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10 A Guidebook for Corridor-Based Statewide Transportation Planning Appendix A illustrates these steps with examples from transportation planning agencies that have utilized some aspect of the SWCP approach to statewide transportation planning. Each example represents a "best practice" for that particular step, so all examples in combination present a composite illustration of how a particular state DOT could undertake statewide cor- ridor planning. The following sections provide a brief description of each of these steps. Establish Organizing Principles and Institutional Structure The SWCP approach to statewide transportation planning relies on corridor planning activities occurring in different parts of the state, but some actions may happen at the same time and some at different times. Therefore, it is important that state DOTs provide a structure and guidance for the planning activities that form the basis for the development of a state investment program and a system management strategy. This initial "organizing" step will have to deal with such questions as How can information generated from individual corridor analyses be consolidated to develop a comprehensive statewide investment program and action plan? How can broader state goals and policies be incorporated into the SWCP approach to provide consistency across all of the corridor studies? What types of public and stakeholder involvement strategies are appropriate at different steps in the process? How does one provide consistency in planning goals and objectives when agency or political leadership changes? How can corridor and NEPA planning efforts be integrated into both the SWCP process and long-range plan updates? Involvement of Non-Metropolitan Officials in Transportation Planning "The involvement of local officials should be one of the major elements in the state transportation agency's planning and programming process. Their input can provide important information, such as local knowledge about future economic development activities or a different perspective on needs, priorities, evaluation criteria, and potential impacts. Through this non-metropolitan local consultation process, both the state transportation agency and the local and regional bodies can make better decisions and, therefore, provide better service to their citizens. State transportation officials can serve as catalysts for envisioning, organizing, and sustaining a proactive and credible non-metropolitan local consultation process that provides opportunities for continuing active and meaningful input into state transportation decisionmaking on planning, projects, programs, and policies. The primary purpose of the non-metropolitan local consultation process is to engender active involvement by local elected and appointed officials in providing meaningful input that will affect state transportation decisions on plans, projects, policies, and programs that have an impact on the areas and constituents that they serve." Source: AASHTO, Non-Metropolitan Local Consultation Process: A Self-Assessment Tool to States, Washington, DC (2006).