Guidelines for Dual-advisory Speed Signing on Freeway-to-freeway Connectors in Texas

Guidelines for Dual-advisory Speed Signing on Freeway-to-freeway Connectors in Texas

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Well-implemented public involvement programs have many potential benefits for transportation agencies including enhanced credibility with the public, decisions reflecting community values, and reduced risks of litigation (O'Connor et al., 2000). The objectives of this study included a broad assessment of the Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT's) public involvement practices and the development of a public involvement qtoolkitq for use by VDOT staff. The toolkit describes an array of techniques that may be used from the earliest planning stages of transportation projects through their construction, noting advantages, disadvantages, special considerations in the use of each technique, and references and website links for further reading. The assessment of VDOT's current public outreach practices included information gathering from citizens and VDOT staff. A total of 948 citizens attending several types of VDOT meetings and hearings completed written surveys that included questions about how they prefer to be notified about upcoming VDOT meetings, how they prefer to be informed about projects, and how they prefer to be updated on the status of plans or projects. Focus groups and written qself evaluationq surveys provided information on the perceptions of VDOT staff about the effectiveness of VDOT's public involvement approaches and their suggestions for improving communication with the public and public involvement. Responses to the citizen and VDOT staff surveys indicated that the public is often unclear about the steps in VDOT's planning, project development, and public involvement processes. Citizens and VDOT staff also agreed that frequent updates on project status are desirable and that the public should get more feedback about how their input is really used in decision making. VDOT staff sees a need for more strategic communications planning and evaluation for major projects and more coordinated project communications within the agency. VDOT staff also believe that broader [staff] understanding of the responsibilities of different VDOT divisions in the project development process would improve communications within VDOT. Study recommendations include the following: VDOT staff should use the toolkit and a soon-to-be released interactive public involvement tool by the Federal Highway Administration to choose effective public involvement approaches; VDOT divisions should collaborate on ways to increase the public's understanding of the planning, project development, and public involvement processes; and as soon as the state budget situation permits, the Outreach Section of VDOT's Office of Public Affairs proposed by the Governor's Commission on Transportation Policy should be staffed to provide greater in-house strategic communications planning and evaluation capability for major projects.The disparity between the AASHTO advisory speed setting criteria and operating speeds on curves has recently been recognized and codified into the 2003 federal version of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. The Manual on anbsp;...

Title:Guidelines for Dual-advisory Speed Signing on Freeway-to-freeway Connectors in Texas
Author: Anthony P. Voight, Charles R. Stevens, Darrell W. Borchardt
Publisher: - 2007

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