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Strategies for Public Involvement and Agency Consultation in the Project Selection Process

2011-2014 TIP logo

SEMCOG and project implementing agencies strive to keep the public involved in the planning process prior to the development of the TIP. Our public involvement process is based upon SEMCOG’s Public Participation Plan as adopted by the Executive Committee in February, 2007. SEMCOG published A Citizen’s Guide to Transportation Planning in Southeast Michigan that outlines the entire process. Public meetings are held for major projects during the planning process to gather feedback. SEMCOG also conducts surveys to gage public opinion on transportation and infrastructure issues.

SEMCOG recently expanded its public outreach and agency consultation efforts. This includes publishing a new document, Funding Road Projects: A Guide for Local Elected Officials, and more emphasis on involving and consulting with other agencies who may have a stake in planning in Southeast Michigan.

Opportunities for local public Involvement

SEMCOG’s public involvement plan stresses that the most common and effective input is often at the local level (PDF, 97 KB), which is conducted by the local committees and agencies to assist in prioritization of TIP projects.

Opportunities for public involvement at the regional level

SEMCOG conducts its public involvement activities to reach as diverse a group of people as possible. It begins with a public notice e-mailed to local and regional libraries, various communities and educational institutions, private citizens, and more than 250 community groups serving minority populations or low-income populations. This notice describes what the TIP is, how much money is involved, what types of projects are included and how to view and comment on the proposed projects. Included in the release for the FY 2011-2014 TIP were dates and times of three public meetings where the document would be discussed and acted upon. Information about the public comment period is also featured in SEMCOG’s Regional Update - a biweekly publication that SEMCOG uses to inform over 2,000 members, planning partners, and the media of news and events. Comments on projects in the TIP are welcomed via mail, e-mail, telephone, fax, or in person at SEMCOG offices or committee meetings.

Projects are available for public review on SEMCOG’s Web site immediately after staff receives, reviews and accepts the proposed project. This could be several weeks prior to the start of the official public review period. The notice was placed on SEMCOG’s Web site, including a link to view the proposed project list. SEMCOG’s Web site includes various formats including a downloadable document file and tools to search the TIP database by county, minor civil division, road/project name, and year. This list is available in SEMCOG offices, or e-mailed or provided in a paper format through traditional mail.

The official review period is a minimum of 30 days per SEMCOG’s public participation plan. Proposed amendments to the FY 2011-2014 TIP were available for comment from November 3, 2010 to December 3, 2010. All comments received were reviewed, responded to, and recorded for consideration by the Transportation Advisory Council and the Executive Committee as they deliberated on the proposed TIP. SEMCOG offices are fully accessible for persons with disabilities and are located near public transit hubs for DDOT, SMART, and a People Mover station.

Opportunities for Agency Consultation

SEMCOG invited comments from 115 agencies on the projects in the TIP or the process. The solicitation was either by e-mail or by mail if the agencies Web address was unknown

SEMCOG also consults federal and state agencies on air quality conformity issues of the specific projects by holding an Interagency Working Group meeting.

Summary of Public Comments

Submitting agencies, local communities, and SEMCOG committees use public comments to either revise or address concerns that the public may have about the projects being submitted, or the process by which the projects are selected. SEMCOG will share the information it collects with the local federal-aid committee in order to review it against their process and priorities.

Additional Materials
Documentation of public involvement and agency consultation, July 29, 2010 TIP adoption (PDF, 1.9 MB)

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