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22 The CTAC mission statement is as follows: constructive. If a meeting becomes argumentative, then animosity builds up, communication breaks down, and The Miami-Dade Citizens' Transportation Advisory you can't build an effective and efficient transportation Committee (CTAC) is mandated by the State from the system. Federal government to advise the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Governing Board and the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) on achieving quality The MiamiDade MPO uses a structured and formalized transportation facilities and programs for the citizens of MiamiDade County (10 ). process for CTAC proceedings. Staff report that, although some committee members might think the rules are strict, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. According to Fer- When developing recommendations, the CTAC members nandez, "People from the outside like coming to CTAC vote and then provide minority and majority viewpoints. meetings because people respect each other, have meaning- According to Elizabeth Rockwell, public involvement man- ful conversations, and provide constructive insight." The ager, the requirement for equal geographic representation benefit of an ordered process is that it keeps the focus on ensures diversity on the committee. transportation issues and away from personal conflicts. The CTAC's monthly meetings are managed by a chair- person elected through formal biannual elections and are Valley Metro Regional Public Transit governed by Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedures. All Authority, Phoenix, Arizona: Advisory members of the CTAC are required to vote; abstaining is not Committee Involvement in Development and permitted. Subcommittees, composed of any three CTAC Implementation of Mitigation Strategies members, discuss issues in detail and report back to the full body. According to Wilson Fernandez, transportation sys- Agency: Valley Metro Rail, Inc. tem manager, CTAC generally, "honors the work of the sub- committees and avoids re-hashing individual issues once a Contact: Howard Steere, Public Involvement Manager subcommittee resolution has been passed." Project: METRO Light Rail Innovative Practices Committee: Construction Impacts Community Advisory The CTAC has provided leadership in the community and on Boards (CAB) transit projects. In response to chronic congestion and sev- eral failed ballot measures to fund transportation improve- ments, the CTAC assisted in a grassroots public outreach TABLE 9 campaign. CTAC hosted large public forums and canvassed COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARD HIGHLIGHTS in their communities to build public awareness and support Members 25 members for a new one-half cent local sales tax to fund transporta- Open application and approved by tion improvements. After 80 neighborhood meetings and Selection process Valley Metro Board the active participation of more than 2,000 concerned citi- Authority level Group recommendation zens, the People's Transportation Plan was developed and the one-half cent sales tax measure was put on the ballot Reporting Reports directly to METRO's chief to fund the plan. The ballot measure language was drafted relationships executive officer with the assistance of CTAC and public input. The measure was approved by voters in 2002 by a margin of two to one. Overview According to Rockwell, CTAC was "instrumental" in build- ing support for this critical ballot measure. On December 27, 2008, METRO light rail (the first light rail line in the Phoenix metropolitan area) opened for public oper- To evaluate CTAC's work, the MPO's public involvement ation. Stretching 20 miles through the region, METRO trav- office produces a report each year documenting CTAC activ- els through downtown Phoenix to the suburban community ities. Every 3 years, the MPO releases a report that evaluates of Mesa. The corridor passes through Tempe and connects the entire public involvement program against stated goals. riders to the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and two Arizona State University campuses. The project corri- Lessons Learned dor primarily created a new right-of-way for light rail through densely populated urban centers, so mitigating construction According to Rockwell, the key to CTAC's success has been impacts was METRO's chief concern. As part of the project's clear communication: public involvement efforts, a Construction Outreach Plan was adopted and CABs were implemented to monitor construc- Regardless of whether the committee is an ad-hoc or standing committee, you have to make sure meetings are tion impacts along 5-mile segments of the project corridor.

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23 During the initial project planning phase, METRO imple- Each CAB was composed of a maximum of 25 commu- mented a variety of public involvement strategies. These nity members who either lived or worked near the affected included meetings with community leaders, presenting to corridor. CAB members were typically immediately adja- community groups, and hosting public events. Additionally, cent stakeholders, including property and business owners, ad hoc CACs were formed to provide input on architectural tenants, neighboring residents, and representatives from the design, station design, and ADA elements. local neighborhood and business associations. Efforts were made to balance the ratio of property owners, tenants, and Advisory Committee Approach business owners so that no one group made up the majority of CAB membership. Current elected officials were not per- A key component of the Construction Outreach Plan was the mitted to serve on the CABs. CAB members were recruited use of CABs to serve as a voice for the community during through an application and appointment process. Applica- light rail construction. Five CABs were formed, one for each tions typically were received from affected citizens already of the five construction line sections of the 20-mile corridor, active in the public process. The METRO Board reviewed as shown in Figure 6. Each CAB was paired with a METRO the final list of CAB members. community outreach coordinator, who served as the primary point of contact for construction issues within their corridor Each CAB member received reference materials and segment and a public involvement specialist who adminis- training regarding the anticipated construction activities tered and documented all elements of the CAB process and within each segment, the kinds of construction impacts con- program. Modeled from a similar program implemented by sidered to be normal, and an overview of how to participate the Utah Transit Authority, CABs provided input on con- in the CAB process. Training included the basics of CAB tractor performance. The METRO Board used CAB input member responsibilities and a rehearsal before the first pub- to award quarterly financial incentives to contractors who lic meeting. If a CAB member needed to leave the commit- exceeded the community's expectations. The incentive pro- tee, efforts were made to replace that member with someone gram was funded with $2.5 million from the general fund. who represented a similar stakeholder interest. FIGURE 6 Valley Metro Light Rail Project Corridor and CAB Segments. Source: Valley Metro.

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24 The elected chair and vice chair served for the entire dura- Innovative Practices tion of the CAB and helped staff create agendas, facilitated meetings, and served as external spokespersons. The chair According to Howard Steere, public involvement manager at and vice chair were provided with media relations training. METRO light rail, "linking contractor incentive bonuses to CAB recommendations was a successful way to give stake- CAB meetings were held regularly during active con- holders control over how they were being impacted." Spe- struction for each segment. In addition to the CAB members, cific strengths of the CAB program included the following: each meeting was attended by the construction engineer, the contractor, METRO's project engineer, the community Clear Communication Channels: The visible presence outreach liaison, and a public involvement specialist, who of the community outreach coordinators on a day-to-day administered the CAB Program. Meetings were open to the basis, literally walking along the project corridor, gave public. Each meeting typically included a review of the most the community access to staff to address concerns (see recent Line Section Activity Report (sent to CAB members 1 Figure 8). This easy access to staff prevented stakehold- week before the meeting), a presentation from the contractor ers from having to find their way through a large agency on upcoming activities, and the completion of a Contractor to solve a problem and saved elected officials from hav- Evaluation Report. CAB meetings were facilitated by the ing to deal with problems on the ground. chair and conducted under Robert's Rules of Order. Continuity: Asking the public involvement coordi- nators for the planning phase to continue as the com- Each CAB made recommendations to the METRO Board munity outreach coordinators during the construction of Directors regarding how to allot monetary incentives to phase provided stakeholders with a sense of continuity contractors who would best mitigate construction impacts throughout the process. The relationships and trust that within their segment. Each line segment had a different con- already were established during the planning phase tractor and a different CAB, so conflicting recommendations could be carried over to the construction phase. This were never an issue. CAB recommendations were always allowed the community to engage with the process carried forward by METRO's chief executive officer. right from the start. Publicity: CAB chairs and vice chairs served as At the end of each meeting, each CAB member filled out spokespersons for the project and provided regular a Contractor Evaluation Form (see Figure 7). Incentive cri- updates to the media. Visibility in the public forum teria were based on the quality of the contractor's commu- allowed the public to see the work that was being done nication, mitigation, traffic flow management, and property and engaged them in the problem-solving process. restoration (rather than traditional schedule-tied incentives). According to Steere, if the public only hears about the Scores were tallied and the median score was used to rate the project when things go wrong, it can easily overlook contractor's performance. the project's successes. FIGURE 7 Contractor evaluation form. Source: Valley Metro.

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25 the incentive funds were distributed. If money was left over after a certain rating period, it was thrown back into the pot for the final evaluation. This provided an additional incentive for contractors to improve if they had performed poorly on previous ratings. Lessons Learned Valley Metro plans to use the same process to mitigate con- struction impacts on future projects, with a slightly revised process to incorporate feedback received from evaluation surveys. This will include developing a finer-grained rating scale to allow for recognition of small differences between contractor performances. It will include a process to reduce the impact of outliers on the final rating for each contractor. Figure 8 Coordinator meets with a community member on- Throughout the first CAB process, it became clear that certain site. Source: Valley Metro. CAB members would always score contractors either 0 (or 100) regardless of changes in the contractor's performance. Contractor Response: Contractors responded posi- This skewed the average score and created controversy tively to the program because it gave them the oppor- within the CAB. Using a median scoring process alleviated tunity to showcase the quality of their work. They this problem. Other methods could be developed, however, to recognized the value of doing a good job and of receiv- prevent this from occurring in subsequent projects. ing positive publicity. Ultimately, all $2.5 million of