Minnesota DOT used selected key decisions to work collaboratively with stakeholders and successfully design a Complete Streets Plan for the City of Grand Rapids. Learn more about how TCAPP helped.
Transportation decisions often exhibit breakthroughs when decision makers engage collaboratively with those outside the process who are interested in and affected by the outcome. Those cases that are most successful are often proactive in working with all stakeholders, including potential opponents, early in the process. Close collaboration with the community to meet an array of needs beyond highway improvements is another key to successful outcomes. The inclusion of multi-modal options, additional enhancement features, or innovative solutions often results in broad acceptance by all those involved.
How can stakeholder collaboration help identify risks and avoid delays?
If stakeholders are not involved collaboratively in transportation decision making, there is an increased risk that the best decision will not be made, and ultimately the improvement will be slowed or stopped. Much of the success described in specific case study examples can be attributed to the identification and management of key risks. Specific approaches used to effectively manage risks include:
How can Transportation for Communities help with stakeholder collaboration?
The Stakeholder Collaboration application identifies the points in the decision making process where there should be a flow of information between decision makers and stakeholders. The Decision Guide also provides questions decision makers should ask to gather information from stakeholders and questions to incorporate their interests.
The Decision Guide image below highlights the decision points where collaboration should occur with stakeholders. Specific questions have been developed for each of these decision points to generally determine:
In a collaborative relationship, once a decision has been made, stakeholders need to be given feedback surrounding the "what, when, why, how and who" of the decision. The Decision Guide reinforces this type of relationship in the questions that decision makers consider.
To get a snapshot of each Key Decision, roll over the Decision Guide graphic below. Click on any individual Key Decision to access detailed information including: purpose and anticipated outcomes; partner roles; integration with external planning processes; linkages across phases; questions to assist decision makers; and data, tools, technologies that support the decision.
Key Decisions that are grayed-out have no specific relevance to the individual application or topic area but are still accessible from this graphic.
The scoping key decision involves a broad assessment of the data, decisions, and relationships to consider, acquire, or make throughout the entire long range transportation plan (LRTP) process.
Stakeholders provide perspective on vision and goals for the community and for the transportation system.
Stakeholder interests are incorporated into the evaluation criteria and methodology that will be used to evaluate the individual scenarios.
Stakeholder perspective on transportation deficiencies and needs is collected.
At this key decision information from the Programming / Fiscal Constraint Phase is introduced into the LRTP decision making process.
Strategies recommended by stakeholders are gathered and considered.
Stakeholders recommend scenarios and consider those presented to them by partners. Stakeholder perspective on unacceptable scenarios as well as those that best meet the vision and goals is gathered.
Stakeholder evaluation of the scenarios is considered prior to adoption of the preferred. Stakeholders may prioritize scenarios or identify those that are unacceptable.
Air Quality conformity analysis is done within the air quality process in order to validate that the preferred scenario meets current conformity requirements.
At this key decision a final plan is adopted by the MPO board.
This is a legally required decision consisting of the federal approval of conformity of the LRTP.
This key decision establishes the revenue basis for both the fiscal constraint of the long range plan as well as the funding sources for the TIP.
This key decision establishes a consistent methodology for estimating project costs for both the long range transportation plan and the TIP.
This key decision establishes the list of projects drawn from the long range plan or corridor planning process that will be considered for funding in the TIP.
Stakeholders provide input of prioritization of projects from the adopted LRTP scenario
At this key decision project priorities are compared to available funding within program restrictions to select those projects to be included in the TIP.
Stakeholders provide comments on Draft TIP prior to adoption by the partners.
The Governor or designee should ensure that the TIP meets other state and federal requirements so that the TIP can be incorporated into the STIP and be in agreement with the state document.
At this key decision the draft STIP is developed to release for public comment.
Stakeholders provide comments on the Draft STIP prior to adoption by the state.
This is a crucial first step of corridor planning.
Stakeholders identify problems in the corridor, how and where they travel, and what is important to them in the corridor for consideration in the approved problems and opportunities.
Stakeholder perspective on the goals for the corridor is gathered and considered by the partners.
In order to provide a clear linkage to the environmental review process, this key decision defines the acceptable level of detail for the corridor study analysis.
Stakeholder interests are incorporated into the evaluation criteria and methodology in order to compare solution sets.
Stakeholders provide potential solutions and feedback on those solutions recommended by the partners.
Stakeholders identify preferred solutions, those they consider unacceptable, and issues that are not addressed by the solutions offered.
At this key decision priorities for implementation of the individual solutions are established.
Stakeholders provide input on their preferred priorities and any information they have to support specific solutions.
Stakeholders provide information to inform project scoping as well as appropriate public involvement including: what they care about in the project area, what are their concerns, what are appropriate boundaries for the area of concern, who should be involved, and how should they be engaged.
This key decision is required to satisfy the legal requirement of publishing a Notice of Intent (NOI) to inform partners and the public of the commencement of the environmental review phase.
Collecting stakeholder interests and comments on the need for the project and what it should accomplish.
Stakeholders provide input on the proposed study area: what they value in the area, what is outside the area that should be considered, any recommendations on changes to the study area.
Stakeholder perspective on characteristics that will demonstrate improvement and consistency with their interests when the project is complete to inform the evaluation criteria.
Stakeholders share ideas on solving the problems in the project area, submit potential solutions, and comment on alternatives that have been proposed or eliminated.
This shared step between the NEPA and permitting processes involves the approval of the alternatives that are suggested to be carried forward. There is essential information created in long range planning and corridor planning that informs this decision.
Stakeholder comments on alternatives are considered before the draft EIS is issued.
This key decision is required to satisfy the regulatory requirement for Section 404 permitting that the public receive notice of a permit application.
Stakeholder perspective and comment on each alternative is considered prior to adoption of the preferred alternatives. Feedback to stakeholders is prepared to support the decision reached.
This decision is a required procedural step in the Section 404 permitting process. At this step, a final determination of jurisdictional waters of the United States in the project area is made.
Following selection of the preferred alternative/LEDPA, partners reach consensus on additional avoidance and minimization measures not included in the preliminary design.
A final EIS is approved that meets all legal requirements and addresses comments received on the Draft EIS.
At this step in the environmental review phase, the Record of Decision is issued.
At this final step in the environmental review phase, the final permit decision is rendered.