider the needs of those
traditionally underserved by existing transportation systems including

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 10


not limited to low-income and minority households." (23 CFR

A collaborative decision making process encourages the creation of a
process that is truly inclusive, ensuring that all stakeholders
participate.  In an effort to attract nontraditional stakeholders,
several MPOs have created advisory committees that specifically target
underserved citizens.  For example, the Metropolitan Council-Twin
Cities MPO created the Minority Issues Advisory Committee, the
Advisory Committee on Aging, and the Developmental Disabilities
Advisory Committee to ensure participation by these groups which are
traditionally not heard during the transportation decision making
process.  The Council also actively recruited non-traditional
stakeholders to participate in activities such as the Regional Transit
Board and the Transit Advisory Board through advertising positions in
several newspapers, including three minority-owned newspapers.

4. Expanding the Public's Decision Making Role

With the growing empowerment of community groups, citizen
participation near the end of the planning process has often resulted
in opposition that ultimately defeats or defers a particular plan or
project.  This failure usually reflects an assumption that business
and community groups are problems, not resources, in making decisions. 
All sides have too often viewed each other as adversaries, instead of
partners in effectively addressing transportation issues through
collaborative planning.

ISTEA seeks to rectify this situation by encouraging early and
meaningful involvement in the transportation planning process.  New
partnerships are developing.  For example, the New York Metropolitan
Transportation Commission conducted an Intermodal Management System
Private Sector workshop for shippers, carriers, etc. to educate them
on how the transportation planning process operates.  The Metropolitan
Transportation Commission's (MTC) Regional Bicycle Advisory Committee
in the San Francisco Bay Area, held a one-day conference to develop
consensus on bicycle plans and projects throughout the region, and the
Spanish Speaking Unity Council has been working with MTC on a
neighborhood redevelopment plan around a local BART station in
Oakland.  Politicians, planners, and engineers can benefit from the
public's expertise in particular areas of interest.


The joint planning regulations have outlined basic steps that MPOs
should take and principles they should follow in order to provide
effective public input opportunities.  To understand the types of
public participation approaches currently being used by MPOs and thus
assess the kind of information they might need to comply with ISTEA's
provisions, the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) and
the Program for Community Problem Solving, under FTA sponsorship,
conducted a research assessment and case study investigations. 
Twenty-eight MPOs, representing a broad cross-section in terms of size
and air quality classification, were asked to respond to the research
assessment.  In the assessment, MPOs were asked to:

   -  Indicate who is responsible for establishing their public
      involvement process for developing TIPs and long-range plans;

   -  Indicate changes and innovative public involvement strategies
      they have utilized since the passage of ISTEA;

   -  Determine how these revised public involvement processes are

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 11


   -  Discuss problems encountered;

   -  Identify the pros and cons of public involvement;

   -  Indicate which groups are participating in public involvement
      forums; and

   -  Provide recommendations for others on how to develop a
      successful public involvement program.

1. Strategies

In response to the need for greater public participation, many MPOs
have implemented aggressive outreach programs which included
strategies such as: the use of innovative pubic involvement programs;
the appointment of non-traditional stakeholders to key committees; the
creation of effective citizen advisory committees; the development of
new public participation plans; and the reliance on the assistance of
consultants and facilitators.

In utilizing a variety of techniques to educate the public and
encourage greater public input, MPO staff have made presentations to
numerous organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, civic groups,
school boards, and neighborhood associations.  As noted previously,
MPOs have also produced a variety of publications highlighting the
important provisions of ISTEA and the CAAA and defining the language
of transportation planning.  The success in implementing controversial
transportation projects experienced by many MPOs has been linked to
their development of collaborative decision making processes.  By
designing a collaborative decision making process, MPOs work with a
broad range of stakeholders, including local elected officials, who
generally represent the voting members of an MPO board, to develop a
plan that is supported by all participants.

a. Using Innovative Planning Techniques

Many of the MPOs created successful public involvement programs prior
to the passage of ISTEA.  For example, the Ada Planning Association in
Boise, Idaho, works with a public that is "committee conscious." Many
residents serve on two or three different committees.  Grassroots
organizations are very powerful, and public involvement is considered
to be crucial to the passage of plans and projects.  Community and
private sector groups have played a major role in developing key
planning documents, including Boise Visions and the 2010 Regional

The Boise Visions process, initiated by the mayor, included a survey
designed to identify the three major concerns of Boise citizens.  The
survey lead to the development of a steering committee and
subcommittee that created a document designed to lead the region's
planning activities over the next twenty years.  During the process,
Ada staff held televised town-hall meetings and worked closely with
the media to publish articles on the process, which included newspaper
cut-out coupons to elicit public response.

During the 2010 Regional Plan Update Ada staff used two public
involvement processes designed to meet the needs of both the rural and
urban population of the Boise region.  The design of the process
served to eliminate any feelings that the transportation needs of the
rural community were being overlooked in favor of the urban community
and increased participation by citizens representing rural and urban
communities (see Appendix, page 47).

In examining public involvement techniques utilized in fields other
than transportation to

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ensure participation by groups representing underserved groups, Santa
Barbara, CA provides a strong example.  During the Santa Barbara,
California General Plan update, staff outreach efforts included
visiting African American and Hispanic churches and broadcasting a
bilingual television program explaining the general plan update
process (See Appendix, page 51).

b. Appointing Non-Traditional Stakeholders to Key Committees

MPOs generally use policy, technical, and citizen advisory committees
in developing longrange plans and transportation improvement programs. 
As a result of the passage of ISTEA, many MPOs are expanding existing
committees and developing new ones to address the new planning
provisions.  The planning regulations indicate that the process
"provide for the involvement of traffic, ridesharing, parking,
transportation safety and enforcement agencies, commuter rail
operators, airport and port authorities, toll authorities, appropriate
private transportation providers, and where appropriate city
officials..."(23 CFR 450.316(b)(4)).

New partnerships have been created by appointing private sector and
community group representatives to key long-range plan development
committees at various MPOs.  In an attempt to create committees
representative of all modes, transit, railroad, and trucking
representatives have been appointed voting members of technical
committees.  The Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Planning
Commission in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, reorganized its Board
following the passage of ISTEA and added four new voting members-two
transit operators, a representative from the City of Pittsburgh, and a
representative of the Governor's office (See Appendix, page 44).

MPOs have also created new committees, such as freight advisory
councils and intermodal planning committees, to obtain input from the
private sector during plan development.  MTC, located in Oakland, CA,
began the Bay Area Partnership in January 1992 with a conference
attended by local, regional, State, and Federal policy, makers as well
as regional leaders from the disabled, environmental, and business
communities.  By March, a regular working group was meeting to examine
ways to balance the many concerns ISTEA imposes on project selection.

The Bay Area Partnership consists of officials representing the
region's mass transit operators, county congestion management
agencies, airports and seaports, Caltrans, FHWA, the Bay Area Air
Quality Management District, the California Air Resources Board, EPA,
and RIDES for Bay Area Commuters among others.  This loose
confederation meets regularly to chip away at some of the
institutional barriers that hamper the smooth operation of the
region's transportation network.  The group also establishes the
ground rules for ISTEA implementation in the Bay Area.

As a means of broadening public participation, the Partnership formed
a Blue Ribbon Advisory Council of representatives from the various
communities, including environmental and public interest groups, the
business community, elderly arid disabled organizations, academic
research institutions, and minority citizens.

In developing the regional transportation plan, MTC is conducting
special community forums and small workshops throughout the Bay Area,
and has hired a consultant to expand its mailing list and recruit
citizens to participate in smaller focus groups.

C. Creation of Effective Citizen's Advisory Committees In the past,
   some advisory committees may not have had any real influence on

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transportation decision making process.  The effectiveness of an
advisory committee depended on such factors as a strong leader and to
what extent the committee was allowed to participate throughout the
process.  Due to the charismatic leadership of its chairman, the
Citizen's Advisory Committee in Chatham County-Savannah, Georgia,
strengthened its role in helping to define the directions taken by the
Policy and Technical committees in developing and adopting policies
and plans.

The Citizen's Advisory Committee was created during the seventies, but
did not develop an active and effective program until 1987 under the
leadership of the new chairman.  The Chairman appointed a subcommittee
to develop by-laws for the committee.  An attendance policy, which
established procedures to address absenteeism at committee meetings,
was adopted as a part of the new by-laws.  The policy has helped
produce a proactive committee that maintains an 85% attendance average
for meetings.  The CAC chairman has been a voting member of the Policy
Committee since 1987.  The Chatham CAC has been used as a model to
create Citizen Advisory Committees at the other MPOs in Georgia.

However, MPOs should be careful to avoid using committees in a manner
that can perpetuate existing biases.  For example, providing the
public with an advisory role only, may not provide the framework for
building the kind of decision making partnership necessary for true
collaboration.  The regulations state that planning processes should
"demonstrate explicit consideration and response to public input
received during the planning and program development process" (23 CFR
450.316(b)(1)(v)). MPOs must produce and adopt formal public
participation plans, as indicated by the planning regulations, that
specifically address procedures for developing public participation
activities during transportation plan development.  These plans add
legitimacy to the efforts and help to reduce confusion concerning the
various roles of the participants and inter-relationships of different
forums.  In addition, MPOs must provide a minimum public comment
period of 45 days before the public involvement process is initially
adopted or revised (23 CFR Part 450.316).

The East-West Gateway Coordinating Council developed a formal public
involvement process that incorporated the use of citizen advisory
committees.  In an attempt to avoid the creation of ineffective
citizen advisory committees, the Council included a component that
provided participating citizens an opportunity to review and comment
following the completion of each phase of the long-range planning
process.  Upon completion of each phase of the long-range plan, joint
citizen committee meetings were held to review data and to allow
committee members to assist in designing the most effective method of
presenting the information to the general public.  In addition, a
select group of citizens was appointed to the policy committee.  In
this way, citizens assisted in developing the policies that help
direct the Gateway long-range transportation plan decision making

d. Assistance of Consultants or Facilitators

Many MPOs have found it useful to seek assistance in developing their
public participation processes by hiring public relations consultants,
skilled facilitators, and citizen participation experts.  The public
relations consultants have provided assistance to the MPO in working
with the media and publicizing planning efforts to elicit greater
community involvement.  In the 1980s, the North Front Range
Transportation and Air Quality Council obtained a consultant to design
a consensus-building strategy to involve the public in the planning
and execution of controversial public-sector projects, programs,
plans, etc.  The strategy assists public officials in determining how
to conduct a citizen

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participation effort.  It can vary depending upon project or program,
but the principles that remain the same focus on maximizing
opportunities for project approval through citizen participation.  The
staff is taught how to create an inclusive process as a means to
successfully implement a plan or project.  As a part of this process
the staff has to carefully identify people who may be negatively
affected by a potential project or plan.

A list of potentially affected interests is developed.  This list
identifies parties the staff thinks will be concerned with the plan or
project.  The next task is to identify any specific problems the plan
would create.  This process assists in identifying objectives to be
addressed with the public.  The techniques used to design the meetings
will vary based on the objectives identified for each target audience
(e.g., focus groups, one-on-one, and surveys).  Input is solicited
from these groups and their recommendations are used to modify and
improve the process.  Staff members with training in facilitation
usually moderate the meetings, but when an issue is controversial, an
outside facilitator is hired to eliminate any perceived biases. 
During the upcoming Regional Transportation Plan development process,
the MPO staff estimates that approximately $100,000 will be spent to
implement the citizen participation element of the process.

Using a consensus building process can take additional time, but due
to the controversy that often arises during project planning and
implementation, the MPO staff feels that using a public involvement
process based on consensus will save time.  Because the staff and
Council members believe that everyone should have a voice in the
planning process, plans are not developed prior to receiving input
from the public.

In Cincinnati, Ohio, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of
Governments is requiring the consultant selected for a Major
Investment Study (MIS) to assign a Community Involvement Specialist to
provide assistance throughout the study.  The Request for Proposals
for the study indicates that a comprehensive public involvement
program be implemented from the beginning of the effort.  The
Community Involvement Specialist will design and participate in
meetings and outreach activities, as well as produce a comprehensive,
documented record of public involvement efforts and outcomes
throughout the MIS process. (See Appendix, page 39)

Many MPOs are relying on outside resources to enhance communication
with the public.  Often, transportation planners have limited formal
training in making public presentations and/or facilitating meetings. 
Facilitators have been contracted to provide training to staff members
in an attempt to build effective skills in conducting committee
meetings and dealing with the public.  Providing this training is
particularly valuable in following through with collaborative
participation strategies because staff members are taught to be more
objective and consider the opinions of the public without becoming
defensive, argumentative, or both.  The Southwestern Pennsylvania
Regional Planning Commission co-sponsored a forum on transportation
and livable communities.  A professional facilitator was hired to lead
the process and to insure that no biases were represented (See
Appendix, page 44).

Proactive outreach programs, which utilize innovative techniques, are
necessary in order to create an inclusive public participation
process.  MPOs will have to experiment to determine which techniques
work best for them.  By designing a broad-based program to attract
diverse participation from the community, the MPO staff can establish
a working relationship that coordinates activities between local
elected officials and the public.  This type of process can create a
partnership based on mutual trust which can garner support for
proposed programs in the future.

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2. Lessons Learned

MPOs contacted during the research assessment indicated that they have
learned that when developing new public participation strategies they

   -  Start early - at the beginning of the planning process, if at
      all possible.  Have a clear and easily communicable
      understanding of what the planning process is going to look
      like.  A confusing first impression is hard to overcome.

   -  Develop a well-thought-out public participation component which
      is recognized as an integral part of the overall planning
      process and not an add-on activity.

   -  Emphasize/stress the involvement of local elected officials. 
      Develop a participatory environment that encourages the
      participation of politicians and promotes the need for positive
      interaction with their constituents.

   -  Do not create unrealistic expectations for plan development or
      implementation.  Be honest with people and do not promise to
      make the plan meet all concerns.  Make it clear to citizens
      what kind of input is needed, and how it will be used in the
      decision making process.

   -  Avoid complex presentations concerning the planning process or
      technical procedures.  Lengthy flow charts and the use of
      numerous acronyms and technical jargon can confuse

   -  Provide additional training on the new role MPOs have acquired
      under ISTEA and the implications of ISTEA and CAAA provisions.

   -  Make sure staff feel confident about their abilities to handle
      groups effectively. If needed, provide public presentation and
      mediation/facilitation training to strengthen skills in this

Many MPOs are designing proactive public involvement programs that
provide stakeholders with an opportunity to design the process that
will lead transportation planning efforts.  Innovative public
involvement activities should:

   -  Develop leadership opportunities for community members to
      promote the plan and to interact with elected officials and
      other community and interest groups.

   -  Incorporate multiple levels of opportunity for involvement. 
      Different stakeholders may need different kinds of involvement.

   -  Work with all local governments within the MPO and seek their
      input in developing public participation strategies.

   -  Manage the process carefully.  MPO staff must demonstrate
      strong and effective leadership, not only in conducting public
      sessions, but also in negotiating compromises on policy and
      technical issues without alienating stakeholders.

   -  Make the long-range plan development process interesting for
      the citizens.  Link the development of the plan to quality of
      life goals such as economic development and clean air
      attainment, using hard-hitting, practical examples.

   -  Consider creating special committees to educate and directly
      involve diverse citizens, i.e. Minority Issues Advisory
      Committee, Advisory Committee on Aging, Developmental
      Disabilities Advisory Committee, etc.

   -  Schedule meetings at convenient times - they should be
      accessible - consider

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 16


         evening meetings at convenient community locations, such as
         neighborhood centers that can be reached by mass transit and
         by automobile.

      -  Increase the public visibility of the MPO by attending local
         business/chamber of commerce luncheons, interest group
         meetings, and other activities involving the public sector.

      -  Consider making groups equal partners and ensure that
         advisory committees are representative of all stakeholders. 
         Organize retreats to foster long-term relations with the
         various stakeholders involved in the transportation plan
         development process.

      -  Involve the media in publicizing activities.  Utilize radio,
         television, and newspapers to introduce the MPO to the
         community and to promote its efforts.  Develop a speakers
         bureau and train selected members of various citizen
         committees to assist in outreach in their communities. 
         Consider vehicle windshield, utility bill mailing, community
         bulletin boards, transit riders, cable television, talk-
         radio, and door-to-door distribution efforts in making
         people aware of MPO activities.


Many MPOs continue to rely heavily on traditional planning mechanisms
such as ad hoc committees, citizen's advisory committees, and public
hearings.  As indicated above, some MPOs have designed innovative
approaches to working with the public that represent initial
experimental steps toward true collaboration.  However, MPOs have
encountered many challenges to developing effective participatory

1. Engaging The Public

When participating in transportation planning, citizens are generally
more concerned about individual projects, particularly controversial
ones in their area, rather than longrange planning which addresses
long-term future needs of the region.  It can be difficult to generate
and maintain public interest during the development of the long-range
plan because of the time frame that it covers (twenty years) and the
significant amount of time it takes to complete it.  Some of the
analyses, such as travel demand forecasting and air quality modeling,
utilized in plan development are highly technical and difficult to
understand.  The relationships between transportation, land use, and
the environment are complex and there is a general lack of public
understanding about how these factors interact.  Developing the plan
can appear to be a lengthy, complex process that seems, at times, more
like an academic endeavor rather than the production of a document
that provides guidance for the long-term expenditure of transportation
funds.  The challenge is to make the plan compelling and the process
used to develop the plan easy to understand and attractive to
potential participants.

It can also be difficult to reach various segments of the metropolitan
population such as "non-professional" citizens (in terms of public
participation), members of minority groups, low income people,
transit-dependent individuals, etc.  Often, these individuals are the
most directly affected by transportation decisions, yet they have
little or no involvement in the planning process.  Dealing with
powerful interest groups and other established community organizations
sometimes represents the beginning and the end of public involvement,
and while their participation is important, they represent only a
small portion

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 17


of the population.  The challenge is to reach deep into communities to
stimulate participatory interest at the grassroots level.

Finally, ISTEA stresses the need for the establishment of efficient
connections between modes of travel in moving freight and passengers
and recognizes the importance of planning for the total transportation
system.  The legislation encourages the participation of private
sector shippers - air, ship, rail, and truckers.  However, these
potential participants often ask "what's in it for them?" They may be
unfamiliar with MPOs and unwilling to spend time participating in a
process that has not considered their needs.  The challenge is to
attract their participation while developing a planning process that
has a customer orientation rather than a facility orientation.

2. Assuming New Authority

The adaptation of MPOs and State DOTs to their new roles is evolving
slowly.  While MPOs are provided with greater autonomy and authority
in developing plans and programs, in some parts of the country, the
assumption of authority is occurring slowly.  Long-standing decision
making processes which have operated with political support and State
legislative authority often respond slowly to change.  Building new
partnerships is the foundation of ISTEA.  The challenge to MPOs and
State DOTs is to develop new relationships that promote cooperation
and allow both agencies to perform in accordance with the law.  The
law envisions the passing of the decision making authority ultimately
to the local communities.

3. Developing A Regional Perspective

MPOs, by nature, are confronted by political fragmentation within
their boundaries.  They are usually comprised of many local
jurisdictions within the urbanized area, with each county, city, town,
borough, township, etc. often focusing on its own political agenda. 
Public pressure is often targeted toward the political figures closest
to controversial issues.  This pressure can make it difficult for an
elected official to support a project that has a positive effect on
the region but does not directly benefit his or her particular
jurisdiction.  Disjointed politics among the various jurisdictions,
therefore, often results in the pursuit of local projects that
represent a piecemeal approach to dealing with transportation
problems.  This kind of approach can prevent the region from
developing effective strategies to reduce congestion.  MPOs are
challenged to help revise this approach by providing the environment
for building consensus in reconciling local differences while
developing regional transportation plans and programs.

The Southern California Association of Governments is considering
establishing a Dispute Resolution Consortium.  This proposal seeks to
provide the resources to thoroughly assess, plan, design, implement,
and evaluate a customized dispute resolution system which incorporates
collaborative decision making processes early in the planning and
programming functions of the Southern California Association of
Governments.  Expected results of this project will include the
institutionalization within the agency of a comprehensive dispute
resolution system which seeks to identify competing interests and
needs early on, involve representatives of such interests and needs in
collaborative decision making processes to achieve long-term solutions
to problems, reduce costs incurred in protracted litigation, and serve
as a model which can be replicated by other regional government
agencies.  In implementing this effort, the agency leadership will
participate with a team of experienced dispute resolution consultants.

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In addition to local jurisdictions, some MPOs have American Indian
Reservations within their boundaries.  These areas are governed by
sovereign tribal governments, which follow their own laws and customs. 
ISTEA instructs MPOs and states to provide for active involvement of
Indian tribal governments in transportation planning and programming
and to work proactively with them in gaining an understanding of their
planning procedures.

In Pocatello, Idaho, the Bannock Planning Organization (BPO) has
initiated an effort to develop a working relationship with the
Shoshone-Bannock Indian Tribes.  The Tribes live on the Fort Hall
Indian Reservation, which is located within the metropolitan area. 
BPO and the Tribes have engaged in an educational program to discuss
each other's operations and have attended training involving the
development of collaborative processes, and facilitation and
negotiation skills.  These introductory efforts have provided the
foundation for further discussions to develop a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) between BPO and the Tribes, which describes the
specific details concerning the nature of their evolving working
relationship. (See Appendix, page 37)

4. Balancing Limited Resources

MPOs are tackling a myriad of new planning provisions found in ISTEA
and the CAAA.  In general, MPOs are implementing new procedures to
strengthen their planning processes to meet these provisions.  As they
develop new plans under rigorous deadlines, they are also trying to
balance the various new demands being made on them.  Given the limited
resources available to many MPOs, the challenge is to efficiently
integrate proactive public involvement strategies into the framework
used to produce transportation plans and programs.

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                              CHAPTER III

                     Approaches To Implementing A
                    Collaborative Planning Process


Phrases like "public involvement" and "collaborative decision making"
tend to trigger different images for different people, depending on
what personal experience they may have had with such endeavors.  The
goal is to move beyond the image of citizens lodging formal comments
with public officials at the end of the long-range plan or TIP
development process.  Instead, the process should focus on the image
of citizens and public officials engaging as peers in an ongoing
conversation.  The challenge is then to learn how to create
opportunities for such dialogue.  This chapter will discuss ways of
doing this using both comprehensive public involvement and consensus
building processes.  These two processes represent points along a
continuum, with the continuum reflecting the extent to which an MPO
shares decision making responsibilities with the public.

Public involvement generally refers to a two-way communication process
between public sector decision makers on the one hand and the public-
at-large on the other hand.  It includes the agency's effort to inform
the public about decisions being considered and the process by which
the public communicates its views on these decisions to the agency. 
Usually, problem solving that needs to occur as a result of
differences between the staff's analysis and the public's views is
done by the agency staff or elected officials following public input.

While at times, in the past, public involvement efforts have
emphasized "telling" the public and at other times "selling" something
to the public, the operative phrase now is "consulting with" the
public.  It is important that the public be able to influence the MPOs
decision making throughout the process, from shaping the process and
defining the issues to choosing the alternatives considered and
identifying potential mitigation measures.  The primary benefit of
conducting public involvement activities in this spirit is that the
resulting decisions are likely to be seen as legitimate, even if their
contents do not completely satisfy everyone.  The public tends to be
almost as concerned about the process by which decisions are made and
the respect with which their views are treated as they are about the
substance of MPO decisions.

Some challenges MPOs are facing are so complex or controversial that a
more intensive and complex public participation process is called for. 
For example, such a challenge could involve determining the location
and size of a major new facility, crossing several jurisdictions, that
may displace various neighborhoods within the metropolitan area. 
Under these circumstances, collaborative problem solving should be

Collaborative problem solving can be thought of as a specialized form
of public involvement, in which consensus-building tools are used
throughout the decision making process.  Rather than consulting with
the public on its views and then going back to the

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 20


office to figure out how to reconcile differences, the staff works
proactively with members of the public and interest groups to develop
mutually agreeable solutions together.  In a collaborative process,
different types of stakeholders are involved in different ways,
depending on factors such as their respective levels of interest in
the issues, the time they have available to participate, and whether
they represent others or solely, themselves.

The basic framework for creating a multiple tier public involvement
process is:

   -  Primary stakeholders are typically brought together in a
      working group for face-to-face collaborative problem solving.

   -  Secondary stakeholders are offered multiple ways to participate
      in forums held throughout the process.

   -  The "public-at-large" is kept informed of the proceedings and
      invited to participate in open forums.

Collaborative problem-solving processes provide useful vehicles for
intergovernmental coordination as well, since representatives of
relevant governmental agencies qualify as "stakeholders" and should
therefore be involved throughout such a process.  Since many
transportation issues need active (and often financial) support from
many different organizations, collaborative problem solving processes
can be an effective vehicle for building multi-sectoral partnerships.

Stakeholders include:

   -  Those who are, or could be, significantly affected by the
      issues, either directly or indirectly;

   -  Those who could ensure implementation of potential solutions ;

   -  Those who could block implementation of potential solutions.

Both collaborative problem solving and comprehensive public
involvement programs tend to be more resource intensive than
traditional public involvement approaches.  A good public involvement
program will suffice when a single decision making entity has
authority to make and implement a decision.  A collaborative process
should be considered if the political and economic climate dictate the
need for support from other organizations and individuals to implement
relevant decisions.


The fundamental principle of collaboration is that it is based on
inclusiveness.  All stakeholders must have a meaningful voice in the
planning process so that their input is reflected in the final
products developed.  However, each stakeholder need not be involved in
the same way.  Typically, the planning process offers stakeholders a
variety of ways to become involved, reflecting stakeholders' varying
levels of availability and investment in the issues.

Moreover, a collaborative planning process goes beyond inclusiveness,
as might be envisioned by MPO staff, in that the planning process
itself is subject to approval by the stakeholders.  In practice, this
means that the decision-making agency and the staff person designing
the process work with a representative group of stakeholders to
develop the preliminary process design.  When this group is satisfied
with the (design, the full group of participants are convened to
discuss the design and negotiate any

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 21


modifications necessary for all stakeholders to feel comfortable with
it.  Thus, stakeholders in a collaborative planning process are
involved from the very earliest stages of the process.

A collaborative planning process also goes beyond the search for an
acceptable compromise.  In effect, the participants make a pact to use
consensus-based decision making as a tool to collectively strive for
three kinds of satisfaction for all stakeholders-substantive
satisfaction, procedural satisfaction, and psychological satisfaction. 
"Substantive satisfaction" refers to the kind of satisfaction that
most readily comes to mind when a negotiated agreement is considered-
whether or not the agreement contains the provisions sought by a given
participant.  "Procedural satisfaction" refers to whether or not
participants perceived the planning process to be fair.  And
"psychological satisfaction" refers to whether or not participants
felt that their views were heard, respected, and carefully considered
by other participants.

It is not always possible to achieve all three forms of satisfaction
for all participants.  However, the process of seeking all three
levels of satisfaction for everyone involved helps change the dynamics
from adversarial to collegial.  By having stakeholders work together
toward a common goal, it is possible for the group to mobilize around
proposed solutions developed by the group rather than each participant
asserting and defending their respective positions.

Finally, a collaborative planning process must be linked effectively
to the conventional decision making process already in place.  The
product of the collaborative effort must be fed back into the formal
decision making process for ratification-the legitimization necessary
if implementation of the plan is to occur.  Otherwise, the process is
simply a time-consuming exercise.  The underlying principles of a
collaborative planning process should be discussed prior to
implementing the process.  Understanding these principles will provide
MPOs with the resources needed to meet unexpected challenges and adapt
their programs to changing circumstances.


This section describes a four-stage consensus-building model for
implementing a collaborative planning process3 It is only one of many
such models, which reflect different contexts in which collaboration
has been important.  There is no single model likely to fit all
circumstances; successful collaboration depends on an openness to a
different way of doing things.  The model presented below provides a
framework for working with stakeholders in a particular community.  It
can be modified to fit the needs of those involved, or an alternative
model can be created.

The four stages of this consensus-building model include:

   1. Getting Started;
   2. Defining the Task;
   3. Making Choices; and
   4. Implementing Decisions.

Each stage is described in some detail below.  Although the model is
presented in a very

1  This model was initially developed by Frank Blechman of George
   Mason University in the late 1980's, based on a synthesis of other
   existing models.  It has been modified for presentation here.

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 22


linear way, its users typically do a significant amount of "cycling
back" to earlier stages as they progress toward consensus on the
issues of concern.  For example, the problem analysis that typically
occurs during the "Defining the Task" stage may induced participants
to make changes to the way the collaborative process is structured. 
Despite the fact that the process design is typically negotiated in
the earlier "Getting Started" stage, participants should remain
flexible throughout the process, making modifications to earlier
agreements, as appropriate.

1. Getting Started

The goal of the "Getting Started" stage is to design a collaborative
process that all stakeholders are satisfied with and can use as a
vehicle for working toward, for example, a mutually acceptable long-
range transportation plan.  This stage begins when someone recognizes
there is a planning provision that can only be met if a number of
parties work collaboratively to make it happen.  That "someone" might
be an elected or appointed official, it might be an MPO staff member,
or it might be someone affiliated with an interested advocacy group. 
This individual sets the process in motion by:

   -  Identifying stakeholders;

   -  Making initial contact with stakeholders, usually through
      interviews, to explore their interest in participating;

   -  Assessing the input received from stakeholders as a group,
      determining whether collaboration still seems appropriate, and
      (if so) drafting a preliminary process design; and

   -  Convening stakeholders to negotiate agreement on the process

This stage is completed when stakeholders agree on a written
description of a planning process that reflects the collaborative
principles described above.  The process design should identify: the
goals and desired products of the planning effort; the convening
entity; an initial list of stakeholders; key roles that various
parties will play in the collaborative planning process; specific
types of forums that will be used to involve different types of
stakeholders; a diagram showing how these different forums relate to
one another and how this process, as a whole, relates to the
conventional decision making process; and a timeline for the planning

While stakeholders may be impatient to move on to substantive (rather
than procedural) negotiations, this stage lays the groundwork for the
substantive negotiations.  Making sure everyone understands and agrees
to the process design before proceeding will minimize the likelihood
of future challenges to the planning process itself and begin to
instill stakeholders with confidence that they are capable of reaching
agreement on the tougher issues.

2. Defining the Task

The goals of the "Defining the Task" stage are: (1) to develop a
shared definition of what the stakeholders are trying to achieve
through the collaborative process; and (2) to develop a variety of
options for how to go about achieving that end.  In developing a long-
range plan, for example, this is the stage where stakeholders would
discuss the objective of the plan and propose a variety of projects
and strategies for possible inclusion in the final document.  In
updating the TIP, the group would consider the prioritization of
critical short-term transportation needs.

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 23


Each stakeholder typically enters a collaborative process with his or
her own way of defining the aim of the process.  Therefore,
participants must negotiate a shared definition of what they are
trying to achieve through their joint labors.  Otherwise, each is
likely to be trying to "solve" a slightly different problem.

Once the group defines its goals, participants enter a period of
mutual education.  Each identifies his or her constituents' issues and
explains their concerns to the rest of the group.  Together, they work
toward a joint understanding of the problems they are trying to solve.
(As this understanding emerges, stakeholders may choose to cycle back
and modify the problem statement accordingly.)

It is usually necessary to gather information during this stage.  In
this case, stakeholders jointly agree on related issues, such as:

   -  The type of data needed;

   -  Credible sources of that data;

   -  Who should collect and analyze it; and,

   -  How it should be analyzed.

By making these decisions jointly, participants avoid future disputes
over the credibility of data fundamental to the development of

As participants begin to understand one another's issues and concerns,
they generate a range of options for addressing the issues.  During
the "Defining the Task" stage, participants should be creative in
generating as many different options as possible.  There will be time
for formal evaluation of options during the next stage ("Making
Choices"); the "Defining the Task" stage is not the time for
participants to criticize one another's ideas because it inhibits
creativity.  If participants have difficulty developing options, they
may find it helpful to spend some time articulating a shared vision of
their desired outcome and then work backwards to identify alternative
ways of realizing that vision,

This stage will be completed when participants agree on: (1) a written
definition of the "problem" or challenge that all stakeholders are
working together to address; and (2) a comprehensive list of
substantive options for how to address the particular problem or

3. Making Choices

The goal of the "Making Choices" stage is to select a proposed
solution to the group's shared problem from among the options
identified in the last stage.  For example, in developing a long-range
plan, the recommended option or alternative would be decided during
this stage.  During TIP development, the group would identify projects
proposed to address short-term transportation needs.

The first step in moving from a range of options to one proposed
solution is for the stakeholders to list all possible criteria by
which they could evaluate the options that they identified in the
"Defining the Task" stage.  Once a list of criteria is prepared,
stakeholders negotiate agreement on which criteria should actually be
used.  All stakeholders need to agree to look for a solution that best
meets the collective list of criteria.

Once participants agree on the evaluation criteria, they apply the
criteria to each option.  Based on their option evaluation efforts,
participants may move toward a proposed solution by eliminating the
impractical options, gathering more information on certain

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 24


options, combining two or more options, and testing the emerging
results in some way (e.g., a pilot project).  When stakeholders have
put together a proposed solution which is agreed upon by the group,
they then develop an implementation plan for it.

This stage is completed when the group has drafted a mutually-
acceptable solution to the problem or challenge identified in the
"Defining the Task" stage, as well as an accompanying implementation

4. Implementing Decisions

The primary objective of the "Implementing Decisions" stage is to
obtain formal approval for the changes the group proposed during the
discussion in the previous stage "Making Choices").  If the model is
being used to develop a long-range transportation plan, for example,
this stage involves taking the recommended draft plan to the MPO Board
for final adoption.  If the TIP were being updated, the prioritized
projects recommended for implementation would be presented to the MPO
Board for approval.

The first step in this final stage of a collaborative planning process
is to present the proposed solution to decision makers for
ratification.  Often, a representative subgroup of stakeholders who
participated in the collaborative process will "walk the proposal
through" the approval process to demonstrate the multi-sectoral
support that the proposal enjoys.  Providing that decision makers
(along with the full range of stakeholders) have been adequately
represented in the collaborative process, ratification of a consensus-
based plan is usually a pro forma process.

This stage is completed when the desired results of the solution
proposed in the last stage can be documented.


In general, this document has described the ad hoc use of public
involvement and collaborative planning processes.  However, some of
the current pioneering efforts in public participation and consensus
building involve the institutionalization of such processes.  For
example, the Southern California Association of Governments is
currently looking to develop a "built-in" system for both
collaborative planning and consensus-based dispute resolution (see
page 19).

The benefit of institutionalizing collaborative decision making
systems is that MPO staffs are able to mobilize and initiate a
collaborative process much more quickly when it is needed than if they
were using these approaches on an ad hoc basis.  Ad hoc use of
collaborative plans slows down the process due to the time needed to
get decision makers' authorization to use an unusual approach, to
raise necessary funds, to find and hire a process designer and/or
facilitator, and to develop procedures.  When such processes are
institutionalized, on the other hand, decision makers have typically

   -  Approved procedural protocols, defining when and how such a
      process can be used;

   -  Established a timely funding mechanism; and

   -  Pre-qualified a pool of facilitators.

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 25


Using a collaborative process is then just a matter of staff getting
approval to use a known procedure, obtaining a facilitator, getting
stakeholders' agreement to participate, and tailoring existing rules
to the circumstances of the particular situation.

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 26


                              CHAPTER IV

                    Evaluating the Success of Your
                    Collaborative Planning Process

Including an evaluation component in a collaborative planning process
is important in order to allow an MPO to make necessary adjustments as
the process progresses and to improve subsequent efforts.  Any
evaluation should be based on what have been identified as the goals
and objectives for the project.  Once the objectives have been
devised, criteria that will be used to measure the MPOs achievement
should also be identified.  The more measurable the objectives are,
the easier it will be to evaluate the progress made toward achieving
them.  However, it can be challenging to make objectives for a
collaborative process quantifiable, and a qualitative assessment of
progress is also valuable.


One measure of success in a collaborative process may be an adopted
plan.  However, relying on this as the sole measure of success can
have a negative effect by motivating participants to reach an
agreement regardless of its value.  Thus, care must be taken in
choosing the variables by which the MPO will measure success so that
the selection does not undermine the intent of the collaborative

There are a range of beneficial outcomes that may emerge from a
collaborative process besides an adopted plan that should not be
overlooked in assessing the success of the process.  These include an
agreement concerning the process for addressing a problem,
clarification of issues and perspectives through joint analysis, an
agreement to disagree, and improved working relationships.  In
addition to whether or not an agreement is reached, an MPO might
consider the following items in evaluating success:

   -  Length of planning process;

   -  Cost of planning process;

   -  Whether the plan is challenged and if so, costs associated with
      the challenge;

   -  Quality of plan (e.g., measured by projects actually
      implemented and integration of projects across all
      transportation modes);

   -  Stakeholders' levels of satisfaction with the process used to
      develop the plan;

   -  Stakeholders' levels of satisfaction with the contents of the

   -  Impact on working relationships (e.g., between the MPO and the
      public, between the MPO and other agencies, between the MPO and
      local elected officials);

   -  Impact on MPOs credibility; and,

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 27


   -  Impact on MPO staff's morale and efficiency.    4


MPOs have used a variety of methods to measure the success of the
process developed including:

   -  Mail-in responses distributed as newsletter inserts;

   -  Evaluation forms filled out by participants;

   -  Special meetings to discuss accomplishments midway through the

   -  Open comment periods scheduled throughout the process;

   -  Peer review panels made up of transportation experts (including
      consultants, professors, State and local officials, and
      neighboring MPOs) brought in to comment on draft process
      design; and

   -  Oversight committees comprised of representative samples of
      participating stakeholders.

Other possible evaluation methods include an analysis of press
coverage afforded the collaborative process, a questionnaire,
interviews, and/or an analysis of data in the MPO's files.

4  These variables were adapted from a presentation by Dr. Craig
   McEwen of Bowdoin College, which was sponsored by the
   Administrative Conference of the U.S. in September, 1993.

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 28



ISTEA and the CAAA provide the foundation for improving mobility and
air quality.  The Acts address early, active, meaningful, and
inclusive public participation, and support the building of
partnerships between State and local government officials,
politicians, and communities.  MPOs are currently experimenting with a
variety of new strategies to reach out to the communities they serve. 
Given the diversity and complexity of transportation issues MPOs face
when developing participatory opportunities, a single approach does
not apply to all.

This report allows MPOs to explore the collaboration-public
involvement continuum to develop an understanding of strategies for
various levels of participation.  The public participation approaches
currently being used throughout the country demonstrate that many MPOs
have the skills to develop inclusive and collaborative transportation
planning processes.  MPO staffs can use the four-stage consensus
building model to develop their citizen involvement efforts, and learn
how to respond to the many challenges that occur when attempting to
make collaboration work.  The needs of MPOs vary by population size,
region, air quality status, and professional staff size.

ISTEA and the CAAA created new roles for government agencies and the
public.  Under the changes provided in these acts, transportation
stakeholders can assume a new role in defining transportation planning
systems that affect their mobility and quality of life.  MPOs and
local governments are responsible for educating the public and
providing them with opportunities for meaningful input in the planning
process.  The flexible application of the principles provided in this
document should assist MPOs and local governments to develop a more
inclusive and collaborative process that produces viable, financially
sound, and implementable plans reflecting broad public support.

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 29




Attainment Area-An area considered to have air quality at least as
good as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) health
standards used in the Clean Air Act.

   Non-attainment areas are areas considered not to have met these
   standards for designated pollutants.  An area may be an attainment
   area for one pollutant and a nonattainment area for others.

   Carbon Monoxide-CO for short.  A gas without color and odor which
   is toxic because too much of it can dangerously reduce oxygen in
   the bloodstream.

   Conformity-Process to assess the compliance of any transportation
   plan, program or project with air quality control plans.  The
   conformity process is defined by the Clean Air Act.

   U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)-The principal federal
   funding agency for transportation planning facilities and
   programs.  Includes FHWA and FTA.

   Enhancement Activities-Refers to activities conducted which
   enhance the transportation system.  Examples of such activities
   include provision of facilities for pedestrians or cyclists,
   landscaping or other scenic beautification projects, historic
   preservation, control and removal of outdoor advertising,
   archeological planning and research, and mitigation of water
   pollution due to highway runoff.

   Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)-Agency of the U.S.
   Department of Transportation which funds highway planning and

   Federal Transit Administration (FTA)-Agency of the U.S. Department
   of Transportation which funds transit planning and programs.

   Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA)-
   Authorization Act that restructured funding for highway and
   transit programs.  ISTEA authorized increased levels of highway
   and transit funding and provided an enlarged role for regional
   planning commissions/MPOs in funding decisions.  The Act also
   provides criteria to be met in establishing comprehensive regional
   long-range transportation plans.

   Long-range Plan a twenty year plan, now needed at both the
   metropolitan and state level, which must consider a wide range of
   social, environmental, energy and economic factors in determining
   overall regional goals and how transportation can best meet these

   Metropolitan Planning Organization-The organization with lead
   responsibility for developing transportation plans and programs
   for urbanized areas of 50,000 or more in population.  MPOs are
   established by agreement of the Governor and units of general
   purpose local government which together represents 75 percent of
   the affected population or an urbanized area.

   Ozone-Human-made ozone is created when hydrocarbons and nitrogen
   oxides from car exhausts and certain industrial emissions react in
   the presence of strong sunlight.  Reduction of ozone produced from
   "mobile source emissions" (motor vehicles) is a major objective of
   the region's air quality plan.

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 30


   Public Participation-The active involvement of the public in the
   development of transportation plans and improvement programs.  The
   Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) indicates
   that state departments of transportation and MPOs "shall provide
   citizens, affected public agencies, representatives of
   transportation agency employees, private providers of
   transportation, and other interested parties with a reasonable
   opportunity to comment on the development of the long-range plan
   and TIP."

   State Implementation Plan (SIP)-Documents prepared by the state
   and submitted to EPA for approval.  SIPs identify state actions
   and programs to implement designated responsibilities under the
   Clean Air Act.

   Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)-This is a work-plan which
   must be developed at both the state and metropolitan levels.  The
   TIP is a short-range program which must cover a minimum of three
   years for a metropolitan area and two years for a state.  Projects
   listed in the TIP address the goals of the long-range plan and
   lists priority projects and activities for the region.

   Urbanized Area-Area with a population of more than 50,000 meeting
   U.S. Census

   Bureau density standards.  Includes a central city and surrounding
   areas meeting set size or density criteria.


   Avery, Michelle, et al.  Building United Judgment: A Handbook for
   Consensus Decision Making.  Philadelphia: New Society Publishers,

      Provides a clear and concise guide to facilitation and
      consensus building.  Includes a wide range of "how-to"

   Bleiker, Hans and Annemarie Bleiker.  Citizen Participation
   Handbook for Public Officials and Other Professionals Serving the
   Public.  Monterey, CA: Institute for Participatory Management and
   Planning, 1989.

      Includes a comprehensive listing of citizen participation tools
      that can be used to support the Systematic Development of
      Informed Consent-the approach of the authors.

   Bryson, John M. and Robert C. Einsweiler, eds.  Strategic
   Planning: Threats and Opportunities for Planners.  Chicago:
   Planners Press, American Planning Association, 1988.

      This edited collection helps planners conceptualize the
      differences between comprehensive planning and strategic
      planning.  Also provides helpful articles on strategic planning

   Carpenter, Susan and W.J.D. Kennedy.  Managing Public Disputes. 
   San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1988.

   Carpenter, Susan.  Solving Community Problems By Consensus. 
   Washington, D.C.:  Program for Community Problem Solving, 1990. 
   Also published by Washington, D.C.:  International City Management
   Association, 1990 and Alexandria, VA: American Chamber of Commerce
   Executives, 1990.

      These publications provide substantive guides to conducting
      consensus building processes.  Carpenter and Kennedy is book
      length and provides detailed advice. Solving Community Problems
      by Consensus provides a summary and short case

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 31


      examples in its 20 pages.

   Cogan, Elaine.  Successful Public Meetings: A Practical Guide for
   Managers in Government.  San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1992.

      Provides helpful advice on how to conduct public participation
      and public information meetings.

   Creighton, James L. Involving Citizens in Community Decision
   Making: A Guidebook.  Washington, D.C.: Program for Community
   Problem Solving, 1992.

      The only comprehensive guidebook to public participation that
      focuses exclusively on community level decisions.  Covers every
      step from building a strategy to conducting a meeting.

   Solid Waste: A Guidebook for Effective Public Involvement. 
   Washington, D.C.: US Environmental Protection Agency, March 1990.

      This manual offers helpful advice on public participation
      programs.  The manual walks readers through a process.

   Delli Priscoli, Jerome.  Public Involvement, Conflict Management,
   and Dispute Resolution In Water Resources and Environmental
   Decision Making; Working Paper.  Ft.  Belvoir, VA: Institute for
   Water Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1988.

      Provides one of the more helpful models for determining how to
      choose and/or combine the public involvement, conflict
      management, and dispute resolution approaches.

   DiMento, Joseph and LeRoy Graymer, eds.  Confronting  Regional
   Challenges: Approaches to LULU's, Growth, and Other Vexing
   Governance Problems.  Cambridge: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy:

      Discusses regional issues and consensus building primarily from
      the perspective of the Los Angeles region.

   Fisher, Roger and Scott Brown.  Getting Together: Building a
   Relationship that Gets to Yes.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988.

      These best sellers provides clear and concise advice on
      negotiation and establishing ongoing working relationships.

   Gardner, John W. On Leadership.  New York: Free Press, 1990.

      Provides helpful discussion of public sector leaders on the
      changing nature of leadership and the need to move toward more
      collaborative approaches.

   Ghiselin, Bernie.  Forging Consensus: Building a Dialogue Among
   Diverse Leaders. Greensboro, NC: Center for Creative Leadership,

   Provides a case study of working through racially-charged conflict
   on bond improvements in Greensboro.

   Harwood, Richard C. Citizens and Politics: A View from Main Street
   America.  Dayton, OH:   Kettering Foundation, 1991.

      This short report discusses, from a citizen's perspective, the
      problems with public decision making processes and offers
      recommendations on how to overcome apathy.

   Potapchuk, William R. and Margaret A. Bailey.  Building the
   Collaborative Community- A Selective Bibliography for Community
   Leaders.  Washington, D.C.: Program for Community Problem Solving,

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 32


      Provides a comprehensive overview of books, monographs, and
      articles for community leaders, local government staff, and
      others seeking more information on collaborative planning,
      dispute resolution, citizen participation, and related

   Potapchuk, William R., James H. Laue, and John S. Murray.  Getting
   to the Table: A Guide for Senior Managers. (IWR Working Paper 90-
   ADR-WP-3) Fort Belvoir: VA: Institute for Water Resources, U.S.
   Army Corp of Engineers, 1990.

      Offers a detailed step-by-step approach to designing a process
      and bringing participants to the table.

   Sanoff, H. Designing with Citizen Participation.  Stroudsburg, PA:
   Dowden, Hutchinson, and Ross, 1978.

      Discusses various models for involving citizens in public
      design processes.

   Thomas, Clarke M. ISTEA: A Different Kind of Highway Act. 
   Pittsburgh, PA: The University of Pittsburgh, Institute of
   Politics, 1992.

      Discusses impact of ISTEA, concentrating on Southwestern, PA.

   Ury, William.  Getting Past No: Negotiating with Difficult People,
   New York: Bantam, 1991.

      This book explores difficult negotiation situations.

   U.S. DOT, 1993, Statewide Planning 23 CFR Part 450; Metropolitan
   Planning Requirements 49 CFR Part 613," Federal Highway
   Administration and Federal Transit Administration, November 1993.

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 33



American Association of Retired Persons
601 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20049
(202) 434-2277

American Bar Association
Commission on Mental and Physical
Disability Law
1800 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-2240

National Association of Regional Councils
1700 K Street, N.W., 13th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 457-0710

National Institute for Dispute Resolution
1901 L Street, NW Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 466-4764

National Institute on Disability and
Rehabilitation Research
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20202

National League of Cities
Center for Education and Information
1301 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Suite 600
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 626-3000

Program for Community Problem Solving
915 15  th  St., NW Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 783-2961

Project Action
1350 New York Ave., NW Suite 711
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 347-3066

Society of Professionals in Dispute
815 15th St., NW Suite 530
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 783-7277

Federal Highway Administration
400 7 th Street, S.W., Room 3232
Washington, D.C. 20590
(202) 366-2062

Federal Transit Administration
400 7 th Street, S.W., Room 9310
Washington, D.C. 20590
(202) 366-4060

MPO Contacts

Mr. Charles Trainor
Ada Planning Association
413 West Idaho
Suite 100
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 345-5274

Mr. Mark Felton
BCKP Regional Intergovernmental
1223 Leone Lane
Dunbar, WV 25604
(304) 768-8191

Mr. Francis McMahon
Capitol Region Council of Governments
221 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06106

Mr. Carl Hellstrorn
Central Massachusetts Metropolitan
Planning Commission
340 Main Street
Suite 747
Worcester, MA 01608
(508) 756-7717

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 34


Mr. Bill Herrington
Chatham Urban Transportation Study
P.O. Box 1027
Savannah, GA 31402
(912) 236-9523

Mr. Karl Welzenbach
Chicago Area Transportation Study
300 West Adams
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 793-3460

Mr. Arthur Hogan, Jr.
Chittenden County MPO
66 Pearl Street
P.O. Box 108
Essex Junction, VT 05453
(802) 658-3004

Ms. Blair Forlaw
East West Gateway Coordinating Council
911 Washington Avenue
St. Louis, MO 631 01
(314) 421-4220

Mr. James Conn
Five Counties Area Development District
P.O. Box 636
Cattlesburg, KY 41129
(606) 739-5191

Mr. Keith Harpole
Green River Area Development District
3860 U.S. Highway 60 West
Owensboro, KY 42301
(502) 926-4453

Ms. Connie Koziak
Metropolitan Council
Mears Park Centre
230 East Fifth Street
St. Paul, MN 55101-1634
(612) 291-6346

Mr. Mike Hoglund
Metropolitan Service District
2000 Southwest Fifth Avenue
Portland, OR 97201-5398
(503) 797-1700

Ms. Ellen Griffin
Metropolitan Transportation Commission
101 8th  Street
Oakland, CA 94607-4700
(510) 464-7700

Gerald Miller
Metropolitan Washington Council
of Governments
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20002-4201
(202) 962-3200

Ms. Carol Adams
Mid-America Regional Council
300 Rivergate Center
600 Broadway
Kansas City, MO 64105-1554
(816) 474-4240

Mr. Raymond Ruggieri
New York Metropolitan
Transportation Council
One World Trade Center
Suite 82 East
New York, NY 10048
(212) 938-3390

Mr. Bob Harlan
Northwest Arkansas Regional
Planning Commission
P.0. Box 745
Springdale, AR 72765
(501) 751-7125

Mr. Eric Bracke
North Front Range Transportation &
Air Quality Planning Council
235 Matthews Street
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(303) 221-6608

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 35


Ms. Judi Craig
Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana Regional
Council of Governments
801-B West Eighth Street
Suite 400
Cincinnati, OH 45203
(513) 621-7060

Mr. Stephen Burns
Sea Coast Metropolitan
Planning Association
Strafford County Courthouse
259 County Farm Road-Unit I
Dover, NH 03820-6015
(603) 742-2523

Mr. Carmine Palumbo
Southeast Michigan Council
of Governments
1900 Edison Plaza
660 Plaza Drive
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 961-4266

Ms. Nona Edelen
Southern California Association
of Governments
818 West 7th Street
12th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 236-1870

Mr. Peter Longini
Southwestern Pennsylvania Region
Planning Commission
The Waterfront
200 First Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1573
(412) 391-5590

Mr. John Tippett
Western Piedmont Council
of Governments
317 First Avenue N.W.
Hickory, NC 28601
(704) 322-9191

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 36





The Bannock Planning Organization (BPO) is the MPO for the Pocatello,
Idaho area.  It covers a 221 square mile non-attainment area for PM-10
in southeast Idaho.  The urbanized area boundaries consist of the
corporate limits of the City of Pocatello and the City of Chubbuck,
Idaho.  Other jurisdictions within the MPO region include Bannock
County, Power County, the City of Inkom, and the Fort Hall Indian
Reservation.  The population of this area is approximately 65,000
people.  The MPO Policy Board is comprised of representatives from
Bannock County, Pocatello and Chubbuck, and the Pocatello Urban
Transit Director.

Cooperation and coordination are key factors stressed by ISTEA in
developing plans and programs in metropolitan areas.  BPO is working
to address these factors in incorporating the various local
jurisdictions, the general public, and the Shoshone-Bannock Indian
Tribes living on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation into the planning
process.  One of the most important developments in adapting its
planning process to become more inclusive is to seek a working
relationship with the Tribes in conducting transportation planning

ISTEA and Tribal Involvement

With respect to tribal lands within metropolitan boundaries, Section
450.312 (1) of the joint metropolitan planning regulations indicates
that "where a metropolitan planning area includes Federal public lands
and/or Indian tribal lands, the affected Federal agencies and Indian
tribal governments shall be involved appropriately in the development
of transportation plans and programs." FTA and FHWA have responded to
questions concerning the nature of tribal involvement in MPO planning
activities by stressing that '.such involvement allows all
participants to coordinate plans and programs under consideration by
the various implementing agencies and that it is important for states
and MPOs to recognize and be sensitive to tribal customs and to the
nationally recognized sovereignty of tribal governments.  As a result,
tribal governments should be actively sought for participation as
independent government bodies rather than specific minority groups." (
quoted from FHWA/FTA Questions and Answers on Public Involvement in
Transportation Decision Making)

BPO and the tribes are seeking to clarify how this participation and
interaction should work by embarking on an effort to establish a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  If successful, the MOU will be an
agreement that specifies the terms of the working relationship between
the MPO and the Tribes.  In the past, BPO has dealt with federal and
state organizations in transportation, and traditionally the Tribes
have dealt with federal organizations through the Bureau of Indian
Affairs (BIA) or directly, with no interaction between the Tribes and
the MPO.  In working toward this MOU, BP0 and the

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 37


Tribes are trying to create an informative environment where two
sovereign entities can exchange information about activities and
collaborate, when possible, in transportation planning efforts in the
region.  The strategy to initiate the development of the MOU consists
of several activities described below.  These activities include an
educational workshop to discuss how each organization operates, a
training and consultation workshop on collaborative transportation
planning, and a kick-off meeting to reach agreement on how the MOU
talks will be structured.

Education Workshop About Organizational Procedures and Customs

The purpose of this workshop was to educate BPO and the Tribes about
their respective lawmaking, planning, and decision making processes
pertaining to transportation.  Participants included staff members
from each organization as well as representatives from the BIA, the
Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), and the Idaho Department of
Environmental Quality.  The workshop was important in providing the
general understanding necessary to develop a range of issues that
would be open for discussion in subsequent talks on a range of
subjects.  Also, understanding how BPO and the Tribes interact with
other federal, state, and local agencies involved in the planning
process was important in realizing how and when various ISTEA-related
tasks were conducted and how they may differ between the two
organizations.  Various customs embedded in tribal culture were also
discussed including land use definitions, employment rights, and the
operation of the Tribal Business Council in making transportation
decisions.  The workshop provided an excellent forum for discussing
operational issues, customs, and concerns and provided the foundation
necessary to proceed down the path toward a mutually-agreeable MOU.

A. Training and Consultation Workshop on Collaborative Transportation

As an interactive primer to shape subsequent MOU-related discussions,
BPO and the Tribes attended a one and a half day training workshop,
provided by the Program for Community Problem Solving.  The purpose of
the workshop was to provide technical guidance concerning the
development of collaborative planning processes, negotiation, and
facilitation skills.  Exercises involving how to design and implement
effective collaborative planning processes were woven into examples
involving cross-cultural dynamics.  Opportunities were provided to
apply these exercises to issues discussed during the previously-held
educational workshop.

Organizational Kick-off Meeting for MOU Development Process

The day after the training workshop, an organizational kick-off
meeting was held to discuss how to structure upcoming discussions
between BPO and the Tribes regarding their working relationship. 
Participants included BPO, Tribal, and ITD staff and a representative
from the Program for Community Problem Solving who facilitated
discussions.  The participants developed shared procedural
understandings involving the following topics in developing an overall
structure for conducting the future talks.

   -  Purpose of Negotiations;

   -  Desired Outcome;
   -  Agenda for Negotiations and Order of Topics for Discussion;

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 38


   -  People to be Invited to Participate;
   -  Structure of the Discussions;
   -  Schedule;
   -  Ground Rules to Maximize Constructive Environment;
   -  Meeting Support Needs; and *Formal Action Once Consensus on MOU
      is Reached.

The group was able to work through each of the issues, establishing
the framework necessary to continue the MOU-related talks.

In general, using workshop forums to establish a greater understanding
about their respective organizations enabled BPO and the Tribes to
better define issues and concerns that should be a part of future
talks.  Both face a myriad of different planning regulations in
developing plans and programs, and each interacts with different
federal agencies in different ways.  The educational workshop helped
clarify some of the similarities and differences in operations and the
training session introduced skills and concepts to be used in
determining how to work together in the future.


The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) is the
MPO for the Cincinnati tri-state area.  In OKI's planning region, the
Eastern Corridor is one of the several heavily traveled, congested
areas that needs further study to determine how its transportation
needs can be addressed more effectively.  The Corridor is located in a
20 square mile area, including parts of 14 municipalities and six
townships in three counties.  For this area, the long-range plan
proposes major investments for both commuter rail and highway
expansion.  ISTEA indicates that Major Investment Studies (MIS) should
be conducted to address these kinds of proposals.

ISTEA Provisions for MIS

As described in guidance provided by FTA and FHWA, a MIS is a subset
of the overall metropolitan region transportation system planning
process.  It involves conducting subarea analyses in congested
corridors that have been identified in the region-wide planning
process.  These analyses are intended to provide more thorough
planning and to help local officials evaluate various alternatives
that may address the needs in a particular corridor with the ultimate
result being a recommended alternative for implementation.  The MIS
provides decision makers with more analytical information earlier in
the planning process so that more informed decisions can be made
sooner and more effectively.

Concerning public involvement, the joint metropolitan planning
regulations indicate that the MIS include:

   -  a cooperative and collaborative process to establish a range of
      alternatives to be studied, and factors to be addressed.
   -  a proactive public involvement process that provides
      opportunities for the public and

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      various interests to participate.

Fulfilling the MIS provisions in the Eastern Corridor will help OKI
develop potential solutions for an area with a contentious history in
addressing transportation concerns.  Over the years, many of the
proposals to alleviate congestion in this area have not generated
widespread local agreement among the various jurisdictions that would
enable implementation.  Various political, environmental, and land use
concerns have hindered progress.  By developing more effective public
involvement strategies as a part of the MIS effort, OKI believes that
it will be more likely that consensus may be reached concerning the
most appropriate strategies to address the deficiencies in the
transportation system.

RFP for Public Involvement in MIS

OKI has developed a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Eastern
Corridor that stresses the need for proactive public involvement and
collaborative decision making from the beginning of the effort.  Key
relevant portions of the RFP are provided below as examples for MPOs
and others to consider.

Eastern Corridor MIS Objective

This MIS is undertaken as the result of planning that shows the need
for a major investment to improve east-west mobility through the
Eastern Corridor.  Beginning without bias toward any particular mode
or project, the MIS will involve the affected public in identifying
potential solutions, reducing the number of alternatives to be
studied, and selecting the preferred alternative.  The MIS is to be
conducted through a collaborative decision making process aimed at
enabling stakeholders to reach consensus concerning a solution.  The
primary objective of the Eastern Corridor MIS is to select a
financially feasible, publicly acceptable alternative for improving
east-west mobility through the area.

Public Involvement Elements

The Eastern Corridor MIS is to be conducted through an open
participatory process in which public involvement will be proactive,
public opportunities for receiving information and providing comments
will be provided early on and frequently, and key decisions will be
made through a collaborative process involving the area's numerous and
diverse stakeholders.  Given the historic and persistent lack of
consensus in the Eastern Corridor on transportation issues and
solutions, effective public involvement is critical for developing a
solution with broad-based support.

Efforts to secure involvement will be targeted to stakeholders, who
are entities or individuals that could be significantly affected by
the study's recommendations or could significantly influence
implementation.  Stakeholders include, but are not limited to, federal
and state transportation agencies, transit agencies, special
transportation interests (e.g. freight shippers, bicycle
organizations, disabled community), county engineers, planning
commissions, local officials, environmental organizations,
neighborhood representatives, chambers of commerce, and the general

Through different processes, efforts will be made to inform and
involve a core group of stakeholders, other interested stakeholders,
the public-at-large, and OKI committees.  At the beginning, the
consultant will present stakeholders with an overview of the MIS
process that includes a draft process design for public involvement
during the study.  The

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consultant will modify the draft process design based on stakeholder

The core group of stakeholders, which will be a cross-section of
stakeholders identified through a collaborative process, will be the
most involved in the study.  Other interested stakeholders will also
be provided frequent opportunities for involvement, and the public-at-
large will be kept informed and offered opportunities to comment on
major decisions before they are finalized.  At major milestone points,
the consultant will make OKI's Intermodal Coordinating Committee and
Executive Committee aware of the study's progress and key issues. 
Throughout the MIS, the consultant is expected to provide education so
that stakeholders understand what is being asked of them and why, and
to provide information with clarity and thoroughness for both
technical and non-technical participants.  For example, the consultant
will work closely with stakeholders to develop a preliminary set of
major investment alternatives for consideration.  The consultant will
then develop relevant technical and financial information for each
alternative and explain to the. stakeholders how this information can
be used in a screening process to evaluate the various alternatives.

Three Phases to Complete MIS

The MIS will be developed in three phases.  The first phase will deal
with mobility problems and conceptual alternatives for improving
mobility.  The consultant will work with stakeholders to develop a set
of preliminary major investment alternatives.  These alternatives will
then be presented to the public-at-large as a basis for making
additions, deletions, and modifications.

In the second phase of the study, the conceptual alternatives will be
reduced to no fewer than six and no more than eight for further study. 
The consultant will work with stakeholders to reduce the number of
alternatives and to refine the definition of each selected
alternative.  The selected alternatives will then be presented to the
public-at-large and subsequently modified to reflect public input.

In the third phase, a preferred alternative will be selected after the
consultant has developed relevant technical, environmental, and
financial information for each alternative and presented it in a
screening process involving the stakeholders and the public-at-large. 
Stakeholders will be involved in determining the evaluation criteria
for use in selecting the preferred alternative, as well as selecting
alternative for further study

The consultant will designate a Community Involvement Specialist to be
directly involved throughout the duration of the MIS.  Consultant
responsibilities for public involvement will include, but not be
limited to, designing and participating in meetings, presenting
information, preparing meeting agendas, minutes, materials for
presentations, outreach activities, documentation of and response to
public comment, and a comprehensive record of public involvement
efforts and outcomes throughout the MIS process.

In general, as indicated above, OKI has launched a MIS with a strong
public involvement emphasis, which it feels will provide an excellent
opportunity for involving a greater number of people more effectively
in resolving a controversial transportation problem that has grown
during the last 30 years.

C. East West Gateway Coordinating Council

The East West Gateway Coordinating Council is located in St. Louis,
Missouri, The

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Council is the designated MPO for the St. Louis metropolitan area; it
is a bi-state MPO that serves the city of St. Louis, four counties in
Missouri and three counties in Illinois.  The MPO also serves
approximately 94 city and municipal governments throughout the region. 
Due to the fragmentation of authority in the metropolitan area,
soliciting input from community and private sector groups represents a
difficult challenge to the MPO.  During development of their long-
range plan, the MPO staff designed a three-tier public involvement
process designed to ensure that all stakeholders had an opportunity to
participate in the transportation planning process.

The public participation component designed by East-West Gateway was
unique in that the MPO staff created a process that truly reflected
the input of its citizens.  After each phase of the long-range
planning process, staff held joint committee meetings to allow
citizens to comment on progress.  Participants from the citizens
advisory committees were also appointed to sit on the MPO's Policy
Committee, which was responsible for developing the policies that
direct the MPO's long-range planning process.  The advisory committees
represented a cross-section of the region's population, including
participation by members of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a
variety of youth organizations, the American Association of Retired
Persons and the Near Southside Employment Coalition (which primarily
provides assistance with employment to African Americans living in the
St. Louis area).

Three Part Public Involvement Process

The three components of the public involvement process included public
information, public participation, and community conversation
components.  As a part of the Public Information component, special
newsletters, issue papers and press releases were distributed to the
general public to keep the public informed of progress in development
of the long-range plan.  During the Public Participation component,
participation was carried out through the three citizen advisory
committees, which included approximately 190 individuals.  Through
participation on one of the three committees, the public provided
input throughout the planning process.  The third component, Community
Conversation, consisted of small and large community events sponsored
by the MPO which brought a wide range of individuals with an interest
in mobility together to exchange ideas.  This component allowed the
community to express their various view points on how the
transportation planning process operated.  Community input was used to
direct the staff's future transportation planning efforts.  In
addition, four citizen representatives were appointed to the Long-
range Plan Policy Committee.

Kickoff Conference

As the first step in development of its long-range plan, the Council
sponsored a longrange plan kickoff conference in October of 1992
called Transportation Redefined: New Partnerships, New Directions for
the Year 2015.  The theme, "Transportation Redefined," represented the
Council's effort to "use the transportation system as a vehicle for
meeting economic, social and environmental goals." The purpose of the
conference was to provide all stakeholders with an interest in the
transportation system an opportunity to influence development of the
plan.  More than 300 people attended the day-long event.  The morning
session focused on identifying current conditions in the region, and
involved two panel discussions moderated by a consultant.  The first
panel represented the consumer's perspective.  Representatives of
various transportation consumer groups described their interest in the
transportation system and how the

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transportation system effected them as consumers.  The second panel
represented the provider's perspective.  Representatives of
transportation provider agencies discussed their roles in the St.
Louis region.  The afternoon session consisted of three concurrent
workshops, which focused on each of three issues which ultimately
evolved into individual citizen advisory committees.  The sessions
were facilitated by Council staff.

Citizen Advisory Committees

Conference attendees interested in providing input during the
development of the longrange plan were encouraged to sign up for one
of the citizen advisory committees being developed.  The three
committees included:

   -  The Transportation, Employment and Community Services
      committee.  This group explored the importance of
      transportation as a community service and link to full
      employment.  The members discussed issues such as the mobility
      needs of groups who are transit-dependent.

   -  The Transportation, Land Use, and the Environment Committee. 
      This group focused on defining specific issues related to long-
      range transportation planning in a number of different areas,
      including land use and development; urban and neighborhood
      design; the preservation and efficient use of existing
      facilities and corridors; and alternative systems (e.g.,
      bicycle paths).

   -  The Transportation and the Regional Economy Committee.  This
      group assisted in clarifying how to target transportation
      improvements whose overall economic effects are beneficial to
      everyone.  To achieve this, the group attempted to identify the
      range of economic issues that the region will face in the
      future in relation to the transportation system being designed.

MPO staff members developed a long-range transportation plan schedule
of actions and activities for the committees.  The schedule identified
proposed activities from January through April 1993.  The month of May
was set aside for staff to finalize results from the CAC effort, and
meetings were proposed for June and July to discuss and review drafts
of the plan.

To assist in designing a series of issues, a Problem/Issue
Identification Exercise was designed by the staff to identify
transportation issues of concern to the public.  Each committee member
was asked to list ten regional transportation issues, not specific
projects, that concerned them.  Each citizen committee meeting
consisted of a series of targeted questions pertaining to the issues
assigned to each group; questions were provided to participants prior
to each meeting.  The staff used the questions to drive the meeting. 
The information was then synthesized by the staff into a variety of
proposals based on the specific questions discussed.  At the following
meeting, the participants validated the proposals and prioritized them
through a voting technique.  During the final meeting, the group
provided feedback on the results and discussed what the other groups
had done.  The Council recently completed a series of joint CAC
meetings to review the draft long-range plan and to discuss how it
would be presented to the general public.

Informational Efforts

As a part of the MPO's effort, the East-West Gateway public
information section has generated a number of informative media items
which have been disseminated to the

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public.  The documents include:

   -  Talking the Talk, a pocket guide to the language of
      transportation planning.  The objective of the guide is to
      break down language barriers that commonly exist between
      planners and laymen who are becoming involved in the process.

   -  A Transportation Redefined newsletter is published periodically
      to update the public on the progress made in development of the
      long-range plan.


The process developed by East-West Gateway was designed to allow
maximum public involvement by allowing for varying levels and types of
input.  At this time, East-West Gateway has received input from a wide
variety of groups who traditionally do not participate in the
transportation planning process.  The public is very excited about
ISTEA and the opportunities the legislation has provided for increased
public input into the transportation planning process.  Mr. Gil
Peters, a representative for the trucking association, summed it up
when he said, "Before ISTEA I would have never thought about sitting
at the table with a bicycle advocate.  ISTEA has encouraged groups
with conflicting interests to listen to other points of view."


The composition of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Planning
Commission's (SPRPC) region creates a particularly challenging
environment in evaluating and making transportation decisions.  Key
factors include: the huge land area with inherent urban/suburban/rural
competing interests; the complexity of the transportation system due
to rugged terrain, river valleys, numerous bridges, tunnels, and
waterways; the loss of population and jobs over the past fifteen
years, and the corresponding needs for economic development through
improved access; and, the need for reduction of future vehicle
emissions to attain clean air standards.

Established New Partnerships

SPRPC has reorganized since ISTEA to include four additional members
on the Commission who previously did not have authority to vote on
critical transportation issues.  In addition to the existing board
members, there will now be two transit operators, an additional
representative from the City of Pittsburgh and a person from the
Governor's office.

SPRPC established working groups for the truck, air cargo, and
railroad industries to allow these stakeholders to provide input on
transportation issues and problems they are experiencing.  The SPRPC
staff also sponsored a workshop on freight and air cargo handling.  In
the future, the working groups will meet collectively around projects
and plans.

SPRPC has established a good working relationship with the Port
Authority.  The two agencies have had a long history of involvement at
a variety of different levels.  The

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 44


agencies participate on a Transit Operators Committee and work
together on transportation studies.  Coordination also takes place
during TIP and LRP development and day-to-day staff activities.  The
Port Authority conducts Major Investment Studies for transit projects
and the MPO staff participates on the Port Authority's technical

Long-Range Plan Development

"Choosing a Future" Kick-off Conference.  SPRPC initiated their long-
range plan public involvement effort by providing community and
business leaders with an opportunity for early involvement in
developing the long-range plan.  In November of 1992, SPRPC held a two
day conference entitled "Choosing a Future" to provide private sector
leaders an opportunity to comment on and revise four concepts provided
by SPRPC as starting points in developing long-range planning options
for the region.  Participants were selected by the Transportation Plan
Policy Committee and MPO staff.  As a pall of this process, the group
broke down into smaller discussion groups to review the concepts.  The
discussions were facilitated by SPRPC staff and transportation
professionals from area agencies.

The Long-range Planning Process.  In examining public involvement in
the region, the development of the long-range plan provides the best
example of efforts undertaken by SPRPC thus far.  The staff considered
the long-range planning process to be much more structured than during
development of the TIP.  The long-range plan development process
operated under the leadership of the Transportation Policy Plan
Committee TPP).  The TPP is a forty person leadership committee whose
members include senior representatives from the region's public,
private and nonprofit sectors.  The TPP committee generally meets
monthly, but additional sessions are scheduled as needed.  The
committee accepted recommendations from a variety of committees and
subcommittees which included a Technical Finance, Public Relations,
Environmental, Forecast, and a Citizen Committee as well as special
committees (e.g., the Working Group for Community Development).

During development of the long-range plan, the staff under the
direction of the TPP assessed the needs and goals of the region and
initial regional development options were defined.  Fiscal limit
projections are developed.  Educational workshops were sponsored for
the public.  Technical analyses of the alternatives were conducted
prior to their being presented to the public for review.  Based on the
comments from the public and local elected officials, the preferred
elements from the alternatives were selected to be included in a draft
plan.  The public then reviewed and commented on the preferred plan
option.  A working plan was adopted in October 1993.

Staff Facilitation Training.  As a part of its public involvement
strategy, SPRPC hired a nationally recognized facilitator to provide
senior level staff with training in facilitation.  The two day
training program was designed to enhance staff communication skills in
working with the public.  Staff facilitation skills are utilized
during Policy Committee meetings, special meetings and conferences.

Use Of A Public Relations Consultant.  SPRPC hired a public relations
consultant to direct the staff effort in developing strategies and
preparing various forms of media materials to increase the visibility
of the MPO among the many communities it serves and to encourage
participation by the public during the development of the long-range
plan.  As a part of the public involvement effort, the consultant
developed written materials (brochures, informative newsletter, etc.)
to educate the public as to who the

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MPO is and what role the public has an opportunity to assume in
shaping the regional plan.  Media generated for public consumption

   -  Who We Are, What We Do,

   -  The Transportation Partnership News; and,

   -  Editorials included in local papers, such as the Pittsburgh
      Business Times, prepared by the executive director of SPRPC.

Neighborhood Working Group on Community Development.  As a part of the
long-range planning effort, the Neighborhood Working Group on
Community Development was formed.  The working group is a coalition of
community development professionals and volunteers whose purpose is to
address policy affecting community development through education and
advocacy activities.  SPRPC co-sponsored a forum developed by the
working group entitled "Open Forum on Transportation for Liveable
Communities" with the Pittsburgh Department of City Planning.  The
goals of the Forum were to encourage widespread and diverse attendance
and determine whether the attendees could reach a common ground or
viewpoint with respect to the regional transportation plan.

The Surface Transportation Policy Project and SPRPC staff provided
technical assistance to the Forum planners.  A professional
facilitator was hired to lead the process and to insure that no biases
were represented.  A three-step process was used which asked the
attendees to:

   -  Rank the 15 ISTEA criteria;

   -  Break down into small discussion groups to prepare a list of
      do's and don'ts for transportation planning, of which the top
      three were selected by vote; and

   -  Break into small groups again to evaluate the four
      transportation plan options and identify what they considered
      to be the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative.

The Forum was attended by seventy-five people.  According to Mrs.
Rebecca Flora, Executive Director of the South Side Local Development
Company, "The process demonstrated that a real citizens participation
process can lead to real conclusions in a short time frame, and it
does not have to be painful unless you are afraid of losing control of
the outcome."


Despite additional refinements needed to make SPRPC's process more
inclusive, many of the stakeholders interviewed were excited about the
potential for change in the transportation planning process.  Ms. Gale
McGloin of the Citizens League of Southwestern Pennsylvania indicated
that the public involvement element of the longrange planning process
was not as inclusive as she would like it to be, but the positive
affect of this legislation is that "it is forcing people to consider
things differently.  Ms. McGloin is hopeful that, "once all of the
players are around the table they will be forced to, at minimum,
consider other projects and broaden their perspective."

The staff is also using different kinds of media and publishing
information in layman's terms.  Mr. John Warren of the Ohio River
Basin Environmental Council feels that what is going on now is much
better than the way things operated in the past.  He stated that,
"there has to be consciousness raising in order to make the public
understand the spill-

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over effects projects have.  Educating the public is the only way to
get people to think about the big picture.  People are excited about
having something in place that raises possibilities for improvements
and change in the future.  ISTEA sets us on course in a positive

Despite the positive reception this new legislation has received by
many, some people are skeptical in the region about the commitment of
Congress to support ISTEA Some respondents expressed concern that many
local politicians think Congress will not support the enforcement of
ISTEA, therefore, they are not taking the legislation seriously.  The
majority of respondents believe that it is too early in the process to
determine whether ISTEA will be a success.


Ada Planning Association is the designated Metropolitan Planning
Organization located in Boise, Idaho and is responsible for
transportation planning in Ada County.  The MPO is made up of Ada
County Highway District; Ada County; the cities of Boise, Eagle,
Garden City, Kuna and Meridian; Boise Auditorium District; Boise
Independent School District; Meridian Joint School District and Boise
State University.  Because the urbanized area population is less than
200,000, ISTEA indicates that the staff should work cooperatively with
the state DOT to develop the long-range plan and transportation
improvement program.

The Ada Planning Association adopted a public involvement process in
December 1985.  The staff has utilized a variety of creative
strategies to involve the public in the transportation decision making
process.  Recently, there have been three major transportation related
projects involving significant input from the public: The 201 0
Regional Plan Update, Boise Visions, and The Bench/Valley
Transportation Study.  In implementing these projects, the Ada staff
have utilized a variety of outreach techniques which included working
with the media, conducting town meetings (some televised live), and
conducting public surveys.

2010 Regional Transportation Plan Update

During development of the 2010 Regional Transportation Plan, the MPO
used two public involvement processes, one for the rural areas and
another for the urban/metro area.

Rural Long-range Planning Process.  The process for the rural areas
was initiated through a request to the mayor of each rural area to
develop a transportation task force and appoint six to eight members. 
The participants were made up of elected officials, local citizens,
school representatives, and the private sector.

The process consisted of four meetings:

   -  During the first meeting, the group was provided an overview of
      the transportation planning process by representatives from the
      MPO, the highway district, and the state DOT;

   -  During the second meeting, the group was asked to develop a
      list of proposed projects that they would like to see

   -  During the third meeting, criteria were established to rank the
      projects.  'The group visited all of the proposed project sites
      in a bus.  State and county highway

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      engineers determined that approximately eighty percent of the
      projects identified could be completed immediately because they
      were minor maintenance projects.  The twenty percent of the
      projects proposed which were long-range in nature would be
      considered for inclusion in the regional plan; and,

   -  During the final stage of the process, proposed projects were
      submitted for inclusion in the plan.

Each of the rural governments felt that the process was impressive and
it has been continued on an annual basis for the past four years.

Urban/Metro Area Process.  The public involvement process for the
urban/metro area was initiated by selecting locations for two sets of
town hall-type meetings.  There were a total of eight meetings, four
at each of the two locations.  At each of the eight meetings, the
process consisted of brief staff presentations designed to provide the
participants with a progress report and provide information necessary
to direct the particular session, a break out into small group
discussions and a closing session consisting of all participants.  The
staff attempted to divide representatives of community/interest groups
into different groups to create a conversation with diverse
perspectives.  The meetings, each sponsored by local elected
officials, were attended by highway, county and district
commissioners.  A media specialist was hired to advertise the
meetings, and develop written materials for elected officials and the
public.  Prior to the initiation of the process, facilitation training
was provided to the MPO staff, state DOT, and Ada County highway
district staff.

The urban/metro process was conducted in four parts:

   -  During stage one, the planning staff graphically depicted the
      anticipated impact the projected population growth would have
      on the existing regional transportation system and identified
      the expected deficiencies.  Each participant was provided with
      a blank map to identify the location of potential projects. 
      The participants were broken up into approximately six small
      groups of six people each, which were facilitated by staff;

   -  During stage two, the proposed projects were compiled and
      displayed in the front of the room.  Each participant was given
      three dots of varying colors to prioritize the projects.  The
      staff subsequently summarized project priorities based on the
      public's input.  Based on this list of projects, the staff
      developed four alternatives.  The four alternatives consisted
      of a "do nothing" alternative, a "maximum" alternative, a
      "balanced" alternative, and a "minimum" alternative;

   -  During stage three, the four alternatives and related costs
      were presented.  The participants divided into small discussion
      groups to choose an alternative, or build their own, based on
      the four alternatives developed earlier in the process.  The
      full group was reconvened to discuss the recommendations

   -  A final public hearing was held to present the recommendations.

Boise Visions

During the Fall of 1989, the mayor of the City of Boise initiated the
development of a planning process to prepare Boise for the next twenty
years.  Mayor Kempthorne wanted the effort to involve as many people
as possible.  To ascertain what issues the public considered Boise to
be facing, the mayor sponsored a citizen survey later entitled "Boise
Futures." Almost fifteen hundred people responded to the survey.  The
three major

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issues of concern identified by the public were growth, transportation
and education.  Eighty-five percent of respondents also indicated
support for the use of user fees for transportation system

Based on the response from the survey, the mayor created a Boise
Visions Steering Committee.

Twenty working committees were created and a mission statement was
adopted.  Ada Planning staff sent out 500 invitations between
September and October 1990 seeking participation on the working
committees.  Over 400 people actively participated.  Each subcommittee
was assigned the following tasks:

   -  Define the goals and objectives of the committee;

   -  Prepare a committee report by Spring 1991; and,

   -  Edit and revise their section of the integrated report prepared
      by the Staff.

The draft document was disseminated for public comment between Fall
1991 and the end of that year.  The draft report was disseminated in
variety of ways:

   -  At a luncheon sponsored by a local organization attended by
      several hundred people;

   -  Printed excerpts in a special supplement of Boise's newspaper
      the Idaho Statesman-Opportunity for comments was provided
      through inclusion of a clip-out coupon;

   -  A series of town meetings, the first one televised live; and,

   -  A series of articles on Vision reports and records printed in
      the Idaho Statesman.

The final document, Boise Visions, was distributed during the summer
of 1993.  It is anticipated by the Boise Visions Steering Committee
that the report will direct future planning efforts in a manner that
is evident to the public.

New Transportation Funding Mechanisms.  As a result of the "Boise
Futures" survey conducted by the Mayor in 1989, citizens expressed an
interest in creating user fees and impact fees to pay for
transportation projects.  Subsequently, the Ada County Highway
District proposed an increase in vehicle registration fees which was
overwhelmingly supported by the citizens.  The additional money
generated from the fee will fund transportation projects.  In
addition, the public voted for an impact fee on new developments
constructed in the region.

Bench/Valley Transportation Study

The Bench/Valley Transportation Study was initiated in 1993.  The
ongoing-study is subregional in nature, and has been considered the
initial effort in developing the 2015 regional transportation plan. 
The study was designed to develop an alternative to the Curtis Road
Bench access route first recommended during the 1950's.  Citizens in
the adjacent neighborhoods have been fighting variations of this
project since.  The controversy stems from the fact that the proposed
extension places a principal arterial within the platted areas of two
subdivisions.  During the 1993 review of the TIP, the Curtis Road
Extension project was considered once again.  The Manorwood
Neighborhood Preservation Committee successfully garnered support from
state and U.S. congressmen to convince the City Council to vote
against approving the project.  In response, the Study

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 49


was initiated.  The cost of the Study was projected to be $1.25
million, of which $200,000 will be spent on public involvement.  The
staff anticipated that approximately twelve to fourteen neighborhoods
will participate in the study.

Citizen Involvement Approach.  The planning staff hired a public
involvement specialist to develop their public involvement process. 
The consultant drafted a detailed scope of work outlining the role of
community and private sector groups during the study.  As a part of
the process, public involvement training was to be provided by the
consultants to planning agency staff members to educate them on how to
communicate with the public.

The framework developed for the public involvement process included:

   -  Identifying private sector stakeholders;

   -  Identifying public/agency stakeholders;

   -  Sponsoring focus group meetings;

   -  Convening a Citizen's Advisory Committee; and,

   -  Sponsoring an early public involvement meeting.

Private sector stakeholders were identified to test project concepts,
understand historical concerns, test messages developed by the CAC,
and to act as a sounding board over the life of the project. 
Public/Agency stakeholders were selected to improve community support
from key leaders.  The representatives were to act as endorsers of the
work being done.  Three focus group sessions were held to test the
process and information that would be disseminated at neighborhood
meetings.  Additional focus group meetings are to be held later in the
process prior to the public informational meetings and "public
hearings." A citizen's advisory committee was formed to assist in
defining the scope of the project and to serve as a sounding board. 
The neighborhood groups will be used to help define the options for
transportation within the study area and to help define the impacts
each one of the options present.  Finally, formal public involvement
meetings will be held throughout the process to monitor the public's
perspective on how the project is evolving.  As a part of the process
the consultant will:

   -  Update staff communications training;

   -  Create attractive advertising concepts that build public
      interest in the need to attend hearings;

   -  Create displays that provide the public with the appropriate
      amount of educational information to help draw out their
      thoughts and concerns; and,

   -  Complete a follow-up critique session that reflects the input
      and recommendations of the public to the project.

The role of the consultant during this project will consist of the
provision of the following

   -  Appear before standing community groups to advise them as to
      the current status of the project and to take questions;

   -  Continuously seek opportunities that will showcase and
      highlight the value of the Bench/Valley Study project to the
      community and the region; and

   -  Provide a continuous flow of information to the area media
      about the project.

It is anticipated that this project will be completed in 1995.  The
MPO hopes to apply the techniques developed during this process during
the development of the 2015

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 50


Transportation Plan.

Grassroots Participation.  Boise enjoys a great deal of input from
grassroots organizations.  The citizens in Boise are very active in
that people tend to be members of several committees.  Boise is
beginning to grow tremendously; the vacancy rate is less than one
percent for rental units.  People want to control growth, and they
feel that by becoming active in the planning process, their voices
will be heard.  There appears to be a greater focus on regional issues
as opposed to the "Not in My Backyard" syndrome found in many parts of
the country.


In the past, the public has felt that Ada Planning Association and the
county highway district staff have not been responsive to the concerns
of the public.  According to Mrs. Renee Quick, from an east end
neighborhood group, both the agencies are making an effort to change. 
Mrs. Quick indicated that "most citizens have noticed the change in
the planning process and increased public input." She is reluctant to
get too excited because, it is her impression that, "roadway interests
continue to dominate."

Mrs. Debbie Ruggles, Director of Boise Urban Stages (BUS), the area
"transit provider, expressed her opinion that "the process is a
success locally and regionally, but it cannot ,truly be considered a
success as long as the state continues to have the final decision. 
The MPOs are raising expectations, but, in many areas, they still do
not have the authority to make the final decision during project
selection for the transportation improvement program."

Ada Planning Association's leadership during the development of
transportation planning projects such as the 201 0 Regional
Transportation Plan, Boise Visions, and the Bench/Valley
Transportation Study demonstrate the staff's commitment to providing
meaningful involvement by community and private sector groups in the
transportation decision making process.  The creative planning
techniques used by the staff to involve the public can serve as a
model for other MPOs.


In 1989, the City of Santa Barbara, California, recognized the fact
that the population and building boom of the 1980's had stretched the
community's water system, traffic management capacity, and affordable
housing supply to their limits (Plotz, 1992).  Yet, the notion of
growth management was very controversial.  Realizing that a general
plan update was essential, the City Council asked the community
development department to undertake a public participation program
that would result in a plan update that the community would find
acceptable.  The Council went a step further and appointed a
subcommittee to monitor and advise the department on this high
visibility project.

The community development department developed a pamphlet describing
four alternative growth scenarios, and distributed this throughout the
city.  The department then hired a consultant to work with staff in
designing a comprehensive strategy for involving the citizenry in
selecting and fleshing out one of these alternatives.  The result was
a year-long process that included:

   -  Education TV programming;

   -  Interactive workshops;

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 51


   -  A televised town meeting;

   -  Interviews;

   -  An economic study group;

   -  Community forums;

   -  A City Council work session;

   -  A local business symposium; and

   -  A land use simulation game.

Special efforts were made throughout this process to include black and
Hispanic members of the community.  Bilingual materials were sent to
households with Hispanic surnames.  City staff got the word out by
visiting Hispanic churches and holding a community workshop at a
Latino community center.  The city broadcast a bilingual television
program explaining the process being used to update the general plan;
the program was aired daily for two weeks.  City staff also conducted
a survey of Hispanic and black business people and community leaders
to identify issues of particular concern to them.

All told, 8,000 residents watched the televised town meeting.  A
public information package was sent to 35,000 homes and the mailing
list for the project newsletters contained 6,000 names.  Two thousand
citizens attended forums and workshops.

City planners sequestered themselves with all of this input, and did
not re-emerge until they had the outline of the general plan update. 
This was reportedly a fairly simple task because the public's ideas
for limited growth had been clear.

The Planning Commission held a round of public meetings to get the
public's response to the staff's work, and then approved the plan. 
The City Council then held a final round of public meetings and it,
too, passed the update.  For good measure, the Council asked the
voters to approve an initiative to incorporate the growth management
strategies into the city's charter.  This elicited well-funded
resistance from development interests, but the citizens approved the
initiative with 56 percent of the vote.  Implementation has been very
smooth, and growth management is no longer as controversial as it once
was in Santa

City staff  and the consultant attribute the success of this effort
to two things:

   1. The level of resources invested in educating the public about
      the issues so that public input could be well-informed; and ,

   2. The fact that the city was willing to be flexible about the
      citizen involvement program, making modifications to it in an
      iterative fashion.  The entire effort cost approximately
      $400,000 including consultant and staff time, publications, and
      incidental expenses.

Working Together on Transportation Planning                    Page 52


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