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5-1 This chapter describes various activitiesâtools and techniquesâthat transportation agencies and practitioners (as well as other community- or advocacy-based organizations and academic researchers) can take to identify and engage with traditionally underserved populations and communities. They have been categorized in accordance with various âtask objectivesâ that may be advanced by undertaking the activity. Task objectives provide a general organizing frame- work for characterizing a large set of potential tools and techniques. Further definition of these task objectives was given in Chapter 3, Practical Approaches, but the general categories include: â¢ Identify Populations, â¢ Implement Public Involvement Plan, â¢ Provide Information, â¢ Gather Feedback, â¢ Build Relationships, â¢ Mitigate Impacts, Deliver Benefits, and â¢ Overcome Institutional Barriers. The task objectives reflect varying levels of engagement, authentic commitment, and tangible expression of benefits to traditionally underserved populations that can be implemented by agencies and practitioners. They range from identifying the location or community character- istics of traditionally underserved populationsâwhich, in itself, does not ensure even glancing contact with the affected public, to creating opportunities for meaningful interactions and par- ticipation, instituting training or other organizational reforms, or delivering specific programs, projects, and services to benefit disadvantaged populations. As illustrated in Table 5-1, the task objectives and their constituent tools and techniques may be applicable to a specific stage of transportation decisionmaking (e.g., Policy Research, Statewide or Metropolitan Planning, Project Development/NEPA Compliance, Construction, etc.), but many others can be readily applied throughout all or several stages of transportation decision- making. Indeed, committed agencies and accomplished practitioners may creatively combine several tools and techniques for a single project or program to work toward the achievement of the standard of meaningful involvement. Each showcased topic provides a brief definition of the general activityâa tool, a scope of work item, a strategy, and an actionâand why it can be effective in involving the traditionally underserved. For each topic, attention is given to describing specific techniques that are associ- ated with the activity and how they can be implemented. Potential limitations or criticisms of the activity or techniques are described. The types of resources that may need to be acquired and the costs that may need to be budgeted to implement the activity are also considered. Brief examples of how other agencies or organizations have successfully used the tool or technique are given. Each tool or technique includes references to resources (e.g., publications, links to reports, C h a p t e r 5 Tools and Techniques
5-2 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking or project websites) to which interested practitioners can turn to learn more about the topic or the successful case examples. Contact information is provided to assist readers in networking with project sponsors, practitioners, or others who are knowledgeable about the specific tool or technique and would be prepared to share additional insights based upon their experience. Ideally, the examples and background information will inspire agencies and practitioners, including community- and advocacy-based organizations and researchers, to take a closer look at the data sources and tools, analytical methods, involvement processes, relationships and partner- ing arrangements, communications strategies, and types of programs, plans, and activities that others have initiated to begin to foster meaningful involvement with traditionally underserved populations. In most cases, the examples provided are not so costly or demanding that they cannot be replicated by others who are prepared to commit to the effort.
Table 5-1. Summary of tools and techniques by task objective, stage of decisionmaking, and successful examples. Tools and Techniques Task Objective Successful Examples Stage of Decisionmaking Develop a Social and Economic Profile Identify Populations â¢ Missouri DOT â¢ Puget Sound Regional Council â¢ Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) â¢ National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership â¢ Community Indicators Consortium â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance Define the Project and Study Area Identify Populations â¢ FHWA Community Impact Assessment Primer â¢ Community Impact Assessment (CIA) Website â¢ Florida DOT Handbook â¢ California DOT Handbook â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance Utilize Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Engage Communities Identify Populations â¢ Kirk Avenue Case Study, Environmental Justice Toolkit â¢ Complete Streets Assessment Tool â¢ School Environmental Assessment Tool â¢ Fix This Tool â¢ Policy/Research â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance â¢ Operations & Maintenance Conduct a Community Characteristics Inventory Identify Populations â¢ Miami Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Integrated Transportation Information Sy stem â¢ Florida DOT, Environmental Screening Tool â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance â¢ Right-of-Way Identify âAffected Populationsâ Using Community Attribute Index (CAI) Identify Populati ons Atlanta Regional Commission, CAI Index â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning Upfront Site Visits to Establish Scope of Public Involvement Plan Implement Public Involvement Plan North Carolina DOT, Business 40 Project All Stages Develop and Maintain a Community Contacts Database Implement Public Involvement Plan Miami-Dade MPO, Public Involvement Database All Stages Prepare a Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan Implement Public Involvement Plan â¢ California DOT â¢ LEP.gov â¢ New York City DOT All Stages Use âI Speakâ Cards to Ensure Communications with LEP Populations Implement Public Involvement Plan â¢ Pacific Asian League Services for Health â¢ Merrimack Valley MPO â¢ New Jersey DOT, Division of Statewide Traffic Operations â¢ Idaho Transportation Department All Stages (continued on next page)
Table 5-1. (Continued). Offer Assistance for Hearing and Sight Impaired Persons Implement Public Involvement Plan â¢ Mississippi DOT, Videos for Public Hearings â¢ Center for Neighborhood Technology, Transopoly â¢ Volusia County MPO, Strings and Ribbons Game â¢ North Carolina DOT, Business 40 Project, Sign Language All Stages Offer Assistance for Low-Literate Persons Implement Public Involvement Plan â¢ Center for Neighborhood Technology, Transopoly â¢ Volusia County MPO, Drive Throughs â¢ South Carolina DOT, SC 6, Morphs â¢ Tennessee DOT, SR 73, Before After Photos â¢ Mississippi DOT, Videos for Public Hearings All Stages Treat People Courteously and with Respect Implement Public Involvement Plan â¢ FHWA, How to Engage Low-Literacy and LEP Populations in Transportation Decisionmaking â¢ I-70 and Business 40, Training Residents for Field Visit Interviews All Stages Assess Public Involvement Plan Effectiveness Implement Public Involvement Plan â¢ Ohio DOT, Opportunity Corridor, Environmental Justice Analy sis â¢ South Carolina DOT, SC 72, Meeting Locations â¢ Hillsborough County (FL) MPO, Evaluation Measures All Stages Brand Project through Clothing and Other Paraphernalia Implement Public Involvement Plan â¢ North Carolina DOT, Business 40 Project â¢ Colorado DOT, I-70 Project All Stages Offer Refreshments Implement Public Involvement Plan â¢ North Carolina DOT, Business 40 Project â¢ Colorado DOT, I-70 Project All Stages Use Videos to Convey Inform ation Provide Information â¢ Atlanta Regional Commission, Demographics â¢ Sound Transit, Student Safety Competition â¢ California DOT, LEP Training â¢ U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Title VI â¢ Regional Transportation District, Denver, Long-Range Transportation Pl an (LRTP) â¢ Oregon DOT, Construction Trade â¢ Miami-Dade MPO, Streaming Public Meetings All Stages Tools and Techniques Task Objective Successful Examples Stage of Decisionmaking
Distribute Flyers Provide Information â¢ Massachusetts DOT, South Coast Rail â¢ North Carolina DOT, Business 40 Project â¢ Georgia DOT, Buford Highway Pedestrian Safety â¢ La Casa de Don Pedro, Caminos Seguros All Stages Advertise on Billboards, Marquees, and Variable Message Signs Provide Information â¢ Ridewise, Variable Message Notice â¢ Denver Regional Transit District, Billboard Advertising â¢ Hoopa Valley Tribal Reservation, Draping Banners All Stages Publicize through Local and Ethnic Media Outlets Provide Information â¢ Houston Metro â¢ San Antonio-Bexar County MPO â¢ Texas DOT All Stages Employ Visualization Techniques Provide Information â¢ Mississippi DOT, Project Overview Videos â¢ Atlanta Regional Commission, Photo Contest â¢ Mecklenburg-Union MPO & Huntersville (NC), Simulations All Stages Recruit and Mobilize Community Ambassadors, Beacons, or Trusted Advocates â¢ Provide Information â¢ Build Relationships â¢ Seattle (WA), Planning Outreach Liaison â¢ San Antonio-Bexar County MPO, Beacons â¢ Alexandria (VA), Local Motion Ambassadors â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance â¢ Operations & Maintenance Provide Technical Training to Citizen Groups â¢ Provide Information â¢ Build Relationships â¢ American Cancer Society, Patient Navigators â¢ Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, Oakland Coliseum Bay Ar ea Rapid Transit (BART) Station â¢ Handicapped Adults of Volusia County (HAVOC), Community Advisor y Committee Membership â¢ National Consortium on the Coordination of Human Services â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance â¢ Operations & Maintenance Conduct Periodic Field Visits â¢ Provide Information â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ North Carolina DOT, Business 40 Project â¢ North Carolina DOT, U.S. Route 17 Project All Stages Conduct Outreach at Nontraditional Locations â¢ Provide Information â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ California DOT, High School Football Games â¢ Michigan DOT, Libraries â¢ Navajo Nation, Annual Fair and Rodeo â¢ Indiana DOT, Churches â¢ Washington State DOT, Fairs and Festivals All Stages (continued on next page)
Table 5-1. (Continued). Go to âTheirâ Meetings â¢ Provide Information â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho ( COMPASS) MPO Long Range Plan â¢ Seattle Neighborhood Plan All Stages Go to the Schools â¢ Provide Information â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ North Carolina DOT, Route 17 â¢ Wisconsin DOT, Careers in Motion â¢ Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Take Home Questionnaire â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance â¢ Construction Go to Faith-Based Institutions â¢ Provide Information â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ Washington State DOT, SR 28 Wenatchee Eastside Corridor â¢ San Antonio-Bexar County MPO, East Corridor Alternatives All Stages Apply Social and New Media Appropriatel y â¢ Provide Information â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ FHWA & Volpe Center â¢ Georgia DOT, SW Georgia Interstate Study All Stages Conduct Market Research Interviews and Focus Groups Gather Feedback â¢ Minnesota DOT and State and Local Policy Program (SLPP), Focus Groups â¢ New Jersey DOT & New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), LEP Focus Groups â¢ New Jersey DOT & NJIT, Im migrant Travel Focus Groups â¢ Mineta Institute, Low-Income Traveler Interviews â¢ Policy/Research â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance Undertake Surveys to Understand Needs, Preferences, and Impacts Gather Feedback â¢ Georgia DOT, Local Mall Intercept Interviews â¢ South Jersey TPO, Transportation Needs Survey â¢ Washington State DOT, Alaskan Way Viaduct, Social Services Providers All Stages Try âMeeting-in-a-Boxâ Gather Feedback â¢ COMPASS MPO, Long Range Plan â¢ City of Austin, Imagine Austin, Comprehensive Plan â¢ Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Toolkit â¢ City of Aspen (CO), Community Plan â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance Use Computer-Assisted Technologies to Explore Preferences Gather Feedback â¢ SANDAG, Otay Mesa - Mesa de Otay Binational Corridor Strategic Plan, Interactive Polling â¢ California DOT, Interactive Polling â¢ Sacramento Area Council of Governments (COG), Region Blueprint Project, Computers and Mapping Scenarios â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance â¢ Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), Long Range Plan, Future Workshops Tools and Techniques Task Objective Successful Examples Stage of Decisionmaking
Use Games to Educate and Explore Priorities â¢ Provide Information â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ Barren River and Bluegrass Area Development Districts (ADDs), Strings & Ribbons â¢ FHWA & Lummi Nation, Reservation Road Planner â¢ Seattle DOT, Land Use-Transportation Table Top Exercise â¢ DVRPC, Dots and Dashes â¢ Volusia County MPO, Strings and Ribbons â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance Form Advisory Boards, Committees, Taskforces, and Working Groups Build Relationships â¢ Minnesota DOT, Advocacy Council for Tribal Transportation â¢ Tahoe MPO, Social Services Transportation Advisory Council â¢ Alameda-Contra Costa Transit, Accessibility Advisory Committee â¢ Mar yl and Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee â¢ Washington State DOT, Alaskan Way Viaduct, Working Groups â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance Foster Understanding of Communities Through Relationships with Community Organizations and Other Local Experts Build Relationships â¢ California DOT, Third River Bridge Crossing Replacement Project â¢ Florida DOT, Route 301, Urban Campers â¢ California DOT, SR 68 Design Charette Project All Stages Develop Mitigation Strategies â¢ Mitigate Impacts â¢ Deliver Benefits â¢ Illinois DOT, West State Street Corridor Study â¢ Washington State DOT, Project Mitigation Cost Case Studies â¢ FHWA Community Impact Mitigation Case Studies â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance â¢ Right-of-Way â¢ Construction â¢ Operations & Maintenance Provide a Citizen-Driven Community Enhancement Fund â¢ Mitigate Impacts â¢ Deliver Benefits â¢ Oregon DOT, I-5 Delta Park Project â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance â¢ Right-of-Way â¢ Construction â¢ Operations & Maintenance Recognize Com munity Benefits Agreements â¢ Mitigate Impacts â¢ Deliver Benefits â¢ Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, Jobs Agreement â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance â¢ Construction â¢ Operations & Maintenance Create Transportation Planning Grant Programs to Support Environmental Justice and Community -Based Planning â¢ Mitigate Impacts â¢ Deliver Benefits â¢ California DOT, Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation, Traffic Calming and Safety â¢ DVRPC, Transportation and Community Development Initiative Grants â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance (continued on next page)
Table 5-1. (Continued). Implement Safe Routes to Schools Programs â¢ Mitigate Impacts â¢ Deliver Benefits â¢ New Hampshire , Selection Criteria â¢ New Mexico DOT, Selection Criteria and Support Services â¢ Zavela Elementary School, Walking Buses and Corner- Captains â¢ Coconino County Health Department, Crime Prevention Strategies â¢ Chicago Alternative Policing Strategies, Safe Havens â¢ Newark Safe Routes to Schools Task Force All Stages Develop Solutions for High-Risk Pedestrian Crossings â¢ Mitigate Impacts â¢ Deliver Benefits â¢ La Casa de Don Pedro, Caminos de Seguros, Pedestrian Hot Spots â¢ Rutgers Center for Technology and Advanced Infrastructure, Plan4Safety â¢ Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Walking Tour for Safety â¢ Greater Newark Conservancyâs Youth Leadership, Visioning Exercise â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance â¢ Operations & Maintenance Conduct Health Impact Assessments â¢ Mitigate Impacts â¢ Deliver Benefits â¢ Atlanta Regional Commission, 2040 Plan â¢ Center for Quality Growth & Regional Development, Atlanta Beltline â¢ Public HealthâSeattle & King County, Bridge Reconstruction â¢ Policy/Research â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance Monitor Health and Environmental Impacts â¢ Mitigate Impacts â¢ Deliver Benefits â¢ San Francisco Public Health & People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights (PODER), Freeway Exposure and Health â¢ Tufts Univ. Public Health Dept., Freeway Exposure and Health â¢ Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Air Quality Monitoring â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance â¢ Construction â¢ Operations & Maintenance Train Community Members to Be Transportation Leaders Overcome Institutional Barriers â¢ Urban Habitat, Social Equity Caucus, Board and Leadership Training â¢ Policy/Research â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance Establish Public Involvement Training Programs Overcome Institutional Barriers â¢ Arizona DOT, Public Involvement Training Class â¢ Alamo Regional Mobility Authority, Support Training â¢ National Highway Institute and National Transit Institute, Adult Education Training Courses All Stages Establish Cultural Competency Training Programs Overcome Institutional Barriers â¢ FHWA, Civil Rights Training Courses â¢ National Highway Safety Administration, Walking and Bicycle Safety Curriculum for Adult English Language Learners â¢ Leading Institute, Leading from the Middle All Stages Tools and Techniques Task Objective Successful Examples Stage of Decisionmaking
Develop Community Hiring Program â¢ Overcome Institutional Barriers â¢ Deliver Benefits â¢ Port of Oakland, Maritime & Aviation Labor Agreement â¢ Missouri DOT, I-64, Apprenticeship Training â¢ U.S. DOT, Transportation Equity Network (TEN) and Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), Green Construction Careers Model â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance â¢ Construction â¢ Operations & Maintenance Commit to On-the-Job Training and Workforce Development â¢ Overcome Institutional Barriers â¢ Deliver Benefits â¢ FHWA, On-the Job Training Supportive Services â¢ Oregon DOT, Office of Civil Rights, Apprenticeship Program â¢ Mississippi DOT, Worker Training â¢ Cy press Mandela Training Center, Construction Worker Training â¢ Project Development/NEPA Compliance â¢ Construction â¢ Operations & Maintenance Institute an Internship Program â¢ Overcome Institutional Barriers â¢ Deliver Benefits â¢ Morgan State University & Maryland DOT All Stages Serve as a Mentor Overcome Institutional Barriers â¢ COMTO, Careers in Transportation â¢ Oregon DOT, Office of Civil Rights, Mentoring Services â¢ Lucy Moore Associates, Mentoring Clause All Stages Unbundle Project Contracts â¢ Overcome Institutional Barriers â¢ Deliver Benefits â¢ Wisconsin DOT, Marquette Interchange â¢ Construction Implement Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Programs â¢ Overcome Institutional Barriers â¢ Deliver Benefits â¢ Wisconsin DOT, Mobilization Guarantee Loan Program â¢ Ohio DOT, DBE MentorâProtÃ©gÃ© Programs â¢ Texas DOT, Learning Information Network Collaboration â¢ Kansas DOT, Support Services â¢ South Dakota DOT, Support Services All Stages
5-10 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking What Is It? A social and economic demographic profile is critical to understanding the needs of low-income and minority populations as well as other segments of the traditionally underserved populations. Social and economic demographic characteristics, such as income, race and ethnicity, disability, age, limited English proficiency, educational attainment, time leaving home for work, and âzero-carâ households, provide an important building block for many types of studies and plans. Identifying the spatial locations of these affected populations is an invaluable element of this profile. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Identifying the location of the affected populations can better ensure that public participation plans are sufficiently inclusive and that the benefits and burdens of transportation investments can be comprehensively assessed. Sociodemographic information also provides the foundation for assessing compliance with Title VI and environmental justice criteria for agencies engaged in statewide and metropolitan planning. Properly prepared, it can offer insights into the demographic realities within a region/study area, describing the conditions or context (e.g., modal dependency, spatial patterns, transportation costs and affordability) in which various segments of the public use transportation to access jobs, education, and other opportunities. Social and economic profiles serve as a foundation tool for the development and implementa- tion of inclusive public involvement plans, environmental justice analysis, and limited English proficiency analysis by identifying the audience or audiences an agency is trying to engage and understanding their abilities and constraints to participation. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? Agencies should link their analytical understanding of these populations to developing strategies for meaningful engagement and relationship building. â¢ Include summary tables and maps in planning products as a baseline description of the populations you are intending to serve. â¢ Map demographic characteristics in relation to project impacts (benefits and burdens) to see who is affected by the project. â¢ Identify commonly spoken languages in areas with a high concentration of limited English proficient persons and provide translation and interpretation services accordingly. Supplemental information on language spoken is available from the Modern Language Association. It extrapolates from the U.S. census on the top 30 languages spoken in every state, county, place, and zip code in the nation by age. Similarly, state departments of education, or their equivalents, along with the U.S. Department of Educationâs National Center for Education Statistics and GreatSchools, Inc., prepare annual âReport Cardsâ for Identifying Populations Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction â¡ Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance â¡ Develop a Social and Economic Profile
tools and techniques 5-11 every public school and many of the nationâs private schools that provide information on students by minority status, participation in free and reduced price meal programs, and use of English Language Learners curricula. â¢ Work with community leaders within communities with high concentrations of traditionally underserved populations to gather information. Build a contact database of key institutions, organizations, and gate keepers who work with or represent the traditionally underserved on a regular basis. â¢ Use the profile to inform the selection of convenient and accessible meeting locations and times. Hold meetings in areas with high concentrations of traditionally underserved populations to maximize their potential involvement. â¢ Identify individuals or organizations that could be recruited to join âEnvironmental Justice Advisory Committeesâ or partner with the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for specific projects, activities, or events. â¢ Use administrative records data as it can be an invaluable supplemental source of data for preparing timely and informative community profiles. Through âneighborhood indicatorsâ projects, some cities or organizations have built neighborhood-level information systems that compile vital health statistics, safety/crime statistics, social services statistics, and educational data setsâalong with census dataâto help build the capacities of distressed urban neighbor- hoods and inform local government and community leaders. The staff and the institutions that maintain or monitor these administrative records can be among the most knowledgeable about the social and health-related concerns expressed in their monitored indicators. Practi- tioners engaged in community impact assessment and public involvement may find valuable parties within these sponsoring organizations to scope issues of concern or to recruit as part- ners into public involvement processes. What Are Its Limitations? Oftentimes, the social and economic profile is not adequately connected to other transportation planning processes. Some of the common barriers and challenges to preparing a detailed socio- demographic profile include: â¢ Disagreement and/or uncertainty as to what criteria to apply for identifying affected popula- tions as well as the best terms for comparing affected populations with the general population (e.g., population concentration, physical density, and/or absolute size). â¢ Uncertainty as to whether it is appropriate, for the purpose of compliance with Title VI, environmental justice, and limited English proficiency, to establish âdegrees of disadvantageâ (DOD) approaches or other indices for defining affected populations. The introduction of other indices may broaden or change the definition of what signifies âneedâ in a benefits and burdens assessment. Using these other indices, such as âelderlyâ or âtransit-dependent,â rather than strictly âlow incomeâ or âminorityâ strays from the definitions of affected populations under the Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice and the subsequent DOT and FHWA Orders. â¢ In metropolitan regions that are becoming âminorityâ majorities, or where select minorities exhibit higher incomes and levels of educational attainment, there is debate and uncertainty as to whether other indicators or metrics should be added or substituted to better address âneedâ or target specific dimensions of need (e.g., income, poverty, joblessness, low educational attainment, linguistic isolation, transit dependency) that help decisionmakers better under- stand indicators of social âexclusion.â â¢ Preparation of a social or economic profile may be conducted with insufficient consideration of how it will be used to inform the development of the public participation plan or the benefits and burdens assessment of a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) or the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).
5-12 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking â¢ Despite the requirement to prepare benefits and burdens assessments in the planning stage, many MPOs give insufficient attention to compiling detailed socioeconomic data to support a distributional assessment of the key question: does the existing (or planned) transportation system improve or exclude âaccess to opportunitiesâ? Does access vary by different population segments each of which rightfully seek to secure their basic needs (i.e., work, education, health care, shopping, etc.) to maintain themselves and their households? â¢ Some transportation agencies responsible for NEPA compliance have failed to establish a culture that provides equal weight to human environmentârelated considerations in the project development processes. Staff may have been encouraged to focus on compliance or permit-related issues to satisfy resource agencies responsible for protecting the natural environment or cultural resources and may have insufficient staffing or inadequately trained staff to consider socioeconomic-related topics. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? There are many public sources of social and economic demographic data (see Chapter 6, Data Sources and Tools). Most costs incurred in using this data are for staff time. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) partnered with the Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis to provide authoritative data and information for use in transportation planning and project development. They have created a Socioeconomic Indicator Resource web page where theyâve created maps, tables, charts, and graphics at different geographic levels meaningful to MoDOT personnel. â¢ The Puget Sound Regional Council created an Environmental Justice Demographic Profile as a baseline of demographic data describing the central Puget Sound region and identifying population groups to be considered for subsequent environmental justice analyses and activities. The groups highlighted in their profile are grouped by race, poverty status, income, age, disability, vehicle ownership, English proficiency, and languages spoken other than English. â¢ The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) has created a methodology to identify disadvantaged populations within their region. Their guidance document, Plannerâs Methodology, offers background on Title VI and environmental justice and instructs staff on the protocols to follow at the planning and project levels as part of their efforts to mitigate adverse project or program consequences, or to direct public outreach efforts. DVRPC currently analyzes eight DOD indicators for the census tracts in the nine-county area, including Poverty, Non-Hispanic Minority, Hispanic, Elderly, Carless Households, Physically Disabled, Limited English Proficiency, and Female Head of Household with Child. The DOD method assists in identifying disadvantaged populations as part of DVRPCâs public participation plan. The DVRPC environmental justice and outreach staff assist project planners in making contacts with representatives of population groups (such as nonprofits or county agencies) and bringing environmental justiceârelated representatives onto project-level study advisory committees. The DOD findings also offer the planner useful information to guide project context and subsequent recommendations. â¢ The National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) is a collaborative effort by the Urban Institute and more than 30 local partners nationally to further the development and use of neighborhood-level information systems in local policy making and community building. â¢ The Community Indicators Consortium (CIC) is a network of persons and organizations interested in the field of community indicators and their application. They maintain a database of community indicator projects in the U.S. and around the world. Each entry
tools and techniques 5-13 includes a detailed description of each projectâs scope and focus, the types of indicators used, contact information, and links to the project website and the website of the projectâs lead organization. Contacts/Resources Community Indicators Consortium: http://www.communityindicators.net/projects How to Engage Low-Literacy and Limited-English-Proficiency Populations in Transportation Decisionmaking: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/lowlim/ Federal Highway Administration. 1996. Community Impact Assessment, A Quick Reference for Transportation: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/cia.htm Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Plannersâ Methodology: http://www.dvrpc.org/GetInvolved/ TitleVI/pdf/Planners_Methodology.pdf Missouri State Department of Transportation, Socioeconomic Indicator Resource Page: http://oseda.missouri. edu/modot/ National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership: http://www2.urban.org/nnip/ Puget Sound Regional Council, Environmental Justice Demographic Profile: http://psrc.org/assets/1680/ ejdem1.pdf U.S. Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov
5-14 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Define the Project and Study Area Identifying Populations Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¡ Construction â¡ Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance â¡ What Is It? The study area is the area expected to be affected by the proposed project. As noted in Community Impact Analysis: A Quick Reference for Transportation (FHWA, 1996), each technical analysis (e.g., air quality, noise and vibration, traffic, wetlands, etc.) may have its own individual study area based upon the geographic area of probable project consequences to the subject resource. Community impact analysts must also identify a geographic regionâdrawing upon early scoping, public involvement, and interagency coordinationâthat includes the communities expected to be affected by the project. Those involved in community impact analysis and responsible for leading the public involve- ment plan process have often taken a back seat to transportation engineers and transportation planners in defining projects at the earliest stages of the project delivery process. However, prac- titioners who conduct early screening of a communityâs social and economic characteristics and notable community features have an important perspective to bring to a multidisciplinary project team about the key issues of concern articulated by those living in the affected communities, including the traditionally underserved. Drawing upon the community perspective, the project team can gain critical input for defining the project study areas, formulating a purpose and need, and developing project alternatives that can be locally accepted. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Early screening of the social and economic profile and field visits to the community to talk to locals during the preliminary stages of project development can help identify affected populations, including traditionally underserved populations that may have been previously overlooked. Their unique social and transportation needs and perspectives can be considered by practitioners who are empowered and prepared to conduct early and continuing outreach. This approach can help identify the prevalence of traditionally underserved populations in the affected community as well as community resources and notable features that are of particular importance to these populations and other populations within the study area. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? While the project study area typically includes communities located within or immediately surrounding the subject project, impacts can be borne by communities well beyond this immediate area. For example, bridge or street closures can cause changes in traffic patterns because of detours, causing local businesses to lose passerby traffic or neighborhoods to become more burdened by traffic on local roads. As new information is uncovered or new alternatives are examined, the practitioner should be flexible to the need for changes in the definition of the study area. Agency staff should recognize that several factors may influence how study area boundaries are to be drawn. At the initial stages, the project team may be quick to apply ârule-of-thumbâ
tools and techniques 5-15 criteria for the primary study areaâfor example, a quarter or half-mile radius around highway interchanges and 250 to 500 feet on either side of a proposed corridor. However, additional research such as a field visit to the area and talking to knowledgeable local parties may reveal that different study area boundaries are warranted to address actual social patterns and real community concerns. Written guidance materials and staff training can better sensitize community impact and public involvement practitioners, among other professionals, to considerations relevant to defining the study area. What Are Its Limitations? Rule-of-thumb or agency-wide rules for defining study areas may assist practitioners in getting started, but they may prove inadequate for capturing the local context or addressing the issues raised by each of the project alternatives. Practitioners should be equipped with an understanding of the full range of socioeconomic considerations relevant to the conduct of required community impact and environmental justice assessments, but they should respond flexibly to the concerns expressed by the public during initial project scoping and preliminary screening field visits. Practitioners should use their best judgment, generally in consultation with those living in the affected community, regarding the size and exact boundaries of the study area. Moreover, the transportation agency and residents in the affected community, including traditionally underserved populations, may disagree about the extent of potential impacts and therefore where study area boundaries should be drawn. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? The definition of the project and the study area for further investigations does not, in itself, generally require significant resources or costs beyond the levels expected for the problem screening and concept development stages of project delivery processes. These stages require close attention to scoping of project issues, information gathering, and initial public involve- ment processes to formulate a defensible purpose and need, among other issues. Early public involvement helps to identify âfatal flawsâ and to garner community acceptance for the project. Coordination with stakeholders, including those in the affected community who may be among the traditionally underserved, is undertaken to discover opportunities for community input into the purpose and need and to explore and refine locally preferred alternatives. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Community Impact Assessment: A Quick Reference for Transportation (FHWA, 1996), a primer prepared by the FHWA, succinctly communicates the importance of making a commitment to early and continuing public involvement to support defining the project study area and discovering project alternatives that may enjoy widespread community support. â¢ The Community Impact Assessment (CIA) website serves as an information clearinghouse for transportation officials, regional development professionals, and the general public interested in evaluating the effects of transportation planning and project implementation on a community and its quality of life. It serves as a repository for research on the subject, including transcripts and presentations from several regional CIA workshops that have been held. The site offers excellent examples of CIA methods and processes. It contains several valuable links to training resources and best practice examples. â¢ The California Department of Transportation and the Florida Department of Transportation, along with other states, have prepared handbooks on community impact assessment to help
5-16 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking practitioners evaluate the effects of a transportation project on a community and its quality of life. These handbooks include guidance on how to define the project, study, and planning area and how to develop a community profile, among other steps, in the CIA process. Resources/Contacts Community Impact Assessment (CIA) Website: http://www.ciatrans.net/CIA_Quick_Reference/Purpose.html California Department of Transportation, Community Impact Assessment, Caltrans Environmental Handbook Volume 4: http://www.dot.ca.gov/ser/vol4/envhb4.pdf Federal Highway Administration. 1996. Community Impact Assessment: A Quick Reference for Transportation: Washington, D.C.: Federal Highway Administration, Office of Environment and Planning. Florida Department of Transportation, Sociocultural Effects Handbook: http://www.dot.state.fl.us/emo/pubs/ sce/sce1.shtm
tools and techniques 5-17 Utilize GIS to Engage Communities Identifying Populations Policy/Research H Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction â¡ Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? Geographic information systems (GIS) are excellent tools for identifying the locations of traditionally underserved populations, including low-income and minority populations, linguistically-isolated populations, transit dependentâpopulations, and âzero-car households,â among others. Figure 5-1 illustrates the capacity of GIS for communicating various types of data or conditions spatially and linking that information electronically through different âlayers.â It is of great value when examining the incidence of benefits or impacts across popu- lation segments and the graphical elements can often better draw the attention and interest of communities. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? GIS is a dominant information transfer mechanism for social and economic data. As such, GIS is the principal means of access to census and related data. GIS tools can be used to better understand the locations of affected populations such as the traditionally underserved and, as shown in Figure 5-2, inventory notable features in a community that are valued by communities (e.g., hospitals, schools, churches, child care facilities, community centers, senior centers, historic districts, etc.) or particularly accessible community facilities for public involvement events. GIS are important tools for assessing how programs, policies, plans, and existing activities could affect various populations, including low-income and minority populations. GIS can improve the transparency and accountability of planning and programming priorities. Public involvement practitioners can map locations of public outreach events or public comments received in relationship to affected populations. Participatory GIS processes are also growing as a means Figure 5-1. Census tracts over aerial map, West Baltimore and the Highway to Nowhere.
5-18 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking for encouraging citizen engagement, inviting local stakeholders to inventory features of the built environment along with subjective perceptions of the physical environment, sometimes with the aid of mobile GIS data collection tools, to advocate and design for safer routes and conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? GIS provides a platform for assessing the spatial patterns of human health, environmental, and socioeconomic conditions as well as the distribution of historic or current investment priorities and patterns. For example, how traffic volumes and their various impacts benefit or burden at-risk communities is of particular interest to planners. This information can be viewed in several ways. One way is through a line-density map, such as is pictured in Figure 5-3, which reflects through âbandwidthâ plots the total volume of traffic in each direction along each roadway link segment. By looking at the thickness of the line density at any point it is possible to gauge not only the locations of the greatest flow, but also those segments that are contributing most to flow at the given reference point. This makes it possible to visually trace where the predominant flows are coming from and going to. States, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), county and local governments, and other agencies can become better informed about the current allocation of benefits and burdens and consider whether particular communities are burdened with a cumulatively disproportionate share of facilities detrimental to livability. Investment and resource allocation decisions can be improved when information is compiled about such factors as: Figure 5-2. Example of asset map, East Baltimore Midway.
tools and techniques 5-19 â¢ Minority and Low-Income Populationsâpercentage of minority populations, persons living below the poverty line, schools with children receiving free and reduced price lunches. â¢ Capital Facilitiesâsewage treatment plants, power plants, jails, solid waste facilities, bus depots, etc. â¢ Communityâcrime incidence, property values, building code violations, etc. â¢ Healthâreported cases of asthma and other health-related concerns. â¢ Environmentâair quality âhot-spots,â toxic release facilities inventory. â¢ Streets, Traffic, and Public Worksâmajor accident locations, major congestion locations, maintenance yards, and maintenance investments for pavement, signalization improvements, sidewalk conditions, lighting, etc. â¢ Transportation Capital PrioritiesâTransportation Improvement Program (TIP) and Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) investments for program funds such as system preservation, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ), transportation enhancements, Safe Routes to Schools projects, among other categories. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Circular C 4702.1A, Title VI and Title VI-Dependent Guidelines for FTA Recipients (FTA, 2007) provides excellent guidance on collecting demographic data, developing base maps, and creating charts of population groups. While directed toward analysis of transit service areas, the guidance can be very useful in identifying concentrations of traditionally underserved populations in study areas and potential impacts at any stage of decisionmaking (e.g., Planning, Policy, Research, Statewide Metropolitan Planning, Project Development/NEPA Compliance, Right-of-Way, Construction, or Operations & Maintenance). The maps and/or charts of census tract or traffic analysis zones (TAZs) provide geographic references of concentrations of traditionally underserved populations. Once these populations are located, agencies then have the opportunity to use other techniques to engage them in the process. Figure 5-3. Select link traffic flow map, U.S. 40 at Edmonson Village, AM peak.
5-20 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Its effectiveness lies, in part, in helping agencies to identify traditionally underserved popu- lations that may not be otherwise âvisible.â Visuals such as charts and maps may be used in meetings to aid participants in identifying potential adverse impacts and mitigation solutions. The âpicture that paints a thousand wordsâ may be developed from aerial or satellite overlays of the study area, the proposed project or plan, and input from the population on how the study area currently is used, and from gathering information on desired potential improvements or enhancements. What Are Its Limitations? The technique is limited by the age and accuracy of the data. Census data may need to be updated by other resources (e.g., state and local resource agencies, human service organizations that work with specific underserved populations, transit providers, etc). While the technique can provide a ârapid assessmentâ of the traditionally underserved populations that live in a study area and inventory other key community facilities and attributes, it does not ensure engagement with the population in the process. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? GIS is an important tool for conducting asset and thematic mapping, which allows the user to provide a graphic way to visually associate benefits and burdens with concentrations of traditionally underserved population groups. Thematic mapping requires basic GIS software, which can be purchased for around $700 to $1,500 for a desktop computer, and census data. There are also web-based GIS applications available online that can simplify the process. The greatest costs are the labor time for data collection and analysis. Basic proficiency in the use of spreadsheets and databases is needed to maximize the utility of GIS tools. Who Has Used It Successfully? In the 1980s, GIS technologies were primarily used by environmental agencies for mapping wet- lands, land use development patterns, and socioeconomic patterns. In the early 1990s, the use of GIS was adapted to the field of transportation with a focus on mapping travel behavior and traffic distribution. Today, GIS is routinely adapted to public policy and planning studies on housing, transportation, economic and community development, public health, and social services and has been applied with vigor by government, academia, business, and the nonprofit sectors. In transportation, GIS tools are being widely used by state DOTs, MPOs, county and local planning agencies, transit, and nonprofit agencies, to identify and engage traditionally underserved popula- tions, along with the general public, in public participation processes. GIS can be used to spur the process of engagement by charting and displaying key features of the local environment. Public health researchers continue to explore the limits and capabilities of GIS to support research on environmental health hazards and environmental justice such as those reported in the âSocioeconomic and Racial Disparities in Cancer Risk from Air Toxics in Marylandâ (Apelberg et al., 2005) and âProximity to Environmental Hazardsâ (Maantay et al., 2010). The former study does not graphically portray information using GIS, but rather relies on charts to display statistical analyses. In contrast, the latter presentation describes the use of GIS mapping, along with charts and statistical analysis utilities, to map instances of disproportionate exposure to environmental hazards. Such studies can be quite technically rigorous, endeavoring to deter- mine health risks from proximity to environmental hazards, including transportation facilities, but must be careful to acknowledge data limitations and uncertainty about sources and levels of exposure as well as health outcomes for various populations. Through GIS, research studies
tools and techniques 5-21 can increase transparency in a process that seeks to engage and empower locally affected com- munities in order to better understand environmental health risks. Conveying complex findings and communicating public health risk issues in ways that can prove informative and accessible to laypersons is a continuing challenge to ensure meaningful involvement of traditionally under- served populations. â¢ The Kirk Avenue Bus Yard Case Study, described in the Baltimore Region Environmental Justice in Transportation Project (Robinson et al., 2009), illustrates how GIS can reveal the impact of large-scale bus maintenance operations on a hidden or âat-riskâ concentration of traditionally underserved populations. The Kirk Avenue bus yard had been a point of contention between the surrounding East Baltimore Midway community and the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) for many years. Community complaints have been often registered about noise and emissions from bus operations. Sociodemographic conditions of the community were compiled, utilizing the GIS distanceârelated buffers, to support geographic comparisons (i.e., Â¼ mile, Â½ mile, 1 mile) of the local community vis-Ã -vis the surrounding region. Bus routes were also mapped to illustrate the regional function of the facilityâits benefits are dispersed regionally while few of these routes can be availed by local residents. Other air quality, noise, and health-related research was conducted on behalf of the community. For example, records and mapping were prepared of the number of residents reporting problems with noise or fumes, and, particularly, incidences of illnesses or conditions severe enough to require a hospital visit or trip to the doctor. Faculty, staff, and students from the Johns Hopkins Center for Urban Environmental Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health led local environmental public health investigations. Their research served as key points of reference to advocate for environmental justice, smart growth, and sustainability remedies to mitigate the cumulative effects borne by local residents. â¢ The Complete Streets Assessment Tool (CSAT) and the School Environment Assessment Tool (SEAT) are examples of mobile GIS data collection tools whose purpose is to engage and empower community residents to inventory and prepare an audit of the built environment. Armed with a personal digital assistant (PDA) and an ArcPad GIS software application, the tools seamlessly integrate with the ArcGIS software often used by state and local govern- ments, which contains maps of streets, intersections, and landmarks such as parks or other community facilities. The user taps on the appropriate street segment or intersection and fills in the associated data entry form. Both objective physical condition information and subjective assessment questions are asked of the users to elicit their views about whether the area is safe or accessible for various persons (e.g., those in wheelchairs or reliant upon walkers). The approach invites collection of very localized, spatially-oriented dataâparticularly important for pedes- trian, biking, or public transit modesâand can be used to engage interested members of the community such as youth in schools and others in a public dialogue about unmet needs, unsafe conditions, and infrastructure that must be fixed to ensure a livable community and safe environment for multi-modal transportation options. Holding all-day workshopsâfor example, overview discussions about the purpose of Safe Routes to Schools programs, PDA training, walking tours, box lunches, mapping and synthesis of field work observations, and a plenary wrap-up of the dayâs proceedingsâcan be instrumental in building local community capacity. â¢ The Fix This Tool is an example of a âsmartphoneâ application to audit physical conditions and perceptions of the safety of bicycle and pedestrian environments and can be readily integrated into a citizen-led collaborative process. With the proliferation of smartphones, the mobile GIS approach to collecting spatial information and engaging community participation is likely to grow. It will present new opportunities for transportation- and community-based organizationsâ specifically, those with individuals who are technically savvy or who can partner with individu- als and organizations so inclinedâto compile microenvironment information to promote active transportation, safety, and livability.
5-22 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Resources/Contacts Federal Transit Administration, FTA Circular, C 4702.1A, 05-13-07, Title VI and Title VI-Dependent Guidelines for FTA Recipients, http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/circulars/leg_reg_5956.html Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration, 2002. Transportation and Environmen- tal Justice: Effective Practices. Washington, D.C.: Federal Highway Administration & Federal Transit Administration. Ward, B. G., K., Kramer, J., Smith, C., Gabourel, K., Baptiste, P. 2005. Measuring the Effectiveness of Community Impact Assessment: Recommended Core Measures. Tampa, FL: University of South Florida and the Florida Department of Transportation. Robinson, G., et al. (2008), Baltimore Region Environmental Justice in Transportation Project, âKirk Avenue Bus Depot Case Study,â Baltimore, MD: Morgan State University, School of Engineering and Institute for Urban Research. http://www.ejkit.com/the-toolkit/ej-toolkit/ej-toolkit-volume-1/#doc Apelberg, B. J., Buckley, T. J., and White, R (2005). Socioeconomic and Racial Disparities in Cancer Risk from Air Toxics in Maryland. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Epi- demiology, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, and Risk Sciences and Public Policy Institute, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1257593/pdf/ehp0113-000693.pdf Maantay, J., Chakraborty, J., Brender, J. (2010). Proximity to Environmental Hazards: Environmental Justice and Adverse Health Outcomes. Paper presented at EPA Symposium. http://www.epa.gov/ncer/events/calendar/ 2010/mar17/presentations/maantay.pdf Shlossberg, M., and Larco, N. (2008). Active Transportation, Neighborhood Planning and Participatory GIS. OTREC-TT-08-02. www.otrec.us/project/18/ Shlossberg, M., Evers, C., Kato, K., Maher, D. and Brehm, C. (2010). Active Transportation, Citizen Engagement, and Livability: Coupling Citizens and Smart Phones to Make the Change, Paper presented at TRB 2011 Meeting. http://pressamp.trb.org/conferenceinteractiveprogram/PresentationDetails.aspx?ID=42317&Email=
tools and techniques 5-23 Conduct a Community Characteristics Inventory Identifying Populations Policy/Research H Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction â¡ Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance â¡ What Is It? Community characteristics inventories can be interactive, web-based geographic informa- tion systems (GIS) designed for use in generating customized demographic reports for a specific community(s). The tool enables information retrieval on a project-specific basis. It is a tool for planners, transportation project managers, and the general public. Such systems help users determine appropriate public involvement strategies for identified affected populations. The community characteristics inventory may have several components, including: â¢ Interactive mapping and reporting of census-based data for the different demographic groups in the community under investigation; â¢ A community background report with information about the communityâs development history and geographic boundaries; transportation and non-transportation projects that have been implemented within the community; community attitudes towards transportation and/or specific projects; and whether attitudes towards those projects were favorable or unfavorable; and â¢ Suggestions for public involvement strategies targeted to different groups within the community. Appropriate or recommended public involvement strategies have been identified for different age groups, disabled populations, varying levels of educational attainment, income levels and vehicle ownership, race, and language spoken. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? The tool can help identify the presence of traditionally underserved populations within a relatively small geographic area. In addition to identifying low-income and minority populations, the tool is equipped to retrieve information regarding language spoken, disabled populations, educational attainment, income, and housing. The variety of indicators paints a more complete picture of the affected community and should be a reference for those responsible for preparing public involve- ment plans. The community history component can provide valuable context (e.g., key factors and past public- and private-sector decisions) that have shaped existing community conditions. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? To successfully implement this tool, the sponsor agency must allot sufficient time to ensure the adequate preparation of the various components. Staff (or outside consulting personnel) must fully understand the objectives of the undertaking and make a commitment to ensure its successful implementation. Staff should include subject matter experts in community impact assessment or public involvement and be sensitive to the various cultures, customary practices, and/or linguistic differences that may be encountered in the field. What Are Its Limitations? The creation and maintenance of such a tool can be time consuming and costly. Depending on the geographic area for which the tool is being created, site visits for the community history
5-24 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking component of the tool can be a large undertaking. The right leadership is essential to make sure the tool does not become a âtechnological trap.â Organizations can become overly reliant upon the information compiled in its databases, obscuring the fact that practitioners cannot adequately investigate community values and needs, assess project impacts, or explore feasible alternatives solely through desktop tools. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Creating and maintaining this tool requires in-house GIS capabilities and/or outside personnel with the capacity to perform the work. In addition to the initial fee to create their tool, Integrated Transportation Information Systems (ITIS), the Miami-Dade County metropolitan planning organization (MPO) has paid Florida International University (FIU) $60,000 per year for their services, which covers the creation of the GIS mapping tool, development of the community background reports, research for the public involvement tools, and website maintenance and upkeep. FIU and the Miami-Dade MPO public involvement practitioners conduct site visits to update the community background reports by speaking with residents. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Miami-Dade County MPO, in collaboration with FIUâs GIS lab, has developed the ITIS, formerly known as the Community Characteristics Program. Initially, the MPO created community characteristic inventories for the 35 municipalities in Dade County. This was followed by the creation of community characteristic inventories for the 20 major neighborhoods in the unincorporated areas of the county. Having completed this task, the MPO went back to the municipalities and created 22 community characteristic inventories for the different neighborhoods within the municipalities. Thus, the MPO has developed the capacity to go from the macro level to the micro level and to identify niche places and neighborhoods within the county. Each year, the MPO attempts to identify 20 additional neighborhoods. â¢ The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) made a major investment in their Envi- ronmental Screening Tool (EST), an Internet-accessible interactive database and mapping application. The EST creates a shared information platform for assessment of natural and sociocultural effects at the planning, programming, and project development stages. The application supports agency participationâfor example, FDOT district offices, MPOs, resource agenciesâand civic involvement throughout the project life cycle. Community characteristic inventories are among the many features of the tool. Data layers include race, income, age, and other demographic indicators. Narratives about community goals and values are also included. The EST tool is also a repository of GIS information, maintained by the Florida Geographic Data Library, with several layers of community facility data that permit the user to flexibly set âbuffer areaâ distances from project alternatives. The EST platform seeks to bring greater transparency to projects and enable all parties to screen and interpret the potential direct and indirect effects caused by transportation projects on the natural and human environments. The tool can be used to help adjust project design to avoid, minimize, or mitigate adverse impacts, to consider mitigation and alternatives, and to identify ways to control project costs. Analytical and visualization tools are designed to be user friendly, but the tool is most accessible to those with English proficiency, broadband computers, and basic competency with computers and the navigation requirements of the EST platform.
tools and techniques 5-25 Resources/Contacts Miami-Dade MPO Integrated Transportation Information System (ITIS): http://itis.fiu.edu/itisportal/ Florida Department of Transportation, Efficient Transportation Decision Making Website: http://etdmpub. fla-etat.org/est Elizabeth Rockwell, Public Involvement Manager Miami-Dade County Office of the County Manager Stephen P. Clark Center 111 N.W. First Street, Suite 920 Miami, FL 33128 email@example.com
5-26 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Identify âAffected Populationsâ Using a Community Attribute Index Identifying Populations Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction â¡ Project Development/NEPA Compliance â¡ Operations & Maintenance â¡ What Is It? The community attribute index (CAI) is a multidimensional index that has been used to describe the attributes of communities. The CAI is an alternate approach for identifying âaffected populationsâ or âpopulations of concernâ for the purposes of preparing a benefits and burdens analysis. The CAI approach scores the attributes of communities, a scoring system ranging from 0 to 1, indicating those communities exhibiting stronger quality-of-life attributes. Modeled after the United Nationsâ Human Development Index, a CAI was pre- pared for the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), the regionâs MPO. The index was con- structed by assembling data at the census tract level on 165 variables. Then, using principal component analysis, these variables were reduced to 13 variables grouped into 5 dimensions: economic opportunity, poverty status, educational attainment, housing and population mix, and family stability. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? By looking at these five dimensions, the CAI goes beyond traditional environmental justice criteria of race and poverty alone in defining âpopulations of concern.â The CAI was used by the agency to critically examine and compare populations that were scoring higher on the CAI to determine whether resources were truly being targeted to populations in need. In this case, some zones with higher concentrations of Asian American populations were included as âpopu- lations of concernâ using environmental justice criteria based upon race, but were among the higher income and better performing populations on attributes that tend to suggest stronger communities. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? The CAI is calculated using the following steps: 1. Collect data for each variable and generate a variable index: Variable Index = (Actual Value - Minimum Value)/(Maximum Value - Minimum Value) 2. Calculate the dimension index: The dimension index is calculated as a weighted average of all variable indices within the dimension. 3. Calculate CAI from the dimension indices:
tools and techniques 5-27 What Are Its Limitations? This technical, quantitative approach assumes that there are core attributes critical to measuring community well being and quality of life that can be identified; that these core attributes can be combined to establish a better indicator of âneedâ for targeting programs and policies and allocating resources; and that the technical research team has done an effective job identifying these core attributes. While provocative in its âbeyond raceâ research agenda, the approach is distinct from the mandate or criteria laid out in Executive Order 12898 on environmental justice and the subsequent U.S.DOT Order, which include race categories. As such, the method both highlights the limitations of the traditional environmental justice âthreshold-basedâ approach, but is supplementary to that approach specifically because race is not explicitly addressed. To implement and/or replicate research over time, the approach demands expertise in statisti- cal methods (e.g., principal components analysis) and a commitment of resources to acquire, manage, and refine data sets to be consistent with the geographic boundaries (e.g., TAZs or Cen- sus tracts) which serve as the foundation for the multi-criteria approach. Weights are used for each variable in each dimension and further refinements to the approach are probably inevitable to address the challenging issues of bias. Such an approach is subject to continuing refinementâ a strength as well as a possible limitationâto explore and assess the philosophical as well as technical feasibility of introducing other variables or dimensions of social well-being such as accessibility, safety, and environmental quality. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? The CAI utilizes census and non-census data sources to get timely data and data not available through the census (e.g., writing/reading scores). The approach requires in-house or consulting staff with a strong statistical background and knowledge of GIS software. While a strongly quan- titative method, such an approach benefits from involvement processes (e.g., Environmental Justice advisory groups and/or peer groups), to fully understand the analytics and to thoroughly explore assumption behind the analysis. Who Has Used It Successfully? ARC commissioned the study of the CAI to identify environmental justice communities at a regional level. Results from the Atlanta study indicated that thresholds typically used to define environmental justice communities target these communities with higher than expected quality-of-living standards (i.e., communities that score higher on the CAI). In Dimensions Variables Dimension Index CAI Weight Econom ic Opportunity (EO) Median household income (MHI) (50%) Composite score (CS) (25%) Writing assessment score (WAS) (25%) EO = (.50 * MHI) + (.25 * CS) + (.25 * WAS) .2 Poverty Status (PS) % Fem ale-headed household (FHH) (50%) Poverty rate (PR) (50%) PS = (.50 * FHH) + (.50 * PR) .2 Educational Attainment (EA) % of 45-59 year olds with some education (Age) (50%) % of people with associate degree (AA) (50%) EA = (.50 * AGE) + (.50 * AA) .2 Housing & Population Mix (HPM ) Total Households (TH) (25%) Total Housing Units (THU) (25%) Total Family Housing Units (TFHU) (25%) HPM = (.25 * TH) + (.25 * THU) + (.25 * TFHU) .2 Family Stability (FS) % of 45-59 (Age) (50%) % married households (MH) (25%) FS = (.50 * AGE) + (.50 * MH) .2
5-28 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking âmajorityâminorityâ communities, such as Atlanta, where segments of minority communities occupy middle- and upper-class rings of the social strata, the approach can shift the dis- cussion and place a greater emphasis on dimensions of poverty, economic opportunity, educational attainment, and family stability to target resources to communities that are in need (i.e., lower scoring). Resources/Contacts Boston, T. D., and Boston, L. R. (2007). Beyond Race and Poverty: A Multi-Dimensional Approach to Measur- ing Environmental Justice. Atlanta, GA: Boston Research Group, Inc. http://www.globalatlantaworks.com/ html/202.htm Linje Boston, Chief Operating Officer Boston Research Group 100 Galleria Parkway, SE, Suite 250 Atlanta, Georgia 30339 (678) 424-5615
tools and techniques 5-29 Upfront Site Visits to Establish Scope of Public Involvement Plan Implement Public Involvement Plan Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? Prior to establishing the scope of a public involvement plan, a thorough analysis of the social and economic characteristics data for the study area communities should be prepared. A preliminary inventory and mapping of community facilities and other notable features should be compiled from websites and other secondary datasets. Notable features are generally defined as those of particular significance to a community and may include community gathering places (e.g., playgrounds, senior centers, schools, faith-based institutions, etc.), natural or historic features, or viewsheds. These initial âdesktopâ exercises, however, should be supplemented with a field visit to the project area to verify the quality of the demographic and community facilities data compiled from secondary data sources. In planning for the site visit, the practitioner should also reach out to knowledgeable persons from the community (e.g., city planners, municipal officials, neighborhood associations, etc.) to try and learn more about the area and, perhaps, schedule some time to meet and conduct scoping-type interviews. Maps using aerial photography or compiled topographic information from aerial photography, perhaps overlain with the preliminary inventory of community facilities, should be taken into the field. During an initial site visit, the practitioner should be observing how the potential study area may have grown or changed, became more or less stable, and assess the physical condition and public use of various community-enhancing elements (e.g., parks and other gathering places, historic structures, viewsheds, senior centers, etc.). During the field visit, the practitionerâperhaps in teams of two, if the budget can allowâshould bring a digital or video camera, colored markers and pens, as well as field visit checklist forms for recording what is observed. Streets or roadways should be driven and potential meeting places (e.g., recreation centers, schools, faith-based organizations, senior housing complexes, etc.) identified; neighborhood names and boundaries confirmed; major public and private employers identified; formal and informal leaders identified and/or interviewed; and evidence of a non- English language being spoken noted. The practitioner should also contemplate the history of the project area: close attention should be given to past controversies and how governmental decisions (e.g., facility siting decisions) and/or the condition and maintenance of existing facili- ties may have colored local perceptions of transportation agencies, and, more generally, trust in government. The information obtained from the upfront site visit and interviews should be woven into the collected social and economic demographics and serve as the basis for establishing the scope and scale of the public involvement plan. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Site visits are geared toward understanding who is within the project areaâwhat are their abilities and constraints to participate in public involvementâand what are the most appropriate ways to effectively engage them. Aerial photography can identify the existence of potentially affected residential structures within a specific study area and the U.S. census can
5-30 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking provide critical background demographic informationâfor example, the age of structure, renter or owner occupancy, and number of vehicles per household. But it is through conversations held during a site visit that the practitioner may learn more about the occupants of the affected residences. This may include discoveries about their complex relationships to family, community, the local economy, and other social networks and community institutions. Site visits make it possible to discover characteristics not revealed from maps or from secondary sourcesâfor example, that the residential units may be occupied by a mother and father with neighboring homes occupied by the families of their children, that the father is one of the most influential ministers in the community, or that their family cemetery is located in a clump of evergreen trees that was not visible from the aerial photograph. Being in the project area for some timeâin some cases, perhaps as long as a weekâprovides an opportunity to hear the languages spoken on the street, experience some of the everyday transportation problems, notice the age of cars parked in residential driveways, see who works the second shift, identify areas where people gather, and examine the absence or presence of foot traffic on the street. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? The tool can be implemented by collecting paper and electronic demographic information, identifying local elected and appointed officials and large public and private employers, iden- tifying existing public facilities, and so forth to create a starting place. This information can be verified in the field and added to/subtracted from the paper and electronic information previ- ously collected. To this should be added the information obtained from the interviewing of the identified local elected and appointed officials, informal and formal leaders, and others that these individuals will identify. What Are Its Limitations? The upfront site visit is very important to the foundation of the public involvement plan, so sufficient time should be allocated to make it successful. The trip should be planned to bring together in the field at the same time all those parties who will be responsible for the public involvement efforts. If the project is located a substantial distance from the home base of operations, travel time and expenses can be substantial. Travel plans may need to be extended to complete the mission. Resist the temptation to leave early just because living in a motel gets old. It will be far more costly to have to return to the field just to tie up loose ends. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? The resources and cost will vary depending upon the size of the project area, the potential controversy that may be engendered by the project, whether or not the project area is urban or rural, how many cultures are present in the project area, and how far the project area is from the local data center and from the consultantsâ offices. These variables will determine how many staff members will be required to complete the reconnaissance, the informal and formal leader identification, and the interview process. To increase efficiency, information should be gathered and examined electronically and by telephone before the field visit to reduce the surprises and the amount of time spent in the field. Who Has Used It Successfully? For the Business 40 Project, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) issued its first task order for the preparation of a public involvement plan that would extend
tools and techniques 5-31 from planning through construction. The agency allowed its consultants to take one month to collect social and economic demographic data, complete a physical reconnaissance of the project area, and identify and interview formal and informal leaders. The team that went into the field included five members of the consultant team, a local resident, and two local NCDOT district staff from Winston-Salem. It included members who were White, Black, and Hispanic who spoke English and Spanish. The local knowledge of the resident and the NCDOT district staff proved to be extremely helpful. During the field visit, 85 informal and formal leaders were interviewed, local planning officials were contacted, large public and private employers were contacted, all streets within the project area were surveyed, all potential meeting places, faith-based organiza- tions, recreation centers, schools, and the like were documented, media representatives were contacted, and local food venders were identified. Following the field visit, the consultant pre- pared a public involvement plan for the Business 40 project and submitted it to NCDOT for approval. More than 5 years later, the public involvement plan remains intact after outreach to more than 21,000 members of the public. Resources/Contacts Jumetta Posey, CEO Neighborhood Solutions 800 North Cameron Avenue Winston-Salem, NC 27101 (336) 724-2134 firstname.lastname@example.org
5-32 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Develop and Maintain a Community Contacts Database Implementing Public Involvement Plans Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance â¡ What Is It? A community contacts database is an electronic list of contact information for community organizations. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? The use of a community organization database involves traditionally underserved populations in two ways. First, in creating the database, you are strengthening their networks and your knowledge of existing community organizations and leaders making it possible to quickly identify and include organizations that engage traditionally underserved populations as part of their membership or constituency. Second, the database can be used to ensure that information is being transmitted to as wide a range of community members as possible. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Draw upon the contact lists of other agencies. â¢ Reach out directly to organizations to confirm contact information. Use the opportunity to strengthen your relationship and inform the organizations that they will be receiving periodic contact. â¢ Ask organizations that you have identified if they can suggest additions to the database. â¢ Ask contacts to share information, which is sent to them with their contacts, blogs, or listservs. â¢ Categorize contacts by the constituencies they engage so that you can target your outreach as necessary. â¢ Continually build and update the list so that it is a living database. â¢ Include school principals and English as a Second Language coordinators. What Are Its Limitations? Knowing who you want to be involved is an important first step, but does not ensure their engagementâcontacting someone is not the same as involving them. Successful engagement is not measured by the size of the contact database, but on the strength of your relationships with leaders and organizations. To work properly, someone must be responsible for maintaining the records to ensure that out-of-date and inaccurate records are corrected. The right balance needs to be found to avoid excessive levels of data entry when notes from meetings are stored. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? The time invested in creating the list will be the greatest cost associated with using this tool. Subsequent updates to the list will be far less time consuming. In the long term, such a database will streamline communications, creating cost and time efficiencies while increasing participation.
tools and techniques 5-33 Who Has Used It Successfully? The Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) maintains a public involvement database that stores all correspondence from the public and creates customizable outreach lists. The database contains over 1,000 businesses and organizations that the MPOâs Public Involvement Office (PIO) can draw from when organizing community outreach events, mailing newsletters, and for other correspondence. For example, the MPO distributes Citizen Guides in English, Spanish, and Creole, which are intended to assist the public in understanding the transportation planning process. The MPO also distributes a âCall for Ideasâ brochure to contacts in the public involvement database early in the plan development process. Resources/Contacts Miami-Dade MPO, âPublic Involvement Management Teamâ: http://www.miamidade.gov/MPO/m12- comm-pimt.htm
5-34 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Prepare an LEP Plan Implement Public Involvement Plan Policy/Research H Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? Individuals who have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English are considered to have limited English proficiency, or âLEP.â An LEP plan describes the policies, services, and information that government agencies, including transportation agencies, will take so LEP persons have meaningful access to an agencyâs programs and activities. The need for an LEP plan is set forward in Executive Order 13166, Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency, which reaffirms Title VI of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of national origin. All programs and activities of entities that receive assistance from the U.S.DOT, including FHWA and FTA, must comply with Executive Order 13166. This extends to the state agencies, local agencies, private and non-private entities, and sub-recipients that receive federal funding. The government has the obligation and responsibility to be accessible to its citizens and residents and communicate with them. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? An LEP plan will identify the size and locations of low-literacy populations and various foreign-born populations that may not speak English âvery wellâ as well as describe the most appropriate approaches that can be taken by the governing entity to ensure that meaningful access is provided to all its programs and activities without imposing undue additional cost burdens. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? Recipients of federal assistance have an obligation to reduce language barriers that can impede meaningful access by LEP persons to government services. The U.S.DOT LEP guidance advises grantees to conduct a âfour-factor analysisâ to determine what steps are necessary to provide meaningful access, including the following broad considerations: 1) Demographyâthe number and proportion of LEP persons served or encountered in the eli- gible service population; 2) Frequency of Contactâhow often LEP individuals come into contact with the program, activ- ity, or service; 3) Importanceâthe nature and importance of the program, activity, or service provided by the program; and 4) Resourcesâthe resources available to the grant recipient and costs of these resources. States must document how their agency and subrecipients of federal funds have analyzed the four factors and whether they have developed an implementation plan on language assistance. An effective implementation plan should give consideration to the following: â¢ Identifying LEP individuals who need language assistance; â¢ Providing notice to LEP persons of services available;
tools and techniques 5-35 â¢ Providing language assistance measures such as using telephone and video-conferencing interpretation services; â¢ Training staff to behave without bias and with respect and courtesy toward all customers, availing it of tools such as âlanguage identification flashcards,â âI Speakâ cards, symbolic signs, bilingual phone lists, and so forth. â¢ Training staff or hiring bilingual staff to act as interpreters and translators and formalizing the use of qualified community volunteers; â¢ Using centralized interpreter and translator services; â¢ Translating vital written materials into languages other than English, such as applications or instructions on how to participate in a recipientâs program, notices of public hearings and other community outreach, and notices advising LEP persons of free language assistance; and â¢ Monitoring and updating the LEP plan, as appropriate. Individual states determine what information is considered vital, and how to make it available, but states and their subrecipients should be prepared to fulfill special requests for materials. What Are Its Limitations? Written materials provided routinely in English should also be available in regularly encoun- tered languages other than English. âVitalâ documents, in particular, should be translated to reach regularly encountered LEP groups eligible to be served or likely to be affected by the program or activity. A document is vital if it contains information that is critical for obtaining services and/or benefits, or is required by law. Vital documents may include applications; consent and complaint forms; notices of rights and disciplinary action; notices advising LEP persons of the availability of free language assistance; letters or notices that require a response from the beneficiary or client; and written tests that do not assess English language competency, but the specific competency for a particular license, job, or skill for which English competency is not required. If a complaint form is necessary to file a claim with an agency, that complaint form would be vital. Nonvital informa- tion includes documents that are not critical to access benefits and services. Vital documents must be translated when a significant number or percentage of the popula- tion eligible to be served, or likely to be directly affected by the program/activity, needs services or information in a language other than English to communicate effectively. For many larger documents, translation of vital information contained within the document will suffice and the documents need not be translated in their entirety. Making a distinction between vital and nonvital documents can be difficult, particularly when considering outreach or other documents designed to raise awareness of rights or services. Meaningful access to a program requires an awareness of the programâs existence, but costs and other practical limitations make it impossible to translate all outreach materials into every language. Title VI does not require this of recipients of federal financial assistance, and Executive Order 13166 does not require it of federal agencies. Nonetheless, lack of awareness of a particular programâs existence can effectively deny LEP individuals meaningful access; therefore, it is important for agencies to regularly assess the needs of eligible service populations to determine whether certain critical outreach materials should be translated into other languages. The âsafe harborâ stipulation in U.S.DOT guidance seeks to establish greater certainty for recipients on compliance with their obligations to provide written translations in languages other than English. âSafe harborâ means that if a recipient provides written translations under certain circumstances, such action will be considered strong evidence of compliance under Title VI. Strong evidence of compliance with the recipientâs written translation obligations under âsafe harborâ includes providing written translations of vital documents for each eligible LEP language group that constitutes 5 percent or 1,000 members, whichever is less, of the population
5-36 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking of persons eligible to be served or likely to be affected or encountered. This safe harbor provision applies to the translation of written documents only. It does not affect the requirement to provide meaningful access to LEP individuals through competent oral interpreters when oral language services are needed and are reasonable. Providing language access is just one part of a larger communication strategy for agencies, which should also include determining how to provide useful information in English, how to communicate with the hearing or sight impaired, and how to deal with communication to per- sons with cognitive disabilities. Clearly, there is a need in all of these cases for agencies to provide outreach to these various communities and to work in partnership to identify and meet a variety of information needs. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? The initial cost to prepare an LEP plan is generally low, often ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 for most agencies. The costs to develop, implement, and monitor an LEP plan will vary significantly by agency, depending on the size and social composition of the state or region, the types of services rendered by the agency, and the degree of contact with the public. The four-factor analysis is essential to defining the types of program activities that will ultimately need to be implemented to effectively work with the encountered LEP populations. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) surveyed select transit service agencies and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and found that the majority of such agencies could not isolate their costs for LEP access services. Costs were spread over several departments, or were not separable from broader cost line items. Extra costs borne by an agency that would be directly attributable to LEP access activities could include outside translation and interpreter costs; cost differentials for developing and printing materials in other languages versus providing these services in English only; the creation of translated website pages; premiums paid to bilin- gual employees; and the costs of software that is used to deliver multiple languages options at ticket machines for transit agencies. The GAO reported that MPOs and transit agencies typically avoided incurring substantial additional costs by utilizing existing staff. Rather than contracting out for interpreters at public meetings, agencies brought in their bilingual staff, used bilingual board members, or coordinated with community groups or individuals to serve as interpreters. Customer service telephone lines are similarly managed to lower costs. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) LEP website includes several items: a training video for its staff that highlights appropriate language assistance strategies; a volun- teer list of state transportation employees by department with certified bilingual capabilities (more than 60 languages and dialects); âI Speakâ cards; and a list of interpreter, translator, and other services for visually- and hearing-impaired populations. California established an LEP protocol pamphlet for Caltrans employees who encounter the traveling public. The Highway Emergency Language Protocol (HELP) pamphlet was targeted to highway personnel to support communications with the public in six different languages. â¢ LEP.Gov, the website of the Federal Interagency Working Group on LEP, serves as a clearing- house of information, tools and technical assistance regarding limited English proficiency and language services for federal agencies, recipients of federal funds, users of federal programs and federally assisted programs, and other stakeholders. â¢ The New York City Department of Transportationâs (NYCDOT) Language Access Plan presents its four-factor analysis, which includes an analysis of the calls for service they receive through 311, New York Cityâs phone number for government information and nonemergency services.
tools and techniques 5-37 The 311 line provides translation services in over 120 languages to any caller. Most NYCDOT requests are processed by 311 and, consequently, most NYCDOT service requests can be made in any language. The analysis breaks down the share of calls by department and the language spoken on translated calls. The plan also makes commitments with time tables for improve- ments implementation and assigns responsibilities to carry forward the program. Resources/Contacts California Department of Transportation. LEP Web Site: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/bep/title_vi/LEP/ LEP.Gov, Website of the Federal Interagency Working Group on Limited English Proficiency: http://www.lep. gov/index.htm Government Accountability Office, November 2005, Better Dissemination and Oversight of DOTâs Guidance Could Lead to Improved Access for Limited English-Proficient Populations: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/ d0652.pdf New York City Department of Transportation (2009), Language Access Plan: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/ downloads/pdf/lap_dot_09.pdf
5-38 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Use âI Speakâ Cards to Ensure Communications with LEP Populations Implement Public Involvement Plan Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? âI Speakâ cards are two-sided bilingual cards that invite persons with limited English proficiency (LEP) to identify their language needs to your agency staff. Such cards, for instance, might say âI speak Spanishâ in both Spanish and English. They may also include information about language access rights. These cards can be used to assist LEP populations in communicating their need for interpretive and translation services. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? âI Speakâ cards are a tool for improving access to services, operations, and events and can be used by LEP immigrants to obtain interpretive and translation services, which will allow them to partake more fully in public outreach events. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Ask at the beginning of each meeting if anyone in the audience needs interpretive services, and ask this in the languages of the populations you are trying to reach. â¢ Distribute cards at meetings and offices in advance of the event. â¢ Distribute cards during events. What Are Its Limitations? Using âI Speakâ cards at meetings is severely limited in that interpretation assistance services may not be immediately available at the meeting, and that LEP individuals who have not used the cards in the past may be unaware of their language access rights and not attend public events. Distributing the cards at other locations (such as human service agencies or activity centers) in advance of the event is critical for ensuring that language needs can be met. In some areas, immigrant populations and native English speakers may not be able to read their own language as their literacy attainment may have been minimal. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Resources for developing âI Speakâ Cards can be found online at no cost. Printing the cards is of minimal cost and can be absorbed by office operations. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Pacific Asian League Services for Health (PALS) developed âI Speakâ cards for use in health services in Los Angeles, California.
tools and techniques 5-39 â¢ The Merrimack Valley MPO in Massachusetts outlines in their LEP plan that âI Speakâ cards will be provided at all workshops and conference sign-in tables. The plan states that while interpretation may not be present at that particular meeting, the cards will help the MPO anticipate future needs. â¢ The New Jersey DOT, Division of Statewide Traffic Operations outlines in their LEP plan that âI Speakâ cards should be used when emergency service patrol drivers come in contact with LEP persons and carried by all incident management response team (IMRT) member trucks. â¢ The Idaho Transportation Department includes âI Speakâ cards as a tool to use at public meetings and includes samples in their LEP plan. Resources/Contacts Culture Connect, Inc.: http://www.cultureconnectinc.org/ispeak.html California Department of Social Services: http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/civilrights/PG584.htm Idaho Transportation Department: http://itd.idaho.gov/civil/pdf/LEP.pdf New Jersey DOT, Division of Statewide Traffic Operations: http://www.nj.gov/transportation/business/ civilrights/pdf/lepplan.pdf Pacific Asian League Services for Health (PALS): http://palsforhealth.org/Training/he.html U.S. Census Bureau: http://www.lep.gov/resources/ISpeakCards2004.pdf Paul Thomas Manager Division of Civil Rights and Affirmative Action, Bureau of Title VI New Jersey Department of Transportation 1035 Parkway Avenue P.O. Box 600 Trenton NJ 08625-3009 (609) 530-3009 Paul.Thomas@dot.state.nj.us
5-40 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Offer Assistance for Hearing Impaired and Sight Impaired Persons Implement Public Involvement Plan Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? Strategies to effectively inform and assist those who are hearing or sight impaired so that they can be aware of upcoming events, understand the proceedings at these events, and participate actively in the exchange of information provided at these events and at other times during a project. The rights of the hearing and sight impaired were addressed in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibited discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by federal agencies, in programs receiving federal financial assistance, in federal employment, and in the employment practices of federal contractors. Section 508 of that law established requirements for electronic and information technology developed, maintained, procured, or used by the federal government and required federal electronic and information technology to be accessible to people with disabilities. An accessible information technology system is one that can be operated in a variety of ways and does not rely on a single sense or ability of the user. In 1998, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was amended (29 U.S.C. 794d) to require that when federal agen- cies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, federal employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access and use by federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. Section 508 similarly requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from a federal agency, have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities, unless undue burden would be imposed on the agency. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Offering assistance tailored to those who are hearing impaired/deaf or sight impaired/blind provides such individuals with opportunities to participate more fully in transportation decision- making processes, to be aware of how these decisions may affect their normal everyday lives, and to communicate this information and awareness to others. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? Assistance offered to members of the public that are hearing impaired or sight impaired will vary depending upon the degree of impairment. Some persons who are hearing impaired can speak and/or read lips while others may rely on American Sign Language or written and other types of visual information. Others who are hearing impaired may not be able to write or read well. Some persons who are sight impaired (e.g., 20/200 vision) can distinguish colors and/or read large print while others may rely on Braille materials and oral information. For the insightful practitioner, the most important thing is to identify how an individual communicates best. â¢ Videos with captions can provide information to those who are sight impaired or hearing impaired. The videos can be presented at project meetings, made available on a project
tools and techniques 5-41 website, provided to radio stations as well as free and cable access television stations as public service announcements or as short programs, or sent to a reading service for the blind as a script to read or as a product (e.g., CD, DVD, digital audio file) to play as part of their regular radio programming. â¢ Radio reading services for the blind were created to provide information to those who were sight impaired, but they also serve as a source of information for those who cannot read. Announcers read from prepared scripts and play prerecorded messages. These programs are available to anyone who has a radio. Each state has one or more reading services for the blind and, often, although not always, these are a part of a state library function. â¢ Font sizes on personal digital assistants (PDAs) can be enlarged to 14 point and on a computer screen to 72 point and greater to assist sight impaired. Those who have a computer with a âtext-to-speechâ component and Internet access can access websites if they are Section 508 (1973 Rehabilitation Act, as amended) compliant. The speech component allows a user to open it on a website and have information on that website read to them. All federal agencies and those agencies receiving federal funds or under contract with a federal agency are required to comply with this law. â¢ Cell phones now offer verbal identification of who is calling for those who are blind. â¢ Printing materials in larger sizes can be very helpful. Enlarging the font size by 100 percent and placing the information on 11Ë by 17Ë pages rather than 8.5Ë by 11Ë pages can be of great assistance to the elderly and/or sight impaired. â¢ The advent of telephone texting has allowed many hearing impaired to receive and send information of 160 characters or less through their telephones. Notification of meetings or directions to project information on the web or other electronic source can be conveyed through text messaging. Because of this it is important to ask for peoplesâ phone numbers as well as their email addresses when signing them in at a meeting. While the hearing impaired may not be able to hear the telephone ring, the vibration option offered on many telephones serves to notify people that a message has been received. â¢ Smartphones have the ability to connect to the web and have email support and do not have character limits. Scripts of proposed meeting agendas and presentations could be sent prior to the meetings to those who are hearing impaired so that they would have time to formulate questions beforehand. â¢ Video calls over VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocols) networks have made it possible for hearing-impaired persons to communicate via sign language over video calling applications. Some of the newest phones also have front-facing cameras that make it easier to communicate remotely via sign language. â¢ TTY (teletypewriter or text telephone) is machinery or equipment that employs interactive text-based communications through the transmission of coded signals across the telephone network. TTYs may include devices known as TDDs (telecommunication display devices or telecommunications devices for hearing impaired persons) or computers with special modems. â¢ Visualization techniques to show proposed changes to existing roadways and proposed new roadways are also effective tools to use with those who are hearing impaired at public meetings. These include: â Before and after photographic renderings that show the existing conditions and the proposed changes side by side. â Morphing, which starts with a still photograph and slowly adds features such as additional lanes, planted medians, bike lanes, sidewalks, or bus pull offs. This computer-generated series of different pictures can be repeated in cycles or shown as a set of static pictures. â 3D âdrive throughâ videos that show what driving on the new or improved roadway will look like from a driverâs perspective.
5-42 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking â Photographs of landmarks placed on maps or drawings showing where they are located provide orientation rather than relying on text. â Illustrations of each alternative shown in a different color that corresponds to a specific roadway cross section. What Are Its Limitations? Videos with captions or voice tracks are passive methods of getting information to the public. If a hearing impaired person can speak, they could ask questions, but a signer would be required to provide them with the response to their questions. If they are unable to speak, a signer would be required to ask their question and provide them with the responses. Regardless, a signer would be necessary to sign any questions asked by other members of the public and the responses given. The script for a video with a voice track must include enough detail for a sight impaired person to follow the presentation and ask questions. When others ask questions, the moderator/facilitator may find it necessary to restate their questions to present enough detail so that the sight impaired person can follow the conversation. When talking with an individual who is hearing impaired always look directly at them and not at the individual that is signing the message or verbally relaying their response. If the individual reads lips, do not block their view of your face, talk with them in a well-lighted area, speak in a normal and not an exaggerated manner, and use short simple sentences. If they sign, do not block their view of their signer; sign with them in a well-lighted area; speak slowly, use simple sentences, and stop frequently enough so the signer can keep up with what is being said. When releasing any written information (e.g., press releases, newspaper articles, emails, websites, or newsletters), always provide the TTY number and ask if anyone needs a signer to be present. For those who are otherwise sight impaired, first introduce yourself, identify who you are and your job role, give the person verbal information that is visually obvious to those who can see, tell them when you have brought new items into their environment, describe what those items are, and where you have put them. Offer to lead someone, wait for them to accept your offer, and then allow them to hold your arm rather than holding their arm so they can control their own movements. Be descriptive when giving directionsââover thereâ has little meaning to someone that cannot see; instead say âstarting at the corner of Main Street, then going south and crossing Wales Street and Ivey Street. . . .â Describe things from their perspective, not yours. Some who are blind use a âclockâ reference for things directly in front of themââyour potatoes are at 12 oâclock, your carrots are at 2 oâclock, your fish is at 7 oâclock,â etc. If a blind person is accompanied by a guide dog, do not interact with it while it is working (in the harness). What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? â¢ A signer would have to be provided at any event where a hearing impaired/deaf person was present. Because of the effort required to sign, a lengthy meeting may require two or more signers. Signers generally charge $35â$50 per hour. â¢ A voice track for a video or an audio file can be created if a sight impaired/blind person is expected to be present at an event. Prices vary depending on the length of message. â¢ An AM or FM radio is required to access the radio reading services for the blind or public service announcements on radio. A television is required to access public service announcements on free or cable television. A computer with a text to voice component and Internet access is required to access a website that is Section 508 compliant.
tools and techniques 5-43 â¢ Large print materials can be produced using a standard copier by increasing the image size and using an 11Ë by 17Ë sheet of paper rather than an 8.5Ë by 11Ë sheet of paper. â¢ The project budget will help determine what level of visualization can be used. Before and after photographic renderings are the cheapest and quickest ways to provide information. Morphs are slightly more expensive and time consuming to prepare, and âdrive throughsâ are the most expensive and require the most time to prepare. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Mississippi DOT âs in-house video group produces videos for approximately 85 percent of its public hearings. For most projects, a 10 to 12 minute, continuously running loop is prepared. However, larger, more complex projects require longer videos. The videos begin with the Mississippi DOTâs executive director welcoming citizens to the meeting and providing an intro- duction to the project. The environmental and project development processes are described, project specific issues are identified, and the projectâs purpose and need are discussed. Footage of the project corridor is shown from a driverâs perspective, and environmentally sensitive areas are highlighted. The video provides the public with background information before they proceed into the next part of the public hearing, with the viewing of aerial photographs, cross-section views, and the alternatives. To date, neither signers nor captioning have been requested. â¢ The Center for Neighborhood Technology has played its âTransopolyâ game, a process they use to identify transportation infrastructure needs as part of their long range transportation plan, with members of the public that were hearing impaired and visually impaired. â¢ The Volusia County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has played the Strings and Ribbons game, their main public involvement tool for the long range transportation plan, with members of the public who were sight impaired. â¢ For the Business 40 Project in Winston-Salem, American Sign Language signers were provided during the first round of neighborhood meetings. This service and interpretation in Spanish were advertised in all written materials. Resources/Contacts Blind Reader Service Radio: http://radiotime.com/genre/c_2695/Blind_Reader_Service.aspx Kim Thurman Environmental Division Administrator Mississippi Department of Transportation Environmental Division P.O. Box 1850 Jackson, MS 39215-1850R (601) 359-7922 email@example.com Karl D. Welzenbach Executive Director Volusia County MPO 2570 West International Speedway Boulevard, Suite 120 Daytona, Beach, FL 32114-8145 (386) 226-0422 firstname.lastname@example.org Mr. David Chandler Business Analyst for Transportation Center for Neighborhood Technology 2125 West North Avenue Chicago, IL 60647 (773) 269-4023 email@example.com www.cnt.org
5-44 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Offer Assistance for Low-Literate Persons Implement Public Involvement Plan Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? Literacy, as defined by the National Literacy Act of 1991, is âan individualâs ability to read, write, and speak in English, and compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to func- tion on the job and in society, to achieve oneâs goals, and develop oneâs knowledge and potential.â Assistance offered to members of the public that are low literate varies depending upon their literacy level. The National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) is a literacy assessment test that was administered nationally in 2003 and 1992. The latest survey found that 14 percent of the U.S. adults scored at âbelow basicâ levels for prose literacy. Research has also indicated a strong correlation between low literacy and poverty. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Offering assistance tailored to those that are low literate provides them with opportunities to participate more fully in transportation decision-making processes, be more aware of how these decisions may affect their everyday lives, and communicate their observations, insights, and concerns about perceived impacts based upon the information provided. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? Often those that are considered low literate may be embarrassed by their inability to read and/or write and they will try and hide it. The insightful public involvement practitioner should look for physical and verbal clues that can be very subtle and easily overlooked. Often one person will sign in for several people at a meeting. Other times, people will say âmy arthritis is bothering me, can you sign me inâ or âI left my glasses at home, can you sign me in.â When this occurs, the practitioner should offer to sign them in and notify other staff members that this individual will probably not be able to fill out a comment sheet. âI need to take a comment sheet home and think about it, then I will mail it backâ is another way in which an individual may be trying to say they cannot read or write. In both of these cases, practitioners should have a blank comment sheet with them and invite the individuals to give their comments verbally to them so that the comments can be written down and added to the comment box. Similarly, members of the public may simply avoid looking at a printed page or say they want to talk about the project rather than filling in a comment sheet. In this case, the practitioner should try and capture their comments, read them back to the individuals, and place the comment in the comment box. In addition to training staff members to be aware of these clues, there are electronic tools that can be used to communicate with low-literate individuals, including the following: â¢ A video with a voice track or an audio production could provide information to those who are low literate. These productions could be presented at project meetings or provided to radio stations and free and cable access television stations as public service announcements, or as short programs. â¢ Radio reading services, while initially created to provide information to those who were sight impaired, can also reach those that are low literate. Radio announcers read from prepared
tools and techniques 5-45 scripts and play prerecorded messages. These programs are available to anyone who has an AM or FM radio. Each state has one or more reading services for the blind and, often, although not always, these are a part of a state library function. â¢ Visualization techniques used to show proposed changes to existing roadways and proposed new roadways at public meetings are also effective tools to use with low-literacy populations, including: â Before and after photographic renderings that show the existing conditions and the proposed changes. â Morphing, which starts with a still photograph and slowly adds features such as additional lanes, planted medians, bike lanes, sidewalks, or bus pull offs. This computer-generated series of different pictures can be repeated in cycles. â 3D âdrive throughsâ that show what driving on the new or improved roadway will look like to a driver. â Photographs of landmarks placed on maps or drawings showing where they are located, which provide orientation rather than relying on text. â Illustrations of each alternative shown in a different color corresponding to its specific roadway cross section. â A video that utilizes a fifth-grade to seventh-grade vocabulary and does not include technical jargon. What Are Its Limitations? A video can be utilized as a method to get information to those who are low literate, if the scriptâs level of vocabulary is between fifth grade and seventh grade and avoids technical jargon. The script should include enough detail that a low-literate person could follow the presentation and ask questions. Any oral presentation should also follow these guidelines. Because videos are passive, it may be necessary for the moderator/facilitator to be present to rephrase or reframe any questions or responses. A team member should be posted next to every display and proactively offer to describe what is shown on the display. After having completed the discussion, the team member ushers the members of the public to the next person posted at a display. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? A voice track would have to be created if the audience is thought to include low-literate persons. Creating short public service announcements can cost $150 to $300. The price escalates with the length of announcement. The project budget will determine what level of visualization is feasible. Before and after photographic renderings are relatively affordable and quick ways to provide information. They use off-the-shelf software and can be created in less than one day. Morphs are slightly more expensive and time consuming to prepare. âDrive throughsâ require the most time to prepare, and use the most expensive software. They can cost anywhere from $15,000 or more depend- ing upon the amount of background detail shown, length of project, intricacy of design, and so forth. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Center for Neighborhood Technology has played the âTransopolyâ game, a process it uses to identify transportation infrastructure needs as part of their long range transportation plan, with members of the public including those who are low literate.
5-46 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking â¢ The South Carolina DOT used morphs to show what widening SC 6 from a two-lane roadway to a five-lane roadway with planted median and bicycle accommodations would look like at several locations along the project corridor. â¢ The Volusia County MPO also used âdrive throughsâ to show the public and elected officials what the impacts of several proposed projects would be. â¢ The Tennessee DOT used âbefore and afterâ colored pencil sketches to illustrate to the public alternative visual treatments for minimizing the visual disruption caused by retaining walls along SR 73 (U.S. 321) to the scenic backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. â¢ The Mississippi DOT produces in-house videos for approximately 85 percent of its public hear- ings. For most projects, a 10 to 12 minute continuously running loop is prepared. However, larger, more complex projects require longer videos. Each video begins with the Mississippi DOTâs executive director welcoming citizens to the meeting and providing an introduction to the project. The environmental and project development processes are described, project specific issues are identified, and the projectâs purpose and need are discussed. Footage of the project corridor is shown from a driverâs perspective, and environmentally sensitive areas are highlighted. The video provides the public with background information before that public proceeds into the next part of the public hearing where aerial photographs, cross-section views, and alternatives are shown. Resources/Contacts Elizabeth A. Smith Conceptual and NEPA Planning Office Project Planning Division Tennessee DOT 505 Deaderick Street Suite 900 James K. Polk Building Nashville, TN 37243-0344 (615) 532-3200 Elizabeth.A.Smith@state.tn.us Mark Lester, PE Director of Planning and Environment South Carolina Department of Transportation 955 Park Street Columbia, SC 29202 (803) 737-1366 firstname.lastname@example.org Kim Thurman Environmental Division Administrator Mississippi Department of Transportation Environmental Division P.O. Box 1850 Jackson, MS 39215-1850 (601) 359-7922 kthurman@email@example.com
tools and techniques 5-47 Treat People Courteously and with Respect Implement Public Involvement Plan Policy/Research H Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? âTreat people the way you want to be treatedâ is a useful maxim for practitioners to consider in their activities with a diverse public. Members of all populations should be treated respectfully, addressed courteously, and treated with dignity. In social settings concerning projects, practi- tioners should adopt a style of interpersonal interactions that avoids seeming judgmental and recognizes differences. Agencies, in turn, should foster a culture of continued learning and adapt their policies, procedures, and services to be appropriately respectful to cultural differences and diverse populations. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? This approach is about an outlook and developing habits of practice that respect cultural differences. The practitioner should seek to be mindful of cultural differences and recog- nize there will be differences in communication styles, in ways of learning, in attitudes toward conflict, in disclosure of information, in how tasks are completed, and in styles of decisionmaking. Developing a knowledge and appreciation of different cultural groups and individualsâtheir history, traditions, language or dialect, values, art and music, spiritual beliefsâcan reveal positive attributes of a particular culture or community. In addition to instilling greater respect, it can lead the practitioner to discover better strategies for reaching diverse populations. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? Developing a public involvement plan (PIP) itself is a major opportunity to prescribe the most effective strategies for bridging cultural gaps that can impede communities from participation on projects, plans, and other activities in transportation. Creating the PIP is also a time to plan what will work best to educate and inform various segments of the citizenry about transpor- tation so that they will have the ability to meaningfully participate in decisionmaking. Where in my agency or elsewhere can I find persons or community organizations that are already knowledgeable of this community, this culture, this language to ensure that we can understand each other and communicate effectively? It is a time to set realistic budgets, customize scopes of work, develop performance measures, and establish intermediate milestones or phasing plans to periodically assess the PIPâs effectiveness and adjust plans, if necessary, to create meaningful opportunities for participation. Agencies and practitioners can utilize many techniques to treat people courteously and with respect, but depending on the context, some techniques can be wildly inadequate or more effective for a particular population or setting. How can I run a meeting or organize other events to actively engage attendees and channel their input into something beyond meeting minutes? Below is a just a sampling of techniques applicable to running effective workshops, open houses, and other
5-48 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking meetings that will ensure that the public is given many ways to communicate with the agency. Agencies and practitioners can: â¢ Choose support staff and recruit staff from the community that resembles the demographics of the community. â¢ Utilize differently sized or types of meetings for different groups. â¢ Provide child care, food, or transportation to encourage attendance. â¢ Use interpreters and translated materials. â¢ Include a formal presentation at several specific times to inform attendees of the project and key issues. â¢ Offer question and answer sessions to allow attendees to express their concerns and get answers. â¢ Write down their concerns so that they are documented. â¢ Give attendees a comment sheet or, offer to prepare the comment sheet with them, if you believe the persons may have difficulty seeing, reading, or writing on the form. â¢ Provide a court recorder to keep a transcript, but recognize that some persons may be intimi- dated by the extra attention of having their words memorialized. â¢ Break up into small groups to invite open discussions, but also recognize that there are times where persons with a different opinion than the majority will be hesitant to speak up for fear of being singled out for holding a minority view. â¢ Sit down and talk individually with persons who are most comfortable with a one-on-one exchange. Seating areas or even private areas separated from the main room in an open-house forum can be strategically placed to give privacy to those who prefer it. â¢ Listen attentively because transportation agencies work on behalf of the publicâthey are your customers. But also because the values, concerns and priorities of affected persons may be revealed through active listening. Creative solutions to problemsâentirely unexpected and outside your vantage pointâmay be offered to those who are receptive to the messenger and the message. Getting out into the field can be a great way outside of meetings and workshops to engage the public as well as a means to publicize upcoming meeting events. Training community residents to conduct interviews can be a very effective way of offering temporary employment and gaining real insights into community life. Below are some common-sense techniques, imparted during a one-day training session, to prepare the field crews to be courteous and safe while conducting door-to-door interviews in residential neighborhoods. â¢ Rattle the entrance gate before knocking on a front door to deliver a flyer or speak with resi- dents as a means to publicly announce your arrival and minimize surprises from a front-door greeting. â¢ Offer a friendly smile to convey the nonconfrontational nature of your visit. â¢ Walk only on sidewalks and never cut through lawns to the next residence. â¢ When offered something to drink while speaking with a hospitable resident, graciously decline the offer and only ask for water. Keep things simple. Place no demands on the host who might feel embarrassed or compelled to supply coffee, juice, or other refreshments that are not in the refrigerator or cupboard. â¢ While in a home or at a doorway, never pat a child on the head or touch them at all. No matter how galling, the manners of misbehaving children should not be corrected by a field staff member. â¢ Field crews should operate in two-person teams at all times to ensure their safety. Crews should be armed with cell phones to facilitate regular communications with supervisors and other field crew teams. â¢ Field teams invited into a home should place their materials about the project as well as other social services information on the front door of the entrance as a means for signaling their whereabouts to others on the team.
tools and techniques 5-49 â¢ Purchase needed supplies from local merchants as a way of building goodwill for the project. Merchants and residents that are befriended are not only likely to offer constructive advice, but also will support the field crews in some communities. What Are Its Limitations? Developing practices to treat people respectfully is within the grasp of most practitionersâ provided they are committed to what public involvement is offering. Some practitioners may be uncomfortable talking with those who are not like themselves or being in settings that are foreign to them. Many transportation agencies and project managers underestimate the importance of public involvement processes, or wish to narrowly frame how they are used on their projects because they are uncertain or fearful of the outcome. Agencies and practitioners are often unfamiliar with how they can be used to improve their project or plan. Resistant to upfront costs for additional meetings, they may not be willing to contemplate the potential but avoidable consequences in terms of controversy and delay from not undertaking bolder involvement initiatives. Training and mentoring of staff is a valuable means for communicating core principles and exploring habits of practice that have been proven to be effective in fostering meaningful public involvement and improving cultural competency with diverse populations. Training can prepare people for working effectively with a diverse public at a meeting, in interviews or during field visit. Role-playing exercises can be useful in getting persons more prepared for a variety of scenarios in which they may be placed. Since opportunities must be seized when they occur, staff members should be comfortable anywhere they find themselves: on a front porch, in a back yard, under a clothesline, in an office, in a Laundromat, or a senior center. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Treating people courteously and respectfully does not involve out-of-pocket costs, but the commitment to this principle can stimulate a range of customized activities that involve time and other resource commitments to implement effective public involvement processes. The costs of not treating people courteously and respectfully are steeper, leading to planning and project initiatives that cause controversy, experience delays, and sometimes result in costly litigation. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The FHWA publication, How to Engage Low-Literacy and Limited-English-Proficiency Populations in Transportation Decisionmaking highlights many successful techniques taken by practitioners to do their best to treat people respectfully in an array of meetings and outreach situations. â¢ For the Colorado Department of Transportationâs I-70 Project in Denver and the North Carolina Department of Transpor- tation Business 40 Project in Winston-Salem, local residents were hired to interview people in their community, provid- ing temporary jobs for folks living near the project corridor and eliminating the need to train outsiders. Residents serving as field staff were instructed on appropriate etiquette and procedures to ensure an effective and safe field interview (see Figure 5-4). Figure 5-4. Local residents worked in pairs to do interviews for the Business 40 project in Winston-Salem.
5-50 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Resources/Contacts FHWA, Federal Highway Administration. (2006). How to Engage Low-Literacy and Limited-English-Proficiency Populations in Transportation Decisionmaking: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/lowlim/lowlim1.htm NCHRP Synthesis 407 (2010). Effective Public Involvement Using Limited Resources: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/ onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_syn_407.pdf Jumetta Posey, CEO Neighborhood Solutions 800 North Cameron Avenue Winston-Salem, NC 27101 (336) 724-2134 firstname.lastname@example.org Anne Morris Senior Project Manager Atkins 810 Dutch Square Boulevard, Suite 310 Columbia, SC 29210 (803) 772-4404 ext 224 email@example.com
tools and techniques 5-51 Assess Public Involvement Planâs Effectiveness Implementing Public Involvement Plans Policy/Research H Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? Assessment of the public involvement planâs (PIPâs) effectiveness involves the examina- tion of the plan to determine if the goals and objectives established were achieved and the making of periodic changes in response to the assessment to improve future performance. The assessment assumes that the plan incorporates goals and objectives that are measurable or are written in such a way as to be able to determine if they were accomplished. It provides the opportunity to reflect on whether the activities identified in the plan were sufficient and effective in attaining the goals and objectives. The assessment may be done at different stages of the project (e.g., project planning, detail design and construction documents, and construction), including at the end of the project and monitoring. The assessment of PIP effectiveness should be accessible to the public. There are several steps for implementing this tool: 1. Be sure the plan includes goals, objectives, and practices that can be measured or assessed in order to be able to determine their effectiveness. This step, in part, includes making a determination as to who are the traditionally underserved populations in the project study area. 2. Engage the traditionally underserved population early on to help develop effective measur- able goals, objectives, and practices. 3. After each public meeting or activity involving the public, gather the team of professionals working on the project and debrief on the effectiveness of the meeting or activity in accom- plishing the goals and objectives. 4. At each logical milestone, the project team can assess how well the practices and activities worked at accomplishing the goals and objectives. These assessment sessions can be shortâ an hour or soâor longer, depending on the stage of the project at that time. For example, for an environmental impact statement, it may be helpful to assess effectiveness of the practices being used to reach the public and especially the underserved at the end of the initial input and feedback opportunities, assuming the PIP calls for it. A key juncture during the process would be when the project team has received initial input and feedback from the public on the possible alternatives. This assessment could be extensive and last for a few hours if the project team is willing to allot that much time to the process. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? When the plan contains goals, objectives, and practices that include reaching the traditionally underserved populations, the assessment provides an opportunity to determine if the practices were sufficient and effective in reaching those populations, since it may be necessary to do something different to involve them. Including the traditionally underserved populations as a target population in the PIP assumes that the planâs developers have determined, either formally or informally, the need to reach out and involve them. The inclusion of the affected population
5-52 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking in the development of effectiveness measures aids in identifying goals, objectives, and practices that are meaningful to both planners and to the community. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? Techniques to do a PIP assessment of effectiveness could include: â¢ A full âretrospectiveâ which could involve 1 to 3 days during which the project team would reflect on the project to date and the PIPâs effectiveness. This would typically include a session conducted by a facilitator familiar with the retrospective process. â¢ An âafter actionâ meeting to review the effectiveness of the plan with the project team. â¢ A 1- to 3-hour session with the project team to reflect on the effectiveness of the plan using a series of questions to which answers are brainstormed. Questions might be: â âWhat happened during the past ____ months regarding public involvement?â â âWhat were some of the surprises during that time regarding the involvement of the public?â â âWhat was satisfying about the results of the activities that were planned?â âWhat was of concern?â â âHow well did we meet our objectives?â â âWhat happened that kept us from or helped us achieve our objectives for the public involvement?â â âWhat do we need to do differently?â âWhat should be our next steps?â â¢ A written assessment can be done in the form of a survey. Survey Monkey and Key Survey are examples of readily available online survey tools that make it easier to respond to the assess- ment questions. â¢ Short debriefs with the project team after each public meeting or each activity with the public to determine what worked and what needs to be changed to improve effectiveness. â¢ After each public involvement activity, short debriefs with the participants from the underserved population can be conducted verbally, through the use of comment cards, short surveys, or the like, to gauge participantsâ reaction to the activity, provide input on the next steps, gather suggestions for future actions, and identify additional information, resources, or other needs. What Are Its Limitations? It takes time to do the assessment and deliberate intention is required to frame the goals and objectives in the plan so they can be assessed later, either formally or informally. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? The person(s) developing the PIP should be committed to doing periodic or final assessments of its effectiveness. That person(s) should know how to write the goals and objectives in language that would facilitate assessment, either formal or informal, of the plan. There also needs to be a willingness to dedicate project team time to do the assessments. The costs for PIP effectiveness assessment should be an accepted task element of the public involvement budget in the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) at the metropolitan planning stage or an explicitly recognized activity for project planning or environmental studies. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Ohio DOT, Opportunity Corridor, Mapping of Attendees, Environmental Justice Analysis. Over a 6-month period, the Ohio DOT held two kick-off meetings and six neighborhood
tools and techniques 5-53 meetings for its Opportunity Corridor project in Cleveland. The populations within the corridorâs study area are predominantly Black and low income. Following a series of meetings, an environmental justice analysis was undertaken to assess the level of participation by the populations within the corridorâs study area. Sign-in sheets provided at each of the eight meetings were used to locate the addresses of attendees, utilizing color-coded sticky strips to pinpoint addresses on a large aerial map. Each meeting was assigned a unique color with corresponding color sticky-strips. There were 570 attendees at the events, but only 141 of them gave an address within the corridorâs study area. Similar assessments were conducted for each of the events to consider whether the event location influenced attendance by the environmental justice populations living within the corridor area. This analysis was helpful in determining possible different locations, times of day/night, and days of the week/weekend for the next series of public meetings. â¢ The South Carolina DOT (SCDOT), SC 72, Meeting Locations in a Safe Area. SCDOT was interested in widening or relocating SC 72, a road that went though the center of Calhoun Falls. This small town of approximately 2,500 people was about equally composed of White and Black populations, but had a history of Ku Klux Klan Activity and racial animosity. The town hall was the site of the first public meeting, scheduled from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm so that the elderly and workers on different shifts at a local mill could still attend. The town hall was familiar to everyoneâit was where the residents paid their water billsâand it was in the middle of Calhoun Falls. One of the six evaluated alternatives went through Bucknelly, a Black community, but, surprisingly, only about 18 of the 90 attendees were Black. After the meeting, the consultant responsible for the outreach and the community impact assessment sought out the Black mayor to ask why so few Blacks had attended. He said that while people knew where town hall was, it was in the middle of a White neighborhood and they were afraid to go through a White neighborhood after dark. The Bucknelly community center, he offered, would be a good alternate location to hold another meeting. On the Monday after Easter, more than 90 Blacks and four Whites attended a meeting held at the Bucknelly center. The attendance levels showed that the Blacks were very interested in the project, but confirmed the mayorâs suspicion that fear had played its part in low attendance at the town hall site. â¢ In 1999, the Hillsborough County (FL) Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) adopted evaluation measures to assess the effectiveness of its proactive public involvement process. Their public participation plan (PPP) is regularly updated. Beginning in 2003, the PPP outlined guiding principles that include providing opportunities for involvement; being inclusive of constituencies; being responsive to participants; providing a predictable process; being creative and flexible; and maximizing exposure, minimizing costs. The PPP is refined through a series of reviews and recommendations that are enhanced by ongoing feedback, surveys, and updates that coincide with each long range transportation plan update. In addition, the MPO provides information on its website, via newsletters, interactive web tools, social media feeds, online surveys, email comment access, and mailing lists. Since 2005, the MPO has published a biennial Public Participation Plan Measures of Effectiveness Report that details PPP activities during the period for specific projects or plans, the number of attendees or participants at events, suggested refinements to the PPP, and a summary of activities and results. The effectiveness report includes a measure of the number of meetings and attendees from designated âenvironmental justiceâ areas. The publication itself serves as another opportu- nity for the public to comment on and provide input about the effectiveness of the PPP (see Figure 5-5). Figure 5-5. Hillsborough County assesses its effectiveness working with disadvantaged populations and environmental justice communities in its PPP Measures of Effectiveness Report.
5-54 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Resources/Contacts International Association of Public Participation (IAP2): http://www.iap2.org Public Involvement: Feedback, Evaluation and Customer Satisfaction: http://www.epa.gov/stakeholders/feedback/ index.html South Carolina Route 72, Environmental Assessment, South Carolina Department of Transportation Case Study: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/ejustice/case/case10.htm Hillsborough County (FL) Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Public Participation Plan & Effec- tiveness Reports: http://www.hillsboroughmpo.org/pubmaps/pubmaps_folders/public-participation- plan-effectiveness-reports Lynn Merenda Hillsborough County MPO P.O. Box 1110 Tampa, FL 33601-1110 (813) 273-3774 x342 firstname.lastname@example.org Michele Ogilvie Hillsborough County MPO P.O. Box 1110 Tampa, FL 33601-1110 (813) 273-3774 x317 email@example.com
tools and techniques 5-55 Brand Project through Clothing and Other Paraphernalia Implementing Public Involvement Plans Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance â¡ What Is It? Branding projects through clothing and other paraphernalia is a way to visually identify members of the project team in the field or at public events. Clothing and other paraphernalia can include one or multiple distinct articles of clothing such as t-shirts, hats, jackets, badges, and the like. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Branding projects through clothing and other paraphernalia can serve the purpose of bringing attention to members of the project team and giving them an identity in places where they may not be known. It can be difficult to enter a community as an outsider where trust has not yet been achieved. Branding projects in this fashion makes it easier for community members to see that outsiders have a purpose for being there. By making the team members easily identifiable, they will be more approachable and invite comments and questions from the public. It can also ensure a certain level of accountability among project team members because it instills in them the idea that they are representing the project to the public (see Figure 5-6). What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Use bright colors that are not commonly found in everyday wardrobes in order to stand out. â¢ Do not use colors that are strongly associated with other groups (i.e., local sports teams, gangs, political organizations, etc.). Figure 5-6. Branding projects through such items as clothing makes it easier to be spotted within a community and gain a measure of acceptance as an outsider.
5-56 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking â¢ Incorporate a project logo or agency logo. â¢ Make people return uniform materials at the end of the project to preserve brand identity. â¢ When selecting uniforms, consider carefully the seasonal or time-of-day conditions under which people will be wearing themâif people are going door to door in winter, hats and coats of the same color as the t-shirts should be used. What Are Its Limitations? Branding projects through such items as clothing makes it easier to be spotted within a community and achieve a measure of acceptance as an outsider, but it by no means assures acceptance. To foster trust, the practitioner will need to take the time to learn about community needs and concerns, which requires skill in communications, patience and curiosity to allow communications to unfold at their own pace, and a respect for cultural differences. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Costs for clothing will vary significantly by the article(s) used, the number that are needed, how the branding is applied, and how much wear and tear they get. At their least expensive, clothing can be purchased at discount retailers and rely solely on color to convey a group identity. Professionally customized items will be the most expensive. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The I-70 East Project in Denver, Colorado, used yellow t-shirts with project logos and photo identification badges. At meetings, the project sponsors from the Colorado DOT, the Regional Transit District, and consultant project staff also wore t-shirts. â¢ The Business 40 Project in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, used orange t-shirts with logos and photo identification badges. During the winter months, orange jackets the same color as the t-shirts were worn. During public meetings, the North Carolina Department of Transporta- tion staff and consultant project staff also wore orange t-shirts. Resources/Contacts Jumetta Posey Neighborhood Solutions 800 North Cameron Avenue Winston-Salem NC 27101 (336) 724-2130 firstname.lastname@example.org Anne Morris Senior Project Manager Atkins 810 Dutch Square Boulevard, Suite 310 Columbia, SC 29210 (803) 772-4404 ext 224 email@example.com
tools and techniques 5-57 Offer Refreshments Implement Public Involvement Plan Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? Offering food and/or beverages is a way to improve attendance and productive dialogue at public events. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Providing food at a meeting can be a way to increase meeting attendance. It allows parents to pick up their child at the day care facility or at home and come directly to the meeting without having to eat first. When people go home first to eat supper, their desire to go out again to a meeting may diminish and they may remain at home. Having a meal at a meeting can provide an incentive for someone who is low income to attend a meeting. Often having a meal at a meeting provides neighbors an opportunity to get together and becomes a reason to attend the meeting. Refreshments can foster a more relaxed setting and put people at ease. Serving refreshments provides a time and space for people unwilling to stand up in a crowd to have one-on-one discussions and ask questions. When served in the middle of a meeting, they can also be a way to enliven, reinvigorate, or refresh a group that has possibly become tired, bored, or frustrated. Serving more substantial refreshments can also be a way to get around holding meetings at times that may conflict with meals. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Serve foods that are culturally appropriate to appeal to the group that you are trying to engage. â¢ Hire a local business or community organization within the project area to provide refreshments. â¢ Hold a potluck supper and provide a main course. â¢ Mention in advertising materials that refreshments will be served. What Are Its Limitations? Food has traditionally been a gesture of goodwill and may contribute to a positive atmosphere at your event but, if there are contentious issues at stake, refreshments will not prove a magic elixir for promoting harmony among differing parties. Always remember to find out if food and beverages are allowed in the space where your event is being held. Despite the fact that refresh- ments can create favorable conditions for successful public involvement events and enhance turnout, some transportation agencies have been criticized by local political opponents and news organizations that have questioned the use of public funds for this purpose. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Costs associated with refreshments vary widely and may be perceived as an unnecessary added expense. However, even the least expensive refreshments, such as coffee and cookies, can have a significant impact on the atmosphere and nature of an event. There are many ways to reduce the
5-58 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking cost of refreshments such as avoiding catering companies and buying packaged foods from the supermarket, using volunteer cooks, or soliciting food donations from local businesses. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ For the I-70 East Project in Denver, Colorado, the Colorado DOT and the Regional Transit District incorporated a meal in each of their block, neighborhood, and corridor-wide public meetings. Local vendors within the project area provided this service. This was a line item in the project budget. â¢ For the Business 40 Project, the North Carolina DOT incorporated a meal in each of its neigh- borhood and corridor-wide meetings. Money for the meals was donated and not part of the project budget. Resources/Contacts Jumetta Posey Neighborhood Solutions 800 North Cameron Avenue Winston-Salem NC 27101 (336) 724-2130 firstname.lastname@example.org Anne Morris Senior Project Manager Atkins 810 Dutch Square Boulevard, Suite 310 Columbia, SC 29210 (803) 772-4404 ext 224 email@example.com
tools and techniques 5-59 Use Videos to Convey Information Provide Information Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? Videos are recorded images that can be used to present ideas and information. Many different types of materials can be incorporated into a video ranging from framing key issues faced for a plan or project to visualization of traffic simulation or construction sequencing. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? There are many potential advantages to presenting information via video. Videos can be an engaging format that encourages participation and may be more easily digestible to a wider audience. Video may be particularly useful in presenting information to persons with limited English proficiency (LEP). Like other agency material, videos can be disseminated widely to promote a message or provide information to stakeholders. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ For complex projects, use visualization techniques such as fly-throughs of places or scenario sequencing (e.g., land settlement patterns over time). â¢ Setup a PowerPoint presentation display with a recorded narrative and set slide transitions. â¢ Use subtitles in English for the hearing impaired and other languages for LEP persons. â¢ Post videos to the Internet so they can be shared with others, especially youth and young adults. â¢ Link videos to the agency website as a source of project information for those unable to attend events or to learn more about a project. â¢ Include contact information or a website at the end of the video for those with comments or seeking further information. What Are Its Limitations? Videos are presentations and generally involve a âone-wayâ information flow. While valuable in framing the information communicated by the agency, they are generally not flexible or responsive to the unique concerns that distinct audiences may want addressed at a proceeding. While multiple videos can be made for multiple audiences, once the video is being used at an event or distributed electronically there is no way to tailor information in the video to the audience as a live presenter might. Additionally, the length of a video, while potentially infinite, may, out of practicality, be too short to provide enough information to address the range of issues that viewers may have. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Using the software that may already be on your computer or that can be downloaded from the web, videos that are produced today can be created at a fraction of the costs incurred in prior decades. Expenses for video production such as the cost of film or tapes have declined
5-60 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking significantly with advances in digital recording, storage, and duplication. Professional services can be employed to create especially elaborate or refined videos; however, it is often reasonable to assume that in-house staff will be capable of producing rudimentary to somewhat advanced video presentations. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has produced more than a dozen TV shows and videos highlighting key planning issues confronting the metropolitan region, and this material is posted on its website. The Changing Faces of Our Region examines the changing social com- position of the region, which has been one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, add- ing more than one million people in less than a decade, three-quarters of which are from non-White populations. Increasing ethnic diversity and the aging of the baby boomers have transformed the regionâs residents and workforce, and the video offers not only facts but observations from national and regional experts about its implications for the future. â¢ Sound Transit in Seattle, Washington, used videos to spread an educational message about pedestrian safety for at-grade light rail crossings through a student film competition. The stu- dent films were stored online through the Link website and YouTube, and the contest brought attention to their campaign (see Figure 5-7). â¢ The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has developed an LEP training video posted on its website and used for staff training on how best to interact with customers requiring language assistance. Caltrans maintains video archives for a range of other projects, programs, and activities. â¢ The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Rights Division, produced a video titled, âUnderstanding and Abiding by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.â The video is approximately 23 minutes in length and covers several topics, including a history of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an explanation of the requirements of Title VI, an illustration of discrimination against individuals, and discussions of disparate impact and LEP. The video is also available on several state DOT civil rights websites including California, Michigan, and New Jersey. â¢ The Regional Transportation District in Denver, Colorado, produced A Citizenâs Guide to Effective Participation in the Regional Transportation Planning Process, a short video that describes the purpose of a regional transportation plan, why it is important to get involved in the planning process, and ways that citizens can become engaged in the process. The video is also available on several other metropolitan planning organizationsâ (MPO) sites. Figure 5-7. High school students produced safety videos in a contest to raise awareness of a new light rail system.
tools and techniques 5-61 â¢ The Oregon Department of Transportation, Civil Rights Officeâs video, Start Building Your Future Today: Welcome to the Construction Industry Apprentice Programs describes what to expect as an apprentice in the construction industry getting on-the-job training. â¢ Miami-Dade MPO and several other MPOs offer live streaming videos and/or make video records of proceedings of MPO meetings and upload them to their website. Resources/Contacts Atlanta Regional Commission, Changing Faces of Our Region: http://www.atlantaregional.com/info-center/tv- shows-videos/show-12-the-changing-faces-of-our-region FHWA, âInteractive Video Displays and Kiosks,â Transportation Planning Capacity Building: http://www. planning.dot.gov/publicinvolvement/pi_documents/4c-c.asp You Canât Beat the TrainâWinning Video in Stay Safe and Sound Student Film Competition: http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=jgIKUQ5VD40 California Department of Transportation. Language Assistance for Limited-English Proficient (LEP) Persons Your Responsibilities under the Dymally-Alatorre Bilingual Services Act: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/bep/title_vi/ training_video_2_ choice.htm Oregon Department of Transportation, On the Job Training / Apprenticeship Program: http://www.oregon.gov/ ODOT/CS/CIVILRIGHTS/ojt_program.shtml#OJT_Mission
5-62 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Distribute Flyers Provide Information Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? Flyers are one-page paper notices for distribution, and can provide information about upcoming events and project information directly to a wide variety of groups. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Flyers can effectively provide information to traditionally underserved populations because they provide flexibility in information dissemination. Flyers can be placed at community activity centers frequented by traditionally underserved populations and written in the language and tone that will best communicate to those populations. Activity centers where flyers can be posted include public buildings such as libraries and post offices, community and senior centers, churches, as well as local businesses such as grocery stores, hair salons, and cafes. Flyers can be posted for all to see and can be left for people to take with them. Flyers convey information that is clearly visible as opposed to letters in mailboxes, which may contain a bill, an advertisement, or a threatening notice that may be thrown away rather than opened. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Use local groups to do the flyering. â¢ Use multiple languages. â¢ Design attractively and use straightforward language. â¢ Distribute widely at locations where the target population congregates. â¢ Include contact information for inquiries. â¢ Identify website for more information. â¢ Indicate for events whether or not the location is wheelchair accessible, whether there will be interpreter services, and whether childcare will be provided. What Are Its Limitations? Flyers are most effective at getting the word out about events or service changes to people who already have some level of awareness or interest. Flyers have limited utility in engaging those with no previous knowledge or interest in a project. People who are not informed on the issues or do not see how a project may potentially impact them are unlikely to attend a meeting just because they saw a flyer advertising it. If an agency is truly interested in engaging the com- munities that may be impacted by a project, then just letting people know about an event only through flyers may not be enough to garner participation, especially among those who have been traditionally underserved. Flyers are also limited by their size. Only so much information can effectively be conveyed on a single piece of paper. Flyers will not provide people with all the information they need to become educated about complex project issues. Flyers should always be distributed or posted in a way so that they do not become unsightly litter, such as by attaching to a door knob or placing under a door mat or windshield wiper.
tools and techniques 5-63 What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Reproduction costs will vary depending on the color and quality of flyers. In-house printing capacity may mean that these costs are possibly absorbed in office operating expenses. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ For the South Coast Rail Project, the Massachusetts DOT advertised station area workshops with English-, Spanish-, and Portuguese-language flyers (see Figure 5-8). â¢ For the Buford Highway Pedestrian Safety Project, the Georgia DOT spread the word about a sur- vey being conducted at a public mall by distributing flyers printed in both English and Spanish to all apartment complex managers and business owner/operators within the project corridor. â¢ For the Business 40 Project, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) dis- tributed flyers to announce upcoming events and the initiation of a survey to explore public preferences for the closure and reconstruction of the highway. â¢ La Casa de Don Pedro publicized its âSafe Passages to Summerâ event with a flyer for an event held on the 5th Year Anniversary of the opening of the Coretta Scott King Community Playground in Newark, New Jerseyâs Central Ward. The flyer was also enclosed along with a letter for a targeted mailing describing the reason for the upcoming event. The event celebrated the installation of a stop sign at a pedestrian âhot-spotâ intersection. The stop signâs installation culminated a 2-year advocacy campaign led by La Casa de Don Pedroâs Caminos Seguros Program in association with a local block club association, local council persons, and other community partners. The community event included free face painting, bicycle give-aways, helmet fittings and helmets, backpacks, food, music, and child safety IDs done by the Latino Peace Officers Association (see Figure 5-9). Figures 5-8 and 5-9. Flyers in Spanish, English, and Portuguese invited participation in station area workshops (left) in New Bedford, Massachusetts. An upcoming block party to celebrate the communityâs successful advocacy for pedestrian safety improvements was distributed in Newark, New Jersey (right).
5-64 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Resources/Contacts Anne Morris Senior Project Manager Atkins 810 Dutch Square Boulevard, Suite 310 Columbia, SC 29210 (803) 772-4404 ext 224 firstname.lastname@example.org Alle Ries Division Director, Community and Economic Development La Casa de Don Pedro 75 Park Avenue Newark, New Jersey 07104 (973) 485-0701 email@example.com
tools and techniques 5-65 Advertise on Billboards, Marquees, and Variable Message Signs Provide Information Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? Billboards and marquees display large-scale advertisements in highly-visible places, such as alongside highways or on the sides of buildings. Variable messaging signs to announce events can grab the attention of the traveling public along roadways. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Billboards, marquees, and variable messaging signs draw attention and communicate a simple message to a captive community traveling through an area. They can be used to advertise for a public event, provide notification of upcoming construction activities, direct people to online surveys, or thank the community for its involvement. Because of their prominent placement and visibility, billboards can be particularly effective in reaching groups that are not currently engaged in the topic and in creating a buzz about the issue. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Advertise a survey or public event. â¢ Consider the languages spoken by those living, working, or commuting when developing text. â¢ Include a hotline number or web link for those with comments or questions. What Are Its Limitations? Billboards can effectively convey a message, but they do not provide detailed information. They can be best used to reach an audience about a single topic (upcoming event, online survey, construction impacts, etc.). What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? The cost of renting a billboard ranges from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the density of the site and demand for billboard advertisements. If you are renting more than one billboard you may be able to negotiate a discount. Banners can be draped on buildings for a short period at a lower cost. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ Ridewise, a non-profit in Somerset County, New Jersey, used variable message signs to advertise an online commuter survey about an upcoming roadway corridor project along
5-66 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Route 202. Over 1,000 online surveys were collected from commuters over the 2-month period during which the sign was posted (see Figure 5-10). â¢ The Denver Regional Transit District has advertised on billboards in English and Spanish to inform people about an upcoming light rail project in Denver, Colorado. â¢ The Hoopa Valley Reservation prominently displayed banners on a civic building to announce an upcoming design fair in order to encourage attendance to devise traffic calming and safety improvements. Resources/Contacts Federal Highway Administration, âPublic Information Materialsâ: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/reports/pittd/ pubinfo.htm Figure 5-10. Variable messaging signs can communicate simple messages to bring attention to an event, survey, issue, or organization.
tools and techniques 5-67 Publicize through Local and Ethnic Media Outlets Provide Information Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? Using local and ethnic media outlets is a mechanism for reaching populations that would not necessarily be reached using âregularâ media outlets. âLocalâ refers to neighborhood media, such as weekly newspapers, targeting a particular part of town or a neighborhood. âEthnic mediaâ refers to media in a particular language, such as Spanish or Arabic, or English-language media directed to a particular ethnic group such as Asian Americans or Blacks. Local and ethnic media may also include radio and local cable TV stations, community blogs, and news sites. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Using local and ethnic media outlets provides information on public meetings and project activities that is targeted at, and more likely to reach, traditionally underserved populations. The local media will focus on neighborhood-related information, so people in that neighborhood are very likely to read it since they know it will be news about things that may directly affect them. Ethnic media outlets are tailored to the language and cultural interests of the group to which they are directing their attention. Many ethnic groups look for the media that is directed at them because they know it will have information about activities and persons that are likely to be of interest to them (see Figure 5-11). The overall readership or listenership may be less than the Figure 5-11. A Spanish-language display ad for a public meeting held by the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority in San Antonio, TX, for the Environmental Impact Statement for Loop 1604.
5-68 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking larger, mainstream media outlets, but they are more directed at the particular populations and consequently can get the information to them more directly. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? First, you must identify the local and ethnic media outlets. This can be done by looking on the Internet or asking people from the neighborhood or ethnic group you want to reach. Once you have identified the media outlets appropriate for your target audience, contact them and find out what their deadlines are for turning in requests for coverage, news releases, interviews, public service announcements, and so forth, and then respect their deadlines. Many of the media guides will explain how to write a press release, request for coverage, and public service announcements so they will be more likely to be used. It is always helpful to establish a relationship with the people at the media outlet so that they will get to know you and trust that you will send them good information of interest to their customers. Make the information you send them as comprehensive as possible. Most local and ethnic media outlets have very small staffs; the more that you can give them, the easier that you will make their job. This exchange could pay dividends in more favorable coverage. If possible, send news releases already translated to a media outlet that uses a language other than English. But, be sure the translation is a good one, or else they will have to figure out what you are saying. Avoid technical terms no matter what language you are using. Use clear, commonly used terminology as much as possible. Get someone who is not a technical person to review your material for understandability before you send it out. When they publish or air something that you have sent them, be sure to thank them for using your material and for publicizing your event. If they do an interview, contact the interviewer and/or the scheduler to thank them for the interview. If true that people mentioned their media outlet as their means of receiving the information they needed to participate in the process, let the outlet know that. On the sign-in sheets for your events, put something that asks participants to indicate where they got the information about the meeting or event. You can use that information to thank the media outlets and/or modify your outreach plan. What Are Its Limitations? Local media outlets may not cover all neighborhoods and it may be difficult to identify ethnic media outlets. Therefore, it is unlikely that they can be used exclusively to get information out about a project. They need to be used in conjunction with mainstream media outlets. Personnel turnover may be high at media outlets, particularly community-based publications. It is likely that you will need to maintain regular contact with the organization to keep up with who is on the staff. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Many media outlets will publicize your events and include information on your project at little or no cost. The costs for advertising through these outlets are usually much less than in the mainstream media outlets and will vary from market to market (city to city). Many of the media lists you can get online are based on a fee. Costs for the radio ads will depend on the stationâs market share and how many ads you run. They will usually do interviews at no cost as part of their public service activities. They will also
tools and techniques 5-69 run PSAs at no cost, but the times they run them will usually be during off-hoursâlate at night or very early in the morning. Television stations will usually cooperate with PSAs as well, but the information needs to get to them a couple of months before the event and they need to see that it significantly impacts their viewing audience. They also usually have interview programs at no cost and are always looking for a good interview/story. Most television ads are too costly, but some of the cable sta- tions will run âpackagesâ that are lower in cost, but may still be prohibitive. Who Has Used It Successfully? Local and ethnic media outlets are one means of getting communications out to targeted segments of the public, and the approach has been adopted by a range of organizations and professionals, including public involvement specialists, public information officers and public relations firms working for or representing departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), transit agencies, and other state, county, and local planning organizations. â¢ Houston Metro placed ads and submitted articles to the Spanish-language newspapers in Houston in order to reach the Hispanic population in the corridors being studied for their light rail alternatives analysis. News releases were sent to the Spanish-language television and radio stations and interviews were scheduled so the study could be discussed and explained orally and not just in a written format. â¢ The San Antonio-Bexar County MPO sends news releases to the local bilingual (Spanish/English) newspaper and local community newspapers when they want to get information to particular neighborhoods with a high density of minority populations. â¢ The Texas Department of Transportation regularly sends news releases, requests for coverage, PSAs, and requests for interviews to Spanish language and local community media with minority audiences. They have purchased ads and paid for legal notices in Spanish and in local community newspapers with a high minority readership. For a project along the border, they even sent press releases to the newspapers on the Mexican side to be able to reach more of the stakeholders on both sides of the border who used the international bridges. â¢ The Miami-Dade MPO, as well as many other agencies, will appear on local and ethnic radio and cable TV stations to discuss issues and upcoming events. Resources/Contacts Mass Media Distribution distributes press releases to newspapers, magazines, trade journals, TV, radio, blogs, and online news sites: http://www.massmediadistribution.com/?gclid=CKHmrqiZ_qYCFcfe4Aodnh0jbw My Media Info provides media lists for U.S. and Worldwide: www.MyMediaInfo.com Media Contacts Pro: www.MediaContactsPro.com Mass Media Distribution distributes press releases to newspapers, magazines, trade journals, TV, radio, blogs, and online news sites: http://www.massmediadistribution.com/?gclid=CKHmrqiZ_qYCFcfe4Aodnh0jbw National Ethnic Media Directory provides online information on more than 2,500 ethnic media organizations in the United States, including print, online, radio, and television: http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/ view_custom.html?custom_page_id=263 Texas Media Directory is an example of a statewide media list: www.texasmediadirectory.com Scott Ericksen Public Involvement Supervisor San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization 825 S. St. Maryâs Street San Antonio, TX 78205 210-230-6902 firstname.lastname@example.org Linda Vela Public Involvement Manager RJ Rivera Associates, Inc. 601 NW Loop 410, Suite 410 San Antonio, TX 78216 210-785-0888 email@example.com
5-70 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Laura Lopez Public Information Officer Texas Department of Transportation, San Antonio District 4615 NW Loop 410 San Antonio, TX 78229-0928 210-615-5839 firstname.lastname@example.org Leroy Alloway Alamo Regional Mobility Authority 1222 N. Main Ave., #1000 San Antonio, TX 78212 Office 210/495-5804 Fax 210/495-5403 Email: email@example.com www.alamorma.org
tools and techniques 5-71 Employ Visualization Techniques Provide Information Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance â¡ What Is It? Visualizations are worth a thousand words. They can be very effective in translating a com- plex scenario into a simple concept. They can foster trust and improve communication between agencies and the public. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Making visualizations an integral part of any presentation, newsletter, website, or newspaper article provides the members of the public with a picture of what is actually being proposed. This increases their understanding of the project, allows them to participate more fully in transportation decisionmaking, makes them more aware of how these decisions may affect their lives, and helps them communicate this information and awareness to others. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? The visualization techniques generally used at public meetings to show proposed changes to existing roadways and proposed new roadways are effective tools in communicating complicated alternative scenarios to the public. These include: â¢ âBefore and afterâ photographic renderings that show the existing conditions and the proposed changes. â¢ Morphs, which start with a still photograph, slowly add features such as additional lanes, planted medians, bike lanes, sidewalks, or bus pull offs, and can be repeated in cycles (see Figure 5-12). â¢ 3D âdrive throughsâ that show what driving on the new or improved roadway will look like to a driver. â¢ Photographs of landmarks placed on maps or drawings to indicate where they are located provide orientation rather than relying on text. Each alternative is shown in a different color that corresponds to its specific roadway cross section. â¢ A video describing the sequence a public hearing will follow, what the project area looks like, and what displays will be presented to the public. â¢ A flowing simulation program such as VISSIM software that is capable of showing the effects of different alternative scenarios for multiple modes of traffic including pedestrian, bicycle, bus, light rail, and roadway. What Are Its Limitations? Visualizations are often appealing, but can undermine public trust in projects and sponsoring agencies when the photos or illustrations fail to reflect the diversity of populations within a subject area. This can be a problem, in particular, when âbefore and afterâ visualizations of community life are being provided. Practitioners should critically assess their digital library:
5-72 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking How diverse is my library? Are there hidden biases depicted in terms of race, ethnicity, income and age, among other considerations? In many cases, while visualizations often speak for themselves, a staff member may need to be present near displays or during presentations to offer additional description or to address any questions that the public may have. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? The project budget will help determine what level of visualization can be used. Necessary commercial software must either be bought or leased through a licensing agreement. âBefore and afterâ photographic renderings are the cheapest and quickest ways to provide information. Morphs are slightly more expensive and time consuming to prepare. âDrive throughsâ are the most expensive and require the most time to prepare. Use of VISSIM software requires a license and is more expensive than other commercial software products. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Mississippi DOT produces in-house videos for approximately 85 percent of its public hearings. For most projects, a 10 to 12 minute continuously running loop is prepared. However, larger, more complex projects require longer videos. Each video begins with the Mississippi DOTâs Executive Director welcoming citizens to the meeting and providing an Figure 5-12. Visual Morphing Display at a public meeting.
tools and techniques 5-73 introduction to the project. Environmental and project development project processes are described, specific issues are identified, and the projectâs purpose and need is discussed. Footage of the project corridor is shown from a driverâs perspective, and environmentally sensitive areas are highlighted. The video provides members of the public with background information before they proceed into the next part of the public hearing where aerial photographs, cross-section views, and alternatives are shown. To date, it had been done in English only. â¢ The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) sponsored a photo contest, inviting people of all ages to take photographs and share them with ARC staff members, explaining what their images represented. The approach gave ARC greater insight into what residents valued most and what they wanted to change. ARC uploaded the pictures to a social media platform to share with others. Metro Atlanta Arts and Cultural Coalition, an arts-advocacy organization, served as ARCâs advisors and representatives of the Boys and Girls Club, the museum community, and Atlanta Celebrates Photography, among other organizations, judged the submissions and selected four winners. The winners were announced at an ARC breakfast and given prizes such as airline tickets and photography classes. ARC considered the event such a success that they intend to hold the contest again in the future. â¢ The Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Town of Huntersville, North Carolina, worked with consultants who developed VISSIM simulations of proposed roadway network alternatives for the Northwest Huntersville Area Study. A 2-minute video was created for each of the three proposed alternatives. The videos were used in a series of public meetings to show the proposed roadway networks displayed over aerial photography, and the future year 2030 traffic operations. â¢ The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) prepared several simulations for the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Project including a video simulating the collapse of the seawall and viaduct from a strong earthquake, a drive-through video illustrating an early design concept for the bored tunnel, and an interactive visualization of the construc- tion sequencing and traffic detours. These and other simulations along with other project information are on the WSDOT project website. Resources/Contacts Federal Transit Administration, âChoosing Visualization for Transportation Knowledge Sharing Web Portalâ: http://www.choosingviz.org/ Washington State Department of Transportation, Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Project: Viaduct Vulnerability, Earthquake Simulation (October 2009): http://wsdotblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/ earthquake-simulation-highlights.html SR 99âS. Holgate Street to S. King Street Viaduct ReplacementâDetour construction steps http://www.wsdot. wa.gov/Projects/SR99/HolgateToKing/DetourSteps.htm Kim Thurman, Environmental Division Administrator Mississippi Department of Transportation, Environmental Division P.O. Box 1850 Jackson, MS 39215-1850 (601) 359-7922 kthurman@firstname.lastname@example.org Bill Coxe, Transportation Planner Town of Huntersville, Huntersville Town Hall 101 Huntersville-Concord Road Huntersville, NC 28078 (704) 766-2210 email@example.com
5-74 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Recruit and Mobilize âCommunity Ambassadors,â âBeacons,â or âTrusted Advocatesâ Provide Information, Build Relationships Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction â¡ Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? Community ambassadors, beacons, and trusted advocates are individual citizens or leaders who are capable of bridging the communications gap between professional practitioners and members of the public, including traditionally underserved populations. These individuals and leaders tend to be perceived by members of the community as credible, trustworthy, approach- able, and effective in their communications skills. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Ambassadors/beacons may be members of a specific ethnic, racial, and/or cultural group possessing particular expertise in the culture, language, history, and values of the local com- munity. Ambassadors or beacons know who to contact and how to approach them, which makes it easier to get the word out about what is going on and how and why to participate. A âword-of-mouthâ approach is effective with most populations, but is especially effective with traditionally underserved populations because the ambassador/beacon is someone they know and trust to give them good advice. The relationships are already established and people rely on the network to give them good information. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Find someone from the community that people know and trust who is not generally known for their association with a particular advocacy position or coalition. â¢ Ask that person for advice on how to approach the community leaders and/or enlist them to get the leaders involved and/or informed. â¢ Compensate them for their time. â¢ Train them in transportation issues. What Are Its Limitations? Community ambassadors have proven very effective at reaching traditionally under - served populations on their turf, as well as gathering meaningful feedback from them. Ambassadors have proven less successful in changing who attends the agencyâs public meet- ings or getting the public to work more directly with practitioners. Furthermore, getting members of the community to openly communicate with ambassadors for a specific project is no guarantee of sustained participation in transportation decisionmaking. Transportation professionals who are effective in working with the ambassadors to foster involvement with underserved populations may be able to build trust with the community and find themselves better positioned to pursue future projects and initiatives through the maintenance of these relationships.
tools and techniques 5-75 What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Ambassador programs at minimum require staff resources to recruit and educate ambassa- dors. Additional costs may be compensation or a stipend for Ambassadors, as well as providing them with informational materials to disseminate, such as pamphlets or flyers. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The City of Seattle established the Planning Outreach Liaison (POL) program to formalize the use of community members in conducting outreach efforts for its neighborhood plan updates. The city recognized the growing importance of foreign-born populations in shaping city life and neighborhood character and determined that it was critical to secure their engagement in the plan update process to better understand their hopes and aspirations. The city sought candidates to represent non-native English speaking ethnic groups residing within the three neighborhoods: Somali, Eritrean, Oromiffa, Amharic, Chinese, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Filipino, and Hispanic. Trusted advocates were also recruited to connect to Blacks, Native Americans, persons with disabilities, seniors, and youth as prior outreach efforts had not been particularly successful with these groups (see Figure 5-13). â¢ The San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization in San Antonio, Texas, used community beacons in undertaking the East Corridor Multi-Modal Alternatives Plan, working in a neighborhood where over multiple decades residents and employers had borne the consequences of inadequate investment in essential infrastructure and poor access to vital services such as public safety, health care, education, and shopping. The beacon was able to open doors for transportation planners to meet and get to know community leaders. She helped both the community leaders and the transportation planners feel more com- fortable with each other and facilitated effective communication for both groups. Through this approach, the community was educated about the transportation planning process and was better able to participate effectively. Transportation planners, in turn, came to a better understanding of the transportation priorities for residents, which they were not fully aware of prior to the public meetings. â¢ The City of Alexandriaâs Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, in partner- ship with the National Park Service and the Washington Area Bicycling Association (WABA), have trained youth to serve as âLocal Motion Ambassadors.â The Ambassadors volunteer to Figure 5-13. Trusted advocate at work at a senior center in Seattle.
5-76 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking assist with promoting transit, walking, and bicycling as travel options. Student ambassadors are trained in safety practices, bicycling equipment, maintenance, and navigating the areaâs bicycle network. If the opportunity to bike is not reason enough, the Ambassadorsâprimarily students from middle schoolsâare incentivized to participate through rewards (e.g., gift cards, electronics, and cell phones) based on the number of outreach hours logged at various events (see Figure 5-14). Resources/Contacts City of Alexandria (VA)âLocal Motion Ambassadors: http://alexandriava.gov/localmotion/info/default. aspx?id=11992 Laura Thompson, President Laura Thompson Agency 9504 IH 35 North, Suite 303 San Antonio, TX 78233 (210) 836-6531 firstname.lastname@example.org Tony Mazzella, Strategic Advisor Seattle Department of Transportation PO Box 34996 Seattle, Washington 98124-4996 (206) 684-0811 email@example.com http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/ Figure 5-14. Youth volunteer to be âLocal Motion Ambassadorsâ who promote alternative transportation options in the city of Alexandria, Virginia.
tools and techniques 5-77 Provide Technical Training to Citizen Groups Provide Information, Build Relationships Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction â¡ Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? Training is often used to prepare advocacy, community-based, nonprofit, education, and other groups to assist in data collection, analysis, and other public involvement and outreach activities. Much of this practice comes from â. . . participatory research and includes action research, par- ticipatory rural appraisal, practitioner research, and other forms of systematic inquiry that share common ground based on their attention to democratic research principles . . .â (Jacobson and Rugeley, 2007). Some agencies view training as limited to planning activities; however, training may improve public involvement activities in project development or operations and maintenance stages of decisionmaking. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Although they may be unfamiliar with transportation decision-making processes or concepts, community-based and nonprofit groups have existing contacts and established relationships with the target disadvantaged populations and, through better access to these populations, the transportation agency or local government can improve its understanding of needs and concerns. Where there is sensitivity to working with outsidersâfor example, due to lack of trust, immigrant status, past historyâdata collection, information dissemination, and other outreach activities may be more effective if provided by trusted individuals or organizations. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Depending on the scope and magnitude of the project or plan, training may be as simple as helping a citizen group to understand the planning, project development, and public involve- ment processes in order to act as a ânavigatorâ for underserved populations. Citizen groups may need more in-depth training on funding, engineering, or operations of the planned activity. â¢ Other types of training may be needed if a project or plan requires interviews, surveys, or other types of data collection. Citizen group representatives may be partnered with other experts (e.g., university faculty or students, marketing experts, etc.) to learn to conduct focus groups or interviews, analyze data, monitor outcomes, and report findings. â¢ Citizen groups may be trained to collect geographic information systems (GIS) data, create photo collections, develop websites, or become the âeyes and earsâ of a neighborhood watch or merchant association to address crime and safety issues in a distressed area. For example, crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) training can focus on remedying threats to public safety in parking lots, transit stations, bus shelters, along safe routes to schools, or other pedestrian areas. CPTED training can stimulate collaborative problem-solving among neigh- borhood associations or citizens groups, business improvement districts (BID) or merchants, urban planners, landscape designers, law enforcement professionals, and transportation organizations. The design of the physical environment and its continued maintenance are a primary focus for ensuring public safety. CPTED relies on three primary principles: natural access control, surveillance, and territoriality. CPTED audits, which often include field visits
5-78 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking with photo recordation can identify select locations and develop strategies for improving public safety for pedestrians, transit users, and shoppers as they interface with transportation facilities. What Are Its Limitations? Perhaps the greatest limitations are the ability of the agency to reach individuals or groups that are trusted by the target population and the individualâs or groupâs capacity to take on the work. It may be necessary to hire a local person who has the contacts and skill set or to contract with a citizen group or organization. Often, traditionally underserved populations are more concerned with workforce development, safety, education, and access to social services. Transportation planning and project development, while important, may only address these issues obliquely and therefore be less of a priority for many citizens and community groups. Depending on the scope, magnitude, or phase of the project or plan, citizen groups may also need more in-depth training about funding, engineering, or operations of the planned activity. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? If in-house staff from citizen or community-based groups is available with the needed skills, the resources to bring the individual or agency representative âup to speedâ on the proposed plan or project and the process may require only a minimal time commitment. More intensive data collection and information dissemination activities may require hiring experts to provide training for survey administration, focus group or interview techniques, and other data collection activities. Often, citizen or local groups have limited technological resources (e.g., computer hardware and software, Internet access, digital cameras, etc). In these cases, it may be necessary to make arrangements for access to these resources by working with another agency, contractual agreements, equipment loans, among other arrangements. Transportation agency staff may need to devote time to give basic information to citizen groups on the proposed plans or project to help them effectively communicate with affected populations in their community. This training may take the form of âtrain-the-trainerâ exercises where agency staff provide a broad view of plan or project flow, with additional information on how the proposed action is situated in that flow. One-on-one sessions with key citizen representatives can be effective for addressing specific questions, issues, or processes. Who Has Used It Successfully? Community-based research has been extensively undertaken in child development, public health, and mental health care disciplines. Other public and private organizations and disciplines have drawn upon various techniques from these practices to work with their clients. The success of the tool or technique lies in the citizen expertâs access to the target population and ability to navigate the process for the community, disseminate information from the agency, and to collect information from the target population. The citizen expert can become an extension of the agency staff. â¢ The American Cancer Society (ACS) has an extensive network of existing staff and volunteers who serve as Patient Navigators throughout the country. The navigators help patients to understand the available resources in their community. Some programs are funded by grants; others are supported by local healthcare providers. While many work solely with individuals, the service guides users through the system. âNavigatorsâ may be the first link in providing technical assistance to citizen groups. By developing citizen experts on the proposed process or plan, much of the day-to-day outreach to the target populations can be managed at this level. As the navigators become more knowledgeable or as the plan or project evolves, the
tools and techniques 5-79 experts can be trained to carry out other activities. Many transit agencies and advocacy groups (e.g., Easter Seals/Project Action) provide travel training programs to teach potential users how to access public and human service transportation resources. â¢ Handicapped Adults of Volusia County (HAVOC) has been a key presence on the Volusia County Metropolitan Planning Organizationâs (MPOâs) Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). As an advocacy group, HAVOC is a central point of contact between the MPO and many affected communities. Through ongoing participation on the CAC and repeated interactions with the MPO staff, HAVOC members have become increasingly âexpertâ on transportation issues and processes. In general, the CACs can become a valuable resource for MPOs, particularly when they include representatives of traditionally underserved populations or representatives of agencies serving these populations. â¢ The Community Transportation Association of America has built a network of more than 30 partners through the National Consortium on the Coordination of Human Services Transpor- tation. This initiative, part of the National Resource Center for Human Service Transportation Coordination, reaches out to advocacy groups that are interested in transportation issues. It has been replicated on state, regional, and local levels to begin a process of education, training, and information dissemination. By connecting with state, regional, and local representatives of advocacy organizations, regional and state transportation agencies have strengthened their links to traditionally underserved populations and their staff and other resources to aid in the public involvement activities. â¢ CPTED Training and a Field Audit were undertaken on behalf of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) near the Oakland Coliseum station. CPTED is concerned with designing the local environment to minimize opportunities for crime. With expertise in urban design, planning, and community policing, the consulting CPTED trainers focused on the safety of BART patrons walking to and from the station and from the surrounding neighborhoods and businesses. The CPTED training event and field visit engaged staff from BART and the Oakland Coliseum, nearby business association members, public housing authority staff, and local residents. Field teams were formed to conduct a physical assessment of designated areas. Team leaders, who participated in the assessment, took photographs (see Figure 5-15) and were responsible for Figure 5-15. In Oakland, citizens and professionals were trained in CPTED principles before recording their observations and photos to identify pedestrian public safety issues at the Oakland Coliseum transit station and surrounding area.
5-80 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking facilitating the final team discussion on issues and potential resolutions. Two presentations were given to prepare participants before the field visit: one was on the principles of CPTED and the other on conducting a field assessment. Each field team brought back its observations to the consultant team, but on other projects they have reconvened to share their observations in a plenary session. Issues of concern and deficiencies were organized thematically by the training team in terms of access, visibility, land use, surveillance, and territoriality. Possible strategies and recommendations in the area of policy (e.g., policing, code enforcement), operations and maintenance, and physical capital improvements (e.g., design improvements, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, signage, etc.) were presented at subsequent workshops. Event participants expressed their priorities for strategies and recommendations in an exercise in which they were given sets of red, green, and blue sticker dotsâeach reflecting a different weight of importanceâ to prioritize initiatives of greater or lesser priority for various locations. Resources/Contacts American Cancer Society, Patient Navigators Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6wsMDcNwlE Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH): http://depts.washington.edu/ccph/commbas.html Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) for Transit Facilities: http://www.aptastandards. com/Portals/0/Security_pdfs/APTA-SS-SIS-RP-007-10_CPTED.pdf Easter Seals/Project Action, Travel Training: http://projectaction.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename= ESPA_travel_training&s_esLocation=tc_ Jacobson, M., Rugeley, C. 2007. Community-Based Participatory Research: Group Work for Social Justice and Community Change. Social Work With Groups 30(4):21â39. Oakland Coliseum/Oakland Airport BART Station Access Plan, August 2002: http://www.bart.gov/docs/ planning/Coliseum_Access_Plan.pdf Sherry Plaster Carter, AICP, ICACP Carter & Carter Associates 37 Grouse Hollow Murphy, North Carolina 28906 (828) 342-8838 Shercpted@aol.com http://cccpted.com/ Chris Zeilinger, Director National Resource Center for Human Service Transportation Coordination 1341 G Street, NW, 10th Floor Washington, DC 20005 (800) 891-0590 ext. 717 (202) 250-4108 www.NRCtransportation.org
tools and techniques 5-81 Conduct Periodic Field Visits Provide Information, Build Relationships Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? An upfront site visit is critically important to the beginning of a project, but periodic field visits throughout the duration of a project are also important. Patterns of life can vary during different times of the year, elected and appointed officials can change, development priorities can shift, and natural disasters can occur. Some changes are attributable to local conditions or customs, but others are shaped by broader national, economic, religious, or seasonally-related forces or currents. For example, during Alaskaâs hunting season, large numbers of Alaska Natives spend their time dedicated to hunting-related activities. From Thanksgiving through the middle of January, many workers will use their leave rather than lose it and are not at their place of work. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, is the busiest shopping day of the year when stores open before dawn or are open 24 hours that day. âMarket,â the one week period in mid-October in High Point, NC, attracts thousands of national and international furniture buyers, affecting local traffic patterns and the availability of hotel rooms for more than 100 miles. Religious events such as Ramadan, a one month period in which participating Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn until sunset, affects when peak traffic periods occur. Every four years on the second Tuesday in November, millions of voters can be found at polling precincts. The aftermath of natural disasters, like hurricanes, wildfires, and floods, can affect the viability of areas for years if not decades to come. Prior to making any field visit, local calendars should be examined in order to identify potential event conflicts or opportunities to piggy-back on planned events, and local officials should be contacted. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? In addition to providing an opportunity to see how the project area changes and identifying opportunities to piggy-back on scheduled events, field visits provide occasions for staff to continu- ously touch base with residents and leaders. This helps to build relationships with individuals and communities. Staff can use these visits to not only demonstrate that they have heard the concerns of the local residents and leaders, but show how they have responded to these concerns. The field visits can be vehicles for building or restoring trust in communities where it has never existed or had been broken, and for fortifying existing relationships. In addition, these visits and relationships help staff gain a better understanding of the inner workings and fabric of these communities, the inter- dependencies of families and individuals, and an appreciation of what locals truly value and why. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? The purpose of periodic field visits is to touch base with residents and leaders and to develop a rich understanding of how communities may change or function over time. Techniques can take several forms from additional meetings and small dialogues with local organizations and stakeholders, to walk-throughs of local communities, to attendance at scheduled events held by other organizations, among other approaches. Oftentimes, a good part of these field visits should be spent listening and trying to understand the perspective of those in the project area.
5-82 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking What Are Its Limitations? Often staff members may not be aware of an event until they are in the field, or they may not realize the significance of the event. By subscribing to the local newspaper or visiting local websites, staff can follow current events in their project area, learn who are informal or formal leaders, identify local issues and concerns, and monitor other changes within the project area. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Travel costs should be incorporated into the project budget for field visits. The resources and cost will vary depending upon the size of the project area, whether or not the project area is urban or rural, how many cultures or religions are present in the project area, how far the project area is from an event, and how long the event lasts. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ For the U.S. Route 17 Project, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) consultant staff timed a field trip to the project area for the second week in November, dovetail- ing outreach activities to the voter turnout on a national election day. Staff had called the voter registration offices in Jones and Onslow counties to identify polling places in Belgrade (Onslow County) and Maysville and Pollocksville (Jones County) along or near the subject corridor, discovering that more than 70 percent of the registered voters in those three precincts had voted in the last election. Staff was advised that they could set up tables and chairs, but could get no closer than 50 feet from the polling place entrance. The consultant staff brought tables, chairs, project signs, copies of project maps, newsletters, other information about an upcoming public meeting, as well as cookies and soft drinks. When staff arrived at one of the locations, they found others passing out various candidate-related information including members of the Black Cau- cus who were distributing pamphlets to Black voters. After introducing themselves to caucus members, staff asked if they would be willing to direct their voters over to the project table to take a project survey. They agreed and with their help staff members were able to ensure that Blacks were provided with the opportunity to be surveyed. White voters were also interviewed by staff at these three locations. â¢ For the Business 40 Project, NCDOTâs consultant staff identified the only mall within 30 miles of Winston-Salem. They contacted its management and rented space inside the mall at the main entrance. On Black Friday and the following Saturday, project consulting staff dressed in orange project shirts and conducted more than 800 surveys, told shoppers about the Business 40 project, and passed out project information. Because there were no other malls in the area, the survey effort captured Winston-Salem residents and commuting residents from Kerners- ville and Lewisville, major suburbs located east and west of Winston-Salem. Resources/Contacts Anne Morris Senior Project Manager Atkins 810 Dutch Square Boulevard, Suite 310 Columbia, SC 29210 (803) 772-4404 ext 224 firstname.lastname@example.org Ms. Jumetta Posey, CEO Neighborhood Solutions 800 North Cameron Avenue Winston-Salem, NC 27101 (336) 724-2130 email@example.com www.nsolutions.org
tools and techniques 5-83 Conduct Outreach at Nontraditional Locations Provide Information/Gather Feedback Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? This technique involves using nontraditional locations to reach out to traditionally underserved populations. Depending on the population, the types of locations will vary significantly. They may include places of worship, community centers, social service agencies, settlement houses, senior centers, meeting rooms in apartment complexes, restaurants, hair salons/barber shops, feed stores, shopping malls, convenience stores, libraries, community fairs, sporting events, and other places where traditionally underserved populations may congregate. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? This approach is effective in involving traditionally underserved populations because you go to where they are to interact with them rather than wait for them to come to you. Because you are on âtheir turfâ they are likely to feel more comfortable and willing to listen to what you have to say and to give you feedback and/or input. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Speak to people from the neighborhood or minority group with whom you want to interact to identify suitable nontraditional locations. â¢ Have appropriate (language, etc.) materials available to give to the people with whom you interact. â¢ Create an opportunity to interact that will âhookâ themâthat is, get them to stop and talk to you, and then give them your information and/or request input from them. For example, at a church bazaar, have something to attract the children to create the opportunity to speak to parents. Or at a social service agency, have a survey for them to complete with you while they are waiting to see a social service worker. â¢ Go more than once to establish a presence at the location, so people can see that you are seri- ous about interacting with them in a significant way. What Are Its Limitations? The message must be well-honed so that you do not waste their time getting to the reason for talking to them. Up-front attention must be given to the best way to approach people. In some cultures, you get to the business first, then to the personal. In other cultures, it is the opposite. In still others, they expect you to be less direct about what you want. Therefore, you need to have a good idea of what the conversational norms are for the culture/minority group with which you want to interact. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Personnel time is needed to identify the location(s), attend the event, and document the information collected. Materials may need to be translated into the language of the group that you are trying to reach, or customized to make them culturally relevant.
5-84 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Who Has Used It Successfully? Metropolitan planning organizations, departments of transportation, transit agencies, local governments, and public involvement professionals recognize the effectiveness of going to established community focal points and events to engage populations and conduct outreach: â¢ The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) found that setting up information tables at high school football games, major events in small farming communities in Californiaâs Central Valley, can be a highly effective method for distributing information and getting feedback. Caltrans used this approach for specific transportation projects and updates of the statewide transportation plan. Caltrans also distributed flyers or door hangers through- out the project area or sent information to churches and schools before its attendance at the games. â¢ The Michigan DOT (MDOT) partnered with the state library of Michigan as part of their state long range plan. The library helped MDOT with its outreach to traditionally underrepresented populations who frequented libraries and used their computers. MDOT conducted a marketing effort that appealed to the libraries and worked with the libraries that agreed to participate. With more than 2,000 online questionnaires completed during the library promotion, the initiative underscored the importance of outreach to traditionally underrepresented populations who can least afford Internet access, but make good use of the computers at a public library and want their voices heard. Such partnerships are a natural fit for libraries as they continue to expand their Internet computer offerings and seek to remain an important resource in their communities. â¢ The Navajo Nation has a population of approximately 300,000 members with over 17 million acres of land located around the Four Corners Region of the United States that includes southeastern Utah, northeastern Arizona, and northwestern New Mexico. Their annual Navajo Nation Fair has been deemed the largest American Indian fair and rodeo with more than 25 separate events (e.g., a rodeo, bull-riding, pow-wow, arts and crafts, horticulture, horse show, comedy show, youth events), attracting more than 15,000 visitors daily over a 1-week period. It provides an effective venue for information sharing for exhibitors and organizations that are interested in setting up a booth and offering some incentives such as food, door prizes, raffles, cups, or other handouts. â¢ The Indiana DOT (InDOT) posted notices around the small rural town of Advance and distributed flyers in local churches about a public meeting for a surface repaving project. The meeting was held in a local church along the main road because it was the only place that could accommodate the event. InDOT was surprised to discover that those who attended were hesitant to voice their opinions in front of one another, in part, because there were differences of opinion over the project. It was only when people were separated into smaller groups and in one-on-one situations that they were really willing to speak up. â¢ Washington State DOT staff attended community fairs, festivals, and community markets (e.g., farmers markets and flea markets) as a way to engage members of the public who may not have been aware of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement involving the demolition of a viaduct and bored tunnel alternatives. Informational booths were set up at approximately 150 fairs, festivals, and farmers markets throughout the Seattle area over a 4-year period. Many of these events were sponsored by traditionally underrepresented communities. Materials on display at information booths have been translated into Vietnamese, Chinese, Tagalog, and Spanish. For several years, multilingual high school students fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Vietnamese were hired to interact with limited English proficiency booth visitors for the Chinatown-International District Festival.
tools and techniques 5-85 Resources/Contacts Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project, Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement Appendix H: Social Discipline Report (2010): http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/21BB772B-BD94-43E2-8052- 71D73D4A8FD3/0/2010SDEISAppendixH.pdf Peter Bond, Senior Environmental Planner California Department of Transportation Division of Environmental Analysis P.O. Box 942874, M.S. 27 Sacramento, CA 94274-0001 (916) 653-8307 Kathleen McKinney, Senior Associate PRR 2631 17th Avenue NW Olympia, WA 98502 firstname.lastname@example.org Bob Parsons, Public Involvement/Hearings Officer Michigan DOT Bureau of Transportation Planning P.O. Box 30050 Lansing, MI 48909 (517) 373-9534 ParsonsB@michigan.gov Jeanette Wilson Division of Environment, Planning and Engineering Indiana Department of Transportation (InDOT) (317) 232-5496 email@example.com
5-86 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Go to âTheirâ Meetings Provide Information/Gather Feedback Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? Cosponsorship, participation in, or other support for meetings held by advocacy groups, employers, and human service or public agencies that serve traditionally underserved populations. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? It reaches the target populations âwhere they live.â This practice also provides opportunities to build partnerships with groups and agencies that have expertise in working with the target groups and, often, their trust. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? Create an asset map or database of associations, employers, and institutions that work with the target populations in the study area. Asset mapping is the process of identifying a communityâs individual and organizational capacities and other resources by creating inventories or databases of the skills of individuals, citizen groups, business associations, institutions (e.g., education, financial, healthcare, public services, cultural, communication, faith-based organizations, and so on). The association and institutional databases can be used to identify contacts within the organizations to advise on issues affecting the target communities and key individuals. Work with the organization contacts through their media (e.g., newsletters, websites, etc.) to iden- tify issues and exchange information. For example, write short pieces, including contact information, for their newsletters. Request to add links to their websites regarding a pro- posed project or other action. Ask to include supplements in their mailings regarding the project. Keep in mind that the âmeetingâ may not actually occur at a gathering. The goal is to âreach people where they are.â The organization contacts and key individuals may also provide information through structured interviews, informal discussions, and review of plans or other proposed actions. Request to be included on the agenda of meetings that the organizations hold for their client groups. Be prepared to present the proposed project, solicit input, and describe the type of follow up that will occur after the meeting. What Are Its Limitations? Outreach through this process may uncover issues and concerns beyond the scope of the pro- posed project. The association and institutional organizations, however, may have the capacity to
tools and techniques 5-87 address these. The emphasis here is on building partnerships with the organizations to âleverage each other.â What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? The resources include staff to create the asset map, inventory, or database and to identify key contacts within the associations and organizations. Staff time will also be needed to attend meetings, create materials, disseminate information, and collect information from meetings, key contacts, and other individuals. It also is important to report back to the organizations and the communities the results of their input. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS), for its 2010 Long-Range Plan Update, hosted a series of focus groups targeted to underserved populations, or people that do not traditionally participate in the transportation planning process, including minori- ties, persons with disabilities, college students, and parents with young children. COMPASS partnered with other organizations actively engaging these groups and went to their venues to meet with them. For example, COMPASS partnered with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) to organize a focus group for older and retired people, collaborated with a parents group at a church to meet parents of young children, and worked with a social services agency responsible for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC Program) to organize a meeting for low-income individuals. COMPASS also met with a leadership club of teens and young adult refugees. Staff worked with the club orga- nizers and held a focus group at one of their scheduled club meetings. â¢ Seattle Neighborhood Plan. In a 2-month period, Seattleâs neighborhood planning process mobilized liaisons and hosted 41 workshops and small group discussions throughout south- east Seattle that were attended by 1,200 participants and which represented 14 historically underrepresented communities. Events were held at convenient locations, including com- munity centers, senior citizen centers, community service organizations, churches, apartment buildings, assisted living facilities, high schools, and libraries. The liaisons held 21 follow-up workshops and discussion groups to further refine concepts that had been raised during the prior workshop series that had engaged over 700 participants. Transportation improvements discussed during the process included better maintained sidewalks, adequate street lighting, implementation of new technologies to assist pedestrians with disabilities, crosswalk improve- ments, multilingual traffic control signs, and better pedestrian and bicycle connections to the new light rail stations, among others. â¢ The Chicago Area Transportation Study (CATS) (now CMAP) staff attended meetings and events of faith-based organizations and their leadership to reach members of the Black com- munity. CATS staff has attended civic and county fairs, a Mexican-American Independence Day breakfast, and town meetings to answer questions, distribute brochures, and solicit public involvement for its long range planning process. Resources/Contacts McKnight, John L. and Kretzmann, John P. 1996. Mapping community capacity. Evanston, IL: The Asset-Based Community Development Institute, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University: http://www. abcdinstitute.org/docs/MappingCapacity.pdf FHWA Livability Initiative: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/livability/
5-88 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Amy Luft, Communication Coordinator COMPASS 800 S Industry Way, Ste 100 Meridian, Idaho 83642 (208) 855-2558 x231 firstname.lastname@example.org http://compassidaho.org/ Tony Mazzella, Strategic Advisor Seattle Department of Transportation PO Box 34996 Seattle, Washington 98124-4996 206-684-0811 email@example.com http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/
tools and techniques 5-89 Go to the Schools Provide Information/Gather Feedback Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance â¡ What Is It? Working with the administration and teachers of local elementary, middle, or high schools to reach the children and youth of minority, low-income, and limited English proficiency house- holds via assemblies, flyers, classroom projects, and other events. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Transportation practitioners can work with the student populations to publicize informa- tion about upcoming plans and projects, explore transportation needs, and solicit the views of parents and caregivers as to convenient times and places for meetings, preferences for project alternatives, or perceived impacts of projects. Students, in some cases, can serve as the connecting party to linguistically isolated, low-literacy, and single-parent households, facilitating dialogue and communications with hard-to-reach communities. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Collaborating with teachers to develop lesson plans or small projects that describe the community, environment, or existing transportation needs and deficiencies; â¢ Making a presentation to an assembly or classroom about a transportation project and/or what a career could be as transportation or environmental professional; â¢ Distributing project newsletters or questionnaires, written at the fourth/fifth grade level, so that children may read to their parents and interview them. The questionnaire may seek to identify the best days, times, and places for holding accessible and well-attended meetings and surmount potential barriers to attendance for those who work a second or third shift. Questionnaires can solicit preferences about preferred alternatives in order to increase awareness about a project or to learn more about possible impacts. Parents can be asked to sign a newsletter or questionnaire and students can be asked to return it to their teachers. â¢ Parent-teacher association (PTA) meetings provide another forum to communicate about the goals and upcoming events surrounding a transportation project. Parents in attendance at such events can have their awareness raised by such announcements. What Are Its Limitations? Working with the schools to reach the parents of school-age children can be effective at building trust and at connecting to a segment of low-literacy, linguistically isolated, and other households that may be traditionally underserved. While the parents of school children may convey and disseminate information received through media distributed at the schools to a wider audience, it must be recognized that the approach may fail to effectively penetrate into households without school-age children.
5-90 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? As a small element of a broader community involvement effort, working with schools can be a low-resource, high-payoff tool. For the Careers in Motion program, discussed below, the public involvement consultant had school outreach as part of her larger contract, and additional costs for materialsâlike t-shirts and goodie-bags for the studentsâtotaled less than $5,000. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) staff and the consultant spent two hours a day in the classrooms over a week, and additional time to prepare the curriculum and establish relationships with the schools. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ For North Carolina Department of Transportationâs Route 17 project, a community impact practitioner, trying to understand the social characteristics and needs of the local community likely to be affected by the project, took up the challenge given her by an elementary school principal to make a presentation about her project to the fourth and fifth grade students. The community impact assessment (CIA) practitioner gave a slide presentation, âWhere Do Roads Come From,â which introduced students to the complexities of road building, the types of professionals involved, the laws followed, the environmental concerns considered, and the visual communication techniques used with the public. Students were invited to show where they would put a new road. They were requested to complete a âtake homeâ item so they would talk with their parents about what they had learned, and to get their parents to sign the sheet. Students were promised a certificate as a junior environmentalist for its prompt return (see Figure 5-16). â¢ WisDOT partnered with three elementary schools serving low-income and diverse minority populations in Racine, Kenosha, and Milwaukee that were likely to be affected by I-94âs reconstructionârepaving, ramp changes, and lane additions from the Illinois state line to central Milwaukee. In 2006, WisDOT retained a public outreach consultant to adapt a week- long Careers in Motion curriculumâwhich brings practitioners into fifth-grade classrooms to discuss careers in transportationâto examine how the project would affect their communities. Practitioners spent about an hour and a half with students each day for a week, working on engineering-related projects like building model bridges out of popsicle sticks, or laying out alignments to avoid impacts to neighborhoods or the environment. At Garland Elementary in Milwaukee, where the program had been initially piloted, students participated in a mural design competition for a noise barrier that separated the school from the highway. WisDOT later brought in an artist to paint the winning design. Careers in Motion enjoyed favorable press and opened a channel for communications with community parents about the project. Schools affected by I-94 reconstruction in Racine and Kenosha invited WisDOT to present the Careers in Motion project, and Garland invited WisDOT back for a new class of fifth graders in 2008. That year, Walker Elementary also invited WisDOT to run a Careers in Motion project for its school as it was in the impact zone of construction work on Milwaukee Countyâs Zoo Interchange. â¢ In Bowling Green, KY, the local Kentucky Transportation Cabinet district office asked a third- grade class of children, many from low-income households and recent Hispanic and Bosnian immigrants, to beta-test a survey. Students were given information about a project and then given a test survey to see if they could understand it. After their comments were incorporated, students were asked to take the survey home and interview adults, such as their parents or grand- parents. The next day the students returned the interviews and were shown how their informa- tion would be used in the project. Later in the process, the students were asked to conduct a second interview to verify the project was on track. The student interviews increased parent interest in the project, the number of visits to the project office, and the project mailing list. Figure 5-16. Elemen- tary school children received a certificate of participation and raised their parentsâ awareness of the North Carolina Route 17 project.
tools and techniques 5-91 Resources/Contacts Hass, Kim. Careers in Motion: Science, Engineering, and Transportation, Hamlin Garland Elementary School Mil- waukee, Wisconsin. Presented at the Fall 2008 ASEE Conference, Mid Atlantic Section. Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ: http://www.stevens.edu/asee/fileadmin/asee/pdf/Haas_-final.pdf Anne Morris, Senior Project Manager Atkins 810 Dutch Square Boulevard, Suite 310 Columbia, SC 29210 (803) 772-4404 ext 224 firstname.lastname@example.org Emlynn Grisar WisDOT Southeast Region 141 NW Barstow Street Waukesha, WI 53187 (262) 521-5373 Emlynn.Grisar@dot.wi.gov
5-92 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Go to Faith-Based Institutions Provide Information/Gather Feedback Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? Using the venue of faith-based institutions to hold events and provide information to, and get feedback from, the institutionsâ leadership and membership about transportation, social, or other community-related issues. Working in partnership with the institution and/or the endorsement of the institutionâs leadership in order to encourage participation and/or build support for plans and projects. Institution staff, members, attendees, and the like, also can be engaged to assist in data collection (e.g., survey administration, interviewing, etc.) and information dissemination. These institutions also can be partners in monitoring and evaluation of projects, plans, and so forth. Their continued involvement helps to build trust and âcementâ relations during the life of the project and future actions. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? The approach can involve the broader faith-based community affected by the project, provide contacts to the proximate community, and act as a conduit for information exchange on project updates. It can also be used to drill down to other methods. For example, public meetings in faith-based institutions can establish trust needed to conduct focus groups, interviews, surveys, and the like among various committees, boards, and subgroups (e.g., women, youth, âsoupâ kitchens, etc.) affiliated with the institution. The institution can also act as a partner in information dissemination and gathering. There are several reasons why the approach has been effective in involving traditionally underserved populations: â¢ Engagement of faith-based institutions may be the only way of reaching underserved communities. â¢ Some communities are suspicious of government and standard outreach. Public involvement activities will not overcome this distrust. â¢ Faith-based institutions are dedicated to fostering appreciation, recognition, and understand- ing of other culturesâand are temperamentally suited to promoting better outreach. â¢ Minority groups that are ârunning scaredâ or that do not feel welcomed by the general populaceâfor example, because of religious intolerance (e.g., âIslamophobiaâ) or because of undocumented statusâmay be particularly difficult to engage. Faith-based institutions offer a safer venue for engaging these communities. â¢ Faith-based institutions, in serving their constituents, often overlap and coordinate with human service agencies. It is therefore possible to find individuals in both the faith-based institutions and in the social service agencies that truly understand and can express prob- lems or issues confronted by local populations, leading to better solutions, impact mini- mization, and mitigation. Their knowledge and insights about the affected populations or clientele are often effective in devising outreach and communications strategies that will make it possible to disseminate information and receive meaningful feedback from a diverse public.
tools and techniques 5-93 What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? Faith-based institutions can accommodate many techniques for providing information (e.g., printed materials, flyers, newsletters, website links) or for gathering feedback from the public, including focus groups, surveys, public meetings, and interviews. If an inventory of faith-based institutions exists, start with a geographic information system (GIS) query by drawing a Â¼-mile boundary around the study area. (The Â¼-mile is the de facto transit boundary.) If available, add a layer of faith-based institutions within the boundary. If no local county, planning agency, or other organization has GIS point data on faith-based institu- tions, try using Internet-based mapping programs or other Internet tools to identify a key feature in the study area. Enter the address of the key feature. Then, enter âfaith based organizationsâ or âchurches near the . . .â key feature (see Figure 5-17.) The results will yield key information for initial contacts within the study area. Using popular Internet mapping software searches may yield more than a one-square mile result of faith-based organizations including telephone num- bers and other contact information. (More results are available if the term âfaith-basedâ is used.) Building on this information and contacts, the canvassing effort can be broadened to include institutions identified from the maps and other information. Inquiries should be made as to how members, users, and other contacts should be engaged. Several types of questions may prove helpful: â¢ Would the institution like a public meeting? â¢ Would staff be willing to organize focus groups, interviews, help distribute surveys? â¢ Would staff like to be trained and hired to conduct focus groups, interviews, public meetings, surveys, translation services, and so forth? â¢ Do the institutions have websites, newsletters, or other media that they are willing to share to both gather and disseminate information? Figure 5-17. An Internet mapping program can be an effective tool for locating faith-based institutions within a designated study area, including the institutionâs name, address, and phone number.
5-94 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking â¢ Are the institutions willing to provide additional outreach beyond their membership (e.g., clothing exchanges, congregation meal sites, counseling groups, food banks, ministe- rial, or other outreach, etc.)? â¢ When would be the best time to address the congregation at your institution? Explore the various activities of the faith-based institution, particularly community-wide activities that the project can cosponsor or otherwise provide support through information booths, presentations, surveys, interviews, and the like. Be sensitive to the fact that some par- ticipants may be reticent to give information to the âgovernment.â It may be more important to educate or otherwise train the institutionâs staff or membership to disseminate information and collect information. The critical element is to establish a partnership with the faith-based institution to both disseminate information and to collect data on the perceived impacts of the planned action. Faith-based institutions can be vital resources in reaching not only traditional and traditionally underserved populations, but also the populations that they serve. Many faith-based institutions have a broader mission to serve populations that extend beyond their members and the surround- ing community. What Are Its Limitations? Contact may be limited to populations who make use of faith-based institutions. The faith- based institution may reach a larger or different population that those near the subject project or activity. Also, those that attend events at the institution may not be representative of the population in proximity to the subject project or activity. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Staff or consultant time to conduct training, interviews, surveys, focus groups, and presenta- tions; reproduction of brochures, maps, and so on. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ For the State Route 28 Wenatchee Eastside Corridor Study (aka the Sunset Highway), the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) broadened its public involvement activities to work with four faith-based institutions serving the Hispanic community. The study sought to identify alternatives to achieve several key goals, includ- ing the reduction of conflicts between regional and local traffic; making the area safer; and protecting the natural resources of the Wenatchee Valley. Building upon the relationships already fostered by the faith-based institutions and the Hispanic community, WSDOT and its consultants arranged for announcements to be made from the pulpits. The public involvement effort also interwove outreach for the transportation study with the activities of existing meetings, such as those held at churches, and by using familiar locations as venues for outreach. In some instances, the churches were located outside of the project area, but served people affected by the project. These efforts successfully engaged leaders and elicited participation from several disparate groups, drawing interest and attendees from a mobile home park with a high Hispanic population, the agricultural community, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Newsletters about the proposed activities also were provided in English and Spanish to provide information and feedback. The final environmental impact statement (FEIS), along with other project documents, also was posted on a project website in English and Spanish. Many of these activities were noted as a first for WSDOT.
tools and techniques 5-95 â¢ The San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization employed a âbeaconâ for the development of the East Corridor Multi-Modal Alternatives Plan in San Antonio, TX. The beacon and others from the project team met with the Coalition of Churches for Social Action (CCSA), an Eastside faith-based organization that provided input and feedback to the project as well as helped in conducting outreach with their predominantly Black church members. The preachers at several of the churches announced the public meetings in their churches, spoke with their members about the importance of the plan for addressing transportation needs in their area of the city, and one attended the public meeting. These preachers were instrumental in spreading the word about the plan, increasing attendance at public meetings, and raising awareness about the planning process. Resources/Contacts SR 28âWenatchee Eastside Corridor Study: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR28/WenatcheeEastside Corridor/default.htm Laura Thompson President Laura Thompson Agency 9504 IH 35 North, Suite 303 San Antonio, TX 78233 (210) 836-6531 email@example.com Beverly G. Ward Principal BGW Associates, LLC 13705 Lazy Oak Dr. Tampa, FL 33613 firstname.lastname@example.org Kathleen McKinney Senior Associate PRR 2631 17th Avenue NW Olympia, WA 98502 email@example.com (360) 754-4488
5-96 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Apply Social and New Media Appropriately Provide Information/Gather Feedback Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? Social media are tools and methods used to increase social interaction among persons with common interests. Users are able to link with other users and share information in a variety of online formats. The resulting networks allow users to be content producers as well as content consumers. New media is a broad term that encompasses the blending of traditional media such as film, images, music, spoken and written word, with the interactive power of computer and communications technology, computer-enabled consumer devices and, most importantly, the Internet. New media suggests new possibilities for on-demand access to content anytime, any- where, on any digital device. User feedback, creative participation, and community formation around the media content in an interactive relationship with the media consumer are features of new media. Information communications technologies (ICT) are closely allied with social media, new media, and social networking. ICTs have the potential to build social capital by strengthening connections and increasing the flow of information. Social and new media applications have been increasing dramatically for public involvement activities. Web 2.0 is an umbrella term for websites or online applications that are user-driven and emphasize collaboration and user interactivity such as wikis, blogs, podcasts, and social net- working sites. The public sector has begun to move away from static web pages and toward a user-driven Internet model through greater use of dynamic web pages and âgovernment 2.0â applications that promote transparent governance and citizen involvement in decisionmaking. Web applications termed 2.0 are distinguished from earlier generation online resources because they emphasize greater participation in content creation, editing, or distribution by users, and the ability to deliver information (e.g., online government data) customized to the userâs specific interests or requests through web-based applications. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Social and new media applications have the potential to effectively involve traditionally underserved populations because they represent innovative approaches with accessible content. Health organizations have been doing research on effective outreach activities for years and provide very good examples. The potential benefits of these technologies are similar to those of computer-assisted technologies to explore preferences because they mostly rely on computer and Internet accessibility/literacy. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? There are a growing number of social/new media techniques that can be used to better engage traditionally underserved populations. It is becoming more common that these tech- niques are being integrated with each other, therefore extending the reach of those oriented to social networking
tools and techniques 5-97 Examples of techniques for implementing social and new media include (note that the following lists are not exhaustive): Communication â¢ Blogs: Blogger, LiveJournal, Open Diary, TypePad, WordPress, Vox, ExpressionEngine, Xanga â¢ Micro-blogging/Presence applications: FMyLife, Jaiku, Plurk, Twitter, Tumblr, Posterous, Yammer, Qaiku â¢ Social networking: Facebook, LinkedIn, Cyworld â¢ Events: Upcoming, Eventful, Meetup.com Collaboration â¢ Wikis: Wikimedia, Wikia, PBworks, Wetpaint â¢ Social bookmarking (or social tagging): Delicious, StumbleUpon, Google Reader, CiteULike â¢ Social news: Digg, Mixx, Reddit, NowPublic Multimedia â¢ Photography and art sharing: deviantArt, Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa, SmugMug, Zooomr â¢ Video sharing: YouTube, Viddler, Vimeo, Sevenload, Zideo â¢ Livecasting: Ustream.tv, Justin.tv, Stickam, Skype, OpenCU â¢ Music and audio sharing: MySpace Music, The Hype Machine, Last.fm, ccMixter, Share- TheMusic â¢ Presentation sharing: Slideshare, Scribd Reviews and Opinions â¢ Product reviews: Epinions.com, MouthShut.com â¢ Business reviews: Customer Lobby, Yelp.com â¢ Community Q&A: Yahoo! Answers, WikiAnswers, Askville, Google Answers Other â¢ Information Aggregators: Netvibes, Twine â¢ Virtual worlds: Active Worlds, Second Life, The Sims Online, Forterra What Are Its Limitations? Segments of the traditionally underserved have been slow to adopt the new technologies due to costs of accessing high-speed Internet services, visual impairment, low-literacy, language barriers, lack of computer literacy, or discomfort with the technological changes being made. Cell phone usage, however, continues to grow among nearly all populations, including minority and low-income households. With mobile technology, it is possible to send and receive text messages so, although many poor do not have Internet access through a home computer, they may be able to receive text messages. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Many planning organizations are investing in the software and hardware infrastructure to match Web 2.0, but there are segments of the public who still cannot afford or do not have access to high speed Internet service. How the agency intends to use social and other new media to interact with the public will define the level of staffing to maintain a social media presence. Social media may require only a relatively minor staffing commitment in terms of hours, but new policies also must be established to maintain a consistent online presence. This involves defining who will be responsible for content development, the frequency of new postings, how comments on the site will be handled, and how social media will be integrated into the agencyâs
5-98 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking overall communications strategies, including the agencyâs website. Some DOTs and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) are making a greater commitment to interactive webinars, digital video recordings of events and meetings, video sharing, and, in some cases, more polished video productions. Building these capabilities requires considerably greater budgetary commitments for in-house capabilities or supplier services. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The FHWA and the Volpe Center have prepared case studies for seven state DOTs based upon discussions with agency contacts and review of related documents. The case studies describe each agencyâs approach to considering uses of 2.0 tools for transportation, the challenges encountered, and lessons learned during these activities. The Massachusetts DOT case study describes the agencyâs use of several social media applications, and explains how the agency has focused on publishing open data to encourage third-party data developers to create innovative transportation applications. The Washington State DOT case study illustrates the agencyâs adoption of a range of 2.0 tools, such as a blog, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr. The agency is building upon those applications that are well-received and experimenting with use of other technologies, such as providing live broadcasts of public meetings. â¢ For the Southwest Georgia Interstate Study, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) conducted Internet surveys accessed by students from their schools. This approach reached all homes with school-aged children in a large region that was predominantly rural and low densityâregardless of home Internet access. By working with the public schools, an insti- tution with a high degree of credibility and importance in community life, the approach confronted the Internetâs potential limitations and found a means for its application in the project study. The approach incorporated flexible strategies for ensuring that a portion of the population was not denied access to information even as the Internetâs low-cost advantages for delivering information were applied to this large regional planning project. Resources/Contacts Cunningham, T. Social Media, Transit Agencies and Public Involvement 2.0 Presentation: http://www.slideshare. net/TheCunninghamGroup/tasha-cunningham-social-media-transit-agencies-and-public-involvement-20 Integrating Social Media into Public Involvement StrategiesâTransportation Research Board (TRB): http:// www.slideshare.net/Sradick/integrating-social-media-into-public-involvement-strategies-transportation- research-board-trb Social Media Definition, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media Current Uses of Web 2.0 Applications in Transportation, FHWA and Volpe Center Case Studies of Select State Departments of Transportation: http://www.gis.fhwa.dot.gov/documents/web20report/web20report.htm FTA: Social Networking in the Transportation Industry (YouTube.com): http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=nJuARta4Qrk Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG), Social Media and Social Networkingâhttp:// www.mwcog.org/news/socialmedia/ Graham, S. (2002). Bridging Urban Digital Divides? Urban Polarization and Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs). Urban Studies, 39(1): 33â56. Technology for Urban Planningâhttp://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&viewas=0&gid=65842507676 Elizabeth Rockwell, Public Involvement Manager Miami-Dade County Office of the County Manager Stephen P. Clark Center 111 N.W. First Street, Suite 920 Miami, FL 33128 firstname.lastname@example.org www.co.miami-dade.fl.us/mpo/ Tom McQueen, Project Manager Georgia DOT Office of Planning (404) 631-1987 email@example.com
tools and techniques 5-99 Conduct Market Research Interviews and Focus Groups Gather Feedback Policy/Research H Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction â¡ Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance â¡ What Is It? Convening one-on-one interviews or focus group meetings to discover the transportation needs and practices of traditionally underserved communities. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Different population groups have distinct transportation needs and preferences, travel behavior characteristics, and values. Especially for low-income persons and groups with limited literacy or English proficiency, gleaning those needs and values can present a challenge for transportation practitioners. Face-to-face discussions such as during focus groups and market research interviews can be designed to eliminate literacy, language, and cultural barriers. They can help practitioners develop a better understanding of how various population segments access transportation services and travel, which can vary heavily depending on the group. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Holding meetings or focus groups in neighborhoods with significant populations of targeted groups, in well-known buildings (a community center or faith-based institution, for example) at times that do not conflict with work or family obligations. â¢ Working through community colleges and other English as a second language (ESL) programs or group-specific community organizations, including nonprofit or advocacy organizations, to identify persons to include in the market research interviews and focus groups. â¢ Serving familiar, group-specific food bought from a local business. â¢ Contracting out to qualified researchers from academia or the market research industry. â¢ Printing necessary information in applicable languages and/or making translators available. â¢ Understanding the groupâs customary practices toward gender beforehand and structuring communications accordingly to be co-ed or gender specific to permit freer discussion. â¢ Recognizing that different groups may have different styles or approaches toward informa- tion disclosure, communications, and knowledge, and preparing before the event for the pos- sibility of these cultural patterns. The practice of having a selected elder speak for the larger group or community would be an example of a cultural practice that influences information disclosure and communications. What Are Its Limitations? Qualitative focus group research is effective in generating hypotheses, but is not a statistically rigorous method for testing hypotheses. Given the small sample size, those who attend focus groups may not be ârepresentativeâ of the target population or community. Focus group attendees who participate may differ from the target population in their very willingness to be recruited by local community organizations for that purpose. Focus group attendees may also shade their
5-100 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking opinions and express values to fit in rather than deviate from others from their home country also in the focus group. Some individuals and communities may be reluctant to provide information to representatives of government because of their immigration status or their past experience with governments in the United States or in the nation of their origin. Contracting out services to trusted organizations or individuals, providing unequivocal assurances that data will not be given to law enforcement or immigration authorities, and not collecting names and other personal information can help address these concerns. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? â¢ Contracting costs for mobilizing researchers or focus group facilitators, if necessary. â¢ Rental space for meetings. â¢ Costs for providing food. â¢ Staff time and transportation. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) contracted with the University of Minnesotaâs State and Local Policy Program (SLPP) to study the transportation values and practices of Hispanic, Somali, and Hmong populations in urban, suburban, and rural environments. From the focus groups, SLPP was able to produce a study identifying that each of the communities did indeed have specific transportation needs and valuesâand that these needs and values had policy implications. Some of the major opportunities that emerged for improving mobility and accessibility to these immigrant communities included rural and urban car-sharing programs and increased investment in public transit. Information gathered in the focus groups led to the extension of a bus line to reach an employment center. The Somali participants in rural Faribault, MN, said that they would take the bus to work at a meat- packing plant, but the bus-line only extended to city limitsâtwo miles short of the plant. Researchers identified this transportation need to MnDOT, which funds many of the rural transit lines in Minnesota, and they ended up extending the line. â¢ The New Jersey Department of Transportation, working in association with New Jersey Transit, contracted with the New Jersey Institute of Technology to prepare a policy research report on the Mobility Information Needs of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Travelers in New Jersey. Among the study elements was the design and conduct of focus groups with LEP populations to understand travel needs. English-as-second-language (ESL) classes in northern New Jersey were selected to locate survey candidates. Community colleges were contacted as well as private, nonprofit organizations and communities groups who offer ESL classes in churches, night schools, and community centers. The research team contacted several types of community organizations working with LEP populationsâ churches, weekend schools, career to family centers, for exampleâto explore the possi- bilities of holding focus group discussions on their mobility information needs. The study team also contacted the Hispanic Development Corporation, Polish TV stations, Italian newspapers, and various consulates from particular community groups. Ten focus groups were ultimately held, addressing the travel needs of Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Polish and Russian speakers, among other languages, in separate events. An implementation strategy was developed, in conjunction with the LEP market/demographic analysis, to ensure that the findings and results of this research could be cost-effectively implemented. Common problems or complaints that were expressed were integral to a priority list of actions for implementation.
tools and techniques 5-101 â¢ The New Jersey Department of Transportation, working in association with New Jersey Transit, also funded a study that involved a series of focus groups with immigrants from the Philippines, India, and Latin America. The study explored the underlying reasons for changes in routine daily travel by immigrants over time, recognizing that segments of foreign-born populations exhibit increasing levels of auto ownership. Focus groups explored how various immigrants from different places of origin and settlement in New Jersey decided where to live and where to work when first arriving in the U.S. and in subsequent moves. The research looked at the influence of occupational and family changes in residential decisionmaking. â¢ The Mineta Transportation Institute funded research to explore how very low-income households manage the costs of travel and, in the face of a significant financial burden, the mobility strategies that they adopt to reach jobs and needed services. The study was conducted using qualitative data from interviews with 73 low-income people living in and around San Jose, California. The research design and implementation of interviews were conducted by graduate research assistants and undergraduates in anthropology at San Jose State University. The interviewees were recruited with the assistance of faith-based community services organizations and a âtown-gownâ collaboration, CommUniverCity, whose mission is to strengthen ties between a disadvantaged neighborhood and the university. The interviews explored how families manage their mobility needs, given the sometimes crushing costs of travel in both out-of-pocket costs and time. Resources/Contacts Blumenberg, E., and Agrawal, A. W. (2010). Getting Around When Youâre Just Getting By: Transportation Survival Strategies of the Poor. Presented at 90th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., 2011. Chatman, D., and Klein, N (2010). Immigration, Sustainability, and Alternative Mode Use: Ten Hypotheses from a Qualitative Study in New Jersey, USA. Presented at 90th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., 2011. Liu, R. (2004). Mobility Information Needs of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Travelers in New Jersey: http:// transportation.njit.edu/nctip/final_report/LEP.htm#_Toc94524845 Wilson, S., and Douma, F. (2005). Transportation Needs of Foreign-Born Ethnic Subpopulations in Rural and Urban Communities: Environmental Justice Perspective. Presented at 85th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., 2006. Frank Douma, Assistant Director of the State and Local Policy Program University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs 130 Humphrey Center, 301 19th Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612) 626-9946 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.hhh.umn.edu/people/fdouma/ Susanna Wilson, Community Development Coordinator 1616 Humboldt Avenue West St. Paul, MN 55118 (651) 552-4144 email@example.com http://www.ci.west-saint-paul.mn.us/
5-102 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Undertake Surveys to Understand Needs, Preferences, and Impacts Gather Feedback Policy/Research H Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H What Is It? A predefined series of questions to be used in gathering information from the public or from knowledgeable representatives from social services or other community-based or advocacy-based organizations. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Surveys/questionnaires are extremely versatile tools and can be used to gather information from a large and/or statistically significant population, or simply as a tool for starting and guiding individual conversations. Surveys/questionnaires can be used to gather information from targeted traditionally underserved groups specifically, or the collected information can be differentiated by the social and economic attributes of the respondent. Targeting knowledgeable representa- tives from social services organizations in structured interviews can enable practitioners to better understand the possible impacts of projects or programs on their clients. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? Surveys can be used to collect various details: â¢ Determine the best way to conduct outreach to specific communities (e.g., What newspapers do you read? What time of day is most convenient for you to attend meetings? etc.). â¢ Find out information about existing travel patterns, transportation needs, and desired improvements. â¢ Assess community perspectives about preferred project alternatives and their perceived impacts upon quality of life, mobility and access, safety, community cohesion, community facilities, parks, and the like. Surveys and structured interviews can be implemented as intercept surveys, administered over the phone, or scheduled as appointments with organizations and businesses. More quantitative survey designs can be administered via phone, websites, emails, and mailings. Websites are espe- cially useful for larger areas, low-density areas, and for surveys where a large number of responses are desired, but depth of response is not sought. Survey hotlines can also be set up for this purpose. Intercept-based surveys occur in many types of places, including business lobbies, community fairs, strip malls, assisted living complexes, door-to-door in residential neighborhoods, shopping malls, entrances to transit facilities, etc. Many surveys improve their overall response rate by securing the endorsement of social service and community organizations or local businesses. This requires some upfront coordination in terms of messaging and survey implementation. What Are Its Limitations? Depending on the purpose and use of the survey, considerable planning may be required to develop a technically rigorous sampling plan and survey design, resolving a range of issues
tools and techniques 5-103 such as defining the population of concern, sample size, and margins of error; developing and administering a questionnaire and sampling plan that provides quality information and avoids response biases; and ensuring that the final survey results will address research goals and ques- tions. Of course, not all surveys must be administered with the same degree of technical rigor to provide useful information for sponsoring agencies. Responses from surveys/questionnaires should be analyzed carefully and with a full understanding of the context in which questions were posed. It is important to represent findings from surveys/questionnaires fairly and to not pick and choose which answers are given credence. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Survey costs vary greatly, depending on the sampling plan, which must address several con- siderations, including: â¢ Preparation of sampling plan and survey design; â¢ Reproduction and distribution, including postage for mail surveys or online hosting for web- based surveys; â¢ Staff time for in-person intercept or telephone interviewing; and â¢ Data input and compilation and analysis of responses. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ For the Buford Highway Safety Pedestrian Project, the Georgia DOT (GDOT) wanted to sur- vey local residents and business owners about pedestrian issues along the highway. To reach Hispanic residents, GDOT implemented the surveys at a popular shopping mall on a Sunday between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm using bilingual interpreters and offering low-cost incentives such as balloons for participation. Using popular shopping areas to engage immigrant com- munities proved to be a cost-efficient approach for reaching stakeholders to get their input about solutions to Buford Highwayâs pedestrian safety issues. By partnering with local agen- cies and businesses, GDOT conducted its survey efficiently and received quality information to improve overall project design (see Figure 5-18). Figure 5-18. Displays about the safety improvement project facilitated survey-taking at the village-like Plaza Fiesta Mall, a destination for local Hispanic residents.
5-104 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking â¢ For the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization, a transportation needs assessment survey was targeted to community, social service, church, and advocacy organizations that serve or work with disadvantaged populations in the South Jersey region as part of the metro- politan planning organizationâs (MPOâs) Environmental Justice Evaluation and Strategy report. The qualitative survey research explored each organizationâs mission, its clientsâ most pressing needs, critical transportation issues and priorities, its familiarity with the MPO and its mission, and its interest in future participation. â¢ For the Washington State DOT Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project, structured inter- view questions were targeted to several social service providers so that the project team could better understand their purpose, clients, and their operations. Social service representatives, generally the executive director or the program manager, were asked to consider the potential issues that the project might have on their services and their clientele. Social service providers included day care centers, homeless shelters, food kitchens, drug treatment centers, single- room occupancy housing complexes, and the like. Resources/Contacts FHWA, âPublic Opinion Surveys,â Public Involvement Techniques for Transportation Decision-Making: http:// www.fhwa.dot.gov/reports/pittd/surveys.htm Timothy G. Chelius, PP, AICP, Executive Director South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization 782 South Brewster Road, Unit B-6 Vineland, New Jersey 08361 firstname.lastname@example.org David Aimen, AICP, PP, Assistant Director Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center Rutgers, State University of New Jersey 33 Livingston Avenue New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901 (848) 932-2855 email@example.com Mike A. Lobdell, PE GDOT District 7 District Preconstruction Engineer (770) 986-1258 Mike.Lobdell@dot.state.ga.us Anne Morris, Senior Project Manager Atkins 810 Dutch Square Boulevard, Suite 310 Columbia, SC 29210 (803) 772-4404 ext 224 firstname.lastname@example.org
tools and techniques 5-105 Try Meeting-in-a-Box Gather Feedback Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction â¡ Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance â¡ What Is It? A Meeting-in-a-Box gives stakeholder groups and individuals all the materials necessary to hold a successful self-guided meeting. Meetings are hosted by volunteers who agree to invite a small group (10 to 15) of their friends, neighbors, coworkers, or family members into their homes, workplaces, or other convenient locations to discuss a specific topic. The sponsoring organization for these events provides a prepared bag or box with everything that the host will need to run the event, including an instruction sheet and discussion guide. Since participants are typically asked only for their opinions, and not their judgment, it is not necessary to distribute detailed information about the topic at hand. Following the discussion guide provided, the group generally discusses the topic for 30 to 40 minutes. People are then asked to individually complete response forms that focus on the same topic. All forms are collected and the box is returned to the sponsoring organization for compilation. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? This tool can be effective in engaging a broad spectrum of local residents in informal, small group discussions about community life. This tool capitalizes on the strength of personal recruitment and very effectively involves people who would not normally participate in public meetings. Because they are being invited to attend by someone they know personally, people generally participate at a very high rate, and since the meetings are comfortable and not intimidating, participantsâ reactions to the meeting are usually quite positive. Since people normally enjoy these initial meetings, many often stay engaged through the remainder of the process. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Solicit residentsâ opinions about a broad topic area. â¢ Include take-home material in the box. â¢ Ask community organizations or leaders who work with a specific population to volunteer as meeting hosts. What Are Its Limitations? Keeping the groups small and informal increases the comfort of participants, but may also limit the opportunity for different groups to hear other ideas and opinions. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Materials needed for using Meeting-in-a-Box include a box or other container for meeting materials, hosting instructions, sign-in forms, handouts, discussion guide, surveys/response forms, pencils/pens/highlighters, and a snack if possible, such as microwave popcorn. Additional costs include staff time recruiting hosts, organizing materials, and coordinating with the hosts to distribute and then collect meeting materials. To incentivize participation, hosts might receive a token stipend or be given the opportunity to win a small prize (e.g., digital video cameras, movie theater gift cards, etc.).
5-106 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS), the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for Treasure Valley, used âMeetings-in-a-Bagâ (a variation of the Meeting-in-a-Box concept) for gathering input from traditionally underserved communities while prepar- ing the regionâs long-range transportation plan, Communities in Motion. COMPASS sought hosts from among those individuals who maintain regular contact with the underrepresented populations. For example, a church in Boise conducted a meeting in conjunction with a dinner served to low-income and homeless populations. Those attending dinner heard a presentation on the transportation plan. Afterwards, a group discussion was held and questionnaire forms were distributed so those in attendance could write-down any additional input on topics that they may have been uncomfortable raising during the group exchange (see Figure 5-19). â¢ The City of Austin distributed âMeeting-in-a-Boxâ kits in English and Spanish during the development of its Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan. In total, 1,242 people (equivalent to upwards of 150 tables at a typical public input meeting) participated during the initial phase. Special, targeted events were held at the Asian American Cultural Center and Mexican American Cultural Center. A mid-point assessment of the demographic representation in their âImagine Austin Community Forum Series #1ââcomposed of a public meeting, completion of a survey, or participating in a Meeting-in- a-Box eventâaffirmed the effectiveness of the Meeting-in-a-Box approach for reaching Asian Americans. â¢ Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) offers Meeting-in-a-Box as a toolkit to assist in organizing projects. The toolkit provides many helpful tips on how to organize and conduct events as well as models that can be adapted to local communities. â¢ The City of Aspen Community Development Department used Meeting-in-a-Box to gather community input in the process of updating the Aspen Area Community Plan. The Meeting-in- a-Box events were used to give residents an opportunity to share their thoughts about the future of Aspen in a flexible format where people could take all the time they needed to discuss those issues that they deemed most important. The vision generated from these events was used to identify discussion topics at the large public meetings held later in the planning process. Resources/Contacts Aspen, Colorado, Community Vision for Aspen Area: http://www.aspencommunityvision.com/page_39 Imagine Austin, Meeting-in-a-Box Contents, Demographics, Results, and Video: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/compplan/downloads/iacp_cfs1_miab_download.pdf http://www.imagineaustin.net/cfs1-survey-and-miab.htm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GslENqMXakw (at 5 minute mark). Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Meeting in a Box: Rails-to-Trails Conservancyâs Toolkit for Building Rail-Trails: http://www.railstotrails.org/resources/documents/resource_docs/Meeting%20in%20a%20Box.pdf Amy Luft Community Coordinator COMPASS 800 S Industry Way, Ste 100 Meridian, Idaho 83642 (208) 855-2558 x231 email@example.com http://compassidaho.org/ Figure 5-19. COMPASS-branded totes were filled with marketing materials and distributed to volunteer meeting hosts.
tools and techniques 5-107 What Is It? These tools are used to collect responses from stakeholders in a variety of settings, from one- on-one individual responses to responses from several people in focus groups or neighborhood workshops. This can include data collection in single or multiple geographic locations. The appropriate tool depends on the particular type of preferences being explored and the type of forum (individual, group, etc.). Computer-assisted methods can provide aggregate results quickly, present provocative graphics for visualization and maps, and support real-time interactivity. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Effective public participation often requires overcoming social, economic, and physical barriers that inhibit gaining access to information, decisionmakers, and decision-making processes. Many members of traditionally underrepresented groups have never participated in public planning and outreach activities; therefore, they may be reluctant to participate due to their unfamiliarity with the process and protocols. In other cases, the traditionally underserved are not able to attend events or activities because they occur during their work hours or would require that they hire babysitters to watch their children. Physical and geographic locations of public participation events can also provide accessibility challenges. Computer-assisted methods can overcome some of these barriers, sometimes, through online services that provide new avenues for participation. If structured appropriately, computer-assisted technologies can be 1) less daunting than public meetings because supplementary, background information can be easily provided; 2) participation can occur at more convenient times (assuming online, open-hours access); and 3) online access can also help to overcome physical and/or geographic barriers. Keypad polling is an example of a wireless polling technology that can be used to support community participation and the exploration of preferences at public events. Handheld keypads communicate on radio frequencies with a base station which is connected to a laptop computer which in turn is linked to a VGA projector displaying images on a projection screen. Participants are asked to vote with their keypads to give answers to specific questions. The results are tallied and displayed on the projection screen. Keypad polling can provide real-time feedback to partici- pants to show their opinions in ways they are not accustomed to seeing as well as give them an opportunity to participate more fully in the process. Responses are anonymous, so the intimida- tion factor is greatly lessened, allowing people to âspeak upâ in situations where they might not otherwise. The real-time feedback along with the opportunity to participate more fully reinforces participation and can help participants understand the implications and importance of their opinions and participation. Used in conjunction with scenario-planning tools, participants can see the impact of their choices very quickly and revise the scenarios accordingly. The keypad polling tool can also be used to show people in real time how different groups in the audience are reacting to a particular proposition or concept, potentially reducing the perceived conflict and clarifying some of the perceived differences among groups. Use Computer-Assisted Technologies to Explore Preferences Gather Feedback Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction â¡ Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance â¡
5-108 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? There are a wide range of computer-assisted techniques that can be used to explore stakeholder preferences. Many of these methods can also be used in combination depending on the audience and setting: â¢ Computer image preference surveys, â¢ Computer/community mapping, â¢ Scenario creation and modeling, â¢ Electronic polling (handhelds for public gatherings), â¢ Email access, â¢ Interactive television, â¢ Internet surveys, â¢ Mobile device interactivity, â¢ Online tools for public participation, â¢ Video/multimedia, â¢ Virtual reality/environments (e.g., Second Life, for one), â¢ Visualization (2D and 3D). What Are Its Limitations? The primary limitations are that traditionally underserved populations may lack access to current information to help them learn about and understand current issues. They may have limited access to technology and/or limited computer literacy. Some of the equipment and software are expensive to acquire and consultants and transportation agencies may not be willing to invest in obtaining them. Additionally, they require training on the part of the professionals using the technique to apply them well in order to get the desired results. Care needs to be taken to understand how the technology can be used. The approach and desired results should be clear before renting or purchasing software or equipment. It is important to not view the technology as the primary tool for input on projects. The input from the technological tools should be augmented with other methods to assure a broad range of understanding of the issues and perspectives. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Depending on the computer-assisted approach, some of the infrastructure already exists within planning organizations but may be less available on the client side. Agencies may not be as well equipped for electronic polling/keypad technology. The electronic polling/keypad technology can be rented for approximately $1,000 to $1,500 for 100 people for 1 day. This does not include the fee for a trained professional to assist in the design of the questions and how to effectively use the system. Some software may need to be adapted to the particular needs of the project, which adds to the costs. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) used interactive polling technology to help meeting participants prioritize critical issues in development of the Otay Mesa-Mesa de Otay Binational Corridor Strategic Plan. Meetings were held in both Mexico and the U.S. where participants each had a remote FM radio input terminal to respond to questions generated by computer and projected on a large screen. The participants prioritized five strategic issues and the polling results were available immediately to the group for focused discussion. The
tools and techniques 5-109 demographic information that was collected from each person allowed for assessing the different perspectives of the participants based on where they lived, and what organization they represented. â¢ The California Department of Transportation used interactive polling in their meetings for updating the California Transportation Plan in three regions. The polling technology was used to collect information from the participants for the purpose of understand- ing stakeholder perspectives and creating a rich discussion. The technology provided the ability to collect and document real-time opinions and the demographic information col- lected also provided immediate viewing and understanding of the various stakeholder perspectives. â¢ The Sacramento Area Council of Governments metropolitan planning organization (MPO) initiated the Sacramento Region Blueprint Project, an extensive study of the linkages between transportation, land use, and air quality. The Blueprint workshop series began at the neighbor hood level with each city or county hosting one workshop in their area highlight- ing two or more case study areas. Citizens worked in small groups performing interactive planning using computers and table maps. The computer program modeled the impacts of choices made in a âwhat if â type exercise. More than 30 neighborhood-scale workshops were held in all parts of the region, giving more than one thousand citizens the opportunity to express their preferences for various types of planning solutions. Subsequent workshops were held at the county level and then at the regional level, each building on the informa- tion gathered from the previous level of workshops, all using the maps and computers at the tables. â¢ In 2009, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), the regionâs MPO, held 57 work- shops for the Go To 2040 Invent the Future plan across the seven-county region. Events were held in community centers, churches, public libraries, social service offices, among other loca- tions. Co-sponsors for events included churches, civic organizations, community colleges, environmental justice and ethnic heritage organizations (e.g., Hispanic), League of Women Voters, mayorâs associations, city council members, state representatives, and environmental organizations. Participants were invited to use a scenario software tool and keypad polling to create their own detailed versions of 2040 and compare them with CMAPâs scenarios. Keypad polling devices were used to let participants create a scenario based on six different inputs: development density, development location, road investments, transit investments, transportation policies, and environmental policies (see Figures 5-20 and 5-21). Figures 5-20 and 5-21. CMAP invited workshop attendees to use scenario software tool and keypad polling.
5-110 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Resources/Contacts Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, GO TO 2040: http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/2040/main Regional Visioning Public ParticipationâBest Practices: http://www.sustainablepittsburgh.org/pdf/Regional_ Visioning_Jan_05.pdf EPAâTools for Public Involvement: http://www.epa.gov/stakeholders/involvework.htm Fowler, G. and K. Allison. 2008. Technology and Citizenry: A Model for Public Consultation in Science Policy Formation. Journal of Evolution and Technology. 18(1) 56â69. http://jetpress.org/v18/fowlerallison.htm Sacramento Area Council of Governments (MPO) Blueprint Transportation and Land Use Study, 2050 Transportation Plan: http://www.sacregionblueprint.org Tom Garritano, Communications Director Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) (312) 386-8609 firstname.lastname@example.org Kaceu Lizon Sacramento Area Council of Governments (916) 340-6265 email@example.com Erin Aleman, Outreach Coordinator Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) (312) 386-8816 firstname.lastname@example.org Charles Anders Strategic Initiatives 1886 Deer Canyon Road Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 (805) 474-8105 email@example.com
tools and techniques 5-111 What Is It? A game engages multiple parties in a single activity around a predetermined set of objectives and rules for play. Games played in the transportation decision-making process have been used as a way to educate decisionmakers and the public about critical issues in setting budgets and bringing projects to fruition, among other issues, and many times are used to explore the priori- ties of the participants. Already developed games can be tailored to a specific agencyâs needs, or the agency can develop its own new and creative games. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Games can be particularly effective in involving traditionally underserved populations because they present and gather information in a way that is fun and inclusive. A well-designed game will level the playing field and reduce barriers to participation such as previous understanding of planning concepts or willingness to speak in front of a group. Games can also be designed with almost no written information making them possible for the low literate, limited English proficient, and visually impaired to play. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Solicit priorities in statewide and regional planning. â¢ Inform participants about the costs for various desired transportation improvements and the limited budgetary resources available for infrastructure. â¢ Educate players about planning concepts and laws as well as barriers to bringing projects to development. What Are Its Limitations? Using games to engage traditionally underserved populations requires that these populations participate in the game. Being able to attract participants to a meeting or event where the game is being played may require the use of various other tools mentioned in this toolkit. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? The games that have already been developed for transportation decisionmaking have generally been designed with a keen understanding that agencies have limited resources and require very low-tech and inexpensive materials such as sticky dots, strings, and markers. Playing a game will require coordination efforts for the event as well as staffing during the event. It is generally a good practice to have facilitators who are familiar with the rules of the game on-hand to explain rules and answer questions as they arise. Creating a game will necessarily require greater staff time than tailoring an existing game. Use Games to Educate and Explore Priorities Provide Information/Gather Feedback Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction â¡ Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance â¡
5-112 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ Kentuckyâs 10-county Barren River Area Development District (ADD) and 17-county Bluegrass ADD adapted the Strings and Ribbons game to help prioritize their unscheduled transportation needs projects. During the game, residents explained their choices to each other and created rankings under constrained conditions. By making members of the public work together to form consensus, the game empowers participants and eliminates the conflict between the public and the metropolitan planning organization (MPO). At the end of the game, the ADDs had gained crucial information from the public about their perceived needs, and project-specific recommendations were listed and mapped. Members of the public, in turn, had gained a better understanding of why and how the long range transportation plan is developed and had an opportunity to promote the projects they felt were most worthy. â¢ The City of Seattle developed a table-top game to explore the publicâs understanding of the land use relationships and densities needed to support retail services and other commercial activity adjacent to new light rail stations. City staff developed a workshop exercise using aerial photos and three-dimensional building blocks to represent various building heights. Workshop participants were asked to position the building blocks in locations and configu- rations they believed suitable to achieve the needed densities. Participants were asked to site parks and other community facilities and to consider needed transportation improvements. Members of many of the ethnic communities were comfortable with higher densities in close proximity to the rail stations. â¢ The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Federal Land Highways Program, and Lummi Nation developed the Reservation Road Planner Game as a means to train and build understanding of the transportation planning process among tribal leaders. Throughout the game, players have to make difficult decisions and confront consequences, and they learn about laws and regulations as well as trade-offs. After playing the game, tribal leaders have a greater understanding of trans- portation planning, and, when it comes time to adopt transportation plans, they know what they should be looking for when they review the plan and why it is important (see Figure 5-22). â¢ The Volusia County MPO has played the Strings and Ribbons game, their main public involvement tool for the long range transportation plan, with members of the public who were low literate. This game relies on almost no written information. â¢ The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) developed its Dots & Dashes game to give residents and stakeholders an opportunity to discuss and express their priorities for future investments in public transportation in a fun, hands-on game setting. Each group Figure 5-22. The Reservation Road Planner Game is designed with the objective of taking a project through five phases of development. The game takes about an hour to play.
tools and techniques 5-113 developed a list and map of future investment priorities that, together with the results of other groups who played the game, was intended to inform DVRPCâs next long range plan and other projects, including a new regional transit vision plan. Resources/Contacts Beever, L., and Wagner, N. âPlanning Games and Public Participation.â Punta Gorda, Florida: Charlotte County-Punta Gorda Metropolitan Planning Organization: http://www.ciatrans.net/Planning.pdf Reservation Road Planner Website: http://www.roadplanner.org/ Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (2008). âWhat is the Dots & Dashes Game?â: http://www. dotsanddashes.org/game.htm Welzenbach, K. (2006). âVolusia County MPOâs Public Involvement Efforts.â Presented at Annual AMPO Conference: www.ampo.org/assets/322_stringsribbonspresentatio.ppt Tony Mazzella Strategic Advisor Seattle Department of Transportation PO Box 34996 Seattle, Washington 98124-4996 (206) 684-0811 firstname.lastname@example.org
5-114 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking What Is It? An advisory board, committee, taskforce, or working group of volunteers that meets regularly on a long-term basis to provide advice and/or support to a plan, project or policy issue under study. Advisory boards and committees can be formed around specific geographic regions, a particular projectâs stakeholders, a special interest, or population group. They can include diverse stakeholders such as individual citizens, community- or advocacy-based organizations, elected officials, business owners, and others. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Transportation agencies can increase involvement of traditionally underserved populations by including individuals and leaders as representatives of those communities on committees or advisory boards that meet regularly. Advisory committees create a channel of communications and give traditionally underserved populations the opportunity to air their concerns or obser- vations about project impacts. This will enable the transportation agency to better understand what the communityâs needs and issues are, how to reach out to these communities at large, and how to avoid, minimize, or mitigate impacts. An advisory committee can serve as a forum for groups to participate in statewide or metro- politan planning process and can broaden the metropolitan planning organizationâs (MPOâs) reach beyond traditional public meetings, encouraging greater information dissemination about transportation and related community and land use impacts. The conduct of regular âenviron- mental justice dialogues,â for example, can direct the MPOâs attention to existing unmet needs and deficiencies experienced by select isolated communities or segments of transportation users. The concerns expressed in such forums can focus research or stimulate other initiatives by the MPO. Over time, such events or forums can bridge the gap between professional practitioners and their diverse clientele. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Gain stakeholder feedback and identify and resolve local concerns. â¢ Build community support. â¢ Form regional advisory committees, project stakeholder advisory committees, environmental justice advisory committees, or working groups or special taskforces. â¢ Recruit participants to include a cross section of opinions and stakeholders. What Are Its Limitations? Advisory committees can represent the issues of their constituents, but their participation in the committees does not guarantee buy-in from the community at large. Selecting participants Form Advisory Boards, Committees, Taskforces, and Working Groups Build Relationships Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction â¡ Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance â¡
tools and techniques 5-115 for the advisory committee is particularly important as the committee will only be as balanced and useful as its members. The time commitment associated with the advisory committee should be clearly laid out to ensure that those who become members are able to sustain participation. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? The primary cost of advisory committees is staff time to organize the committees and attend their meetings. Additional costs may include providing refreshments for meetings. Time and energy invested in organizing committees and advisory boards can pay off when it comes to creating a public involvement plan for specific projects because channels into the community have already been established. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Advocacy Council for Tribal Transporta- tion (ACTT) convenes quarterly to discuss policies and work on issues that involve roadways on or near Indian reservations. Membership includes representatives from 11 Minnesota tribes, MnDOT, FHWA, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Michigan Tribal Technical Assistance Program, Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, and Minnesota Counties and Cities. To encour- age participation, the ACTT rotates the location of meetings between tribal areas and other venues around the state. The quarterly events and their annual tribal transportation conference cover a broad range of topics. These events provide a forum to learn and share information about federal, state and tribal transportation policies, data sources, issues requiring coopera- tion (e.g., development of cooperative agreements such as roadside vegetation management), and training opportunities (e.g., the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)). The events strengthen working relationships and foster a greater appreciation for cultural and tribal concerns and differences. â¢ The Tahoe Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in Nevada created the Social Service Transportation Advisory Council (SSTAC) to serve as an advisory body regarding the transit needs of transit-dependent and transit-disadvantaged persons, including the elderly, handicapped, and persons of limited means. â¢ The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District in California created an Accessibility Advisory Committee to review, to comment, and to advise the board of directors and district staff regarding the implementation of district planning, programs, and services for seniors and individuals with disabilities. â¢ The Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee advises state government agencies on issues directly related to bicycling and pedestrian activity including funding, public aware- ness, safety, and education. The 21 member committee is appointed by the governor, com- bining the experience of citizens with the expertise of state officials. Committee members represent geographic regions throughout the state and specific interests, including those of visually and mobility impaired individuals. â¢ Washington State DOT convened working groups along the SR99 corridor for the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project during the preparation of its supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS) to inform stakeholders of project progress, provide geographic-specific information, and seek input from working group members. Representatives from neighbor- hood, freight, economic interests, and advocacy-based organizations were included in these working groups. To ensure broad-based representation, the working groups included transit users and pedestrian groups; low-income housing advocates; and neighbor hoods with higher concentrations of limited English proficiency, minority, and low-income populations.
5-116 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Resources/Contacts AASHTO Center for Environmental Excellence, (December 2006), Utilizing Community Advisory Committees for NEPA Studies: http://environment.transportation.org/pdf/programs/PG05.pdf Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District: http://www.actransit.org/wp-content/uploads/board_policies/board_ policy_39.pdf Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project, Appendix H: Social Discipline Report (2010): http://www.wsdot. wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/21BB772B-BD94-43E2-8052-71D73D4A8FD3/0/2010SDEISAppendixH.pdf Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee: http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Planning/Bicycle/ MBPAC.html Minnesota Department of Transportation, Advocacy Council for Tribal Transportation (ACTT): http://www. dot.state.mn.us/mntribes/actt/ Tahoe Metropolitan Planning Organization, Social Service Transportation Advisory Council: http://www. tahoempo.org/sstac.aspx?SelectedIndex=3
tools and techniques 5-117 What Is It? Building relationships with community organizations and other local experts gives the agency and the practitioner an opportunity to develop a deeper appreciation of the tradi- tionally underserved communities that they will encounter. This entails establishing formal or informal working arrangements with community-based and social service organizations, faith-based institutions, or other groups at the local level that regularly interact with, are trusted by, or include members of the traditionally underserved populations with whom you are seek- ing to engage. Such arrangements will facilitate input and feedback from the members of the organization as well as create opportunities to conduct outreach to their members. It is also effective for strengthening relationships with other local experts who know the community and customs of the people with whom you would like to interact and who have already developed social bonds with persons and organizations in the affected community. Such persons may be members of the community. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? This approach is effective in involving traditionally underserved populations because it works through known organizations and individuals who have established social and professional networks and know how, where, and when to contact underserved populations to get them involved. The organizations and individuals offer access to the community leaders and others in a position to effectively encourage participation in planning and other transportation-related processes. Building partnerships with community organizations and other local experts can be a valuable means for establishing long lasting two-way communications that can begin to address critical issues interfering with effective public involvement. Transportation agencies often need partners to leverage their own resources and capabilities. It makes good sense to explore opportunities to bring additional nontransportation resources into projects in communities. Creative, commit- ted, community-based organizations are often at a fulcrumâthey can draw in housing agencies, economic development, labor, social services, and universities into their initiatives. The approach also builds community capacity. Agencies should be interested in how to better empower citizens as they learn about transportation issues and decision-making processes. Community-based organizations bring unique insights about their communities and possess knowledge about a wide range of issues, but they may not have all the expertise and organizational capacity to effectively acquire transportation-related resources or fully understand the trans- portation planning and project delivery process. With the proper encouragement and guidance, these organizations can bring together other stakeholders and sponsors into potential multi- agency, multi-issue collaborative relationships. Foster Understanding of Communities through Relationships with Community Organizations and Other Local Experts Build Relationships Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H
5-118 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Identify a person or persons of influence in the target community to assist in doing outreach to get people to meetings and/or to get information out to the target audience or get input/feedback from them. The partnership may consist of contracting people to do the work or offering some other kind of reward for their effort (e.g., recognition, training, mentorship, etc). â¢ Identify and contact community organizations that interact with or represent the target group. Let the organizations and the leaders serve as the project contact for their members so they help to build credibility for the project and give you access to them. You can partner with them by collaborating on events, recognizing them as a partner, and providing them with incentives they identify. â¢ Ask the partner organization to host gatherings to talk about the project or to reach out to other, similar organizations. What Are Its Limitations? The limitations of this tool are that it may be difficult to find an organization that is willing to work with you. It may be difficult to find someone who has the time available and the skills to be able to successfully partner with you. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? The resources and costs will vary according to the needs of the organization with whom you partner. They might be in the form of a donation to the organization or perhaps some type of in-kind donation. Personnel costs would vary from $10 to $50 per hour depending on the skills of the person with whom you partner. Who Has Used It Successfully? Seasoned public involvement professionals, whether working for DOTs, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), or county and local governments, have found it advantageous to reach out and/or strengthen relationships with social service and community-based organizations to improve participation and learn more about community needs. â¢ The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Third River Bridge Crossing Replacement Project held a community information meeting in Marysville, a small town about 30 miles north of Sacramento, with a large Hmong community, but the meeting failed to attract the attendance despite the distribution of flyers announcing the date, time, and place of the meeting. The Caltrans project manager came to recognize that the Hmong communityâs history as refugees from Laos may have been an important factor in suppressing their attendance. Exile and harsh treatment at the hands of their former government may have made them hesitant to attend any government sponsored meeting. To overcome this, the project manager set out to recruit school teachers and clergy members whom the Hmong trusted. Leveraging these relationships resulted in some members of the Hmong community participating in the second community information meeting. Having taken the time to learn about the community, it became clearer that middle-aged and older Hmong spoke very little English. Caltransâs follow-up invitations were translated into Hmong to encourage attendance. â¢ For the Florida DOT U.S. 301 Project in Hillsborough and Sarasota County, staff conducting a field visit to prepare environmental studies unexpectedly discovered an enclave of homeless âurban campersââa community of more than 100 tentsâthat would be adversely affected by a proposed roadway alignment. Seeking to learn more about the persons living in the impromptu settlementâtheir economic, social, and health circumstancesâthe Florida DOT
tools and techniques 5-119 reached out to several health and social services organizations including the Salvation Army, Red Cross, churches, soup kitchens, medical clinics, emergency rooms, and housing agencies. The Florida DOT then developed its strategy for a communications plan, resolving to work with these local health and social service organizations to disseminate critical project- and construction-related notices to better prepare the transient population for relocation. â¢ The State Route 63 Design Charrette Project, funded under Caltrans Community-Based Transportation Planning Grants, sought to improve the safety of an intersection affecting high concentrations of Hispanic workers in two rural communities, Cutler and Orosi. Community-based organizations were contacted to encourage attendance from Hispanic populations. Mariachis, free food and beverages were part of a festive evening organized to draw attention to the event. A conceptual design charrette was conducted over five consecutive days to craft the community vision. Invitations were sent to over 500 people; project committee members personally invited community and political leaders; information was relayed to the public using phone and face-to-face meetings; and the Cutler-Orosi Unified School District sent a flyer home with every student. A church charity also sponsored a charrette focus group for low-income families that was conducted in English and Spanish. Focus group locations were carefully chosen to maximize participation. For example, one event was held in the commu- nity room of a multi-family housing project where many current and former farm workers resided. Portable road signs were placed along the road announcing the event and bilingual fliers were distributed to students, religious institutions, and community groups. Resources/Contacts California Department of Transportation, Transportation Planning Grants: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/tpp/ grants.html Urban Campers: Unexpected Issues in Community Impact Assessment: Presentation & Transcript: http://www.ciatrans.net/4th_National_CA_Workshop/Potier-Brown_PowerPoint.pdf http://www.ciatrans.net/4th_National_CA_Workshop/Potier-Brown_Transcript.pdf Peter Bond Senior Environmental Planner California Department of Transportation Division of Environmental Analysis P.O. Box 942874, M.S. 27 Sacramento, CA 94274-0001 (916) 653-8307 email@example.com
5-120 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking What Is It? Mitigation, in the context of developing projects compliant with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and its Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations and guidance, broadly encompasses avoiding an impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action; minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation; rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment; reducing or eliminating the impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action; or compensating for the impact by replacing or providing substitute resources or environments. Following a logical sequence, measures should first be tried to avoid, then minimize and/or mitigate adverse effects. Effective mitigation starts early in the NEPA process, not at its end; it should be an integral part of the alternatives development and the analysis process. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Mitigating the impacts determined to adversely or disproportionately affect minority or low-income populations can redress threats to the livability of communities imposed by transportation projects. When mitigation strategies are explored early in the NEPA processâ while alternatives are still being developed and analyzedâagencies and practitioners can better align their decision-making processes with input from those affected by the possible effects and/or benefits of each project alternative. Earlier public involvement with the traditionally underserved populations, among other populations, can lead to a better understanding of the concerns, priorities, and issues of the affected public before the transportation agency has committed to a specific project alternative or design. Better integration of mitigation strate- gies throughout the project development stage can ensure that projects and alternatives that ultimately get selected will be welcomed, potentially resulting in less formidable opposition, litigation, and delays. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? Strategies for mitigating community impacts from transportation projects include: â¢ Avoidance measuresâalterations to a project so that an effect does not occur. An avoidance alternative can be identified as a part of the project development process. This may include redefining the project description. Examples of avoidance include: â Bridging over a roadway segment to avoid cutting off the main access to a community focal point, â Shifting a project to avoid displacing a church that serves as the focal point of neighbor- hood activities, â Realigning a project to avoid creating a barrier through a cohesive neighborhood, or â Redesigning a project to avoid separating a valued community resource such as a park or a community center from a cohesive neighborhood. Develop Mitigation Strategies Mitigate Impacts/Deliver Benefits Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¡ Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H
tools and techniques 5-121 â¢ Minimization measuresâmodifications of a project to reduce the severity of one or more adverse impacts. Examples of minimization include: â Providing on-street parking instead of additional travel lanes along a corridor where pedestrian activity is high, â Redesigning a project to limit effects to one side of the roadway and not to both sides to minimize community effects, â Phase a project to minimize impedance to business access during peak shopping periods, or â Limiting construction time periods to reduce noise and vibration impacts to neighboring properties. â¢ Mitigation measuresâalleviate or offset an effect or replace a protected resource. Examples of mitigation include: â Relocating an affected community facility in a new, easily accessible location within the neighborhood; â Improving crosswalks, adding traffic calming devices, and increasing pedestrian walktimes in an area with high levels of pedestrian traffic; â Providing a bicycle or pedestrian underpass or overpass to improve safety at crossings and preserve and enhance access; or â Erecting noise or visual buffers to the facility. What Are Its Limitations? According to FHWA policy, mitigation measures are intended to mitigate adverse impacts and they will be incorporated into the action and eligible for federal funding, provided that 1) the impacts for which the mitigation is proposed actually result from the FHWAâs action and 2) the proposed mitigation represents a reasonable public expenditure after considering the impacts of the action and the benefits of the proposed mitigation measures. The FHWA will consider, among other factors, the extent to which the proposed measures would assist in complying with a federal statute, executive order, or FHWA regulation or policy in making this determination. In practice, local community advocates and other stakeholders may object to strict inter- pretations of how mitigation will be applied. Stakeholders may dispute the agencyâs assessment of the projectâs adverse impacts or their interpretation of appropriate mitigation solutions for affected resources; they may bristle at the amount construed as a âreasonable public expenditure.â Community advocates and other stakeholders, recalling past inequitable policies that resulted in locally unwanted land uses or underinvestment, may understandably seek substantial remedies for past policies of neglect. As such, the NEPA approval process can become a high-stakes forum for extracting additional resources or securing compensation. Representatives from sponsoring agencies, too, may differ over appropriate types of mitigation, or seek to avoid establishing precedents that could raise expectations for future projects. Mitigation may be considered by some as too costly while others assert that it is the right thing regardless of cost. Sponsoring agencies may differ in their willingness to spend on mitigation and for what type of mitigation they will allow. Mitigation may be for âreplacement in-kindââthe project took part of a park therefore replacement could be to combine the âuneconomic remainderâ parcel that now exists next to the park with the remaining pieces of the park. Mitigation might be for âfunctional replacementââthe project displaces an old bus garage and it has to be demolished, but it would be replaced with a newer structureâbigger and better than the old garage. Functional replacement might be for a school, a fire or police station, or a church that will be displaced by the project and can be effective means for building support and interest in the project. Putting in sidewalks where none had ever been, adding lighting to the existing park so kids could play at night, or providing a mobile health clinic for a community have also been undertaken to mitigate community impacts. The scope of mitigation is limited by the requirement that it should be
5-122 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking directed specifically to the community that was harmed, and not for general benefit of those who have not been harmed. At times, agencies may argue that the general benefits of the proposed transportation project will be enjoyed by the community that is harmed and that this benefit is sufficient to âoffsetâ the adverse impacts to the community. Such an argument for âoffsetting benefitsâ is more persuasive when the project benefits are specifically intended for the adversely affected community rather than the general publicâfor example, the project will deliver new sidewalks, lighting, or safety improvements within the affected community. The offsetting benefits argument may not be well- received in communities where affected stakeholders feel that the project triggers environmental justice impactsânamely, the adverse effects are predominately borne by a minority population and/or low-income population; or will be suffered by these populations and is appreciably more severe or greater in magnitude than the adverse effect that will be suffered by the non-minority population and/or non-low-income population. When the benefits are seen to accrue to all populations but the adverse burdens are borne predominantly by disadvantaged populations, allegations of unfair treatment could surface and delay or derail the project development process. The concept of âenhancementsâ is one means for overcoming the limitations of mitigation strategies. Enhancements include the addition of desirable or attractive features to a project to make it fit more harmoniously into the community. They may include adding trees and park benches, developing bicycle trails or pedestrian paths, providing scenic or rest areas, or provid- ing textured pedestrian crossings in neighborhoods or downtowns. By definition, enhancements are not intended to replace lost resources or alleviate effects caused by the project. Therefore, they are not categorized as mitigation under FHWA policy. Building enhancements into projects through a portion of the project budget, through the leveraging of other funding resources, or the implementation of other independent projects are all strategies for addressing the desire of stakeholders to create and preserve livable communities. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Mitigation can take many different forms so it very difficult to generalize the costs that will be set aside for mitigation. In some cases, such as the Washington DOT case discussed further below, attempts are made to monitor the types and amount of mitigation that are set aside in project budgets. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The West State Street Corridor Study prepared by Illinois DOT (IDOT) in cooperation with the FHWA and the City of Rockford seeks to revitalize a very low-income, largely minority corridor. Scheduled to begin construction in 2011, the road would be widened from four to five lanes, and the properties lining the current road would be acquired, razed, and converted into two linear parks. The displaced property owners are expected to be compensated at their full-market value, in accordance with the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act (Uniform Act). However, in meetings conducted for the environmental assessment, community members raised concerns about the displacement of institutions delivering valued social services to the community, including four churches and a funeral home. With few realistic sites to relocate within the corridor, the study team realized that the money received in compensation would be insufficient to support new construction for these community-preserving institutions. Certainly, the four churches and the funeral home lacked the financial resources to make up the difference between the fair market value of their acquired properties and the higher costs for new construction or extensive reconstruction of existing buildings. The loss of these institutions within the corridor would be a burden borne
tools and techniques 5-123 predominantly by the areaâs low-income and minority residents, leaving the project sponsors concerned about environmental justice. Having successfully used deferred mortgages on HUD-funded owner-occupied rehab housing in the same corridor, Rockford officials suggested that the concept could be adapted to solve the displacement and relocation problem caused by the transportation project. The West State Street Environmental Justice Mitigation Plan outlines the terms of a deferred mortgage program; the program would give each of the property owners $150,000 in state transportation dollars to build a new property or purchase an existing one in the corridor. For each year of continuing operations over a 15-year period, $10,000 would be forgiven from the total loan. But, if the property was sold or the operations discontinued at any point, the remaining balance would become due. The phase requiring the churches to move is not scheduled to begin until 2013, but Rockford and IDOT are hopeful about the potential of deferred mortgages to serve as incentive to relocate community-based institutions within the corridor. â¢ The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has periodically prepared a Project Mitigation Cost Case Studies report that closely examines environmental mitigation: the regulatory factors driving mitigation, the types of mitigation, their costs, and the percentage of the overall project costs for mitigation, among other issues. This includes tracking the costs for âContext Sensitive Solutionsâ itemsâprojects that tend to exhibit design flexibility to achieve greater compatibility with the existing built and natural environment and often utilize transportation enhancement elements to ensure this compatibility. Context sensitive solutions designs are fostered through collaborative, interdisciplinary approaches involving stakeholders and the public. Features of such projects include community gateways, community connectivity, special landscaping, bikeway and pedestrian underways, guardrails and railings, and concrete stamping, among other elements. â¢ The FHWAâs Community Impact Mitigation Case Studies booklet provides five in-depth illustrations of how community impact mitigation can be conducted. The case studies illustrate examples of projects for which environmental studies had been prepared, but for which the state DOT and the FHWA faced controversy and conflicts that had to be resolved before projects could move forward. The case studies describe in detail the context in which the mitigation strategies were planned and implemented. Examples of mitigation included the construction of a âlidâ over a highway to better connect communities, development of a new elementary school and landscaping for active and passive recreation, use of the functional replacement program to deliver new community facilities such as a fire house to a low-income community, relocation of an entire neighborhood and development of a senior center, land- scaping and fencing to conceal a below-grade highway through an urban neighborhood, and air conditioning and noise walls near schools and churches, among other initiatives. Resources/Contacts FHWAâs Community Impact Mitigation Case Studies: http://www.ciatrans.net/Community_Impact_Mitigation/ CIM_Introduction.html City of Rockford, West State Street Corridor Study: http://www.ci.rockford.il.us/1977 Washington State DOTâProject Mitigation Cost Case Studies: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/mitigation Washington State DOTâEnvironmental Justice Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ Environment/EJ/EJfaq.htm Mark Rose, Land Acquisition Officer City of RockfordâLegal Department 425 E. State St. Rockford, IL 61107 (815) 987-5543 firstname.lastname@example.org Mike Hine, Engineering Team Lead FHWA Illinois Division 3250 Executive Park Drive Springfield, Illinois 62703 (217) 492-4600 Mike.Hine@dot.gov
5-124 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking What Is It? A citizen-driven community enhancement fund sets aside a portion of a project budget for small-scale side projects that the community has a significant voice in choosing. Transportation agency staff help create a citizens advisory board to represent the targeted communities. That board is then charged with receiving applications for use of the funds, weighing the benefits and applicability of those projects, and then sending their recommendations onto decisionmakers at the transportation agency. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? By bringing representatives of the communities onto the advisory board, transportation agencies are able to increase community engagement on a project. The process gives community members real power over a project, fostering general community interest, which can be difficult to achieve if the project does not directly and adversely impact the community. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Holding meetings and discussions with regional managers, agency directors, and project managers at the beginning of the environmental review process. Enlisting their support is vital for the establishment of an enhancement fund that is above and beyond mitigation. â¢ Having the citizens sort through and select the projects and to the greatest extent possible follow their recommendations. Citizens value the input of staff, but giving residents control over a piece of a project can foster trust and build support for the project as a whole. â¢ Public involvement conducted âearly and oftenâ makes it easier to get people engaged. Building awareness and capacity early may involve more time-intensive outreach methods, like going to churches and grocery stores, to engage people on their own ground and on their own terms. Work with established networks of community groups, including contracting with them to help with outreach because ambassadors from the community can be more accessible than professional transportation practitioners from elsewhere. What Are Its Limitations? Because of funding limitations, the dollars available to many transportation projects must be spent on transportation-related purposes. This may prove disappointing to some local residents who see that past transportation projects may have directly or indirectly degraded the livability of their community and would prefer wide discretion in selecting projects to remedy cumulative adverse effects. Local residents may believe nontransportation projectsâfor example, improve- ments to a community center or a parkâshould be viewed as a higher priority or greater need for residents. Provide a Citizen-Driven Community Enhancement Fund Mitigate Impacts/Deliver Benefits Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¡ Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H
tools and techniques 5-125 The citizen-directed community enhancement fund approach is a nontraditional means of delivering benefits to communities. Because it differs from the normal ways of doing business exercised by state DOTs, it requires significant buy-in and support from agency leadership, as well as an active champion in the project manager. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? The fund itself can come from a variety of sources in the project budget, and its amount will vary based on the size of that budget. Staff time for public outreach as part of the environmen- tal review process includes organizing and conducting meetings to bring the idea of a citizensâ advisory board to the targeted communities. Conducting the meetings with the community enhancement advisory board is an additional time commitment, but not necessarily a large one, as the meetings may take no more than 2 hours and take place no more than once or twice a month. Who Has Used It Successfully? The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), I-5 Delta Park: Victory Boulevard to Lombard Section (I-5 Delta Park). For a broad, bistate effort to ease congestion on Interstate 5, ODOT instituted a citizen-directed, community enhancement fund approach along the corridor in the Delta Park community in Portland. When it was originally sited and built, I-5 cleaved through minority neighborhoods and sowed enduring resentment in the Delta Park area. The subsequent I-5 Delta Park Project explored various alternatives to address a chokepoint between Portland and Vancouver, involving widening, ramp configuration changes, local street network improve- ments, and bridge modifications. The NEPA Environmental Assessment prepared by ODOT found that the project would not result in disproportionately high and adverse impacts on the low-income and minority populations. Therefore, no mitigation and conservation measures were identified. But, the blighting legacy of I-5 through North Portland neighborhoods was raised during outreach meetings including environmental justice working groups formed for the study. The ODOT project manager decided to go âabove and beyond mitigationâ to give residents a voice on the selection of a package of smaller projects for the benefit of the community. The project manager established a community enhancement fund and set aside one percent, or $1 million, of the project budget from state funding. Communities were invited to apply for these funds, provided that they could demonstrate that their project 1) has a relationship to the I-5 Delta Park project and its potential impacts and 2) could qualify for state or federal transporta- tion dollars. The projects required endorsements from neighborhood organizations. A com- munity enhancement advisory board was established, consisting of representatives from several neighborhood associations, the regional Watershed Council, the environmental justice working group, the housing authority, and local elected officials. Running concurrently with significant public outreach, the board met for a yearâs time and reviewed 13 applications, totaling about $3 million. The board voted to recommend the following projects, which ODOT subsequently approved: â¢ Neighborhood tree planting along the corridor ($65K), â¢ Bicycle lanes along the adjacent Rosa Parks Boulevard ($90K), â¢ Planning efforts for improving the safety of Bryant Street pedestrian overpass ($50K), â¢ Widening, lighting improvements, and screens on the Killingsworth pedestrian overpass ($200K), â¢ Extension of a pedestrian and bicycle trail ($460K), â¢ Traffic calming on an adjacent street in the Kenton neighborhood ($75K), and â¢ Crosswalk improvements ($60K).
5-126 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking The awards provided partial funding, which was bolstered by leveraging the fund money or through in-kind contributions. Of these, the neighborhood tree planting, the Killingsworth pedestrian overpass, and the Kenton traffic calming are complete. The pedestrian and bicycle trail is on schedule to be completed, but the others have met some delays. Community input led both the Rosa Parks Boulevard project and the Bryant Street pedestrian overpass projects to expand in scope. The time taken to redesign the overpass and to come to agreement on local hiring has delayed completion. But overall, the enhancement fund process helped strengthen the relationship between ODOT and the community, fostering acceptance of the project as a whole. Contacts/Resources Overview of Community Enhancement Fund: http://www.oregon.gov/odot/hwy/region1/I-5DeltaPark/ communityenhancement.shtml Overview of I-5 Project: http://www.oregon.gov/odot/hwy/region1/I-5DeltaPark/index.shtml Kate Deane Former Delta Park Project ManagerâODOT Portland Development Commission, Community Economic Development Manager (503) 823-3313 email@example.com Shelli Romero, MPA Public Policy & Community Affairs Manager ODOTâRegion 1 123 NW Flanders Portland, OR 97209 (503) 731-8231
tools and techniques 5-127 What Is It? A community benefits agreement (CBA) is a project-specific, legally binding contract between a project sponsor (i.e., developer or transportation agency) and a group or coali- tion of community representatives. Representatives generally represent a range of stakeholder interests. In the contract, the project sponsor documents how the proposed project will contribute to the community, usually through community employment, development, or environmental provisions. In return, residents and coalition representatives agree to support the proposed project, stopping costly delays before they start. CBAs are designed to be part of a âwin-winâ strategy encouraging early and meaningful communication between the project sponsor and the community. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Large transportation projects can impose significant burdens on communities adjacent to the project corridor. Historically, such burdens have been predominately borne by traditionally under- served populations. Projects located in populated areas can be met with significant opposition which may delay or halt the project altogether. This can simultaneously damage the sponsor agencyâs prestige and threaten its ability to implement safety improvements and roadway enhancements in a timely and cost-effective way. The purpose of project-specific CBAs is to ensure that the voice of the affected community is heard and considered when designing project mitigation measures and enhancements. CBAs offer some assurance that traditionally underserved populations affected by a proposed project are engaged and receive some benefits from the implementation of the project. The use of a CBA ensures that history does not repeat itself by alienating and/or disproportionately affecting traditionally underserved populations. Over the past decade, CBAs have brought engineers, planners, and community members together to discuss project objectives and convey issues of concern that could lead to concerted opposition. CBA requirements are usually minor when compared with the overall project budget, but ensure that projects bring jobs into the community or enhance livability and environmental health objectives sought by the community. CBAs tend to be established for local hiring and training, noise and air quality mitigation, or neighborhood beautification elements such as trees and lighting. Such agreements can give the community greater influence over the projects and establish a greater stake in seeing the project successfully implemented. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Hire a project manager committed to work with the community. â¢ Tie-in with a community-outreach program that is broad, transparent, accessible and promotes meaningful engagement. â¢ Give community groups a significant degree of control over agreed-upon programs. Recognize Community Benefits Agreements Mitigate Impacts/Deliver Benefits Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¡ Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H
5-128 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking â¢ Make sure that contractors and unions are involved in discussions and agreements. â¢ Pay for local hiring using the stateâs cost-sharing portion of project funds. What Are Its Limitations? â¢ The inclusion of a diverse group of stakeholders representing the community can be challenging. The alienation of or failure to include certain groups when negotiating the CBA can result in community opposition. â¢ All parties involved in the CBA must keep to the agreement, otherwise costs can rise and delays can lengthen due to controversy and opposition. Community trust can be lost if commitments are not kept. â¢ If the resulting programs are not implemented or designed properly, it can add costs to the project. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? The costs of implementing a CBA are attributable to the time and attention of project leadership and staff who work with the community and negotiate the terms of the agreement. The cost of implementing the commitments made in the CBA are project specific and can vary widely depend- ing upon project size and scale, level of controversy, and the extent of the commitments made. Who Has Used It Successfully? In 1998, the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority established a CBA with the Alameda Corridor Jobs Coalition to hire local residents for 3,500 of the estimated 10,500 jobs created by the $2.4 billion project to strengthen and streamline transportation links between the Port of Long Beach and the City of Los Angeles. The agreement also created funding for construction job training of 1,281 local residents and for community-based organizations to recruit and train local residents for jobs, apprenticeships, or pre-apprenticeships. Resources/Contacts Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, Fact Sheet, Alameda Corridor Project: http://www.acta.org/ projects/projects_completed_alameda_factsheet.asp Gross, J. et al. (2005). Community Benefits Agreements: Making Development Projects Accountable. California: Good Jobs First and the California Partnership for Working Families: http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/pdf/ cba2005final.pdf Gross, J. âCommunity Benefits Agreements: Definitions, Values, and Legal Enforceability.â Journal of Affordable Housing. Vol 17:1â2 (Fall 2007/Winter 2008): http://www.communitybenefits.org/downloads/CBAs%20 Definitions%20Values%20and%20Legal%20Enforceability.pdf MoDOT, âWorkforce Partnering Plan, The New I-64 Interstate Project,â http://www.thenewi64.org/download/ 2006-05-12%20Workforce%20Utilization%20Plan%20Partnering%20Agreement%20Signatures.pdf Swanstrom, T. (2009), âGoing Regional: Community-Based Regionalism, Transportation, and Local Hiring Agreements.â Journal of Planning Education and Research. Vol. 28, No. 3, 355â367. http://www.iurd.berkeley. edu/publications/wp/2007-17.pdf Linda Wilson Public Information Manager Missouri Department of Transportation 105 W. Capitol Avenue Jefferson City, MO 65102 314-340-4117 Linda.Wilson@modot.mo.gov http://www.modot.mo.gov Laura Barrett Policy Director Transportation Equity Network/Gamaliel 4501 Westminster Place, 3rd Floor St. Louis, MO 63108 314-443-5915 firstname.lastname@example.org www.transportationequity.org
tools and techniques 5-129 What Is It? Funding programs typically established by state departments of transportation or metro- politan planning organizations (MPOs) are targeted to local governments and select nonprofit organizations capable of demonstrating that their transportation planning project will meet statewide, regional, or local goals. Such goals may include smart growth or strategic land use planning; congestion relief; efficient movement of people, goods and services; promotion of urban design and projects to ensure safe and healthy communities; pedestrian, bicycle and tran- sit mobility and access; public and stakeholder participation; measures to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions; conservation of energy and natural resources; and protection of sensitive habitat and farmland. The approach recognizes the need for better coordination of regional transportation planning with local land use planning and decisionmaking. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Plans and projects funded by the programs can foster public involvement and/or collaborative planning processes along with project planning studies that support livability and sustainable solutions for diverse and underserved communities. Program funding criteria can be developed to prioritize plans and projects that satisfy program purposes and meet grant eligibility provisions intended to benefit traditionally underserved populations and improve the quality of life of their communities. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? Program funds are distributed competitively to the higher ranked project proposals prepared by prospective grant recipients. Project proposals would typically describe the anticipated approach for developing conceptual-level plans and other study activities that would encourage community- based stakeholder collaboration and consensus building through active public engagement. Proposals are expected to explain the transportation and/or land use concepts that would be studied and how they would induce benefits. For projects funded under an environmental justice category, selected projects would demonstrate a focus upon transportation and community development issues that address the interests of low-income, minority, and other underrepresented communities. The types of projects favored for funding are enumerated as part of the program guides made available to prospective grant recipients. For example, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) suggested the following projects for its community-based transportation planning and environmental justice funding categories: â¢ Long-term sustainable community/economic development growth studies or plans, â¢ Community to school linkage studies or plans, â¢ Jobs and affordable housing proximity studies or plans, Create Transportation Planning Grant Programs to Support Environmental Justice and Community-Based Planning Mitigate Impacts/Deliver Benefits Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¡ Construction â¡ Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance â¡
5-130 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking â¢ Transit oriented/adjacent development or âtransit villageâ studies or plans, â¢ Infill or compact development studies or plans, â¢ Mixed-land use development studies or plans, â¢ Context-sensitive streetscapes or town center studies or plans, â¢ Complete street studies or plans, â¢ Suburban community or urban commercial corridor retrofit studies or plans, and â¢ Community revitalization studies or plans. What Are Its Limitations? Program manuals are essential for describing procedural hurdles and funding requirements. For example, grant program funding could be restricted to federal grant recipient lead agen- cies (e.g., MPOs, regional transportation planning agencies (RTPAs), cities, counties, transit agencies, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments). Universities and community colleges, community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, or other public entities may have to apply as a subrecipient to the lead applicant agency. Subrecipients, therefore, would need to work well in advance of application deadlines to coordinate application development. Environmental studies, plans, or documents normally required for project development are generally not eligible expenses for these types of grants. Similarly, construction and procurement of equipment or materials, such as building a facility or purchasing computers, are not eligible expenses, even if such purchases might be funded with other funds or provided as match. Local match funds that are not state or federal sources may be required. While âin-kindâ services may be permitted with appropriate documentation of how they will be extended (e.g., staff time, use of equipment, refreshments), the local match amount would typically require a source of additional funds. The grants also have time limitations that necessitate that work be initiated and completed within well-defined time periods. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Caltrans established environmental justice and community-based transportation planning grants (CBTP) as part of their Transportation Planning Grant Programs that are funded by the State Highway Account. They have set aside about $3 million annually, capping environmental justice grants per project at $250,000 and CBTP grants at $300,000. The local match from non- state and non-federal funding, including in-kind services, ranges from 10 to 20 percent. In FY 2010â2011, the environmental justice grant program budgeted $2.2 million for 11 projects and the CBTP budgeted $3.7 million for 12 projects. The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), the MPO for the nine-county Philadelphia region, recognized that the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) offered the flexibility to distribute federal funds to community-oriented projects. DVRPC committed federal dollars to the Surface Transportation Program (STP), Transportation Enhance- ments (TE), and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ) for transportation projects, but there were no targeted grant programs to assist local communities to develop their plans for revitalization. In 2002, the Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI) program was established to get more planning dollars to local governments. In 2007, the TCDI program moved to a 2-year funding cycle, providing up to $3 million during that funding round. In New Jersey, there was $1.075 million per year for project administration and project completion from Surface Transportation ProgramâUrban Allocation (STP-STU) funds. In Pennsylvania there was $2.5 million for project administration and project completion from
tools and techniques 5-131 STU and local funds. Through fiscal years 2002â2007, DVRPC had distributed $9 million to over 100 communities for TCDI planning grants. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ Caltrans has funded a wide variety of community-based transportation studies under its program, including Traffic Calming and Safety Enhancements for the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. The Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation formed a partnership with the local govern- ment commission, seeking to involve the tribal community and other local stakeholders, to address traffic, safety, and accessibility issues in addition to redevelopment opportunities. The outreach process included meetings, design fairs, and walking tours of the study area to introduce residents to the proposed project and solicit ideas, concerns, and suggestions. The study area, which includes a half-mile section of Highway 96 that bisects Hoopa Valley Tribal lands, had been plagued by numerous accidents in the past due to inadequate sidewalks, turning lanes, and lighting. In previous town meetings, safety concerns had been voiced. Final recommendations for the project included crosswalk improvements, traffic calming, a gateway entrance to the town, a village and cultural center, and a village grid. Caltrans received an award for the success of the project and it has been recognized nationally as a model for improving relations between state DOTs and tribal communities (see Figure 5-23). â¢ DVRPCâs TCDI program targets the regionâs core cities, developed communities, and socially or economically disadvantaged areas. Grant awards are made directly to municipalities, county governments, and nonprofit organizations within the city of Philadelphia. Project sponsors may apply for planning dollars for a variety of eligible activities that must improve the climate for redevelopment, enhance community character, and improve the overall quality of life for residents. The communities and census tracts identified as eligible for TCDI grants are consistent with the Long-Range Transportation Plan as well as DVRPCâs policy to proactively support the regionâs disadvantaged communities and population, drawing upon the agencyâs social profile and mapping prepared as part of annual environmental justice research. The TCDI program has been highly popular with local governments in the region. The program seeks to fund initiatives built around density centers and multi-modal use of the transportation network, but provides leeway for applicants to describe how their projects satisfy the policies Figure 5-23. Focus group discussions were held with tribal leaders as one element of the traffic calming and safety enhancements in the Hoopa Valley Reservation study funded under Caltransâ environmental justice and community-based planning grants program.
5-132 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking and goals of DVRPCâs regional plan. TCDI funding has been used by grant recipients to reevaluate their zoning ordinances and comprehensive master plans (e.g., to permit mixed use districts and limit highway commercial sprawl), update design guidelines, develop plans for transit-oriented development, develop multi-municipal corridor plans (e.g., economic development plans, corridor studies), create business improvement districts, and prioritize capital transportation improvements, among other studies. Resources/Contacts California Transportation Planning Grants Website: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/tpp/grants.html Community-Based Transportation Planning (CBTP) and Environmental Justice (EJ) Transportation Planning Grants Program Toolbox: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/tpp/offices/ocp/ej_cbtp_toolbox.html California Department of Transportation, Community Based and Environmental Justice Transportation Plan- ning Grants Handbook: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/tpp/offices/ocp/ej_cbtp_toolbox_files/PDFs_of_files/ EJ_CBTP_Handbook_v8revisions.pdf Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI): http://www.dvrpc.org/TCDI/ Josh Pulverman Associate Transportation Planner California Department of Transportation Office of Community Planning (OCP) 1120 N Street, MS-32 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 653-0808 email@example.com
tools and techniques 5-133 What Is It? Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) programs and projects are designed to encourage children to walk and ride bicycles to schools. Communities are using federal, state, and local Safe Routes to School funding to construct infrastructure projects, including sidewalks, safer crossings, pathways, bicycle lanes, and traffic calming measures. Funding is also used for education, encouragement, and enforcement programs including promotional events, bicycle and pedes- trian safety and security education, and crosswalk or speed enforcement stings. SRTS funds are being used to increase community awareness, change attitudes, and foster collaboration and partnerships among organizations and agencies to educate and promote walking and bicycling by school-aged children. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Children from low-income families are twice as likely to walk to school as children from higher income families. They also have a higher risk of being injured or killed as pedestrians, according to the Safe Routes to School National Partnership in its recent publication, Implementing Safe Routes to School in Low-Income Schools and Communities: A Resource Guide for Volunteers and Profes- sionals (SRTS Resource Guide for Low-Income Communities). SRTS programs, at their inception, tended to favor moderate-to higher-income communities that had the resources to prepare the grants and conduct the preplanning activities leading to a successful grant application. The SRTS Resource Guide for Low-Income Communities seeks to tackle this disparity by describing effective strategies for ensuring that resources reach disadvantaged communities, illustrating the types of planning considerations and projects that have yielded beneficial outcomes. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? The SRTS Resource Guide for Low-Income Communities recognizes what FHWA has identi- fied as the Five âEâsâevaluation, education, encouragement, engineering, and enforcementâas integral dimensions of a comprehensive and successful Safe Routes to School Program. Several key considerations for achieving success in disadvantaged communities are emphasized: â¢ Develop Partnerships. A successful SRTS program will need to get involvement from several types of partners including parents, students, civic leadership (e.g., mayor or city manager, city council representative), local public works department, school personnel, and non- governmental organizations in the community. It is important to establish a formal team of diverse stakeholders with clearly defined goals for the overall committee as well as for individual team members. Trusted organizations already working in the community should be recruited and several types of events held to build awareness and support. â¢ Know Your Community. Several formal and informal methods of assessment should be used to identify local community needs. Work with schools, community organizations, local police, public works, local officials, and neighborhood residents to review crime patterns, accident Implement Safe Routes to Schools Programs Mitigate Impacts/Deliver Benefits Policy/Research H Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H
5-134 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking records, and participate in neighborhood walkability audits. Conduct focus groups and workshops with parents, students, school officials, and teachers to identify concerns. â¢ Identify Champions. Parents and volunteers are essential, but the SRTS programs also often involve solutions that will require the support of civil and transportation engineers, school officials (superintendents, principals, school boards), elected officials (city managers, supervisors, local elected officials), police, and public works and public health agenciesâeach with specific roles and responsibilities to ensure success. â¢ Contact the State SRTS Coordinator. Each state has a designated coordinator for the SRTS program who should be able to offer practical advice on what programs, resources, and tech- nical assistance may be available to aid low-income communities and schools. Some states will provide engineering or other technical assistance through a grant or in-house services to low-income communities to devise workable strategies. Some state DOTs are also actively involved in national networks that are sharing information on best practices. What Are Its Limitations? In addition to being time-consuming to prepare, an SRTS federal grant funded through a state DOT will often require expertise and assistance from engineers and planners, as well as require extensive coordination with other governments (e.g., school districts, city or county). Local recipients will also need to comply with all FHWA regulations if funding is awarded, which will involve paperwork and expertise that could result in an increased staff burden. Local schools and communities, particularly in low-income urban or rural areas, may not have the resources and staffing to lead such an initiative. As a federal reimbursement program, SRTS program funds require that funds be expended for project completion before any reimbursement is madeâ a provision that can place a financial burden on a local school or community. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? In August 2005, Congress approved $612 million for state implementation of the SRTS programs over 5 years. Each state was to receive a minimum of $1 million per fiscal year through 2009 for SRTS, and a full-time SRTS coordinator associated with the U.S. Department of Trans- portation was to be designated. Congress had extended the program at $183 million per year starting in FY2010 until a long-term transportation reauthorization is complete. Other require- ments related to funding included: â¢ Each state must spend 10 to 30 percent of its funds on noninfrastructure activities, including encouragement, public awareness, enforcement, and educational programs; and â¢ 70 to 90 percent of funds must be spent on infrastructureâsidewalks, bike lanes, pathways, and traffic-calming activities. The types of projects funded under the federal SRTS program and their costs are reported by the Safe Routes Partnership on its website and/or can be discovered through discussions with SRTS coordinators. Program funds will vary substantially depending on the breadth of project planning (e.g., site specific, multiple sites, community wide) and stage in the project delivery process for which funds are to be used (e.g., project planning, construction, operations). SRTS Action Plans, concept-level engineering or planning technical assistance efforts, can be prepared for individual schools at a relatively low costâperhaps as low as $10,000 to $25,000. SRTS projects can also be elements of a larger neighborhood revitalization strategy, attract- ing a significantly greater planning study budget (e.g., $100K to $150K, or more). Costs for infrastructure improvements (e.g., signalization, traffic calming, sidewalks, lighting, curb ramps, signage) can vary widely from project to project, depending on the scale and quality of the capital improvements.
tools and techniques 5-135 The capital costs may also be absorbed or leveraged with other county or municipal capital improvement program items, making it difficult to isolate project costs solely for SRTS. Operating costs can be equally difficult to track, depending on what types of nonengineering services are employed (e.g., student safety training, crossing guards, bike clubs, etc.), how the program services are operated, and whether some operating costs are absorbed through other agency operating budgets (e.g., police or public health department). Costs for a Walk-to-School program coordinator can require budgeting for a half- or full-time employee. âWalking School Buses,â a non-infrastructure solution that relies on parents and volunteers to escort children to school, may also need to set aside a stipend (e.g., $100/month) for parent volunteers in recognition of how difficult it can be to consistently maintain such a program. Finding a continuing source of funds for that effort over time can prove challenging. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Active Living Resource Center (ALRC), a nonprofit organization funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, observed that lower-income urban schools had less capacity and/or were less prepared than middle- and upper-income suburban communities to prepare grants and acquire SRTS program funds at the inception of the program. In 2006, ALRC staff began working on a City-SRTS pilot program for diverse populations in urban communities with the objective of ensuring that SRTS program resources reach all of its targets, including traditionally underserved populations. The ALRC conducted five pilot City-SRTS programs in three different cities: Birmingham, Alabama; Chicago, Illinois; and St. Paul, Minnesota. Several criteria were used to select pilot cities, including their diversity, interest in SRTS and the City-SRTS program, prevalent indicators of need (e.g., large numbers of students enrolled in free and reduced price lunches programs), and the capacity of local organizers (e.g., community groups, program managers, city staff)âpersons who are knowledgeable about local conditions and respectedâto work creatively with ALRC to customize a local outreach program. ALRCâs City-Safe Routes to School, Pilot Programsâ2006 report describes lessons learned surrounding the location of workshops or meetings, the food or refreshments served at events, the agenda followed, the walking tours arranged, among other considerations. The process sought to solicit from attendees several core questions: How are the students traveling to school? Is it working? Where is safety threatened or compromised? What would make it better (safer) and more likely for students to walk to school? â¢ The New Jersey Department of Transportationâs SRTS Urban Demonstration Program focused on disadvantaged schools in Camden, Newark, and Trentonâcities that exhibited dis- proportionately high rates of pedestrian crashes, poverty, and crime. The Urban Demonstration Program was designed, in part, to assist urban schools that were previously unsuccessful in getting SRTS funding, but had shown an interest in the SRTS program. An SRTS task force was formed at each of six demonstration sites in three cities, bringing together state and local government staff, school officials, teachers, police officers, transportation management associ- ations, and representatives from local and regional nonprofit organizations interested in pro- moting health, safety, walking, and bicycling. Needs and opportunities to improve conditions were identified through evening community workshops held at each school and through a student classroom assignment. On the day of the evening workshop, the project team observed students at arrival and dismissal times and engaged with students in both a classroom session and a neighborhood walkabout during the school day. For the classroom exercise, students were asked to participate in a visual preference survey to solicit their perceptions on what they would like to see done to improve their neighborhood if they were the mayor. During their walking audit, students were asked to photograph and record positive and negative conditions in their walking environment and suggest improvements. The studentsâ perceptions offered valuable information for framing discussions during the evening community workshop,
5-136 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking which was generally composed of parents, caregivers, teachers, police, and community leaders. The evening workshops identified barriers, areas of concern, and opportunities for change in the school environment and a mapping exercise was facilitated by the project team (see Figure 5-24). The program and involvement processes have made clear several safety- related and resource-related constraints confronting urban disadvantaged schools. NJDOT has resolved to lend further technical assistance for specific non-infrastructure programs, grant applications and, because of their participation in the program, grant extra points on future SRTS applications for the participating schools. â¢ The New Hampshire DOT (NHDOT) offers bonus points in its scoring of applicants from disadvantaged communities. The agency also offers two categories of awardsâstart-up awards with a simple application form as well as funds to support comprehensive travel plansâthat can be useful to low-income communities. â¢ The New Mexico DOT (NMDOT) developed criteria for its application review process to ensure that communities with fewer resources are not excluded. NMDOT offers $15,000 awards for communities that want to develop Safe Routes to School action plans. The state also provides engineering assis- tance to all communities that receive funding as most do not have access to engineering staff. â¢ The Zavala Elementary School in Central East Austin, Texas, mobilized âWalking School Busesâ and âCorner Captainsâ to avoid crime and drug- related activity in a low-income Hispanic community. The schoolâs parent- support specialist recruited and trained parents to be walking school bus leaders. Parents and students meet in a central location at two separate housing facilities and walk to and from school together. To increase âeyes on the street,â responsible adults including a Catholic church nun have volunteered to serve as corner captains. â¢ The Coconino County Health Department, Flagstaff (AZ) initiated several crime prevention strategies through community policing and environmental design to alter the perception of the parents, students, and the community about the safety of walking and bicycling to the Thomas Elementary School. Placement of a police substa- tion within a neighborhood, zero tolerance for loitering and public drunkenness, voluntary prohibitions of selling 40-ounce bottles of liquor by local merchants, cleaning away litter and broken glass, and parents recruited for walking school buses were several elements of a coordinated strategy to reclaim public spaces, including a nearby park, that had become both a sign of disorder and a danger for students walking to school. â¢ Chicago Alternative Policing Strategies (CAPS), a community policing initiative, established âSafe Havensâ as an element of its Safe Passages program. Safe Havens are places where children will find a friendly shelter and can turn to a trustworthy adult for assistance in the event that they feel threatened and need refuge. Safe Havens are clearly marked by signs and include all municipal facilities as well as participating convenience stores, barber shops, retailers, libraries, and other local businesses. It is one of several strategies along with Walking Buses and Parent Patrols under the umbrella of the cityâs Safe Passage program. Resources/Contacts Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership, Implementing Safe Routes to School in Low-Income Schools and Communities: A Resource Guide for Volunteers and Professionals, July 2010: http://www.saferoutes partnership.org/lowincomeguide Figure 5-24. SRTS Urban Demonstration projects in the city of Newark included evening workshops with parents, caregivers, school administrators, teachers, police, and community leaders. Safety and enforcement issues are ad- dressed by including local police in the event. Traffic and enforcement of other laws, including property maintenance, may be a point of community discussion.
tools and techniques 5-137 Active Living Resource Center Website: http://www.activelivingresources.org/saferoutestoschool8.php Roerty, Sharon (2006). City-Safe Routes to Schools, Pilot Programsâ2006: http://www.activelivingresources.org/ assets/City-SRTS_report_fnl.pdf New Jersey Department of Transportation, SRTS Urban Demonstration Program (2008). Safe Routes to New Jerseyâs Disadvantaged Urban Schools: http://policy.rutgers.edu/VTC/srts/Walk21.pdf National Center for Safe Routes to School, Walking School Bus Guide: http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/guide/ walking_school_bus/index.cfm Safe Routes to Schools National Transportation Coordinator: http://www.saferoutespartnership.org/state/5043 Chicagoâs Community Alternative Policing Strategies (CAPS): https://portal.chicagopolice.org/portal/page/ portal/ClearPath/Get%20Involved/How%20CAPS%20works/What%20is%20CAPS Mendoza, J., Levinger, D., and Johnston, B (2010). Pilot Evaluation of a Walking School Bus Program in a Low- Income, Urban Community: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/9/122
5-138 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking What Is It? Transportation planning studies intended to identify and address persistent safety issues for pedestrians in communities affected by high volumes of auto and truck vehicular traffic. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Plans and subsequent projects funded by these studies to identify and address high-risk areas for pedestriansââhot-spotsââcan foster livability solutions for underserved communities. Such projects can be designed to encourage public involvement and collaborative planning processes to find feasible solutions that will be welcomed by local residents and businesses. Community- based organizations can be leveraged to bring local knowledge and additional capacity to bear on studying problems and preferred solutions. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Identify study area and research crash incidents in federal and state databases. â¢ Map the crash locations in terms of the type of crashâtotal, pedestrian, bike, alcohol, and the like. â¢ Identify the length of corridor and the total number of bicycle- or pedestrian-related crashes along that corridor, including metrics that support benchmarking and comparisons across regions such as per linear mile, or per 1,000 residents. â¢ Rank corridors in terms of the number of bicycle and pedestrian crashes to designate âhot-spotâ corridors. â¢ Utilize geographic information systems (GIS) mapping tools to overlay maps of the âhot-spotâ corridors along with the percentage of the populations that are minorities (e.g., Hispanics, Blacks, etc.), low-income, or more transit dependent. â¢ Review police reports to fully characterize crashes at the hot-spots such as to the time of day, day of week, number and/or severity of injuries, direction of vehicles, and type of collisions. â¢ Conduct field visits to âhot-spotsâ along the corridor to photograph, video record, and docu- ment visual observations to advance problem identification and assess roadway conditions and potential causes for crashes. â¢ Hold workshops or speak informally with pedestrians, nearby businesses, residents, and youth to draw upon their perspectives of traffic safety problems. Walking tours of neighborhoods can bring greater attention to unsafe conditions for pedestrians. â¢ Recruit students to participate in visioning or charrette exercises to develop ideas on how best to make a subject area a more livable community or a âgreat placeâ to live and work. What Are Its Limitations? An accident analysis can be highly valuable for informing the community-based organization along with other partnering agencies (e.g., metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), state Develop Solutions for High-Risk Pedestrian Crossings Mitigate Impacts/Deliver Benefits Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction â¡ Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H
tools and techniques 5-139 DOTs, local governments, transit agencies) about âhot-spotsâ with severe types of accidents or high-frequency locations. However, such studies are only a step along the way to bringing a traffic safety project through to implementation. A comprehensive strategy will be needed to prioritize from among competing safety-related projects. Site-specific solutions will need to be acceptable to various affected stakeholders, to avoid any conflicts between those more focused upon regional mobility and those advocating for a safer environment for bicyclists and pedestrians. Building support may require intensive advocacy for bike and pedestrian infrastructure projects with state or regional decisionmakers to acknowledge the problem and fund solutions. Work- shops and focus groups with community members and the conducting of traffic safety outreach programs within communities cannot be overlooked to ensure that workable project solutions will be accepted locally. Implementing solutions often will require design and engineering services to ensure safe and accessible roadways and pedestrian facilities. Effective implementation may also require educating roadway users about rules, rights, and responsibilities, and enforcing proper behaviors and use of roadway facilities. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Several technical disciplines can be mobilized to identify and address high-risk pedestrian crossings, including transportation planners, traffic engineers, urban designers, and public involvement specialists. Other local stakeholders can be creatively engaged to offer insights about traffic safety concerns, such as residents, merchants, students and parents, public works, public safety, school officials and staff, and community-based organizations, among others. The costs of undertaking planning studies or subsequently implementing roadway design, traffic calming, signage, or nonengineering solutions can vary widely depending on the scope of work and the types of recommended solutions. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center is an excellent resource for sorting through key considerations and cost information for implementing roadway and pedestrian facility design improvements, including lane reductions, sidewalks, crosswalks, signs, pedestrian signal timing, curb radius reductions, and roadway lighting, among other strategies. For example, within school zones, they have suggested costs might include $50 to $150 per sign plus installation costs. A marked crosswalk may cost from $300 to $1,000 depending on the crosswalk marking design, materials used, and the width of the street. A traffic signal may cost from $150,000 to $200,000, assuming substantial street improve- ments are not needed for the new signal. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ La Casa de Don Pedro, a community-based organization in Newark, New Jersey, has received funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through the New Jersey Department of Transportation to provide education, advocacy, and other activities geared to reduce the incidence of traffic-related injuries and fatalities for their Caminos Seguros Program. The organization has assembled a four-person team to implement the program that includes analytical research, outreach processes, and organizing initiatives. The analytical work has included a âhot-spotâ crash analysis of corridors in three counties in northern New Jersey with high concentrations of minority and low-income persons (see Figure 5-25). The program has included the formation of an advisory team composed of community-based advocates, university researchers, transportation agencies, local elected representatives, and municipal staff in public works and police departments. Meetings with the advisory team have been used to review program status, conduct strategic planning, and provide a forum for interaction and partnership with other stakeholders such as county engineers who are undertaking their own corridor planning initiatives. The outreach element of the program has included developing a database of interested parties, distributing traffic safety information to local schools, and
5-140 Practical Approaches for Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations in Transportation Decisionmaking holding public safety events, including celebrations of successfully implemented traffic safety improvements. Upcoming outreach is expected to incorporate door-knocking and intercept discussions with persons in the vicinity of âhot-spots,â developing an informational pamphlet about the program, distributing an information form to expand their mailing list and screen for committed local individuals to join in grassroots organizing, and designing and implementing focus groups. â¢ Plan4Safety, a decision support tool created for the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) by the Rutgers Center for Technology and Advanced Infrastructure, was made available to La Casa de Don Pedro researchers to conduct the accident analysis. Plan4Safety is made avail- able to transportation engineers, planners, enforcement, and decisionmakers in New Jerseyâs transportation and safety agencies to analyze crash data in geospatial and tabular forms. The tool offers more than 140 data elements about any given crash, including crash type, injury level, type and number of vehicles, time and location of incident, cell phone use, alcohol impairment, seatbelt use, and age and gender. â¢ The Tri-State Transportation Campaign (TSTC), a regional transportation advocacy group, joined with La Casa de Don Pedro to secure safety improvements such as improved signage and new striping of crosswalks in Newark, New Jerseyâs Lower Broadway neighborhood in the Figure 5-25. Example of âhot-spotâ mapping undertaken by a community-based organization to educate and advocate for traffic safety improvements in a low-income Hispanic community.
tools and techniques 5-141 vicinity of a local school and community park. These efforts included holding a walking tour as a means for drawing attention to the critical safety issues. â¢ The Greater Newark Conservancyâs Newark Youth Leadership Project (NYLP) is a year-round job and leadership training program for Newark high school and college students to introduce them to different career options and offer job training, and leadership development. NYLP, in partnership with TSTC, invited 45 high school interns to imagine downtown Newark as a âgreat placeâ for residents and visitors. The 2-day visioning exercise included classroom discussions, a walking tour of Newarkâs University Heights neighborhood, and role playing. For the walking tour, students were divided into groupsâtransportation, retail, human services, housing and parking, parks, culture and art, and streetscape. For the role playing exercise, students were asked to be the stakeholders and decisionmakers in the redevelopment processâfor example, the âmayorâs officeâ ran the charrette, the âcity councilâ focused on economic development strategies, âcity plannersâ envisioned complementary land use pat- terns, âtransportation engineersâ examined circulation to and around the neighborhoods, the âparks departmentâ made new parks and improved existing greenspace, and âneighborsâ represented the interests of the affected community. Murals and public art, more streetlights, additional express bus service, and other land use changes were recommended. Previous exercises with the NYLP had focused on traffic calming solutions for the Newark section of the East Coast Greenway and around a train station, leading to physical improvements such as better pedestrian signage and more visible crosswalks. Resources/Contacts Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, Roadway and Pedestrian Facility Design & School Zone Improvements: http://www.walkinginfo.org/engineering/roadway.cfm Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation, Transportation Safety Research Center: http://cait.rutgers.edu/tsrc/plan4safety Greater Newark Conservancy, Youth Leadership Project: http://www.citybloom.org/job-training.htm Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Reworking Newark: http://blog.tstc.org/2010/07/30/reworking-newark/ Alle Ries Division Director, Community & Economic Development La Casa de Don Pedro 75 Park Avenue Newark, NJ 07104 ARies@lacasanwk.org
5-142 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking What Is It? The health impact assessment (HIA) is a combination of procedures or methods by which a policy, program, or project may be evaluated as to the effects it may have on public health, and to offer strategies for mitigating those effects. Used in a broad variety of fieldsâfrom transporta- tion planning to housing development, company sick-leave policies, school discipline practices, and federal farm legislationâits broader purpose is to bring a public health perspective and make health consequences part of policy, program, plan, and design decisionmaking. Since their birth in the late 1990s, HIAs have been prepared for many purposes including for environmental investigations of infrastructure and facility investments and operations. For a highway project, this could mean that in the planning and project development stages, HIA pro- fessionals will take the projected impacts on air quality, for example, and from those projections model the effects on rates of asthma and cardiovascular disease. HIAs conducted in the policy and planning stages may explore many public health topics that have physical, environmental, and social and equity dimensions, including crime and public safety, the availability of multi- modal transportation or biking and walking to school options, accessibility to jobs or other services, access to healthy foods, and opportunities for active recreation, among other issues. HIA professionals say that when transportation agencies and practitioners encounter the prospect of conducting an HIA on their projects, they are often initially skeptical or fearful, thinking that HIA will delay or halt the project for arbitrary reasons. HIA professionals counter that their intentions are: â¢ To bring greater rigor to the environmental review process to ensure that its findings benefit from a public health perspective; â¢ To establish a working and trusting relationship with the community early on in the project, both to inform the community and to mitigate the threat of later community opposition; and â¢ To ensure that the project does not result in unreasonable health impactsâand, hence, oppo- sition and lawsuits that, in addition to money, will consume the sponsoring agencyâs time and credibility. Depending on the scope of the HIA study, it may take anywhere from 2 weeks to 18 months to prepare. How HIAs are administered varies by project, region, and even practitioner, because there are no strict criteria for the content of an HIA. But industry standards have been estab- lished and HIAs generally follow these major steps: â¢ Screening: Deciding whether a project warrants an HIA. â¢ Scoping: Identifying what factors to studyâair quality or traffic, for exampleâand the ways the study of those factors could affect the project. â¢ Appraisal and Assessment: Modeling the potential impact of a project, then modeling the effects of that impact on a variety of public health outcomesâfor example, modeling the effects of a project on pedestrian conditions or walkability, then using those results to model effects on project-area obesity rates. Conduct a Health Impact Assessment Mitigate Impacts/Deliver Benefits Policy/Research H Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction â¡ Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance â¡
tools and techniques 5-143 â¢ Recommendations: Providing solutions based on the modeled data to maximize the projectâs benefits, minimize the projectâs harm, and mitigate inequality among the groups that the project affects. â¢ Communication: Providing the findings and recommendations to all stakeholders. â¢ Monitoring and Evaluation: Once the project is completed, HIA professionals measure the HIAâs effectiveness in identifying and mitigating health effects. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? The HIA process includes a commitment to meaningful public involvement. A solid HIA begins its community involvement early, often by creating an HIA Steering Committee com- posed of community members, HIA professionals, transportation practitioners, and other stakeholders. HIA professionals or the Steering Committee will present information and find- ings to the public at each stage of the HIAâfrom deciding the factors for study to unveiling the recommendations. Also, HIA can bring community members into the process by provid- ing them with research tasks like truck counting, air quality monitoring, or administering community surveys. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Budgeting enough time and money for the processâand making sure it comes early enough to be effective in influencing the project. â¢ Making sure that those conducting the HIA have relevant training in the field. This may be achieved by creating a relationship with a relevant health agency, like a local health district or a county health department. Others are partnering with universities that have relevant programs in public health as subject matter experts to carry out or oversee analytical tasks. â¢ Hiring a community member to serve as a liaison for the HIA. This is a member of the com- munity who is hired to encourage people to get involved, to translate, to bridge cultural gaps, and to answer questions about the process. â¢ Topics addressed in the HIA can reflect the public health dimensions that should be addressed during environmental review and that the point has been successfully argued for inclusion during scoping processes for an environmental impact statement (EIS). What Are Its Limitations? The assessment of beneficial and adverse health outcomes related to new projects or the exist- ing built environment is challenging. Project teams require serious multidisciplinary capabilities and technical skills in modeling. Data is not typically at the appropriate scale and additional data gathering which is necessary can be costly. â¢ Government agencies rarely require, or even request, HIAs in the United States. They are almost entirely voluntary and almost entirely funded through foundations or private entities. â¢ HIAs require specific training to conduct. HIAs undertaken without public health profession- als as partners are at risk of making incorrect claims about public health effects. â¢ HIAs need to be started early enough in the processâfor example, at the planning stages, so that various project alternatives can be considered. â¢ Project managers or developers fear that an HIA will result in additional costs and delays to their projects.
5-144 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? â¢ The cost of preparing an HIA will vary depending on the scope of a project and the time, from a few days to a month, and cost up to $10,000; a medium-level HIA with public engage- ment will cost at least $50,000 and take several months; a comprehensive HIA can cost up to $250,000 and can last up to 2 years, with as many as six full-time HIA professionals producing a significant amount of engagement and original research. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Atlanta Regional Commissionâs (ARC)âs Plan 2040 provides an opportunity for metropoli- tan Atlanta stakeholders to comprehensively consider the transportation, land use, resource protection, and infrastructure investment strategies that will best prepare the region to man- age the growth and change to sustainably accommodate an additional 3 million persons to become a region of 8 million people. The Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD) at the Georgia Institute of Technologyâs College of Architecture is leading the first-ever HIA on a major metropolitan transportation and comprehensive growth plan. The HIA is funded by the Health Impact Project, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. CQGRD seeks to answer questions about how to build metro Atlanta to maximize the health of its people and to mitigate the potential health damages of growth. The HIA will examine the planâs land use patterns and transportation infrastructure investment to predict how they will affect air-quality- and mobility-related public health. The HIA will examine the planâs potential impact on a range of health issues, such as injury and asthma rates, and the risks of obesity and diabetes. In recent years, CQGRD has prepared HIA studies in the metro region for the Atlanta BeltLine Health Impact Assessment and for the City of Decatur Community Transportation Plan and Rapid HIA. â¢ Public HealthâSeattle & King County and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. In the 1960s, in Washington State, a 13-mile highway was built in the Seattle area, including a 7,500 foot floating bridge spanning Lake Washington. By the late-2000s, the bridge was due for recon- struction. State legislation that authorized reconstruction directed the regional air quality and public health agencies to conduct an HIA of the three plans under consideration for the project. The HIA examined public health effects ranging from greenhouse gas emissions and noise to effects the project would have on emergency medical services. Recommendations from the study were grouped into four key categories, listed below: â Construction periodâcontrol construction-related pollution and noise, enhance traffic management. â Transit, bicycling, and walkingâincrease and improve transit service; install connected bicycling and pedestrian facilities with appropriate signage and advertising; and increase safety measures throughout the corridor. â Landscaped lids and green spacesâenclose highway approaches with pedestrian parks as was mandated in the legislation; landscape throughout the corridor; improve adjacent ar- boretum and other nearby green spaces, and preserve waterfront access. â Design features for healthy communitiesâreduce noise throughout the corridor; add to visual character with art and design; and use innovative stormwater management techniques. Resources/Contacts Public HealthâSeattle & King County, Health Impact Assessment for SR520 Bridge Reconstruction: http:// www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/ehs/hia.aspx Atlanta Regional Commission, Atlantaâs PLAN 2040: http://www.atlantaregional.com/transportation/plan-2040 http://www.cqgrd.gatech.edu/projects/plan_2040_hia/pdfs/About_Plan_2040_HIA.pdf
tools and techniques 5-145 Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD): Atlanta Beltline HIA Assessmentâhttp:// www.cqgrd.gatech.edu/projects/beltline_hia/index.php City of Decatur Community Transportation Plan: http://www.cqgrd.gatech.edu/projects/decatur_transportation_ plan/index.php American Public Health Association, Transportation Issues from Public Health Perspective: http://www.apha. org/advocacy/priorities/issues/transportation/ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Impact Assessment: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/hia. htm The Health Impact Project, a partnership between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts, funds and promotes HIAs: http://www.healthimpactproject.org/ Human Impact Partners, an Oakland, CA based non-profit, performs HIAs, and provides HIA training and technical assistance: http://www.humanimpact.org/ The HIA Collaborative is a Bay Area partnership between non-profits, government agencies and academic institutions designed to study, conduct and offer technical assistance on HIA: http://hiacollaborative.org/ The HIA Gateway is funded by Englandâs Department of Public Health to serve as an international resource for studying and conducting HIA: http://www.apho.org.uk/default.aspx?QN=P_HIA Michelle Marcus, MPH Research Scientist Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development Georgia Institute of Technology 760 Spring St, Suite 213 Atlanta, GA 30308 (404) 385.5133 http://www.cqgrd.gatech.edu/ firstname.lastname@example.org Jennifer Lucky, MPH Project Director Human Impact Partners 304 12th Street, #3B Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 452-9442 www.humanimpact.org email@example.com
5-146 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking What Is It? Measuring the individual and cumulative environmental effects of transportation projects upon communities and their vulnerable or at-risk populations, and making those measure- ments available to the public for discussion about public health impacts and risks and to ensure accountability and implementation of mitigation strategies. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Heavy trucks, buses, and automobiles travel along high-volume freeways and through under- pass routes, exposing nearby neighborhoods to air pollutants including ultrafine particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen, black carbon, and carbon monoxide. Often found at elevated levels near highways, these pollutants have been found in studies to have adverse health effects. Health studies show elevated risk for development of asthma and reduced lung function in children who live near major highways. Studies of particulate matter have shown associations with cardiac and pulmonary mortality that appear to indicate increasing risk as smaller geographic areas are stud- ied, suggesting localized sources that likely include major highways. Cumulative exposure at high levels can contribute to higher rates of asthmaâparticularly in childrenâand cardiovascular health problems for older and susceptible persons living in the project area. Many particulates emitted from automobile vehicle exhaust and highway construction are âultra-fineââso small that they have the potential to enter peoplesâ bloodstreams upon contact. These particulates are particularly dangerous within about 1,300 feet of the source; traditionally underserved commu- nities across the country are often located in residential areas nearer to highways. Concerned residents, community organizations, and public health professionals have developed project teams to measure the cumulative environmental effects of transportation projects upon communities and their vulnerable or at-risk populations. Rigorous, data-driven research can help practitioners and community advocates better educate the public on the potential health risks of construction and traffic operations and the need for appropriate mitigation strategies. Agencies and project managers will be better able to improve local environmental conditions when they can measure emissions and exposure levels, when they can assess their own progress against stated goals, and when stakeholders can hold them accountable for making improvements. Perceptions of risk are heightened in the absence of frank communications between sponsoring agencies, mediat- ing institutions (e.g., universities or public health agencies), and the public. Agencies that are pre- pared to commit themselves to exchange health- and science-related information in a process that allows for an open dialogue with trusted intermediaries are more likely to build a degree of trust and find common solutions to persistent issues confronting some communities. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? There is a continuum of community-based research approaches ranging from engaging resi- dents to carry portable monitors to record their exposure to some pollutants to more sophisti- cated research protocols with research institutions. Monitor Health and Environmental Impacts Mitigate Impacts/Deliver Benefits Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¡ Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H
tools and techniques 5-147 â¢ Partnering with research universities, research hospitals, or public health agencies to conduct scientific research into investigations of the linkages between air quality and public health. â¢ Drawing upon the services of environmental engineering firms capable of employing air monitoring equipment as a feature of a project. â¢ Partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop an air quality moni- toring program. â¢ Recruiting local organizations and residents to assist in surveys of local residentsâ habits and health, particularly when residents have limited English proficiency. â¢ Reducing exposures by reexamining land use and siting policies, locating housing and com- mercial developments, bicycling and walking facilities, schools, parks, and transit stations at least 1,300 feet away from highway projects. â¢ Limiting diesel emissions through retrofits for equipment, watering down asphalt regularly during construction, and replacement of old equipmentâparticularly scrapers and installa- tion of air filters in homes and businesses. â¢ Reaching out to neighborhood organizations to hold meetings at convenient times to accom- modate residentsâ work and family schedules and convening events to facilitate dialogues with representatives from responsible agencies (e.g., state or local public health departments, environmental protection agencies), elected officials, a trusted intermediary, and the public. What Are Its Limitations? â¢ The science and health risks of near-highway exposures for local populations are complex to assess and not fully understood. The research question has potentially significant cost and policy implications for land use planning and development for the siting of new facilities such as schools and residential communities and, potentially, for strategies to retrofit existing community and residential facilities. â¢ There is little precedent for effective air quality monitoring and mitigation on highway proj- ects during construction. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? By partnering with academic researchers and graduate students armed with passive collection devices like Ogawa Passive Samplers, air monitoring can cost as little as $10,000. Comprehensive plans are significantly more expensive, requiring more extensive staff time and the deployment of more intricate equipment. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health Study (CAFEH) is a 5-year community- based participatory research project funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) initiated by the Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership (STEP) and led by Tufts University researchers to assess the cardiac effects of near-highway pollution on residents living between 50 and 400 meters from the I-93 highway in the greater Boston area. Their ongoing research project includes measurements of highway-generated air pollution using a mobile laboratory, including ultrafine particulates (UFP) measured in billionths of a meter in diameter, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides. The study is examining the rela- tionship of these pollutants and cardiac health impacts as a function of distance from high- ways in three Boston-area communities. The study also explores community and cultural perceptions of the effects of air pollution on health among people living in neighborhoods adjacent to major highways. The study has hired and trained residents as field staff to recruit and conduct health-related surveys of residents. All of the community partner agencies serve
5-148 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking on the study steering committee and have led the outreach efforts. Interviews are conducted in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Chinese, and Vietnamese in order to engage residents living near the highway across the study area. Drawing upon the research, the proj- ect will develop culturally appropriate, educational modules to raise awareness of risks, use the findings to influence local and state policy regarding land use near highways, and identify possible mitigation approaches. â¢ People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights (PODER), a local grass- roots environmental justice organization, teamed with the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the University of California, Berkeley (UC-Berkeley) to conduct collaborative, par- ticipatory research focused on the health effects of proximity to an intraurban highway near the low-income, Excelsior neighborhood in southeast San Francisco. Project research included research by UC-Berkeley students on the history of the highwayâs siting and PODER staff invited community residents to share pictures of the factors in their community environment that have affected their health, among other activities. PODER members surveyed commu- nity residents regarding pedestrian conditions, air quality, and noise in their neighborhood. Surveys were conducted in English, Spanish, and Chinese. Prior to survey taking, PODER members hung door hangers announcing that they would be knocking on doors in the com- ing days. Two-person teams surveyed the community on several Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings, knocking on visible doors. The research also included air quality, traf- fic counts and pedestrian safety, environmental noise, community health investigations, and personal testimony of residents of public health and safety concerns. The work has supported community-based actions to advocate for solutions to protect community public health focused on issues like traffic calming, truck routes, and bike plans, among others. â¢ The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach monitor air quality in their areas through a network of collection sites. They publish their collected data online, and it is accessible through an interactive web tool which allows the public to graph current and historical air quality figures. Their air monitoring is part of a Clean Air Action Plan that the Ports volunteered to draft in partnership with the EPA and local air quality agencies. Their Clean Air Action Plan is linked to a broader program of emissions reductions and community involvement, which includes regular public input meetings, aggressive emissions standards for trucks, and a robust com- munity hiring agreement. Resources/Contacts Brugge, D., Durant, J. L., Rioux, C. (2007). Near-Highway Pollutants in Motor Vehicle Exhaust: A Review of Epidemiologic Evidence of Cardiac and Pulmonary Health Risks: Environmental Health, 2007, 6:23: http:// www.tufts.edu/med/phfm/CAFEH/pdfs/Near-highway%20pollutanta%20in%20motor%20vehicle%20 exhaust.pdf Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health Study: http://www.tufts.edu/med/phfm/CAFEH/ About%20CAFEH.html Daily Emissions for the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles: http://caap.airsis.com/ Port of Long Beach Environmental Program: http://www.polb.com/environment/default.asp Morello-Frosch R. and Jesdale, B. (2006). Separate and Unequal: Residential Segregation and Air Quality in the Metropolitan U.S. Environmental Health Perspectives, 113: 386â393: http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/ fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info:doi/10.1289/ehp.8500 Health Effects Institute (2010). Traffic-Related Air Pollution: A Critical Review of the Literature on Emissions, Exposure, and Health Effects Report: Special Report 17, 2010-01-12: http://pubs.healtheffects.org/view. php?id=334 Ogawa Passive Samplers Website: http://www.ogawausa.com/index.html San Francisco Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Section, Program on Health Equity and Sustainability Health (undated). Traffic and Environmental Justice: A Health Impact Assessment of the Still/ Lyell Freeway Channel in the Excelsior District: http://www.sfphes.org/HIA_PODER.htm Wier, M., Sciamanns, C., Seto, E., Bhatia, R., and Rivard, T. (2009). Health, Traffic and Environmental Justice: Collaborative Research and Community Action in San Francisco, California. American Journal of Public Health Vol. 99, No. S3.
tools and techniques 5-149 Ellin Reisner, Ph.D. Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership 51 Mt. Vernon Street Somerville, MA 02145 Reisnere51@gmail.com Richard D. Cameron, Director of Environmental Planning Port of Long Beach (562) 590-4156
5-150 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking What Is It? Prepare low-income people and people of color to secure appointments to boards and commissions and build networks of support to strengthen the capacity of appointees to influ- ence policy. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Studies have found that many metropolitan planning organization (MPO) boards are over- represented by suburban interests, in part, attributable to a âone-area, one-voteâ system. Denser populated urban areas are underrepresented compared with suburban zones with lesser popula- tion densities. Research on MPO board and voting structures suggests it promotes voting pat- terns that have an impact on transportation investment funding priorities to the detriment of transit and the urban core. The system may inhibit participation of persons based on residential location, which can be significantly adverse for low-income and minority neighborhoods in urban core areas. Although it may not be sufficient to break formal voting structures, training can better empower qualified persons from affected communities to enter into the debate over representa- tion, equity in funding, and decision-making processes. Community members can also advo- cate for greater attention by the agency to data collection, analysis, and system evaluation that assesses the equity of funding and other decisionsâmethods that are transparent and create opportunities to have a forum to consider possible corrective measures. Training leaders can dispel perceptions about the lack of qualified candidates from diverse populations. These new leaders will have the capacity and community support to advance a regional agenda for economic, environmental, and social justice and serve as the next generation of elected officials who are representative of and accountable to the regionâs low-income com- munities and communities of color. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? Urban Habitatâs âseats firstâ model relies on an analysis of key boards and commissions seats throughout the region, including city, county, and regional appointments. Boards and com- missions that have been targeted have existing or potential influence over policies in areas with equity implications, including transportation, housing, development, jobs, and climate change. The prospective list of seats is distributed to advocacy organizations so that they may nominate participants from within their own organizations, campaigns, and networks. Nominees are inter- viewed by a selection committee, including representatives from the coalition of advocacy groups. Nominees participate in training sessions, meetings, mixers, brief online assignments, obser- vations, and one-on-one meetings with mentors, training staff, and technical support staff. Train Community Members to Be Transportation Leaders Build Relationships/Overcome Institutional Barriers Policy/Research H Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction â¡ Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance â¡
tools and techniques 5-151 Trainings are regularly held and may include a variety of topics, including role-playing exercises to understand how to use Robertâs Rules of Order and how to work with the media. Lectures and discussion groups are used to address issue areas such as transportation, equi- table development, housing, jobs, climate, and public health. Veteran commissioner-advocates are invited to talk about their experience and key issues such as setting priorities, working with department staff, and working with community organizations. Graduates from the training are also offered mentorship and alumni opportunities and leave the program with a thriving technical assistance network designed specifically to support them in their roles on commissions. What Are Its Limitations? The training program is a labor-intensive model, particularly in terms of getting folks placed on more influential boards and commissions. It needs a good deal of dedicated staff time with particularly qualified staff. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Urban Habitatâs âseats firstâ model estimates that the cost for training is approximately $7,000 per cohort member. Program costs are required to have dedicated support staff for developing professional networks and training along with costs for meeting space, stipends for participants (e.g., $500 each), travel for guest commissioners or other guest speakers, food, logo-stamped gifts for participants, and research. Staff is dedicated to the project, including a Coordinator (about 60 percent of his/her time), a full-time program associate, and about half-time for an educational technologist and a program assistant. Who Has Used It Successfully? Urban Habitat has been integral to the establishment of a Boards and Commissions Leader- ship Institute in the San Francisco Bay Area region. Resources/Contacts Nelson, A. C., Sanchez, T. W., Wolf, J. F., and Farquhar, M. B. (2004). Metropolitan Planning Organization Voting Structure and Transit Investment Bias: Preliminary Analysis with Social Equity Implications. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 1895, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., 2004, pp. 81â87. Sanchez, T. W. (2008). An Equity Analysis of Transportation Funding. Race, Poverty & the Environment. http://www. urbanhabitat.org/files/Thomas%20Sanchez-%20An%20Equity%20Analysis%20of%20Transportation %20Funding.pdf Urban Habitat, âBoards and Commissions Leadership Instituteâ: http://urbanhabitat.org/uh/bcli Laurie Jones Neighbors Director of Education and Coalition Building Urban Habitat 436 14th Street, Suite 1205 Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 839-9510 firstname.lastname@example.org
5-152 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking What Is It? A public involvement training program teaches transportation professionals about the impor- tance of meaningful participation in transportation decisionmaking and describes the tools and techniques for achieving it. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? An effective public involvement training program teaches participants how to prepare and implement a public involvement plan (PIP) that will examine and promote strategies to engage all sectors of the public including low-income and minority populations. The public involve- ment plan will include consideration of the methods and actions that the agency intends to take to consider the needs of those traditionally underserved by existing transportation systems, including, but not limited to, low-income and minority persons. Part of this training will teach how to identify the various stakeholders and affected groups that need to be involved in order to have an effective PIP. The training should also include tools and techniques for involving traditionally underserved populations that are likely to be effective in overcoming barriers to participation. Critical to effective public involvement training is continuing evaluation of the PIPâs effectiveness in achieving its goals. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Approach the appropriate decisionmakers to argue for the benefits of offering/taking the course. â¢ The course can be tailored to the needs of a specific organization and offered in-house, or participants can be recruited to participate in a course open to the public. â¢ Several organizations can pool their resources to offer the course to their employees or members. â¢ Those who attend the training can be encouraged to present the tools and techniques they learned at the training to colleagues when they return from the course. What Are Its Limitations? â¢ Often the people who need the training the most do not see the value in it. â¢ It is difficult to be effective in implementing new principles and practices if only one per- son from a department gets the training. Unless they are in a position to influence what the others do, he/she will be operating without sufficient levels of agency/organization support. â¢ Transportation agency personnel and key decisionmakers change, so the training should be repeated regularly to effectively influence the culture and way of doing business within the agency. Establish Public Involvement Training Programs Overcome Institutional Barriers Policy/Research H Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H
tools and techniques 5-153 â¢ Training is the first item to suffer from budget cuts. Many decisionmakers do not see training as a priority. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Public involvement training costs $1,000 to $1,500 per participant depending on the length of the course. In addition to the tuition, there is also the overhead cost of dedicating personnel to the training for one or more days. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Arizona Department of Transportation trained a cadre of engineers, planners, and other professionals in public participation planning, practices, and evaluation that created a cohe- sive approach to their public involvement activities. They were able to successfully resolve challenges to their projects from communities by applying some of the approaches and tech- niques for involving affected stakeholders in the project planning process. â¢ The Alamo Regional Mobility Authority has sent its community relations staff to attend train- ing in participatory management and planning; training in planning, practices, and evalua- tion of public participation activities; and offered its staff and consultants the opportunity to attend audio conference âBrown Bag Seminarsâ to brush up on consent-building skills. Consequently, its approach is comprehensive and the Authority is cognizant of its challenges and handles them proactively. The staff is aware of the different demographics in the affected stakeholders and takes steps to address their diverse needs. â¢ The National Highway Institute (NHI) and the National Transit Institute (NTI) conduct adult education training courses for transportation practitioners in the area of public involvement. The NHI conducts a course, Public Involvement and the Transportation Decision Making Pro- cess, and the NTI has its own course, Public Involvement in Transportation Decision Making. These two courses both touch upon specific strategies appropriate to reaching out to low- income and minority populations. â¢ The NHI course, Fundamentals of Environmental Title VI/Environmental Justice, presents par- ticipants with a framework for using a variety of approaches and tools for accomplishing environmental justice goals in federal-aid programs and other transportation projects. The course includes modules on the critical importance of public involvement and explores forms of collaboration and partnering to plan and deliver projects welcomed by affected minority and low-income communities and populations. â¢ The NHI course, Effective Communications in Public Involvement, offers a web-based course focused on helping transportation officials become better communicators when conducting the public involvement component of transportation planning and project delivery. Partici- pants are offered strategies and techniques for designing an effective communications plan, preparing for and conducting all types of public meetings, handling hostile groups and indi- viduals, giving effective presentations, and âclosing the loopâ with proper meeting follow-up activities. The course also explores how and why the public develops entrenched and some- times inflexible, emotionally charged positions, traces the root causes of hostilities and anger in public involvement, and teaches strategies to help the practitioner and the agency build their credibility with the public. Resources/Contacts International Association of Public Participation (IAP2): www.IAP2.org Institute for Participatory Management and Planning: http://www.ipmp.com National Highway Institute Courses: http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/training/course_search.aspx National Transit Institute Course: http://www.ntionline.com/
5-154 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Dr. Martha A. Rozelle, President The Rozelle Group Ltd. 7000 N. 16th Street, Suite 120, #145 Phoenix, AZ 85020 (602) 224-0847 RGL97marty@rozellegroup.com Leroy Alloway Alamo Regional Mobility Authority 1222 N. Main Ave., #1000 San Antonio, TX 78212 Office 210/495-5804 Fax 210/495-5403 Email: email@example.com www.alamorma.org
tools and techniques 5-155 What Is It? The ability to work effectively across culturesâoftentimes with peoples and cultures with whom the agency and the practitioner have little or no familiarityârequires skills and knowl- edge, which others in the healthcare, social services, and education professions often define as âcultural competency.â Culture can refer to an individualâs race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, immigration status, physical functionality, and religion, among other things. Cultural competency training starts from the assumption that there is a body of knowledge and practice that agencies and individuals should strive to possess to better perform their work in a diverse and changing society. â¢ For organizations, cultural competency means establishing practices and policies that will make services more accessible to diverse populations, and that provides for appropriate and effective services in cross-cultural situations. This requires greater inclusion of all populations as well as addressing inequities when they arise and conducting a continuous process of self- assessment to evaluate the success of such policies. â¢ For individuals, cultural competency is an approach to lifelong learning, communications, and working respectfully with people different from themselves. Hiring ethnically and culturally diverse staff and individuals who are cognizant of the customs and traditions of different cultural groups is a valuable step. But, cultural competency is also intended to build internal processes within the agencyâs operations to foster continual learning and an outlook focused on ensuring agency services are respectful, effective, and appropriate for diverse populations. The ultimate goal is for transportation agencies to become âproficientâ or skilled when working with various subgroups of the population, bringing about an organiza- tional change (Cross, 1988; Wells, 2000). Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Public involvement as it is practiced within the transportation sector can suffer from insular- ity, which can perpetuate a gap between even the well-intentioned public involvement practi- tioner (or the agencyâs project manager) and traditionally underserved populations. Cultural competency training seeks to foster a greater understanding of the cultural frames of reference that may serve as barriers to meaningful participation, allowing the practitioner to more effec- tively âbridge the gapâ that can prohibit certain populations from engaging in the decision- making process. Understanding the extent to which cultural barriers may be present can help ensure public involvement activities as well as other agency-sponsored programs and services (e.g., Safe Routes to Schools, âI Speakâ cards, traffic safety programs, etc.) are responsive to the unique needs and practices of affected communities. Agencies that become more sensitive to cultural differences can better identify specific products and services needed to meet the needs of and connect ser- vices to their diverse customers. Establish Cultural Competency Training Programs Overcoming Institutional Barriers Policy/Research H Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H
5-156 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? Training sessions typically include participatory and role-playing activities for those in atten- dance. Those being trained may be asked to consider a diverse variety of cultural situations in which the practitioner is called upon to consider possible solutions to âbridge the gap.â These activities are usually done in smaller groups to facilitate open discussions. It may be helpful to showcase effective practicesâeither from within or outside the agencyâto stimulate the conver- sation. Juliet Rothmanâs Cultural Competence in Process and Practice: Building Bridges (Rothman, 2008) identifies different ways to assess cultural competency both at the individual and agency level which may prove useful to some agencies when designing training sessions. The Linguistic and Cultural Competency Self-Assessment Survey (California Department of Public Health, 2007) may also be used to stimulate initial thoughts about cultural competency. What Are Its Limitations? Ensuring that agency staff is cognizant of the various components that contribute to cultural competency requires a commitment of time and resources to adapt training to specific agency practices. Without periodic observations or updates, it may be difficult to assess what practitio- ners take away from the training sessions and employ in their daily work routine. Many agencies already require diversity training, so they may see cultural competency training as duplicative. While the goal may be to improve the agencyâs skills in this area, in some instances, it may be appropriate to partner with representatives of the affected population (e.g., advocacy groups, community leaders, etc.). This may depend on the scope of the action, the amount of time avail- able to staff, or the length of time needed to conduct public involvement activities. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? The resources and costs for cultural competency training will depend on the approach used by the agency. The agency may elect to prepare a short guidance manual or pamphlet for staff about cultural competency, ways to stay abreast of current challenges, and things to keep in mind mov- ing forward. Training sessions can be prepared and conducted by in-house staff or an outside organization that specializes in cultural competency training. Training can be directed to the entire agency in small groups or to a smaller group of managers who then train their staff. The costs asso- ciated with either of these methods can vary widely. The agency will need to determine how they want to sustain a commitment of cultural competency training over time. Who Has Used It Successfully? Cultural competency training has been primarily undertaken by health care, social services, police departments, and educational institutions, among other organizations that have frequent interactions with an increasingly diverse public. Transportation agencies also have many con- tinuing interactions with the public but have been slower to appreciate the objectives and lessons learned from this training. The issuance of Executive Order 13166, âImproving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiencyâ now provides additional impetus for agencies receiving federal funding, including transportation agencies, to broadly consider how to improve the accessibility of their agency services. Cultural competency assessments and training target an important dimension of the agencyâs interactions with the public, which are not often directly addressed. â¢ The FHWA and the FTA both run courses, seminars, and/or workshops in nondiscrimination. For example, Preventing Discrimination in the Federal-Aid Program: A Systematic Interdisciplin- ary Approach is not specifically about âcultural competencyâ but emphasizes an interdisciplinary
tools and techniques 5-157 approach for the early recognition of potential adverse impacts that might be discriminatory and the need to develop alternative solutions in all stages of the Federal-Aid Highway Program (e.g., planning, project development, construction, and research). It stresses the need for interdisciplinary staff from the transportation organization to be involved in the development and implementation of Title VI plans that recipients must prepare to meet their nondiscrimination obligationsâcompliance is not solely an obliga- tion of the civil rights enforcement department. The limited English pro- ficiency (LEP) Executive Order 13166 is described, among other topics, in the context of nondiscrimination, noting the importance of ensuring LEP persons receive meaningful access to services to avoid discrimination on the basis of national origin. â¢ The Walk and Bike Safely for Beginning English Language Learners cur- riculum was funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for use by teachers and volunteers working with adult immi- grants (see Figure 5-26). The curriculum was developed in recognition that newly arriving immigrants tend to be more reliant upon walking and bicycling as a primary mode of transportation. New immigrants are likely to be less familiar with U.S. traffic signage and practices and are likely to face greater dangers because of language barriers. In fact, NHTSA statistics indicate a higher risk of being involved in pedestrian and biking crashes among immigrants. As the largest immigrant population in the U.S. today, Hispanic populations are disproportionately affected by pedestrian and bicycle traffic-related crashes in the United States. The adult educa- tion curriculum includes a teacherâs guide, a student workbook, and two audio listening segments for student practice. The program presents key safety messages and appropriate behaviors while bicycling and walking. The curriculum encourages the adult students to share the curriculum information with their children and other family members. The NHTSA has also developed safety-related posters, brochures, and radio announcements specifically targeted to newly arriving Hispanic populations. â¢ The Leading Instituteâs Leading from the Middle is a leadership training program for mid-level professionals in urban planning and community development to manage conflict, lead teams, and promote issues and agendas. Its module on cultural competency invites participants to explore the challenges of leadership in diverse organizations and communities, and how to manage the challenges of diversity to find more creative solutions to problems. Resources/Contacts Cross, T. L., (1988). Cultural Competence Continuum. Reprint from Focal Point, Fall 1988, a Bulletin of The Research and Training Center on Family Support and Childrenâs Mental Health, Portland State University: http://www.unc.edu/courses/2008fall/sowo/804/957/Readings/cultcompetencecont.htm Saldana, D. (2001). Cultural Competency: A Practical Guide for Mental Health Service Providers: http://www. hogg.utexas.edu/uploads/documents/cultural_competency_guide.pdf Enhancing Cultural Competence, The Community Tool Box: http://ctb.ku.edu/en/dothework/tools_tk_ content_page_237.aspx Olsen, L., Bhattacharya, J., and Scharf, A. (2006). Cultural Competency: What is it and Why it Matters: http:// www.lpfch.org/informed/culturalcompetency.pdf California Department of Public Health. (2007). Linguistic and Cultural Competency Self-Assessment Sur- vey: http://www.familypact.org/Files/Cultural%20Competency%20Toolkit/Survey_CulturalCompetency- Tool-20090514.pdf Federal Highway Administration, Resource Center, Civil Rights Team, Training Web Page: http://www.fhwa.dot. gov/resourcecenter/teams/civilrights/courses.cfm Figure 5-26. Recent immigrants are at higher risk of pedestrian and bicycle crashes. The Walk and Bike Safely for Beginning English Language Learners curriculum was designed to reinforce safe behaviors for this particularly at-risk segment.
5-158 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Walk and Bicycle Safety Curriculum: http://www.nhtsa.gov/ Driving+Safety/Pedestrians/For+English+as+Second+Language+%28ESL%29+Teachers+and+Learners National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Among Hispanics: http://www. nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Bicycles/Pedestrian+and+Bicycle+Safety+among+Hispanics Rothman, J. (2008). Cultural Competence in Process and Practice: Building Bridges: http://www.ablongman. com/samplechapter/0205500692.pdf Wells, M. I., (2000.). Beyond Cultural Competence: A Model for Individual and Institutional Cultural Develop- ment. Journal of Community Health Nursing 17(4):189â199. Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP, Director, The Leading Institute Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey 33 Livingston Avenue, #278 New Brunswick, NJ 08901 (732) 932-3822, x711 firstname.lastname@example.org
tools and techniques 5-159 What Is It? Established by transportation agencies, community groups, contractors, and unions, these programs feed project-area residents into project jobs, creating community buy-in, giving unions and contractors access to pipelines of workers, and ensuring quick completion times and good public relations for transportation agencies. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Even in periods of economic growth, many traditionally underserved populations suffer from disproportionately high rates of unemployment. A significant problem for transportation agenciesâone that can result in delays due to community oppositionâmay occur when community members see a project affecting their neighborhood without providing employ- ment opportunities to their local residents. Community hiring programs can increase employment, build skills, strengthen rÃ©sumÃ©s, and boost area economies for traditionally underserved populations. Many jobs in the construction trades also are accessible for peo- ple without college degrees and for ex-offendersâeach of which are traditionally under- served populations in and of themselves but are also prevalent in other, broader underserved populations. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Enter into a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with community groups, unions, and contractors. â¢ Use a pre-apprenticeship training program. â¢ Establish a functioning pipeline for workers to move from the pre-apprenticeship program into unions and jobs with contractors. â¢ Use the state matching funds to pay for the training program to avoid federal hiring requirements. What Are Its Limitations? â¢ Especially in a recession or slower economy, it may invite opposition from non-local workers who are qualified and unemployedâespecially on-the-job training programs. â¢ If community groups do not actually represent the community, it could result in community opposition, delays, and bad public relations. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Community hiring programs require a portion of the projectâs budget and attention from agency and project staff to establish agreements and to administer the program. Develop Community Hiring Program Overcome Institutional Barriers/Deliver Benefits Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¡ Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H
5-160 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ In 1999, the Port of Oakland began a large scale expansion of its facilities that would take place over several years through several different projects. The Port established a labor agreement, the Maritime and Aviation Project Labor Agreement (MAPLA), which increased local hiring. Through the agreement, the Port and the unions established local hiring goals and created a Social Justice Committee to provide education and oversee the goalsâ implementation. The agreement established two tiers of workers, one from the local impact area (the surrounding municipalities) and the other from the local business area (the two surrounding counties), each with their own participation goals. It enjoyed support from the Port, unions, contractors, and the community, and according to Port data, local workers filled 67 percent of construction positions and the local apprenticeship program participation increased by 75 percent. â¢ In 2005, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) entered into a Community Benefit Agreement with a coalition of 30 community organizations to create a community jobs program on its I-64 project, a $535 million Interstate reconstructionâthe largest project in MoDOT history. MoDOT, using the 0.5 percent of the budget that the FHWA allows to be allocated to training, funded an innovative pre-apprenticeship program for contractors. The project came in 3 weeks early, $11 million under budget, and was celebrated throughout the region for bringing communities together. It strengthened minority, low-income, and female hiring streams for contractors and unions. It made 450 workers from traditionally underserved communities more qualified, stronger candidates for future employment. And it addressed negative public perceptions of MoDOT, making it easier for it to efficiently com- plete projects in the future. â¢ The Green Construction Careers Model, inspired in part by the Missouri model, has been adopted in various versions in Kansas City (MO), Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. The U.S.DOT recently funded a pilot project to implement the Green Construction Careers model for several major transportation projects with budgets of more than $500 million, including a light rail commuter line in Denver (CO), Ohio River Bridge projects in Louisville (KY), the Connecticut Busway project in Hartford (CT), new freeway construction in Phoe- nix, AZ, and the Kosciuzsko Bridge replacement project in New York City. In each of these cities, the Transportation Equity Network (TEN) and the Conference of Minority Transpor- tation Officials (COMTO) have been holding workshops with transportation officials, faith- based organizations, prime and subcontractors, and small businesses. The workshops outline the approach for dedicating 30 percent of workforce hours on projects to low-income people, women, and minorities, and investing 0.5 to 1 percent of project budgets on job training. Resources/Contacts Swanstrom, T. (2009). The High Road to Greater Inclusion in the Construction Industry: Problems and Prospects. A Discussion Paper for the Anne E. Casey Foundation. http://www.aecf.org/news/fes/mar2009/pdf/Discussion_ Paper_Construction_2-09.pdf Rubin, K. and Slater, J. (2005). Winning Construction Jobs for Local Residents: A Userâs Guide for Community Organizing Campaigns. Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law: http://nelp.3cdn.net/319dbb595 9ea88bd77_7sm6iy4lf.pdf MoDOT, (2006). âThe New I-64 Work Force Utilization Plan Partnering Agreementâ: http://www.thenewi64. org/download/2006-05-12%20Workforce%20Utilization%20Plan%20Partnering%20Agreement%20 Signatures.pdf FHWA On-the-Job Training Program: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/civilrights/programs/ojt.htm FHWA On-the-Job Training Program FAQs: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/civilrights/ ojtfaqs.cfm Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), Community Partner Agreement Process and âThe Missouri Modelâ: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8sWrHuUAFY Connecting the DOTs: On the Job Training Program, I-64: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVy8TlvaKT0& feature=related
tools and techniques 5-161 Linda Wilson, Public Information Manager Missouri Department of Transportation 105 W. Capitol Avenue Jefferson City, MO 65102 314-340-4117 Linda.Wilson@modot.mo.gov http://www.modot.mo.gov Laura Barrett, Policy Director Transportation Equity Network/Gamaliel 4501 Westminster Place, 3rd Floor St. Louis, MO 63108 314-443-5915 email@example.com www.transportationequity.org
5-162 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking What Is It? On-the-job training (OJT) focuses on skills acquisition within the work environment, gener- ally under normal working conditions. Workers acquire both general skills they can transfer from one job to another and specific skills unique to a particular job. OJT typically involves verbal and written instruction, demonstration and observation, and hands-on practice. The OJT process involves one employeeâusually a supervisor or an experienced employeeâpassing knowledge and skills onto a novice employee. OJT is the most widely used training mechanism today in the U.S. and is the oldest form of training. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Training and upgrading of minorities and women to journey status is a primary objective of OJT programs. An OJT program is mandated by the U.S.DOT. The OJT program requires that agencies set a trainee goal on each federally funded project. Contractors are contractu- ally required to meet the training requirement, or show that they made a good faith effort to do so. OJT can target a specific group or population and focus on developing skill levels in par- ticular areas of need or attention because of low representation of the target population in that workforce. It is the most widely used training method, particularly in the trades where apprenticeship programs are common. It complements traditional classroom-based training by giving the trainee the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom. Some of the OJT/ apprenticeship programs offer classroom training in math related to the job, financial manage- ment, and other skills. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Identify a particular population that is not well represented in a specific workforce area such as women in highway construction or minorities in construction administra- tion and project management, and focus the OJT on providing the necessary skills to that population. â¢ Develop manuals aimed at supporting the population selected and the particular skill. â¢ Conduct targeted outreach activities to recruit the underrepresented population(s) into special training programs. What Are Its Limitations? â¢ It requires coordination between a firm/organization that is willing to provide the OJT ser- vices to the target population and the agency sponsoring or supporting the training. â¢ It is staff-time intensive for the provider since it requires coordination, training, and follow-up. Commit to On-the-Job Training and Workforce Development Programs Overcome Institutional Barriers/Deliver Benefits Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¡ Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance â¡ Operations & Maintenance H
tools and techniques 5-163 What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? â¢ Identification and implementation of the training program and the materials that accompany it. Although many training materials are available, they will need to be purchased and may need to be adapted to the particular situational needs. There will also be the cost for staff to actually conduct the training as well as the cost of the materials reproduction and other expenses of implementing the training. â¢ Time dedicated to the trainee by the person doing the OJT. â¢ Outreach costs will vary with the amount of time and staff dedicated to conducting the out- reach activities. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) On-the Job Training Supportive Services lists a number of departments of transportation, womenâs organizations, trade organizations, and others who have OJT programs funded by FHWA that are focused on getting traditionally underserved populations into highway construction careers. The programs include the devel- opment of manuals and videos for assessing, guiding, and conducting outreach to target pop- ulations who could apply for OJT programs; provision of on-site technical assistance to state leadership teams on recruitment, training, and employment of target populations in highway construction careers; providing training in highway construction crafts, iron working skills, math for trades, physical conditioning, specific skills training in carpentry, equipment opera- tion, cement finishing, and shop classes as well as other skills; and providing stipends, trans- portation, housing, and job placement services for those in training. â¢ The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Office of Civil Rights provides classroom training in math for trades, financial management, and other relevant skills, as well as OJT in specific skills areas. Program participants receive a stipend while in training, which takes about 2 years to reach journey-level status. The apprenticeship program includes a mentoring feature as part of the training methodologies (see Figure 5-27). â¢ The Mississippi Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the Road Builders of Mis- sissippi and the FHWA has an OJT program to develop workers in the skilled craft trades of Figure 5-27. The Oregon Department of Transpor- tation, Office of Civil Rights has an apprenticeship and mentoring program to recruit, train, and retain minorities and women in the highway construction industry.
5-164 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking highway construction. The program is conducted with contractors and subcontractors in the highway construction industry who must follow the training and tracking procedures insti- tuted by the Mississippi DOT. Contractors and subcontractors are paid a specific amount for every hour of training received by each employee enrolled in the program. The focus is on employees who are women, minorities, and economically disadvantaged and interested in achieving full journey status. The contractor or subcontractor assigns an experienced person to the trainee to oversee training. The trainee receives the minimum wage during the training period along with full benefits, where applicable, and full wages for the journey level of the trade upon completion of the training. â¢ The Cypress Mandela Training Center in East Oakland, California, is committed to enhancing the viability of the construction trades industry through life skills development and technical train- ing in a 16-week directed, pre-apprentice program. The Cypress Mandela Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program was created in 1993 in response to the damage and rebuilding needed in the aftermath of the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Its original mission was to provide local residents with training and employment in repairing damaged freeways. Resources/Contacts Federal Highway On-the-Job Training Support Services: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ojtss.htm Mississippi Department of Transportation: http://www.gomdot.com/Divisions/CivilRights/Resources/Forms/ pdf/OJT_AlternateProgram.pdf Oregon Workforce Development Program: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/CS/CIVILRIGHTS/wdp.shtml http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/CS/CIVILRIGHTS/appren_programs_vid.shtml Cypress Mandela Training Center: http://www.cypressmandela.org/ Federal Highway Administration On-the-Job Training Supportive Services Hattie H. Brown, HCR-10 (210) 366-1591 Oregon Department of Transportation Office of Civil Rights Michael Cobb (503) 986-4350
tools and techniques 5-165 What Is It? Internship programs targeted to recruit high-performing students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Tribal Colleges or Universities (TCUs). Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? HBCUs, TCUs, and HSIs often have higher percentages of students of color, and many have strong engineering and transportation programs. By entering into internship partnerships with these institutions, the agencies get a pipeline of smart, capable temporary employees who also bring the benefits of diversity into their workplace. The students do meaningful work and build a path into the transportation industry. If the agency cannot retain them as an employee at the end of the internship, the students still leave with real-world experience and an expanded network of contacts on which to build a career and a strong rÃ©sumÃ©. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Reach out to federally registered HBCUs, TCUs, and HSIs, specifically to their career centers. â¢ Use the Garrett A. Morgan program and the Eisenhower Fellowship program to secure fellowships. â¢ Use the Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups (STIPDG) to secure interns. â¢ Contact the U.S.DOT Office of Civil Rights. â¢ Contact the office that manages the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program in your transportation agency. â¢ Enter into cost-sharing agreements with the schools to provide stipends. â¢ Share responsibility with the HBCUs, TCUs, and HSIs for advertising the program. What Are Its Limitations? â¢ Securing funds for providing interns with stipends. â¢ Finding and keeping a champion for the program within the agency or organization with the authority and capacity to overcome potential obstacles and reliably advocate for the program. â¢ Overcoming misconceptions about targeted outreachâwhich is legal and conforms to execu- tive orders and White House Initiatives on HBCUs, HSIs, and TCUs. â¢ Not every agency is located within convenient proximity to an HBCU, HSI, or TCU. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Costs associated with instituting an internship program include providing students with a living wage or travel expense stipend, as well as staff time spent on organizing and administer- ing the program. Institute an Internship Program Overcome Institutional Barriers Policy/Research H Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H
5-166 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Who Has Used It Successfully? Morgan State University has partnered with the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Maryland State Highway Administration (MSHA), creating two separate internship pro- grams, one for graduate students, and one for undergraduates. The graduate student partnership with the Maryland DOT entered its 24th year in 2010. These students come from a variety of majors, and are assigned to different offices of the transportation department to work 20 hours weekly during the school year and full-time in the summer. The summer undergraduate intern- ship program has also been successful. Both programs are ongoing, and the majority, though not all, of the roughly 200 students who have participated have been Black. Resources/Contacts FHWA Office of Professional and Corporate Development, âEisenhower Freight and Transportation Logistics Scholarshipâ: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ugp/eis_ftl_ann.htm FHWA Office of Professional and Corporate Development, âGarrett A. Morgan Technology & Transportation Education Programâ: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/tpp/gamttep_brochure.pdf United States Department of Transportation, âSummer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups (STIPDG)â: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/education/stipdg.htm Allison Hardt, Chief of the Research Division Maryland State Highway Administration 707 North Calvert Street Baltimore, MD 21202 410-545-2916 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.marylandroads.com/ Andrew Farkas, Director of the National Transporta- tion Center Morgan State University 1700 East Cold Spring Lane Baltimore, MD 21251 443-885-3761 email@example.com http://www.morgan.edu/soe/ntc Dee Outlaw Diversity, Wellness & Special Projects Coordinator Office of Human ResourcesâMaryland DOT 7201 Corporate Center Drive P.O. 548 Hanover, MD 21076 410-865-1199 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/
tools and techniques 5-167 What Is It? Mentoring, according to the American Management Association, is a âa developmental, car- ing, sharing, and helping relationship where one person invests time, know-how, and effort in enhancing another personâs growth, knowledge and skills, and responds to critical needs in the life of that person in ways that prepare the individual for greater productivity or achievement in the future (Shea, 1994).â Mentoring is serving as a âpersonal educatorâ for someone: in this case, a person representing the underserved population who is interested in developing his/her skills and understanding in a particular area or field. The relationship between the mentor and the person being mentored should foster an environment of asking questions, trying out new skills and tech- niques and getting and applying the feedback on the effort, helping the mentee understand his/her strengths and weaknesses and how to employ and/or strengthen them, and âstretchingâ beyond oneâs comfort zone. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? â¢ It provides for a meaningful level of participation and insight on the part of the mentee and can serve to educate and inform the project management and the mentor on issues, attitudes, and desires of the underserved population represented by the mentee. â¢ It allows for the development of skills and understanding that are useful to the person and the community in a variety of ways. â¢ It can be used to provide special learning circumstances for individuals who are part of a tra- ditionally underserved population. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ The mentor can approach community members to see if they are interested in being a mentee. â¢ A community leader may recommend someone she/he thinks would be a good mentee. â¢ In most cases, the mentor/mentee relationship is one of mutual learning and benefit. The mentor may be seeking the assistance of a mentee when it comes to understanding the com- munity, and the mentee is seeking to develop particular skills or understandings. â¢ The term of the mentorship should be determined beforehand along with the specific out- comes sought by the mentor and the mentee. Roles and responsibilities as well as desired results should be clearly delineated from the beginning. It is also a good idea to determine the amount of time (x hours per week) that will be spent in the mentoring process. â¢ Mentorships may be developed for a particular interest area to develop skilled individuals in that field or area of interest. What Are Its Limitations? â¢ Not everyone is a good mentor. Mentoring takes more than just knowledge of the subject. It also requires the ability to transmit the information clearly and understandably and patience when there are a lot of questions and/or mistakes to avoid getting too critical with the mentee. Serve as a Mentor Overcome Institutional Barriers Policy/Research H Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H
5-168 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking â¢ Mentoring requires dedicating a specific amount of time on a regular basis to the mentoring relationship. â¢ Ending a mentoring relationship once the project is complete can sometimes be difficult. â¢ The mentor should be someone with several years of experience in the field who can actu- ally teach the mentee the desired skills as well as offer some practical insights. An entry-level person should not be designated as the mentor. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? â¢ Staff time to function as the mentor is a necessary expenditure. â¢ Depending on what the arrangement is, there may be a stipend for the mentee. Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) offers internships and mentoring to college students from traditionally underserved populations. The program, Careers in Trans- portation for Youth (CITY), focuses on underrepresented youth who are college students that have completed at least their sophomore or junior years and have an interest in public transit or a transportation-related career. This initiative promotes public transportation career opportunities among underrepresented college students, providing internships and mentoring at transit agen- cies, private transit-related consulting firms, transportation service providers, manufacturers, and suppliers. Three to four students each are recruited in Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; San Fran- cisco, CA; and Washington, D.C. The COMTO chapter in each of these cities hosts the interns for 10 weeks. During that time they will also attend the annual COMTO National Meeting and Training Conference as well as receive the mentoring of transportation professionals. â¢ The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Office of Civil Rights has a Statewide Mentor- ing Services Program aimed at developing qualified people in the heavy highway and bridge con- struction industry. The mentorship program was integrated into the apprenticeship program under the direction of ODOT as a means of complementing their existing activities. ODOT developed training materials for mentors and mentees and offered them to organizations inter- ested in including mentoring in their apprenticeship programs. Highway construction contrac- tors also successfully implemented the training program and introduced mentoring as a job training method. Other contractors have requested the training for mentors in order to imple- ment the program at a later date. The program also continues to work with large contractor teams with existing construction contracts and their subcontractors who are Emerging Small Businesses (ESB), pairing them as mentors and mentees. â¢ Lucy Moore Associates, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has a mentoring clause in all its consulting contracts. The company is currently mentoring four people, two of whom are minorities, and it also brings in community members as mentees who come to a meeting and indicate their interest in learning about the process and facilitation. Mentoring is a great way to bring those voices into the process. As mentees develop their facilitation skills and understanding of the process, they can continue to work in the community long after the project is over, serving as a resource for the transportation planning process and other meaningful activities. Resources/Contacts Conference of Minority Transportation Officials: http://www.comto.org Shea, G. (1994). Mentoring: Helping Employees Reach Their Potential. New York: American Management Association. Oregon Statewide Mentoring Plan: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/CS/CivilRights/docs/AgencyStatewide MentoringPlan.pdf Lucy Moore Lucy Moore Associates (505) 820-2166 email@example.com Michael Cobb Oregon Department of Transportation Office of Civil Rights (503) 986-5753 Michael A.Cobb@odot.state.or.us
tools and techniques 5-169 What Is It? Unbundling project contracts means taking single contracts for large projects and breaking them down into smaller contracts for different parts of the projects, making them more acces- sible for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs). Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? DBE is the federal designation for small businesses owned by women or ethnic minoritiesâ groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in the transportation industry. When a large firm wins a single contract for managing a large project, it effectively limits DBEs to com- peting for fewer, limited subcontracts. Unbundling project contracts allows agencies to award contracts for smaller components of a project, opening up opportunities for DBEs to participate more broadly, both as prime and subconsultants. It also allows DBEs to become familiar with the contracting process so they can compete for more contracts as they grow, allowing them to be more competitive when eventually competing for prime contracts. And, it is often an economical means for an agency to boost its DBE participation. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Design teams can aim to create the smallest contracts feasible and contracts can be unbundled both by discipline and by physical sections of the project. â¢ Reaching out to DBE firms and target-marketing certain contracts to them based on their specific skill sets. â¢ Requiring prime contractors to subcontract out portions of work they normally would do themselves. â¢ Point DBEs toward contracting trainings offered by the U.S.DOT Office of Small and Dis- advantaged Businesses, state DOTs, and trade associations like the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials. What Are Its Limitations? â¢ It can require more staff time to establish many different contracts instead of just one. â¢ Additional training may be necessary for DBEs to learn how government contracting works and to effectively access federal and state loan programs. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Staff time on establishing contracts and educating DBEs on training opportunities. Who Has Used It Successfully? The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) unbundled the reconstruction con- tract for the Marquette Interchange in downtown Milwaukee. In addition to breaking up the Unbundle Project Contracts Overcome Institutional Barriers Policy/Research â¡ Right-of-Way â¡ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¡ Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance â¡ Operations & Maintenance â¡
5-170 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking project by geographic area and ramps, WisDOT separated out individual landscaping, sidewalk, and roundabout contracts giving DBEs further opportunities to compete for contracts. The $810 million project was completed in 2008 and 19 percent of the contracts were awarded to DBE firmsâmore than double the federal participation requirement of 8 percent. Resources/Contacts Madison Times, Interview with Wisconsin DOT on Unbundling Contracts: http://www.madtimes.com/archives/oct2004_1/madtimes_101.htm U.S.DOT Office of Small and Disadvantaged Businesses Website: http://www.osdbu.dot.gov/index.cfm Wisconsin DBE program Website: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/business/engrserv/dbe-main.htm Michele Carter, DBE Program Manager WisDOTâCivil Rights and Compliance Section P.O. Box 7965 Madison, WI 53707 (608) 264-6669 Michele.Carter@dot.wi.gov
tools and techniques 5-171 What Is It? The U.S. Department of Transportationâs (U.S.DOT) Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is a vehicle for increasing the participation of minority and/or women-owned businesses in state and local procurement. At minimum, U.S.DOT DBE regulations require transportation agencies that receive federal assistance to establish goals for the participation of DBEs and review contract scopes and costs to ensure that these goals are met. DBE programs may also include financial or technical assistance, outreach and partnering, or business devel- opment to further foster equal opportunity for firm participation. Why Is It Effective in Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations? Small business development is a particularly important asset building strategy among women and communities of color. DBE programs can successfully help minority and women-owned firms increase their capacity and compete for contracts, as well as build confidence within the transportation agency in DBEsâ ability to reliably provide services. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? â¢ Procurement goals; â¢ Link DBEs to loan programs; â¢ Vendor outreach and networking events; â¢ Provide technical assistance related to construction projects (such as blueprint and specifica- tion reading and bid estimation); â¢ Reimbursement to DBEs for training opportunities, small business development services, or for membership in professional organizations; and â¢ Small business development, including business planning, accounting, marketing plan, certi- fication assistance, and website development. What Are Its Limitations? DBE programs can help ensure that minorities and women have greater involvement in transportation decisionmaking from the inside of the process; however, they do not ensure that the communities being impacted by a given transportation project will be heard. DBEs are not community representatives, they are businesses with their own self-interests and should be regarded as such. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? In addition to program administration, some states provide services to DBEs using their own staff or go through the private sector. Implement DBE Programs Overcome Institutional Barriers Policy/Research H Right-of-Way H Statewide/Metropolitan Planning H Construction H Project Development/NEPA Compliance H Operations & Maintenance H
5-172 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Who Has Used It Successfully? â¢ The Wisconsin DOT (WisDOT) created a mobilization loan guarantee fund (MLGF) targeted at minority subcontractors to cover their project startup costs. The MLGF had the twin goals of improving access to capital for minority subcontractors and of growing these subcontrac- tors into prime contractors. The MLGF is ongoing and has received national recognition for its success. An initial investment of $300,000 in the revolving fund has grown to $376,000 through 26 years of interest without a single default. â¢ DBE MentorâProtÃ©gÃ© Programs have been developed by several state transportation agencies (e.g., California, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota), with some variation in their structure and format, to give DBEs the help they need to build their businesses and compete for work in transportation-related contracts. The Ohio DOT MentorâProtÃ©gÃ© Program seeks to build a broader base of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) capable of per- forming work on highway construction projects. At the Ohio DOT, once a mentor firm and a protÃ©gÃ© are teamed up, they jointly establish a mentor-protÃ©gÃ© development action plan. They are expected to hold regularly scheduled meetings and use these meetings to identify barriers to the protÃ©gÃ©âs success; identify management, accounting, or other professional services that the protÃ©gÃ© may still require; set specific targets for further improvement; and set a deadline for hitting each target. The protÃ©gÃ©âs business plan is a continuing topic of discussion over the life of the relationshipâtypically a 2-year period during which progress toward goals is measured. A supportive services consultant is made available by the Ohio DOT to provide advisory services, as needed, and possibly to attend the meetings between mentors and their protÃ©gÃ©s. Supportive services may be delivered in any of the following areas: general business management, financial administration, insurance and bond readiness, website development, or business development/marketing. â¢ The Texas DOT (TxDOT) established its Learning Information Networking Collaboration (LINC) to provide mentoring to protÃ©gÃ© firms. LINC prepares small businesses to bid and perform on TxDOT projects. LINC mentors introduce the protÃ©gÃ© firms to TxDOT staff and to prime contractors by providing networking opportunities. Rather than the tradi- tional arrangement where a non-DBE contractor is a mentor to a DBE firm, TxDOT serves as the mentor in this program. Six meetings are held with the DBE firm: an introductory meeting followed by five meetings held in a specified district within the state. The DBE firm receives presentations on several topics, including: bidding and estimating (with a hands- on bid review by a support services provider), contract administration, record keeping, construction-related legal issues, inspections, equipment usage, material/product testing, and marketing plan development. Participating DBE firms also get introductions to prime contractors who have been provided with an information packet about the LINC protÃ©gÃ© firm. The final session focuses on upcoming opportunities for bidding on maintenance con- tracts as prime contractors. Several other topics are addressed to prepare firms for bidding such as prequalification, bidderâs questionnaire, bonding, insurance, and specific contract requirements. â¢ The Kansas DOT (KDOT) provides supportive services to all certified DBEs, which include a toll-free assistance hotline; project plans to any interested DBEs; and workshops on plan read- ing, estimating, cost accounting, business plans, insurance, financing, equipment, and other requested topics. â¢ The South Dakota DOT (SDDOT) provides a virtual sign-in for DBEs and contractors to meet electronically, prior to each bid letting, as part of their electronic bidding. To help DBEs gain name recognition, a DBE directory with the ownersâ photographs and business profiles is sent by mail to prime contractors and placed on the Internet. SDDOT also sends a monthly DBE newsletter to all DBEs by email and/or regular mail with business articles, events, and bid opportunities.
tools and techniques 5-173 Resources/Contacts U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business, âDisadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Programâ: http://www.osdbu.dot.gov/dbeprogram/ Insight Center for Community Economic Development, (14 December 2007), âState Policies and Programs for Minority- and Women-Business Developmentâ: http://www.insightcced.org/uploads/publications/assets/ 50%20state%20inclusive%20business%20policy%20scan.pdf Ohio Mentor-ProtÃ©gÃ© Program: www.dot.state.oh.us/Divisions/. . ./DBE/DBE_MP_ProgramInfo.doc Management of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Issues in Construction Contracting: http://onlinepubs.trb. org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_syn_343.pdf Kansas Department of Transportation: http://www.ksdot.org/divadmin/civilrights/pdf/DBE_Manual.pdf