​Louisiana Statewide Transportation Plan Update - Public Involvement Plan

  • Scope of Louisiana Statewide Transportation Plan

    A series of technical tasks will be performed to answer the following key questions:

    Key Questions Associated Major Tasks
    What Should Transportation Do for Louisiana? Vision, goals, and objectives
    Public involvement (see next section for examples)
    How is it Performing Now? Performance measures
    Existing Conditions Analysis (highway, trucking, aviation, freight rail, ports and waterways, surface transportation, intermodal facilities, intelligent transportation systems)
    Issue Analysis (safety, climate change, energy consumption, sustainability/livability, access management, complete streets)
    Public involvement (same as above)
    What are Options for the Future? Financial analysis
    Needs assessment (including detailed aviation and rail plans)
    Project and program prioritization
    Public involvement (same as above)
    Statewide travel demand model update
    What are the Investments and Policies that will Move Louisiana Toward the Vision? Draft and final plan
    Public involvement (see next section for examples)
    Final plan economic analysis
  • Role of Public Involvement in the Plan

    General Role of Public Involvement

    Public involvement is woven throughout the technical process to ensure that the Plan is a reflection of the needs of those that live, work, do business, and visit Louisiana. Public involvement can take many forms, but there are distinct purposes, regardless of the type:

    • Inform – activities that make available information to the public, stakeholders, interested parties;
    • Receive Input – activities that obtain specific input to be used in the development of the Plan;
    • Validate – activities that provide information for comment to “validate” findings or recommendations.

    Overview of Public Involvement in the Plan

    The following table presents an overview of public involvement activities in the Plan. It indicates the activity type, when it is likely to occur in the process, and the purpose (as defined above). More detail is provided on each activity in the next section.

    Expected Time Frame Inform Receive Input Validate
    May - October 2012 Web Site Initial Interviews
    Legislative Questionnaire
    Telephone Survey
    Indian Tribe Consultation
    Early 2013 Round 1 Advisory Council and Policy Committee Meetings
    Early to Mid 2013 Advocate Presentation Meetings
    Mid 2013 Round 2 Advisory Council and Policy Committee Meetings
    April – June 2013 DOTD Public Hearings
    Late 2013 Round 3 Advisory Council and Policy Committee Meetings
    Late 2013 – Early 2014 Plan Review Period – details to be determined

  • Advisory Councils and Policy Committee

    There will be seven Advisory Councils comprised of both public and private sector representatives that will be independent bodies providing technical input and reviewing Plan findings and recommendations. An Executive Advisory Committee will serve as facilitator between the individual Advisory Councils (ACs) and the Policy Committee. The Policy Committee will include the Secretaries of DOTD and Economic Development, as sell as others, to reflect the importance of transportation to the economic well-being of Louisiana.

    There will be three rounds of meetings of the Advisory Councils (ACs) and the Policy Committee during the Plan process. The individual ACs will provide technical information on current conditions and issues as well as review needs and recommendations. The Executive Advisory Council will confirm Plan directions and assist in the development of information to the Policy Committee. The Policy Committee will ultimately be the “adopting” authority of the Plan and will review status/findings and provide guidance on Plan messages.

  • Web Site

    The public, stakeholders, and other interested parties will be able to stay in touch with the project and review key documents via the web page. The web site will be updated periodically to reflect Plan products, schedule, and upcoming events. There will be the opportunity to provide comment via the web site.

  • Early Input to Shape the Plan

    There are several techniques the Plan will use to obtain public input. These include:

    • Initial interviews with key stakeholders on the Policy Committee and Executive Advisory Council;
    • Questionnaire to the Legislature;
    • Public opinion telephone survey; and
    • Indian Tribe consultation.

    Initial Interviews

    Interviews will be conducted with members of the Policy Committee and selected members of the Executive Advisory Committee to “take the pulse” on current transportation issues that might shape the Plan process. Topics will include vision and values for the future of transportation in Louisiana as well as critical current needs.

    State Legislative Questionnaire

    A survey will be distributed to the Legislature to receive feedback on transportation funding issues. This input will be considered in the development of financial scenarios and funding options to be evaluated.

    Telephone Survey

    A telephone survey will be used to gauge public opinion on a variety of issues germane to the recommendations of the Plan. Information from the initial interviews and legislative questionnaire will be used to develop the questions. The poll will seek to determine, among other topics:

    • The public’s overall vision and values for the future of transportation in Louisiana;
    • Their willingness to pay for transportation improvements through a variety of funding sources;
    • Their assessment of the current condition of transportation and their overall satisfaction with various transportation modes; and
    • Their priorities in future transportation funding.

    Indian Tribe Consultation

    Working with FHWA and DOTD staff, the Consultant Team will determine the list of Indian Tribes to consult and the appropriate consultation method. At the least, a letter will be issued notifying the designated Indian Tribes of the planning process and inviting their participation. The letter will provide contact information to receive a questionnaire or be scheduled for an interview to determine what types of projects, and specific locations or undertakings, are of concern to individual Tribes.

  • Other Activities

    As the Plan development process progresses, activities will begin to switch focus from receiving inputs to informing interested parties on how input was used in the process and on overall progress. Final activities provide information and receive comment to validate Plan findings and recommendations.

    Advocate Presentation Meetings

    One of the last activities associated with obtaining input to guide development of the Plan is the series of advocate presentation meetings. A roster will be developed of various groups, commissions, task forces, and governmental entities who wish to make presentations to the DOTD about major transportation improvement projects or programs that they are advocating and want to be considered in the Plan process. These entities will be invited to a scheduled time slot in a four-day period to present specific information on their proposed project such as its description, purpose and need, benefits/impacts, implementation cost, importance to the state, potential funding sources, and other reasons why the project should be considered in the Plan process.

    Listening to the presentations will be a panel that is likely to include members of the Regional Planning Officials Advisory Council, and representatives from DOTD and the Consultant Team.

    DOTD Public Hearings

    DOTD provides a status report at the yearly Legislative Public Hearings conducted for the annual Highway Program. This report will include current status of the Plan as well as any key findings or issues to date.

    Plan Review Period

    The availability of the Plan on the web for comment will be advertised by DOTD in statewide and local media. Other methods of communicating Plan elements through webinars, targeted presentations, and meetings will be considered.