Section 6: Public Participation
Public participation is a critical element of the metropolitan transportation planning process. State rules ( 43 TAC §15.5) and federal regulations ( 23 CFR §§450.316; .322; and .324) require each MPO to have an adopted a Public Participation Plan (PPP). The planning process must provide complete information, timely public notice, full public access to key decisions, and support early and reasonable opportunity for involvement of the public in developing plans and programs.
The PPP includes how the MPO engages key stakeholders and the public in the planning process and how the MPO consults with federal and state resource agencies.
Under federal requirements, the Public Participation Plan must:
- Provide adequate notice and timely information to citizens, affected public agencies, transportation agencies, private providers of transportation, affected community segments at key decision points.
- Provide timely notice and reasonable access to information on issues and processes.
- Employ visualization techniques to describe plans and TIPs.
- Make public information, technical and meeting notices available in electronic formats.
- Hold public meetings at convenient and accessible locations and times.
- Demonstrate explicit consideration and response to comments.
- Seek out and consider needs of traditionally underserved populations.
- Provide additional opportunity for comment if final is substantially different from draft circulated.
- Coordinate with statewide public participation process.
- Review the process periodically for effectiveness, and to assure full and open access to decision-making.
- As part of the final MTP and TIP, provide a summary, analysis,
and report on the disposition of significant written and oral comments
that are received on the draft MTP and TIP (including the financial
plans) as a result of:
- the participation process in this section, or
- the interagency consultation process required under the EPA transportation conformity regulations ( 40 CFR Part 93).
- Consult with or coordinate planning with agencies responsible for other planning activities in the area affected by transportation (state and local planned growth, economic development, environmental protection, airport operations, or freight), and give due consideration to other related planning activities in the region.