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Progress North Texas 2015

   

We Hear Your Voice

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To understand what transportation improvements families across the region would like to see, public involvement plays a key role. The North Central Texas Council of Governments has traditionally relied on public meetings as the main method of communicating with residents about transportation planning, but it is becoming apparent that this doesn’t fit with families’ busy schedules. Fewer people have been attending public meetings, so NCTCOG is modernizing its approach to inform and engage people. 


The Regional Transportation Council recently approved a new Public Participation Plan with goals to inform and educate the public; engage diverse audiences and encourage continued participation; and evaluate public participation strategies. Routine items like changes to work plans and modifications to the list of funded projects will move to online public input opportunities. Public meetings will be reserved for major topics of interest to the entire region such as a new mobility plan, expanding transit service or bicycle and pedestrian improvements. People will see more videos, graphics and other visualization techniques to explain complex topics.

 

It is still important to be in the community soliciting feedback. NCTCOG participates in numerous community events, provides speakers for groups, responds to media inquiries and utilizes social media to reach people where they’re already going. A key strategy of the new PPP is to encourage community and neighborhood leaders to share NCTCOG’s information with their own group members and promote wider participation in the planning process. This allows NCTCOG to use its limited advertising money strategically.

NCTCOG also supports the public involvement of partner transportation agencies. The Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority are both updating their service plans and have used innovative public involvement. DART utilized an interactive website, DART.MySidewalk.com, to get people talking to the agency and to one another about improvements that should be made.

  FWTA’s also has an interactive website, Tmasterplan.org, but additionally is using a project bus to attract the attention of people at festivals and other community events. They are invited to board the bus and express their opinions through a survey and other means.

NCTCOG will continue, and expand, all forms of public involvement – from the traditional public meetings, websites and publications to more modern things like telephone town halls, videos and social media. 

 

The new PPP seeks to increase the number of people who receive direct notifications of NCTCOG public comment opportunities. Another goal is to solicit assistance from community and stakeholder groups to pass along notices about comment opportunities to group members. This should increase the likelihood that the general public will provide input on transportation planning.

 

The data presented here for 2014 represents a baseline from public involvement efforts before the new PPP was implemented. Over time, the trends should show increased knowledge about NCTCOG’s plans, programs and policies, leading to enhanced opportunities for public engagement. 
 


Subscribers to NCTCOG Transportation Department social media platforms (through 2014)

Average monthly interactions on Transportation Department social media platforms

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10/31/2016 06/15/2012 JS

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