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12 their website had a counter. Those who knew their Similarities Among Agencies website had a counter were unaware if it could tell how many unique hits it received. Similarly, many How the human element was mentioned in mission respondents noted that they prepared and provided statements and public involvement goals were set. press releases to print and electronic media, but did That the organization was centralized, rather than not track them to see if they were picked up by local decentralized. media. The types and frequency of training received by staff 37. Most DOT and MPO respondents stated that their members. most cost-effective techniques were very similar to Consultants were used to conduct public involvement those they had identified as effective techniques-- tasks. a mixture of meeting types such as open houses, Costs of doing public involvement had not been quan- piggybacking on other meetings, workshops, focus tified. groups, sending information home with students, and The scope of the project and the type of the environmen- small meetings. Similarly, a mixture of print and tal document determine the amount of effort expended electronic media, and websites were also mentioned. on public involvement. 38. The most frequently mentioned ineffective technique A variety of types of meetings, using visualizations, writ- by both DOT and MPO respondents was newspaper ing documents in "plain speak," posting information on advertisements. This was followed by a mixture of the website, playing interactive games, publishing a errors such as holding meetings in locations outside monthly newsletter, and going door-to-door and talking to the project area, at inconvenient times, and in diffi- people were commonly used ways to educate the public. cult places to find, as well as basing the mailing lists Public involvement goals were frequently identified and developed with the assistance of working groups, on tax assessor information, and holding a meeting agency leaders, public affairs managers, and others. with the plan already decided upon. The definition of successful public involvement was 39. Almost every DOT and MPO respondent was famil- similar, but few agencies had developed quantitative or iar with some technique to engage at least one of the qualitative measures of effectiveness except for specific traditionally underserved groups--racial and ethnic areas such as air quality. minorities; those of low income, limited English pro- Quantitative measures of effectiveness had not been ficiency, and low literacy; the elderly or disabled; those developed to measure equity, inclusiveness, or cost- without access to transportation, second and third effectiveness of public involvement efforts. shift workers, single mothers with children, and Generally, the most effective public involvement others. Many respondents had used bi-lingual inter- techniques were a mixture of personal and face-to- preters and translated printed materials, held meetings face encounters and the most ineffective technique during the daylight hours in accessible buildings, pro- was advertising in the newspaper. Although websites vided transportation or held the meetings in the com- were considered effective, there was little evidence to munity, and held meetings in the morning or at mid- support this. day, but few respondents had any experience in engaging those with low literacy by using oral media and the pulpit, or engaging single parents and their Differences Among Agencies children by providing food and a licensed and bonded child care provider at their meetings. Distribution of public involvement responsibilities. Phases of transportation decision making that have pub- lic involvement components. LEVERAGING RELATIONSHIPS Number of staff allocated part-time or full-time to con- duct public involvement. 40. Almost all DOT and MPO respondents reported that The qualifications, professional designations, and mem- their agencies had been and were continuing to be berships in professional organizations of staff members proactive in forming relationships with the media, doing public involvement. neighborhood associations, school groups, community- The technical studies and reports conducted to address based organizations, faith-based organizations, non- social and community issues, and the subjects addressed governmental organizations, nonprofit organizations, by these technical studies/reports. and piggybacking on these organizations. Ways in which segments of the population were identified. The structure of public involvement plans. SUMMARY The integration of public input into decision making. Methods used to document and track commitments The surveys revealed that there were both similarities and through each phase of the process. differences in how DOT and MPO respondents conducted Definitions of effective and cost-effective public public involvement. involvement.