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PennDOT’s Virtual Public Involvement Efforts Highlighted by AASHTO

October 22, 2020 08:00 AM
By: Jan Huzvar

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The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Center for Environmental Excellence recently held a Public Involvement Peer Exchange to foster peer learning among selected state DOTs from across the U.S. The peer exchange was funded through a cooperative agreement with The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and conducted with support from WSP. Originally envisioned as a domestic scan tour, due to the pandemic the program was restructured as a series of virtual workshops.

AASHTO selected four lead states to provide examples of practice and lessons learned for the peer exchange: Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Utah. An additional eight states have been invited to participate in the exchange: Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Montana, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington State. In addition to interaction and discussion with the lead states, these states had opportunities to contribute examples and lessons learned as well. 

Three half-day virtual workshops were structured around topics of interest, with PennDOT's Planning Deputate tapped for the session on Planning and Project Development Frameworks that Shape Public Involvement.

Division Manager Planning and Contract Management Jessica Clark, presented on PennDOT's Pubic Participation Plan and 12-year Program.

Director, PennDOT Program Center Brain Hare, presented on the department's innovative planning approach called PennDOT Connects. Through PennDOT Connects, the department tasks PennDOT staff and our planning partners to consider community needs at the beginning of the planning process to ensure the best allocation of our resources.

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