STATUS: Research is complete. Final report and related materials available HERE.
Transportation agencies engage in frequent and routine communication with the public, and public involvement is fundamental to the development of transportation plans and projects. Public involvement campaigns and programs provide both transportation agencies and the public with consistent and reliable means for exchanging important information about planning and project development activities, and they enable the public to participate in transportation decisionmaking. Transportation professionals need to measure the impact of public involvement campaigns and programs in order to ensure that they are both successful and an efficient use of public resources. The emphasis on performance measurement, applied to many aspects of transportation agencies’ responsibilities, has grown in tandem with increased demand by the public and elected officials for better accountability in the transportation decisionmaking process. Performance measures are now a familiar concept to state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations—particularly since the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) requires them to measure the performance of their transportation systems. In order to similarly measure the effectiveness of public involvement activities, commonly accepted definitions of successful public involvement campaigns or programs, and methods for evaluating their effectiveness should be developed.
The objective of this research is to provide transportation agencies with evidence-based guidance on how to measure the effectiveness of public involvement activities or programs related to transportation planning and project delivery.