North Carolina Receives Record Amount of Public Input on Transportation Planning
more than 3,000 people attended public meetings or visited NCDOT's webpage for information during the public comment period
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) recently wrapped up a public comment period for the next 10-year transportation plan with what it describes as an unprecedented amount of participation from the citizens of the state.
The agency credits this success to the use of an online, interactive survey tool that was specifically designed for the public to provide the department input on priorities, projects and concerns to help guide the development of the plan.
"We know people are busy, and it's not always possible or convenient to attend meetings," said Jamille Robbins with NCDOT's public involvement group. "This new survey tool was designed to be quick and easy, and to allow citizens to be a part of the decision-making process from anywhere – sitting at their child's baseball game, lounging by the pool or on their couch."
NCDOT says that more than 3,000 people attended public meetings or visited its webpage for information during the public comment period, which took place from June 20 through July 22, 2016. Almost half of those people, 1,423, provided comments and responses—and 1,392 of them were through the interactive survey. By comparison, 160 people participated in similar meetings in 2015.
The Strategic Transportation Investments law, signed by Governor Pat McCrory in 2013, established a transparent, data-driven way to prioritize transportation projects. Under this law, the state is able to more efficiently invest transportation dollars to better connect North Carolinians and support more jobs.
NCDOT stresses that public input is an extremely important part of this process, as the law also provides flexibility to fund regional and local projects through local input.