Section 6: Public Involvement ProcessAnchor: #i1005421
The metropolitan planning process shall include a proactive public involvement process. This process provides complete information, timely public notice, and full public access to key decisions. It supports early and continuing public involvement in developing plans and TIPs. Each MPO shall develop a public involvement process in accordance with the federal requirements for the transportation planning process. The federal requirements are general enough to allow MPOs the ability to customize their public involvement process to meet individual community needs.Anchor: #i1005431
The following requirements and criteria are specified in 23 CFR §450.316.
- Require a minimum public comment period of 45 days before the MPO’s adopted public involvement process is revised or during the initial adoption of a public involvement policy.
- Provide 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 (including but not limited to central city and other local jurisdiction concerns).
- Provide reasonable public access to technical and policy information used in developing plans and TIPs and open public meetings where matters related to the federal-aid highway and transit programs are being considered.
- Require 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 (in nonattainment areas, classified as serious and above, the comment period shall be at least 30 days for the plan, TIP, and major amendment(s)).
- Demonstrate explicit consideration and response to public input received during the planning and program development processes.
- Seek out and consider the needs of those traditionally underserved by existing transportation systems, including but not limited to low-income and minority households.
- When significant written and oral comments are received on the draft transportation plan or TIP (including the financial plan) as a result of the public involvement process or the interagency consultation process required under the U.S. EPA’s conformity regulations, a summary, analysis, and report on the disposition of comments shall be made part of the final plan and TIP.
- If the final transportation plan or TIP differs significantly from the one which was made available for public comment by the MPO and raises new material issues which interested parties could not reasonably have foreseen from the public involvement efforts, an additional opportunity for public comment on the revised plan or TIP shall be made available.
- Public involvement processes shall be periodically reviewed by the MPO in terms of their effectiveness in assuring that the process provides full and open access to all.
- These procedures will be reviewed by the FHWA and the FTA during certification reviews for TMAs, and as otherwise necessary for all MPOs, to assure that full and open access is provided to MPO decision-making processes.
- Metropolitan public involvement processes shall be coordinated with statewide public involvement processes wherever possible to enhance public consideration of the issues, plans, and programs and reduce redundancies and costs.