Public Involvement Plan

Preface
Public involvement is a key component of the metropolitan transportation decision-making process. As mandated in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and other supporting Federal regulations, and as continued in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) must establish and periodically review and update their public involvement processes. These processes should assure early and continued public awareness of and access to the transportation decision-making process. Involving the public is a major challenge, especially in the metropolitan planning process, which is inherently complex, has a long time horizon, and is removed from project specific planning.
In July 1999, the High Point Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (HPMPO), adopted formal guidelines to inform the general public of various public participation opportunities. In an effort to strengthen public access and involvement in the metropolitan transportation decision-making process, the HPMPO has developed a new set of actions, techniques, and procedures. The following pages identify these new procedures that have been developed through a collaborative process with the public.

Plan & Procedures for Enhancing Public Involvement in the Transportation Planning Process for the High Point Urban Area

I. Introduction
The High Point Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (HPMPO) is responsible for providing transportation guidance and overseeing the federal transportation planning process for the High Point urban area, including full and fair participation from the public.
There are three major pieces of legislation that outline requirements for public participation in the transportation planning process carried out by the HPMPO. These include ISTEA, TEA-21, the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA). (See Appendix A.)
Further, in 1997, the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) issued an "Order to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-income Populations." “Environmental Justice” refers specifically to whether low-income and minority populations may bear disproportionate adverse impacts resulting from government decisions. This order applies to all policies, programs, and other activities that are undertaken, funded, or approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and other U.S. DOT components including Statewide and Metropolitan Planning.
Consistent with the direction provided by the Federal transportation law, TEA-21, the mission of the HPMPO is to develop, promote, and ensure implementation of a metropolitan transportation plan that:
  • supports the economic vitality of the metropolitan area;
  • increases the safety and security of the transportation system for motorized and non-motorized users;
  • increases the accessibility and mobility options available for people and freight;
  • protects the environment, promotes energy conservation, and improves quality of life;
  • enhances the integration and connectivity of the transportation system across and between modes for people and freight;
  • promotes efficient transportation system management and operation;
  • emphasizes the preservation of the existing transportation system; and
promotes an efficient relationship between land-use and transportation that maximizes the use of existing and future public programs and infrastructure.

Activities performed by the HPMPO to comply with this mission include:

  • Organizing, overseeing, and managing the planning process in compliance with current federal requirements.
  • Providing direction to and receiving policy-related support from the Transportation Advisory Committee of the HPMPO.
  • Providing policy direction and oversight to meet Federal and State environmental requirements for attaining air quality standards as required by the Federal Clean Air Act as amended.
Therefore, in order to carry out this mission in a fully open process that provides complete information, timely public notice, and full public access to key decisions, and that supports early and continued involvement, as mandated by Federal law, the HPMPO has developed and adopted this document to ensure that the appropriate consideration and steps are being taken.
The first step in developing this Plan was to establish a set of objectives that meet the spirit and intent of public involvement in the metropolitan transportation planning process.

Objective 1: Public Outreach and Education
Educate the public about the metropolitan transportation planning process and provide adequate information in a timely manner.
Objective 2: Public Input into the Decision-Making Process
Ensure that the public has been provided with adequate, appropriate, and meaningful opportunities to engage in the decision-making process.
In order to meet these objectives, an array of strategies or actions and techniques has been identified. Immediately following are the strategies that are included in this Plan. Although many serve to achieve both objectives, the primary objective is listed. A periodic assessment of these actions and techniques shall be done in order to make certain that they carry out the objectives of this Plan.
Strategies Primary Objective Met
Objective 1 Objective 2



Identify stakeholders X
Develop an outreach and education program X
Publicize HPMPO activities X
Partner with outreach professionals X
Produce and distribute newsletters X
Establish a speakers' bureau X
Maintain a website X
Conduct information workshops X
Hold open houses X
Provide outreach services X
Develop a Citizens Advisory Committee
X
Provide for public input at HPMPO meetings
X
Hold public information meetings
X
Hold public hearings
X
Conduct surveys
X
Conduct focus groups
X

The following two sections of this Plan explain in greater detail the strategies, actions and techniques listed above. Also included is a set of procedures to ensure that the decision-making process is carried out in a fair and consistent manner.

II. Objective 1: Public Outreach and Education

The following is a list of strategies that may be carried out in order to enhance and support public outreach and education in the metropolitan transportation planning and decision-making process.

A. Identify Stakeholders in the Process
A stakeholder is defined as any person or group who is affected by a transportation plan, program, or project, including those who may not be aware they are affected. Stakeholders include the general public; environmental, health, neighborhood, citizen, and civic organizations; traditionally under-served communities such as people with disabilities, low-income, and racial and ethnic minorities; and affected public agencies. Networking with local jurisdiction professionals will help to ensure that all stakeholders are identified. Representatives of all identified stakeholders shall be included on the MPO mailing list.

B. Develop an Outreach and Education Program
The outreach and education program shall be designed to educate the public about the metropolitan transportation planning process and its relevance to all stakeholders. Special considerations and arrangements shall be made to design a program that is tailored for non-traditional participants such as low-income and minority communities. Materials produced as part of this program shall include such tools as easily understood informational pamphlets and brochures, which can be used in various presentations and for distribution. In addition, it shall be necessary to periodically review and update the program and accompanying materials, such as a citizen's guide.

C. Publicize HPMPO Activities
Key media shall be provided with periodic updates of the activities of the HPMPO. In addition, news releases and/or media alerts shall be disseminated to announce public review and comment periods for the High Point Urban Area Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), LRTP Major Updates, Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Programs (MTIPs), Planning Work Programs (PWPs), Public Involvement Plans (PIPs) and other major activities. In order to do so, a current list of media outlets such as television and radio stations, and newspapers, including small-community based publications, shall be established and maintained. Cultivating relationships with key media and understanding preferred formats for receiving information will enhance the information dissemination process.

D. Partner with Outreach Professionals
Establishing partnerships with local member jurisdiction professionals will help to reach a greater number of affected communities. Such professionals are often aware of local issues and have a good understanding of the various communities and community networks within their jurisdictions. In addition, utilizing their resources to publicize activities and events will help the HPMPO to reach a broader audience. Finally, such partnerships will help to promote best practices.

E. Produce and Distribute Newsletters
A newsletter geared to keeping the public apprised of current issues related to the metropolitan transportation planning process will be published quarterly. The newsletter will include information about technical issues written in layman's terms for the general public. In addition, the newsletter will provide the public with periodic updates of the activities of the HPMPO. The newsletter will be distributed to all identified stakeholders. Additionally, specialized newsletters will be produced to provide timely information on targeted topics. These will be placed on the Website and made available to anyone interested.

F. Establish a Speakers' Bureau
The Speakers' Bureau shall consist of HPMPO members, staff, and other volunteers who can speak to civic clubs, professional organizations, neighborhood associations, and other groups about the metropolitan transportation planning process. Members of the speaker's bureau shall present information (preferable that which has been developed as part of the outreach and education effort) in order to educate these groups about the MPO process. In addition, opportunities shall be provided to listen to the concerns of the group, answer questions, and seek continued participation and input. The availability of speakers shall be advertised in the quarterly newsletter and other outreach publications.

G. Maintain a Website
The HPMPO should develop and maintain a Website to provide information about its activities. Included on this Website would be a listing of all upcoming meetings. Agendas and minutes will be added, if available. In addition, information on documents, draft documents, or portions of draft documents under review by the public would be made available when feasible. The Website could also provide an opportunity for the public to provide input and formal comments on an ongoing basis through email links.

H. Conduct Information Workshops
Information workshops are held on topics associated with the metropolitan transportation planning process. Such workshops are designed to educate participants on specific topics such as modeling, intelligent transportation systems, and elderly travel and air quality. In addition, information workshops provide a means for allowing participants to express their ideas and concerns in an informal setting. Information workshops shall be conducted on an “as needed” basis.

I. Hold Open Houses
Open houses provide an informal setting for the public to access information on the LRTP, LRTP Amendments, and other activities. Information is presented buffet-style at tables and exhibits around the room. Open houses have no fixed agendas and no formal presentations. Technical staff and MPO members are on hand to answer questions and provide details on a one-on-one basis. Finally, open houses may precede formal public hearings.

J. Provide Outreach Services
In order to manage and carry out the activities identified in this Plan, a range of staff resources will be needed. The following is a list of responsibilities that shall be managed and carried out under this activity.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
  • Identify and annually review and update a list of stakeholders, and maintain a current mailing list.
  • Oversee the development of and administer an outreach and education program designed to inform stakeholders about the HPMPO, the metropolitan transportation planning process, and various opportunities for public participation.
  • Oversee the development of and administer an outreach and education program targeted to non-traditional participant populations.
  • Partner with member jurisdictions and agencies to promote awareness of the HPMPO and its activities and publicize various public participation opportunities.
  • Establish and maintain a current list of media contacts for newspapers, and television and radio stations for the release of information associated with the metropolitan transportation planning process.
  • Prepare and disseminate news releases and media alerts on key activities of the transportation planning process, including the availability of the LRTP, MTIPs, PWPs, and public involvement plans for public review and public hearings.
  • Prepare and disseminate periodic updates on the transportation planning process to the media and other public outreach professionals.
  • Produce all outreach publications, such as newsletter.
  • Market and coordinate a Speaker's Bureau.
  • Coordinate the response to all public comments received by the HPMPO.
  • Coordinate the dissemination of all information to the public.
  • Coordinate all public involvement events such as hearings, workshops, and major events.
  • Ensure that all activities comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
  • Serve as the coordinator for HPMPO information on the Website.
  • Serve as liaison to the CAC.
  • Seek continued training in public involvement practices and techniques.
III. Objective 2: Public Input into the Decision-Making Process
The following are strategies to support and achieve public input into the metropolitan transportation planning and decision-making process.

A. Maintain a Citizens Advisory Committee
The Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) is a subcommittee of the HPMPO established to provide broad community input throughout the long-range transportation planning process. The CAC is comprised of individuals representing a balanced cross-section of the region's populations including environmental, business, and civic organizations, as well as low-income, minority, and disabled populations.

B. Provide for Public Input at HPMPO TAC Meetings
The HPMPO TAC holds regular meetings in which all formal business is conducted. At each meeting, the public is given an opportunity to address the HPMPO TAC on any issue related to the transportation planning process. Anyone wishing to speak can sign-up at the beginning of the meeting or contact the HPMPO prior to the meeting.

C. Hold Public Information Meetings
Public information meetings are used to disseminate information and provide a setting for informal public comment and discussion at appropriate intervals in the LRTP and MTIP development processes. For example, a public information meeting can be held early in the MTIP process to inform the public of the mix and scope of projects prior to the conformity assessment. Such meetings provide an opportunity for early and continued public involvement. Public information meetings consist of a formal presentation as well as a question and answer period. MPO members are in attendance to listen to public comments and concerns. Comments received during public information meetings are not considered part of the formal public record. All public information meetings are advertised to the general public similar to formal public hearings.

D. Hold Public Hearings
Public hearings are conducted at the end of the development process just prior to the decision point in order to gather formal public comment from all interested parties on the LRTP and MTIP. Public hearings consist of a presentation followed by a period for formal public comment. MPO members are in attendance to receive public comment. All comments received become public record and are considered prior to the decision.

E. Conduct Surveys
Surveys are a tool to gather information on people's perceptions, preferences, and practices. Surveys can range from being informal and inexpensive to scientific and costly. The information being sought and the use of that information in the metropolitan transportation planning process will vary, as well.

F. Conduct Focus Groups
Focus groups are small group discussions used to gather perspectives, insights, and opinions on a single topic. Focus groups allow for more in-depth discussion to occur. Such groups usually consist of no more than 12 randomly or non-randomly selected participants. Agendas are carefully crafted with a handful of questions. Minimal presentation of materials is provided to establish the subject and context.

IV. Procedures for Public Involvement
In order to make certain that the public is provided with fair and consistent opportunities for involvement in the decision-making process, the HPMPO has adopted the following set of procedures. These guidelines will serve as a means for conducting business, while meeting the spirit and intent of ISTEA and TEA-21. The HPMPO has adopted these rules consistent with the Bylaws and are bound by them.

A. HPMPO Meetings
All regular meetings of the HPMPO shall be open to the public. The minutes and all materials presented to the HPMPO at such meetings shall be public record and shall be available for review at a place determined by the HPMPO.
  • All meetings of the HPMPO shall be held in facilities that are accessible by persons with disabilities.
  • The HPMPO shall provide adequate notice of meetings. Notice shall be given no later than ten (10) days prior to the meeting date and include the date, time, and location of the meeting.
  • An opportunity shall be provided for the public to address the HPMPO TAC on any issues related to the transportation planning process. This opportunity will be conducted at the beginning of each meeting for a 10-minute period unless otherwise extended at the discretion of the Chair.
  • All items on which the HPMPO TAC acts through a resolution (Action Items) shall be placed on the agenda prior to Information Items. It will be at the discretion of the TAC Chair to alter the order of agenda items in order to accommodate special circumstances.
  • An Action Item may be added to the agenda once the agenda has been mailed to the general public if the TAC unanimously agrees to add it. The public may participate in the discussion of Action and Information Items when recognized by the TAC Chair. The TAC Chair shall recognize all interested individuals within reason.
  • The HPMPO TAC shall respond in writing to all written testimony offered during the formal public participation opportunity. In order to guarantee a written response, all verbal testimony must be accompanied by written testimony. A copy shall be provided to the HPMPO at the time of verbal testimony. When appropriate, the HPMPO TAC may respond verbally during the meeting.
B. Long Range Transportation Plan Reviews
Reviews consist of a recertification of the MPO’s LRTP. The Review examines how current trends are tracking the trends anticipated when the LRTP was originally developed. The products from a Review of the LRTP will be a short report discussing the observed versus anticipated trends and any emphasis areas for upcoming Major Updates of the LRTP. In addition, the Review will be done concurrently with a new air quality conformity analysis. Reviews will be conducted every two years.

Public Review Policy
The Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) and Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) will review the draft LRTP. The TAC will release the document for a public review period of at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to adopting the LRTP. The provisions that follow may be supplemented with additional outreach and public involvement strategies at the discretion of the MPO.
  1. Public notice inviting written comments will be made. This notice will (1) identify a due date for comments, and a contact for questions or additional information; and (2) list locations where the draft LRTP is available for review and directions for submitting comments, except where space limitations permit only the information in item (1) to be displayed. Public notice will be given through all appropriate media outlets. Targeted mailings, other advertising outlets, and additional outreach strategies may also be used.
    • Major newspaper display ads At least two display ads will be run in different weeks in each major paper in the MPO area during the public review period;
    • Local access cable television Advertisements will be run throughout the public review period.
    • Notice will be placed on the Website of the MPO throughout the public review period; and
    • A news release to area media outlets will be made by the MPO at or prior to the commencement of the public review period.
  2. LRTP documents for public review will be distributed to the following locations:
    • High Point Public Library, Archdale Public Library, Jamestown Public Library, Thomasville Public Library; Davidson County (Lexington) Public Library, High Point Department of Transportation, Archdale Planning Department, Jamestown Town Hall, Thomasville Engineering Department, Trinity City Hall; Davidson County Planning Department, Guilford County Planning Department, Randolph County Planning Department; and
    • The website of the MPO.
  3. A public hearing will be held at the conclusion of the public review period. The public hearing may be held as part of a regularly scheduled MPO TAC meeting. The meeting will provide information and the opportunity for the public to make written and oral comments. One display ad per major newspaper will suffice, and Website and local access cable television notices will be run for at least a week prior to the meeting.
  4. Public comments received through the public involvement process will be documented and presented to the TAC at the public hearing for the LRTP Review in summary form or verbatim at the MPO’s discretion. Responses to public comments will be included as appropriate. Staff will take public comments into consideration when drafting the final LRTP. The TAC will also consider public comments when deciding whether or not to approve the final LRTP.
  5. Additional strategies for informing and involving low income and minority communities will be used in addition to measures listed above that contribute to this objective, such as newspaper advertising and the availability of documents in locations accessible to all citizens. Additional strategies will be tested, documented, and evaluated for inclusion in future Public Involvement Plan updates.
  6. These public involvement provisions may be supplemented with Public Information meeting(s) at the discretion of the TCC Chair and/or TAC Chair.
C. Long Range Transportation Plan Major Updates
A Major Update includes validation of the travel model, forecasting new socioeconomic data, new financial planning and a complete analysis of alternative transportation plans. As part of this Update, a conformity analysis and determination will be completed.

Public Review Policy
A public information meeting will be held at the beginning of the planning process. The meeting will provide information and the opportunity to make written and oral comments. One display ad per major newspaper will suffice, and Website and local access cable television notices will be run for at least a week prior to the meeting.
At the conclusion of the planning process, the Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) and Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) will review the draft LRTP. The TAC will release the document for a public review period of at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to adopting the LRTP. The provisions that follow may be supplemented with additional outreach and public involvement strategies at the discretion of the MPO.
  1. Public notice inviting written comments will be made. This notice will (1) identify a due date for comments and a contact for questions or additional information; and (2) list locations where the draft LRTP is available for review and directions for submitting comments, except where space limitations permit only the information in item (1) to be displayed. Public notice will be given through all appropriate media outlets. Targeted mailings, other advertising outlets, and additional outreach strategies may also be used.
    • Major newspaper display ads At least two display ads will be run in different weeks in each major paper in the MPO area during the public review period.
    • Local access cable television advertisements will be run throughout the public review period.
    • Notice will be placed on the Website of the MPO throughout the public review period.
    • A news release to area media outlets will be made by the MPO at or prior to the commencement of the public review period.
  2. LRTP documents for public review will be distributed to the following locations:
    • High Point Public Library, Archdale Public Library, Jamestown Public Library, Thomasville Public Library; Davidson County (Lexington) Public Library, High Point Department of Transportation, Archdale Planning Department, Jamestown Town Hall, Thomasville Engineering Department, Trinity City Hall; Davidson County Planning Department, Guilford County Planning Department, Randolph County Planning Department; and
    • The Website of the MPO.
  3. A public hearing will be held at the conclusion of the public review period. The public hearing may be held as part of a regularly scheduled MPO TAC meeting. The meeting will provide information and the opportunity for the public to make written and oral comments. One display ad per major newspaper will suffice, and website and local access cable television notices will be run for at least a week prior to the meeting.
  4. Public comments received through the public involvement process will be documented and presented to the TAC at the public hearing for the LRTP Review in summary form or verbatim at the MPO’s discretion. Responses to public comments will be included as appropriate. Staff will take public comments into consideration when drafting the final LRTP. The TAC will also consider public comments when deciding whether or not to approve the final LRTP.
  5. Additional strategies for informing and involving low income and minority communities will be used in addition to measures listed above that contribute to this objective such as newspaper advertising and the availability of documents in locations accessible to all citizens. Additional strategies will be tested, documented, and evaluated for inclusion in future Public Involvement Plan updates.
D. Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program Adoption
The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will produce a Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP) on a biennial basis that meets applicable federal and state requirements. The MTIP will be developed cooperatively with NCDOT and the Hi-Tran. The MPO will be responsible for addressing all questions about the MTIP during and following the MTIP development process.

Public Review Policy
The Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) and Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) will review the draft MTIP. The TAC will release the document for a public review period of at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to adopting the MTIP. The provisions that follow may be supplemented with additional outreach and public involvement strategies at the discretion of the MPO.
  1. Public notice inviting written comments will be made. This notice will (1) identify a due date for comments, and a contact for questions or additional information; and (2) list locations where the draft MTIP is available for review and directions for submitting comments, except where space limitations permit only the information in item 1 to be displayed. Public notice will be given through the media outlets listed below. Targeted mailings, other advertising outlets, and additional outreach strategies may also be used.
    • Major newspaper display ads At least two display ads will be run in different weeks in each major paper in the MPO area during the public review period.
    • Local access cable television Advertisements will be run throughout the public review period.
    • Notice will be placed on the Website of the MPO throughout the public review period.
    • A news release to area media outlets will be made by the MPO at or prior to the commencement of the public review period.
  2. MTIP documents for public review will be distributed to the following locations:
    • High Point Public Library, Archdale Public Library, Jamestown Public Library, Thomasville Public Library; Davidson County (Lexington) Public Library, High Point Department of Transportation, Archdale Planning Department, Jamestown Town Hall, Thomasville Engineering Department, Trinity City Hall; Davidson County Planning Department, Guilford County Planning Department, Randolph County Planning Department; and
    • The Website of the MPO.
  3. A public hearing will be held at the conclusion of the public review period. The public hearing may be held as part of a regularly scheduled MPO TAC meeting. The meeting will provide information and the opportunity for the public to make written and oral comments. One display ad per major newspaper will suffice, and Website and local access cable television notices will be run for at least a week prior to the meeting.
  4. Public comments received through the public involvement process will be documented and presented to the TCC and TAC at or prior to the meeting of adoption for the MTIP in summary form or verbatim at the MPO’s discretion. Responses to public comments will be included as appropriate. Staff will take public comments into consideration when drafting the final MTIP. The TAC will also consider public comments when deciding whether or not to approve the final MTIP.
  5. Additional strategies for informing and involving low income and minority communities will be used in addition to measures listed above that contribute to this objective such as newspaper advertising and the availability of documents in locations accessible to all citizens. Additional strategies will be tested, documented, and evaluated for inclusion in future Public Involvement Plan updates.
These public involvement provisions may be supplemented with Public Information meeting(s) at the discretion of the TCC Chair and/or TAC Chair.

E. Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program Amendment

Periodically, amendments to the Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP) are needed. These amendments will be made to meet applicable federal and state requirements and will be developed cooperatively with NCDOT and Hi-Tran. The MPO staff will be responsible for addressing the questions of any person or group making inquiries regarding the amendments.

Public Review Policy
The Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) and Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) will review the draft amendment(s). For Major Amendments, the TAC will release the document(s) for a public review period of at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to adoption. Major amendments will typically include additional conformity analysis and/or other significant changes to highway capacity projects or transit programs.

The draft MTIP Amendment for public review will be made available at the High Point Public Library, Archdale Public Library, Jamestown Public Library, Thomasville Public Library; Davidson County (Lexington) Public Library, High Point Department of Transportation, Archdale Planning Department, Jamestown Town Hall, Thomasville Engineering Department, Trinity City Hall; Davidson County Planning Department, Guilford County Planning Department, and Randolph County Planning Department. The website of the MPO will post the draft MTIP Amendment for public review.

A public hearing will be held at the conclusion of the public review period. The public hearing may be held as part of a regularly scheduled MPO TAC meeting. The meeting will provide information and the opportunity for the public to make written and oral comments. One display ad per major newspaper will suffice, and website and local access cable television notices will be run for at least a week prior to the meeting. Staff will take public comments into consideration when drafting the MTIP amendment. The TAC will also consider public comments when deciding whether or not to approve the final MTIP amendment.

For Minor Amendments, a public review period will not be necessary but may be held at the discretion of the MPO. Minor Amendments typically include (1) the addition, deletion, or rescheduling of projects classified as exempt from air quality analysis such as safety projects, individual transit projects short of major expansions of the transit fleet, and (2) project schedule changes on regionally significant projects not requiring a shift of horizon years.

These public involvement provisions may be supplemented with Public Information meeting(s) at the discretion of the TCC Chair and/or TAC Chair.

F. Thoroughfare Plan Adoption
The Thoroughfare Plan guides the development of the urban street system in a manner consistent with changing traffic demands. Each jurisdiction in the MPO has approval authority over the Thoroughfare Plan as well as the MPO TAC and North Carolina Board of Transportation.

At the conclusion of the analysis phase, the draft PWP will be available for public review at a series of public input drop-in sessions at locations to be determined by MPO staff. One display ad per major newspaper will suffice, and website and local access cable television notices will be run for at least a week prior to the sessions.

At the conclusion of the public review period, a public hearing will be held in each jurisdiction prior to their approval of the Plan. The public hearing may be held as part of a regularly scheduled meeting. The meeting will provide information and the opportunity for the public to make written and oral comments. A legal notice concerning the public hearing must be posted, and website and local access cable television notices will be run for at least a week prior to the meeting.

After all of the member jurisdictions have approved the draft Thoroughfare Plan, it is brought before the TAC. MPO staff will document all public comments for review by the TAC. Staff will take public comments into consideration when drafting the final Thoroughfare Plan. The TAC will also consider public comments when deciding whether to approve the final Thoroughfare Plan. After the MPO TAC has approved the Thoroughfare Plan, it is forwarded to the North Carolina Board of Transportation for their approval.

G. Planning Work Program Adoption
The Planning Work Program (PWP) outlines the work schedule, projects and financing of MPO staff for the fiscal year. The public will have thirty (30) days to review and comment on the PWP prior to its scheduled adoption by the TAC.

The draft PWP for public review will be made available at the High Point Public Library, Archdale Public Library, Jamestown Public Library, Thomasville Public Library; Davidson County (Lexington) Public Library, High Point Department of Transportation, Archdale Planning Department, Jamestown Town Hall, Thomasville Engineering Department, Trinity City Hall; Davidson County Planning Department, Guilford County Planning Department, and Randolph County Planning Department. The website of the MPO will post the draft PWP for public review.

At the conclusion of the public review period, a public hearing will be held. The public hearing may be held as part of a regularly scheduled MPO TAC meeting. The meeting will provide information and the opportunity for the public to make written and oral comments. One display ad per major newspaper will suffice, and website and local access cable television notices will be run for at least a week prior to the meeting.
 
MPO staff will document all public comments for review by the TAC. Staff will take public comments into consideration when drafting the final PWP. The TAC will also consider public comments when deciding whether to approve the final PWP.
These public involvement provisions may be supplemented with Public Information meeting(s) at the discretion of the TCC Chair and/or TAC Chair.

H. Public Involvement Plan Amendments
Revisions to the Public Involvement Plan have the same public notice requirements as a Major MTIP Amendment, except that the minimum public review period will be forty-five (45) calendar days.

At the conclusion of the public review period, a public hearing will be held. The public hearing may be held as part of a regularly scheduled MPO TAC meeting. The meeting will provide information and the opportunity for the public to make written and oral comments. One display ad per major newspaper will suffice, and website and local access cable television notices will be run for at least a week prior to the meeting.

MPO staff will document all public comments for review by the TAC. Staff will take public comments into consideration when drafting the final PIP. The TAC will also consider public comments when deciding whether to approve the final PIP.

These public involvement provisions may be supplemented with Public Information meeting(s) at the discretion of the TCC Chair and/or TAC Chair.

V. Special Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is landmark civil rights legislation ensuring equal opportunity for people with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, transportation, state and local government services and telecommunications. The HPMPO is fully committed to the spirit and intent of the ADA legislation. In order to facilitate participation by people with disabilities, the following guidelines and activities shall apply:
All meetings, public hearings and formal events of the HPMPO shall be held in facilities that are accessible to persons with disabilities.
 
All public notices of HPMPO events shall state that accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities will be provided upon request. One-week notice is required for provisions of appropriate auxiliary aids and services.
 
All documents available to the public shall be provided in alternative formats for qualified individuals with disabilities, upon request.

The High Point Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Transportation Advisory Committee approved this Public Involvement Plan on May 22, 2001.

_____________________________
TAC Chair

_____________________________
Coordinator for Transportation Planning

Appendix A
Excerpts from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Regarding Public Participation in Metropolitan Transportation Planning and Programming
23 CFR §450.316
(b) In addition, the metropolitan transportation planning process shall:
  1. Include a proactive public involvement process that provides complete information, timely public notice, full public access to key decisions, and supports early and continuing involvement of the public in developing plans and TIPs and meets the requirements and criteria specified as follows:
    1. (i) Require a minimum public comment period of 45 days before the public involvement process is initially adopted or revised;
      (ii) Provide timely information about transportation issues and processes to citizens, affected public agencies, representatives of transportation agency employees, private providers of transportation, other interested parties and segments of the community affected by transportation plans, programs and projects (including but not limited to central city and other local jurisdiction concerns);
      (iii) Provide reasonable public access to technical and policy information used in the development of plans and TIPs and open public meetings where matters related to the Federal-aid highway and transit programs are being considered;
      (iv) Require adequate public notice of public involvement activities and time for public review and comment at key decision points, including, but not limited to, approval of plans and TIPs (in non-attainment areas, classified as serious and above, the comment period shall be at least 30 days for the plan, TIP and major amendment(s));
      (v) Demonstrate explicit consideration and response to public input received during the planning and program development processes;
      (vi) Seek out and consider the needs of those traditionally under-served by existing transportation systems, including but not limited to low-income and minority households;
      (vii) When significant written and oral comments are received on the draft transportation plan or TIP (including the financial plan) as a result of the public involvement process or the interagency consultation process required under the U.S. EPA's conformity analysis, and report on the disposition of comments shall be made part of the final plan and TIP;
      (viii) If the final transportation plan or TIP differs significantly from the one which was made available for public comment by the MPO and raises new material issues which interested parties could not reasonably have foreseen from the public involvement efforts, an additional opportunity for public comment on the revised plan or TIP shall be made available;
      (ix) Public involvement process shall be periodically reviewed by the MPO in terms of their effectiveness in assuring that the process provides full and open access to all;
      (x) These procedures will be reviewed by the FHWA and the FTA during certification reviews for TMAs, and as otherwise necessary for all MPOs, to assure that full and open access is provided to MPO decision-making processes;
      (xi) Metropolitan public involvement processes shall be coordinated with statewide public involvement processes wherever possible to enhance public consideration of the issues, plans, and programs and reduce redundancies and costs;
  2. Be consistent with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Title VI assurance executed by each State under 23 U.S.C. 324 and 29 U.S. C. 794, which ensure that no person shall on the grounds of race, color, sex, national origin, or physical handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program receiving Federal assistance from the United States Department of Transportation;
  3. Identify actions necessary to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-336,104 Stat. 327, as amended) and U.S. DOT regulations "Transportation for Individuals With Disabilities" (49 CFR parts 27, 37, and 38);
  4. Provide for involvement of traffic, ride-sharing, parking, transportation safety and enforcement agencies; commuter rail operators; airport and port authorities; appropriate private transportation providers, and where appropriate city officials; and
  5. Provide for the involvement of local, State, and Federal environment resources and permit agencies as appropriate.
23 CFR §450.322
(c) There must be adequate opportunity for public officials (including elected officials) and citizen involvement in the development of the transportation plan before it is approved by the MPO, in accordance with the requirements of §450.316 (b)(1). Such procedures shall include opportunities for interested parties (including citizens, affected public agencies, representatives of transportation agency employees, and private providers of transportation) to be involved in the early stages of plan development/update process. The procedure shall include publication of the proposed plan or other methods to make it readily available for public review and comment and, in non-attainment TMAs, an opportunity for at least one formal public meeting annually to review planning assumptions and the plan development process with interested parties and the general public. The procedures also shall include publication of the approved plan and other methods to make it readily available for information purposes.
23 CFR §450.324
(c) There must be reasonable opportunity for public comment in accordance with the requirements of §450.316 (b)(1) and, in non-attainment TMAs, an opportunity for at least one formal public meeting during the TIP development process. This public meeting may be combined with the public meeting required under §450.322 (c). The proposed TIP shall be published or otherwise made readily available for information purposes.


Appendix B
Acronyms
ADA Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
CAAA Clean Air Act Amendments (of 1990 and other years)
CAC Citizens Advisory Committee
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
FTA Federal Transit Administration
HPMPO High Point Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
ISTEA Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act
LRTP Long Range Transportation Plan
MTIP Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program
NCDOT North Carolina Department of Transportation
MPO Metropolitan Planning Organization
PWP Planning Work Program
TEA-21 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century
TMA Transportation Management Area
TAC Transportation Advisory Committee
TCC Technical Coordinating Committee
USC United States Code
USDOT United States Department of Transportation
USEPA United States Environmental Protection Agency