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Criterion Details

SPR-03 Integrated Planning: Social (for Regions)

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Goal

The agency’s Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) is consistent with and supportive of the community’s vision and goals. When considered in an integrated fashion, these plans, goals and visions support sustainability principles. The agency applies context-sensitive principles to the planning process to achieve solutions that balance multiple objectives to meet stakeholder needs.

Sustainability Linkage

Triple Bottom Line

Integrating transportation planning with the community’s vision and goals for sustainability supports the social principle by ensuring transportation investments reflect the unique vision, goals, and values of the community.

Background & Scoring Requirements

Background

The agency conducts transportation planning activities in a comprehensive and integrated manner, and incorporates the community’s vision and goals for sustainability and stakeholder input into the transportation planning process. If community visions and goals for sustainability do not already exist, the agency works with stakeholders and the broader community to create visions and goals as they apply to the role of transportation in achieving sustainability outcomes. The agency successfully identifies a diverse range of stakeholders and public participants, engages them regularly throughout the transportation planning process, and demonstrates how their input informed and affected transportation planning decisions. The end result is a context-sensitive transportation system plan that is consistent with and supports the community’s vision and goals for sustainability.

For the purposes of this criterion, the key terms are defined as follows:

  • “Community” refers to persons, public agencies, and private or non-profit organizations within the agency’s jurisdiction that are affected by changes to the transportation system.
  • “Consistent” means that planned transportation improvements support the achievement of the community’s vision and goals for sustainability.
  • “Integrated” means developing transportation, plans consistently with community vision and goals for sustainability.
  • “Regularly engages” means going above and beyond consulting once; it means successfully involving and interacting with an institution or stakeholder early, often, and on an on-going basis throughout the planning process.
  • “Sustainable Actions” maintain or enhance our capacity to endure. The goal of sustainability is the satisfaction of basic social and economic needs, both present and future, and the responsible use of natural resources, all while maintaining or improving the well-being of the environment on which life depends.
  • “Sustainability Principles” refers to the economic, environmental, and social principles of the triple bottom line.
  • “Vision and Goals” refers to desired outcomes for the future that are determined by the community through an inclusive, comprehensive, and collaborative process. 

Scoring Requirements

Requirement SPR-03.1

2 points. Work toward a Shared Vision

Metropolitan transportation planning agencies share the community’s vision for overall sustainability efforts, and transportation-related goals and objectives are consistent with that vision (as articulated in adopted community visions, comprehensive plans, sustainability plans, and/or community development plans, among others). The agency may also earn the points by working with its stakeholders and the broader community to create visions and goals (if they do not already exist) and to determine the role of transportation in helping to achieve sustainability outcomes.

Requirement SPR-03.2

1-4 points. Engage a Diverse Range of Stakeholders and Public Participants

Scoring is based on the following, cumulative requirements.

  • Requirement SPR-03.2a

1 point. Identify Diverse Range of Stakeholders

The agency successfully identifies a diverse range of stakeholders and public participants, which include, at a minimum, all interested parties (as defined by current regulations), in addition to all other parties potentially affected by changes to the transportation system. The agency regularly engages the identified stakeholders and public participants throughout the transportation planning process.

According to FHWA’s Archived Participation by Interested Parties website1, interested parties for a Metropolitan LRTP include:

o    Citizens

o    Affected public agencies

o    Representatives of public transportation employees

o    Freight shippers

o    Providers of freight transportation services

o    Private providers of transportation

o    Representatives of users of public transportation

o    Representatives of users of pedestrian walkways & bicycle transportation facilities

o    Representatives of the disabled

o    Other interested parties

  • Requirement SPR-03.2b

2 points. Give Special Consideration to Engagement of Diverse Populations

The agency gives special consideration and attention to the engagement of low-income, minority, disabled, and linguistically isolated populations, and uses a diverse and innovative range of public involvement techniques to ensure the engagement process is inclusive. Examples include, but are not limited to, conducting outreach in multiple languages, ensuring public meetings are coordinated with transit schedules, and using web-based surveys and/or social media to collect input, among others.

  • Requirement SPR-03.2c

1 point. Include Educational Component

The agency includes an education component so that stakeholders understand the transportation planning process and are able to better provide informed and meaningful input.

Requirement SPR-03.3

1-3 points. Use a Transparent Process and Demonstrate the Incorporation of Stakeholder Input

Scoring is based on the following, cumulative requirements.

  • Requirement SPR-03.3a

1 point. Use Transparent Process

The agency uses a transparent process to inform stakeholders how their input will be used and then follows through accordingly. An example of a transparent process includes the use of an established hierarchy of public participation, such as the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Public Participation Spectrum2 or Arnstein’s Ladder of Citizen Participation3.

  • Requirement SPR-03.3b

2 points. Demonstrate How Input was Used

The agency demonstrates to stakeholders how their input was used to inform and affect transportation planning decisions.

Requirement SPR-03.4

1-6 points. Demonstrate Sustainable Outcomes

Scoring is based on the following, cumulative requirements.

  • Requirement SPR-03.4a

1 point. Implement Investments that Support Community Vision and Goals

The agency is implementing transportation investments that support the community’s vision and goals and help achieve sustainability outcomes.

  • Requirement SPR-03.4b

2 point. Include Performance Measures for Effectiveness of Public Involvement

The LRTP includes sustainability-related performance measures to assess the effectiveness of its public involvement process. Examples of sustainability-related performance measures can be found in NCHRP’s Report 708: A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies4.

  • Requirement SPR-03.4c

3 points. Monitor Progress and Demonstrate Sustainable Outcomes

Monitor progress towards goals for at least one year after goal establishment using the performance measures established in SPR-03.4b and show measurable advancement towards stated goals.

Resources

Above-Referenced Resources

The following resources are referenced in this criterion and consolidated here:

  1. FHWA’s Archived Participation by Interested Parties website, http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/public_involvement/archive/interparties_table.cfm
  2. IAP2, Public Participation Spectrum, http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.iap2.org/resources/resmgr/foundations_course/IAP2_P2_Spectrum_Funal.pdf
  3. Arnstein, Sherry R., Ladder of Citizen Participation, JAIP, Vol.35, No.4, July 1969, pp. 216-224, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01944366908977225
  4. NCHRP, Report 708: A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies, http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_708.pdf

Additional Resources

The following resources provide information on this criterion topic in addition to the sources directly referenced:

  1. FHWA, Transportation Planning Process: Key Issues, https://www.planning.dot.gov/documents/briefingbook/bbook_07.pdf
  2. FHWA, Context Sensitive Solutions website, http://contextsensitivesolutions.org
  3. FHWA, Transportation Planning Capacity Building: Public Involvement Techniques website, http://www.planning.dot.gov/PublicInvolvement/pi_documents/toc‐foreword.asp
  4. HUD, EPA & US DOT, Partnership for Sustainable Communities website, http://www.sustainablecommunities.gov
  5. NCHRP, Synthesis 407: Effective Public Involvement Using Limited Resources, http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_syn_407.pdf
  6. FHWA, How to Engage Low‐Literacy and Limited‐English‐Proficiency Populations in Transportation Decision‐ making, http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/publications/low_limited/webbook.pdf
  7. International Association for Public Participation (IAP2), IAP2 primary website, http://iap2usa.org
  8. American Planning Association, Journal of the American Planning Association (JAPA), https://www.planning.org/japa/

Case Studies & Criterion Examples

Transportation Agency For Monterey County - SPR‐03: TAMC is the regional transportation planning agency for Monterey County, California, responsible for developing and updating a long-range vision of the regional transportation system. TAMC used the INVEST System Planning for Regions (SPR) module to review a broad spectrum of its planning efforts – including its 2014 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP)– and evaluate how well-defined and comprehensive its sustainability efforts have been. The agency scored 10/15 for SPR-03. TAMC’s INVEST 1.2 evaluation helped to determine the agency’s strengths and weaknesses in integrating transportation planning with the community’s vision and goals and identifying potential improvements for the future.

Scoring Sources

The program is considered to have met this criterion if the requirements above can be reasonably substantiated through the existence of one or more of the following documentation sources (or equal where not available):

  1. Adopted state or metropolitan transportation plans and supporting documentation that demonstrate how community vision and goals for sustainability and public input were integrated into the LRTP.
  2. Documentation of the regular engagement of a diverse array of stakeholders, including low-income, minority, disabled, and linguistically isolated populations, throughout the transportation planning process. Example documentation sources include committee membership rosters, survey summaries, stakeholder interview summaries, and the times, locations, languages, and attendance of public meetings, among others.
  3. Documentation of the use of a transparent public involvement process and the use of public input to inform and affect transportation planning decisions. Example documentation sources include a public involvement plan, project evaluation criteria, project prioritization processes, and comment response summaries that demonstrate how stakeholder input informed and affected the decisions made.
  4. Documentation of the agency’s monitoring process and the results of its evaluation of the effectiveness of its public involvement process.
  5. A commendation for public participation planning in an FHWA/FTA TMA Planning Certification Review.