Public Involvement Manual
Conducting public involvement (PI) ensures legal requirements are met, stakeholder and public expectations are managed appropriately, and that the public is included in the transportation decision-making process. To achieve this, the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) PI process is designed to obtain an array of viewpoints and concerns that pertain to specific transportation and community needs. While the level of PI is dependent on a project’s type and complexity, opportunities for proactive engagement and outreach occur not only during the early stages of project planning and development, but throughout the life of a project.
The 2014 ODOT PI manual provides guidance on how to properly implement, plan for and conduct PI for all ODOT projects. This includes identifying:
- What regulatory steps to follow
- Who should be involved
- When and how to incorporate PI into ODOT’s Project Development Process (PDP)
- When a PI Plan is required and the purpose for developing one
- When, where, why, and how to conduct PI meetings and corresponding activities
- How to successfully deliver the message and how often
Implementing a proactive PI process provides a balance between transportation needs and anticipated impacts to the human and natural environment. While the process may not lead to avoidance or minimization of all impacts, gathering consensus and addressing as many concerns as practicable is the objective. Understanding the needs of those living or working within a community through interactive dialogue will help build rapport and trust.