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Public Involvement in Transportation Planning

The Oregon Department of Transportation has a strong public involvement component in all phases of transportation decision-making. ODOT invites the public and stakeholder groups to participate in long-range planning, in making decisions about where to invest transportation dollars and in identifying project impacts during project planning and construction. The Oregon Transportation Commission, or OTC,  has a Public Involvement Policy and guidance on how to involve the public, other governments and stakeholder groups in transportation decision-making. The policy calls for early, open, continuous and effective public participation in planning and project decision making processes.


Public involvement in ODOT’s long-range planning usually begins with interviewing ODOT staff and stakeholders to identify issues and challenges to be addressed in the plan. The stakeholders normally include representatives of other state agencies, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and local government as well as business and environmental groups. The planning process includes the development of a Steering Committee as well as policy committees addressing related topics such as mobility and economic vitality, safety and security, sustainability and transportation choices. These committees include Federal, state and local government representatives, Tribal governments, transportation providers, businesses and environmental and safety advocacy groups. Information developed as part of the planning process is provided in both English and Spanish. During the plan development, these committees, Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Area Commissions on Transportation provide regular feedback on policy proposals. Modal plans have a similar committee structure although they are a little more focused on particular modes.

The OTC public involvement policy​ recommends scheduling at least two public meetings in each of ODOT’s five regions prior to the adoption of a transportation plan by the OTC.

Public Involvement and Title VI are also supported by Oregon’s Statewide Planning Goals particularly in Goal 1 - Citizen Involvement.

In general a Public Involvement Plan must describe how the public will be engaged in the plan development and must propose a schedule and methods to use to accomplish public involvement in the plan development. The plan must include:

  • Public involvement goals for the project.
  • Identification of key populations and stakeholder groups for the plan.
  • Lay out ODOT and Consultant roles and responsibilities for public involvement.
  • Strategy for accomplishing inclusive public outreach, including Title VI/environmental justice community outreach and reporting.
  • Description of methods used to reach various stakeholders.
  • Recommendations for engaging key existing committees.
  • Schedule for public involvement activities that is consistent with the project's work plan.