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Tennessee Environmental Procedures Manual

Chapter 7: Public Involvement Process

7.0 Overview

Since the early 1990s, one of the most dramatic changes in the planning of transportation projects has been the increased focus on effective public involvement, i.e., engaging the public in the transportation decision-making process in a meaningful way. Many state DOTs are discovering that a successful transportation development process includes early and continuous public involvement.

A May-June 2002 article in the Transportation Research Board's TR News opined that:

  • "Public involvement is difficult to do well - but good public involvement usually always pays off, and bad public involvement invariably backfires.
  • Public involvement is not more difficult than it use to be - but the goals have been raised."

This chapter provides a brief overview of public involvement for TDOT's transportation projects, which is conducted by TDOT both to meet the intent of federal requirements and to facilitate the development of projects that are accepted by and benefit the project area community. It discusses the regulatory provisions for public involvement and the methodology adopted by FHWA and TDOT to fulfill the requirements set forth in a number of regulations.

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