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TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Report 905: Measuring the Effectiveness of Public Involvement in Transportation Planning and Project Development provides a field-validated and practitioner-ready toolkit to measure the effectiveness of a transportation agency’s public involvement activities.

The toolkit is designed to collect feedback from the public on several indicators of effectiveness and to compare that feedback with the agency’s own perceptions. The combined responses can then be used to calculate scores for each indicator and an overall effectiveness index. This allows for systematic comparison of the effectiveness of different public involvement strategies over time.

Public involvement programs provide transportation agencies and the public with a means for exchanging information about planning and project development activities. When effective, public involvement activities enable the public to participate in transportation decision making. Transportation professionals need to measure the impact of public involvement activities to ensure that they are successful and an efficient use of public resources. In addition, repeated measurement can track an agency’s performance over time, demonstrating ongoing commitment to public involvement and increasing overall accountability in the transportation decision-making process.

The toolkit includes a series of online resources, including a survey instrument for use with the public (suitable for distribution in printed form or online), an electronic survey for transportation agency staff to enable the agency to score itself, a spreadsheet-based scoring tool for converting survey response data into an effectiveness index, and guidelines for using and scoring the survey. A set of presentation slides with speaker notes describing the project are also available.

The following appendices to NCHRP 905 are also available online:

Appendix E: Survey Used for Testing

Appendix F: Factor Analysis Results

Appendix G: Description of Factor Analysis and Principal Components Analysis

Appendix H: Principal Components Analysis Results

Appendix I: Convergent Validity Test Results

Appendix J: Reliability Analysis Results

Appendix K: Skipped Item Analysis Results


Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Measuring the Effectiveness of Public Involvement in Transportation Planning and Project Development. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

102 pages |  8.5 x 11 |  Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-309-48020-8


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