Planners are often unfairly characterized as waiting to the last minute to seek input from the public. This perception is driven by the public hearing and open meeting laws that require a public hearing be advertised in the newspaper a certain number of times/days before the hearing. In our case, these laws apply to the RVAMPO’s Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). However, these laws have the unintended consequence of giving off the impression that planners wait until the last minute before seeking feedback through a “public hearing.” In my experience, nothing could be further from the truth. We planners need good constructive input and feedback from citizens to help us develop plans in the first place. Gone are the days of the 1950’s and 60’s in which planners believed that there was one rational and comprehensive planning model that applies to all situations. Now, the vast majority of planners see their role as using professionalism and tools to have a conversation with citizens (“the public”) and to facilitate joint creation of plans that reflect the values and aspirations of a community. This new role redefines the way planners view the public involvement process, which was previously mechanical and primarily benchmark driven.
With the above in mind, many plans often begin with “Goals” and “Objectives.” The next LRTP – due in the summer of 2015 – will be no exception. So, we are asking – even imploring – you for your early input to help us develop the “Goals” and “Objectives” of the next Long-Range Transportation Plan. We are not waiting for a “public hearing,” we crave your input and feedback now! Please put your ideas for goals and objectives in the comment box below. Let’s get a conversation going.
Here is a convenient and concise definition of Goals and Objectives – courtesy of the State of Michigan http://www.michigan.gov/documents/8-pub207_60743_7.pdf – to help get you started: