Innovative Public Engagement Techniques for Transportation Projects

December 09, 2010

Have you ever wondered how you could more effectively engage the public and stakeholders in transportation projects? Participants at a recent workshop at the Portland office of Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI) had an opportunity to see, hear, and touch the latest interactive public engagement tools being used by transportation professionals. The presentation discussed the “Bottom Up” approach for developing transportation projects and effectively engaging the public in the development, screening, and selection of a preferred plan. A variety of tools used in the “Bottom Up” approach were shared, including:

• Storyboarding the Process to the Public
• Maintaining Transparency
• Alternative Development Tools that you can see, hear, and touch
• Staging Venues for Optimal Performance
• Virtual Open Houses
• Interactive 3-D Models
• Demonstration Projects prior to selection and implementation
• Adopted Dynamic Transportation Plans

Marc Butorac and Kyle Meyer of KAI led the interactive workshop. You can view the presentation slides below. If for some reason the slides are not displayed, you can also reference a PDF version of the presentation HERE.

If you are interested in more details about this important topic and how it might apply to work you are involved with, you can contact either Marc or Kyle at (800) 878-5230 or click on their name below to email one of them directly.

In the true spirit of involvement and sharing best practices, we encourage you to post your experience, insight, and questions in the comment section at the end of this post. Lets keep the sharing going!

About the Presenters

Marc Butorac, PE
Senior Principal Engineer, Kittelson & Associates, Portland, OR

Marc’s experience in the "Bottom Up" public engagement process has come through his management and oversight of numerous transportation system plans, corridor and access management plans, and interchange area management plans (IAMPs)across the nation, as well as his involvement in TRB’s visualization, access management, and public involvement committees. This experience has been further bolstered by his NCHRP research on public involvement in access management related projects, including NCHRP 3-99 Development and Application of Access Management Guidelines and NCHRP Synthesis 332 Access Location in Crossroads in the Vicinity of Interchanges. Through these experiences he has developed and refined processes that allow property and business owners, users of the facilities, and decision makers to effectively understand the issues, develop and compare alternatives, and selected preferred solutions. As part of these processes, Marc has developed and incorporated numerous low and high-tech engagement tools over the past decade that range from tactical learning models to virtual open houses.

Kyle Meyer
Web Developer/Graphic Designer, Kittelson & Associates, Portland, OR

Kyle's experience as a graphic designer and web developer have coalesced to create useful online communication tools in the transportation industry for the last five years. Kyle has created interactive websites, map-based commenting tools, videos, and virtual workshops to further the public's involvement on projects such as the Tigard Neighborhood Trails Plan and the 172nd / 190th Corridor Plan. These tools create a more relevant communication avenue for the younger generations, promoting more civic participation and complimenting more traditional public involvement methods.

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