USDOT releases Transportation Toolkit to engage public in the decision-making process

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US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced the release of a new resource for communities, cities, regions, and states to train emerging transportation leaders: the Every Place Counts Leadership Academy Transportation Toolkit.

The new US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Toolkit has been prepared as part of a complete package of user-friendly, educational materials that are downloadable and free for any individual or organization to use. The Leadership Academy Toolkit will help the general public and emerging community leaders who have limited experience with transportation decision-making, be better engaged in the decision-making process. It uses clear design and plain language to explain the transportation decision-making process, and describe how members of the public can work with their local and state transportation agencies in a proactive, constructive way.

The materials released include:

• The Transportation Toolkit, which explains the basics using clear design and plain language. This Toolkit helps people figure out how to participate effectively in transportation decision-making processes. For example, it explains how to find good data to show the need for a transportation project, and when may be the best time to contact an agency with an idea;

• The Quick Guide gives an overview of the Transportation Toolkit contents in a short, colorful booklet;

• The video highlights the experience of attending a Leadership Academy;

• The Online Resource Library provides in-depth resources on topics such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and accessibility;

• The Facilitator’s Guide helps emerging community leaders plan and lead their own Leadership Academies by outlining a set of learning activities and discussions that help participants engage with the content of the Toolkit.

“If you have a transportation idea, concern, or challenge on your mind, or if you want to participate in the process of making decisions about transportation, this Toolkit is for you,” said Foxx launching the scheme. “As we worked on the Design Challenge, it was clear that communities have important feedback about the transportation options in their area, and that we in the transportation community need to be clear about the process.”

USDOT’s chief opportunities officer, Stephanie Jones, added, “Communities often find they are missing the opportunity windows to provide valuable input about the transportation options their area needs. The Toolkit is a way for communities to learn the process and be able to provide the input that would create the network that will work for them.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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