The National Academies

NCHRP 08-36/Task 014 [Completed]

Consultation Between State DOTs and Local Elected Officials in Non-Metropolitan Areas
[ NCHRP 08-36 (Research for the AASHTO Standing Committee on Planning) ]

  Project Data
Funds: 30000
Research Agency: AECOM Consulting Transportation Group
Principal Investigator: Katherine F. Turnbull
Effective Date: 8/7/2000
Completion Date: 7/31/2002
Comments: Completed---Final report sent to AASHTO

Section 1204(i) of the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century (TEA-21) requires the U.S.DOT to conduct a study of consultation between state DOTs and local elected officials in non-metropolitan areas. U.S.DOT was to report back to Congress with recommendations within two years of enactment of TEA-21. U.S.DOT hired a consultant team to develop a report on current consultation methods and issues. A series of regional outreach sessions was held to obtain input on local jurisdiction consultation issues in non- metropolitan areas. The results of this outreach have been reported on an Internet web site. A number of state DOTs and others who participated in these outreach meetings have expressed serious concerns about the accuracy of the information contained on the web site. U.S.DOT's consultants have issued a matrix of consultation methods used in each state. Many states have taken strong exception to the information contained in the matrix regarding what methods are used in each state. The matrix is also formatted in such a way that methods other than those listed are not acknowledged. The consultants are currently drafting a report on local official consultation in non-metropolitan areas. A review of one of the chapters of the draft report has raised concerns regarding accuracy of information presented and biases in favor of certain methods of consultation. The AASHTO Board of Directors has passed a resolution expressing concerns about U.S.DOT's study. Given the concerns that have been raised regarding the study being performed by U.S.DOT, a separate, independent, objective synthesis and best practices analysis of state DOT/local jurisdiction consultative processes outside metropolitan areas was needed. It included a review of available information collected for U.S.DOT to both conduct an independent review of state/local jurisdiction consultative processes through contacts with state DOTs and local elected officials and issue a report that documents current practice and analyzes best practices. The analysis took into account the widely varying governance and transportation issues among the states.

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