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Public Participation Plan

 

The importance of public participation in transportation planning can’t be overstated. Planners need to understand the diverse perspectives of elected officials, advocates, and stakeholders as they devise plans and programs; and they need to pay particular attention to those of have been undeserved by transportation investments, including low income and minority residents. A major goal of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), like WILMAPCO, is to ensure that the public has a direct voice in the decision-making process. To aid in this process, WILMAPCO has updated its Public Participation Plan (PPP), which provides an overview of how we ensure that you are involved.

WILMAPCO’s 2019 Transportation Justice (TJ) Plan found that neighborhoods with concentrations of African American residents are chronically underfunded with transportation dollars and experience increased traffic and higher pedestrian crash rates.  The report also found that low income communities were much less likely to be aware of WILMAPCO, and thus participate in the MPO planning process.

To begin to correct these and other inequities uncovered in the TJ Plan, several outreach recommendations have been incorporated into the PPP, including:

  • As an agency, WILMAPCO will work to promote more inclusive organizational practices and cultural proficiency.
  • In regional studies, WILMAPCO will diversify outreach techniques, strive for equitable public participation (by race/class), and work to build stronger relationships with minority cultural institutions.
  • In local studies, WILMAPCO will invest in relationship building, encourage local leadership in studies, acknowledge any past harm done by transportation and land use planning, strive for equitable participation, and aim for community empowerment.

Public Participation Plan Development Process

In order to ensure that the goals and objectives of the PPP directly reflected those of the public affected by the plan, WILMAPCO took the following actions:

  • Conducted best practices research
  • Participated in a Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration PPP Development Peer Exchange
  • Conducted a web-based public participation survey – click to view results
  • Encouraged member agency participation in the public outreach survey
  • Included public outreach questions in a (statistically valid) telephone public opinion survey – click to view results
  • Consulted with member agencies through PAC, TAC, and Council presentations
  • Conducting a joint public workshop on September 16, 2019, in partnership with DelDOT.
  • Conducting a 45-day public comment period

Comments and survey data from the PPP development process is used throughout the document. The online survey conducted during the PPP development process was not intended to be statistically valid, but was included as additional support to the public input that was received.

Click to view the 2020 Public Participation Plan

Periodically the Public Participation Plan undergoes an evaluation of its activities and initiatives. The PPP is then revised or amended to enhance participation in the transportation planning process.

Click to view WILMAPCO’s 2014 Pubic Participation Plan Evaluation