Early, effective, and continuous public involvement brings diverse viewpoints and values into the decision-making process. Transportation agencies can increase meaningful public involvement in planning and project development by integrating virtual tools into their overall public involvement approach.
Using virtual public involvement tools enhances and broadens the reach of public engagement efforts by making participation more convenient, affordable, and enjoyable for greater numbers of people. Virtual tools provide increased transparency and access to transportation planning activities and project development and decision-making processes. Many virtual tools also provide information in visual and interactive formats that enhance public and stakeholder understanding of proposed projects and plans. By bringing more people to the table earlier in the process, transportation agencies can reduce project delays and lower staff time and costs per person engaged.
However, using virtual public involvement techniques does not change existing public involvement requirements established by statue, regulation, or executive order, and these tools are not intended to completely replace in-person public involvement opportunities, which remain an important part of a balanced public involvement approach.
Every Day Counts Initiative
In 2009, the Federal Highway Administration launched the “Every Day Counts” program to help state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, and local public agencies advance practice-ready innovations into everyday use. In 2019-2020, the program is showcasing Virtual Public Involvement as one of the featured innovations. View the orientation webinar and factsheet below to learn more about the Every Day Counts initiative on virtual public involvement
Every Day Counts Orientation Webinar
The Virtual Public Involvement Initiative is jointly led by the Office of Planning, the Office of Project Development and Environmental Review, and the Office of Human Environment. For more information please contact:
- Office of Planning
- Office of Project Development and Environmental Review
- Office of Human Environment
- Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division Office
- Jim Talley (email@example.com)
- Resource Center
- Keith Moore (Keith.Moore@dot.gov)