Public Participation Overview
Public participation is a critical component of the transportation planning process and as such is a required plan document defined in 23 CFR450.316. “The MPO shall develop and use a documented participation plan that defines a process for providing citizens, affected public agencies, representatives of public transportation employees, freight shippers, providers of freight transportation services, private providers of transportation, representatives of users of public transportation, representatives of users of pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities, representatives of the disabled, and other interested parties with reasonable opportunities to be involved in the metropolitan transportation planning process.” Agencies for consultation are defined as groups or agencies that would be interested in reviewing and making comment on the MPO’s planning documents and programs and may be referred to as resource agencies.
GRPC understands that the input of all participating parties contributes to the regional transportation planning process. We seek to engage individuals with knowledge and insight about the transportation needs of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, with a pointed effort to involve members of traditionally underserved populations. These include; minorities, low-income, elderly, disabled, limited English proficiency and people with limited mobility. GRPC seeks to ensure environmental justice is duly considered in the development of projects and programs.
The Public Participation Plan (PPP) is designed to serve as a guide for public engagement throughout the transportation planning process. There are many opportunities for the public to become involved in community decision-making. Some opportunities are required by federal law, while others are provided during additional GRPC program development. Engagement strategies utilized by GRPC are discussed in the following chapters.
This plan was developed in consultation with local, state and federal officials and includes input from the public. It was available for a 45-day public review period through various strategies prior to its adoption. All outreach and engagement efforts are recorded in the MPO Participation Database.
GRPC is required by the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration to develop and maintain four MPO transportation documents. Each of them contains individual plans or projects to address the needs of the metropolitan planning area. In addition to the federally required programs, GRPC also participates in various technical studies that benefit from public input.