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5 processes rely on innovative techniques to build public awareness and ownership in a process, help stakeholders make informed choices among alternative futures, and engage a wide variety of partners in vision development and implementation efforts. For this reason, public engagement is a hallmark of many visioning processes. As visions are used more widely in transportation planning, agencies and practitioners have access to an array of new tools and techniques to engage participants. New online technologies, scenario support tools, and creative and collab- orative methods are emerging to supplement tried-and-true techniques such as public work- shops and review periods. The online component guide provides details on managing outreach efforts in key activity areas, as well as a comprehensive listing of effective tools and techniques for stakeholder engagement from prior visioning processes. Forming Partnerships The forming partnerships component highlights key considerations in identifying, building, using and maintaining partnerships within relation to the relevant activity areas of the Vision Guide. The broad scope of a visioning effort often involves agencies and organizations repre- senting concerns well beyond the traditional roles of transportation planning and project authorities. This feature of visioning necessitates the formation of partnerships among public, private, and civic organizations, as well as partnerships among transportation and resource agencies, and within a transportation agency itself. Partnerships generally are developed to facilitate a visioning process, which involves creating new organizations, leveraging partner- ships among existing organizations, or expanding the responsibilities of an existing entity to serve as the convener of a vision. Partnerships may be formed for the purposes of developing decision-making authority; strategically involving stakeholders; guaranteeing financial or in-kind resources; providing a forum for stakeholders to cooperate; and establishing a structure for implementation efforts. A partnership brings together diverse groups to achieve a common goal--in this case, to develop a shared vision. Most often, these relationships are informal, and partners are bound by a shared commitment and common interest in a visioning process. Other times, these relationships may be formalized and bind partners through funding agree- ments or implementation responsibilities. Tracking Commitments The information in the tracking commitments component can help agencies leverage existing performance measurement and tracking systems to create a process that will provide periodic data on the status of a vision's implementation and effectiveness. Implementation of a visioning process is as important as the development of the vision itself. A source of frustration for many communities is that stakeholders or the public often feel that, after exhaustive efforts to develop a shared vision, the implementing agencies proceed with a business-as-usual approach that trivializes the shared vision. There are a wide variety of reasons why a transportation agency may fail, either in appearance or in actuality, to honor community commitments. However, many agencies have existing systems that can be leveraged or expanded to create a commitment track- ing process that will support the vision goals of implementation. The Vision Guide provides a model commitment tracking process that is integrated within the phases and activity areas. Visioning in Support of the Collaborative Decision-Making Framework Visioning processes provide a framework for the identification, analysis, integration, and imple- mentation of community concerns, the needs of a transportation system, or the alternatives of a highway capacity project. The Vision Guide, developed using case studies, literature reviews, and other background research, supports a range of applications and provides outputs that
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6 transfer readily into related SHRP 2 Capacity research as presented in the TCAPP Decision Guide structure. Whether an agency is undertaking a long-range transportation plan, a corridor plan, or an environmental review process, the key decisions included in the Vision Guide can be applied to the collaborative decision-making processes. The TCAPP Decision Guide identifies key decisions in four phases of transportation decision making: long-range transportation planning, corridor planning, programming, and environ- mental review and permitting. This structure of key decisions common to all transportation agencies contains data to support an understanding of collaboration: why it is necessary, what is needed to support it, and how to make the changes necessary for a truly collaborative process. Each key decision provides information on how to implement collaboration fully. Visioning is a relevant and useful tool that lends itself easily to an agency's collaborative decision-making process. A visioning process can establish necessary partnerships and stake- holder involvement, which can then translate into the processes defined in TCAPP. The Vision Guide process developed under this project exists outside of the TCAPP framework, and can be used independently. However, the two processes are readily integrated. Through further work with TCAPP's interactive website and leveraging the application "Visioning and Transportation," the integration of these two processes to provide specific data transfer and collaboration points could provide an invaluable tool to practitioners. It also may encourage those interested in visioning to adapt the TCAPP model for use in other transporta- tion processes, and illustrate the value of visioning to transportation practitioners pursuing a collaborative decision-making model. Tools and resources such as those developed through SHRP 2 will serve a critical role as transportation agencies, regional planning councils, civic groups, and others are tasked increasingly with coordinating around and planning within the complex interplay of social, economic, and environmental issues.