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4-1 This Effective Practices chapter describes public involvement processes, analytical methods, data sources and tools, and proactive strategies that have brought into clearer view for decision- makers the lives and concerns of various disadvantaged populations. Practices are âeffectiveâ because they have improved our identification and understanding of traditionally underserved populations or created decision-making processes in which meaningful involvement is possible. They are practices that have sought to be inclusiveâthat fully recognize and explore the needs of traditionally underserved communities when making transportation decisionsâas well compre- hensive in their determination to assess how their various programs, plans, projects, and other activities distribute benefits and burdens across various socioeconomic groups, including the traditionally underserved populations. Practices are âeffectiveâ because they can deliver benefits: for example, solutions that mitigate adverse effects, or change physical, social, and travel conditions in ways that are truly welcomed by communities suffering from poverty, isolation, insecurity, or neglect. Effectiveness can also be defined in terms of the tangible and intangible benefits available to transportation agencies that implement these more inclusive and comprehensive practices. Agencies capable of follow- ing through with their commitments to affected communities may foster trust and greater cred- ibility from those affected communities and organizations. This can lead to better outcomes with current projects and in the future through broader support for subsequent initiativesâa form of project delivery streamlining that is often underappreciated, particularly during times when available resources are limited. For this toolkit, effective practices are categorized in terms of various âtask objectivesâ that may be served through employing the tools and techniques described in the case examples. Task objectives provide an organizing framework for the presentation of the practices and their constituent tools and techniques. They reflect varying levels of engagement, authentic commitment, and beneficial impact to traditionally underserved populations that are under- taken by transportation agencies and practitioners. Task objectives can broadly range from identifying the location or community characteristics of traditionally underserved populations or providing information, to fostering a dialogue, creating opportunities for meaningful par- ticipation, instituting reforms, or delivering programs and services to benefit disadvantaged populations. Some effective practices are applicable to a specific stage of transportation decision- making (e.g., Policy Research, Statewide or Metropolitan Planning, Project Development/NEPA Compliance, Construction, etc.), but others can be readily applied throughout all or several decision-making stages. The task objectives provide a simple framework for organizing and presenting the case exam- ples, but it should be clear that accomplished practitioners are often able to orchestrate the C h a p t e r 4 Effective Practices
4-2 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking achievement of multiple task objectives when undertaking their work. Further definition of the task objectives is 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 Effective Practices chapter presents many case examples that provide those who are inter- ested with an opportunity to step into the shoes of another practitioner, to appreciate the context along with the exemplary activities that were undertaken to identify affected populations, or to customize and implement approaches that meet the standard of meaningful public involvement. Through sharing examples, the chapter provides some assurance to agencies and practitioners, including community-based and advocacy-based organizations and researchers, that they are not alone. Others have faced similar challenges and implemented noteworthy approaches. The practices reflect efforts to operate in good faith with affected communities; in most cases, the examples provided are not so clever or extraordinary, so heroic, or so costly that they cannot be replicated by others. While the examples do not fully measure whether the methods chosen were âoptimalâ or truly âcost-effective,â some cost- and performance-related information is included to better assess the merits and limitations of the efforts along with their influence on decisionmaking. Authoritative resources and contacts are also listed in this chapter to allow interested parties to do additional follow-up research and networking. Table 4-1 identifies the effective practices described in the chapter. The table also lists for each of the examples the lead agency, stage(s) of decisionmaking for which the practice has been applied, the task objectives of using the practice, and the tools and techniques that were applied in service of achieving the task objectives. Ca se Ex am pl e Ag en cy Le ad St ag e of De ci si on ma ki ng Ta sk Ob je ct iv e T ool s an d Te chni qu es Fe at ur ed Co nduc ti ng Fo cu s Gr ou ps to Ex am in e Im mi gr an ts â N eed s an d Va lu es Mi nne so ta DO T â¢ Po lic y Re se ar ch â¢ Pl a nni ng â¢ Ga ther F eed ba ck â¢ Fo cu s Gr ou ps â¢ DO Tâ Un iv er si ty Pa rt ne rs hi ps â¢ Ad ve rt is in g th ro ugh ex is ti ng co mmuni ty gr ou ps Us in g Co nv en ie nc e Su rv ey s to Sa mp le Hi sp an ic Po pu la ti on s N/ A â¢ Policy/Research â¢ Id enti fy Po pu la ti on s â¢ Ga ther F eed ba ck â¢ Su rv ey s â¢ De mogr ap hi c Pr of ilin g â¢ Le ve ra gi ng Un iv er si ty Re so ur ce s De mo ns tr at in g Co mm it ment to Co mmun ic at io n wi th the Pu b lic th ro ugh Da ta ba se s an d Ma na gement Te am s Mi am i Da de MP O â¢ Pl a nni ng â¢ Im pl em ent Pu b lic In vo lv ement Pl an â¢I dent if y Po pu la ti on s â¢ Pu b lic In vo lv ement Ma na gement Te am â¢ Pu b lic In vo lv ement Da ta ba se Us in g âD egr ees of Di sa dv an ta ge â to Id enti fy âA ffe ct ed Po pu la ti on sâ De la wa re Va lle y Re gi on al Pl a nni ng Co mmi ssi on (D VR PC ) â¢ Policy/Research â¢ Pl a nni ng â¢ Id enti fy Po pu la ti on s â¢ Bu ild Re la ti on sh ip s â¢ Ga ther F eed ba ck â¢ De gr ees of Di sa dv an ta ge Me thod â¢ En vi ro nmenta l Ju st ic e Pl a nne rs â Me thod ol og y â¢ Ge og ra ph ic al In fo rm at io n Sy st em An al ys is â¢ En vi ro nmenta l Ju st ic e Wo rk Gr ou p Table 4-1. Summary of effective practices: case examples, tools and techniques featured, sponsoring agencies, and other characteristics.
effective practices 4-3 Case Example Agency Lead Stage of Decisionmaking Task Objective Tools and Techniques Featured Applying the Framework of Environmental Justice and Transportation Toolkit to Support Community-Based Initiatives Baltimore Region/Nationwide â¢ Policy/Research â¢ Planning â¢ Operations â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ Build Relationships â¢ Overcome Institutional Barriers â¢ Building Power Relationships â¢ Public Participation Framework â¢ Alternative Analysis Methods â¢ Triage Committee Designing a Tiered Outreach Approach to Foster Meaningful Involvement Colorado DOT â¢ Project Development/ NEPA Compliance â¢ Provide Information â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ Build Relationships â¢ Surveying â¢ Community canvassing â¢ Employing Locals â¢ Uniforms Hiring Local Residents to Conduct Outreach North Carolina DOT â¢ Project Development/ NEPA Compliance â¢ Provide Information â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ Build Relationships â¢ Surveying â¢ Community Canvassing â¢ Employing Locals â¢ Uniforms Recruiting and Training Community Insiders to Lead Outreach and Engagement Processes City of Seattle â¢ Planning â¢ Build Relationships â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ Working Directly with Communities Identifying âAffected Populationsâ Using a Community Attribute Index Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) â¢ Policy/Research â¢ Planning â¢ Identify Populations â¢ Community Attribute Index Communities About Pedestrian Safety Compliance â¢ School Outreach Using Student Internet Access to Reach Diverse Populations Georgia DOT â¢ Project Development/ NEPA Compliance â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ Internet Survey â¢ Paper Survey â¢ Working with Schools Building Relationships with Service and Transit Providers to Measure Paratransit Needs Southwest Region Planning Commission â¢ Planning â¢ Build Relationships â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ Committee Formation â¢ Working with Service Providers Using a âBeaconâ to Conduct Outreach in Low-Income and Minority Communities San Antonioâ Bexar County MPO â¢ Planning â¢ Provide Information â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ Build Relationships â¢ Community Beacons â¢ Delivering Benefits â¢ Public Meetings Building Trust Through Transparency Tennessee DOT â¢ Statewide/ Metropolitan Planning â¢ Build Relationships â¢ Provide Information â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ Steering Committees â¢ Working Groups Using Games to Solicit Priorities in Regional and Statewide Planning Kentucky Transportation Cabinet â¢ Planning â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ Games Engaging a Wider Public Through Community Conversations Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS) â¢ Planning â¢ Build Relationships â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ Community CafÃ©s â¢ âMeeting-in-a Boxâ or âMeeting- in-a-Bagâ â¢ Focus Groups Playing Board Games to Educate Decisionmakers about Reservation Road Planning Lummi Nation and Bureau of Indian Affairs â¢ Planning â¢ Provide Information â¢ Build Relationships â¢ Games Adjusting the Strategies and Pace of Outreach to Develop Understanding of Community Values Navajo Tourism Department â¢ Planning â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ Inventory of Cultural and Community Resources â¢ Consult with Local Communities Using Popular Shopping Areas and Phone Trees to Engage Immigrant Georgia DOT â¢ Project Development/ NEPA â¢ Gather Feedback â¢ Surveys â¢ Incentives â¢ Interpreters Table 4-1. (Continued). (continued on next page)
4-4 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Es ta b lis hi ng a Mo de l Co mp re hens iv e Tr ib al Co ns ul ta ti on Pr oc e ss Wa sh in gton St at e DO T â¢ Po lic y/ Re se ar ch â¢ Pl a nni ng â¢ Pr oj ec t De ve lo pm ent/ NE PA Co mp lia nc e â¢ Bu ild Re la ti on sh ip s â¢ Ga ther F eed ba ck â¢ Ag en cy Gu id an ce fo r Co ns ul ta ti on Pr oc es s â¢ A nnu al Tr ib al Ou tr ea ch M eet in gs â¢ Tr ib al Tr an sp or ta ti on Pl a nni ng Or ga ni za ti on Re pl ac in g a Co mmuni ty Re so ur ce in a Mi no ri ty Ne ig hb or h ood th ro ugh Fu nc ti on al Re pl ac ement Mi ssi ssi pp i DO T â¢ Ri ght- of -W ay â¢ Bu ild Re la ti on sh ip s â¢ Ov er co me In st it ut io na l Ba rri er s â¢ Fu nc ti on al Re pl ac ement â¢ Ou tr ea ch an d Ne goti at io ns Ho ld in g a St ud ent F ilm Co mpet it io n to En ga ge Yo uth So un d Tr an si t â¢ Co ns tr uc ti on â¢ Po lic y/ â¢ Pr ov id e In fo rm at io n â¢ St ud ent Co mp et it io n â¢ Vi de o Me ssa gi ng Re se ar ch â¢ Bu ild Re la ti on sh ip s Tr ai ni ng Di ve rs e Le ad er s fo r Se at s on Bo ar ds an d Co mmi ssi on s Bo ar ds an d Co mmi ssi on s Le ad er sh ip In st it ute â¢ Po lic y/ Re se ar ch â¢ Ov er co me In st it ut io na l Ba rri er s â¢ Tr ai ni ng â¢ Co a lit io n Bu ild in g Tr ai ni ng an d Hi ri ng Mi no ri ty , Lo w- In co me , an d Fe ma le Wo rk er s Mi sso ur i DO T â¢ Co ns tr uc ti on â¢ Ov er co me In st it ut io na l Ba rri er s â¢ Pr e- a ppr enti ce sh ip Program â¢ Op en Jo bs Pi pe lin e be tw een Co mmuni ty , Un io ns , an d Co nt ra ct or s â¢ Mi no ri ty , Lo w- In co me an d Fe ma le Hi ri ng In ce nt iv es â¢ Wo rk Fo rc e Pa rt ne ri ng Pl an Ag r eement Cr ea ti ng Wo rk fo rc e Di ve rs it y th ro ugh In te rn sh ip Pr og ra ms Ma ry la nd DO T â¢ Op er at io ns â¢ Po lic y/ Re se ar ch â¢ Ov er co me In st it ut io na l Ba rri er s â¢ In te rn sh ip s â¢ DO T- Un iv er si ty Partnerships Tr ai ni ng Pr oj ec t Ma na ge rs an d En gi n eer s in Pu b lic In vo lv ement Pr in ci pl es Ar iz on a DO T â¢ Tr ai ni ng â¢ Ov er co me In st it ut io na l Ba rri er s â¢ Tr ai ni ng Gu ar an t eei ng Mo b iliz at io n Lo an s fo r Di sa dv an ta ged Bu si ne ss En te rp ri se s Wi sc on si n DO T â¢ Po lic y/ Re se ar ch â¢ Ov er co me In st it ut io na l Ba rri er s â¢ Hi ri ng Pr og ra ms â¢ Tr ai ni ng â¢ Fi na nc ia l A ssi st an ce Ca se Ex am pl e Ag en cy Le ad St ag e of De ci si on ma ki ng Ta sk Ob je ct iv e T ool s an d Te chni qu es Fe at ur ed Table 4-1. (Continued).
effective practices 4-5 Conducting Focus Groups to Examine Immigrantsâ Needs and Values: Minnesota Department of Transportation and the University of Minnesota, Urban and Rural Minnesota, Statewide Background For the past two decades, Minnesota has been undergoing a demographic shift. Burgeoning immigrant communities across the state have given Minnesotaâs urban and rural areas sizeable populations of Hispanics, Somalis from East Africa, and Hmong from Southeast Asia. These immigrant communi- ties have different needs, mobility patterns, and relationships with transportation systems and services. After the 2000 census results were published, researchers at the University of Minnesotaâs State and Local Policy Program (SLPP) began asking questions about how growing Hispanic, Somali, and Hmong communities used transportation systems. SLPPâs research led them to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports concluding that foreign-born and eth- nic populations have community-specific transportation needs and values. The majority of the research, SLPP concluded, focused on minority or foreign-born populations in urban set- ting or in rural areasâbut generally not in both. SLPP proposed to conduct focus groups to study immigrant populations in both rural and urban Minnesota to strengthen the Minnesota Department of Transportationâs (MnDOTâs) work on intelligent transportation systems (ITS). MnDOT agreed that this approach would help the department better plan how to target changes to the transportation system and implement specific technologies to better suit the needs of these emerging populations. MnDOT was able to provide funding for the study through ITS funds provided under TEA-21. Developing the Approach SLPP chose focus groups as the method for studying immigrantsâ transportation use because members of the team felt that posing open-ended questions in a group setting would garner more information than an electronic or paper-based survey. The focus group format promised to be less impersonal, permitting discussion in a social setting and allowing researchers to meet participants in their own communities. The focus group discussion questions were structured to be more anecdotal and example-based than quantitative. Researchers asked for stories about how people got around town on a daily basis and when participants were not able to make a trip, or had difficulties making a trip. Researchers were careful to avoid generalizing the behavior of entire groups from individual stories, but looked to learn from the expressed pref- erences and reported experiences to see if specific trends and patterns could be illuminated. Stages of Decisionmaking: â¢ Research â¢ Statewide Planning Participants: â¢ Minnesota DOT â¢ University of Minnesota â¢ Hispanic, Somali, and Hmong community members and organizations Tools and Techniques: â¢ Focus groups â¢ DOTâUniversity Partnerships â¢ Local Vendors â¢ Child Care â¢ Advertising through Existing Community Groups Affected Populations: â¢ Foreign Born â¢ Minorities â¢ Low Income â¢ Limited English Proficiency âA real key was making sure that we were com- ing across as meeting them on their terms on their turf, so they would be more comfortable talking to us.â âFrank Douma, University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
4-6 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Implementing the Approach To implement the focus groups, SLPP and MnDOT drafted a master agreement to outline their collaboration. This step was important in establishing roles and responsibilities as a frame- work for partnership between two large bureaucracies. A lead researcher was designated to run the focus groups and the overall study of which the focus groups were a part. A graduate student researcher with experience in community organizing was hired to help organize and conduct the focus groups. Using census data, researchers identified rural and urban communities with higher concentrations, or dramati- cally increasing populations, of Hispanics, Somalis, or Hmong. It was vital that participants be comfortable talking to the researchers, so SLPP decided to approach potential attendees through community centers and English language classes and to hold the meetings in places where these populations would be most comfortable. Invitations to the focus groups were drafted by SLPP in three languages and delivered to the target attendees both orally and in writing from the community center or language teacher. The community contact would explain that the researchers were interested in the communityâs travel habits and wanted to conduct a two-hour focus group. As part of this invitation they would establish firmly that the researchers were not representatives of the state or federal government. This last point was important because of cultural or community fears of government authority and immi- gration policy. Working with the community groups, SLPP increased its access to information that helped them tailor its approach, ensuring the success of the focus groups. For the Minneapolis Somali focus groups, SLPP separated the men and women into two rooms based on the recommenda- tion of a Somali social organization with whom they partnered and who advised that Somali women tended to defer to the opinion of males in group discussions. SLPP conducted the focus groups with invited attendees including Hispanic, Somali, and Hmong populations in urban and rural Minnesota. Over the course of 5 months, SLPP held seven focus groupsâfour in the Twin Cities and three in rural areas. Focus groups were held with each ethnic population separately to allow for more consistent group discussion, to gather data based on specific communities, and to facilitate the conversation by conducting the meet- ing in each communityâs respective language. SLPP reserved and paid for meeting rooms, made arrangements for child care and translation, and supplied food at the focus groups from local Hispanic, Somali, and Hmong restaurants. SLPP reserved a 2-hour time slot for each focus group, which typically had between 10 and 20 attendees. SLPP members collected names in the sign-up process to ensure attendance, but did not publish names in their final reports. Each focus group began with a statement of intent that assured participants that their personal information would be protected, estab- lishing upfront that they were not required to answer questions that made them uncomfort- able, and that the SLPP was using funding from MnDOT but was not representing a government agency. Over the course of the various focus group sessions, SLPP learned how much time to set aside for each question: typically about 5 minutes for responses. If a group was particularly interested in an issue, or particularly responsive to being in a focus group, responses would last about 10 minutes. Because of time constraints, SLPP had to trim the number of questions that they wanted to ask and build greater flexibility into the facilitatorâs script. In addition to questions about trip-taking and mode preferences, the focus groups touched upon issues such as safety, personal technology use, and preferred methods for receiving information and communicating.
effective practices 4-7 Influence of the Approach on Decisionmaking Building upon the insights offered through the focus groups, SLPP was able to produce a study identifying specific transportation needs and values for each community and assessing the potential policy implications of these expressed needs and values. Some of the major opportu- nities that emerged for improving mobility and accessibility to these immigrant communities included rural and urban car-sharing programs, and increased investment in public transit. For example, information gathered in the focus groups led to the extension of a bus line used to reach an employment center. The Somali participants in rural Faribault, Minnesota, 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 ended up extending the line. SLPPâs relationships with community contacts faded after the end of the study, and the focus group participants have not been contacted for further collaborations. The researcher involved Types of Focus Group Questions: Discussion of Trips Several focus group questions discussed trip taking, as shown below, but other issues were explored such as mode preferences, safety, personal technology use, potential language barriers, and preferred methods for receiving information and communicating. 1. Do you prefer it when you can stay here in this neighborhood, or do you go to other parts of town? <also talk about why people like to visit other parts of town if they do, or why they like staying in their own neighborhood> 2. When you go somewhere here in town, what kinds of problems do you have getting there? <make sure discussion addresses the following:> â¢ How important is it to people to get where theyâre going quickly? â¢ How concerned are people about getting in accidents? â¢ How important is it for people to have transportation that takes them all the way to where theyâre going (they donât have to walk a long way, or use a secondary mode). â¢ Do people feel like they have access to the types of transportation choices they really want and why/why not? â¢ How important is it for people to have a type of transportation that is ready to go whenever and wherever they are (as opposed to having to wait, schedule in advance, or depend on others)? â¢ How concerned are people about physical security as they travel? â¢ How important is it that people have a comfortable physical environment when they travel (and what makes an environment comfortable)? 3. Now letâs talk about going out of town. Has anyone here gone out of town in the last year or so? <if so, follow up with:> â¢ Why did you go out of town? â¢ What did you do (discuss general answers like vacation, business, family etc.)? â¢ How did you get there? â¢ Was it a good trip? What made the trip good or bad?
4-8 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking believes that the focus group approach provided insight on the relative merits of a range of ITS applicationsâstrategies such as community-based transit (CBT), car-sharing, telework and telemedicine, and advanced traveler information services (ATIS)âand how they can be tailored to the diverse travel needs of affected populations living in urban and rural areas. Since the studyâs publication, Minnesotaâs transit agencies have increased access to transit information, strength- ened their online trip planner, and instituted the announcing of arrival times at transit stations. MnDOT has continued to use the focus group approach to gather information on transportation behavior. The collaboration between the university and MnDOT helped to build a relationship that has continued since the project. SLPP and MnDOT have since worked together to get competitive U.S.DOT grants and to implement demand-based toll lanes called MnPass, a bus-only shoulder system, and an examination of ITS solutions that promote telecommuting. Congressional lead- ership has taken notice of the success of this collaboration and is working to expand opportuni- ties for such partnerships in the upcoming multi-year federal transportation appropriations bill. Challenges A major potential barrier to conducting the focus groups was distrust of government agencies by members of the community. Though the Hispanic, Somali, and Hmong populations con- tinue to grow and play important roles in Minnesota, federal raids against these communities have sown fear and, for some individuals, distrust of government employees. SLPP researchers mitigated these concerns by approaching the communities through established organizations, by not taking participantsâ names, and by being forthright about disclosing their intentions and funding sources. While these techniques can be replicated, overcoming distrust will continue to be a challenge for those conducting focus groups in the future. While the partnership between the university and MnDOT has been fruitful, barriers to coordination between the two institutions persist. Universities have highly developed Institu- tional Review Board (IRB) processes to ensure that research done in the universityâs name does not exploit the participants or the universityâs reputation. This review process took time and required a certain amount of patience on behalf of MnDOT. But overall, forging the partnership was relatively painless. The often significant barriers that may arise when two large institutions work together were addressed before the focus group project started because MnDOT and the university had drafted a master agreement to deal with potential issues; the focus groups were consistent with this pre-established framework. Continuously changing and growing immigrant populations in Minnesota will not neces- sarily have the same transportation needs and preferences as those in the past. Additional focus groups or other methods for gathering input will be required in the future to maintain the level of understanding necessary to create a transportation system that continues to serve all Min- nesotans. For the transportation agency, the challenge will be to identify the nature of the gap between these emerging needs and existing services, and to find ways to use technology to bridge the gap, both in terms of providing better transportation options and in reducing the cost of these options. Benefits of the Approach The focus groups gave SLPP and MnDOT the opportunity to illuminate some of the cultural differences related to ethnic background or immigrant status. It allowed them to recognizeâat an institutional levelâthat the population is changing and to learn that understanding those differences is crucial in planning the transportation system. Without access to that informa-
effective practices 4-9 tion, planners using the âbusiness-as-usualâ approach risk marginalizing an important part of the population and undermining the transportation systemâs ability to serve the mobility and accessibility needs of the state. Costs of the Approach Focus groups require research to target populations, to determine where to meet them, and to ascertain how to effectively stimulate dialogue during such activities. Focus groups also involve drafting the focus group questions and orchestrating the event, making contacts, securing ven- ues, running the focus groups, and drafting summary reports. The most significant costs of the focus groups were the lead and assistant researchersâ wages, which were about $25/hour plus benefits and $15/hour plus a full in-state tuition waiver. The lead researcher worked about 10 hours a week on the project while the assistant worked 20 hours per week for an academic yearâabout 30 weeks total. This roughly equals about $16,500 for the project, not counting administration or overhead costs or other fringe benefits applied to labor, or the tuition waiver. The per event cost would be approximately $2,500 to $3,500 for labor (excluding administration and overhead expenses and direct reimbursable expenses for transportation, printing, food), recognizing that there are some minor efficiencies from holding similarly-themed focus groups in multiple locations. The venues generally had no cost and the food bought from local providers was of moderate cost. Staff conducting the focus groups consisted of the two SLPP researchers and an interpreter. Including commute time, the focus groups each took about a day to conduct. No incentives were provided to participants other than a meal. Contacts/Resources Contacts 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 email@example.com http://www.hhh.umn.edu/people/fdouma/ Susanna Wilson Community Development Coordinator 1616 Humboldt Avenue West St. Paul, MN 55118 (651) 552-4144 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.ci.west-saint-paul.mn.us/ Resources Wilson, S., and Douma, F. (2005). Transportation Needs of Foreign-Born Ethnic Sub-Populations in Rural and Urban Communities: An Environmental Justice Perspective. http://www.hhh.umn.edu/img/assets/20163/ transportation_needs_douma.pdf Douma, F. (2004). Using ITS to Better Serve Diverse Populations. http://www.lrrb.org/pdf/200442.pdf
4-10 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Using Convenience Surveys to Sample Hispanic Populations: Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC Background Between 2000 and 2008 the Horry County, South Carolinaâs Hispanic or Latino population increased by 78 percent while the South Carolina state overall saw a 9.7 percent increase (U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2009). In 2008, the South Carolina state legislature enacted the South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act which required that . . . every public employer participate in the federal work authorization program to verify all new employees, to require contractors or subcontractors who contract with public employers for the physical performance of services to register and participate in the federal work authorization program, to define terms, to establish deadlines to comply for public employers, contractors, and subcontractors . . . to provide exceptions for verification of a personâs lawful presence in the United States, to provide a procedure for a person to verify his or her lawful presence in the United States, including executing an affidavit that the person is a United States citizen or legal permanent resident or a qualified alien or nonimmigrant under the immigration and naturalization act, to require that eligibility for benefits shall be made through the federal systematic alien verification of entitlement program. Beyond existing federal legislation, the law seeks to reduce the number of undocumented workers and to reduce abuse of workers. However, this law and others may serve to increase fears of ethnic profiling among persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, thus decreasing participation in project, program, and service public involvement processes. Developing the Approach Two students and a professor from the Department of Politics and Geography, Coastal Car- olina University, developed a study to investigate the working conditions of Latin American immigrants in Horry County (see Figure 4-1). This study furthered the 2006 and 2007 inves- tigations of researchers with the University of South Carolina (USC) Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies. That study, The Economic and Social Implications of the Growing Latino Population in South Carolina, found that South Carolinaâs foreign-born population grew more rapidly than in any other state in the U.S. between 2000 and 2005 (Consortium for Latino Immi- gration Studies, 2007). In order to assess working conditions in Horry County, the Coastal Carolina research group wanted to administer a survey on the topic that would identify the reasons for migration to the region, working conditions, and the immigrantsâ future plans. The goals included gaining a bet- ter understanding of the Hispanic immigration issues. Initially, the researchers hoped to reach 1,000 participants (an oversample) to gather feed- back from a broad and diverse representation of Latin American immigrants. However, the researchers felt that standard methods for attracting survey participants (e.g., door-to-door recruitment, direct mailings, specific questions regarding the legal status of participants, etc.) would not work because of fear among immigrants of providing personal information of any kind. Nonetheless, gathering survey information was viewed as essential to understanding working conditions and drawing attention to immigrant needs and issues. The researchers believed that Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Policy Participants: â¢ Coastal Carolina University Tools and Techniques: â¢ Surveys â¢ Demographic Profiling â¢ Leveraging University Resources Affected Populations: â¢ Low Income â¢ Hispanic â¢ Limited English Proficiency â¢ Foreign Born
effective practices 4-11 if they used a more deliberate and personal approach to encourage participation they would get better results and higher levels of participation, albeit at some risk that the sampled population might differ from the overall Latin American immigrant population. This method of nonprobability sampling is referred to as convenience surveying or judgment sampling. While the research conducted for this project did not focus on the transportation issues of immigrants, the approach may be valuable for transportation-related surveys in that it provides methods of accessing hard-to-reach communities. The survey described here also provides an excellent example of how an agency could expand and enhance its understanding of a community by leveraging the research capabilities of universities and student researchers. Implementing the Approach The co-principal investigators for the study were both Spanish language speakers: one was Hispanic and the other had ties to the Hispanic community through work. Initial visits were made to activity centers within the Hispanic community to discuss the studentsâ desire to con- duct interviews using a survey instrument. Having laid the groundwork as to why the surveys were being conducted, how privacy would be maintained, and what the potential benefit to the community of participating in the survey would be, the researchers gained a degree of acceptance for their survey. They were able to deploy student researchers at soccer fields, Mexican restaurants, Catholic churches, and His- panic grocery stores to conduct the surveys. While conducting the surveys, the students found that assistance from the local Catholic churches was a critical element in making contact with the Hispanic community and validating the importance and credibility of the survey to the target community. The researchers visited the priests and other clergy of the churches, explained the study, and received permission to make presentations on the study to the congregations. The churches were not the sole source for the sample population; however, the support of the clergy aided in the study outreach. One researcher was also able to draw on her past experience working at a local Mexican restaurant to gain better access on behalf of the research team. Figure 4-1. Members of the Carolina Coastal research team implemented a convenience survey to investigate the working conditions of Latin American immigrants.
4-12 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking The research study was not intended to directly influence transportation decisionmaking, but it was intended to shed more light on the values and needs of the sampled population to foster a deeper understanding of the lives of the immigrant Hispanic population living within the imme- diate region. The researchers secured 174 usable surveys in Horry County, or roughly 2 percent of the estimated 2006â2008 Hispanic/Latino origin population. The study supplemented earlier work conducted by another South Carolina university. The sample population included a large cohort in the age group of 19-to-35 years, the majority of whom were married and living with their family in the U.S. Many respondents who participated expressed their willingness to take any job, at any wage, as long as they were employed and had some income. Many spoke of living the âAmerican Dream,â which prompted the researchers to develop YouTube videos featuring some of the respondents and students. In addition to developing national and international papers for conference presentations and academic journals, the professor and students are continuing to collect survey data and make videos. The findings also will be shared with the USC Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies and state policymakers. Challenges Rather than pursue a probability sample that would be more representative of the entire Hispanic or Latino population of Horry County, the researchers relied upon those participants they were able to reach out to through their contacts and other connections in the community. Establishing a more representative sample of the target population is a continuing challenge. The sample derived from the convenience survey method was 69 percent male, 82 percent of Mexican descent, more than 60 percent between the ages of 19 and 35, and nearly 90 percent married or in a common-law relationship. By comparison, the 2006â2008 American Commu- nity Survey reported that nearly 40 percent of the Hispanic or Latino population was male (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). As this research did not gather information on immigration status, it is not possible to determine the number of participants who were documented residents or had other legal residency or work status in the U.S. The researchers steered clear of the immigration status question for fear it would have a chilling effect on participation. Benefits of the Approach The convenience survey approach may be useful for many hard-to-reach populations that regularly use or are affected by transportation systems. There are three types of situations that justify convenience samplesâthe exploratory, the illustrative, and the clinical (Ferber, 1977). All three situations may be met depending on additional tools and techniques used. â¢ Exploratory purposes may be served by using convenience surveys to identify broad concerns, topics, solutions, and enhancements. â¢ Illustrative purposes may be served by using convenience surveys to test or gather opinions on anticipated adverse impacts, distribution of benefits, or otherwise gain a better understanding of new or untested methods, services, projects, and so forth. â¢ Clinical purposes may be served by drawing a convenience sample to identify and conduct pilot or case studies within a specific group meeting certain criteria. Convenience surveys allow researchers to use trusted sources to explain the research goals, purposes, and anticipated outcomes to target respondents so that participation in the process can be secured.
effective practices 4-13 Costs of the Approach In terms of time and other resources, convenience samples are not as costly as probability samples. The convenience lies in the agenciesâ ability to connect with universities, human service agencies, faith-based organizations, and others who have existing ties with the target population. This decreases time and other resources needed to identify the target population, develop trust- ing relationships, and conduct a probability sample. In this instance costs were extremely low, approximately $3,500, because of the use of existing community contacts and the mobilization of lower-wage students with Spanish language proficiency working at $7.50 per hour. Approxi- mately 460 labor hours were expended on labor for the efforts. If the research team were paid more, the sample population were larger requiring more researchers, or the period of outreach were longer, costs would rise due to increased labor and the marginal costs for reproducing survey instruments, and data analysis. Contacts/Resources Contacts Dr. James David Henderson Politics and Geography Coastal Carolina University Arcadia Hall 125 P.O. Box 261954 Conway, SC 29528-6054 email@example.com Elsa Crites Professor Coastal Carolina University P.O. Box 261954 PRIN 105 B Conway, SC 29528-6054 (843) 349-2168 firstname.lastname@example.org Beverly G. Ward, Ph.D. BGW Associates, LLC 13705 Lazy Oak Drive Tampa, FL 33613-4923 email@example.com MarÃa Luisa Torres Associate Professor Coastal Carolina University P.O. Box 261954 PRIN 105 I Conway, SC 29528-6054 (843) 234-3494 firstname.lastname@example.org Resources The Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies, (2007). The Economic and Social Implications of the Growing Latino Population in South Carolina. Columbia, SC: South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs and the University of South Carolina. Ferber, Robert (1977). Research by Convenience. The Journal of Consumer Research. 4 (1): 57â2. Journey to American Dream, YouTube Video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz1Seagj4Rc U.S. Census Bureau. 2006â2008 American Community Survey 3-year Estimates. 2009. http://factfinder.census. gov/servlet/
4-14 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Demonstrating Commitment to Communication with the Public through Databases and Management Teams: Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization Background Despite possessing an intimate familiarity with the transportation system and its day-to-day users, members of the public are reluctant to get involved with metropolitan area planning studies and activities. Mis- trust of government and a dismissive cynicism that the publicâs views will not be taken seriously by officials is surely near the top of any list of reasons for not participating in planning-related studies. Constraints upon time due to family or work, discomfort with public speaking, and language impediments also keep people away from the public pro- cesses. The long-term horizon of many statewide and metropolitan planning studies may also suppress involvement because of the absence of tangible benefits or immediate threats. Aware of these barriers, the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the MPO for the Miami Urbanized Area, has tried many approaches to make partici- pation convenient and accessible for the diverse populations making up their region. Making it easy for citizens to register a complaint or to make a suggestion about transportation in the region is one of the simplest ways for the public to participate. Done properly, the âeyes and earsâ of the public can bring to the attention of the agency critical defi- ciencies and unmet needs such as potholes, broken traffic lights and stop signs, unsafe bus shelters, overcrowded buses, or the need for a pedestrian crosswalk or pedestrian-activated traffic light. The MPO took one small but impor- tant step when it developed a centralized database for tracking comments, questions, and concerns raised by the public (see Figures 4-2 and 4-3). The compiled information was then appropriately routed to responsible parties for resolution. This technological solution proved complementary with another of the MPOâs successful initiatives, which was to strengthen coordination among the several agencies involved in transportation planning, programming, and operations in the region. Developing the Approach The MPO established a public involvement management team (PIMT) to bring several agencies responsible for transportation and community-related concerns together to ensure a coordinated response to public comments and to organize future public involvement efforts. The PIMT is comprised of the Miami-Dade MPO and partner agencies including South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (Tri-Rail), Miami-Dade Public Works, Miami-Dade Expressway, Miami-Dade Aviation, Florida DOT, the 5-1-1 System, South Florida Commuter Services, Miami-Dade Seaport Department, Floridaâs Turnpike Enter- prise, the Miami-Dade County School Board, and the Citizens Independent Transportation Trust (CITT). The public involvement managers of each of the agencies meet on a quarterly basis to discuss issues emerging on major projects underway and to receive briefings from project consultants and sponsors on schedule progress and public outreach strategies being undertaken. Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Planning Participants: â¢ Miami-Dade MPO â¢ Florida DOT â¢ Miami-Dade Transit â¢ Multiple Local Transportation Agencies Tools and Techniques: â¢ Public Involvement Management Team â¢ Public Involvement Database Affected Populations: â¢ Black â¢ Hispanic â¢ Haitian â¢ Low Income â¢ Homeless
Effective Practices 4-15 Figure 4-2. The Miami-Dade MPO created the PIP database to track and monitor citizen concerns. Different contact and event lists can be entered from the main switchboard. Figure 4-3. The location, number of attendees, and an assessment of the event is recorded along with the ideas, concerns, and questions that were raised for each event.
4-16 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking The MPO Public Involvement Plan Database (PIP Database) was designed to collect, orga- nize, and track every comment, question, or inquiry that the MPO receives from anyone in the community as well as from elected officials, representatives of member agencies, human service providers, or nonprofit organizations. After being entered in the PIP Database, com- ments received during outreach events and through other staff correspondence are distributed to the appropriate agency on a monthly basis. The MPO is not an implementing agency so many of the questions regarding physical planning and operations of transportation are sent to other agencies where the appropriate action or response is taken. When agencies respond to the comments, MPO staff is copied on the response and is then able to enter it into the PIP Database. Implementing the Approach The team approach to public involvement exercised through the PIMT has helped the agen- cies share ideas, coordinate project efforts, better address the publicâs questions, and enhance relationships between the different agencies. The PIP Database stores all correspondence from the public and contains an âagency list,â a âcitizen request list,â and an âoutreach and media events list.â The agency list consists of over 1,000 businesses and organizations that the MPOâs public involvement office (PIO) can draw from when organizing community outreach events. The citizen request list documents and tracks all citizen contact with the MPO, including, but not limited to, phone calls, emails, faxes, and comment cards. This documentation helps ensure that citizens receive feedback on their comments, questions, concerns, and so forth. Once entered in the citizen request list, the citizen is contacted with a letter of appreciation informing them that their issue is under consideration and will be addressed by the appropriate agency, if not by the MPO. The PIP Database also has the ability to track language preference and respond in the appropriate language. The outreach and media events list is used to track comments and attendance of public events. For each event the location, contact, number of attendees, and perceived success of the event is recorded along with the ideas, concerns, and questions that were raised. Event attendees who provide an email address and agree to being placed on the citizen distribution list will be included in future public involvement information emails. The database has been used to pull up comments relating to a project, issue, or geography for evaluation or inclusion in a report. By tracking comments from the public, the database has helped the involved agencies access important comments related to their projects and has provided tangible evidence to those in the community that they can turn to government to address their needs and concerns. The relationships between the PIMT members help to facili- tate the proper disbursement of any correspondence received to the agency that can appropri- ately address the inquiry. From the information collected at workshops, the MPO realized that attendance for many events was low. The MPO has subsequently devised strategies to take its comment gathering out into the community and now sends a staff member at least twice monthly to locations through- out the region where people work, play, and shop to talk to people in the community and gather information about their thoughts on transportation improvements and needs. Through this process, the MPO ensures that staff gathers more diverse comments than could otherwise be obtained. The MPO has also used contact information in the PIP Database to send out newsletters and other correspondence. For example, the MPO distributes citizen guides in English, Spanish, and
effective practices 4-17 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 PIP Database early in the plan development process. The brochure solicits ideas for consideration to be pro- grammed in the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). The extensive database includes homeownerâs associations, churches, citizens at large (from previous inquiries), and various agencies, including all municipalities within the county. Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking The public input that the PIMT and PIP Database approach have garnered has been influ- ential in the deletion, deferral, advancement, and modification of project scopes in both the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The utility of the PIMT and PIP Database approach was recognized in the MPOâs most recent tri-annual certification review as a critical component of the MPOâs public involvement strategy. Information systematically gathered and recorded from outreach events in the com- munity also enables the agency to assess where community input has been received and where it has not. Through understanding the reach and limits of their public involvement efforts, the MPO has been better able to tailor its processes and even redouble efforts, in some cases, to engage traditionally underserved populations. For example, the MPO has partnered with the Miami-Dade County Community Action Agency (CAA), which works with homeless and very low-income individuals. MPO staff meets regularly with CAA staff at its 12 branch offices throughout the county. Through this partnership, the MPO has gained access to very low-income people living in those project areas and has been better able to identify their unique needs and issues of concern. The information that the MPO staff received from contact with the CAA is included in the database and shared with other public involvement managers and project managers. Through this process, the MPO has been able to engage those who probably would never have had the opportunity to give their input because they have no means of receiving notices or emails without a mailing address or computer access. Benefits of the Approach The PIP Database is a simple approach that has helped to streamline the tracking process and increase the responsiveness of the MPO to its citizens and its customers. The PIMT has been effective in further strengthening a network and support system among the transportation agencies. With difficult and contentious projects, the agencies have been able to consult with each other at the quarterly meetings and explore strategies and possible areas of support from their sister agencies. The network has helped to stop misinformation and garner support for the agenciesâ projects. Over time, bringing together public involvement personnel from all transportation agencies has made it easier for the MPO to grow participation in its programs and plans. Costs of the Approach There were very minimal costs involved. The database was created in Microsoft Access and the initial template only took about a week to develop. MPO staff spends approximately an hour each day inputting information in the database. There is no separate funding source for the PIMT, which requires MPO staff time to prepare for and host the quarterly meetings.
4-18 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Contacts/Resources Contacts Elizabeth Rockwell Public Involvement Manager Miami-Dade MPO 111 NW 1st Street, Ste. 920 Miami, FL 33128 (305) 375-1881 email@example.com http://www.miamidade.gov/mpo/ Resources Miami-Dade MPO, âPublic Involvement Management Team,â http://www.miamidade.gov/MPO/m12-comm- pimt.htm
effective practices 4-19 Using âDegrees of Disadvantageâ to Identify âAffected Populationsâ: Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Background Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 1994 Presi- dentâs Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice state that no person or group shall be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, any program or activity utiliz- ing federal funds. Each federal agency is required to identify any disproportionately high and adverse health or environ- mental effects of its programs on minority and low-income populations. In a joint memorandum issued to their field administrative offices in October 1999, the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration gave clear notification of their intent to closely review compliance with Title VI during planning certification reviews. The memo, Implementing Title VI Requirements in Metropolitan and State- wide Planning (U.S.DOT, 1999) recommends several ques- tions be raised during certification reviews about the analyti- cal processes used to assess the distribution of benefits and burdens of regional transportation plans and investments on minority and low-income populations. During the planning certification review process, MPOs must demonstrate that they have prepared a demographic profile of their metropolitan area that includes the identification of the locations of socioeconomic groups, including low-income and minority populations. Neglecting to prepare a demographic profile, MPOs will find it difficult to substantiate that their planning process has sought to identify the needs of low-income and minority populationsâa core Title VI compliance question during certification reviews. MPOs are also expected to assess the service equity of their program, policies, and investments. Drawing upon socioeconomic data, MPOs are expected to assess how the benefits and burdens of the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) are distributed among dif- ferent socioeconomic groups. MPOs must also be able to explain to certification reviewers how their planning process responded to the benefits and burdens analyses: for example, what specific actions or remedies were put into motion by the MPO to address imbalances in the program priorities that may have been identified. The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), the MPO for the nine-county, bi-state PhiladelphiaâCamdenâTrenton region, responded to this federal guidance on environ- mental justice with the preparation of â. . . and Justice for All:â DVRPCâs Strategy for Fair Treatment and Meaningful Involvement of All People in September 2001. The initial report provided key defi- nitions for environmental justice; summarized the agencyâs existing environmental justiceârelated plans, policies, and public involvement activities; and described a quantitative and qualitative method for evaluating the LRTP, the TIP, and other planning programs. Since its release, DVRPC has regularly published annual updates, âEnvironmental Justice at DVRPC,â with new data and analyses, as appropriate, reporting the agencyâs ongoing activities related to environmental justice. Developing the Approach DVRPCâs work program and planning activities on the topic of environmental justice have continued to evolve and expand since their first report. They have established a âDegrees of Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Planning â¢ Policy and Programs Participants: â¢ Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Tools and Techniques: â¢ Degrees of Disadvantage Method â¢ Plannerâs Methodology â¢ Geographic Information System Analysis â¢ Environmental Justice Work Group Affected Populations: â¢ Low Income â¢ Minority â¢ Limited English Proficiency â¢ Physically Disabled â¢ Seniors â¢ Female Headed Households with Children â¢ Carless Households
4-20 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Disadvantageâ (DOD) method to evaluate their LRTP and the TIP. This method has been extended to other projects, programs, and studies such as corridor-level studies and assisted in targeting grant programs to eligible communities. DVRPCâs DOD method is instructive as to how an MPO can draw upon several data indicators to better identify and work with the tradi- tionally underserved populations in its region. Conducted at the regional level, the technical analysis locates the people most in need and determines how the regional transportation system and DVRPCâs programs, policies, and investments may differently impact these groups. The major steps taken during this stage of the DVRPCâs planning process with respect to environmental justice require assessing the existing accessibility conditions of residents within their region: â¢ Identify groups that may be negatively impacted; â¢ Locate them in the region; â¢ Plot key destinations, such as employment or health care locations, that they must access to reach opportunities; â¢ Acknowledge nearby land use patterns; â¢ Overlay key destinations with the regionâs existing and proposed transportation network; and â¢ Determine what transportation service gaps exist for these disadvantaged groups. DVRPCâs LRTP and the TIP are then evaluated to determine how effectively these accessibility gaps are being addressed. FHWA and the Federal Transit Administration have developed technical assistance tools and training events to illustrate effective practices for conducting a benefits and burdens assessment at the metropolitan level (see Transportation and Environmental Justice: Case Studies (FHWA/ FTA, 2000), Transportation and Environmental Justice: Effective Practices (FHWA/FTA, 2002); and the National Highway Institute training course, Fundamentals of Title VI/Environmental Justice). However, federal agencies do not prescribe a specific method that must be followed for com- pliance with the subject topic, leaving MPOs with an opening to work out their own methods and practices. DVRPC developed its DOD method to carry out its planning process, including its benefits and burdens assessment. DVRPC characterizes its DOD method as the first step of a demographic analysis that identifies the potentially disadvantaged population groups first, and then draws upon this knowledge as a planning tool for subsequent work. The demographic data has been used by DVRPCâs public affairs office to customize outreach strategies to specific population groupsâfor example, limited English proficiency (LEP) groups. Implementing the Approach In its most recent annual update, DVRPC compiled demographic data for eight population groups, including non-Hispanic minorities, Hispanics, carless households, households in pov- erty, elderly (older than 75 years), persons with physical disabilities, female head of household with child, and LEP. Using the most recent census data, each of these groups were identified and located at the census-tract level. Regional level data was also compiled, combining populations from each of the nine counties, for either individuals or households, depending on the indicator. The total number of persons in each demographic group was then divided by the appropriate category (either population or households) for the nine-county region, providing a regional average for that population group. Any census tract that meets or exceeds the regional aver- age level, or threshold, was designated an environmental justiceâsensitive tract for that group. Table 4-2 provides a definition of each of the eight indicators and the applied criteria for identi- fying higher than average concentrations of a disadvantaged population. DVRPC uses these thresholds to identify disadvantaged populations at the census tract level by each population group. Each census tract can contain a concentration greater than the
effective practices 4-21 Group Definition Cr it er ia fo r Id en ti fy in g Di sa dv an ta ge d Po pu la ti on s No n- Hi sp an ic Mi no ri ty âM in or it yâ as : 1) Bl ac k: a pe rs on ha vi ng or ig in s in an y of the Bl ac k ra ci al gr ou ps of Af ri ca ; 2) As ia n Am er ic an : a pe rs on ha vi ng or ig in s in an y of the or ig in al pe op le s of the Fa r Ea st , So uthe as t As ia , In di an su bc onti nent , or the Pa ci fi c Is la nd s; 3) Am er ic an In di an an d Al as ka n Na ti ve : a pe rs on ha vi ng or ig in s in an y of the or ig in al pe op le of No rt h Am er ic a wh o ma in ta in s cu lt ur al id enti fi ca ti on th ro ugh tr ib al a ffilia ti on or co mmuni ty re co gn it io n Re gi on al To ta l: 1, 339, 000 pe op le Re gi on al Th re sh ol d: 24. 9% Co unty Th re sh ol d: 6. 5% to 49. 0% Hi sp an ic Hi sp an ic s ar e de fi ned by the U. S. Ce ns us Bu re au as âp er so ns of Me xi ca n, Pu er to Ri ca n, Cu ba n, Ce nt ra l or So uth Am er ic an , or othe r Sp an is h cu lt ur e or or ig in , re ga rd le ss of ra ce .â Pe rs on s of Hi sp an ic or ig in ca n be of an y ra ce . Re gi on al To ta l: 288, 300 pe op le Re gi on al Th re sh ol d: 5. 4% Co unty Th re sh ol d: 1. 5% to 9. 7% Ca rl es s Ho us ehol ds Ca rl e ss hous ehol ds ar e defined by the U.S. Ce ns us Bu re au as ha vi ng ze ro ve hi cl e av a ila b ilit y. Th is po pu la ti on is of ten re fe rre d to as ât ra ns it dependen t, â th at is , thos e wh o mu st re ly on pu b lic tr an si t fo r thei r da ily tr av el n eed s an d wh o ha ve lim it ed mo b ilit y. Re gi on al To ta l: 323, 500 hous ehol ds Re gi on al Th re sh ol d: 16% Co unty Th re sh ol d: 5. 1% to 35. 7% Ho us ehol ds in Po ve rt y Po ve rt y, or lo w in co me , is de fi ned as pe rs on al or hous ehol d in co me at or be lo w the U. S. De pa rt ment of He al th an d Hu ma n Se rv ic es ( HHS ) po ve rt y gu id e lin es , es ta b lis hed as a re la ti on sh ip be tw een in co me an d the si ze of the fa m ily un it . Re gi on al To ta l: 219, 000 hous ehol ds Re gi on al Th re sh ol d: 10. 9% Co unty Th re sh ol d: 4. 7% to 21. 8% Pe rs on s wi th a Ph ys ic al Di sa b ilit y Th e U. S. Ce ns us Bu re au id enti fi es si x di sa b ilit y ca tego ri es : se ns or y, ph ys ic al , ment al , go in g outs id e of the home , se lf -c ar e, an d em pl oy ment . DV RP C wa s ab le to co mp ile da ta on pe rs on s wi th a ph ys ic al di sa b ilit y. Th e U. S. Ce ns us Bu re au de fi ne s a ph ys ic al di sa b ilit y as âa co nd it io n th at su bs ta nt ia lly lim it s one or mo re Re gi on al To ta l: 387, 900 pe op le Re gi on al Th re sh ol d: 7. 7% Co unty Th re sh ol d: 5. 1% to 10. 7% ba si c ph ys ic al ac ti vi ti es , su ch as wa lk in g, c lim bi ng st ai rs , re ac hi ng , lif ti ng , or ca rry in g. Fe ma le He ad of Ho us ehol d wi th a Ch ild âF em al e he ad of hous ehol d wi th ch ild â is de fi ned in the 2000 U. S. Ce ns us as a âf em al e ma in ta in in g a hous ehol d wi th no hu sb an d pr es ent, an d wi th at le as t one ch ild un de r 18 ye ar s ol d wh o is a so n or da ughter by bi rt h, ma rri ag e (a st ep ch ild ), or ad op ti on , re si di ng in the home . Re gi on al To ta l: 149, 500 hous ehol ds Re gi on al Th re sh ol d: 7. 4% Co unty Th re sh ol d: 4. 0% to 11. 0% Li mi te d En g lis h Pr of ic ie nc y Ex ec ut iv e Or de r 13166 of 2000 on LE P ch ar ge s a ll fe de ra lly fu nded ag en ci es to ma ke se rv ic es mo re a cce ss ib le to e lig ib le pe rs on s wh o ar e not pr of ic ie nt in the En g lis h la ngua ge . LE P is de fi ned by the U. S. Ce ns us Bu re au as âp ri ma ry language spoken at home other than Englishâ and âs pe ak En g lis h not ve ry we ll. â Re gi on al To ta l: 121, 700 pe op le Re gi on al Th re sh ol d: 2. 4% Co unty Th re sh ol d: 0. 8% to 3. 9% El de rl y ov er 75 ye ar s Se ni or s ag ed 75 ye ar s qu a lif y fo r mo st , if not a ll, mob ilit y pr og ra ms th at ha ve an ag e re qu ir ement. Re gi on al To ta l: 353, 300 pe op le Re gi on al Th re sh ol d: 6. 6% Co unty Th re sh ol d: 5. 3% to 7. 9% Source: Environmental Justice at DVRPC, Fiscal Year 2009. Table 4-2. Definitions and criteria for identifying âdegrees of disadvantageâ populations.
4-22 Practical Approaches for Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations in Transportation Decisionmaking regional average for each individual population group previously discussed. Therefore, any cen- sus tract can contain zero to eight categoriesâthat is, degrees of disadvantageâthat have been recognized as regionally sensitive. Of the regionâs 1,378 census tracts, 76 percent have at least one DOD, which is not unexpected given the multiple demographic categories under study. More importantly, over a quarter of the census tracts contained five to eight DOD. DVRPC recognizes that those tracts exhibiting greater frequencies of the DOD populations will warrant extra consideration when projects or programs are proposed or planned for these areas. The regionâs four core cities of Philadelphia, Chester, Camden, and Trenton contain 293, or 83 percent, of the 354 highly disadvantaged (five to eight DOD) census tracts in the nine-county region. Figure 4-4 illustrates an example of DVRPCâs DOD mapping. Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking The DOD approach has been applied to various project and work program activities as out- lined in DVRPCâs annual report update. These analytical methods have been applied to the LRTP, the TIP, the Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan (CHSTP), and corridor studies. Figure 4-4. DVRPC uses geographic information systems (GIS) mapping to display census tracts with the highest concentrations of DOD. The regionâs four core cities of Philadelphia, Chester, Camden, and Trenton contain 83 percent of the highly disadvantaged (five to eight DOD) census tracts in the nine-county region.
effective practices 4-23 DVRPCâs Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI) targets program funds to municipalities of the Delaware Valley region to support smart growth and redevelop- ment efforts that are consistent with municipal, county, state, and regional planning objectives. The program seeks to assist communities facing population or job loss and reverse disinvestment trends that are confronting some of regionâs core cities and first-generation suburbs. To identify these communities, census tracts that represent at least three DOD are eligible for a TCDI grant; and, in all cases, areas that are appropriate for future growth are targeted. Challenges The DOD method of analysis relies on regional averages for each population group, specifically looking at whether a census tract is above or below the regional threshold. However, DVRPC has seen how strict application of this criteriaâa simple binary choice of âyesâ or ânoââcan be questioned. As a large MPO, DVRPC brings to the table a diverse constituency of urban core and suburban members. Differing notions of what is âfairâ or âequitableâ can be revealed when priorities are being debated and finite resources are being allocated across several jurisdictions, spatially and modally. Recognizing that the majority of the highly disadvantaged tracts are con- centrated in just four communities, DRVPC has explored how DOD might be characterized differently if adjustments were made to account for Philadelphiaâs high share percentage (i.e., distorting effect on regional threshold) on several indicators. When Philadelphia is removed, the regional threshold is lowered by ten percentage points for non-Hispanic minority, eight percentage points for carless households, and five percentage points for households in poverty. By lowering the threshold levels, more census tracts, and therefore more communities outside of Philadelphia, would be recognized as containing sensitive populations. DVRPC has thus adopted an approach that allows for critical evaluation and flexibility in the application of the DOD criteria and methodology. Through committees like the Regional Citizens Committee and the Environmental Justice Work Group, the agency has created pro- cesses to closely scrutinize criteria and avoid pitfalls from uncritical application of the criteria. In its annual report, the agency argues for flexibility by providing an example of a census tract with 12 percent carless householdsâa level that would not be considered disadvantaged (i.e., the carless household threshold is 16 percent). In the example, DVRPC questions the prudence of overlooking an area that still has such a high percentage of carless households, noting that strict adherence to the method can mask critical differences. DVRPC stresses the importance of considering ânotable differencesâ from the threshold when forming strategies for public involve- ment. Outreach strategies should be tailored differently for a place (e.g., a census tract) where the LEP percentage of the population was 3 percent or 15 percent, if the regional areasâ LEP threshold were 2.4 percent. Thus, DVRPC has modified its mapping and criteria in recognition of these types of sensitivi- ties, to focus particularly upon census tracts that exhibit the highest concentrations of needsâ that is, those census tracts exhibiting percentages that are 1.5 or 2 times the threshold or greater. In recognition of the need for spatial equity, the agency has also opted for identifying particular census tracts that may be considered disadvantaged within a particular county, rather than the region as a whole. A further modification is made to ensure that the five census tracts in the region and two census tracts in each county with the highest total number and percentage of people (or households) are included for each population group. Benefits of the Approach The DOD approach helps the MPO develop a demographic profile that draws upon sev- eral socioeconomic indicators typically associated with traditionally underserved populations
4-24 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking in transportation. Combined with geographic information systems (GIS) mapping tools and thematic mapping, the DOD approach provides a useful framework for working transparently with interested members of the public, an environmental justice working group, and other decision- makers to identify potentially disadvantaged populations and discuss their transportation needs. The data and mapping that is compiledâfor example, LEP persons or those who are physically disabledâcan be shared with those responsible for developing or assessing the effectiveness of plan- ning and project-specific public involvement plans to ensure that outreach strategies are appropri- ately tailored to the unique conditions of study area communities. Thus, the agency has made determined efforts to combine its data and analytical tools with communications and public involvement strategies to inform and engage populations in Title VI and environmental justice related public outreach. DVRPC works with a regional citizens committee to provide citizen access to the regional planning and decision-making process. The agency has also established an environmental justice work group that has provided plan- ners, environmental justice advocates, and regional stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss regional environmental justice issues and for the agency to connect with environmental justice organizations across the region. Members of DVRPCâs environmental justice work group act as a resource for DVRPC staff in identifying environmental justice concerns as they relate to transportation and regional planning. Costs of the Approach In recent years, DVRPC has set aside about $120,000 annually in its Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) for dedicated work activities around the topic of environmental justice. Such activities include revisions, as needed, to the agencyâs Public Participation Plan, Title VI Compli- ance Plan and the Plannerâs Methodology. The latter product, the Plannerâs Methodology, provides a means of informing staff about Title VI and environmental justice mandates at the project or study level, as defined by the DVRPC UPWP. It offers background on Title VI and environmen- tal justice, provides protocols for DVRPC staff, and explains the DOD methodology. The Plan- nerâs Methodology also establishes a framework for developing individual public participation plans for specific projects and offers a âtoolkitâ of public participation strategies. The UPWP products are intended to ensure an ongoing assessment of the benefits and burdens of transpor- tation system improvements and the conduct of public involvement to maximize meaningful participation for all segments of the regionâs population. The topic of environmental justice is interwoven into many other planning and project assignments as well as in the conduct of the public involvement program. Thus, the MPO draws upon the framework and the insights gar- nered from its annual commitment to environmental justice and also draws upon the expertise of staff specifically assigned to environmental justice to carry out other elements of the UPWP. Contacts/Resources Contacts Megan Weir Transportation Planner Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission 190 North Independence Mall West The ACP Buildingâ8th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19106 (215) 238-2832 firstname.lastname@example.org Jane Meconi, AICP Public Involvement and Title VI Compliance Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission 190 North Independence Mall West The ACP Buildingâ8th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19106 (215) 238-2871 email@example.com
effective practices 4-25 Resources Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Unified Planning Work Program, Environmental Justice: http://www.dvrpc.org/asp/workprogram11/print.aspx?prject=11-23-040 Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Title VI and Environmental Justice website: http://www.dvrpc. org/GetInvolved/TitleVI/ Federal Highway Administration, Transportation and Environmental Justice: Case Studies, âMPO Environmental Justice Report,â Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/ ejustice/case/case7.htm Federal Highway Administration, Transportation and Environmental Justice: Effective Practices, âTargeting Com- munities of Concern in the Benefits and Burdens Analysis,â Metropolitan Transportation Commission: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/12000/12100/12173/booklet.pdf
4-26 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Identifying âAffected Populationsâ Using a Community Attribute Index: Atlanta, Georgia Background The Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Admin- istration have given clear notification to metropolitan planning organi- zations (MPOs) that planning certification reviews are to include assess- ment of their activities to ensure compliance with Title VI. The Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration issued a memorandum in 1999, Implementing Title VI Requirements in Met- ropolitan and Statewide Planning (U.S.DOT, 1999) that recommends several questions be raised during certification reviews about the ana- lytical processes used to assess the distribution of benefits and burdens of regional transportation plans and investments on minority and low- income populations. The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), as the federally designated MPO for 10 counties within the Atlanta Metro Area, has been charged with the responsibility of identifying, monitoring, and mitigating adverse human health and environmental impacts of regional transportation plans and investments on minority and low-income populations. Developing the Approach Identifying the size and location of low-income and minority popula- tion groups is an important first step toward assessing whether or not transportation sys- tem investments are equitably distributed to, disproportionately burden, or meet the needs of the target affected populations. To carry out this analysis, ARC and other MPOs generally follow frameworks set forth in technical assistance guidance publications disseminated by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration. Adhering to Executive Order 12898 and the U.S.DOT and FHWA Orders on Environmental Justice, minority populations are defined as persons belonging to any of the following groups: âBlacks,â âHispanics,â âAsians,â and âAmerican Indian and Alaskan Nativeâ populations. Low-income populations include persons whose household income is at or below the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) poverty guidelines. An important step in such analyses is to identify areasâfor example, specific traffic anal- ysis zones, census block groups or census tractsâwith higher concentrations of low-income or minority populations within the region of study. In practice, this often involves referenc- ing regional averages or median levels for poverty and minority indicators for the region. For example, environmental justice areas in the Atlanta region are defined as census block groups that meet or exceed any of the following regional race and poverty âthresholdâ levels: Black population average more than 30.4 percent, Hispanic population exceeding average of 7 per- cent, Asian-American population average more than 3.6 percent, or poverty level in excess of 9.1 percent (see Figure 4-5). ARC uses these thresholds to identify âaffectedâ populations, map and overlay the regionâs transportation network with environmental justice areas, develop technical tools and approaches to assess impacts, and formulate policy recommendations. However, it is not a settled question as to whether the race and poverty criteria currently being used to define environmental jus- tice communities is the most effective means for targeting the allocation of scarce resources Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Planning â¢ Policy and Programs Participants: â¢ Atlanta Regional Commission Tools and Techniques: â¢ Community Attribute Index â¢ Geographical Information Analysis â¢ Housing Element Reports Affected Populations: â¢ Low Income â¢ Asian, Hispanic, Black â¢ Limited English Proficiency â¢ Foreign Born â¢ Disabled â¢ Senior
Effective Practices 4-27 to populations who are truly in need. The existing criteria can be faulted for including groups with a higher standard of living or who live in communities better endowed with factors that strengthen communities. ARC retained an economics consulting team, headed by a local univer- sity professor, to explore this issue in some depth. As part of this effort, the merits of an alternate multidimensional approach, the community attribute index (CAI), were tested. Their research findings suggest that a multidimensional metric such as the CAI can be a useful supplement to the typical methods for benefits and burdens assessment that have been used by MPOs, applying race and poverty criteria. Modeled after the United Nationsâ Human Development Index, the CAI is a multidimen- sional index whose value ranges from 0 to 1. The index can be used to score the attributes of communities where values closer to 1 indicate communities with better overall characteris- tics. The CAI was constructed by assembling data at the census tract level on 165 variables. Then, using principal component analysis, these variables were eventually reduced to 13 variables grouped into five dimensions with two to four constituent variables per dimension (see Table 4-3). Figure 4-5. Map of âenvironmental justice communitiesâ based upon ARCâs threshold criteria. Di me ns io ns Va ri ab le In de x (% We ig ht ed Mi x) Ec onom ic O ppo rt un it y â¢ â¢ Co mp os it e Sc or es on IT BS ( 25% ) â¢ Wr it in g A sse ssm ent ( 25% ) Po ve rt y St at us â¢ Pe rc ent of Fe ma le -H ea ded Ho us ehol ds ( 50% ) â¢ Po ve rt y Ra te ( 50% ) Ed uc at io na l A tta in ment â¢ Pe rc ent of Pe op le wi th So me or No Co lle ge De gr ee ( 50% ) â¢ Pe rc ent of Pe op le wi th A sso ci at e De gr ee ( 50% ) Ho us in g an d Po pu la ti on Mi x â¢ To ta l Ho us ehol ds ( 25% ) â¢ To ta l Ho us in g Un it s (2 5% ) â¢ To ta l Po pu la ti on ( 25% ) â¢ To ta l Si ng le Fa m ily Ho us in g Un it s ( 25% ) Fa m ily St ab ilit y â¢ Pe rc ent of 45â 59 Ye ar s Ol d ( 50% ) â¢ Pe rc ent Ma rri ed Ho us ehol ds ( 50% ) Median Household Income (50%) Table 4-3. Elements of the community attribute index: dimensions and constituent variables of each dimension.
4-28 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Implementing the Approach All data for the CAI was collected and geocoded to the census tract level. Census 2000 data was supplemented by information collected at the zip code level and school attendance zone level. Data at the zip code level included information on the number of businesses, average adjusted revenue per establishment, the number of filed tax returns, and the number of people who received the earned income tax credit. The process of merging zip code and other data to census tract boundaries was handled in a variety of ways. A total of 165 variables were compiled at the census tract level. Principal components analysis was then used to reduce this large number of variables into 13 variables grouped into 5 components (i.e., dimensions): Economic Opportunity, Poverty Status, Educational Attainment, Housing and Population Mix, and Family Stability. The goal during this data reduction stage of the study is to create components (i.e., dimensions) that are framed by strongly associated variables. The variables ultimately selected must have a strong association and be representative of all of the data within the dimension. The researchers for the study offer an instructive example of how this is done using the âPoverty Statusâ dimension. They note that 14 variables were initially associated with this dimension including employ- ment to population ratio, percent female-headed households, percent of households receiving public assistance, average household size, poverty rate, percent of people without a high school diploma, and the unemployment rate among others. The strength of the correlation led to the selection of only two of these variablesâthe poverty rate and female-headed households. From other research, high levels of poverty in a community have been shown to be strongly associated with higher levels of the initial 14 variables that were associated with the dimension according to the studyâs researchers. The CAI is then derived following the major steps shown in Table 4-4 and summarized here: â¢ The first step requires using data for each of the selected strongly associated variables and generating a specific âvariable indexâ value for each census tract. To do this, the maximum and minimum values observed within the subject region for each variable must be identified. The variable index score derived for each census tract, using the formula shown in Table 4-4 (i.e., Step 1) is then expressed as a value between 0 and 1. In turn, actual values for each of the 13 variables comprising the CAI are compiled for each census tract. â¢ In the second step, dimension indexes were calculated for each census tract by combining the separate scores for each variable associated with each dimension and applying the weights as shown in Table 4-3. St ep s Ca lc ul at io n Me th od St ep 1 Co lle ct Da ta fo r Ea ch Va ri ab le an d Ge ne ra te a Va ri ab le In de x Va ri ab le In de x = (A ct ua l Va lu e â Mi ni mu m Va lu e) / (M ax im um Va lu e â Mi ni mum Value) Th er e ar e 13 va ri ab le s th at we re id enti fi ed in the pr in ci pl e co mp onents an al ys is âd iv id ed in to fi ve se pa ra te di mens io ns âw hi ch ar e de ri ve d us in g th is fo rm ul a (s ee Ta bl e 4- 3) . St ep 2 Ca lc ul at e the Di mens io n In de x Th e di mens io n in de x is ca lc ul at ed as a weighted average of all variable indices within the di mens io n: Fo r ex am pl e, the Ec onom ic O ppo rt un it y In de x = (0 .5 * Me di an Ho us ehol d In co me Index) + (0.25 * Composite Score on ITBS) + (0.25 * Wr it in g A sse ssm ent Sc or e) . St ep 3 Ca lc ul at e CA I fr om Di mens io n In di ce s Th e CA I is the si mp le av er ag e of fi ve dimension indices. That is, the CAI is equally co mp os ed of the fi ve se pa ra te di mens io ns (i.e ., 20 pe rc ent fo r ea ch di mens io n) . Table 4-4. Calculating the CAI.
Effective Practices 4-29 â¢ In the third step, the CAI score for each census tract is derived by taking the simple average of the five dimension indices. The CAI score for each census tract was then rank ordered from highest to lowest and mapped into the geographic information system (GIS) (see Figure 4-6). Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking The CAI method was inspired by the UN Human Development Index and its core belief that health, education, literacy, and other quality-of-life metrics should be considered to reach any âtrueâ measure of development rather than focusing solely on economic performance through gross domestic product (GDP) or income. The CAI method builds upon this core assumption by looking to an array of social, economic, community, and family factors to reveal where in the region residents have real âneedsâ that go wantingâessentially the pockets of underdevelop- ment. Knowledge of these differences within the region can be used to inform the targeting and allocation of scarce resources. The CAI method explores and identifies a subset of several socioeconomic variables that are found statistically to be associated with strong communities. In so doing, the method seeks to stimulate discussion about how best to achieve equity and environmental justice. It raises ques- tions as to the merits of applying race and poverty criteria solely as a basis for allocating federal funds or targeting resources. Multidimensional metrics are offered as a realistic alternative, cap- turing a more complete array of social and economic attributes that are central to measuring the quality of life and vitality of communities. The pursuit of this knowledge may be particularly practical for metropolitan regions that are evolving through growth and migration to majorityâ minority areas. The exploration of the CAI approach by Atlantaâs ARCâa region that has a majorityâminority populationâsuggests the importance of considering this path for further transportation equity research. The CAI tool offers an alternative method or basis for considering how best to direct resources more equitably. By applying the index to the Atlanta region, the report findings validated the conclusion that minority and poverty criteria alone have caused ARC to monitor many areas for Figure 4-6. CAI scores were divided into quartiles for GIS mapping at the census tract and super district geographic regions to reveal spatial patterns and areas of greater need. Environmental justice communities were compared with the CAI scores.
4-30 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking environmental justice that are actually among the more endowed in terms of factors that are believed to strengthen communities. Some of the most important findings are as follows: 1. There are 448 census tracts in the ARC region; 23 of the regionâs 50 highest ranking census tracts (by CAI score) are designated as environmental justice areas. 2. Fifty of the regionâs 112 highest ranking census tracts (by CAI score) are designated as envi- ronmental justice areas. 3. The primary factor that causes census tracts with significant attributes to be classified as envi- ronmental justice areas is the threshold requirement that environmental justice areas consist of census tracts where the Asian population is 3.6% or greater. 4. If the threshold requirement for Asians is eliminated, only 17 of the top 112 census tracts, as ranked by their CAI scores, would be classified as environmental justice areas, in contrast to 50 environmental justice tracts when the Asian threshold is used. 5. If the threshold requirement for Asians is eliminated, only four of the 50 highest ranking cen- sus tracts would be designated as environmental justice areas, in contrast to 23 environmental justice tracts when the Asian threshold is used. Challenges The CAI is an important step that ARC has taken to evaluate the biases inherent in identify- ing âenvironmental justice communities,â which is at the heart of its evaluation of benefits and burdens. The CAI questions the continued merits of following a pre-defined race-based definitionâthat is, the minority definitions made explicit in the environmental justice Executive Order 12898âwhen there are other indicators available (e.g., poverty and educational attain- ment) that can be combined into a multidimensional approach to measure environmental justice. This multidimensional approach may better focus resource investments upon those communities that truly exhibit indicators of âneedâ to be addressed. The CAI approach can stimulate discussion about the socioeconomic factors that make and keep communities livable. The data sources, methods, and processes followed to develop a CAI can and should be the subject of questions by those interested in understanding how its findings were derived. It is important to recognize the values and choices implicit in the construction and application of any index. The development of indices such as the CAI should be accompanied by involvement processes that ensure that the tool is not a âblack-boxâ but permits rounds of discussion and questioning. Reflecting upon their research, the authors of the study acknowledge that the approach can be the subject of continuing refinements by incorporating additional transit, accessibility, mobil- ity, public health, and biometric criteria. Other MPOs, seeking to develop similar type indices, would likely find that different variables or dimensions should be included, or the variables or dimensions should be weighted differently. The âstrongâ variables coming out of the principal component analysis may also differ in other regions. The challenge for conducting a similar study in another region would be not to replicate the CAI method, but rather to build a study in concert with its own advisory committee or working group. Doing so would allow the region to have the discussion and find its own ways to utilize the research process and its findings to ensure that resources are equitably allocated to identify and address the needs of the traditionally underserved and socially disadvantaged groups. Benefits of the Approach The CAI is a non-race based index. Through the principal components analysis, it reduces 165 variables into more workable numbersâin this case, 13 variables that are organized into five comprehensive dimensions or measures of community attributes: Economic Opportunity, Pov-
effective practices 4-31 erty Status, Educational Attainment, Housing and Population Mix, and Family Status. The CAI approach will offer its greatest benefits when involvement processes are established to ensure that it is not undertaken as a solely technical exercise; the CAI approach can stimulate discussion about the socioeconomic factors that make and keep communities livable. The method, pro- cess, and findings can be a useful tool for more precise identification of communities exhibiting âneedsâ that may be redressed, in part, through targeted funding programs or the allocation of other resources. While the CAI may be more generally associated with regional-level transportation planning studies, its various component dimensions (i.e., Poverty Status Index, Economic Opportunity Index, etc.), once developed, can also be used for NEPA-related or project planning studies. They can be used to help further characterize local socioeconomic conditions for affected com- munities along a corridor and benchmark their conditions vis-Ã -vis broader regional patterns. Costs of the Approach The research activities used to identify âaffected communitiesâ or âenvironmental justice communitiesâ using the CAI approach outlined here include a significant data collection effort, geographic mapping, and intensive principal components analyses. These analytical steps are considerably more expensive to undertake and more time consuming than the methods gener- ally undertaken by most MPOs that are employing a simpler race- and poverty-based threshold approach. However, once the principal components are established, it would be possible to rely upon the principal dimensions and the selected variables to repeat or update the analysis at a somewhat lower cost. The cost of developing an initial CAI-related study will include staff time, statistical analysis, software, and desktop computers. Assuming high levels of proficiency for the GIS mapping, statistical analysis, and database management activities, excluding time for organizing extensive public involvement processes, it is reasonable to presume approximately 450 to 500 person- hoursâsplit between junior and senior staffersâfor comprehensively undertaking the analytics to develop the CAI and prepare a report of the methods and findings. Contacts/Resources Contacts Dr. Catherine Ross Vice President/Director of Transportation Research EuQuant, Inc. 100 Galleria Parkway, SE, Suite 250 Atlanta, GA 30339-5959 (678) 424-5615 Dr. Thomas D. Boston CEO and Director of Research & Innovation EuQuant, Inc. 100 Galleria Parkway, SE, Suite 250 Atlanta, GA 30339-5959 (678) 424-5615 Resources 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
4-32 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Building Trust through Transparency: Memorial Boulevard, Kingsport, Tennessee Background SR 126 (Memorial Boulevard) is one of the primary connectors between the City of Kingsport and I-81 in Sullivan County. Like many roadways in rural northeastern Tennessee, its alignment evolved from a frontier trail. Although periodically widened and improved to accommodate modern vehicles and suburban growth, the roadway still retains many hills, curves, and panoramas that make it an exciting and beautiful ride. Driving the road requires a focused awareness of roadway conditions and other drivers to safely navigate it. As traffic on SR 126 increased with population growth, so did the number of accidents and fatalities until this 8-mile stretch of road- way became one of the most dangerous segments of the Tennessee system. It was one of these fatalities that galvanized advocacy groups, local citizens, and city, county, and state officials to lobby the Ten- nessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to address the situa- tion. In response, TDOT authorized the preparation of an advanced planning report (APR), which led to the SR 126 improvement projectâthe stateâs first context sensitive solutions (CSS) project initiated in the planning stage. Developing the Approach While the APR was being completed, the City of Kingsport and Sullivan County were jointly undertaking their own transportation and land use study, which proved to be highly conten- tious and divisiveâa âbloodbathâ according to some locals who were involved. The study was accepted by the city and county, but its recommendations were not implemented. Although TDOT had played no part in the study, they were viewed by many locals as an extension of the same government that had undertaken it. Recognizing the perils of âguilt by association,â TDOT was motivated to take a different approach. They designed a public involvement plan for the SR 126 improvements that embodied the CSS principles of transparency, openness, inclusiveness, and responsiveness. The project began with the selection of a community resource team (the Team) by the mayors of the City of Kingsport and Sullivan County. The Team included 17 community members, TDOTâs project manager and assistant project manager, and two consultant repre- sentatives. TDOT defined the Team mission to create a variety of alternatives based on input from the public that could be evaluated by the general public, with one alternative being car- ried into the environmental document and evaluated along with other alternatives that would be identified. The Teamâs first assignment was to attend a two-day team-building exercise facilitated by an outside consultant. This activity was considered important because some of the Team members did not know each other, and others knew but did not trust each other. In the concluding exer- cise, Team members were asked to define a study area based upon their local understanding of the community and its geographic constraints. The defined study area included approximately 4,200 households. Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Planning Participants: â¢ Tennessee Department of Transportation â¢ City of Kingsport â¢ Sullivan County â¢ Community Resource Team Tools and Techniques: â¢ Collaborative Teaming â¢ Context Sensitive Solutions Training Affected Populations: â¢ Low Income â¢ Low Literacy
effective practices 4-33 Implementing the Approach Since CSS was a relatively new concept to TDOT and members of the Team, instructors from the Kentucky Transportation Center were retained to conduct a one-day training exercise with the Team. This event provided the Team with a broad understanding of CSS, exposure to a variety of case study examples, and a vocabulary to enhance communication and understanding. Following the training, TDOT staff presented information about the existing conditions on SR 126 that covered several topics including traffic growth trends (a major area of contention in the previous transportation and land use study), accident locations, and the design speeds for vertical and horizontal curves and how they compared with posted speed limits at those locations. In addition, TDOT environmental staff reported on cultural resource and ecological surveys that were being conducted. The Team, in turn, offered their local insight into probable accident causes and other issues of concern. Team members were responsible for discussing this information with the general public and were given copies of all information presented at this meeting. In addition, it was decided that there would be monthly Team meetings in Kingsport or by teleconference, which the public was invited to attend. Meetings would be recorded in real-time and presented on a display screen visible to all in the room. Minutes from all meetings would be posted to the project website. The Team also committed to publishing a project newsletter, which on several occasions would be distributed to the study area households, placed at public facilities, and distributed to businesses that accepted food stamps. A mailing list for the newsletter was compiled from county tax assessor information and supplemented with information obtained from the city and county water authorities for multi-family dwellings. The first newsletter discussed the kickoff meeting, what had occurred since the kickoff meeting, the members of the Team, the media kickoff, the identification of a toll-free phone number, an email address, and a website, the topics that would be covered by the three upcoming public involvement meetings, and what would happen to the alternative that the public would create. As part of the first newsletter, a stamped, self-addressed postcard was attached requesting input on the best location, time, and day of the week for a meeting and to identify areas of concern along SR 126. It became apparent, from the 17 percent of all postcards that were returned, that potential participants varied in their availability and preferences for a meeting. Therefore, one meeting was scheduled at a local church for a Tuesday evening event (7:00â9:00 pm) in Sullivan County while the other event was scheduled for a Wednesday near mid-day (11:00 amâ1:00 pm) at the Civic Auditorium in downtown Kingsport. A bright green postcard was also sent to the 4,200 study area households identifying these times, days, and locations for the first series of meetings. Information gathered from the postcards about areas of key concern were used by the Team to better understand key community issues prior to the meeting. The Team resolved to address some of the publicâs primary concerns before the first series of meetings to demonstrate that they were listening and responsive. This included cutting back brush at several intersections in order to provide better sight distance, stationing highway patrol personnel along the roadway to ticket speeders, and getting TDOT to expedite the permits required for placing a signal at a problem intersection. Thus, the Team was able to credibly start each meeting with âwe heard what you had to say and we have already done the following. . . .â The approach was intended to redress the dismay felt by some members of the public who felt ignored during past planning studies and who were hesitant to devote time and energy to the process again without tangible evidence of a commitment by TDOT. The postcard responses also told the Team that officials needed to attend the meeting to address some of the publicâs specific concerns. The Team felt the first series of meetings would probably be well attended and that some of those attending would probably want to express some residual anger about the transportation
4-34 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking and land use study. Letting the public express this anger was necessary if the public was to move forward and focus on the SR 126 project. To make it easy for the public to identify Team mem- bers, the mayors of Kingsport and Sullivan County provided each Team member with a plain bright green T-shirt and asked them to wear it at all project functions so they could be seen from a distance in a crowded room. More than 450 people attended the first series of public meetings, with approximately one-third of them attending the mid-day meeting and two-thirds of them attending the evening meeting. At each meeting, the same agenda was followed. The mayors met members of the public at the door and welcomed them to the meeting. This gesture was done to set the tone of the meeting. Resi- dents were then directed to sign in and given a comment sheet and a packet of information that included a description of CSS, a project map, and a questionnaire. In addition, they were given a sticky dot, directed to a large map of the study area, and asked to place their dot where they lived. This exercise was done in order to see if attendance had been uniform and to determine if there were any attendees from outside the study area (see Figure 4-7). Team members were stationed at each display to explain what was being shown, why it was important, and answer any questions. Residents were directed to illustrations that showed the exist- ing and forecasted traffic volumes by roadway segment. Aerial maps showed accident locations by type and number. Attendees were asked to write their concerns or information on sticky notes and attach them to these maps or write directly on the aerials. A total of 226 comments were received at the meetings. In addition to using comment sheets, sticky notes, and writing directly on the maps, members of the public were offered the opportunity to talk with a court reporter or address the audi- ence during the open microphone question and answer period that TDOT required. After members of the public had visited the displays, they were asked to take a seat and com- plete the questionnaire included in their information packet. A variety of preference questions were asked in order to gather information on community characteristics and values. A total of 254 questionnaires were completed and returned. After the questionnaires were completed, TDOT made a formal presentation about the project, summarized and displayed the responses obtained from the postcard survey, described what TDOT had done to address these concerns, and opened the floor to questions. All questions and the responses to those questions were Figure 4-7. Attendees placed dots on a large map of the study area to indicate where they live so that attendance could be assessed for geographic coverage.
effective practices 4-35 recorded and transcribed. A thank you postcard was sent to all who attended. An examination of those attending the two meetings showed that those at the mid-day meeting were retirees, second shift workers, downtown business employees, and stay-at-home moms, while those at the evening meeting were young and middle-aged adults, first shift workers, and some retirees. Following the first series of meeting, the Team held a 1.5 day charrette, reviewed the publicâs concerns, and broke into four smaller groups, each responsible for creating a concept alternative based on these concerns. Each group presented its concept in front of the other Team members and the concepts were given to TDOT and its consultant to further refine. Members of the public were invited to the charrette and provided with a sitting area where they could observe, although they were not invited to participate directly. Two of the concepts were so similar that they were merged into one. A second newsletter, created and reviewed by the Team, summarized the first series of meetings and the charrette, explained what would be presented at the next series of meetings, and announced the dates for the next series of meetings. A total of 234 residents attended the second series of meetings. The main focus of these meet- ings was to provide the public with the revised version of the Teamâs concept alternatives and ask for feedback. The three concepts were divided into five numbered segments that generally extended between major intersections. They were displayed along with the no build option one concept above the other. The public was asked to use sticky notes and post comments. In addition, each attendee was given a sticky triangle and five sticky dots numbered one through five. They were asked to place the triangle at a location they would like âbefore and afterâ renderings done for the three concepts and no build alternatives. They were also asked to take sticky dot number one and place it on their preferred concept in segment one, then proceed to segments two, three, four, and five. By the end of the evening, it was clear that a âcombinationâ concept composed of segments from each of the three concepts was the preferred concept (see Figures 4-8 and 4-9). Following the meeting, an advocacy group began a letter-writing campaign to local and state officials contesting the results of the âdot exercise.â They suggested that the public had not Figures 4-8 and 4-9. Using sticky notes and sticky dots, attendees indicated which locations they wanted to see rendered and what concepts they preferred for each section of the alignment.
4-36 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking understood the instructions and did not know what they were being asked to do. A 12-member focus group facilitated by a neutral party was held to assess the merits of the allegation. Focus group attendees were randomly chosen from a list of all residents that had attended the first and second meetings. After the focus groups were held, it was obvious that the public had under- stood the instructions and the exercise. The focus group was videoed and a copy of the transcript was uploaded to the projectâs website. One of the recommendations that came out of the focus group was to provide âlarge printâ copies of the newsletter at the meetings. Using more detailed topographic information, TDOT and its consultant refined both the âcom- binationâ concept and the original three concept alternatives. These refinements and the âbefore and afterâ photographic renderings of four different locations were presented to the Team at a one-day workshop. As with the charrette, the public was invited to be present during the work- shop. During the workshop, a bus was provided to take the Team into the project area to examine similarities and differences between concepts. A third newsletter was distributed to the study area households describing recent activities and notifying them about the date and location of an upcoming third series of meetings. A total of 254 residents attended the third series of meetings. Each attendee was given a packet that included an agenda, an information handout, a copy of the focus group transcript, and a concept preference survey sheet. In addition, âlarge printâ copies of the newsletter were pro- vided. Detailed information was presented about the âcombinationâ concept and the public was asked to complete the concept preference survey. The results of the concept preference survey were the same as the results of the dots survey at the second meeting. Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking A Team recommendation meeting was held to discuss the results of the preference surveys and recommend a preferred concept. A vote was taken of the Team membersâ choice for each segment and several received unanimous support. Where this did not occur, minority reports from those opposing the majorityâs choice were presented. The âcombinationâ concept was submitted to TDOT and accepted as one of the alternatives that would be taken under consider- ation in the environmental document. A fourth newsletter, created and reviewed by the Team, summarized the third series of meetings, the final Team meeting, and the preferred concept that was submitted to TDOT. TDOT has funded the project and the environmental document was nearing completion in the summer of 2010. Challenges The successful completion of this pilot project has shown TDOT the importance of integrating the CSS process at the planning stage and is expected to serve as a model for future projects. The major challenge ahead will be to maintain the same level of transparency, public involvement, and responsiveness throughout the remaining phases of this project and for other projects that follow. Benefits of the Approach In the short term, TDOTâs thorough and transparent approach to engaging the public helped improve its reputation as a government agency and reduced the potential for litigation. Further- more, TDOT built relationships with the community, educated the public about transportation issues, improved the technical solution, and increased safety. The projectâs success may have a longer-term impact on how TDOT undertakes future projects and engages the public. By initiating CSS in the planning phase, TDOT minimized existing tensions with the public. Engaging in a publicly-driven alternative selection process, TDOT avoided having to defend its
effective practices 4-37 own alternatives or anyone elseâs alternatives. Instead, TDOT facilitated a transparent process that invited the public to express its comments, concerns, and values across a variety of alterna- tives and segments of the corridor. The public involvement process was designed to provide the public with formal and informal ways to communicate with the Team. Using sticky notes, a toll-free phone number, comment sheets, handwritten notes directly on displays, as well as a court recorder, ensured that the publicâs voices would be heard while preserving anonymity. The toll-free number and court recorder also effectively overcame any low-literacy issues, as did the use of numbered sticky dots and sticky tri- angles. By introducing CSS in the planning phase, many of the issues normally encountered during the preparation of the environmental document were identified and addressed early in the process. Costs of the Approach The approach required monthly scheduled communication with the Team and the publicâ in-person in Kingsport or by teleconference. Travel costs were higher because of the desire to attend in person as many monthly meetings as possible. These trips were by car and required overnight accommodations. The costs of preparing the newsletters would have been an integral part of any public involvement process, however, they were mailed first-class rather than bulk rate to ensure prompt delivery and verification of delivery. The before-and-after photographic renderings cost approximately $6,000 or $375 for each of the 16 renderings (four renderings for each of the four locations). The cost of sticky notes and sticky dots was negligible. â¢ The two-day team building exercise cost $2,500 for the meeting room, catering, hotel rooms for TDOT, and the travel and hotel expenses for the facilitator. The facilitated training for 20 people cost $9,700. â¢ The one-day CSS training session for 44 people cost $2,500 for the meeting room and cater- ing plus $4,000 for three Kentucky Transportation Center trainers, including their expenses. â¢ The focus group cost $400 for the facilitator plus $350 for catering for 12 focus group mem- bers, two TDOT employees, and the facilitator. These were additional costs that would not have been a part of normal projects but were essential to the projectâs success. Contacts/Resources Contacts Elizabeth A. Smith Conceptual and NEPA Planning Office Project Planning Division Tennessee Department of Transportation 505 Deaderick Street, Suite 900 James K. Polk Building Nashville, TN 37234-0344 (615) 532-3200 ElizabethA.Smith@state.tn.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 Becky White Assistant Vice President Sain Associates 244 West Valley Avenue, Suite 200 Birmingham, AL 35209 (205) 940-6420 email@example.com Resources Tennessee Department of Transportation, âSR-126 (Memorial Boulevard),â http://www.tennessee.gov/tdot/sr126
4-38 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Using Games to Solicit Priorities in Regional and Statewide Planning: Barren River and Bluegrass Area Development Districts, Kentucky Background In 1998 the Charlotte County/Punta Gorda, Florida, Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) staff set out to: â¢ Increase the number and diversity of participants in the regional planning process, â¢ Make the process more interesting and enjoyable for both their staff and the public, â¢ Transfer complicated information more easily between their staff and the public, and â¢ Identify specific needs in the context of cost and available revenue for their 1998 TIP. The MPO found that the standard way of doing things wasnât working, wasnât any fun, and, as a result no one showed up for its meetings. The MPO created a game, âStrings and Ribbons,â which invited players to spend a limited amount of funds to buy roads of various types and sizes, bridges, bus transit services, sidewalks, trails, bus shelters, signals, buses and drivers, landscaping, and other trans- portation projects. The game was low tech and low cost, but lots of fun, and people wanted to play. The MPO discovered many benefits from playing the game, including increasing the number and diversity of participants, making events more fun for both the public and the MPO staff, and providing a mechanism to transfer complicated information between the public and MPO staff. The effec- tiveness of Strings and Ribbons caught the attention of other regions where it has been applied to long-range transportation plans (LRTPs), short-term transportation plans, Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs), and project specific plans. For example, the Chicago nonprofit advocacy group, the Center for Neighborhood Technol- ogy (CNT), created a trio of Strings and Ribbons offshoots called âTransopoly,â âNeighbor- hood Transopoly,â and âeTransopolyâ in 2001. Transopoly is played with ribbons and dots to explore transportation infrastructure needs as part of the LRTP process. The game documents the publicâs suggested inputs to the LRTP which then are sent to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). In past years, information has been collected at small group meetings held throughout the area. Small group reports are then drafted and returned to the participating players to confirm that their vision, values, problems, and solutions have been correctly stated. Following public approval, an area plan is prepared. After all of the area plans are completed, one plan is created for the region. The game has been played with residents who could not read, could not speak English, were deaf or hearing impaired, or were visually impaired. In 2004, the Volusia County (FL) MPO used a variation of Strings and Ribbons to promote public involvement in their 2025 LRTP. They played games at 34 different locations, engaged 670 people, and identified approximately 2,000 projects for consideration. From the exercise they were able to create maps displaying the projects that were prioritized at each of their ses- sions and to develop an overall ranking based on how frequently a project was listed at each of the 34 meetings. âBlocks and Ribbons,â the Miami-Dade County MPOâs version of the game, Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Planning Participants: â¢ Barren River Area Development District â¢ Bluegrass Area Development District â¢ Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Tools & Techniques: â¢ Games Affected Populations: â¢ Low Literacy â¢ Limited English Proficiency â¢ Disabled â¢ Foreign Born â¢ Seniors
effective practices 4-39 increased public participation in the regional planning process from only 24 people several years before to almost 500 people in 2008. Developing the Approach In 2005, Kentuckyâs 10-county Barren River Area Development District (ADD) and 17-county Bluegrass ADD tailored Strings and Ribbons to help them prioritize their unscheduled trans- portation needs projects. The Barren River ADD had identified a total of 81 unscheduled needs projects valued at $500 million, but the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) had only a $166 million budget available for such projects. Similarly, the Bluegrass ADD had identified 330 unscheduled needs projects valued at $4.8 billionâan amount significantly greater than the $1.6 billion budget KYTC could provide. While most of the participants were neither minority nor low-income populations, they did represent agencies and organizations that included envi- ronmental justice populations. Implementing the Approach Two separate events were planned for the Barren River and Bluegrass ADDs. For the Bluegrass event over 80 representatives met in Lexington and played the game for almost 3 hours. For the Barren River event over 30 representatives gathered in Bowling Green to play the game for almost 2 hours. For both events, individuals from various city and county councils, commis- sions, departments and agencies, as well as state agencies were invited. Before the game can be played, spreadsheets of the unscheduled project needs must be pre- pared. In Kentucky, each project was given a unique number; identified by name, county, cost, length, and KYTC ID; and was briefly described. A major challenge is figuring out how much each of the projects will cost. This may require looking at past projects to see, for example, what every linear foot of road costs. Because construction costs vary significantly by location, using standard costs may not be appropriate for all cases, but can be used for some items such as traf- fic lights. The spreadsheet was sent to invited attendees prior to playing the game so that they could become familiar with the projects and begin to contemplate their priorities. The projects were also mapped to show their relationship to existing major roadways and already-programmed improvements. Each table was provided with large-format maps, play money called âfunny munnyâ in the amount totaling available funding, and a marker for highlighting projects as they were purchased (see Figure 4-10). Because the game was being played in horse country, the funny munny had a horseâs head in the center of it. The currency denominations and the amount printed of each denomination were determined by the price of the least and the most expensive projects, the most frequent value of the projects, and the number of players that were expected to play at each table. Tables were set-up to have 6 to 9 players as well as a non-playing KYTC staff person who acted as banker. The bankerâs role was to divide the money among the tableâs players and receive pay- ment for the projects from the players during the course of the game. As people arrived at the meetings, they were able to choose their table. When a table filled up the banker would join the table and distribute the money equally among the players. Starting to the right of the banker, each player identified a project that they would like to purchase from the banker. As projects were purchased they were scratched off the spreadsheet and highlighted on the map. If a project cost more than a single player had, several players could pool their resources to buy it. This pro- cess continued around the table until all the funds had been returned to the banker who then declared the game over.
4-40 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking The bankers then identified the projects that were purchased at their table. The projects and their associated costs were listed on large chart paper at the front of the room. Beginning with the project that had been most frequently purchased, the amount of the purchased projects was subtracted from the total funds available until the money was spent. Those projects then became the ADDâs first tier priority projects. Playing Bluegrass Monopoly The Bluegrass ADD sent a list of 330 unscheduled needs projects valued at $4.8 billion to participants in advance of playing the game in order for the partici pants to get more familiar with the projects. Each project was described in terms of its cost, location, length, and so forth. Participants were instructed that their assignment was to create a ranked list of projects without exceeding the $1.6 billion that KYTC had available to spend. Participants were encouraged to sit in any seat and at any table when they convened to play the game in Lexington. Instructions for how the âStrings and Ribbonsâ game was played were given. 1. Each table of 6 to 9 participants had a non-playing banker who dispersed the $1.6 billion equally among the participants, recorded the projects that each participant or group of participants bought, and took that amount of money from the participants when they bought a project. The game ended when all money was spent by the participants. 2. The bankers asked the participant to their right or left to start the game by choosing a project to buy. 3. The participant identified a project and then paid the banker for the projectâs costs. Figure 4-10. Large-format maps, âfunny munnyâ totaling available funding, and a marker for high- lighting projects were set up at each player table.
effective practices 4-41 Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking By bringing all of the representatives together at one place and at one time, participants completed the process faster, were able to select their âpetâ projects, contributed to multi- county connector projects they never would have known were important to others in the region, identified the unscheduled needs projects that would be funded that same day, and had fun. As a result of the Barren River session, one of the county judges in attendance took the game back to his/her county and has used it successfully for local project prioritization. The Bluegrass ADD was so pleased with the response that they created a DVD entitled âBluegrass Monopolyâ that described how to play the game and sent copies to the stateâs 13 other ADDs, MPOs, coun- ties, and cities encouraging them to use the game at all levels of government. This had the effect of spreading the game throughout Kentucky, to a broader audience. 4. Highlighting the project, the banker then asked the next person to identify a project they wanted to buy. As the game continued, several participants chose to pool their money to buy a project that individually they could not afford. This was allowed. 5. The banker at each table provided the list of projects bought at each table to a moderator. 6. After receiving lists of projects from each table, the moderator compiled a master list of each project bought and tallied the number of times the project was bought. The projects were then sorted and ranked based upon the number of times purchased. 7. Arranged in this rank order, the cost of the project ranked highest in terms of frequency was subtracted from the $1.6 billion. Then, the cost of the next most frequently bought project was subtracted from the amount remaining. This process continued until all the money was expended. The projects that were purchased following this process were recommended for advancement to KYTC. Equipment needed to play the game: â¢ Participants were encouraged to bring their list of projects. â¢ Each table had a large map prepared by KYTC showing major roadways in the region. Each project was shown on the map as a bold line that corresponded with the project list, making it easy for participants to see where all the projects were located. Projects that were planned, but financed from other funding sources, were shown as a bold line of another color. â¢ Each banker wielded a magic marker to highlight projects as they were bought. â¢ Money was created in appropriate denominations reflecting the cost of the projects and the amount of money given at the start of the game to each participant. Each denomination was printed on a different colored paper. Lexing- ton is situated in horse country so it seemed only natural to place a horseâs face on the currency.
4-42 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Challenges The challenge ahead is getting other ADDs and levels of government within those ADDs to engage as many residents from all populations as possible in the game. This can be done through notifying those groups and individuals already on their mailing lists, including local social ser- vice agencies, faith-based organizations, higher educational institutions, and high schools, and organizations that specifically address the needs of environmental justice populations. Benefits of the Approach For the Barren River and Bluegrass ADDs and other places the game has been played, Strings and Ribbons offered a number of advantages over traditional public involvement. From the very start of the game, the playing field is leveled by giving every participant the same amount of money and influence, a situation in which environmental justice populations seldom find themselves. Because the game relies on almost no written information, all residents can play, including the low literate, LEP, and visually impaired. The game can be played with any number of participants and takes approximately 1 to 2 hours, which means that it can be easily planned and implemented in varying settings and scales. During the game, residents must explain their choices to each other and create rankings under fiscally constrained conditions. By making members of the public work together to form con- sensus, the game empowers participants and eliminates the conflict between the public and the MPO. At the end of the game the transportation agency has gained crucial information: an understanding of the publicâs expressed needs and project-specific recommendations that can be listed and mapped. Members of the public have gained, in turn, a better understanding of why and how the LRTP is developed. Costs of the Approach KYTC staff mailed paper spreadsheets listing information about each of the unscheduled needs projects ($80), plotted maps that showed the multi-county area and identified both the unsched- uled projects and the projects that were being paid for under other funding sources ($100), and purchased ball point pens, magic markers, and a calculator for each table ($100). Staff time was also spent creating the spreadsheets, plotting the maps, separating the currency into equal amounts for every participant at each table (0.5 hour), teaching the staff how to play the game so they could serve as the banker at each table (0.5 hour), and playing the game (3 hours). In the case of the Barren River and Bluegrass ADDs, a consultant was hired to implement the game for a total cost of about $2,000, which covered creating the currency, training the staff, and attending the game. Contacts/Resources Contacts Bruce Duncan Transportation Planner Bluegrass Area Development District 699 Perimeter Drive Lexington, KY 40517 (859) 269-7917 firstname.lastname@example.org Karl Welzenbach Executive Director Volusia County MPO 2570 West International Speedway Boulevard, Suite 120 Daytona Beach, FL 32114-8145 (386) 226-0422 email@example.com
effective practices 4-43 Elizabeth Rockwell Public Involvement Manager Miami-Dade County MPO 111 N.W. First Street, Suite 920 Miami, FL 33128 (305) 375-1881 firstname.lastname@example.org www.co.miami-dade.fl.us/mpo/ Anne Morris, Senior Project Manager Atkins 810 Dutch Square Boulevard, Suite 310 Columbia, SC 29210 (803) 772-4404 ext 224 email@example.com David Chandler Business Analyst for Transportation Center for Neighborhood Technology 2125 West North Avenue Chicago, IL 60647-5415 (773) 269-4023 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cnt.org Resources Welzenbach, K. (2006). âVolusia County MPOâs Public Involvement Efforts.â Presented at the Annual AMPO conference, www.ampo.org/assets/322_stringsribbonspresentatio.ppt Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, (2008), âWhat is the Dots & Dashes Game?â http://www.dots anddashes.org/game.htm Federal Highway Administration, (2006), How to Engage Low-Literacy and Limited-English-Proficiency Populations in Transportation Decisionmaking.
4-44 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Engaging a Wider Public through Community Conversations: Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho Background The Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS), the metropolitan planning organiza- tion (MPO) for a two-county region in Southwest Idaho, is responsible for preparing the regionâs long-range transpor- tation plan (LRTP), Communities in Motion. The organiza- tion started holding small, innovative meetings as part of the public comment process for its 2006 plan update and continued to use the approach for their most recent plan update completed and adopted by the COMPASS Board in September 2010. Through focus groups, COMPASS came to the realiza- tion that people dislike attending large public meetings. In response, the agency became more flexible in its approach to outreach, devising and exploring a range of alternative approaches to encourage community involvement. The âCommunity CafÃ©,â focus groups, and âMeeting-in-a-Bagâ techniques are examples of informal techniques that the agency has recently employed, which have proven effective in overcoming the barriers that large group events have presented in the past. Developing the Approach In order to discover why people did not participate, COMPASS held a focus group in 2006 involving people who had not participated in public meetings and were not engaged with neighborhood associations or other activist groups. Focus groups attendees indicated that they were not likely to participate in activities where they would be asked to speak in front of large groups of strangers because they felt that they were uninformed and were self-conscious about expressing their opinions. They also learned through the focus groups that the elderly do not want to attend evening meetings, persons who are not native English speakers may feel particularly uncomfortable talking to a panel of officials, and transportation issues are a significant barrier to attendance even when events are centrally located for those who are transit-dependent. The agency developed several new approaches to conducting public involvement for their next LRTP, the 2006 Communities in Motion plan, in response to the concerns expressed by the focus groups. âCommunity CafÃ©s,â focus groups, and âMeeting-in-a-Bagâ events each embrace the publicâs preference for informal, smaller scale meetings that are held at highly convenient times and locations. Implementing the Approach For Community CafÃ©s, stakeholders were invited to local coffee shops to meet with COMPASS staff and give their input on the Communities in Motion plan. These meetings were held in the eve- ning and attracted moderate attendance. COMPASS used venues that were accessible via public transportation, however, the regional bus system only runs from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM weekdaysâ Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Planning Participants: â¢ Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS) â¢ Community Organizations Tools and Techniques: â¢ Community CafÃ©s â¢ âMeeting-in-a-Bagâ â¢ Focus Groups Affected Populations: â¢ Low Income â¢ Homeless â¢ Minorities â¢ Refugees â¢ Seniors â¢ Youth
effective practices 4-45 or from 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM within Boiseâwith minimal weekend ser- vice, making attendance at Community CafÃ©s difficult for those without a car. COMPASS found that some of the best locations for holding the Community CafÃ©s were not in close proximity to underserved populations. Despite diffi- culty in choosing locations, COMPASS found that Community CafÃ©s could be much more effective than large public meetings. The advantage of the Com- munity CafÃ©s and other small-group formats was their intimate size and lack of formality. Residents, community leaders, and groups were also asked to host a âMeeting-in-a-Bagâ with their friends, peers, and/or colleagues to gather final comments on the draft plan (see Figure 4-11). The approach provided meeting materials to volunteer hosts who set the date, time, and location of their meeting, and then collected comments on behalf of the MPO during the event. Such meetings were held in homes, places of work, and community centers. The bags included maps, draft plans, comment forms, host instruc- tions, DVDs, markers, and everything needed to hold a meeting. COM- PASS also established a phone number for hosts to use during the meeting if they had questions or needed assistance. The phone number was to a cell phone shared by MPO staff who served as the hot-line responder. More than 200 bags of meeting materials were distributed to nearly 170 persons within the six-county MPO region for the 2006 update. COMPASS identified people to host the meetings during the Communi- ties in Motion plan process by advertising through online resources as well as press releases, community presentations, and booths at community events and open houses. There were few requirements to serve as a host for the initial set of meetings. The meetings did not involve much pre-meeting preparation, were informal in nature, and did not require prior familiarity with COMPASS or transportation planningâalthough the host was expected to exhibit a strong willingness to be part of the public involvement process. However, for the most recent round of meetings for the 2010 transportation plan update, COMPASS held three open house orientations so those who wanted to host a meeting could talk to staff and feel more confident in holding the meetings. âMeeting-in-a-Bagâ was designed to reach all members of the public, including traditionally underrepresented populations. This was accomplished by soliciting the support of key individu- als who maintain regular contact with these populations. For example, a church in Boise con- ducted such a meeting in 2006 in conjunction with a dinner served to low-income and homeless populations. Rather than creating and advertising a separate event that would have required additional travel for people to participate, the meeting was held in an area where people were already gathering. Those attending the 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 uncom- fortable raising during the group exchange. For the 2010 plan update, COMPASS also hosted a series of focus groups that targeted underserved populations or people that do not traditionally participate in the transportation planning process, including minorities, persons with disabilities, college students, and parents with young children (see Figures 4-12 and 4-13). The impetus for the focus groups was the recognition that even though the public comment efforts for the 2006 plan resulted in record- setting numbers in terms of participation, there were still many populations that were not reached and tend not to participate in public involvement activities. Figure 4-11. COMPASS-branded totes contained meeting materials that were distributed to volunteer meeting hosts.
4-46 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking For these focus group meetings, COMPASS partnered with other organizations that were already actively engaging these groups and went to the community to meet with them on their own turf. COMPASS partnered with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) to organize a focus group for older and retired people. The meeting with parents was initiated through a par- ents group at a church, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC Program) helped organize a meeting for low-income individuals. Rather than just invite the public to attend a large public meeting, COMPASS went to peo- ple in their own neighborhood at a time when they normally gathered. Adopting this flexible approach, COMPASS received a broad range of input from segments of the population that may Figures 4-12 and 4-13. Maps of the region were used in the focus group discussions (top). A focus group session was held with a group of teens and young adult refugees (bottom).
effective practices 4-47 not have been heard if only large meetings were held. For example, one of the groups COMPASS met with was a leadership club of teens and young adult refugees. Staff worked with their club organizers and held the focus group at one of their scheduled club meetings. Attendance at these events varied from three to four persons to as many as 20. Although attendance was not always significant, the MPO was confident that it heard from individuals in population groups that were unlikely to attend more traditional meetings. Influence of the Approach on Decisionmaking Five âCommunity CafÃ©sâ and 200 âMeeting-in-a-Bagâ bags were part of a public involvement plan that successfully gathered input from the community at large for the Communities in Motion project in 2006. These approaches allowed COMPASS to meet with people on their own time and in their preferred locations. The input they received was typically from people who did not have a prior agenda on particular transportation issues. COMPASS, by widening its circle and invit- ing input from various perspectives, was able to develop plans that better matched the needs and preferences of the community. Some of the ideas and concepts that emerged and were included in its LRTP ranged from requests for more pedestrian and bicycle improvements in the plan to specific road improvements. COMPASS continued to promote âMeeting-in-a-Bagâ events for its most recent update in 2010. The MPO also introduced the focus group approach as a means to specifically target underrepresented populations. Challenges These approaches can be staff-intensive. For the focus groups and âCommunity CafÃ©s,â there are two to three staff people for a group of 10 to 20 community members. Keeping the groups small and informal increases the comfort of partici- pants, but also limits the opportunity for different groups to hear other ideas and opinions. Another major concern is garnering interest in the planning process in the first place, particularly with traditionally under- served populations who often find it difficult or intimidating to attend government-organized meetings. COMPASS struggles with balancing peopleâs imme- diate needs and getting their input on longer-term visions. It is difficult to keep the discussion focused around something 25 years in the future when members of the public have unmet needs currently and are focused on what is going to happen to them tomorrow. Demonstrating the importance of planning for the future, and the value of participating in long-range planning, is a constant challenge. Benefits of the Approach The âCommunity CafÃ©,â âMeeting-in-a-Bag,â and focus group techniques make public meetings more accessible for people who are uncomfortable with large groups or feel intimi- dated by their perceived lack of knowledge. By employing these techniques, COMPASS brought members of the community into the conversation whose voices had previously not been heard as thoroughly or clearly. âThey are more interested in whether they are going to have bus service tomorrow, not what the ideal bus service is going to look like in 2025.â âCharles Trainor, Principal Planner, COMPASS âEvery person who participated liked the Meeting-in-a-Bag format. I had several com- ments that they felt free to talk in this setting and that they would not normally participate; being at work made it easy.â â2006 Meeting-in-a-Bag Host
4-48 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking In addition to creating a forum where traditionally underserved populations may feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts on and experiences of the transportation system, the method by which these various events were organized made them truly accessible. In southwestern Idaho, 70 percent of households have Internet, but that statistic would not hold for many of the under- served populations. The âCommunity CafÃ©,â âMeeting-in-a-Bag,â and focus group approaches take some of the emphasis of organizing and advertising an event away from technology and try to spread information through existing groups and communication channels. By advertising for the events at community fairs, along with online venues, those without Internet access were able to overcome the digital divide. Costs of the Approach The âCommunity CafÃ©,â âMeeting-in-a-Bag,â and focus group techniques have relatively low direct costs but require significant devotion of staff time. Using a small-scale and multi-format public involvement approach required COMPASS to coordinate numerous presentations and meetings among many small groups of people. For instance, for the 50 âMeeting-in-a-Bagâ meetings held in the spring of 2010 for the Communities in Motion plan update, the direct cost was $5,000 including bags, materials, and advertising. The MPO used radio and newspaper ads as the primary means of publicity in addition to emailing their contacts and use of social media. Indirect costs included staff time for gathering materials and assisting those holding the meet- ings. MPO staff noted that the process would be somewhat more costly but could be improved with the addition of informational DVDs or other interactive materials. Contacts/Resources Contacts Amy Luft Communication Coordinator COMPASS 800 S Industry Way, Ste 100 Meridian, Idaho 83642 (208) 855-2558 x231 email@example.com http://compassidaho.org/ Charles Trainor Principal Planner COMPASS 800 S Industry Way, Ste 100 Meridian, Idaho 83642 (208) 855-2558 x232 firstname.lastname@example.org http://compassidaho.org/ Resources Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho. (2010). News Release: COMPASS Looking for Hosts for âMeeting in a Bagâ Discussion Groups. http://www.compassidaho.org/documents/comm/newsreleases/2010/ COMPASS_Communities_in_Motion_Meeting_in_a_Bag_Hosts.pdf
effective practices 4-49 Playing Board Games to Educate Decisionmakers about Reservation Road Planning: Lummi Nation, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Northwest Region Background New roads on Indian reservations are needed for a variety of reasonsâto serve new businesses, link remote villages to county and state highway systems, provide access to cultural activities, and to replace unwieldy rutted and gravel-paved tracks, to name a few. Moreover, traffic accidents on reservation roads occur at roughly twice the national per capita rate of accidents on state highways and county roads. In 2003, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) began working together with the Lummi Nation to explore possible ways for conducting technical training assistance targeted to tribal communities and their leadership. The three key issues for training that they wanted to com- municate to tribal leaders as part of any capacity-building exercise were: 1. The legal environment in which transportation planning decisions are made, 2. The transportation planning process, and 3. How good planning can lead to good projects. They were determined to find an interesting way to connect to tribal representatives and lead- ers who were responsible for establishing transportation and land use policies and setting priori- ties. They were also wary of âtransportationeseââtraining and tools overly steeped in technical jargon that can hinder meaningful involvement in transportation decisionmaking. Developing the Approach While their objectives were clear, they were not sure how best to achieve them. Together, staff from the BIA and Lummi Nation went through a brainstorming process. They initially con- sidered role-playing exercises, but soon realized that nobody wanted to play the BIA in Indian Country. The idea of developing a board game was also put forward. It held much wider appeal. It met the primary capacity-building training objectives, it could be applied throughout the country, and it could be designed to be fun and entertaining. The board game format also pro- vided a means to demonstrate in a safe environment how dangerous and harmful bad planning can be to a community. The BIA Northwest Region modified the Lummi P.L. 93-638 self governance transportation planning agreement with $75,000 to develop a transportation planning board game. Together, the BIA and Lummi Nation began developing the game with a large blank piece of paper. They started sketching out what types of projects require roads and how to teach someone how to build a road. They requested sample boxes from a number of game producers and used the sample components to think about the different types of games that they could make. They conducted informational interviews with game developers and educators during this stage. They quickly found that it was the educators rather than the âfor-profitâ game developers who offered the most crucial insights for achieving their training goals. Working with educators from a local college, they explored how complex concepts could be explained through simple Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Planning Participants: â¢ Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) â¢ Federal Land Highways Program â¢ Lummi Nation â¢ Coordinated Technology Implementation Program (CTIP) Tools and Techniques: â¢ Games Affected Populations: â¢ Native Americans
4-50 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking language and tools. The educators helped them tailor their game to the diverse pool of potential players, some of whom may not have graduated high school or have extensive formal education. In order to explain high-level concepts, the game cards were written carefully with thorough explanations and all acronyms spelled-out. In choosing the information that they wanted the game to convey, they first looked at Indian reservation road regulations for necessary guidance. This provided the groundwork for the essential components of reservation road planning such as the need for public involvement, planning, and environmental approvals, federal bid rules, and the like. Citations for all rules and regulations referenced are included in the game so that players understand the concepts as binding and can look things up if they want to understand them in greater detail. BIA staff was also surveyed from around the U.S. to further understand the types of problems that were typically encountered before projects were permitted to proceed. Perhaps not surpris- ingly, they came up with far more issue topics than they had cards; it became essential that they narrow the focus to key teaching themes. In developing emotionally appealing content, they also elected to include random events that can happen for no particular reason but delay projects and put pressure on elected officials and representatives. After they had substantially completed the game, a period of testing was undertaken. The Lummi Nation Planning Commission was among the first organizations to test a pilot version. The initial feedback was that the text would be too small for the elders, and that the game was somewhat dull. Increasing the text size was easy, but making the game more fun was a bigger challenge. To their growing dismay, members of the commission were subjected to several dif- ferent test versions of the game before a Lummi Nation planning department intern came to the rescue. The internâs roommate was interning at Nintendo and brought it to the Nintendo offices to get some input. Nintendo staff came up with some keen critical observations fol- lowing about an hour with the game. The problem came down to having the right ratio of outcomes in the cards. The right balance would mean that the game could be played and won in an hour to keep players engaged and entertained by the prospect of winning. Implementing the Approach Before finalizing the Reservation Road Planner Game they continued testing by bringing it to several meetings and conferences to get additional feedback. At these large gatherings they would have 30 to 40 people play the game and then conduct a lengthy debriefing to ask each person who played what they learned, what they would take away, and what they liked and did not like about playing it. Through this process they were able to hone the game to ensure that it worked effectively as a teaching tool. They also discovered and fixed flaws in the game such as the need to include $1,000 play-bills in addition to $10,000 play-bills. A design firm was hired to prepare and design the graphics for the board. The game was developed in five designs reflecting different regions of Indian Country (see Figure 4-14). They considered creating a Navajo-language version for the Southwest, but found that English did not present a barrier when testing the prototype, and were concerned about only translating the game into one of the many languages spoken by tribes. When it came time to start making the game, they could not find a U.S. game manufacturer. The Reservation Road Planner Game would either have to be produced in China or custom made in the U.S. at over twice the price. Ultimately they decided that making the game in the U.S. was important, although they did end up using game pieces that were made in China. One thousand games were produced and mailed from Federal Land Highways Program to Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) offices. The 25â Ã 40â game boards are rolled into
Effective Practices 4-51 a tube and delivered with a set of cards, game pieces, and play money. This method of distribu- tion was chosen because the TTAP offices have existing relationships with both the Federal Land Highway Program and the local tribes, and could use their 58 nationwide centers as a bridge to getting the game into the hands of the right people. In its final form, the Reservation Road Plan- ner Game is designed to be played by four players with the objective of completing a project by navigating through five phases of development. The game takes about an hour, and everyone has an equal chance of winning. Players must apply the things that they are learning throughout the course of the game to win. Benefits of the Approach Tribal leaders and other representatives are able to connect to and learn from the game because it was carefully designed as an education tool. Those who have played the game can relate to the issues that are presented. Often someone in the group will say, âwe had a road issue just like this.â As players make difficult decisions and confront the consequences, they learn about laws and regulations as well as trade-offs. After playing the game tribal leaders have a greater understanding of transportation planning, and when it comes time to adopt trans- portation plans, they know why it is important and what they should be looking for when they review the plan. The Reservation Road Planner Game not only filled a need within tribal communities, but it created an entirely new concept about how information can be delivered (see Figure 4-15). In 2009, the game was recognized by the FHWA Planning Leadership Council (PLC) with an award for Transportation Planning Innovation. The FHWA has also begun an effort to create a similar game for metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) across the country about transportation planning and programming processes. Figure 4-14. The Reservation Road Planner Game board was developed in five designs reflecting different regions of Indian Country.
4-52 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Challenges It can be difficult to find a way to fit the game onto a council agenda and convince people to play. Because the game takes only about an hour, a good approach is to do it over lunch and pro- vide pizza and soda. New council and commission members who join after it is initially played should be given a chance to play the game. Scheduling the game on an annual basis can help ensure that all new members are exposed to reservation road planning issues. The gameâs proponents have found that it works best if there is a knowledgeable facilitator who can guide the play and reinforce the key points that the game is trying to teach. Some agen- cies play the game first with staff only so that they can serve as the facilitators to their planning commissions or councils. Many of the issues faced in the game will remain relevant for decades to come, but the regula- tions that govern planning will change. As governing laws are changed (such as replacement/ reauthorization of SAFETEA-LU), game cards will be replaced to accurately reflect relevant rules. Beyond ensuring that the game is played and the informa- tion within is accurate, it is also important for players to be aware that road planning is more than following the letter of the law. Although rules and regulations are elemental to road planning, getting community buy-in and working with com- munity members to identify priorities is of utmost importance. Becoming aware of and invested in the road planning process is an important first step, but continuous involvement is required to ensure that roads are meet- ing the needs of the community. Costs of the Approach The gameâs development took about 2 years from the initial brainstorming to shipping it to the TTAP offices. The timeline for making a game can be fairly lengthy because there are many technical issues in creating the right format and finding a way to reproduce the game. The cost for development over the 2 years was $60,000, and each of the 1,000 games was produced at Figure 4-15. The Reservation Road Planner Game was played at the 18th Annual Northwest Tribal Transportation Symposium. âLike any tool, if itâs not used what good is it?â âKirk Vinish, Lummi Nation Planning Department
effective practices 4-53 a cost of $56 or $56,000 total. Initial funding for development of a project approach came from the BIA. After the idea of the game began to take shape the Federal Lands Highway Coordinated Technology Implementation Program (CTIP) provided funding for development of a proto- type. After the approval of the prototype, additional funding was provided to cover production costs. Contacts/Resources Contacts Kirk Vinish Assistant Planning Director Lummi Nation Planning Department email@example.com (360) 303-4139 http://www.lummi-nsn.org/ Kyle Kitchel Indian Reservation Roads, Transportation Planner Tribal Coordinator Western Federal Lands Highway Division 610 E 5th Street Vancouver, WA 98661 Kyle.Kitchel@dot.gov (360) 619-7700 http://flh.fhwa.dot.gov/ Joe Bonga Supervisory Highway Engineer Bureau of Indian Affairs Northwest Region 911 NE 11th Avenue Portland, OR 97232 (503) 231-6728 http://www.bia.gov/ Resources The Reservation Road Planner Game official website where games can be ordered and a video about playing the game can be watched: http://www.roadplanner.org/
4-54 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Adjusting the Strategies and Pace of Outreach to Develop Understanding of Community Values: DineâBiiâTah Scenic Road, Navajo Nation, Arizona Background The DineâBiiâTah Road was adopted as a scenic byway in 2008 based upon its outstanding cultural and natural resources and scenic values. As a scenic byway, the DineâBiiâTah Road is recognized by Congress in the National Scenic Byways Program of the Federal Highway Administration. The DineâBiiâTah âAmong the Peopleâ Road is approximately 100 miles long and runs through the Navajo Nation from Lupton on Navajo Route 12 through Window Rock to Tsaile and along Navajo Route 64 to Canyon de Chelly. In 2005, funding was allocated by the Arizona DOT (ADOT)/Navajo Tourism Department to develop a Resource Protection Plan to identify cultural and other resources along the DineâBiiâTah Scenic Road and initiate strategies to ensure their conservation and protection (see Figure 4-16). Developing the Approach The Resource Protection Plan was coordinated by the Navajo Tourism Department in conjunction with a Scenic Byway Interpretive Plan and Mar- keting Plan. The Interpretive Plan evaluates the ultimate use of the resource sites once protected, how the sites will be managed, and how the bywayâs intrinsic qualities will be displayed at these sites. Features of the corridor that warrant protection and how a byway traveler will benefit from protection of the site are given consideration. The Marketing Plan describes how the byway will be promoted to the traveling public and benefit the communities through which the byway passes. Building a detailed inventory of the potential resources along the 100-mile corridor was a key research activity of the plan development process. Gathering this information from the various Navajo Nation communities along the entire length of the byway was an essential work scope Figure 4-16. DineâBiiâTah âAmong the Peopleâ Scenic Road runs through Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Window Rock Tribal Park, Navajo Nation Tribal Headquarters, Navajo Nation Museum, and the Ned A. Hatathli Museum, among many other points of interest. Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Planning Participants: â¢ Navajo Tourism Department â¢ Chapter Houses Tools and Techniques: â¢ Radio advertisements â¢ Interpreters â¢ Going to their events Affected Populations: â¢ Native American â¢ Zero-Car Households â¢ Limited English Proficiency â¢ Low Income â¢ Seniors â¢ Youth
effective practices 4-55 element for developing the plans. The Navajo Nation is organized into five major subdivisions called âAgencies,â which are broken down further into âChapters.â DineâBiiâTah Scenic Road runs through, or is in close proximity to, the Lupton, Oak Springs, St. Michaels, Fort Defiance, Red Lake, Wheatfields, Tfaile, Navajo, Chinle, and Crystal Chapters. The project team needed to overcome several barriers to conduct outreach within each of the Chapters along the corridor, and effectively engage area residents and business owners. The study area was a very large and low-density area, making it particularly challenging to develop processes that would earn the trust of potential participants to elicit needed information. The study area Navajo population also included concentrations of individuals with low-literacy and/or LEP, especially among elders, presenting additional barriers to communication. Facing these challenges, the project team set out to effectively bring people from across the corridor to the table, explain the project and issues in a way that would make sense, and gather local perspectives and input on how to protect the resources of the byway. Implementing the Approach The project team planned to conduct meetings throughout the corridor by going to the Chap- ter House of each of the six study area Chapters. The Chapter Houses act as both community and government centers and are the hub of much local activity. The team envisioned organizing their outreach as community meetings or open dialogues, as opposed to formal presentations as might be conducted for a traditional project workshop. Setting up the meetings with the Chapters was not particularly difficult because the project team was led by staff from the Navajo Tourism Department, who had contacts at each of the Chapters from coordination on other projects. In particular, the Navajo Tourism Department relied on their relationship with the Nationâs Regional Business Development Offices with which they had worked previously. To draw people to meetings, the project team aired public service announcements on Navajo and non-Navajo language radio stations. It was particularly important to make sure the message was sent in Navajo because people who attend such meetings are typically elders (age 55 or older) who speak Navajo. Because the Navajo language is primarily spoken, the radio was an especially appropriate outlet for advertising the meetings. Using the Navajo language, however, presented its own problems because it restricted how the project could be described. For example, there is no Navajo translation for concepts such as marketing and promotion. Radio advertisements were deemed to be the most effective manner to advertise the meetings, but the team also posted flyers at the Chapter Houses targeting those who might be most likely to come there for an event. The meetings were also advertised in newspapers; however, it was generally recognized that many more people relied upon the radio for their news rather than the newspapers. Written notices or newsletters about the event were not mailed to area residents because most people in the Navajo Nation do not have an individual mailing address and instead use a post office box. Depending on the people and where they live, they may not check their post office box regularly, making advertising events through the mail very difficult. Because Internet access is limited throughout the Nationâs territory, it was not viewed as a viable option for advertising events. Similarly, cell phone messaging was not considered because reception is extremely lim- ited in the more rural areas throughout the Nation.
4-56 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking The team had the greatest success in attracting attendees when they were able to piggyback on other events. Working with one Chapter they arranged to meet with the community over lunch at the conclusion of an earlier meeting. Offering free food at the meeting proved to be a very good incentive for participation. For another Chapter, the meeting was scheduled as part of an event for foster grandparents, which allowed the project team to meet with over 30 elders. Coordinating with other events was particularly successful because many residents, and especially elders, do not have access to a vehicle and rely upon van service to get to and from the Chapter House for scheduled meetings or meals. Outreach for the Chapter House events was conducted up to and during the meetings. In Chinle, near Canyon de Chelly, the project team approached people who were at the Chapter House or in the area, and they drove down the road to invite last-minute participants, including a Canyon tour guide and a local delegate from the Navajo Nation Council. Because par- ticipants did not need to have any prior expertise or knowledge of the project, any and all were welcome to join the meeting. At one meeting, one of the attendees was a school teacher who had intended to go to another meeting but ended up in the wrong room and stayed through the entire event because he found the byway to be so interesting. Once the project team had successfully scheduled meetings and attracted attendees, they were challenged to run the events in a way that would allow for meaningful participation. The pur- pose of the project was not clear to many attendees due to the fact that concepts such as market- ing could not be easily translated in Navajo. Many attendees thought that the purpose of the project was to improve the roadway itself, such as by fixing potholes. When the team explained the purpose of the Resource Protection Plan, they acknowledged the physical condition of the roadway, but also emphasized the Scenic Byway Programâs rules for eligibility and its funding purposes, which are heavily slanted toward marketing. The team hoped to address the concerns of participants who felt that fixing problems should be prioritized over promoting the byway by documenting issue areas and needed improvements for inclusion in the Plan. Bilingual Navajo interpreters were critical to running the meetings and explaining the pur- pose of the Plan because there is a large generation gap between the elders who only want to speak Navajo and the younger generations who do not know the language. Interpreters also helped to administer the guided questions and surveys used to identify resources by working one on one with participants to ensure that they understood the questions and then recorded their responses. Questions on the survey included, âwhat is there to see and do along DineâBiiâTah Road?â The survey was designed to gather information about all types of resources including: â¢ Community Resourcesâfacilities, institutions, schools, parks, businesses; â¢ Scenic Resourcesâvistas and overlooks, geological formations; â¢ Natural Resourcesâplants and animals for medicine, dyeing, and weaving; â¢ Economic Resourcesâindependence through certification (including Lupton); â¢ Recreational Resourcesâphysical, biological, and/or social; â¢ Cultural Resourcesâculture of a living society; â¢ Archeological Resourcesâancient evidence of past communities; and â¢ Historic Resourcesâprehistoric or historic. âIt was easy enough for most to stick around for lunch âit was one of the biggest turnouts.â âRoberta John, Navajo Tourism Department âYou might have to do outreach in the hour that you are meeting . . . we had to drive down the road and find people.â âTeresa Townsend, Project Team Leader
effective practices 4-57 Understanding how various members of the Navajo Nation valued and interpreted each of the resources along the byway was critically important (see Figure 4-17). Sacred places were particu- larly relevant constraints and considerations throughout the planning process. For example, if there is a geological formation that has a sacred belief or story associated with it, members of the Navajo community sought to preserve its sanctity. They found it inappropriate to place a pullout in its vicinity. Through several public meetings, the team learned about specific resources that needed to be preserved or protected in the Plan. In addition to sacred sites, this included areas that would be adversely impacted by increased vehicle traffic. For example, the team learned that vehicles should not be encouraged or allowed to stop at the side of the road in areas where the plants growing along the roadway are harvested by Navajo people for use in healing, ceremonies, or creating goods such as rugs. Additionally, it was necessary to design attractions in a way that would minimize potential conflicts with livestock, which crossed the byway at will, unrestricted by fencing, and could be particularly dangerous at night. The meetings were used not only to identify what needed to be protected, but also to identify potential benefits. For many attendees it was hard to understand how a scenic byway would ben- efit them. They were most concerned with their daily duties such as hauling water to feed their sheep. The project team framed the byway as a catalyst for many issues important to the Nation including tourism and economic development as well as historic preservation and celebration of Navajo culture. Additional outreach conducted by the project team included reaching out to schools to gather youth input, and one-on-one meetings with local artisans, institutions, and organizations. Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking Over about a yearâs time, the project team conducted extensive public outreach and an in-depth inventory of corridor resources, integrating these components to verify the community values and perceptions of those resources. Meetings at the Chapter Houses allowed the project team to obtain community input on existing natural, cultural, and community resource condi- tions; consult with local communities about the reported resource inventory and its potential effects upon cultural resources and lifestyles; and review resource management and communica- tions strategies with the communities and other resource planning entities. Figure 4-17. Window Rock Tribal Park and Veterans Memorial is a distinct symbol of the town and considered a geological and cultural resource.
4-58 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Recommendations under each of the resource areas, informed by outreach to the com- munity, were included in the final Resource Protection Plan prepared for the Navajo Tourism Department in 2009. The plan identifies the intrinsic qualities most treasured by the communi- ties along this corridor, as well as the most culturally and fiscally appropriate ways to protect and preserve them for future generations. As one of the first byways of the Navajo Nationâs Scenic Byway Program (established in 2006), the road represents a possible model on how the Nationâs byways are to be defined and established. It also represents an important effort not only to provide information about the Nation and its resources, but also on how best to preserve, maintain, and enhance them. Challenges The planning process drew attention to the byway, but physical improvements have not yet been made and no impacts to tourism have been felt. Currently the Nation is trying to secure grants for land use and economic studies to advance the goals identified in the Resource Protec- tion Plan. Since the Resource Protection Plan was completed, responsibility for the Navajo Nationâs Scenic Byway Program has moved to the Navajo Nation Department of Transportation (NDOT). This administrative change presents new opportunities to better coordinate promo- tion of the byway with roadway improvements and maintenance; however, challenges ahead nevertheless exist. As before, under the Tourism Departmentâs jurisdiction, the Nation does not own the byway itself or the land around it and therefore cannot control land uses. The land is held in trust by the BIA in the U.S. Department of the Interior. Most of the areas through which the DineâBiiâTah Scenic Road runs is trust land that requires that anything being erected or built on the land must receive approval from the landâs permit holders. Challenges for the DineâBiiâTah Scenic Road in the future will include making hardscape improvements given limited funding, building continued momentum for tourism along the byway, and creating connectivity between the DineâBiiâTah Scenic Road and other byways both inside and outside of the Nation. The Tourism Department is particularly concerned that tour- ism along the byway will decrease as a byproduct of Arizonaâs 2010 law requiring immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requiring police to question people if there is reason to suspect that they are in the United States illegally. Benefits of the Approach Discussing existing resources with the community before promoting the byway to the general public was critical to preserving the bywayâs value. For smaller tribes it might have been possible to meet with the entire tribe in one day or over a brief period, but as the largest Native American tribe, both in terms of population and geography, a much more extensive approach was needed to gather community input from members of the Navajo Nation. By being flexible in schedul- ing and working with the Chapter Houses, the project team was able to organize and execute many successful events. Through repeated contact with the communities, the project team was able to screen issues and devise potential strategies over time; by taking its time, the team was able to learn much more than was possible over a more compressed schedule. The project team was eventually able to build trust and gather information about resources from community mem- bers, dispelling along the way unfounded fears that had led some to initially refuse to give their name or participate.
effective practices 4-59 Although management of the byway by ADOT is thought to be a good strategy for its further development, it was beneficial to have the Tourism Department lead the Resource Conservation Plan and associated outreach. The Tourism Department was skilled at using its contacts with each of the Chapters and was able to build trust with the community and confidence that the project would benefit it by appropriately framing the project as, âwhat do you want to share about your community?â Costs of the Approach The entire Plan, including outreach to communities along the byway, cost approximately $80,000. Contacts/Resources Contacts Teresa Townsend Chief Executive Officer Planning Communities, LLC 8311 Six Forks Road Suite 209 Raleigh, NC 27615 (919) 848-5959 firstname.lastname@example.org Roberta John Navajo Tourism Department P.O. Box 663 Window Rock, AZ 86515 (928) 871-7375 email@example.com Resources National Scenic Byways Program, âDineâ Tah âAmong the Peopleâ Scenic Road Overview,â http://www.byways. org/explore/byways/50185/index.html Arizona Department of Transportation, (August 2008), Dineâ Tah âAmong the Peopleâ Scenic Road, Corridor Management Plan. http://www.azdot.gov/Highways/SWProjMgmt/enhancement_scenic/scenicroads/PDF/ cmp_dine_tah.pdf
4-60 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Using Popular Shopping Areas and Phone Trees to Engage Immigrant Communities about Pedestrian Safety: Buford Highway, DeKalb County, Georgia Background Buford Highway has long been one of Atlantaâs major radial highways. It extends from beyond the northern part of DeKalb County south through the City of Chamblee and into Fulton County and the heart of Atlanta. Over 30 years ago, Buford Highway was widened to seven lanes so that it could serve as an overflow reliever for Atlantaâs I-285 beltway. As part of this upgrade, access control measures were incorporated to improve traffic flow. These measures reduced the number of curb cuts, limited the number of signalized intersections, and increased the spacing between intersections to at least one mile. Sidewalks were not considered a necessity for project area residents who were predominantly white, middle-income, lit- erate, English speaking, and transportation independent. While little about Buford Highway has changed physically over the past three decades, there has been a slow but steady change in the population along and surrounding the roadway. Today, Buford Highway is surrounded by one of metropolitan Atlantaâs largest Hispanic (Mexican) residential and business communities, and the oldest Korean, Chinese (Cantonese), and Vietnamese business communities. The wholesale change in the populationâs composition along Buford Highway intro- duced not only different languages, cultures, traditions, and economic statuses, but also different mobility patterns with fewer vehicle owners and many more pedestrians. This quiet cultural transformation went relatively unob- served until the number of pedestrians being injured and killed on Buford Highway increased to a point to which it had to be addressed. Between 2002 and 2004, eight vehicle-related fatalities occurred on Buford Highway within DeKalb County; seven of those fatalities were pedestrians. During that same time period, pedestrians were injured in 47 other accidents. Pedestrian safety along the corridor began to get attention in 2005 when DeKalb County announced the beginning of preliminary engineering on a side- walk and streetscape plan to improve the roadwayâs appearance. This announcement gener- ated a number of articles in the Atlanta Journal Constitution from pedestrian advocacy groups highlighting Buford Highwayâs pedestrian safety problems and questioning the use of funds for beautification rather than for improving pedestrian safety. Realizing that DeKalb County did not have resources available to address this larger undertaking, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) proposed a joint initiative and provided additional funding to address Buford Highwayâs pedestrian safety issues. The expanded project included constructing 5-foot-wide sidewalks, a 2-foot stamped brick- colored pattern between the sidewalks and the back of the curb, as well as pedestrian lighting and landscaping. GDOT proposed that a continuous median barrier would be used throughout the second phase of the project as a way of stopping pedestrians from crossing Buford Highway Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Project Development Participants: â¢ DeKalb County â¢ Georgia DOT â¢ Center for Pan Asian Community Services â¢ Plaza Fiesta â¢ Mercado del Pueblo Tools and Techniques: â¢ Public Involvement Plan â¢ Contact List â¢ Consultants â¢ Surveys â¢ Incentives â¢ Interviews â¢ Interpreters â¢ Translated Material â¢ Press Release â¢ Flyers â¢ School Outreach â¢ Phone Trees Affected Populations: â¢ Minorities (Hispanic, Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese) â¢ Foreign Born â¢ Low Income â¢ Zero-Car Households â¢ Limited English Proficiency
effective practices 4-61 at mid-block locations. When corridor merchants learned of these plans, many went to DeKalb County elected officials and expressed concerns that a continuous raised median would deny left turns and restrict accessibility to their businesses. Developing the Approach In response to the projectâs increased publicity and the heightened public and political interest in it, GDOT developed a list of representative merchants, faith-based and community organi- zations, advocacy groups, government agencies, and elected officials that would be involved in the design process. These stakeholders had personal and professional links to the project area. The original idea was to hold a series of design charettes; however, before all of the prospective members could be contacted and invited to participate, this approach was deemed unwork- able because of the diverse schedules, languages, and cultures of the communities. GDOT then retained a consultant and directed this consultant to prepare a public involvement plan for engaging the corridorâs residents and merchants. This change in direction took place during the summer of 2006 as many Hispanics and others took part in demonstrations across the nation calling for comprehensive immigration reform. In Atlanta, these demonstrations were met with calls from local politicians for increased prosecu- tion of illegal aliens and possible deportations. These actions led to heightened anxiety among residents and created other public involvement challenges. Residents expressed reluctance to attend meetings assuming these were U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement stings, and business owners/operators became wary of opening their doors to strangers for fear they were Internal Revenue Service agents. Given these extenuating circumstances, a different approach to public involvement was neces- sary. Critical to the success of the public involvement efforts was an understanding of and respect for the cultures of the surrounding communities, a recognition and incorporation of the com- munitiesâ abilities and constraints to participate in a public involvement process, and the support of DeKalb County, GDOT, and FHWA to pursue nontraditional methods to engage these com- munities. The resulting public involvement process respected and incorporated their cultures, accommodated their work/life schedules, addressed low literacy or LEP issues, and utilized the stakeholder membersâ local knowledge and relationships. GDOT provided the consultant with a stakeholders list that it had developed earlier in the project. The consultant expanded and utilized this list to develop an understanding of the local community. Each stakeholder was interviewed during a visit to their offices or over the tele- phone during business hours or during lunch outside their office. The interviews generally lasted 30 minutes and dealt with pedestrian operations within the project corridor relative to the intervieweeâs area of expertise or interest. In addition to providing observations and recom- mendations, stakeholders provided specific information about how to engage Hispanic, Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese merchants and residents. Specifically Plaza Fiesta Mall and Mercado del Pueblo were identified as places to survey Hispanic customers; individual Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese business owners and operators were identified for interviews in their offices. Implementing the Approach Prior to the Plaza Fiesta and Mercado del Pueblo survey events, GDOT prepared a press release, which was forwarded to all metro Atlanta media and Hispanic media including Atlanta Latino, La Vision, Mexico Lindo, Mundo Hispanico, Viva 105.3 Radio, and television stations. In addition, flyers printed in both English and Spanish were distributed to all apartment com- plex managers and business owner/operators within the project corridor and they were asked to display these in a prominent location. Flyers were also distributed through Dresden, Montclair,
4-62 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking and Woodward elementary schools. The principals were visited and asked to distribute the flyers to all fifth grade students with instructions for them to take the flyers home to their parents. The flyers announced the date, time, location and purpose of the surveys. Plaza Fiesta was an enclosed mall with two major retail stores, an international grocery store, family medical clinics, a food courtyard, childrenâs play area, game arcade, and over 200 small âmom and popâ shops. Almost all shops were operated by Hispanics and Spanish was the language spoken by employees and customers alike. The interior of the mall was designed to resemble the narrow streets of a Mexican village and provided customers with a safe, nostalgic home-like setting. Located in the northern portion of the project area, the mall had access at a signalized intersection with clearly marked crosswalks and a MARTA/Royal Bus Line stop. Mall representatives suggested that surveys be conducted on a Sunday between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., as more than 1,000 shoppers would be present in the mall. On an early spring Sunday between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., surveys were conducted at Plaza Fiesta Mall (see Figure 4-18). The mall provided eight bilingual interpreters, and four set-up spaces with tables and chairs. In addition, giveaways such as balloons, toys, and small soccer balls were purchased from merchants within the mall for children regardless of whether or not their parents completed a survey. The eight interpreters roamed the mall and administered surveys to shoppers in English or Spanish, while other shoppers stopped at one of the four tables and completed surveys in English or in Spanish without assistance. Visualizations of possible design options were provided as handouts. A total of 345 surveys were completed. Mainstream television news media attended the event and showed their coverage during their local evening news programs. Mercado del Pueblo was a large grocery store with a predominantly Hispanic customer base. The Mercado del Pueblo store manager suggested that surveys be conducted on a Sunday between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. as this was prime time for shoppers. The store also provided a set-up space in its bakery, a high activity area, and mobilized four bilingual interpreters. On an early summer Sunday between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. surveys were conducted at Mercado del Pueblo. As with the Plaza Fiesta event, small soccer balls were given to children regardless of whether or not the parents completed a survey. The four bilingual interpreters roamed the bakery area and administered surveys to shoppers in English or Spanish, while other shoppers stopped at the table and completed surveys in English or Spanish without assistance. A total of 168 surveys were completed. Figure 4-18. Intercept surveys were favorably received in the village-like Plaza Fiesta Mall.
effective practices 4-63 Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking Following the completion of the surveys, meetings were held with GDOT to provide a sum- mary of the design recommendations made by community members. Some of the recommenda- tions that the community offered included sidewalks on both sides of the highway, pedestrian- level lighting, addition of four midblock signalized pedestrian crossings, bus shelters, crossing signal time lengthening to accommodate mothers pushing strollers, and a pedestrian bridge at the Latin American Association. Additionally, a pedestrian safety education campaign in Span- ish, Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese was proposed. GDOT revised the design to incorporate all suggestions except the pedestrian bridge which was deemed infeasible given roadway grade changes. GDOT publicized meetings to present the final design using the standard advertisement media and flyering techniques previously utilized. In addition, they created a phone tree to personally engage Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese community members. The final design was presented to the Hispanic community at a Sunday afternoon event at Plaza Fiesta, and to the Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese community at a day-long meeting held at the Center for Pan Asian Community Services. Challenges Construction plans have been completed and Phase 2 of construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2012. Communications with the multicultural and multilingual populations in the project area should continue through right-of-way acquisition and construction. Creat- ing a public involvement plan that addresses the need for interpreters and translated materials, visualizations, appropriate meeting places, and the use of phone trees for these stages will be essential to providing accessible and meaningful information. Benefits of the Approach Using popular shopping areas to engage immigrant communities proved to be a cost and time efficient approach to reaching stakeholders whose input was critically needed to find solutions to Buford Highwayâs pedestrian safety issues. By partnering with local agencies and businesses, GDOT was able to conduct its survey in the most efficient way possible and returned quality information that improved the overall project design. The project also strengthened relation- ships with area stakeholders who are now more educated and inclined to participate in future transportation projects. Costs of the Approach Costs for the survey approach included 20 bilingual (Spanish/English) interpreters for 4 hours each ($1,600), five bilingual (Chinese/English, Vietnamese/English, and Korean/ English) interpreters for 13 hours each ($2,115), giveaways ($1,500), survey materials ($50), flyers ($25), and display boards ($300). In addition, getting displays and surveys translated into Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese cost approximately $310. Time spent developing the survey approach was greater than the actual survey effort; however, it was careful upfront planning that ensured the survey effort was conducted efficiently. For example, the small investment in giving away appealing incentives greatly increased the survey return rate and ultimately lowered the overall cost of the effort. The projectâs collaborative approach to finding solutions for pedestrian safety strengthened key partnerships with the Plaza Fiesta and Mercado del Pueblo, which itself led to cost savings through donated goods and practical advice on how to improve the surveyâs efficiency.
4-64 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Contacts/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 Michael A. Lobdell, P.E. GDOT District 7 Traffic Engineer 5025 New Peachtree Road, NE Chamblee, GA 30341 (770) 986-1765 email@example.com Resources Buford Highway website: http://www.bufordhighway.com/
effective practices 4-65 Using Student Internet Access to Reach Diverse Populations: Southwest Georgia Interstate Study, Georgia Department of Transportation Background Southwest Georgia is a sparsely populated rural agricultural area with access to few four-lane divided highways and only limited direct access to Interstate 75 (I-75). The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) initiated the Southwest Georgia Interstate Study in response to a perceived need for greater accessibility and an Interstate connector that could promote growth and development. The purpose of the study was to examine the feasibility of possible new Interstate connections between I-75 in Georgia and I-10 in Florida. The 32-county study area covered approximately 11,871 square miles, or 20 percent, of the state of Georgia. The study area for the project was exception- ally large and low density; getting meaningful participation from the study areaâs rural populations was a challenge for the study. The study area had a population of 839,393 in 2000, with an average density of only 70.7 persons per square mileâroughly half the density of the state overall. Twenty-five of the study areaâs 32 counties had populations of less than 30,000 people, with 12 of those counties having a population of less than 10,000 people. Fourteen of the counties had minority populations of 50 percent or more and 22 of the counties had low-income populations of 20 percent or more. In addi- tion, 24 of the counties had 30 percent or more of those 25 years old with less than a 12th grade education and no high school diploma. Developing the Approach The initial public involvement effort focused on identifying city and county officials, com- missioners, representatives of chambers of commerce, educational institutions, military instal- lations, and environmental groups that could serve as members of a stakeholder committee. These individuals met regularly throughout the study to provide input, feedback, and recom- mendations to the study and to disseminate and gather information that reflected community needs. The project team determined that they needed to reach a broader and more diverse group of people to ensure that concerns of the study areaâs low-income and minority popula- tions were identified. A survey was developed to capture information relevant to the everyday transportation prob- lems experienced by those using the roadway system and to determine if the public felt that a new Interstate would address these concerns. The survey asked about a familyâs proximity to school, shopping, church, work, medical attention, and after-school events. It also asked if spe- cific types of transportation problems had been experiencedâsuch as traffic backup on roads and at intersections, need for intersection signalization, lack of roadway shoulders, unsafe inter- sections, tractor trailer trucks, and/or difficulty getting onto a roadâto see if these problems could be addressed by a new Interstate facility. Finding a means for disseminating the final survey to ensure that it reached the broad and diverse set of populations that were targeted was crucial. The project team explored several Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Planning Participants: â¢ Georgia DOT â¢ Local School Districts Tools and Techniques: â¢ Internet Survey â¢ Paper Survey â¢ Working with Schools Affected Populations: â¢ Low Income â¢ Minority â¢ Low Educational Attainment â¢ Limited Internet Access â¢ Students
4-66 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking options. Initially, they contacted community coordinators at each Wal-Mart within the study area to see if surveys could be distributed outside their stores on a weekend day. Copies of the information sought along with a copy of Wal-Martâs internal appli- cation form were submitted to each community coordinator for approval. Some Wal- Marts did not respond while others said GDOT could not conduct activities outside their stores as they did not meet their definition of a nonprofit institution. Festivals were also considered as a possible means for disseminating the survey because they might draw large populations, including low-income and/or minority populations. Most of the festivals scheduled to occur in the 32-county area, however, were to take place during summer months after the project was scheduled for completion. Recognizing these limitations, the project team began to consider the Internet and under what conditions it could be applied effectively within this predominantly rural region. Database marketing companies confirmed the problemâInternet connec- tions existed in only a small percentage of study area households. The regionâs low- income households were unlikely to have Internet access within their homes due to the one-time and recurring costs of having a computer with Internet access. Internet access was available, however, at all of the schools in the study area. Implementing the survey to students through the Internet at their schools was identified as having great potential for reaching the study areaâs diverse income, racial, and ethnic groups. It was recognized that this method of engagement would not reach those individuals and families that did not have children in the public schools. Implementing the Approach During the middle of the Fall 2008 semester, the superintendents of education for each of the 32 counties and four independent city school districts were contacted by telephone. They were asked if they would allow their students to participate in a road-use survey as part of the Southwest Georgia Interstate Study (see Figure 4-19). During the initial conversation with these individuals, the concept of using an embedded hyperlink placed on the countiesâ homepages so the students could access the survey during their computer labs, take the survey home to their parents who may be low- literate, conduct the survey, bring the results back to the computer lab, and return the results directly to the consultants was discussed. Each administration requested a copy of the proposed survey. The project team followed up with a letter to each superintendent with an enclosed copy of the seven-question survey. The survey was intended to take 15 minutes. The letter reiterated that the purpose of the survey was to provide the GDOT with a snapshot of what part the existing road- way system played in the life of the average resident in their county. Engaging school students would allow the GDOT to reach a much larger, more diverse audience that might otherwise be missed using traditional outreach techniques. By allowing students to take home a survey to their parents, the concerns of those that may not have Internet access at home, may not subscribe to a newspaper, may be low-literate, and/or have LEP could be heard and included. The letter also stated that the superintendents would be provided with a hyperlink that could be embedded on their intranet page that would electronically present the survey to their students using the computers in the schoolâs computer labs and return the completed survey to the project team. The project team worked with the superintendents to get buy-in for implementing the survey. A condition of approval was that no personal information would be requested. The project team was successful in getting all but four of the county superintendents, and one of the independent city school district superintendents, to agree to participate. Some of the superintendents who agreed to participate requested paper copies of the surveys in lieu of a hyperlink. Those super- intendents who wished to use paper copies of the survey asked the project team to provide those Figure 4-19. The Southwest Georgia Interstate Study was challenged to find effective ways to conduct public involvement over a sparsely populated large rural region.
effective practices 4-67 paper copies as they could not afford the cost of printing or paper. A letter, addressed to the parents explaining the purpose of the survey, was provided to the superintendents to include with the paper survey. Links to the survey were placed on the schoolsâ homepages to allow the students access to the survey. Students would click on the survey icon and be immediately connected to the survey, which they could complete online or print and fill out. If printed, the survey could be returned in paper format or entered electronically. If entered electronically the survey would be sent directly to the project team once the âsubmitâ button was clicked. The survey was provided in English because supplemental information provided by the schools in the study area did not identify a non-English speaking student body and most of the very limited Hispanic population in the project area consisted of single men without children. The project team sent paper and electronic copies of the surveys to the schools at the beginning of the spring 2009 semester. Those schools with older students generally used the hyperlink, while those with students who were too young to complete the surveys by themselves asked the project team to provide paper copies. For return of the paper copies, repaid return envelopes were pro- vided so that the completed paper surveys could be sent to the project team at no cost to the school. Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking Nine counties and two of the independent city school districts chose to use the electronic sur- veys and five counties chose to use paper copy surveys. The remaining 14 county school districts and one independent city school district did not to participate, although they were provided with information. While slightly less than one-half of the 32 county school districts and one-half of the four independent school districts participated, more than 4,400 surveys were completed and returned through this approach to collecting information in a large rural region. Seventy percent of the surveys were completed on paper and 30 percent were completed electronically. The information obtained from the school surveys supported the recommendations of the study and helped persuade local public officials to accept the studyâs conclusion that there was little public support for a new Interstate facility and its construction would not be an effective and efficient use of taxpayersâ money. Challenges The immediate question of whether or not a new Interstate was needed has been resolved and is not expected to be revisited in the near future. Other transportation issues that were identi- fied by the survey and through traditional public involvement methods can now be examined, prioritized, and addressed as funds become available. Benefits of the Approach The primary benefit of the approach was to engage a broader portion of the population by using the Internet. The approach overcame a principal barrier to the use of the Internet in a predominantly rural regionâits lack of availability to the regionâs low-income, low-literacy, minority (i.e., Black and Hispanic) and LEP households. By working with the public schools, an institution 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.
4-68 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Costs of the Approach Making phone calls to the superintendents, sending a follow-up letter to the superintendents, printing paper surveys and sending packets of surveys to the schools, creating the hyperlink, using prepaid return packets, and tabulating the results of the survey cost approximately $10,000 and took approximately 160 hours of effort. The Internet survey was hosted by the consultant because they were writing the report. Creating the hyperlink cost approximately $300. Contacts/Resources Contacts Tom McQueen Project Manager GDOT Office of Planning (404) 631-1987 firstname.lastname@example.org Resources Georgia DOTâs Southwest Georgia Interstate Study homepage: http://www.dot.state.ga.us/informationcenter/ programs/studies/SWGAInterstate/Pages/default.aspx
effective practices 4-69 Building Relationships with Service and Transport Providers to Measure Paratransit Needs: Southwest Region Planning Commission, Keene, New Hampshire Background The Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC) is one of nine regional planning commissions in New Hampshire established by state statute. The predominantly rural region includes 35 towns within the three counties of Cheshire, West- ern Hillsborough, and Sullivan with a total regional popula- tion of 102,313 persons as of 2010. In 2009, SWRPC proposed to partner with four agencies that provide transit and para- transit services in southwest New Hampshire in conducting a planning study for the purposes of examining the feasibility of expanding public transit and paratransit services on the Route 12 corridor north of Keene. The four participating agencies included the American Red CrossâNew Hampshire West Chapter, Community Transportation Services, Connecticut River Transit, and Home Healthcare, Hospice and Commu- nity Services (see Figure 4-20). SWRPC met with the four agencies for several months along with an elected state representative and Easter Seals to discuss coordination and service expansion improvements on Route 12. The state representative (with support from Con- necticut River Transit and the American Red Cross) eventually approached the Town of Walpole to seek financial support for funding a shopping shuttle or a local volunteer driver program. At the time, both agencies provided partial service in the area, but additional funding was needed to provide community resi- dents with a sufficient level of service. The town initially agreed to vote on appropriating a local match for a volunteer driver service, but the governing selectboard expressed that it did not have an adequate sense of community need to make informed decisions to support transit or paratransit services at the time. The absence of support from the Walpole selectboard presented a challenge for the four agencies that saw unmet transportation needs and a lack of familiarity with the opportunities provided by alternative transportation services on the part of local public and private-sector organizations. The four agencies had anecdotal evidence suggesting that expanded services were needed, but they recognized that their position could be further strengthened by the development of a market and needs study. Such a study would explore the level of need of vari- ous population groups, estimate potential ridership, and focus upon the kind of political and financial support that could be expected from Route 12 community stakeholders. Moreover, the shopping shuttle and local volunteer driver program were just two of several initiatives that the four agencies believed could improve multi-modal connectivity and accessibility in the region. Other services that the group was interested in implementing included: â¢ A commuter shuttle linking Springfield, VT with Keene, NH or alternatively Rockingham, VT with Keene, NH; â¢ A shuttle connecting Walpole, NH to Keene, NH; â¢ A transit or paratransit connection between Walpole, NH and Charlestown, NH; Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Planning â¢ Policy and Programs Participants: â¢ Southwest Region Planning Commission â¢ American Red Cross-New Hampshire West Chapter â¢ Community Transportation Services â¢ Connecticut River Transit â¢ Home Healthcare, Hospice and Community Services â¢ New Hampshire DOT Tools & Techniques: â¢ Applying the âUnited We Rideâ Framework for Action Model â¢ Committee Formation â¢ Working with Service Providers Affected Populations: â¢ Low Income â¢ Disabled â¢ Seniors â¢ Zero-Car Households â¢ Other Vulnerable Populations
4-70 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking â¢ Coordination of rural rides programs with existing bus services; â¢ Coordination of transportation among the various agencies for medical appointments to Cheshire Medical Center, Keene Dialysis Center, Springfield Hospital, and Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital; and/or â¢ Development of an additional park and ride lot in the region with possible transit or para- transit connections. Developing the Approach Through contractual arrangements between SWRPC and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) Bureau of Rail and Transit, SWRPC proposed to perform a scope of services and deliver prescribed products for the Route 12 Corridor Transit/Paratransit Develop- ment Study. The study was funded by NHDOT and began in September of 2009. SWRPC is leading the implementation of the prescribed planning services in cooperation with the American Red Cross, Community Transportation Services, Connecticut River Transit, and Home Health- care, Hospice and Community Services using a team approach. As funded, a second tier of participants, including Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission, Wind- ham Regional Planning Commission, Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Com- mission, local area employers, and human service providers were also invited to participate in the study. In New Hampshire, the state DOT contracts with the regional planning commissions (RPCs) to conduct all public involvement activities, not just transit. The RPCs are viewed as having the expertise and local knowledge to facilitate outreach in and dialogue with local communities. This partnership extends into many areas of NHDOTâs activities and, in some instances, the RPCs can be considered as extended staff of NHDOT. It relieves NHDOT of duplicating services in the area of public involvement and encourages more local access in the decision-making process. Where the need extends beyond that of the RPCs, consultants may be engaged by NHDOT or Figure 4-20. SWRPC partnered with several agencies to examine feasibility of expanding public transit and paratransit services on the Route 12 corridor north of Keene.
effective practices 4-71 the RPCs; however, these partnerships leverage the resources of the two branches of state and regional government. Before the Route 12 Corridor Transit/Paratransit Development Study was funded, important groundwork was undertaken by the SWRPC and the four agencies to learn more about the needs of the traditionally underserved. Implementing the Approach The impetus for the study grew out of SWRPCâs work in creating a Coordinated Community Transportation Plan for southwest New Hampshire in 2006. More than 15 agencies, including the four subsequent partners on this project, made substantial contributions to the develop- ment of the plan. Data from a 2003 survey conducted by Southwest Community Services, Inc. (SCS) and Monadnock United Way (MUW) were used to identify transportation needs. A follow-up survey of 189 community leaders found transportation services ranked third behind housing and childcare as a need being poorly met. In addition to these surveys, input from the 15 groups providing services to residents was sought through discussions at meetings and an additional survey. The groups also provided information and other data on their clientsâ transportation needs. This effort was essential to building the trust among the agencies to advance subsequent plans. SWRPC has since been able to draw upon the resources provided through the 2006 planning activities for other plans. SWRPC identified resources among the agencies to facilitate future planning initiatives, such as surveys, to provide data, including inventories of vehicles and other assets, and to collect information about client needs. Thus, the 2006 coordination planning pro- cess aided SWRPC not only on improving its understanding of existing transit issues, but also in its long-range planning process, and it provided a means to access traditionally underserved populations for the Commissionâs other transportation projects. At the first meeting, the United We Ride program planning guide, The Coordinated Public Transit and Human Service Transportation Plan Self Assessment Tool for Communities, was dis- tributed by SWRPC to participating agencies. Subsequent meetings were used to discuss findings and develop a coordinated action plan. Additional input and discussion from the public was also fostered by participating agencies. The United We Ride Framework for Action includes two self-assessment tools. The Self- Assessment Tool for Communities focuses on diagnostic questions and a set of âdecision help- ersâ to aid citizens, human service and transportation providers, employers, and the general public in identifying actions needed to improve transportation services. The process somewhat resembles a World CafÃ© in that it creates meaningful and cooperative dialogue through ques- tions focused on transportation needs and resources. The Self-Assessment Tool for States poses a series of diagnostic questions for state agencies and also uses a number of âdecision helpersâ that emphasize partnerships among state agencies, inventory needs at the state level, explore fund- ing streams and strategies, investigate technological solutions, and look to identify efficiency measures. While the emphasis may appear to focus on transit, the benefit of the Framework for Action arises from the process of bringing together local and state stakeholders that represent various segments of the population with varying transportation needs and resources. The pro- cess creates a unique opportunity for dialogue at multiple levels, enhancing the understanding of local needs and program resources. Building on the relationships developed during the 2006 coordination planning effort, the four agencies, the American Red CrossâNew Hampshire West Chapter, Community Transportation Services, Connecticut River Transit, and Home Healthcare, Hospice and Community Services, met with the state representative (Cheshire County, NH, District 2), Easter Seals, and SWRPC regarding transportation coordination and service on Route 12 in
4-72 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking the Town of Walpole. These meetings were consistent with the three major aspects of the coordinated plan: â¢ Advancement of Transportation Services, â¢ Creating a Structural Framework for Coordination, and â¢ Service Planning. SWRPC is not considered either a service group or transportation provider; however, as an RPC, it is charged with responsibilities to facilitate regional coordination efforts and support the regional transportation system. The initial work to develop the coordinated transportation plan helped SWRPC identify needs in the region. The partnering agencies, as recognized by SWRPC, have been critical in providing essential information, conducting surveys, convening effective public meetings, and communicating perceived service deficiencies and needs within the region. The Route 12 Corridor Transit/Paratransit Development Study is a more discrete initiative that has been fostered by that initial relationship-building planning effort. Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking The Route 12 Corridor Transit/Paratransit Development Study project includes a market study, a needs assessment, an exploration of support for future transit and paratransit services, and an analysis of suitable future transportation services. SWRPC, with consultation of the four transportation providers and possible assistance from other regional planning commissions, is providing support in the project to understand the potential ridership market, needs, and private- and public-sector support. Challenges A private consultant was hired in the spring of 2010 to assist the RPC and the transportation providers in designing a comprehensive market and needs study and to assess the most suitable future service or package of services. Providing local matching funds was considered a key issue for the localities faced with meeting day-to-day needs. Only a small amount of resources are needed to study the feasibility of expanding services, but the capacity of the local communities to operate an expanded system will be a critical challenge in the future. Benefits of the Approach The SWRPC has been able to build on existing relationships with human service and trans- port providers to develop a greater appreciation of the unique needs addressed by these service organizations. The RPC agency has been able to take a longer-term view of the persistent needs of these traditionally underserved segments. Although the larger community may be focused on more immediate needs, the funding of the Route 12 Corridor Transit/Paratransit Development Study is itself recognition of the importance of the mission of the human service agencies. During the consultantâs study, a survey was conducted to solicit the views and needs of poten- tial users. The need for increased coordination between the existing public transportation and human service providers was substantiated by the survey and subsequent recommendations. The survey also revealed a strong interest in improving linkages with interstate operators such as Greyhound buses. One result of the collaboration was the piloting of a new service using the Keene State College Campus Community Shuttle to transport seniors in housing developments in Keene, Hinsdale, Winchester, Troy, Swanzey, and Walpole to destinations in Keene and Swanzey during the sum- mer months, with potential service continuing during the academic year. The general public was
effective practices 4-73 also provided access to the new service, depending on available seating. The American Red Cross explored collaborative efforts through feeder services and continuation of the service using vol- unteer drivers during the academic year. Overall, the process has brought together several nontraditional transportation providers with public transit agencies, which facilitated an assessment of available resources and continu- ing dialogue. SWRPC was viewed as an honest broker and provided a forum for this exchange of information, resources, and plan and service development. Costs of the Approach The Route 12 Corridor Transit/Paratransit Development Study project was funded by NHDOT and a kickoff meeting was held in September 2009. Project funding of $36,000 came from FTA Section 5304 Statewide Planning & Research Program Projects, with 20 percent local match. The RPC agency is drawing upon outside expertise for the conduct of market surveys. The community may be faced with the question of funding the local match portion to con- duct the study and funding the local match portions should service expansion recommenda- tions be made. Contacts/Resources Contacts JB Mack Southwest Region Planning Commission 20 Central Square, 2nd Floor Keene, NH 03431 (603) 357-0557 email@example.com http://www.swrpc.org/admini/ Christopher (Kit) Morgan State of New Hampshire Department of Transportation Administrator, Bureau of Rail and Public Transit 7 Hazen Drive Concord, NH 03302-0483 (603) 271-2468 firstname.lastname@example.org Beverly G. Ward UWR Ambassador, Region 1 (202) 299-6597 email@example.com www.NRCtransportation.org/region1/ Resources United We Ride Program, A Framework For Action, Building the Fully Coordinated Transportation System: A Self Assessment Tool for Communities: http://www.unitedweride.gov/FFA-Communities.pdf The World CafÃ©: http://www.theworldcafe.com/
4-74 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Using a âBeaconâ to Conduct Outreach in Low-Income and Minority Communities: San Antonio, Texas Background San Antonioâs East Side has been historically a Black community. As in much of the city, the area has become increasingly populated by Hispanic residents in recent years. The East Side, suffering from physical isolation and plagued by social disorder (e.g., crime, drugs, graffiti, garbage, noise, broken windows, abandoned property, and poor infrastructure, etc.), had long been a target for the siting of industrial facilities. Community resi- dents and employers have borne the consequences of inadequate investment in essential infrastructure and poor access to vital services such as public safety, health care, educational and shopping facilities, among other issues. The presence of several nice neighborhoods and a cohesive core of com- munity residents, however, offered the possibility of revitalization with the appropriate planning and resources. In 2000, the County Commissioners Court succeeded in convincing the San Antonio Spurs basketball team to relocate to the Freeman Coliseum area of the East Side and to build a new sports arena. Part of this process was to study the economic and community development possibilities that would result from the relocation and the subsequent construction of the new arena. The Arena District Redevelop- ment Study, which began in 2002, assessed the potential for economic development in the area as well as the transportation and traffic impacts the arena would have on the surrounding neighborhood. As the Redevelopment Study was initiated, the San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization (SA-BC MPO) began a related study of the greater East Sideâs traffic and transportation needs (the East Corridor Multi-modal Alternatives Plan). The intention of the coordinated plans was to create a future development and revitalization plan with a complementary transportation plan. The transportation element consisted of an evaluation of various transportation alternatives that would support the long-term land use changes proposed within the study area. The range of recommended improvements included those for enhanced economic benefit, improved traffic operations and safety, and improved transit services. Developing the Approach The consultant team working with the MPO was also contracted to work on the Arena District Redevelopment Study in order to facilitate coordination between the two studies. Because the East Side was by and large underserved in many regards, not just transportation, it was clear that a different outreach approach was needed to gather community input for the study. The public participation consultants discussed the situation with a member of the economic development study team who was a life-long resident of the East Side. Although this team member had no experience in public participation, she agreed to participate in the planning and implementa- tion of the public participation activities for the MPO project. The woman was Black and had considerable experience in public relations and advertising. She was well-connected and highly respected on the East Side, as well as other parts of city. The public participation team engaged her to serve as a âbeaconâ for the project because she would be able to make personal contact with key leaders of the East Side. Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Planning Participants: â¢ San Antonio-Bexar County MPO Tools and Techniques: â¢ Beacons Affected Populations: â¢ Low Income â¢ Black â¢ Hispanic
effective practices 4-75 Implementing the Approach The âbeaconâ met with community leaders, church leaders, and others in the community to explain the purpose of each of the studies and emphasize the importance of community participation. She also prepared media releases, had articles published in the local newspapers, called specific stakeholders she knew who were also âbeaconsâ within the community, met with businesses and other stakeholders, contacted homeowner associations, and sent out invitations to the public meetings. Knowing many of the East Side leaders personally, she was able to interact with an intimate familiarity during and in advance of events that the rest of the consulting team simply could not match. Community leaders had confidence in her and trusted her word for how things would be done. If people took the time to show up for meetings, they knew that their ideas would be listened to and considered. Although many of the typical distribution outlets were usedânewsletters, fly- ers, church bulletins, and the likeâthe level of communication was intensified because of the additional word-of-mouth information that resulted from her garnering community leader sup- port. Leaders who had spoken directly with the âbeaconâ were also able to discuss the issues more clearly with community members than if they had only learned about the studies through limited advertising information. They were also able to contact her for additional information as needed. In turn, the âbeaconâ was able to state things in terms of what was most important to the com- munity leaders and the community, which fostered support for involvement in the transporta- tion study. Her knowledge of the community made it possible to have a better sense of what to emphasize to catch peopleâs attention. Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking Community participation at the public meetings was significantly greater than past transpor- tation projects. More than 100 people attended the first meeting and about 100 attended the next two public meetings (see Figure 4-21). This level of attendance far surpassed previous trans- portation study public meetings in the community, which had drawn around 10 to 12 people. Figure 4-21. The first public meeting brought diverse attendees who had not participated in past events. âItâs about giving the leaders enough informa- tion to engage them. It isnât enough for them to be able to read about it in the newspaper.â âLaura Thompson, Public Relations Specialist who was hired as the âbeaconâ
4-76 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Priorities were identified for the transportation plan and for the economic development study as a result of the input and feedback given at the community meetings. Sidewalks, multi-modal access to activity centers, hiking and bicycling trails, and other amenities were identified as clear priorities, whereas they might not have been if there had been a low turnout at the meetings. Higher levels of attendance garnered the attention of elected officials who were eager to support the studyâs findings. The study had recommended a significant commitment of funds for sidewalks and other pedestrian amenities among other things. Community members followed through with lobbying efforts to the decision-making bodiesâ the MPO Board and the City Councilâas suggested as part of the public participation process and were able to get approval of the study and its results with no opposition in spite of the significant commitment of funds implied. Challenges The East Side community must continue to advocate for itself and show that it is able to mobilize significant numbers of residents to lobby and advocate for ongoing funding to meet transportation and other community needs. Drawing lessons from their experience, public offi- cials and transportation planners should appreciate the benefits of continuing contact with East Side community leaders so that they are not greeted with suspicion and face an âOh, here they come again, it must be time for another studyâ when they approach the community. Sustaining and renewing relationships is an integral part of any approach in which building relationships is essential to a particular planning study or project development phase. This predominantly minority and low-income area of San Antonio has often been slighted when it comes to the receipt of funding for private development and public infrastructure. It is important to continue to develop new ways to send a positive message to people to help them see how transportation and transportation planning can directly affect their quality of life. Benefits of the Approach The beacon was able to open doors for transportation plan- ners to meet and get to know community leaders from the East Side. She helped both the community leaders and the trans- portation planners feel more comfortable 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 par- ticipate effectively. Community leaders came to better appre- ciate the transportation planning process and the impact of effective public participation on that process. Many of the up-and-coming leaders were able to establish themselves as knowl- edgeable members of the community. They took on additional roles and responsibilities as the transportation planning process evolved in this area of town. Elected officials of the East Side were also better able to bring some badly needed attention to critical issues of concern for their constituents and foster strategies for addressing infrastructure deficiencies that they had been advocating for some time. Through the community input, transportation planners came to a better understanding of the transportation priorities for many East Side residents, which they were not fully aware of prior to the public meetings. They were able to create a two-tiered approach that focused on the most needed/desired improvements the community had expressed for short-term imple- âGoing through known groups and alliances generates a big following.â âLaura Thompson, Public Relations Specialist who was hired as the âbeaconâ
effective practices 4-77 mentation and the longer-term improvements that were more costly and not as urgent for the community. Consequently, improvements like better bus shelters and pedestrian connectivity to shelters, repaired roadways, safety and traffic calming measures such as roundabouts, and other improvements at intersections with high crash rates were prioritized on the Tier 1 âmenu,â which addressed immediate needs and deficiencies. The MPO also enjoyed improved credibility with many East Side residents who now under- stood better the role of the MPO in the transportation planning process. Costs of the Approach Costs for this approach include the fees to hire someone from the communityâa beacon. The beacon can be someone with a lot of experience or may be someone who has little experience, but a lot of community savvy. Whoever is chosen as a beacon needs to be seen as impartial and not part of any group or coalition. Time must also be allotted to allow the beacon to interact with community leaders and develop the appropriate information vehicles. The costs for hir- ing a person with significant community experience would likely be in the range of $25,000 to $50,000 for a full-time person dedicated to the project, depending on what other professional and work experience they have. Other expenses are what would be traditionally included in an effective public participation effort. Contacts/Resources Contacts Laura Thompson President Laura Thompson Agency 9504 IH 35 North, Suite 303 San Antonio, TX 78233 (210) 836-6531 firstname.lastname@example.org Linda Ximenes Ximenes & Associates, Inc. 421 Sixth Street, #1 San Antonio, TX 78215 (210) 354-2925 email@example.com Scott Ericksen Public Involvement Supervisor San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization 825 S. St. Maryâs Street San Antonio, TX 78205 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sametroplan.org Resources San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization, (2003), East Corridor Multi-Modal Alterna- tives Plan: http://www.sametroplan.org/Studies/EastCorridor/FinaleastcorridorExecSummary%202.pdf City of San Antonio, (2003), Arena District / Eastside Community Plan. Bexar County, City of San Antonio: http://www.sanantonio.gov/planning/pdf/neighborhoods/eastside.pdf
4-78 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Recruiting and Training Community Insiders to Lead Outreach and Engagement Processes: City of Seattle, Washington Background In 2008, in concert with planning for a new light rail ser- vice, the City of Seattle decided to update neighborhood plans that were created in the late 1990s for 38 neighborhoods throughout the city. The update would begin in Othello, North Rainier, and North Beacon Hillâthree neighborhoods in which light rail stations were being sited in southeast Seat- tle, the cityâs most diverse and low-income area. The City had taken several steps to better address issues of race and social justice since the neighborhood plans were ini- tially formulated. These included creating a Race and Social Justice Initiative, directing all city departments to conduct diversity training for staff, and developing a city-wide transla- tion and interpretation policy. Executive Order #5-08 was of particular significance to the neighborhood plan update process. Signed in April 2008, it directed City departments on how to conduct inclusive outreach and public engagement activities. It emphasized that activities must be conducted âin a manner that reflects the racial and cultural diversity of Seat- tleâ and, further, that the City departments should âdevelop a common approach to outreach and public engagement and coordinate implementation citywide.â Developing the Approach The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) and the Department of Neighbor- hoods (DON) were responsible for leading the overall neighborhood plan updates, and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) acted as the transportation lead. The original plan development had included an extensive outreach process, which utilized steering com- mittees, grants for hiring consultants, and support for publishing outreach materials and organizing events. While extensive, this approach was flawed in that it relied heavily on those community groups that were already working with the City. The outreach efforts failed to engage the full range of groups represented in the neighborhoods. Among those who had attended public meetings during the process, minorities and foreign-born populations were underrepresented. In undertaking the neighborhood plan updates, Seattleâs foreign-born population was recog- nized as a growing force in city life and in shaping neighborhood character. Foreign-born per- sons had jumped from 11 percent of the population in 1980, to 17 percent by 2010. The foreign- born were projected to reach 120,000 people, accounting for one-fifth of the cityâs population by 2020, according to the Seattle DON. The three city agencies sought to ensure that the voices of ethnic minorities and LEP residents would be heard. Effectively reaching this rapidly growing and diverse immigrant segment was recognized as a critical objective of the neighborhood plan update process. To guide them in developing a strategy, the agencies referred to the Cityâs goals for public out- reach and engagement expressed in a City Council Ordinance passed in September 2008, including: Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Planning Participants: â¢ City of Seattle â¢ Department of Neighborhoods â¢ Department of Planning and Development â¢ Seattle Department of Transportation Tools and Techniques: â¢ Trusted Advocates Affected Populations: â¢ Minority â¢ Immigrants and Refugees â¢ Limited English Proficiency â¢ Disabled â¢ Seniors â¢ Youth
effective practices 4-79 â¢ Producing materials in languages reflective of the community, and using communication venues and means appropriate to those communities to spur the interest and participation in communities that have not participated in past City-sponsored planning activities. â¢ Using innovative outreach and engagement activities that allow and encourage the diverse participation of the community while respecting cultural customs and traditions. â¢ Bringing meetings and events to people and making use of already established meetings in the community. Convening City meetings when necessary, particularly to engage hard-to-reach or underrepresented communities. For the neighborhood plan updates, the City agencies wanted to increase the attendance of persons who would not typically come to a large public meeting and get them to feel sufficiently comfortable and engaged during a large public meeting to want to participate. In the past, the agencies had achieved moderate success in reaching traditionally underserved populations by recruiting community members to hand out flyers or introduce City staff at meetings. The prac- tice had been somewhat successful in giving staff credibility and validating its presence within the community. Recognizing its merits for the neighborhood plan process, the City agencies established the Planning Outreach Liaison (POL) program to formalize the use of community members in conducting outreach efforts. The program included up-front training and devised perfor- mance measures to periodically assess the effectiveness of the outreach program. Inspired by the âTrusted Advocateâ model, which had been employed in White Center, Seattle, in 2001 through the Annie E. Casey Foundation âMaking Connectionsâ initiative, the program recruits members of a specific ethnic, racial, and/or cultural group who are perceived as particularly reputable, trustworthy, and approachable, to reach and facilitate discussions with members of the targeted community. The role of the trusted advocates in the POL program would be to conduct small and large group workshops with members of their respective communities on issues related to the neighborhood plan updates. Rather than hold meetings at City offices, the liaisons would meet the community groups in the communityâs activity centers and at meetings being held by the community, and conduct these meetings in the primary language or vernacular of their group affiliation. They would also encourage community members to attend and partici- pate in the large working sessions organized by the City that would be held in each of the neighborhoods and they would also act as interpreters during the meetings to help facilitate discussion. Implementing the Approach The three partnering City agencies began actively recruiting liaisons after exhaustively considering the community contacts that they had made over the years. The DON had a particularly wide reach within the community and was able to draw heav- ily from its contacts. 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 dis- abilities, seniors, and youth as prior outreach efforts had not been particularly successful with these groups (see Figures 4-22 to 4-24). The potential liaisons were evaluated on their ability to understand and talk about basic plan- ning and transportation concepts, such as how the city builds sidewalks. The ideal candidate âWhen word got out that we were serious, people just showed up from word of mouth.â âTony Mazzella, Strategic Advisor, Seattle DOT
4-80 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Figures 4-22, 4-23, 4-24. The City sought liaison candidates to represent eleven ethnic groups within three neighborhoods. Community workshops were held with Somali (top), Chinese (middle), and Ethiopian (bottom) populations, among other groups.
effective practices 4-81 would be bilingual, bicultural, and skilled at navigating the cultural and language gaps between practitioners and members of the public. The City convened an interview panel to screen promising candidates and eventually a group of 15 was selected. To prepare the liaisons for their task, City staff educated the liaisons about the issues that were to be addressed in the neighborhood plans, including land use, transportation, open space, housing, economic development, and public safety. Liaisons were offered a stipend to compensate them for their time and to ensure that they felt like fully-integrated members of the project team. All workshop advertisements and written materials were translated into eight languages: Amharic and Oromiffa (Ethiopian), Tigrinya (Eritrean), Somali, Chinese, Khmer, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Liaisons were given a list of questions to help them run the community workshops and to raise critical issues. Questions were designed to touch upon such issues as gaps in the pedestrian network, unmet transit demand, perceptions of safety and security at bus stops, and potential for increased density near transit stations, among other issues. The liaisons would bring project materials written in their own languages as well as visuals such as maps to the meetings. Liaisons would record comments received during the event and would extend invitations to individual community members to work deliberatively with City staff on the issues by attending one of the large public meetings. Liaisons were also briefed on how to respond to other issues that community members might raise; typically, this might involve taking the information and bringing it back to the project team so the City could get in touch with them. City staff would also attend the community meetings to act as subject matter experts when it was deemed necessary. The training that the liaisons received prepared them well for the open house meetings with the community at large. The liaisons attended these meetings generally as interpreters and facil- itators. As the liaisonsâ credibility within the community grew, participation of traditionally underserved populations increased. In the later stages of the public meetings, many members of the ethnic community began to attend because they felt comfortable with the advocates who invited them. Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking In a two-month period in the spring of 2009, the liaisons hosted 41 workshops and small group discussions throughout southeast Seattle that were attended by 1,200 participants and that represented 14 historically underrepresented communities. Events were held at convenient locations, including community centers, senior citizen centers, community service organiza- tions, 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, which had engaged over 700 participants. Transportation improvements discussed during the process included better maintained side- walks, adequate street lighting, implementation of new technologies to assist pedestrians with disabilities, crosswalk improvements, multilingual traffic control signs, and better pedestrian and bicycle connections to the new light rail stations, among others. Liaisons kept diary records of attendeesâ comments and also recorded their own observations. Overall, they reported that those attending the workshops participated with enthusiasm and seriousness, demonstrating a high degree of engagement through the questions asked during the workshop and the comments received throughout the process. More favorable attitudes toward density were expressed during the neighborhood plan update process than had been registered in the past. This was a striking departure from prior outreach
4-82 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking processes. Typically, when the City had spoken to representatives of neighborhoods adjacent to light rail stations, people had felt threatened by what they considered high-rise development in their community. By engaging new immigrants in the discussion, it was clear that many people living in the neighborhoods were actually comfortable with the idea of increased density and in fact came from countries where higher density residential and commercial development was common near rail stations. Challenges The neighborhood plan update employed the trusted advocate model on three of the neigh- borhoods in Seattle, leaving 24 to be updated in the future. Not all of the 38 neighborhood plans are in need of updates either because the neighborhood has participated in another substantial planning exercise in the past decade, or because the neighborhood has deemed the existing plan sufficient for managing anticipated growth. The City will be challenged to adapt and modify the model to continue to engage traditionally underserved populations from all of Seattleâs neigh- borhoods as plans are updated. As of 2010, a neighborhood plan update was taking place in the Rainier Beach neighborhood in southeast Seattle where an additional light rail station was opened in 2009. The advocate model could be effective in Rainier Beach in order to engage ethnic communities. In the Broad- view neighborhood in northern Seattle, a plan update is being spurred by plans for bus rapid transit. Broadview has a high concentration of Eastern Europeans, seniors, and Koreans, and will require the recruitment of additional liaisons to ensure that the City has a good entry into the community. In adapting the model for future plans, the City is also hoping to improve the success of the model in reaching Blacks as well as Native Americans. During the 2009 plan updates, the City found that the model was least effective at reaching these populations. For Black communities, the trusted advocates had a difficult time fully penetrating the community social structure and garnering participation. This is thought to be in large part due to historical disappointment with the City and the transportation department. There was little interest for participation among those community members and leaders who did not have confidence that the planning process would reflect their aspirations and interests. In applying the model in the future, the City plans to first and foremost emphasize how the community can benefit from participation and frame events not as âhelp us do this,â but rather âhow can we help you improve your community?â The trusted advocate model may not be suitable for addressing other involvement challenges such as reaching business owners. Outreach to ethnic businesses was extremely difficult for liaisons because owners are often busy throughout the day and especially on evenings and week- ends. Effectively reaching them required going back multiple times to catch them when they had a spare moment. In some cases, it was not possible to speak to the owner during business hours and the liaison would leave a written survey and return later to pick it up and have a conversation with the proprietor if possible. Liaisons also found business owners to be particularly wary of the planning effort because of their previous experiences with government, which often involved inspections that could prove costly. Liaisons may also be unable to overcome persistent divisions that can plague some communi- ties along political, socioeconomic, cultural and ethnic, or religious lines. In such case, liaisons may not be as effective in serving as conduits between the community and government. Within those communities in which the POL program was undertaken, the City will be chal- lenged to continue to nurture the relationships that were built. While multiple City agencies were able to come together around the engagement process, the Cityâs good intentions must be
effective practices 4-83 matched by actions such as the delivery of resources and improvements. This will make the best case to previously uninvolved community members and groups as to why they should continue to participate in local government planning processes. However, the agencies will be challenged to address the priorities that emerged from the each of the neighborhood planning processes in the current environment of constrained resources. Benefits of the Approach Those involved with the implementation of the POLs program measure its success by whether the model was able to âbring people and communities historically underrepresented to the plan- ning table and provide them with the tools to meaningfully engage with other stakeholders and City staff in the effort to improve their communities.â There are many benefits associated with the inclusive outreach process used for the plan updates, including a more accurate understand- ing of community issues and needs as well as the building of relationships between government and the community. One of the Cityâs major goals was to make working with the government a positive experi- ence for the liaisons and the communities with whom they were working. Through the project, they were able to show the public that citizens can come to government with their issues and be treated with respect and attention. In 2009, several liaisons from the program testified before the City Council committee charged with an oversight role about the effectiveness of the program in building bridges between previously marginalized communities and their government. Working with the liaisons also proved to be a cultur- ally enriching experience for City staff. The staff was able to expand its understanding of the community and was exposed to a wider range of perspectives than ever before. Using the liaisons also provided benefits that could not have been gained through translation services alone. By recruiting and training community members rather than translators, the program built an authenticity and integrity and also enhanced communications between the City and the community. The liaisons possessed the skills needed to understand planning concepts and interpret the information in a way that would convey the essence of its meaning, rather than simply translating it word for word. Thus, they could foster a dialogue and get to the heart of the issues more efficiently than if a translation service had been used. Costs of the Approach There were about one dozen liaisons working on outreach for 1 year to complete plan updates for three neighborhoods. The City decided to compensate them for their time out of fairness and respect because they were asking people to give up their personal time on evenings and weekends. The cost of the program came to $125,000, of which about $10,000 was for training, and the remainder was to compensate the liaisons for attending meetings, translating materials, and organizing community members to attend meetings. Working with the liaisons was less expensive and much more effective than paying City staff to do the outreach. However, in communities where resources are not available to compensate liaisons for their time, it may be possible to devise other incentives to ensure their participation âIn the past you would rarely be speaking to a non-native English speaker or see them at a public meeting.â âTony Mazzella, Strategic Advisor, Seattle DOT âIt is more about appreciation than compensa- tion . . . they are not in it for the money but they canât be treated as if they are expected to do it.â âTony Mazzella, Strategic Advisor, Seattle DOT
4-84 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking and express appreciation for their efforts. For example, agencies can try employing methods used by nonprofits and other organizations with unpaid boards such as holding a retreat or conference, providing food at meetings, or formal recognition for their service from elected officials and well-respected leaders. An additional cost of the tool is staff time given to supporting the liaisons. Over the course of the project, the liaisons needed technical and emotional support from the City because of the complex and stressful work they were being asked to do. Liaisons, not unlike City staff, were often faced with complaints and criticisms from the public, not all of whom thought the light rail was a good idea. Having staff available to answer their questions and give them guidance along the way was critical to maintaining their commitment and faith in the project. Contacts/Resources Contacts 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/ Resources The Annie E. Casey Foundation, (2007), âTrusted Advocates: A Multicultural Approach to Building and Sus- taining Resident Involvement,â http://www.aecf.org/upload/PublicationFiles/trustedadvocate.pdf City of Seattle, (1 July 2009), âNeighborhood Plan Update, Planning Outreach Liaison: Community Work- shops,â http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/cms/groups/pan/@pan/@plan/@neighborplanning/documents/web_ informational/dpdp017744.pdf Seattle Department of Planning and Development, (2010), âNeighborhood Planning: Public Involvement,â http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/Neighborhood_Planning/PublicInvolvement/default.asp T. Mazzella, (2010), âInnovative Public Engagement Tools in Transportation Planning: Application and Out- comes,â Presented at 89th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington D.C.
effective practices 4-85 Applying the Framework of Environmental Justice in Transportation Toolkit to Support Community-Based Initiatives: Baltimore, Maryland Background The Environmental Justice in Transportation Toolkit (EJTK) is a collection of transportation planning procedures and processes that are intended to integrate environmental justice analysis into the traditional transportation planning process. The EJTK com- bines community-based public involvement activities with rig- orous technical methods in order to evaluate the benefits and burdens of transportation as they affect low-income and minor- ity populations. The EJTK is designed with low-income and minority communities in mind and is intended for use by met- ropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), local planning and transportation agencies, community organizations, and environ- mental interest groups. The core objectives of the tool are to: â¢ Better link affected environmental justice communities with the relevant steps in the regional transportation planning process, â¢ Identify tools to better assess environmental justiceârelated concerns in the planning process, â¢ Suggest appropriate performance indicators to provide planners, community representatives, and decisionmakers with better information on the consequences and tradeoffs when evaluating alternatives, and â¢ Strengthen the capabilities of the existing transportation decision-making agencies to ensure objective and informed review and response to important environmental justice issues. The focus of EJTK research was initially guided, in part, by Baltimore area environmental justice communitiesâ general dissatisfaction with past state, regional, and local government outreach efforts on large and small scale projects. In November 2004, an âEnvironmental Justice Community Dialogueâ was held at Morgan State University, a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). At this nonthreatening venue, there were more than 80 persons in attendance, including community leaders, residents, and government officials. The attendees identified over 120 issuesâand twice as many solutionsâcovering a range of top- ics, including accessibility, noise, air pollution, insensitive agencies, public health, and lack of enforcement. Several follow-up meetings helped to define a workable scope of work and the key topics to be explored in the EJTK. As the EJTK has evolved, various involvement processes and methods have been applied to identify and address the concerns of transit-dependent populations, local residents, and com- munity leaders in several urban communities: Kirk Avenue, Cherry Hill, Highway-to-Nowhere, and Lexington Market in Baltimore, Maryland; the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Urban Habitat in Oakland, California; and the Arise Network in Albany, New York. Since 2003, this community-driven, âbottom up,â collaborative research project has received research funding from several sources including FHWA, the U.S. Environ- mental Protection Agency (EPA), FTA, and in-kind support from Morgan State University. The research has sought to define ideal frameworks for community-based organizational interac- tions with government agencies as well as to document the findings of research in selected case study communities where toolkit elements are subjected to âreal-worldâ applications. Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Policy and Programs â¢ Planning Participants: â¢ Morgan State University â¢ Johns Hopkins Center in Environmental Health â¢ Baltimore Metropolitan Council â¢ Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network â¢ Urban Habitat Tools and Techniques: â¢ Building Power Relationships â¢ Public Participation Framework â¢ Alternative Analysis Methods â¢ Triage Committee Affected Populations: â¢ Low Income â¢ Asian, Hispanic, Black â¢ Limited English Proficiency â¢ Foreign Born â¢ Disabled â¢ Seniors
4-86 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Developing the Approach Each urban area community selected as a case study for EJTK research has been presented as a profile, beginning with a brief Description of the setting and the concerns, followed by an inven- tory of the Investigations undertaken in support of the concerns, and then a presentation of the Findings resulting from the analysis and review of the key questions. A final section in each profile summarizes the Conclusions and Recommendations resulting from the analysis. The research- ers acknowledge that Conclusions and Recommendations should be deemed âpreliminaryâ as the products of the analytical techniques undertaken are expected to stimulate a subsequent stage of community working group deliberations and a process of dialogue and negotiation with respon- sible public agencies. These proceedings may also result in different or refined analyses. Implementing the Approach The EJTK presents a Framework for an Environmental Justice Analysis Process with three core components. The expression of community concerns through public participation and organized community-based actions is an essential catalyst. Analytical tools and performance measures are other core components that are applied to investigate issues of concern identified in low-income communities, but are conducted following the involvement processes, which allow communities to understand findings and offer feedback in a collaborative process. Of the 10 EJTK implementation steps shown in Figure 4-25, steps 1 to 5 contain the core components that were implemented for the Baltimore Kirk Avenue Case Studyâone of several Figure 4-25. The Framework for Environmental Justice Analysis Process illustrates several steps that communities may take to redress inequities.
effective practices 4-87 case examples highlighted in the toolkit researchâan investigation of the effects of a regional bus depot on a nearby low-income neighborhood. Listening sessions, community dialogues, community workshops and subsequent follow-up meetings with government officials were held. At these events, stakeholders expressed their visions, offering a range of desired outcomes for their community such as long-term sustainability, transit-connectivity, income-generation, and physical rebuilding of their neighborhood. Figure 4-26 illustrates a Power Analysis Diagram, used in the Kirk Avenue bus depot case study, which stresses that the concerns of community stakeholders are central to credible plan- ning processes. It depicts a community-centric planning model in which important government and civic institutions are prepared to leverage each otherâs expertise and insights to advance the communityâs vision and preferred outcomes. For example, research professors from the Johns Hopkins Public Health Department conducted air and noise technical studies and investigated health complaints of local residents for the Kirk Avenue bus depot case. The diagram shows a series of circles with the community at the center (red). The next-outer ring of the circle (blue) identifies various desirable outcomes for a livable, sustainable community such as envi- ronmental justice, smart growth, accessibility, and family posterity. The next outer ring (yellow) identifies strategies for achieving those community-driven values and outcomesâfor example, mitigation of threats to air or water and truck noise and other concerns. The fourth ring (green) identifies local stakeholders who will serve on the project team, and the fifth, outermost ring (gray) identifies national and regional stakeholders that can be supportive of the initiative such as federal and nonprofit agencies. The EJTK Framework for Environmental Justice Analysis also advocates for the institu- tion of a âTriage Committeeâ as the most credible mechanism for screening and prioritizing complaints and concerns registered by affected communities (see Figure 4-27). The Triage Com- mittee is composed of key organizations that can influence the resolution of transportation- related environmental justice issues. For the Baltimore and Pittsburgh case studies, the Triage Figure 4-26. Achieving outcomes valued by community stakeholders is central to the participation framework illustrated in this Power Analysis Diagram.
4-88 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Committee included advocates, transportation planners, academics, low-income populations, stakeholders, and the MPO or regional planning council. The Triage Committeeâs composition is not necessarily a permanent regional committee of the MPO or other transportation agency institution, although it could be formed as a regularly held environmental justice task force or subcommittee. It can also be developed to vary by project, by community, or by the expertise required to effectively address key issues of concern for specific projects. The Triage Committee can develop processes and criteria to ensure that decisions will be made about how the environmental justice concern or issue will be treated, especially in rela- tion to its history, urgency, and extent. The Triage Process is a preresolution process intended to identify legitimate complaints and devise appropriate work programs to screen and research issues and develop the best solutions and processes to remedy concerns. An MPO, the state and city departments of transportation, planning agencies, urban public health or environmental research organizations, and perhaps one or more community organizations may be part of the Triage Committee. The diverse representation and presumed independence of the Tri- age Committeeâfor example, âone vote one memberââcan encourage greater vigor in the scrutiny of environmental justice questions. This responsibility would extend to analysis and recommendations to remedy unintended consequences from the cumulative effects of existing transportation programs, operations, or projects. This responsibility would also validate, in a non-contentious way, the need for large- and small-scale project priorities that are important to low-income and minority communities. Technical analyses are essential for investigating concerns expressed by communities. In Step 6 of the Framework for Environmental Justice highlighted in Figure 4-25, analysis is under- taken to determine what the problem is, what information should be collected, and then what action should be taken. In the Kirk Avenue bus depot case study, the EJTK was used to evaluate Evaluation of Environmental Justice Issues Public Health Institution State DOT MPO Non - Profit Community Group Business Group Urban Academic Institution Local Government Triage Committee Figure 4-27. The Triage Committee includes representation from diverse organizations. It can function as an advisory committee for community transportation projects or as an empowered advisory committee or task force of an MPO.
effective practices 4-89 bus transit routes, air pollution, housing noise, and community sentiment. As a result of these investigations, follow-up meetings were held with the transit agency to discuss mitigation strate- gies, including strengthening buffer zones, redirecting bus tailpipes away from the residents, and perimeter tree planting. If it is determined that the concern should be addressed relatively soon, actions may be referred to the MPOâs standard review process. In Environmental Justice Analysis Process Step 7, the âStandard Review Process,â decisions are made about how the concern or issue will be officially treated, especially in relation to its urgency and extent. Given the many tasks and functions linked to the EJTK Triage Committee, it might be expected that there would be a high level of activ- ity. Alternatively the Triage Process can be added to an existing outreach function. Under full deployment, the Triage Committee would either have very stringent rules in selecting issues to get involved with, or have sufficient resources (in-kind, grant, or endowment) to acquire supple- mental assistance from staff or consultants. In some situations, solutions may not be known and further exploration will be required (Step 8) to arrive at alternative actions by consensus. Evalu- ation of each of these three paths should then occur (Step 9) to determine whether the outcomes of the process are deemed acceptable. If the acceptability of an outcome remains in question, the environmental justice analysis framework should lead back to the Triage Process (Step 5) where it can be re-evaluated along with any new information generated during Steps 6 through 8. Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking The EJTK is rooted in the recognition that at-risk communities require equal protection from environmental and health hazards under the law. The effect of the EJTK has been to elevate the visibility of environmental justice in transportation by making widely available to planning pro- fessionals, community leaders, and environmental and public health researchers several analyti- cal tools, a research framework, a triage process, and other guidance. The EJTK seeks to help the practitioner focus on valid approaches for sensitive situations. The analytical tools in the EJTK such as a web-based travel diary, community sentiment sur- veys, public health analysis, accessibility calculators, and alternatives analysis approaches for the âperson on the porchâ in the affected community are expected to inform community and government-driven public participation processes. While these tools are typically unavailable to at-risk communities they are generally available to most planning agencies. The EJTK reaffirms their importance to planning agencies and professionals, while it serves as an educational tool for low-income and minority communities. The EJTK shows how a public complaint can lead to an agency action and embodies the strong belief that protecting community quality of life is inseparable from seriously addressing issues of equity and threats to public health, safety, and security. The EJTK encourages low-income, at-risk communities, and planning officials to step back and look at the full picture of neighbor- hood, community, city, and regional wellness, to consider and measure the dimensions of the problem, and then to decide whether to address it as an immediate concern, or as a longer-term fundamental change, or both. As a guidance tool, the EJTK attempts to help guide the planning process with a better understanding of the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. â¢ For the Kirk Avenue Bus Depot Case Study in Baltimore, the EJTK was used to form a multi- disciplinary team of planners, academics, community stakeholders, public health and environmental professionals, the Cityâs public health department, and a local business owner (see Figure 4-28). These individuals were drawn into the initiative by their interest and expertise in public healthârelated concerns and environmental pollution. The proj- ect met with the regionâs transit agency, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), to
4-90 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking present its findings. As a result of the meeting, the MTA acknowledged the community concerns and agreed to take several remedial actions in advance of redeveloping the bus yard, including: â Planting trees around the perimeter of the bus yard, â Constructing a meshed covered fence, â Repositioning the bus tail pipes away from the residential properties, â Eliminating noise from an all call speaker system, â Increasing the number of community information and feedback meetings, and â Establishing a 300-foot buffer away from the residential homes. Still unsatisfied with the results of the above remedial actions, a committee of five formed to seek redress on other community demands, such as: â Compensation for lost use of property, and â Air filters and the sound proofing of residences. This committee of five also reached out to Marylandâs Commission for Environmental Justice and Sustainability to assess, understand, and resolve cumulative impacts associated with the maintenance and redevelopment of the Kirk Avenue bus depot. â¢ The Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN), a faith-based coalition and an affiliate of the International Gamaliel Network of interfaith action groups, successfully applied the pub- Figure 4-28. The Kirk Avenue Bus Depot Case Study details analytical methods and involvement processes used to document community concerns and continuing blighting effects that the bus depot has had upon the nearby âat-riskâ residential neighborhood.
effective practices 4-91 lic participation and power relationshipâbuilding strategies articulated in the EJTK. In this community-based engagement, a Transit Task Force within PIIN was formed to gather infor- mation needed for its Mall Transit Equity Campaign to build interest in the campaign and in the larger community. This direct action was the only means of obtaining the necessary data to improve available transit services in a manner desired by the community. Members of the Task Force, who had been active previously in an Equity Subcommittee advising the Port Authority of Allegheny County, the regional transit agency, in the development of a compre- hensive update of its service plan, persuaded the agency to hold one of its six public discussion meetings in East Liberty, a community with a high percentage of minority and low-income residents and a transit hub. This venue was notable because previously scheduled events had been held only in suburban locations or the downtown. The Task Force subsequently mobilized demonstrations, âMall Crawls for Transit Equity,â to draw attention to the difficulties for transit users, particularly older and disabled riders, caused by the transit-unfriendly locations of stops far from the mallâs entrances (see Figure 4-29). The Task Force initially failed to persuade local or national representatives of the mallâs owner to join them in a discussion of the problem and possible solutions. Rep- resentatives of the mallâs owners refused to meet to even consider the possibility of âmov- ing the buses.â In the face of this intransigence, the Task Force appealed to the Allegheny County Council, which overseesâalong with the countyâs chief executive officeâthe Port Authority and all other county agencies. Representatives of the Allegheny County Council made a personal telephone call to the Council Chairman, who was receptive to the com- plaints. Having met with the Task Force a few days later, the Chairman then persuaded three other Council members to co-sponsor a County Council Resolution, which compre- hensively explained the problems the Task Force wanted to see addressed and urged the Port Authority and local shopping mall management companies to work cooperatively to Figure 4-29. Mall Crawls for Transit Equity received newspaper coverage about the difficult pedestrian conditions faced by transit riders, particularly older and disabled persons, at local shopping malls.
4-92 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking establish bus stops in safe, well-lit, and well-maintained areas near shopping malls within Allegheny County. â¢ In Oakland, the Conference on Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), Northern Cali- fornia Chapterâs Transportation Action Partnership (TAP), in association with the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), has initiated a project to focus on public safety issues centering on pedestrian safety, platform safety, and security in the parking and transit stops areas. Notably, the study will explore how 18- to 25-year-old males and their families experience transpor- tation safety and security issues and will seek to support their ability to communicate their concerns to transportation decisionmakers. The California Department of Transportationâs Environmental Justice Planning Grant Program has funded this study to expose young adult males from minority and low-income communities to the practical realities of transportation agency decisionmaking. Project participation has been solicited from community- and faith- based organizations, media, academia, and businesses to provide access to young adults. The project also conducts decision-maker interviews that capture how to access decisionmakers. The fatal shooting of Oscar Grant, a young adult Black male, by a White transit police officer made clear the urgency of the project and the issues it will raise. The project was envisioned before the shooting, but the importance of improving a dialogue about public safety and security issues was made abundantly clear in its aftermath. That tragic event led to criminal and civil actions, civil rights investigations, reexamination of transit police procedures, and greater recognition that the transit agency must improve its communications and relations with young adult males in the Black community. The goal of this project is to enable both decisionmakers and youth to improve their communication about safety and security con- cerns for the betterment of their community. Facilitated conversations have been held and participants have been encouraged to develop an action designed to address transportation issues with decisionmakers. Early in the development of the TAP project, TAP had to address the issue of relevancy to young adults. Many young adult males from low-income minority communities have endured marginalization since childhood and do not trust or find relevant government agency outreach efforts. TAP enlisted the artistry and skill of a spoken word, socially conscious hip hop artist to manage messaging and support the facilitated conversations which have become the hallmark of the TAP project. His performance lecture on social and environmental justice has been developed and presented on the campuses of colleges and universities throughout the country. Morgan State University and soon other major HBCUs will join the effort of fostering partici- pation by future generations in decisionmaking and problem solving. At the conclusion of the project, a guidebook designed to enhance the understanding between public transportation users and planners, patterned after the Baltimore Regional Environmental Justice Transporta- tion Project (BREJTP), is to be created describing the community-led environmental justice process. Challenges Ahead Incorporating environmental justice principles into a collaborative decision-making process presents several challenges as it relates to improving transportation planning and project devel- opment processes. To effectively represent the concerns of low-income and minority communi- ties, practitioners should be dedicated with expertise and passion to advocate for changes and achieve more favorable outcomes for communities that have borne the burdens of past trans- portation decisions. This includes the need to reform the ways in which transportation agencies traditionally proceed in their outreach and relationships with the public, in their use of analytic tools, in their application of performance measures to guide decisionmakers, in their media communications, in their methods for prioritizing investments and project selection, and in their appreciation of the effects of transportation on public health and air quality conditions in
effective practices 4-93 communities. The EJTK seeks to reform the typically âtop-downâ approaches to how planning decision-making processes are made with a âbottom-upâ model of public participation and decisionmaking that is more community driven and collaborative. In short, the user of the EJTK faces the continuing challenge of promoting effective processes and tools for evaluating, analyzing, and implementing transportation solutions that will achieve environmental justice. This is warranted by a steady stream of Title VI complaints and a continu- ing pattern of planning and decisionmaking that limit the opportunities of the disadvantaged to live in a clean, safe community and to enjoy a respectable quality of life. Benefits of the Approach While a combination of federal statutes, regulations, and guidance acknowledge the obliga- tions of Title VI and the importance of taking steps to integrate environmental justice consid- erations in the transportation planning process, those directives provide little guidance on how states, MPOs, or local governments could better collaborate with disadvantaged populations to redress persistent inequities or threats to community quality of life from the cumulative effects of past decisions. The absence of hard rules and guidance provides flexibility to implementing agencies so they can be creative and innovative, but it also invokes a level of conjecture as to what a proper EJTK process or analysis should look like. The lack of rules also often sets the bar quite low in terms of the standard or level of participation needed to be in compliance. Finding a single understandable resource to assist in negotiating this complex process is elu- sive, particularly for low-income and minority groups. In the absence of such guidance, it is argued that implementing agencies have to do more primary research on their own. This often leads to trial and error methods or, worse, an EJTK analysis or process that falls short of its potential. Of paramount importance is the question of how minority, low-income, and other disadvantaged groups are truly able to gain access to âthe systemâ and trust decisionmakers to hear their concerns and act accordingly. The process of defining needs and setting planning and project priorities within a transportation agency seems to outsiders to be a closely held privilege. In such an environment, the EJTK offers further definition of a structured environmental justice process and is a technical assistance resource for sharing strategies that have been success- ful for communities in their interactions with transportation agencies in the planning, project development, and operations and maintenance stages. Several strategies for influencing this process are described in the toolkit and can yield benefits, including: â¢ Formation of EJTK task forces or advisory committees that are empowered to review, com- ment, and provide guidance to the seated decision-making bodies (e.g., the MPO). â¢ Making provision for one or more representatives of the EJTK community to sit on one of these decision-making bodies and have voting power. â¢ Development of the kinds of performance measures and analyses that are helpful in steer- ing conventional decision-making processes toward appreciating and addressing justice outcomes. Costs of the Approach The costs of applying the EJTK will vary significantly by the type of project issues being inves- tigated and the degree to which subject matter experts or organizations are leveraged to under- take outreach processes and technical studies. Resources are generally dedicated to technical studies, front porch interviews, field based investigations, statistical analyses, periodic meetings with concerned and impassioned community groups, media communications, and to encourag- ing strong community-based power relationships.
4-94 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Contacts/Resources Contacts Glenn Robinson, Project Director Environmental Justice in Transportation Project Morgan State University 1700 East Cold Spring Lane Baltimore, Maryland 21251 (443) 838-2435 firstname.lastname@example.org Bobbi Fischer Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) Northern California Chapter (510) 838-0685 email@example.com Marilyn Ababio Transportation Action Partnership (510) 839-6120 firstname.lastname@example.org Resources Environmental Justice in Transportation Toolkitâhttp://www.ejkit.com Baltimore Region Environmental Justice in Transportation Project, Volume IâEnvironmental Protection Agency/ Federal Highway Administration: http://ejkit.com/the-toolkit/ej-toolkit/ej-toolkit-volume-1/ Baltimore Region Environmental Justice in Transportation Project, Volume IIâFederal Transit Administration: http://ejkit.com/the-toolkit/ej-toolkit/ej-toolkit-volume-2/ Just Us Dying on BartlettâVideo: http://ejkit.com/2010/01/05/just-us-dying-on-bartlett/ BART Police Shooting of Oscar Grantâhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BART_Police_shooting_of_Oscar_Grant
effective practices 4-95 Designing a Tiered-Outreach Approach to Foster Meaningful Involvement: Colorado DOT Background In July 2003, after almost 40 years in operation, the Colo- rado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Denverâs Regional Transportation District (RTD) began a joint study effort that would become the I-70 East Corridor environmen- tal impact statement (EIS). The EIS sought to examine alter- natives for improving mobility along the corridor between I-25 and Tower Road as well as rapid transit options from downtown Denver to Denver International Airport. The highway and transit components were later separated into two EISs; however, they are both part of the I-70 East Corridor and share a project area. When the highway was initially constructed in 1964, it included an elevated bridge that bisected two neighborhoods: Elyria and Swansea. Construction of the bridge left an irrevoca- ble mark upon the lives of these two communities and fostered a distrust of governmental actions for many area residents. The majority of neighborhoods in the project area have a considerably higher population of low-income persons, minority persons, and children receiving free school lunches than the Denver average. While 43 percent of the Denver area is Hispanic or Black, within the corridor these groups make up 78 percent of the populations (Piton Foundation, 2004). The presence of LEP populations, in particular those speaking Spanish, in the project area is notable. Developing the Approach Proposed improvements to the I-70 East Corridor coupled with government distrust asso- ciated with its original construction resulted in the need for a community-based outreach approach that would help address and mitigate project-related community concerns. To under- take the extensive public outreach effort that would be required for this project, CDOT retained Neighborhood Solutions, a nonprofit organization specializing in community involvement and the engagement of traditionally disenfranchised populations throughout the various stages of transportation decisionmaking. The public outreach team conducted an assessment of existing low-income and minority populations to determine how best to customize outreach strategies for specific communities. A community impact assessment (CIA) was initially performed to identify community issues and concerns, develop a forum for scoping, and introduce a broad-based representation of the community. The assessment included mapping the project area and then, for each neighbor- hood, identifying community assets and services available, conducting a needs assessment of the community, and measuring capacity to support additional community activities and services. Information gathered in the CIA was used as input for designing a context sensitive solutions (CSS) approach for engaging the project area population, previously identified as traditionally disenfranchised. Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ NEPA/Project Development Participants: â¢ Colorado Department of Transportation â¢ Denver Regional Transportation District â¢ Neighborhood Solutions Tools and Techniques: â¢ Hire a Third Party to Design and Lead Out- reach Efforts â¢ Train Community Members to Conduct Out- reach â¢ Tiered Approach to Outreach Affected Populations: â¢ Low Income â¢ Hispanic â¢ Black â¢ Limited English Proficiency â¢ Foreign Born
4-96 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Fundamental public involvement principles were incor- porated into the projectâs public involvement plan (PIP) to ensure meaningful involvement that would be both personal and extensive. The process was designed to begin at the one- on-one level and gradually expand to bring together the vary- ing interests of those residing and working along the corridor. The plan included a variety of outreach activities that could be used in different combinations to ensure maximum levels of participation in each neighborhood. Elements of the PIP included: â¢ Hiring project area residents to help distribute project information; â¢ Training consultants, project engineers, and residents in ethnic courtesy and door to door techniques; â¢ Utilizing as many local vendors as possible; â¢ Using flyers to notify residents and business establishments of project meetings; â¢ Developing working groups to address specific issues; â¢ Proactively involving the media; â¢ Meeting frequently with local and state officials; â¢ Distributing mailings and newsletters containing current project information; and â¢ Advertising in daily and weekly newspapers, including minority and local publications. Implementing the Approach Meetings with formal and informal leaders were scheduled to introduce community mem- bers to the EIS process and the I-70 East Corridor project team. The objective of these meetings was to solicit input on the outreach process, inform the public that outreach specialists would be going door to door in some neighborhoods, and con- duct block, neighborhood, and corridor-wide meetings throughout the EIS process. Door-to-door outreach became the preferred approach for first con- tact with several neighborhoods. Outreach specialists were hired from the targeted communities to serve as the first point of contact with neighbor- hoods. All persons interacting with the public were required to take part in an extensive one-day training program culminating with a test. Train- ing included learning the history of the neighborhoods in the project area and role-playing exercises to create some typical situations that may arise during the outreach process. Trainees were also given guidance on how to interact with persons of different ethnic backgrounds and useful language in describing technical issues to those unfamiliar with transportation planning. Door-to-door outreach conducted by project area residents was viewed as a powerful tool by which to leverage existing relationships and community knowledge, gain credibility and trust for the process, and engage with neigh- bors. When nontransportation issues were raised, the outreach specialist was trained to offer information on appropriate community service providers and programs (see Figure 4-30). The door-to-door outreach was conducted by bilingual teams between 12:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and on Saturday as needed. Conducting door-to-door interviews during daylight savings time was most Principles of Public Involvement Plans â¢ Go to themâtheir meeting places, their neighborhoods, their leaders. â¢ Involve residents, businesses, and stakeholders in decisions. â¢ Public involvement is the nucleus to better decisionmaking. â¢ Identify community issues and concerns. â¢ Encourage innovation while supporting safety. â¢ Engineers are problem solvers. â¢ Begin a dialogue about improvements in the environment âabove and beyondâ required mitigation. Figure 4-30. Residents were most comfortable chatting with strangers on their front porch or stoop.
effective practices 4-97 effective because people are more comfortable opening their door to strangers when it is light out. Outreach specialists were expected to wear the brightly colored, yellow I-70 East Corridor t-shirts and identification badges so that they were easily identifiable. Outreach specialists would first visit homes between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. If no one answered the door, a leave-behind card was left with a number to call to set-up a better time for the visit or indicated when the specialist would return. Second visits were between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. During visits, questionnaires were administered; no personal inquiries were made. Residents were given pamphlets about the project and encouraged to attend public meetings in the future. Block meetings were hosted in backyards and area parks, and residents living within an 8 to 16 block radius were encouraged to attend. Attendance at these meetings was typi- cally between 10 and 15 people, creating an intimate environ- ment for informal discussions that capitalized upon the social culture of the area. Meals and translations were provided. Neighborhood meetings typically attracted upwards of 120 people. Flyers were distributed prior to meetings. Child care, translation, and meals were provided at these meetings to encourage residents to attend. Neighborhood issues were discussed and questionnaire results were revealed. Corridor-wide meetings were advertised in local newspapers, including minority publica- tions, flyers, and the I-70 Corridor newsletter. These meetings typically attracted up to 250 peo- ple often bringing a diverse set of perspectives and interest groups. Meals, translation, and child care were provided (see Figures 4-31 and 4-32). Lessons Learned Several noteworthy effective practices were undertaken to support discussion in the com- munities that had borne the cumulative adverse effects of past siting decisions: â¢ Agency support is a mustâspirit and deed. â¢ Early and often involvement reduces commu- nity acrimony. â¢ The project office should be sited in the proj- ect area to allow the team to experience the community. â¢ Public outreach questionnaires should inquire about meeting time preference and location. â¢ Bilingual newsletters should be sent in advance of each round of corridor-wide meetings. â¢ Outreach should be focused on places where people generally congregate such as religious institutions. â¢ Public involvement works best if it is designed to relate directly to potential impacts. Figure 4-31. Meals were provided at meetings held at the block, neighborhood, and corridor-wide levels to better accommodate the schedules of attendees. Figure 4-32. Participants at a corridor-wide meeting marked up block-scale maps of the corridor.
4-98 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Working groups were established to encourage continued community participation after the scoping phase. Working group members were people who attended neighborhood and corridor-wide meetings and the working groups were organized around such issues as com- munity impacts, interchanges, economic development, bicycle/pedestrian mobility, and open space. The working groups exposed participants to the ways in which engineers, planners, and scientists evaluate specific resources. Activities included attendees using noise monitors on Denver streets to get readings on traffic and light rail; developing puzzles to help participants understand the process for matching transportation elements like transit stations, technology, and alignments; conducting a car-buying exercise to help explain the alternatives screening pro- cess; and having attendees serve as project planners to site a new postal facility in low-income and minority communities. Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking The extensive effort undertaken by the community-based public outreach team, on behalf of CDOT, helped dissolve some of the distrust that existed before the CSS process began. The use of CSS during the project lent itself to a transparent planning process that minimized significant public opposition on a controversial project. Several thousand people were actively engaged and able to meaningfully contribute to the project. Efforts to educate community members about the EIS process and technical aspects of the analysis helped create a more rewarding dialogue between the community and the project team regarding project solutions and potential mitiga- tion needs. The planning of the I-70 East Corridor has been highlighted as a successful practice by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officialâs (AASHTOâs) Cen- ter for Environmental Excellence. Challenges The project made enormous strides toward building trust between the community and government agencies. Continued relationship building with the community will be needed through the investment of time and money to ensure that the goodwill built by the project extends beyond the life of the project. CDOT and FHWA have begun the preferred alternative identification process. This process will build upon the input received during public outreach efforts and will be undertaken by the I-70 East Preferred Alternative Collaboration Team (I-70 PACT), which includes representatives from Adams County, Aurora, Commerce City, and Denver. In identifying the preferred alternative CDOT will be challenged to continue to foster community involvement, transparency, and openness while building consensus among I-70 PACT members. Benefits of the Approach Outreach efforts on the individual level afforded residents with the opportunity to consi- der I-70 enhancements and form their own opinions before being thrust into larger meet- ings without prior knowledge of project details. By engaging traditionally underserved populations, CDOT was able to gain a greater understanding of community concerns and potential impacts, which helped them save time and money both in terms of mitigation and design.
effective practices 4-99 Costs of the Approach The overall cost for outreach was about $500,000. The majority of the outreach approach was implemented over a 5-month period, during which the greatest expense was staff time. There were some direct costs that included hiring local vendors to provide food and child care, some printing, and renting meeting space. Contacts/Resources Contacts Jumetta G. Posey, Public Outreach Manager Neighborhood Solutions 1611 East 22nd Avenue Denver, CO 80205 (303) 894-8600 email@example.com Resources I-70 Environmental Impact Statement, Community Outreach Program - http://www.i-70east.com
4-100 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Hiring Locals Residents to Conduct Outreach: I-40 Business Public Involvement Project, WinstonâSalem, North Carolina Background Winston-Salemâs four-lane East-West Expressway was designed in 1953 prior to the passage of the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956. After the roadway was opened in 1958, it was brought into the Interstate system and renamed I-40. It retained this designation until the completion of the ânew I-40â in 1992 when it was again renamed, this time to I-40 Business. Today, a 1.1 mile portion of the original East-West Expressway (now I-40 Business) that extends from west of 4th Street to east of Church Street in the center of downtown Winston-Salem is the oldest section of Interstate in North Carolina. This segment includes four interchanges and nine bridges over and two bridges on I-40 Business. Designed prior to the adoption of Interstate design standards, several of its 11 bridges have substandard design features, including horizontal and vertical alignment issues and ramp configurations. In addition, approximately 92,000 vehicles per day use the roadway, almost double the num- ber it was designed to accommodate. Together, these conditions have contrib- uted to congestion and high accident rates at several locations and led to the deterioration of road and bridge surfaces. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) realized that minor rehabilitation would not address the roadwayâs needed safety and mobility improvements. They asked the Federal Highway Administrationâs North Caro- lina Division to convene a conference to assess the strategies and implications of wholesale reconstruction of the roadway and its bridges, and redesign of its ramp configurations to cur- rent standards. The resulting 2-day, invitation-only, Accelerated Construction Technology Transfer conference in Winston-Salem brought together more than 100 attendees from FHWA offices, state DOTs, and consulting firms with expertise on similar type projects, as well as NCDOTâs staff, local elected and appointed officials, and state and federal resource agency representatives. Two distinct construction alternatives emerged from this conference: close I-40 Business completely for a 2-year period; or partially close I-40 Business for a 6-year period allow- ing only reduced through traffic. A major consideration in deciding which construction alternative should be selected was identifying which alternative the public would support. In order to determine this, NCDOT retained a consultant to design and implement a public involvement plan for the planning, design/environmental, and construction phases of the project. Developing the Approach Before a public involvement plan could be designed, six consultant staff members and two NCDOT division staff members met in Winston-Salem to familiarize themselves with the study area, interview key stakeholders, and compile demographic information. Over a period of 2 weeks they interviewed more than 85 city, county, and state elected and appointed officials; neighborhood association representatives; church, synagogue, and mosque leaders; EMS, fire, police, and hospital personnel; media staff from Black, Hispanic, and mainstream organizations; Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Business Partnership, and other formal and informal busi- Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Planning Participants: â¢ North Carolina DOT Tools and Techniques: â¢ Hiring local residents Affected Populations: â¢ Low Literacy â¢ Limited English Proficiency â¢ Disabled â¢ Foreign Born â¢ Senior â¢ Black â¢ Hispanic
effective practices 4-101 ness groups; public school bus drivers and officials; city bus drivers; and other residents. Based upon information obtained from these individuals, a study area map was created that identified 26 neighborhoods. Sixteen of the neighborhoods were designated âcore neighborhoodsâ as they could be directly affected by reconstruction while 10 other neighborhoods that surrounded the core neighborhoods were believed to be potentially subject to the indirect effects of reconstruc- tion. Within the core neighborhoods, every street was driven and information was collected on the location of all schools, recreation centers, faith-based organizations, senior citizen housing complexes, and other potential gathering places for meetings. Demographic information was also assembled to better understand the race, ethnic, and other social characteristics of residents living in the core neighborhoods, utilizing data from the U.S. census, city, and county agencies. As a result of the field trip, the interviews, and the demographic information, it was decided that 15-minute door-to-door surveys should be used as the primary public involvement tool and these would be targeted to the core neighborhoods. In addition to undertaking the surveys, neighborhood meetings would be held in each of the 16 core neighborhoods with residents from the surrounding neighborhoods also being invited to attend. Supplementing these local events, three corridor-wide meetings would be held to bring together groups of neighborhoods. The public involvement team recognized that hiring local residents from the core neighborhoods could improve communications within specific neighborhoods. Local residents would be more familiar with local community etiquette or values, connect effectively with formal and informal local leaders, and better ensure that the team would have the capacity to bridge language or other cultural barriers. The majority of the local hires were Blacks and bilingual Hispanics. During this stage, it was decided that 35 local residents should be hired to supplement the consulting teamâs staff of six. This staffing level was determined, in part, from assessing the size of the target audience for outreach: those 18 years old and over within the core neighborhoods (approximately 21,800 in 2000), and the percentage of those that normally respond to this type a survey (12â15 percent). Rather than advertise in newspapers, the consulting team recruited outreach staff by contact- ing many of the individuals that had been previously interviewed as well as the organizations they represented or were affiliated with and asked them for recommendations. While the pri- mary responsibility of these local residents would be to conduct door-to-door interviews, they would also be called upon to conduct surveys at malls, strip malls, big box stores, mom-and-pop businesses, and downtown businesses. They would also be asked to distribute flyers in neighbor- hoods prior to neighborhood and corridor-wide meetings and attend and participate in these neighborhood and corridor-wide meetings (see Figure 4-33). Implementing the Approach Door-to-door surveys were initially scheduled to begin the first of May and continue throughout the summer. They were to be conducted Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. to capture those who worked first and second shifts and those who worked or stayed at home. However, project delays pushed the start date to the first of October, which left only 6 weeks before daylight saving time ended in mid-November. Once daylight savings time ended, it would get dark at or shortly after 5:00 p.m. and people who would normally answer the door during daylight hours would be hesitant to do so after dark. This reduced the number of hours available Monday through Friday to conduct interviews and led the team to conduct interviews on Saturdays during the daylight hours. The compressed schedule also meant that an additional 40 local residents would need to be hired to complete the surveys before daylight saving time ended. The consultant then scheduled pre-hiring interviews with potential candidates who had been recommended during the initial study area reconnaissance. A background check and a drug
4-102 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking test for prospective hires was part of the hiring process. A cadre of 15 individuals were selected for leadership positions in the field and in the office. Two 1-day group interviews were then held with more than 100 other individuals. Those who survived this screening process were informed that they would be given a second interview; only the first 60 persons that successfully passed that interview would be offered a position. The 75 individuals that survived this process received consultant-directed training for their positions. Doubling the staff had a profound impact on cash flow of the six-person subconsultant team as the loaded payroll for 75 employees approached $200,000 every 2-week pay period. The prime consultant agreed to extraordinary terms to address the problemâpayment within 15 days of receipt regardless of when NCDOT paid the prime consultant. The scale of local staffing had an impact on the size and location of the project office that would be required. The office would have to hold 75 people in the morning as teams were prepped for the day and again in the eve- ning for debriefing, have a parking area sufficient for 35 cars and the four vans used to ferry individuals to the field, be accessible to bus transit, and be near the I-40 Business corridor. Of these 75 individuals, approximately 15 individuals were engaged in office activities such as preparing payroll and accounting; providing human resources services; doing data entry; creat- ing door-to-door maps; scheduling visits to faith-based organizations, senior centers, shopping centers/big box stores, and downtown businesses to meet with CEOs and employees; packing give-away bags, providing secretarial and management services, creating media packets, and so on. The remaining 60 individuals were divided into four teams of approximately 14 interview- ers and a certified van driver. In addition, one person was assigned to ferry employees from the field to the bathroom and back to the field. Each member was dressed in an orange shirt with a project logo and a photo identification badge. Before commencing the door-to-door survey, an extensive television, radio, and newspaper media campaign announced that project staff would soon be coming into their neighborhood to conduct surveys. This was quickly followed by a newsletter about the project that encouraged the public to open its doors to take the survey. Only after this advance work was completed did the door-to-door survey begin. The media campaign heightened the publicâs interest in the project and participation rates greatly exceeded the project teamâs initial estimates: 40 percent of those who were asked to take a survey complied, rather than the 12 to 15 percent that were expected. This outpouring of project interest extended the project through November and into February Figure 4-33. Local residents were recruited to conduct surveys at various locations and distribute flyers prior to neighborhood and corridor-level meetings.
Effective Practices 4-103 to accommodate all of those wishing to complete a survey. As a result of this effort, a total of 11,950 surveys were completed (see Figure 4-34). Once the surveys were completed, a series of 16 neighborhood meetings were held in the core neighborhoods. The outreach specialist flyered each neighborhood prior to each meeting and at the meeting performed a variety of tasks including signing-in attendees, manning every display board and talking knowledgeably about the information it provided, interviewing residents as they sat at supper, and acting as scribes to record the residentsâ comments. Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking Of the 11,950 individuals that were surveyed, 67 percent favored closing I-40 Business totally for 2 years. Bolstered by this extensive outreach process and the information that it yielded, NCDOT was able to announce that the 2-year alternative would be the selected method of construction. After reaching this decision and announcing it to the public, NCDOT was then able to examine possible alternative design scenarios as part of the NEPA process. Figure 4-34. Newsletters were regularly prepared in English and Spanish. Survey findings and upcom- ing meeting dates for corridor-wide meetings were among the featured items in this issue.
4-104 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Challenges While 75 locals were necessary to conduct the daily door-to-door phase of the project, only about 30 individuals were needed to prepare for and conduct the subsequent 1-week corridor- wide meetings phase of the project. Even fewer individuals were needed to support the one- night-a-month working group meetings. The challenge has been and will continue to be main- taining connections with these individuals over the coming years and being able to call on them even if they have other jobs. Benefits of the Approach Regardless of the neighborhood, commuters, or business groups surveyed, the preferred alter- native was to totally close the roadway for 2 years. Within the nine general groups surveyed, results ranged from 57 to 77 percent selecting the 2-year option with 67 percent overall wanting the 2-year alternative. While both the Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Business Part- nership had told the consultant and NCDOT at the initiation of the project that âno oneâ would support the total closing of the roadway, 77 percent of the 1,517 downtown business employees and 75 percent of the 143 downtown business owners/CEOs surveyed registered their support for the 2-year option. Having a local staff of 75 people made it possible to have a far-reaching and continuous outreach approach that also grabbed the attention of the public. After reaching out to and communicating with almost 22,000 people, it was difficult to find anyone in the greater Winston-Salem area who had not, in some way, heard about the project. By hiring local residents, purchasing food and other services from local vendors, leasing vans to carry staff members into the field to conduct interviews, renting housing for the consultant staff, leasing office space, renting meeting locations, and other associated services, more than $2 million was returned to the local economy. In addition, local residents were given the oppor- tunity to develop leadership and management skills as they were placed in positions of respon- sibility over teams that went into the field every day. Costs of the Approach The overall public involvement effort, from February 2006 to May 2011, cost approximately $4.6 million. The majority of the outreach approach was implemented over a 5-month period, during which the greatest expense was hiring 75 local residents (approximately $400,000 per month). In addition, 4 vans ($1,500 per month) were leased, local vendors were hired to pro- vide food ($800) and licensed child care ($200) at each meeting, a project office was leased ($2,000 per month), and meeting spaces were used that cost between nothing and $5,000. Contacts/Resources Contacts Mr. Drew Joyner, PE Project Development and Environmental Analysis Human Environment Unit Head NC DOT 1598 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-1598 (919) 707-6077 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
effective practices 4-105 Establishing a Model Comprehensive Tribal Consultation Process: Washington State Department of Transportation Background Federally recognized Indian tribes are governmental entities whose lands and rights are protected through and confirmed by the Constitution of the United States, treaties, statutes, executive orders, and judicial decisions. This unique situation sets them apart from other underserved populations. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has established relationships with 34 federally rec- ognized tribal governments. Twenty-nine tribes are located in Washington State; the additional six tribes have reservations outside the state, but have traditional homelands, treaty rights, or other interests within the state. WSDOT works with tribes to identify and address their transportation needs as well as to consider how their interests may be affected by projects and operations initiated or maintained by the state. WSDOT must comply with a wide range of federal, state, and tribal requirements in the development of transportation projects and overall maintenance and operation of the stateâs transportation infrastructure. Foremost of the federal require- ments are those established under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). WSDOT concluded that environmental review con- ducted under NEPA, which is carried out by the agency during conceptual engineering and design, provided the central nexus for tribal consultation on projects that could impact tribal inter- ests. There are also several other compliance paths that run par- allel to the NEPA process, including Section 106 of the NHPA. The state transportation agency is also bound by Washing- ton Stateâs Executive Policy on the Centennial Accord with the Federally Recognized Tribes in Washington State, the New Millennium Agreement, the WSDOT Executive Order 1025.01 on Tribal Consultation, and the WSDOT Centennial Accord Plan. These requirements establish clear policy direction on the need for WSDOT to actively consult with tribes, but little practical guidance was provided on how best to undertake government-to-government consultation with the tribes. Recognizing this need for clearer direction on how, where, when, and with whom to conduct consultation, WSDOTâs Tribal Liaisons met with every tribe in person or by telephone and conducted a letter campaign to gather information on how to improve this process. The out- come of this intensive effort, the Model Comprehensive Tribal Consultation Process, was endorsed by the WSDOT Secretary and the FHWA Washington Division Administrator in 2008. Developing the Approach The Model Comprehensive Process is really the fruit of foundational work achieved years earlier by the state in improving tribal relations. In 1989, federally recognized tribes and Washington State came together to sign the Centennial Accord, the culmination of an earlier round of outreach effort with tribes and the governorâs office. The signatories at that time sought to better achieve Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Planning â¢ NEPA/Project Development â¢ Policy and Programs Participants: â¢ Washington State Department of Transportation â¢ Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation â¢ Washington State Attorney Generalâs Office â¢ Washington Office of Regulatory Assistance â¢ Washington Department of Ecology â¢ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers â¢ Federal Highway Administration â¢ Federally Recognized Tribes in Washington State or with Homelands and/or Treaty Rights in Washington Tools and Techniques: â¢ Establishment of Agency-wide Policy Agreements â¢ Tribal Outreach Meetings Affected Populations: â¢ Federally Recognized Indian Tribes
4-106 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking mutual goals through an improved relationship between their sovereign governments. Ten years later, the governor, attorney general, and tribal chairs renewed their commitment to the fulfillment of the accordâs principles with execution of an Agreement to Institutionalize the Government-to- Government Relationship in Preparation for the New Millennium (New Millennium Agreement). The underlying goal of both agreements was to work to improve communication and consulta- tion. Toward this end, WSDOT launched statewide meetings in 2005 with the natural and cultural resources staff of federally recognized tribes in the state. The purpose of these meetings was to assess how well consultation with tribes under NEPA and NHPA was being carried out, identify consultation opportunities throughout project development, and to develop techniques for more effective and consistent consultation. The Model Comprehensive Process emerged largely out of these meetings. Over two years in the making, the Model Comprehensive Process was intended as a practical field guide for WSDOT staff and consultants. A major goal was to develop a flexible con- sistent process that integrated the consultation requirements of several laws and policies including NEPA, Section 106 of the NHPA, treaty rights, and others. It focuses on several broad areas: â¢ Goals, principles, and legal basis for tribal consultation; â¢ Guidance on when in the NEPA process to consult with tribes and minimum standards for consultation based on NEPA project classification; â¢ Guidance on how to consult with tribes; and â¢ Tools and references to facilitate consultation with tribes. Implementing the Approach Large organizations like WSDOT face many challenges to accommodating change. Reach- ing out to tribal governments and bringing them into project development and environmental evaluation has been a slow ongoing process. The importance of the Centennial Accord and the New Millennium Agreement to improved tribal consultation cannot be overstated. These protocols, which established jointly agreed upon goals and policies between tribal governments and the state, provided the essential direction from the stateâs leadership that government-to- government consultation with tribes was a state priority. Without this clear direction from the stateâs executive branch, it is unlikely that the WSDOT staff would have embraced the subse- quent Model Comprehensive Process. The guidance recognized that circumstances and characteristics vary from project to project and tribal interests and needs also vary so that a flexible application would be most effective. However, the guidance did establish minimum recommended consultation activities for each type of NEPA review for a project (e.g., categorical exclusions, environmental assessments, and environmental impact statements). These effectively established minimum performance stan- dards that helped ensure that the guidance remained in the forefront of NEPA compliance for each project. To further ensure the implementation of the guidance, WSDOTâs Tribal Liai- son Office undertook a comprehensive training program for the WSDOT regional offices. This training sought to demystify the guidance and examine it in the context of the particular experi- ences, transportation issues, and tribal interests of the regions. Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking The guidance has been a very practical response to the ongoing need for improving con- sultation with tribes in transportation decisionmaking. While operational use of the guidance no doubt varies from project to project, the fact that WSDOT invested considerable effort in attempting to upgrade performance in this area throughout the organization has added further reinforcement among tribal governments that WSDOT is taking its tribal consultation require- ments seriously. The guidance has had the intended effect of improving outreach to tribes dur-
effective practices 4-107 ing environmental review, and their input has in turn influenced decisions that are reached by WSDOT under NEPA and other environmental requirements. Challenges As with any guidance, two principal challenges persist. First, ongoing effort will be needed to ensure that the guidance remains up to date, evolving to reflect the changing interests of both tribal governments and tribal members, legal and regulatory changes, and emerging environmental issues. Second, performance under the guidance by the regional offices will continue to be monitored and effort made through training and other assistance to keep staff throughout the organization focused on the requirements and benefits of effective tribal consultation during environmental analysis. In addition to the outreach prescribed under its NEPA tribal consultation model, WSDOT must continue to be vigilant in its commitment to tribal outreach in order to understand and identify transportation needs. For over a decade, WSDOT has hosted it annual Tribal/State Transportation Conference. The conference includes breakout sessions on such topics as trans- portation planning, safety, transit, environment, cultural resources, and workforce develop- ment. These meetings, now held every 2 years due to budgetary constraints, have been highly effective in creating a forum for the tribes and WSDOT to look collectively at the transportation needs of tribal communities and to develop collaborative transportation goals. In 2003, WSDOT worked with tribal transportation planners to establish the Tribal Transpor- tation Planning Organization (TTPO). The TTPO is led by tribal representatives with staffing and receives some financial assistance from WSDOT. The TTPO quarterly meetings provide tribes, WSDOT, and other agencies such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs an opportunity to col- laborate on planning issues. The TTPO also helps advance the professional skills and knowledge of transportation officials employed with Indian governments and to encourage cooperation between these professionals and those within WSDOT and other transportation agencies. These meetings, because of their value in building trust and mutual respect, have had a collateral ben- efit to departmental goals for tribal consultation under NEPA (see Figure 4-35). Figure 4-35. Tribal planners along with other transportation professionals, WSDOT Tribal Coordinators and Liaisons, and federal agencies attend TTPO meetings, which provide a valuable forum for discussion about transportation needs and solutions.
4-108 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Benefits of the Approach Early and ongoing consultation with tribes throughout project development is integral in identifying opportunities to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to tribal resources as well as to reduce risks to project schedules and budgets. One goal of WSDOTâs consultation efforts is to build durable rela- tionships with tribes. WSDOT staff has come to realize that successful consultation on a project helps with consultation on future projects. The same is true of poor consultation in that it can have a damaging effect on other projects. Costs of the Approach The WSDOT Environmental Office established a full-time tribal liaison position to develop these projects. It took nearly 2 years to complete the tribal meetings and develop, review, and get approval of the guide. The training program was developed and implemented over the subse- quent 6 months. Contacts/Resources Contacts Ms. Megan Cotton Tribal Liaison Washington State Department of Transportation 310 Maple Park Avenue SE P.O. Box 47300 Olympia, WA 98504-7300 360-705-7025 firstname.lastname@example.org Resources WSDOT Model Comprehensive Tribal Consultation Process for the National Environmental Policy Act: http://www. wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/BF49CED8-B7C7-46A4-BA89-93153AB70FF3/0/TribalManual.pdf Tribal Transportation Planning Guide for Washington State: http://www.wsdot.gov/NR/rdonlyres/D9668173- F25F-448B-B571-57EB32122036/0/TribalTransportationPlanningGuideforWashingtonState.pdf The TTPO âis a very cool conglomeration of transportation proponents and champions who are dedicated to equitable conditions in our collective communities.â âColleen Jollie, former Tribal Liaison with WSDOT
effective practices 4-109 Replacing a Community Resource in a Minority Neighborhood through Functional Replacement: Gulfport, Mississippi Background The Port of Gulfport is the second largest importer of green fruit in the United States and the third busiest container port on the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (Missis- sippi State Port Authority at Gulfport). After arriving at the Port, goods are distributed throughout the Eastern United States via Interstate 10. However, the connection along U.S. Route 49 from the Port to I-10 was not designed to accommodate existing levels of freight and passenger traffic, resulting in higher shipping costs and dangerous conditions for all drivers. For many decades the Mississippi DOT considered creating a new connection between the Port and I-10 to facilitate goods distribution and alleviate traffic on Route 49. In 1996, the Mississippi DOT began an environmental and location study for the Canal Road-Port Connector. The Mississippi DOT was confronted with essentially three options for the proposed connector at its intersection with 28th Street, each with its own right- of-way (ROW) acquisition challenges: a western alignment would be adjacent to the Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC), which had the power to veto the alignment leaving Mississippi DOT with little recourse; a central alignment would require the acquisition of an 80-year-old Baptist church; and an eastern alignment would require the acquisition of a very expensive and difficult to relocate power company property. Developing the Approach Where the proposed connector alignment ran parallel to existing railroad tracks, surround- ing uses were predominantly industrial. However, at 28th Street, where the alignment began to move away from the railroad and into residential neighborhoods, there were many minority and low-income communities. Although significant residential displacement would occur with any of the alignments, going as straight north as possible at 28th Street would best accommodate existing neighborhoods; however, it would require acquisition of the church (see Figures 4-36 and 4-37). This was thought to be the most likely option given that the other alternatives would require greater residential displacement and force Mississippi DOT to negotiate with either the Battalion Center or power company. The presence of traditionally underserved communities was obvious to the project team from the very inception of the project. The Mississippi DOT ROW office approached the relocation of the church as an environmental justice issue and sought to address what could potentially be disproportionately high and adverse effects on the low-income and minority neighborhoods in the project area, in keeping with the executive order on environmental justice issued in 1994. As with all project impacts, establishing what constitutes fair mitigation is a negotiation. However, unlike protected resources such as wetlands, there is no governing body with the authority to determine what mitigation measures are adequate. In acquiring the church, the Mississippi DOT ROW team made an administrative decision that it would be appropriate Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Right-of-Way â¢ Project Development/NEPA Participants: â¢ Mississippi DOT â¢ St. John Baptist Church Tools and Techniques: â¢ Functional Replacement â¢ Outreach and Negotiations Affected Populations: â¢ Minority (Black) â¢ Low Income â¢ Elderly
4-110 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking to use functional replacement to mitigate the environmental justice impacts of acquiring the church property. The team believed that helping the church reestablish itself would be critical to making the community whole again after the project, given the churchâs importance as a center of public activity within the community. Unlike the normal acquisition process, in which land is purchased from the owner at fair market value, functional replacement of real property covers the cost of building or purchasing a structure with âthe same utility, includ- ing betterments and enlargements required by present-day local laws, codes, and reasonable prevailing standards for similar facilities in the areaâ (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 23, Part 710.509). Figure 4-36. Proposed central connector alignment at 28th Street required acquisition of the St. John Baptist Church. Figure 4-37. St. John Baptist Church at its 28th Street location.
effective practices 4-111 Implementing the Approach Before the alignment had been finalized, and with the knowl- edge that they would be able to offer a functional replacement, the ROW team sought to engage the church in a discussion about relocation. Because the Gulfport community was par- ticularly vocal and politically active, the ROW team started their outreach with a state representative who was a member of the church and operated in the district where the church was located. The state representative was able to give the ROW team advice about how to conduct outreach to the church and introduced the team to the churchâs minister. The ROW team explained the ROW acquisition process and potential functional replacement to the minister, who then asked that they speak with the church deacons. Although the church was old, it was in relatively good condition and served the needs of its congregation. When speaking with church members the Mississippi DOT team knew to approach the issue of relocation with careful consideration of the role the church played in its membersâ lives. They framed the issue as âwhat if we could relocate youâhow would this affect your community?â By going to the church every two or three weeks, the ROW team made its way from the churchâs leadership to members of the congregation and was able to listen to congre- gantsâ concerns as well as provide information about the ROW acquisition process. Conversations with the church leaders and members revealed many stories of how the Mis- sissippi Coast and its neighborhoods had changed over the years. Most of the churchâs members were elderly residents of the surrounding neighborhood who had attended the church for sev- eral decades and had seen their family members and friends baptized, married, and eulogized at the church. They lamented the blight and deterioration in traditional coastal neighborhoods such as their own as new generations moved elsewhere and as casino gaming and the sprawl of autocentric growth changed the nature of the area. Moving the church, it was believed, would present new opportunities for the ministry, but the size of the congregation and the age of its members would make it impossible for them to afford a new church. The ROW team felt that they had a good understanding of the churchâs position and concerns after conducting prelimi- nary outreach: moving the church would not cause its demise as long as the Mississippi DOT was willing to help them relocate. Meetings with the church were conducted as part of the connector study between 1996 and 2002. During this period, the Mississippi DOT conducted more than 17 meetings for the general public, spoke to individual civic and community groups about the project, and worked directly with the City of Gulfport, Mississippi State Port Authority, and Harrison County. Through the process 15 different alternatives were narrowed down to four concepts (one no-build, and three build concepts). In April 2003, the Mississippi DOTâs eventual preferred alternative received a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) from the Federal Highway Administration, allowing the Mississippi DOT to initiate consultant contracts for the survey and design of the connector and conduct property appraisals. When the ROW acquisition phase was initiated in March 2006, the groundwork for relocating the church had already been laid. Following the commitments given during the environmental process, the Mississippi DOT ROW team oversaw functional replacement of the church. The Mississippi DOT purchased the existing church and escrowed the money to buy land for a new church. The church played a large role in determining where they would relocate and selected a site in New North Gulfport, approximately 7 miles away from their 28th Street locationâan area experiencing population growth and a greater concentration of young adults and families. The âMississippi DOT made themselves completely available to the members of the churchâthey came whenever and as often as they were asked . . . and they were never short with people.â âFrances Fredericks, State Representative and St. John Baptist Church Member
4-112 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Mississippi DOT worked with a church-selected architect to create the plans for a new structure that would serve to functionally replace the church. The reaction of other minority groups and churches to the lengths that the Mississippi DOT went to replace the St. John Baptist Church became an unexpected challenge of the project. There was concern that the Mississippi DOT had played favorites by providing the church with an exceptionally favorable relocation plan. The DOT met with other churches and community groups, in response to these criticisms, to explain the ROW alignment and why building a new church was part of the project costs. They answered the publicâs questions and explained that they had not meant to slight other groups. Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking By conducting appropriate outreach and offering functional replacement, the Mississippi DOT ROW team was able to successfully negotiate the acquisition of the churchâs property at 28th Street and mitigate unavoidable environmental justice impacts without causing any delays to the connector project. The new church building was constructed on the selected relocation site and meets existing building codes. At its new location the church has additional parking spaces, is in a location that is easier to access, and is less likely to be impacted by flooding (see Figure 4-38). During the siting and ROW acquisition process, practitio- ners were challenged to avoid and minimize impacts, but some impacts are unavoidable. For example, some businesses that could continue to operate will not want to reopen and other properties will become more valuable because of the project. There are winners and losers in this decision-making process, and while it was possible to adequately address the impacts of the connector project on the St. John Baptist Church and its members, there are others who may feel that they did not receive adequate compensation or attention. âThe main thing is before ROW, they need to know that you made a hard choice and that lots of options were looked at. The environmental review should demonstrate why the project impacts what it impacts so when it gets to ROW the public may not be happy but at least they know their concerns were looked at and taken into accountâthat the impact to them was justified in some shape or form.â âClaiborne Barnwell, Federal Highway Administration, Project Team Leader, Mississippi Division Figure 4-38. The new St. John Baptist Church on Dedeaux Road, Gulfport.
effective practices 4-113 Challenges The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina makes the need for efficient roadways even more apparent in this area of the coast, and the challenge of creating infrastructure while pre- serving remaining community resources even greater. Following Hurricane Katrina, project staff underwent training to guide them in working with members of the public who were essentially in shock. Those who had been displaced by the hurricane from their homes were still provided with relocation services, which in many instances meant that they were moving not from one home to another, but from a tent to a new home. The connector will be completed in three sections, each with its own timeline. In March 2010 to avoid project delays, the Mississippi DOT agreed to buy 1,638 acres of wetlands and place them in perpetual conservation easements in order to mitigate the potential impacts of destroy- ing 162 acres of wetlands for construction of the connector. This agreement was reached without going through the courts in order to receive the necessary wetland permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As of the summer of 2010, contractors had been hired for land clearing and dirt work and a preconstruction conference was held. Members of the St. John Baptist Church may have to confront transportation project impacts again in the near future. Dedeaux Road, where their new church is located, is slated to be wid- ened from its current two-lane configuration to four lanes with a median. The church is suf- ficiently setback from the road so that impacts of the widening will likely be minimal; however, church members are not pleased to find themselves in the ROW yet again. Benefits of the Approach Functional replacement is an important and creative tool for transportation and community planners seeking to redress long-standing problems in low-income and minority communitiesâ areas often burdened by aging or obsolete community facilities and poorly designed and intru- sively located transportation systems. Although there were alternative alignments that would have avoided the church property, if the ROW had required acquisition of land from either the NCBC or power company, the pro- cess would have likely been more difficult, more expensive, and more time consuming. By going through appropriate channels to gain church buy-in and by offering to functionally replace the church, the ROW team was able to gain approvals and move forward with implementation of the connector project. Over the summer of 2010, St. John Baptist Church held âexit sermonsâ at their 28th Street location to celebrate the churchâs rich 84-year history. Leaving the area will be a significant adjustment for church members, but ultimately they recognize that keeping the church where it is and building the road around it would not have been good for the church. With many resi- dents relocated and associated impacts of truck traffic coming through on the new connector, the churchâs new location will offer greater peace and quiet as well as the potential to engage a growing community in its ministry. Costs of the Approach The cost of a functional replacement for the St. John Baptist Church was around 3 million dollars, approximately five times the value of the church building and land. Additional costs were staff time spent working with the church and other groups to get their buy-in. In consid- ering the cost of the relocation it is important to also consider the costs of the two alternative alignments. Placing ROW adjacent to the NCBC may not have been possible at any cost, and the power company property may well have cost as much if not more than the church to acquire.
4-114 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Contacts/Resources Contacts E. Claiborne Barnwell Project Development Team Leader FHWA, Mississippi Division 666 North Street, Suite 105 Jackson, MS 39202-3199 email@example.com (601) 965-4217 http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/msdiv/index.htm Rick Mangrum Right-of-Way Specialist FHWA, Mississippi Division 666 North Street, Suite 105 Jackson, MS 39202-3199 Rick.Mangrum@dot.gov (601) 965-4232 http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/msdiv/index.htm Dan Smith Right-of-Way Administrator Mississippi Department of Transportation 401 North West Street Jackson, MS 39201 DBSmith@MDOT.State.MS.US http://www.gomdot.com/ Frances Fredericks State Representative PO Box 2305 Gulfport, MS 39505 Frances.firstname.lastname@example.org (228) 864-9319 http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/ Resources Mississippi Department of Transportation, (2006), âCentral Harrison County Connector Highway: Project History.â http://www.gomdot.com/home/Projects/Archives/Studies/Southern/I310/pdf/CentralHarrison Connector.pdf U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Office of Real Estate Services, (6 Octo- ber 2005), âUniform Act Eligibility in Areas Impacted by Hurricane Katrina,â http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ realestate/katrinaguid.htm
effective practices 4-115 Holding a Student Film Competition to Engage Diverse Youth: Sound Transit, Seattle, Washington Background Sound Transit, Central Puget Soundâs Regional Transit Authority, operates Cen- tral Link, a light rail system connecting downtown Seattle and the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. When pre-revenue testing began in late 2008, Sound Transit started to focus attention upon educating pedestrians and drivers about hazards and desired behaviors near at-grade-crossings. The agency initiated a light rail safety education program targeted to reach students, kindergarten through twelfth grade. The core messages of the program were: â¢ Trains are fast and cannot stop quickly. Cross only at designated crosswalks. â¢ Trains have the right-of-way. Obey all signals and warning signs. â¢ Trains are quiet. Always look both ways. â¢ Tracks are for trains. Never walk or play around trains or tracks. â¢ Stay alert; drop your earbuds; donât text or talk on cell phones. The 14-mile system included 3 miles of at-grade right-of-way through densely populated neighborhoods with a high concentration of low-income and limited English proficiency persons with diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds. To promote pedestrian safety, Sound Transit would need to develop an educational communica- tions strategy that would appeal and connect to a diverse youth population. Developing the Approach Sound Transit defined the study area as 2 miles on either side of the 3-mile-long at-grade section of the alignment. This area included six high schools in four school districts: Seattle, Highline, Renton, and Tukwila. Because of the large non-English speaking population in the area, Sound Transit had an idea that they wanted to use visual messaging techniques to get its safety message across. They interviewed a former superintendent and teachers to get background information on how kids learn and how best to talk to them. The feedback was clear: creating visually compelling messages was probably the best means for developing a cost-effective and creative safety campaign targeted to youth. Sound Transit also came to the conclusion it did not have the resources in house to develop and implement the type of campaign that would be successful. The agency issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a light rail safety education program to further solicit ideas for the campaign that would prove to be engaging and fun. Rather than outline specific deliverables, the RFP encouraged consultants to propose their best strategies for meeting the agencyâs overall goals and offered only a general task framework, including: â¢ Development of an activity book, â¢ Facilitation of student focus group(s), â¢ Creation of a high school ambassador program, â¢ Development of an interactive web-based safety program, and â¢ Assistance with outreach events. The agency was particularly intrigued by a proposal made by a firm that had previously created a driver safety film for students that had included an outreach process with students Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Operations â¢ Construction Participants: â¢ Sound Transit Tools and Techniques: â¢ Student Competition â¢ Video Messaging â¢ Online Voting Affected Populations: â¢ Youth â¢ Low Income â¢ Minority â¢ Limited English Proficiency
4-116 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking during the making of the film. For this effort, they proposed expanding on this concept with an online public safety announcement (PSA) film competition. This approach would com- bine the âambassador programâ task with development of the âinteractive web-based safety programâ task; it appealed to Sound Transit because it wanted to engage students and not just talk to them. Implementing the Approach Sound Transit worked with the selected consultant on a plan to work with the six high schools in the study area and make six student films. This required going to the principals and staff for the four school districts within the study area. In Seattle, the biggest of the districts, they met with the districtâs risk manager and program director. The district told Sound Transit that they could not help them get participation from the schools because they were burdened by too many demands on teaching time to accommodate the many civic and nonprofit organizations that wanted to get information to students. Teachers have limited classroom time to cover set curriculums and testing preparation, and the district could not assign them additional projects. While the district could not help Sound Transit with the project, they gave them permission to approach the school principals one-on-one to gain participation. Working with the schools and the other districts, Sound Transit approached each of the six schools in their study area and were eventually able to obtain buy-in from five of the schools. Some members of the schoolsâ administration and other agencies suggested reaching the stu- dents through their health classes, but Sound Transit was most successful working with the school libraries because they acted as resource centers for the students. During the outreach process, the consultant developed a professional 90-second PSA called âDonât Become a Train Wreck,â which portrays a suspenseful moment when a group of students fear that their friend has been hit by a train after he runs toward the tracks to retrieve a football without looking for oncoming trains. In conducting the competition, the consultant worked with media classes to reach students interested in film. Screenshots from the 90-second professional spot were used to help give students inspiration and ideas for how to shoot their films (see Figure 4-39). The students were given the freedom to present the core safety messages with their own narrative and perspective. Figure 4-39. A professional 90-second film was used to inspire students on how to shoot films. The student films were posted on YouTube as part of the Sound Transit safety awareness campaign.
effective practices 4-117 After authoring their scripts and receiving approval from Sound Transit, the students worked with the consultants to produce the films. The students assumed the roles of director and actors in the production, while the consultants acted as the cinematographers and shot the film. Stu- dents were not allowed on the tracks during filming. From the five high schools came five films: â¢ You Canât Beat the Train by Cleveland High School students: A mock news program reports on the tragic end of a fellow student who tried to cross in front of an oncoming train (see Figure 4-40). â¢ Look Both Ways by students at Rainier High School: A demonstration of the importance of train safety that harkens back to the era of silent films. â¢ Take Your Headphones Off by students at the Seattle Urban Academy: The perils of walk- ing around train tracks while engrossed in an iPod are demonstrated using imagery from popular iPod commercials. â¢ Put Your Cell Phones Away by students at South Lake High School: A humorous look at ways students can cope with putting their cell phones away while crossing train tracks. â¢ Use the Crosswalk to Go by students at Foster High School: Several students talk about the importance of crosswalk safety around train tracks. During the 5-month competition, videos could be viewed and voted on at Sound Transitâs website. DVDs of the films were also distributed at school fairs and events and select local video stores. Two of the high schools have also featured their films and safety messages on their web- sites. At the end of the competition, the film produced by Cleveland High School students was selected as the winner with over 2,500 hits. In the film, news anchors report on a student who tried to run in front of a train and is hit, leaving only a sneaker and baseball hat behind. Cleve- land High School was presented with a certificate and movie camera by the Link light rail chief safety officer at an all-school assembly. Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking During the height of the film competition, the Link service was launched officially. In its first year of operation, there had been only one non-life threatening pedestrian accident. Being able to view the student films online through the Link website and YouTube helped to increase visibility for their campaign. Sound Transitâs education campaign, which also included a board game and outreach at numerous public events, reached the majority of the 17,000 K through 12 students in the study area, as well as many of their parents. (a) (b) (c) Figure 4-40. Screenshots from Cleveland High Schoolâs winning film.
4-118 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking The professional PSA which was created with input from the students proved to be a powerful tool for the agency in conducting outreach. During a presentation at an alternate high school, the Link community outreach specialist found that students who appeared to be initially indifferent became quickly engaged by the video presentation. The film resonated with students because the core messages were wrapped in an entertaining package and created by a future âauteurâ of their generation. Students could relate to the persons and themes presented and it truly gave them a chance to reflect upon potential and real consequences. Challenges Connecting to students and the broader population about pedestrian safety will continue to be a responsibility for Sound Transit going forward. The project left many legacy products for teaching, but simply watching the videos will not have the same âviralâ benefits as participation in the interactive program did when it was first established. To ensure their continued success in preventing pedestrian accidents, Sound Transit will have to tailor its future education campaigns to what is now an existing service. In administering a similar film competition, some of the challenges that outside agencies will face working with schools involve enlisting the support of the school administration and coor- dinating with student schedules. Sound Transit had to run all activities and materials through the district for approval during the film competition. It was also important for Sound Transit to pay attention to the school calendar to avoid conflicts with holidays, testing, and parent teacher conferences. Benefits of the Approach The student film competition created a dialogue with the students rather than presenting the safety message as a series of talking points that students would walk away from with- out hearing. Their participation in creating the films gave the agency insight into student thinking and also created buy-in from the students on the safety message. Producing and disseminating the films ultimately allowed students to identify with the safety message in a deeper way than could have been achieved through a campaign undertaken unilaterally by the transit agency. By creating a dialogue, the project allowed students to think critically about safety issues and ask questions of agency staff. Sound Transit staff witnessed a great deal of satisfaction among students about getting involved with a project for the common good. When shown at local events and outside schools, students also enjoyed recognizing friends and family members who are in the films. They felt like they were part of something that was important, and enjoyed being valued as members of their community. Costs of the Approach The total cost for their outreach campaign was $156,000. Creating the public service announce- ments cost $42,000, conducting focus groups with students cost $12,000, and there were also some on-call services for running events at the schools and attending presentations. The board game cost $30,000 to create and additional funds to produce.
effective practices 4-119 Contacts/Resources Contacts Carol Doering Community Outreach Specialist Sound Transit (206) 398-5095 email@example.com www.soundtransit.org Resources You Canât Beat the Train - by Cleveland High School students: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgIKUQ5VD40 Look Both Ways - by students at Rainier High School: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NqipBP-ap8 Take Your Headphones Off - by students at the Seattle Urban Academy: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=rcch3vuOg2A Put Your Cell Phones Away - by students at Southlake High School: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=TPxFrmnCQWo Use the Crosswalk to Go - by students at Foster High School: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6flapnVDwk
4-120 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Training Diverse Leaders for Seats on Boards and Commissions: Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute, Oakland, CA Background People of color and low-income people have historically had little say in regional planning or economic and environmental policy making, yet these communities have an important stake in the policy and priorities that are set by regional planning organizations. The purpose of Urban Habitatâs Boards and Commissions Leader- ship Institute (BCLI) is to help overcome the challenge of minority and low-income underrepresentation on regional boards. When asked why poor communities and communities of color are not appointed to local and regional boards and commissions, decisionmakers often cite an inabil- ity to recruit qualified applicants. There is a perception that advocates are knowl- edgeable about issues in underrepresented communities, but that they are lacking the information and resources to participate effectively in long-term metropolitan planning and policy making. Developing the Approach Urban Habitatâs mission is to build power in low-income communities and communities of color by combining education, advocacy, research, and coali- tion-building to advance environmental, economic, and social justice in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since its founding in 1989, Urban Habitat has built bridges between envi- ronmentalists and advocates of social justice, and played a key role in the evolving national environmental justice movement. The BCLI project is the product of 20 years of work pro- viding leadership designed to increase power in policy making for low-income communities and communities of color. Acutely aware of the underrepresentation of minority and low-income persons on regional boards and commissions, Urban Habitatâs BCLI identifies, supports, places, and trains low- income people and people of color to take positions of authority on priority boards and commissions in the San Francisco Bay Area. The BCLI seeks to prioritize placements onto boards and commissions that can influence equity in terms of transportation, development, housing, jobs, and the environment. The training process is intended to create a new network of progressive leaders who will be technically and politically prepared and supported to make decisions that reflect the needs and interests of low-income communities and communities of color. Implementing the Approach In the first year of the project, staff dedicated to the BCLI project observed over 75 San Francisco Bay Area commissions in their public meetings, and interviewed almost one hun- dred commissioner-advocates, staff members, elected officials, and community advocates. The end result of this process was development of Urban Habitatâs âseats firstâ model. The âseats firstâ model relies on an analysis of key boards and commissions seats throughout the Bay Area, including city, county, and regional appointments. Targeted boards and commissions have existing or potential influence over one or more of five core equity areas: (1) transporta- tion, (2) housing, (3) equitable development, (4) jobs, and (5) climate change. The resulting list of seats and their attributes is then distributed to Bay Area Social Equity Caucus member Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Planning â¢ Policy and Programs Participants: â¢ Urban Habitat Tools and Techniques: â¢ Training â¢ Coalition Building Affected Populations: â¢ Low Income â¢ Minorities â¢ Limited English Proficiency â¢ Foreign Born
effective practices 4-121 organizationsâa coalition of over 75 economic, social, and environmental justice groups as well as labor, faith, and youth organizationsâand other allies so that they may nominate participants from within their own organizations, campaigns, and networks. Nominees are interviewed by a selection committee, including past alumni and representatives from Social Equity Caucus member and allied organizations, who determine the final cohort of 10 to 15 participants. Each cohort in the BCLI engages in a rich training and networking program, meeting from August through January for a total of 80 hours that include training sessions, open sessions, mixers, brief online assignments, observations, and one-on-one meetings with mentors, train- ing staff, and technical support staff (see Figure 4-41). Trainings are held in all-day Saturday sessions once a month and in after-work Wednesday night sessions once a month at the East Bay Community Foundation in Oakland. At training sessions, professionals teach skills about Robertâs Rules of Order, legal issues for commissioners, municipal budgeting, deliberation, and decisionmaking. Experts seek to build cohort knowledge about community benefits pro- grams, weighing equity in local transportation projects, affordable housing strategies, and green economic development. Veteran commissioner-advocates are invited to talk about key issues such as setting priorities, working with department staff, and working with community organizations. Lectures and open panel discussions are also held to address issue areas such as transporta- tion, equitable development, housing, jobs, climate, and public health. Panels bring together speakers from the public sector, labor, nonprofit organizations, and business. The audience is selected deliberately to broaden the cohortsâ network and to support advocacy on key issues. Institute graduates are offered mentorship and alumni opportunities and leave the program with a thriving technical assistance network designed to support them in their roles on commissions. Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking The Institute has had excellent success placing graduates onto priority boards and com- missions in the San Francisco Bay Area. BCLI graduates are seated on such bodies as the City of Oakland Planning Commission; the City of Richmond Planning Commission; the Metro- politan Transit Commission Policy Advisory Council; the Oakland Housing Authority; the Figure 4-41. The BCLI has deepened the insights of Urban Habitat on the role of citizen commissioners and has become a means for influencing agency decisionmaking.
4-122 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Alameda County Parks, Recreation, and Historical Commission; the City of Richmond Com- munity Development Commission; and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agencyâs Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee. Alumni of the Institute are also participating in design- ing curriculum and support networks for the incoming cohorts. Urban Habitat is working to develop a formal method for evaluating the impact of the Insti- tute on decisionmaking; however, anecdotal evidence suggests that the Institute has been able to advance equity considerations for low-income people and people of color in the Bay Area through knowledge-building, technical assistance, and networking. Graduates have shared stories of how they have influenced decisionmaking; their ability to move others on these topics in the decision- making arena has been enhanced by the skills and knowledge gained through the Institute. Being part of a group of regional commissioner-advocates has also been empowering for some alumni. The Instituteâs organizers believe that the Instituteâs impact will be amplified as the program continues and alumni increase their presence on boards and the social network of commis- sioner-advocates grows. The Institute has graduated a second cohort and is currently recruiting a third cohort. Challenges Throughout the Bay Areaâs nine counties, there are hundreds of boards and commissions seats. At present the commissions do not reflect the demographics of either their cities or counties, nor of the overall region, and there is little indication that these patterns will change on their own. Most seats have term limits that generally range between 2 and 8 years. Looking forward, BCLI organizers see opportunities for continued growth and have begun to target those commissions that serve as feeder pools for even higher decision-making positions or elected status. They are also mindful of the consequences of growth on the effectiveness of the core mission and want to maintain the strong support network that they have established for graduating cohorts. Benefits of the Approach While community input is an invaluable part of the transportation decision-making process, the BCLI successfully involves traditionally underserved populations from the inside. An inside- outside strategy to involving low-income, minority, and other underserved populations brings new opportunities not only to inform those at the decision-making table but to be at the table as a voting member. Through the BCLI, Urban Habitat has advanced its understanding of how citizen commissioners actually operate and to what extent they may have influence. Being more connected to the decision-making process, the coalition has been able to work more collabora- tively with agencies and is better able to coordinate and advocate programming in their interests with various decision-making bodies. Distilling the valuable lessons learned from its training efforts to date, Urban Habitat has begun to replicate the program through a consultation model. It is sharing its expertise in the development and strategy with other organizations that have the capacity to offer the program in their regions. For example, Urban Habitat is working with the Coalition on Regional Equity (CORE) in Sacramento, which intends to offer the program. Costs of the Approach The research phase of this program lasted for 1 year, requiring about one-half of the time of one staff member who was dedicated solely to the project. That staff member received feedback and direction from other Urban Habitat staff members and its management team. Now opera- tional, other staff is dedicated to the project, including a coordinator (about 60 percent of his/her
effective practices 4-123 time), a full-time program associate, and about half-time staffing for an educational technologist and a program assistant. At its inception, each member of the cohort was estimated to cost about $10,000, but this cost has been reduced to about $7,000 per cohort member. In addition to salary and overhead, other cost items include a training venue, food for participants and guests, stipends for participants ($500 each), travel costs for guest commissioners and other guest speakers, and logo-stamped gifts for participants. Contacts/Resources Contacts 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 Resources Urban Habitat, âBoards and Commissions Leadership Institute,â http://urbanhabitat.org/uh/bcli
4-124 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Training and Hiring Minority, Low-Income, and Female Workers: The New I-64, St. Louis, Missouri Background Interstate 64 stretches from a St. Louis railroad suburb west of the Mississippi River to just short of the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia. In St. Louis, I-64 is one of the primary cross-town highways. A 10-mile-long stretch of I-64 within St. Louis was slated for massive reconstruction in 1999. Residents along this 10-mile-long section were diverse in terms of ethnicity, age, and income. They included Hispanic, White, Chinese, and Black communities, new immigrants and long-standing residents of 50 or more years, wealthy and middle-income neighborhoods, as well as lower-income communities and persons living in poverty. In the 1950s and 1960s, construction of the St. Louis I-64 corridor was undertaken to complete connections between existing infrastructure, including bridges built as far back as the 1930s. By the mid-1990s, many of the 39 bridges in the project area had deteriorated so drastically that they were on the verge of being closed. Improvements and reconstruc- tion were needed for many parts of the network that I-64 had helped to connect. The I-64 reconstruction project was eventually designed with the objective of replacing 12 interchanges, repaving the entire 10-mile stretch of project area, widening shoulders, adding a new lane between I-170 and Spoede Road, and connecting I-64 with I-70 via a brand new interchange. The budget was slated at $535 million, making it the largest single project in the history of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). The projectâs breadth would require full closure of the entire project area, implemented in two separate sections. In the mid-1990s, MoDOT began to draft an environmen- tal impact statement and preliminary engineering drawings in cooperation with Metro Subway and the East-West Gateway Council of Governments, the regionâs metropolitan planning organization (MPO). MoDOT also began a traditional public outreach campaign, which was heavily biased toward informing the public of MoDOTâs inten- tions without offering opportunities for meaningful involvement in its planning or execution. This approach garnered significant public opposition. By 1998, MoDOT had little to show for its efforts except a deteriorated major roadway still in need of repair and no clear path forward. Developing the Approach In 1999, MoDOT decided to restructure its project team and to stage an aggressive public involvement campaign. The first step was outreach. The initial intelligence gathering consisted of driving and walking through neighborhoods, going into local businesses and churches, talking to local agencies, and examining the census data. From this process, the project team came to recognize that they needed to advertise in English, Spanish, and Chinese and to plan their meet- ings in a way that would accommodate people with limited English proficiency. Stages of Decisionmaking: â¢ Project Development â¢ Construction Participants: â¢ Missouri DOT â¢ Gateway Constructors â¢ Associated General Contractors of St. Louis â¢ Metropolitan Congregations United â¢ Thirty additional Civic, Industry, Labor, and Community Groups Tools & Techniques: â¢ Large-scale informational sessions â¢ Meetings with Community Members and Engineers â¢ Pre-apprenticeship Program â¢ Open Jobs Pipeline between Community, Unions, and Contractors â¢ Minority, Low-Income and Female Hiring Incentives for Contractors â¢ Work Force Partnering Plan Agreement â¢ Advisory Committee Headed by Community Leaders Affected Populations: â¢ Minorities â¢ Low Income â¢ Foreign Born â¢ Limited English Proficiency â¢ Women
effective practices 4-125 The MoDOT team organized multiple open-house-style public meetings that took place over several days throughout the project area. They were well-advertised and scheduled to accom- modate different populationsâelderly people who wanted to be home before dark, families that needed to be home for dinner, and commuters who really could not attend until the evenings after work. These meetings were extremely successful, some of them having between 1,000 and 1,500 attendees. To address the challenges of conducting public involvement over a long corridor, MoDOT split the project area into three sub-corridors. Each sub-corridor served as a separate forum in which residents, businesses, major institutions, and elected officialsâsitting on sub- corridor committeesâcould meet with project engineers to exchange information on the issues related to rebuilding the highway. Interested local parties could tell engineers what was important to them based upon familiarity with specific interchanges near their residences and workplaces. The format ensured that participants would be heard and not drowned out by a multitude of voices and interests along the entire corridor. The engineers used the forums as an opportunity to learn from the leaders of the different communities what they needed to do to make the highway safe and improve MoDOTâs reputation. The engineers used were open to the communitiesâ concerns and allowed them, when relevant, to guide the actual design of the project. The public involvement process took place over 5 years while the environmental impact statement (EIS) was drafted. After completing the EIS in July 2005, MoDOT announced that it was entering a year-long design phase that would take place behind closed doors. Closing out community involve- ment for that year proved to be a serious strategic error. In January 2006, the Highway Commission, a nonpartisan governing board of MoDOT, convened a meeting in Mis- souriâs capital, Jefferson City, about 100 miles from St. Louis. Through pressure from Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU), a faith-based coalition that is part of the Gamaliel network, the issue of local hiring was put on the agenda. More than 200 MCU activists from St. Louis thronged the normally staid meeting chamber demanding a commitment to minority hiring. Recognizing the merits of MCUâs objections, MoDOT averted a conflict that could have become a major impediment to implementing the project by inviting MCU into a longer con- versation. MoDOTâs project manager decided to hire a mediator to hold one-on-one meetings with stakeholders from community organizations, government, unions, and the construction industry. The mediator then brought all the stakeholders and MoDOT together in a series of roundtable meetings. The result of these meetings was the âNew I-64 Work Force Utilization Plan Partnering Agreement,â a nonbinding agreement between MoDOT and 30 organizations to set aside 0.5 percent of the project budgetâ$2.5 millionâfor training and hiring minority, low- income, and female workers. The roundtable also established a Workforce Advisory Committee made up of stakeholders and chaired by an MCU pastor to oversee the creation and operation of the apprenticeship program. Both sides were inspired by another corridor project, the Alameda Corridor Agreements, a landmark workforce creation accord for a project that rebuilt much of the rail infrastructure that feeds the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beachâthrough which one-third of all American waterborne trade feeds. The Alameda Corridor Agreements set new standards for mitigating community impacts and tackling construction workforce issues, and what follows documents the first large-scale application of the techniques pioneered in Alameda. âIn that year, we undid a lot of the goodwill we had built up . . . when youâre not talking with people, they make up their own minds about whatâs going on, and itâs usually not good.â âLesley Hoffarth, Project Manager
4-126 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Implementing the Approach The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) allows for 0.5 percent of a projectâs con- struction budget to be used for training and the MoDOT Workforce Advisory Committee advocated for these fundsâ$2.5 million, in this caseâto be split between a $1.25 million pre-apprenticeship program and $1.25 million in diversity programs for contractors. The advocacy was successful; MoDOT allocated the funds. For the pre-apprenticeship training program, the Workforce Advisory Committee helped draft the requests for proposal (RFPs), and met bi-monthly throughout construction to over- see it. The 6- to 8-week training program taught basic jobs skills to individuals tapped by community organizations that enjoyed a âfirst-hireâ status. These individuals were given basic instruction in several trades, then allowed to choose which one they wanted to pursue. The training program also funded counseling, day-care ser- vices, and subsidies for car insurance to support trainees in their transition from unemployment or underemployment to a steady job. As the construction industry began to slow with the downturn in the economy, MoDOT increasingly offered commercial drivers license training, so that graduates would also be qualified to drive heavy trucks in periods of slack demand for construction employees. Though the pre- apprenticeship program complied with federal guidelines for training, MoDOT decided that using funds from the stateâs portion of the funding would smooth the process and avoid federal budget strictures. Incentives were established under the diversity programs for contractors to increase their hiring of minority, female, and low-income persons. The initial agreement stipulated that 20 percent of the pre-apprenticeship hours for journeyman and other professional services used on the project had to be done by minority, female, or low-income apprentices who were part of the on-the-job trainee program. Contractors were to receive $10 for every work hour completed by a minority, low-income, or female enrolled as an on-the-job trainee over this 20 percent threshold. The contractors, however, were unable to meet this goal, reaching an 11.5 percent rate for on-the-job trainee workers largely due to a glut of underutilized tradi- tional workers during the economic downturn. As a result, the $1.25 million set aside for the contractor incentive program went untapped and was rolled over into diversity programs for future MoDOT projects. By improving the linkages between communities, trainers, contractors, and unions, the pre- apprenticeship program was able to bring graduates into the ranks of the construction trades, providing concrete benefits to both the I-64 project and to the community (see Figure 4-42). As part of the model process, MoDOT staggered its reimbursements of the pre-apprentice trainers into three tiers to give the trainers incentives for producing jobs, not just graduates. The training agencies received $1,200 for each student enrolled, an additional $1,200 for each student who graduated, and a final $1,600 for each graduate hired as an on-the-job trainee for the I-64 project. The training programs enrolled 753 students of whom 488 graduated and 111 were hired as on-the-job trainees, resulting in a cost of $1.6 millionâexceeding the initial budget by $350,000. MoDOT came in $11 million under budget for the overall project and was able to reallocate its project budget to address this shortfall. âA lot of times, back behind closed doors, we were wringing our hands going âwhat are we gonna do next?â Itâs often scary and messy to go through an interactive involvement process, but it is so worth it. You are going to end up with a better product in the endâevery time.â âLesley Hoffarth, Project Manager
effective practices 4-127 Influence of the Approach on Decisionmaking Existing pools of apprentices filled most of the positions on the I-64 project, but this model process helped feed 450 graduates into jobs on the I-64 project and on other projects both inside and outside the construction industry. Each of the pre-apprentices gained job skills and experi- ence translatable into careers. The contractors, unions, and communities affected by the project certainly gained from it. But MoDOT may have been the biggest winner. For MoDOT, the I-64 project resulted in a streamlined process that saved money by avoiding costly delays, gave it access to a reliable workforce, and strengthened the agencyâs image within the community and in the media. Not only did the training agreement reached through the roundtable meetings bring diversity into the project, it also helped heal MoDOTâs damaged image among community groups. By 2009, the entire reconstruction of I-64 was completedâahead of schedule and under budget. Its completion was celebrated in the press and by government agencies, community organiza- tions, contractors, and unions. In a December 6th editorial, the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote, âIt would strain a metaphor to hope [that I-64] not only will provide a steel-and-concrete link between the city and the county, but also that it will bring them together in other ways. But this kind of collaborative model shows what can happen when regional governments work together with private citizens.â What happened between 1999 and 2009 was an experiment in public involvement that suc- ceeded. The relationship that developed between community groups like MCU, contractors, and transportation practitioners reimagined the traditional, closed model of urban highway building and could prove to be the new mold from which future large-scale urban infrastructure projects will be cast. Challenges Applying this Missouri model to future products will require some modifications and flex- ibility. One challenge is to refine the contractor incentives for diversity hiring. The incentives implemented for the I-64 project fell well short of their target goals. In 2010, MoDOT began construction on a $667 million project building the new Mississippi River Bridge and components of several Interstates feeding it to link central St. Louis and east Figure 4-42. Red hats were worn by new job trainees for safety reasons to help all workers recognize them.
4-128 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking St. Louis, Illinois. For this project, MoDOT went through the same roundtable process as it did for the New I-64. The high unemployment rate that existed during the project led the stake- holders to focus less on new worker training than on employing existing journeymen. MoDOT also decided to focus on exceeding its federal minority workforce goal of 14.6%. Following the model it had used for I-64, the roundtable will feed into a workforce advisory committee that will oversee the program. As this is a joint project with the Illinois Department of Transporta- tion, Illinois has followed suit and created its own advisory committee. Both agencies have come together in partnership to create the Community Information Group, which is composed of elected officials and community representatives who will meet quarterly to discuss the project and then disseminate information to their constituents and members of their communities. More broadly, MoDOTâs experience with I-64 reconstruc- tion has enhanced its approach to public involvement. The Mississippi River Bridge project exemplifies MoDOTâs bur- geoning agency-wide focus on identifying and communicat- ing with stakeholders. To help institutionalize these policies, MoDOT has used I-64 public information staff to conduct state-wide internal trainings, with the explicit goal of teaching the lessons of I-64 to community relations teams all over Missouri. Benefits of the Approach Despite closing vast stretches of a major urban highway for more than a year, and the pur- chase of all or part of 144 parcels of property, the biggest project in MoDOT history 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 488 workers from traditionally underserved communities stronger, more qualified candidates for future employment. And it healed the negative public perception of MoDOT, making it easier for the agency to efficiently complete projects in the future. Costs of the Approach FHWA allows for up to 0.5% of a project budget to be used for training and MoDOT decided to split it, sending half to a pre-apprenticeship program and the other half for contractors to go above and beyond on their projects for diversity. The costs of the approach included 0.5% of the total budgetâ$2.5 millionâfor local workforce training and hiring, as well as contractor incentives. One-halfâ$1.25 millionâwas directed toward outside training agencies to train and place new minority, women, or low-income workers. MoDOT allocated the other $1.25 million to contractors to subsidize the salaries of the training program graduates. As the contractors did not achieve their on-the-job training targets, the $1.25 million was left unexpended and is being held by MoDOT for future diversity programs. Payments to the training programs were tiered in relationship to pre-apprenticesâ successful performance and placement. MoDOT set up a system wherein they paid $1,200 for each student enrolled, an additional $1,200 when a student graduated, and a bonus of $1,600 when a student was placed in a job. The total cost was $1.6 million. Additional costs included salaries for the public involvement team. The two full-time staffers who monitored MoDOTâs entire minority workforce regulatory program monitored the train- ing as part of their overall responsibilities. There were also other, smaller costs including rent for âIt has drastically changed how we handle things . . . weâre not going to go back to the old business as usual.â âLinda Wilson, MoDOT Public Information Manager
effective practices 4-129 meeting space in the communities, publishing costs, and costs for hiring translators for select meetings and communications materials. Contacts/Resources Contacts Lesley Hoffarth President and Executive Director Forest Park Forever 5595 Grand Drive in Forest Park St. Louis, MO 63112 314-367-7275 email@example.com http://www.forestparkforever.org/ 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/ Linda Wilson Public Information Manager Missouri Department of Transportation 1590 Woodlake Drive Chesterfield, MO 63107 314-453-5063 Linda.Wilson@modot.mo.gov http://www.modot.mo.gov/ Resources Swanstrom, T., (2009). Going Regional: Community-Based Regionalism, Transportation, and Local Hiring Agreements. Journal of Planning Education and Research. Vol. 28, No. 3, 355â367. http://iurd.berkeley.edu/ publications/wp/2007-17.pdf The New I-64 Work Force Utilization Plan Partnering Agreement, May 12, 2006. http://www.thenewi64.org/ download/2006-05-12%20Workforce%20Utilization%20Plan%20Partnering%20Agreement%20 Signatures.pdf Missouri Department of Transportation WebsiteâThe New I-64, 2000â2010. http://www.thenewi64.org/
4-130 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Creating Workforce Diversity through Internship Programs: Baltimore, Maryland, Maryland DOT and Morgan State University Background Morgan State University (Morgan) has been a Baltimore institu- tion since 1867. Morgan boasts a variety of transportation-based bachelorâs and masterâs programs. Its graduate program in city and regional planning was the first planning program to receive degree recognition at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the 1970s. One of the first interdisciplinary transpor- tation programs in the country at the masterâs degree level was established at Morgan in 1980, and is now located at Morganâs School of Engineering. The Morgan campus is situated in Baltimore, a short commute from the central offices of the Maryland Department of Transporta- tion. Despite graduating students in transportation and having prox- imity to the Maryland Department of Transportation, no pipeline had been established to feed Morganâs transportation students into transportation jobs at Marylandâs state agencies. Developing the Approach In the early 1980s, Morgan approached the Maryland DOT with a proposal to establish an internship program, wherein Morgan graduate students in transportation would spend a year working at the departmentâs modal agencies. After nearly 3 years of discussions and negotia- tions, Morgan and the Maryland DOT signed a memorandum of understanding establishing the graduate internship program. The program has flourished and the partnership between the Maryland DOT and Morgan is now over 24 years old. In 2000, well into the internship programâs second decade, a Morgan graduate-student intern was assigned to the Maryland State Highway Administration (MSHA). MSHA found this student to be outstanding, and, in 2001, the administration approached Morgan with the idea of a summer internship program for undergraduate students. The MSHA under- graduate internship program would focus mainly on civil engineering students, but also include students in finance, information technology, and communications, among other fields. As a state university with students of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, neither of the internship programs was conceived as an opportunity for minority students exclusively. Com- bined with the executive order on HBCUs, which has been enforced since the early 1980s and stipulates that federal agencies should increase their partnerships with HBCUs, the internship programs enjoy a sound legal basis. However, the majority of the students who have become internsâthough not allâhave been Black. Implementing the Approach The reason the internship program was successfully implemented in the 1980s was that Mor- gan found a champion at the Maryland DOT who worked to see it come to fruition. The intern- ship program has been buoyed over the years by staff-level supporters within the Maryland DOT and its secretary. When new secretaries came in, the staffers would educate them on the Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Policy/Research Participants: â¢ Morgan State University â¢ Maryland Department of Transportation â¢ Maryland State Highway Administration Tools and Techniques: â¢ Internships â¢ DOTâUniversity Partnerships Affected Populations: â¢ Minorities â¢ Women
Effective Practices 4-131 importance of the program and seek to gain their buy-in. Strong leadership support helped to institutionalize the program and achieve backing from all departments. Morgan is responsible for administrative duties, which include distributing announcements about the program, gathering applications, and sharing them with the Maryland DOT. The Maryland DOT is responsible for interviewing candidates and selecting the interns. Students are then assigned to one of several modal agencies and departments based upon their interests. Graduate students tend to work 20 hours a week during the academic year and full-time during the summer months; the graduate program typically runs the calendar year. Undergraduates work full-time during the summer and may stay on as part-time workers during the fall semester as budgets permit (see Figure 4-43). Funding for the internship programs comes through the U.S. Department of Transportationâs Research and Innovative Technology Administration and Morganâs National Transportation Center. At MSHA, the research division puts the cost for the undergraduate interns in its work program as technical assistance. The Maryland DOT graduate program pays the wages and the students are hired temporarily as interns through the agencyâs personnel system. Morgan and MSHA have an umbrella contract for research partnerships and the MSHA undergraduate summer internship is set up on a cost-reimbursement basis. MSHA receives a certain amount for technical assistance. MSHA then gives the notice to proceed to Morgan, which hires the students as student workers. Morgan and MSHA each pay half of the internsâ total wage cost, $14 an hour, for which MSHA reimburses Morgan throughout the year. Influence of the Approach on Decisionmaking In its 24th year, the graduate student internship program is still going strong. The under- graduate internship program has become a model for other state agencies to follow for estab- lishing like programs. The programs are so well-established at this point that representatives at Morgan and at MSHA say that they practically run themselves. Both programs average about six students per year. The internship program has also institutionalized the partnership between Morgan and the Maryland DOT through a consistent flow of people and dollars. This relationship has grown stronger over a quarter century, through Republican and Democratic administrations, and through strong and weak budget cycles. Figure 4-43. Morgan State students join other interns in the Maryland Department of Transportation Fellows Intern Program.
4-132 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Challenges During a hiring freeze or layoffs, it can be financially and politically difficult for agencies to bring on interns. Uncertainty in funding levels can be partially mitigated by employing the MSHA funding model; that is, the school pays the interns and is later reimbursed by the trans- portation agency. In the case of hiring freezes, it is important to understand that unlike titled positions, interns are temporary employees who are paid lower wages. For some states, it will be difficult to directly translate this program because of location. There will not always be an HBCU, Hispanic Serving Institution, or Tribal College/University within a short commute of the offices of a participating transportation agency. Benefits of the Approach The agencies get a pipeline of smart, capable temporary employees who also bring the ben- efits of diversity into their workplace. The students do meaningful work and have a path into the industry. If the agency cannot retain them as an employee at the end of the internship, the student still leaves with real-world experience and an expanded network of contacts within the transportation sector with which to build a career and a strong reÂ´sumeÂ´. Costs of the Approach Interns are typically paid a living wage of $14 an hour. Each of the graduate interns works about 20 hours a week during the school year (about 15 weeks), and 40 hours a week during the summer (about 10 weeks), with no opportunity for overtime. Undergraduate interns work up to 20 hours per week during the school year and can work up to 40 hours in the summer months, although it is not a requirement. Interns receive 9 percent of their salary for social security and workers compensation. There are also administrative costs incurred for the hiring and imple- mentation of the program. Contacts/Resources Contacts Andrew Farkas Director of the National Transportation 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/ Allison Hardt Chief of the Research Division Maryland State Highway Administration 707 North Calvert Street Baltimore, MD 21202 410-545-2916 email@example.com http://www.marylandroads.com/
effective practices 4-133 Resources Maryland DOT - Morgan State University Graduate School Internships on Morgan State University website: http://www.morgan.edu/School_of_Engineering/Research_Centers/National_Transportation_Center/ Education_Initiatives/Internships/MDOT-Morgan_State_University_Graduate_School_Internship.html Maryland State Highway Administration Summer Internship Information on Morgan State University website: http://www.morgan.edu/School_of_Engineering/Research_Centers/National_Transportation_Center/ Education_Initiatives/Internships/SHA_Summer_Internship.html
4-134 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Training Project Managers and Engineers in Public Involvement Principles: Phoenix, AZ, Arizona DOT Background The Arizona DOT (ADOT) spent many years attempting to widen Highway 179 into Sedona without success. The contro- versial project strained the agencyâs relationship with the com- munity and led to a spate of bad press for the agency. New state leadership made it a priority to change things and get ADOT off the front pages of the newspapers. The Community Part- nerships Program, instituted by the then-governor, provided training through the International Association of Public Par- ticipation (IAP2) to 12â15 people, including district engineers and public affairs personnel as well as consultants working on the Sedona project. Developing the Approach For 10 years, the highway department had attempted to widen Highway 179 in Sedona. However, faced with a well- organized community and strong opposition, the agency was unable to move the project forward. Over time, ADOT even- tually realized that its process for working with the public was not getting the agency closer to implementation of the widening project. The agency realized that it needed to find a new approach for gaining approval of the project. The instructor for the IAP2 training had been marketing it actively to ADOT. The director of the newly formed Community Partnerships Program liked the courseâs systematic approach to public involvement and was interested in the core principles at the heart of the IAP2 training. The director hoped that these principles might eventually be applied throughout ADOT so that the entire agency could adopt a standard approach to doing public participation and deter- mining the appropriate level of impact the public might have on each project. Implementing the Approach The IAP2 training that ADOT staff and consultants working for the agency received through the Community Partnerships Program gave them insights into new and different ways of approaching the community and those who opposed the project. Twelve to 15 ADOT person- nel, including the district and resident engineers from the Sedona area as well as public affairs personnel and others from the Community Partnerships Program attended the training, which consisted of three different modules over a 5-day period (see Figures 4-44 and 4-45). â¢ The first module, âPlanning for Effective Public Participation,â provides tools for building a strong foundation by defining when to use public participation, how to identify stakeholders, and how to involve them effectively. An IAP2 tool, the Spectrum of Public Participation, helps public involvement practitioners and project managers establish achievable objectives upfront in terms of the publicâs impact on the decision-making process. The Spectrum calls upon the public involvement practitioner and other decisionmakers to make and keep their promises to the public on how it will be engaged. The approach requires periodic assessment of the effec- tiveness of the involvement processes in meeting these promises to the public (see Table 4-5). In step two of the process, âLearning from the Public,â participants spend time on how to identify groups or individuals who are especially hard to reach such as indigenous people and Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Project Development Participants: â¢ Arizona Department of Transportation â¢ International Association of Public Participation Tools and Techniques: â¢ Training of Public Participation Principles and Practices Affected Populations: â¢ Local Community â¢ Traveling Public â¢ Traditionally Underserved Populations
effective practices 4-135 low-income people, those who are specifically affected based on culture, ethnicity, or socio- economic class; any group with a potential equity concern; people with special needs, such as hearing, language, child care, long distances, and so forth. The course emphasizes striving for inclusion and suggests strategies for how to reach, inform, and build relationships with these harder to reach groups by going to where they are instead of the other way around. The class also includes a discussion of community, sponsor, and individual values and how they might affect participation. â¢ The second module, âCommunications for Effective Public Participation,â trains participants in basic communication tools to use for preparing communication plans and for listening to stakeholders. Included in this module are the essentials of risk communication and working with mass media. This module also incorporates a discussion of nonverbal communication and how this communication may vary from culture to culture as well as with different socio- economic groups. â¢ The third module, âTechniques for Effective Public Participation,â includes techniques and tools that have proved effective in public participation efforts around the world. This module points out how certain techniques work better with populations that are hesitant to partici- pate, have no access to the Internet, and other special considerations. â¢ All three modules use an interactive approach that facilitates dialogue and exploration of techniques and tools and their application to specific settings introduced by the participants. Figure 4-44 and Figure 4-45. Training participants present public participation plans developed during the IAP2 Certificate course.
4-136 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking The training was not designed specifically for ADOT personnel, but the interactive nature of the course and the tools used during the training provided essential information that fostered greater interest and willingness among participants to explore techniques to use for effective public participation in the design of Highway 179. Things began to change at ADOT through the influence of the Community Partnerships Pro- gram. They divided the 3 million plus Phoenix metropolitan area into four quadrants and put out RFPs that combined government affairs, public relations, and public involvement. The RFPs reflected a newfound understanding of the difference between public involvement and public relations, which the agency had gained through the IAP2 training. Before ADOT organized the Community Partnerships Department, the public involvement activities were in the Environmental Planning Division. After establishing the Community Part- nerships Department, public involvement was moved into it to create a unified approach. Increasing Level of Public Impact In fo rm Co nsul t In vo lv e Co lla bo ra te Em po we r Pu b lic Pa rt ic ip at io n Go al To pr ov id e the pu b lic wi th ba la nc ed an d ob je ct iv e in fo rm at io n to a ssi st them in un de rs ta nd in g the pr ob le m, al te rn at iv es , o ppo rt un it ie s, an d so lu ti on s. To ob ta in pu b lic f eed ba ck on an al ys is , al te rn at iv es an d/ or de ci si on s. To wo rk di re ct ly wi th the pu b lic th ro ughout the pr oc e ss to en su re th at pu b lic co nc er ns an d as pi ra ti on s ar e co ns is tent ly un de rs t ood an d co ns id er ed . To pa rt ne r wi th the pu b lic in ea ch as pe ct of the de ci si on , in cl ud in g the de ve lo pm ent of al te rn at iv es an d the id enti fi ca ti on of the pr ef e rre d al te rn at iv e. To pl ac e fi na l de ci si on ma ki ng in the ha nd s of the pu b lic . Pr om is e to th e Pu b lic We w ill ke ep yo u in fo rm ed . We w ill k eep yo u in fo rm ed , lis ten to , an d ac kn ow le dg e co nc er ns an d as pi ra ti on s, an d pr ov id e f eed ba ck on ho w pu b lic in pu t in fl uenc ed the de ci si on . We w ill wo rk wi th yo u to en su re th at yo ur co nc er ns an d as pi ra ti on s ar e di re ct ly re fl ec te d in th e al te rn at iv es de ve lo pe d an d pr ov id e f eed ba ck on ho w pu b lic in pu t in fl uenc ed the de ci si on . We w ill lo ok to yo u fo r ad vi ce an d i nno va ti on in fo rm ul at in g so lu ti on s an d in co rp or at e your ad vi ce an d re co mmenda ti on s in to the de ci si on to the ma xi mum ex tent po ssi bl e. We w ill im pl ement wh at yo u de ci de . Ex am pl e Te chni qu es â¢ Fa ct sh eet s â¢ We bs it es â¢ Op en houses â¢ Pu b lic comment â¢ Fo cu s groups â¢ Su rv ey s â¢ Pu b lic meetings â¢ Wo rk sh op s â¢ Deliberative polling â¢ Ci ti ze n ad vi so ry co mmi ttees â¢ Co ns en su s bu ild in g â¢ Pa rt ic ip at or y decisionmaking â¢ Ci ti ze n ju ri es â¢ Ba llo ts â¢ De le ga te d de ci si on s So ur ce : In te rn at io na l A sso ci at io n of Pu b lic Pa rt ic ip at io n, 2009. Table 4-5. The spectrum of public participation.
effective practices 4-137 Influence of Approach on Decisionmaking The Highway 179 project was directly affected by ADOTâs openness to authentic public par- ticipation. Two of IAP2âs core values played a particularly important role in shaping ADOTâs public participation practices. These two principles state: 1) all that are affected by a decision have the right to participate in the decision-making process, and 2) public participation seeks out and facilitates the involvement of all of those who are potentially impacted by a decision. The Highway 179 project was refocused to meet the transportation needs of as many people as possible, which completely changed the dynamic of the planning process. The systematic, step-wise approach recommended in the training and the involvement of internal stakeholders to get their commitment to the approach as part of the IAP2 planning process also impacted the way ADOT structured its activities. After the training, ADOT developed a more collaborative outreach and participation plan and established a commu- nity field office. ADOT also brought in the National Charrette Institute to train the staff and consultants in running the char- rettes. Fortified by these new techniques and outlook, ADOT was able to move the Highway 179 project forward. The process they undertook helped the agency develop a design for the highway that reflected the communityâs desire for maintaining the natural scenic beauty of the area and their resistance to a four-lane highway, which ADOT initially insisted was necessary for safety reasons. The new approach also addressed the community complaint that ADOT was not acknowledging its concerns. They were able to keep the two-lane road and yet make it safer and more pleasant. Specific changes that resulted from the public participation process included designated pull-outs for cars wanting to take photos and enjoy the scenery; roundabouts instead of stop lights; and the keeping of the roadway a two-lane highway instead of a four-lane highway as initially proposed by ADOT. The training has also had a tremendous impact on ADOTâs public involvement practices in general. For the first few years that IAP2 training was conducted in Arizona, ADOT was used as an example by class participants of what not to do. Over the last several years, after principles from the IAP2 training had been formally instituted, ADOT has been used frequently as a best practice example. Challenges Public involvement training is limited in its ability to influence an agency by a number of constraining factors, including staff turnover, the need for sustained leadership support, and the continuing need for resources to disseminate and implement training principles. The agencies in Arizona are going into their second year of furlough processes. This makes it extremely difficult to sustain training programs for agency personnel. With changing staff and scarce resources, the danger is that the next project will come along and the decision will be made that there is not enough time to do it in a collaborative manner, and people might revert to older and less demanding practices. However, several IAP2 trainers are continuing to work with the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management in Arizona, and the U.S. Forest Service doing what was done with ADOT. âThe completed roadway is phenomenal. This solution was achieved through a collaborative process that combined technical feasibility, economic viability, environmental compatibility and public acceptability.â âMartha A. Rozelle, Consultant and Former IAP2 President âIâve been doing these classes in Arizona since 2002. The first few years the ADOT projects were always brought up as bad examples. The last several years, it was amazing. They became the origin of positive stories.â âMartha A. Rozelle, Consultant and Former IAP2 President
4-138 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking The challenge is to continue to trust that if agencies spend the time upfront training staff to work with the community, they will have better results. A single training event is not enoughâ there has to be sustained commitment to convince people that they can get more done by engag- ing the public. Benefits of the Approach The benefits of public involvement training are that people are given a new framework to think about public involvement and the tools and techniques to engage the public. The IAP2 class, especially the planning class, provides a step-by-step process to follow so that practitioners have a systematic way to think about and design public involvement programs. The classes pro- vide a common language for practitioners to use in public involvement planning. The IAP2 Certificate Training course emphasizes the importance of evaluation. For example, one of the steps is to develop participation objectives that fit within the overall planning and decision process objectives. These are both âprocessâ and âoutcomeâ objectives. At specified points during the project, the team can evaluate the extent to which these objectives are being met and modify the public involvement program as appropriate. The Spectrum of Public Participation is a useful tool in the alignment of expectations between the public and the decisionmaker. The goals for each level in the Spectrum describe the impact that the public can have on the decision or outcome. Likewise, a âpromiseâ that must be kept by the decisionmaker is stated at each level. The decisionmakerâs ability to keep the promise is another way to evaluate the success of the public involvement program. Through this evalua- tion process, agencies may discover that their activities are at the âinform levelâ instead of the âinvolve level.â Once trainees learn to identify where on the spectrum the agency needs to be on a specific project, they can learn the planning and participatory techniques needed to get there. Costs of the Approach The primary cost for public involvement training is tuition for the training and staff time away from the office. The IAP2 training costs range from $1,200 to $1,750 per person for the 5 days. The cost of other training courses will vary. Training may also be conducted in-house by staff members who have been trained or certified in public involvement techniques. Contacts/Resources Contacts 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 Resources International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) website: www.iap2.org
effective practices 4-139 Guaranteeing Mobilization Loans for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises: Wisconsin Department of Transportation Background In 1983, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (Wis- DOT) was called in front of Congress to explain why it was not meeting its federally mandated minority participation goals. As part of a larger program to address these federal con- cerns, 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 improv- ing access to capital for minority subcontractors, and of grow- ing these subcontractors 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. Developing the Approach In 1983, WisDOT was meeting only 1.6 percent of the federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) participation target of 10 percent established for federal-aid projects in the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982. Seeing this, Congress called WisDOT to Washington to testify as to why it was not meet- ing its targets for DBEs, the federally established designation given to small businesses owned primarily by women or ethnic minorities. When the agency realized that Congress was serious about these goals, WisDOT officials decided that they needed to change their practices and start tapping the DBE contractor pools that they had been missing (see Figure 4-46). When WisDOTâs DBE performance gap began to garner attention, a Wisconsin state sena- tor organized and led a successful effort to initiate a $4 million demonstration loan targeted to minority- or woman-owned businesses. Those involved with the program recognized, however, that many of the potentially eligible firms did not have sufficient working capital on-hand to effectively tap this newly available funding source. Transportation subcontractors often need tens of thousands of dollars up front to pay for things like equipment, material, and person- nel before checks start coming in from the prime contractor. As small businesses, many of the minority- or woman-owned businesses potentially eligible for the loans were not able to cover project startup costs. Getting funding has long been problematic for DBEs, particularly in the transportation industry, which lenders generally view as high-risk. The fear that small businesses will be unable to repay their loans is a legitimate issue for banks from bonding, lending, and insurance per- spectives, as these loans are often for a relatively large amount of money over a short payback period. After participating in stakeholder meetings organized by the state senator, WisDOT decided to set aside $300,000 in a minority-owned bank. This money would serve as a guarantee to banks if they made short-term mobilization loans to DBE subcontractors. If the subcontractor defaulted, the bank would be able to take up to 90 percent of the lost sum from this $300,000 fund. Stage of Decisionmaking: â¢ Policy and Programs Participants: â¢ Wisconsin DOT â¢ Minority-Owned Banks â¢ Minority Subcontractors â¢ Milwaukee Urban League Tools and Techniques: â¢ DOT-Funded Mobilization Loan Guarantee Fund Affected Populations: â¢ Minorities â¢ Women
4-140 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking Implementing the Approach WisDOTâs goal was to ensure that if a DBE subcontractor had the ability to do the job, startup capital would not be a barrier. An important force in laying the groundwork to realize this goal was the state senatorâs ability to write mobilization funding into state statutes. The senatorâs work also created public support for the program among contractor and labor organizations, community- based organizations (CBOs), elected officials and their constituencies. DBE-firm staff was able to identify banks and CBOs that were interested in becoming partners of the MLGF. Internally, it was vital to make sure that the DBE program was connected to other sections within WisDOT, such as the contracting section and the policy and practice section. The pro- gram would not have worked if the DBE section staff had not worked closely with other WisDOT offices to make sure the mobilization loan program would fit with the agencyâs overall needs and policies. Interagency partnerships worked in large part because the DBE program had support from the secretaryâs office. Support from the departmentâs leadership helped staff at all levels understand the necessity of getting the DBE program up and operating. WisDOT established a clear process for leveraging its MLGF. When a DBE firm wins a con- tract, it presents the contract to WisDOT and requests mobilization loans, which can be up to 50 percent of the contractâs value. These loans are to be repaid over a term of up to 6 months, with the option available of one 6-month extension. While reviewing the contract, WisDOT connects the DBE to its certified public accounting consultant, which works with the DBE to complete the necessary paperwork and also develops projections to allow the bank to create a repayment timeline. This process can take as little as a week to complete. Figure 4-46. The WisDOT DBE Program provides information about how to gain DBE-certification, a necessary step in participating in the MLGF.
effective practices 4-141 There are several reasons why the loan that the bank issues will be secure: 1. The contract is presented as collateral. The DBE will be earning this amount of money over several months through a reliable, government-funded project, thus generating a highly sta- ble cash flow. 2. If the DBE defaults, the bank will regain up to 90 percent of the amount they lent. 3. The agreement stipulates that each check the prime contractor cuts has both the DBE and the bankâs name on it, and must go directly to the bank. This guarantees that the bank has quick, easy, and transparent access to its repayment funds. Once the bank approves the loan and signs a letter of commitment, WisDOT brings the let- ter to the Milwaukee Urban League (MUL), which signs on as the guarantor. WisDOT made this agreement with MUL because WisDOT cannot guarantee its own loan program. Because WisDOT is using its own contract as collateral, serving as guarantor would present a conflict of interest. The partnership has proven very successful because MUL shares WisDOTâs Civil Rights Sectionâs goal of âsecuring economic self-reliance, parity and civil rightsâ; and because it is cost efficient, because MUL does not charge WisDOT for its services. After the project is complete, the subcontractor can apply immediately for another mobiliza- tion loan. Individual DBEs have received up to four mobilization loans in a year. From 1995 to 2009, the average number of loans guaranteed in a year was eight ranging from a low of $259,300 to a high of $719,208, depending on the year. WisDOT is able to manage this volume of loans because as one loan is being processed, another is being paid. Moreover, as the reliability of the mobilization loan program was demonstrated and WisDOT and DBEs strengthened their rela- tionships with banks, the volume that can be processed increased. Certified public accountant (CPA) consulting services are also used to manage the program and include outreach and training for DBEs, which further broadens the pool of applicants and strengthens the DBEs as they grow. The CPA firm used by WisDOT has developed a presentation it gives at conferences explaining the MLGF to DBEs, prospective DBEs, and prime contractors. The CPA firm also offers loan recipients free training on accounting practices and accounting software. Because it is so closely involved in the process, the CPA firm is able to compile reports on the MLGF that guide WisDOTâs loan strategies. Influence of the Approach on Decisionmaking The DBE program at WisDOT measures the MLGFâs suc- cess, in part, by the number of DBE subcontractor grantees that are able to win contracts as primes. In addition to fos- tering a healthy pool of DBE subcontractors, WisDOT has enabled 10 of these DBE subcontractors to bid competitively as primes. For example, one full-service civil engineering firm formed in 2001 was able to rapidly grow its operations in part through its participation in the mobilization loan program; by 2010 it was employing more than 70 people. Because the firm is able to draw from pools of DBE subcontractors and primes, WisDOT has had DBE-participation levels achieving 40 per- cent on some projects. The long-lasting success of the MLGF program has influenced the development of other pro- grams and projects. For example, the department unbundled portions of the reconstruction con- tract for the Marquette Interchange in downtown Milwaukee on the basis of the agencyâs growing confidence in the capacity of its DBE-qualified pool to deliver quality projects. In addition to âThose loans were very helpful. It made our life a lot easier. Between U.S. Small Business Administration loans and these loans, Iâd rather have these loans. It would be great if there were more available.â âAbdulhamid Ali, DAAR Engineering President and CEO
4-142 practical approaches for Involving traditionally Underserved populations in transportation Decisionmaking breaking up the project by geographic area and ramps, WisDOT separated out individual land- scaping, sidewalk, and roundabout contracts giving DBEs further opportunities to compete for contracts. The $810 million project was completed in 2008 and 20.5 percent of the contracts were awarded to DBE firmsâmore than double the federal 8 percent participation target. Challenges During the recession of the late 2000s, many banks retreated from lending to small busi- nesses and began turning down DBEs for mobilization loans. In response to this difficult chal- lenge, WisDOT has followed a communications strategy that makes clear to its lenders how solid WisDOT-backed mobilization loans have been over their quarter century of use. The minority- owned bank with which WisDOT keeps its loan fund has been the most willing to continue lending, as have community banks in general. Attracting additional capital funding into the program to match the rising costs of construc- tion is a critical challenge for this element of the DBE program. Due to inflation, the fundâs cur- rent $376,000 value is worth less than the $300,000 amount set aside in the mid-1980s. As the nominal value of contracts grow, the fund has less capacity to assist eligible DBEs in securing larger projects and harnessing the loan guarantee to grow subcontractors into primes. There are also mundane challenges to the programâs effective implementation. For example, the DBE program overseers have found that prime contractors tend to forget to make the check out to both the subcontractor and the bank. This is solved with increased communication. Benefits of the Approach In more than a quarter century of operation, the mobilization loan guarantee program has not suffered from a single default. It has facilitated an average of eight loans each year, has served multiple loans to more than 50 firms, and has contributed directly to growing 10 DBE sub- contractors into primes. It has done all of this using a comparatively small amount of money. Guaranteeing mobilization loans allows DBEs to get started quickly and get more work done as they gradually build capacity through experience and hiring. Over time the DBEs build credit and a relationship with the banks, which provides them with a basis for future loans. The bank gets a reliable customer that has the potential to grow and gain larger and larger contracts. The transportation agencies discover the capacity of DBEs to deliver successful results reliably. Costs of the Approach The DBE program staff treats its work on the loan guarantees as part of the everyday respon- sibilities and does not charge extra for performing the duties related to it. CPA consulting services cost WisDOT between $100,000 and $150,000 annually. If a firm is working on a mega-project and needs a mobilization loan, federal project funds will pay for the CPA consulting services; otherwise, WisDOT includes the CPA costs when it submits its annual justification for state funds used to administer DBE Support Services
effective practices 4-143 Contacts/Resources Contacts Suki Han Contract Administrator WisDOTâCivil Rights and Compliance Section P.O. Box 7965 Madison, WI 53707 (608) 267-3849 Suki.Han@dot.wi.gov Leni Siker President Siker Financial Services Group LTD 100 East Pleasant Street Milwaukee, WI 53212 (414) 265-7388 http://sfsgroupltd.com/ 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 Resources Insight Center for Community Economic Development, (14 December 2007), âState Policies and Programs for Minority- and Women-Business Development,â Best Practices, Imperfections, and Challenges in State Inclusive Business Programs, http://www.insightcced.org/uploads///publications/assets/50%20state%20 inclusive%20business%20policy%20scan.pdf