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Public Participation Plan

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Thank you for visiting PennDOT's webpage for the Draft 2020 Public Participation Plan. The draft updated plan is available for public review and comment until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11, 2020.

This plan outlines PennDOT's public participation methods used when developing the Statewide Long Range Transportation Plan, the Twelve Year Program, the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, and the Public Participation Plan. It also explains how you can get involved in the statewide transportation planning and programming processes.

Please take the time to review the draft document and provide comments for consideration before the final version of the document is accepted. All comments received during the comment period will become a part of the documentation for the update process.

Below are two versions of the Draft 2020 Public Participation Plan. The PDF version is a full-color version of the document that includes graphic illustrations. It contains active links to additional information and details that further explain specific content in the document.

The text-only version contains the same content as the PDF, but it does not include graphic illustrations to allow for language translation and use of other accessible technology applications, or the Appendix.

Anyone who requires special assistance to participate should contact the PennDOT Bureau of Equal Opportunity at 800-468-4201.


Viewing Locations

Paper copies of the draft document and comment form are available at the following locations:

Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version
PennDOT District Offices

District 1, 255 Elm St., Oil City, PA 16301

District 2, 70 PennDOT Drive, Clearfield PA 16830

District 3, 715 Jordan Ave., Montoursville, PA 17754

District 4, 55 Keystone Industrial Park, Dunmore, PA 18512

District 5, 1002 Hamilton St., Allentown, PA 18101

District 6, 7000 Geerdes Blvd., King of Prussia, PA 19406

District 8, 2140 Herr St., Harrisburg PA 17103

District 9, 1620 N. Juniata St., Hollidaysburg PA 16648

District 10, 2550 Oakland Ave., Indiana, PA 15701

District 11, 45 Thoms Run Road, Bridgeville, PA 15017

District 12, 825 N. Gallatin Ave. Ext., Uniontown, PA 15401

Metropolitan and Rural Planning Offices

Adams County Office of Planning and Development, 670 Old Harrisburg Road, Suite 100, Gettysburg, PA 17325

Berks County Services Center, 633 Court St., 14th floor, Reading, PA 19601,

Blair County Planning Commission, 423 Allegheny St., 046, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648

Cambria County Planning Commission, 401 Candlelight Dr., Suite 215, Ebensburg, PA 15931

Centre Regional Planning Agency, 2643 Gateway Drive, State College, PA 16801

Dauphin County Veterans Memorial Office Building, 112 Market St., 2nd Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17101

DVRPC, 190 N. Independence Mall W., 8th Floor , Philadelphia, PA 19106

Erie County Department of Planning, 150 E. Front St., Suite 300, Erie, PA 16507

Franklin County Planning Department, 218 N. Second St., Chambersburg, PA 17201

Lancaster County Planning Commission, 150 N. Queen St., Suite 320, Lancaster, PA 17603

Lebanon County Planning Department, 400 S. Eighth St., Room 206, Lebanon, PA 17042

Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, 961 Marcon Blvd., Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18109

Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, 1151 Oak St., Pittston, PA 18640

Lackawanna County Planning and Economic Development, 135 Jefferson Ave., 2nd Floor, Scranton, PA 18503

Luzerne County Department of Planning & Zoning, 20 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 208, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

Lycoming County Planning Commission, 48 W. Third St., 4th Floor, Williamsport, PA 17701

Mercer County Regional Planning Commission, 2491 Highland Road, Hermitage, PA 16148

North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, 49 Ridgmont Drive, Ridgway, PA 15853

Northern Tier Regional Planning & Development Commission, 312 Main St., Towanda, PA 18848

Northwest PA Regional Planning and Development Commission, 395 Seneca St., Oil City, PA 16301

SEDA-COG MPO Office, 201 Furnace Road, Lewisburg, PA 17837

Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission, 3 Sheraton Drive, Altoona, PA 16601

Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, Two Chatham Center, 112 Washington Pl., Suite 500, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Wayne County Department of Planning/GIS, 925 Court St., Honesdale, PA 18431

York County Planning Commission, 28 E. Market St., 3rd Floor, York, PA 17401


Stakeholder Offices

Amy Beck, Center for Independent Living Lehigh Valley, 713 North 13th St., Allentown, PA 18102

Carl Berry, Community Resources for Independence, Inc., 3410 West 12th Street, Erie, PA 16505

Denise Corcoran, Center for Independent Living Anthracite Region, 8 West Broad St., Suite 228 (Markley Building), Hazleton, PA 18201

Janetta Green, Center for Independent Living in Central PA, 207 House Avenue, Suite 107 , Camp Hill, PA 17011

George Palmer, Center for Independent Living, 3013 Beale Avenue Suite B102, Altoona, PA 16601



PennDOT's Draft 2020 Public Participation Plan

An information resource for the public

Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version

​Preface

The purpose of the Public Participation Plan is to provide the public with an understanding of statewide transportation planning and programming, the associated update processes, and the methods the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) uses for public engagement. PennDOT's goal is to provide you with enough information to make the first step toward participating in our transportation planning processes a little easier.

PennDOT is committed and required to plan for the future needs of the statewide transportation system which supports the safe and efficient movement of people and transport of goods. In doing so, a number of plans and programs are prepared for the Commonwealth's multimodal transportation system including this document – PennDOT's 2020 Public Participation Plan (PPP).

This document outlines PennDOT's public participation methods used when developing the Statewide Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), the Twelve Year Program (TYP) , the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), and the PPP. These four documents are updated on a recurring basis with support from Pennsylvania's Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), Rural Planning Organizations (RPOs), and the public. A customized public participation process is used for each document update, geared to their distinct functions.

PennDOT is dedicated to providing public outreach efforts that comply with, and whenever possible exceed, the requirements in the following federal laws, regulations, and executive orders. There are additional laws; however, that PennDOT abides by that are not referenced below.

i. Federal planning regulations for statewide public participation (23 CFR 450.210)
ii. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
iii. Executive Order on Environmental Justice (Executive Order 12898, February 11, 1994)
iv. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
v. Executive Order on Limited English Proficiency (Executive Order 13166, August 11, 2000)

PennDOT will make all reasonable modifications to policies, programs, and documents to ensure that people with disabilities and those with limited English proficiency have an equal opportunity to enjoy all of its programs, services, and activities.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication, documents in alternative formats or languages, or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a program, service, or activity of PennDOT, should contact the Bureau of Equal Opportunity at (800) 468-4201 as soon as possible but no later than seven (7) days before scheduled events.

PennDOT's public outreach efforts also comply with the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, 65 Pa.C.S. §§ 701-716 (Open Meetings Law). We provide timely access to transportation decision-making processes for all by providing fair and inclusive opportunities for public participation. As a result, we can better align transportation priorities and programs with the needs of diverse users and fairly distribute transportation benefits.

Introduction

The purpose of the Public Participation Plan is to provide the public with an understanding of statewide transportation planning and programming, the associated update processes, and the methods PennDOT uses for public engagement. It is our goal to provide you with enough information to make the first step to participating in PennDOT's transportation planning processes a little easier.

You rely on various modes of transportation every time you travel from place to place – driving a car, walking to the store, riding a bus or train, bicycling to work, or vanpooling. Additionally, you rely on transportation for the delivery and transport of goods, such as packages to your home, produce to grocery stores, and fuel to gas stations.

When PennDOT develops statewide transportation plans and programs, your needs and the needs of your community are a very important part of the planning process. PennDOT, in collaboration with the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Rural Planning Organizations (RPOs), creates plans and programs that aim to reflect your priorities, enhance your quality of life, and improve the state's economy.

State DOTs are no longer just held accountable for the transportation system; they are also held accountable for how the system supports and improves the quality of life for communities. To better understand your transportation needs, PennDOT encourages you to get involved during the update of statewide transportation plans. When you get involved you can make a difference in the transportation system for yourself and everyone who uses our services and resources.

With your participation and the help of PennDOT staff, actively engaged stakeholders, and the MPOs and RPOs, we can continue to sustain and grow a statewide transportation system that enables the quality of life in Pennsylvania to thrive.

What is Statewide Transportation Planning and Programming?

Statewide transportation planning and programming considers all transportation modes important to you and the statewide system. Statewide transportation planning sets goals and ranks transportation needs for the entire state. Transportation programming chooses and funds projects that meet the needs of the statewide plans and priorities.

Transportation system management has required more of PennDOT's limited resources due to an aging system and federally mandated transportation performance management requirements. Consequently, a high priority is placed on projects that rehabilitate, reconstruct, and renew the existing transportation infrastructure.

Transportation planning is a continuous process that develops statewide and regional long-range transportation plans. The plans guide us toward the development and start of specific projects. This publication, however, focuses on the planning and programming phase of the overall process – not specific to an individual project. Details about public involvement at the project level are addressed in PennDOT's Public Involvement Handbook, Publication 295.

Publication 295, The Public Involvement Handbook

Publication 295 is a guide for PennDOT personnel, consultants, and staff from other administrative jurisdictions - such as local project sponsors – engaged in individual transportation project development activities ranging from the beginning of project development to physical project construction. Publication 295 describes requirements, approaches, and techniques used for meaningful public involvement on a project-by-project basis.

What Are the Statewide Transportation Plans and Programs?

The following information addresses PennDOT's Statewide Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), Twelve Year Program (TYP), Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), and Public Participation Plan (PPP). It also covers the primary tools PennDOT uses for public involvement and what you can expect when you take part during the update processes.

The LRTP is PennDOT's largest and most comprehensive statewide transportation plan that covers a 25-year forecast period. Due to the range of topics in this plan, it is important to call for the involvement of many stakeholders, including you. The public participation efforts for the LRTP update will take place over a period of months and provide opportunities to take part in the LRTP development from beginning to end. This includes developing the direction and specific actions for implementing the plan’s strategies.

The TYP is a mid-range collaborative planning tool that provides a 12 year outlook and is updated by PennDOT with input from the MPOs and RPOs for adoption by the State Transportation Commission every two years. Public participation is an important component of updating the TYP.

The STIP, by federal guidelines, must cover a period of no less than four years. PennDOT's STIP is comprised of the projects included in the first four years of the TYP. These projects are initially identified, prioritized and approved by regional MPOs and RPOs who conduct their own local public participation process. Each MPO and RPO submits their approved projects to PennDOT in the form of a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The regional TIPs are then combined to form the first four years of the TYP and the STIP.

The PPP is a requirement for compliance with federal guidelines for statewide transportation planning. States are required to have a documented process for providing the public opportunity to participate in statewide transportation planning including review and comment at key decision points (23 CFR 450.210 [a]). This resource is PennDOT's documented process. It demonstrates PennDOT's commitment to effective public participation and its importance to the statewide planning process.

When PennDOT updates each of these documents, it is announced to the public and a wide range of interested parties are invited to get involved. These parties include you, affected public agencies, and stakeholders, such as:

  • Public transportation employees
  • Public ports operators
  • Freight shippers
  • Private providers of transportation (including intercity bus operators)
  • Users of public transportation
  • Users of pedestrian walkways
  • Users of bicycle transportation facilities
  • Providers of freight transportation services
  • Representatives of individuals with disabilities
  • Federally recognized Tribes with ancestral ties to Pennsylvania
  • Other interested parties

PennDOT also works closely with the MPOs and RPOs, state and local elected officials, and municipal governments who are directly connected with you and the communities that make up planning regions. They are central to PennDOT's local outreach efforts across the state. You can continue reading to learn more about the LRTP, TYP, STIP, and the PPP.

The Statewide Long Range Transportation Plan

The Statewide LRTP is PennDOT's planning tool used to set goals for all types of transportation needs over a 25-year period. Statewide LRTPs must be updated periodically (23 CFR 450.216 [p]). PennDOT's LRTP is updated every five to six years.

What is its purpose?

The purpose of the Statewide LRTP is to develop policies, visions, and goals to move people and goods safely and improve the quality of life throughout the Commonwealth.

What is updated?

As noted previously, the Statewide LRTP is PennDOT's largest and most comprehensive statewide transportation plan that covers a 25-year forecast period. Many years pass between updates and, as a result, everything in the plan undergoes a detailed re-evaluation and is subject to change.

How do I get involved?

PennDOT provides opportunities for you to get involved in the update process including a survey, public workshops, and focus groups. The types of outreach tools and opportunities may vary from one update to the next, but the details on public participation opportunities will be defined and publicized in advance of the events. PennDOT has held as many as 17 special interest focus groups; 36 regional outreach workshops; and 20 implementation workshops supported by interested individuals and solicited representatives from around the state as a part of the update process for the Statewide LRTP. During the update process, PennDOT will hold one public forum at a minimum.

When the Statewide LRTP update is scheduled, PennDOT will announce specific information on how to get involved on its website and in the media. The plan will be placed on a webpage for direct access to the policy and technical information under development, and a feature for responding to your suggestions and comments will be provided. This feature may be an email address and/or a form that you can complete and send to PennDOT. Visuals are used at PennDOT's public meetings and on related websites to enhance understanding of the plan, supporting studies, mapping, and other related items and technical materials. The visual aids may also include informational charts, animations, mapping, videos, aerial photography and other graphic explanations depending on the type of information to be conveyed.

Once PennDOT has developed a draft of the updated Statewide LRTP, a 30-day public comment period will be held for you to review and provide your comments. The public comment period is communicated and coordinated using:

  • Media announcements
  • PennDOT's website
  • PennDOT's social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter)
  • Email to those who sign up for email updates

PennDOT will provide all of the details you need to participate in the comment period as a part of the initial public notification. This information includes where to access the draft document, how to submit comments, the start and end dates for the comment period, and who to contact if you have questions or need assistance.

What happens after I get involved?

PennDOT documents all the comments shared in the survey, workshops, focus groups, and other public forums. The comments are then reviewed and analyzed to better understand your needs and requests. The analysis is used for the update of the Statewide LRTP.

PennDOT also documents comments and responds to questions on the draft Statewide LRTP. A summary of the public participation process, comments, and responses generated during the update will be made available to the public upon request.

PennDOT makes the final Statewide LRTP available for public review on its website, and the most current version is available at https://www.penndot.gov/ProjectAndPrograms/Planning/Pages/default.aspx.

Twelve Year Program

The TYP is PennDOT's mid-range planning tool used to match available monies with transportation projects statewide, scheduled over a 12-year period. This program is updated every two years with the help of the MPOs and RPOs.

What is its purpose?

The TYP conveys the best use of available monies for transportation projects to meet the goals set by the Statewide LRTP. The TYP is the Commonwealth's official transportation program, and is a multimodal, fiscally constrained program of transportation improvements spanning a 12-year period. Multimodal means that the TYP includes all travel modes, including highways, bridges, public transit, aviation, rail, and bicycles and pedestrian facilities. Fiscally constrained means that the program contains only those funds that PennDOT expects to be available within the 12-year period.

What is updated?

PA State Law Act 120 of 1970, as amended, requires PennDOT to prepare, update, and submit Pennsylvania's TYP every two years to the State Transportation Commission (STC). It is then sent to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the Secretary of Transportation. The STC is responsible for approving Pennsylvania's TYP every two years.

There is a list of projects in the TYP that cover a twelve-year period. These projects are grouped in three time frames for completion:

  • The first four years (years 1-4)
  • The second four years (years 5-8)
  • The third four years (years 9-12)

The projects in the first-four years of the TYP are updated every two years. The project lists for the second and third four-year time frames are updated respectively based on each project's stage of completion and availability of funding.

How do I get involved?

Participation in the TYP begins with the release of the Transportation Performance Report. This report contains information about how PA's transportation system performed over the most recent two year period. The public is encouraged to review this report before the STC seeks public input and feedback on local and statewide transportation priorities.

The STC, PennDOT, MPOs, and RPOs partner to provide opportunities for you to get involved in the TYP update process. This 45-day public comment period includes a customized survey and public meeting.

The public meeting is hosted by the PennDOT Secretary who is the Chair of the STC. Other members of the STC and PennDOT Executive staff may also attend the public meeting and take part in a question and answer session following the main presentation.

The public comment period is communicated and coordinated through the use of several tools:

  • Media announcements
  • The STC website
  • Toolkits for MPOs and RPOs (made available on website)
  • PennDOT's social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter)
  • Email to those who sign up for email updates

These tools will direct you to the Transportation Performance Report and the survey. You can learn more about the public meeting, the start and end dates for the comment period, and who to contact if you have questions or need assistance by visiting www.TalkPATransportation.com

What happens after I get involved?

When you complete the survey, PennDOT collects, analyzes, and uses your feedback to inform the development of the updated TYP and STIP. The survey results are also posted on the STC website to be shared with the public and the MPOs and RPOs for use in the update of the STIP and regional Transportation Improvement Programs (TIP).

When you attend the public meeting and take part in the question and answer session, the questions received are documented and answered accordingly. The questions and answers are then posted on the STC website along with a recording of the public meeting.

Having received all of this feedback, PennDOT begins work on the development of the updated TYP and the STIP. This process generally takes nearly a year to complete.

Once the final draft of the TYP is completed, PennDOT presents it to the STC for their review and adoption. The adopted and most current version of the TYP is available at www.TalkPATransportation.com

The TYP isn’t required to comply with federal guidance for public involvement, but as noted earlier, PennDOT is dedicated to providing public outreach efforts that comply with, and whenever possible exceed, the requirements in the noted federal laws and executive orders. Additionally, the TYP public outreach efforts must reflect PennDOT’s commitment to provide timely access to transportation decision-making processes for all by providing fair and inclusive opportunities for public participation.

The Statewide Transportation Improvement Program

The STIP is PennDOT's short-range planning tool and is composed of projects in the first four years of the TYP. It includes the 24 regional Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs) and two Statewide TIPs for projects that span multiple regions including the Interstate Program and statewide initiatives. The STIP is updated every two years (23 CFR 450.218 [a]).

What is its purpose?

The STIP is a four-year fiscally-constrained prioritized transportation program of highway, bridge and transit projects to be implemented with federal, state and local funding. Fiscally constrained means that the program contains only those funds that PennDOT expects to be available within the four-year period. Projects must be listed in the STIP to utilize federal funds authorized by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

What is updated?

All of the content in the STIP is updated every two years. The majority of content is comprised of TIPs as adopted by the MPOs and RPOs. The TIPs are incorporated into the STIP without modifications. It also includes the centrally managed Interstate Management TIP, the Statewide Items TIP, and all statewide and regionally significant projects regardless of funding source.

How do I get involved?

Since the STIP is part of the TYP, you may initially get involved by participating in the TYP public outreach opportunities as referenced previously in the TYP section. PennDOT, MPOs, and RPOs consider comments received in the TYP outreach during the development of the STIP and TIPs.

Public involvement opportunities for the STIP coincides with the regional TIP updates. The most efficient way to provide input is during the regional TIP update process by contacting your local MPO or RPO (see Appendix C and D). Each MPO and RPO has their own Public Participation Plan. Ways to get involved regionally may include, but aren't limited to:

  • Public Meetings
  • Minimum 30-day public comment period
  • Toolkits for MPOs and RPOs (made available on website)
  • Content forms
  • Surveys

Information on how to get involved in each regional TIP update, including individual public comment periods, will be provided at www.TalkPATransportation.com. Each region will also include the Statewide Programs as part of their regional public comment period.

To supplement the regional TIPs public comment periods, PennDOT will provide a minimum 15-day public comment period on the draft STIP. The public comment period will be communicated and coordinated through the use of several tools:

  • Media announcements
  • PennDOT's website
  • PennDOT's social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter)
  • Email to those who sign up for email updates

PennDOT will provide all of the details you need to participate in the comment period as a part of the public notification. This information includes where to access the draft STIP, how to submit comments, the start and end dates for the comment period, and who to contact if you have questions or need assistance.

What happens after I get involved?

Each region has their own practice for how they use your comments during their TIP update process. Learn more by contacting your local MPO or RPO.

On the statewide level, PennDOT will work with the MPOs and RPOs to review the comments and better understand your needs and requests. PennDOT also documents comments and responds to questions on the draft STIP. A summary of the public participation process, comments, and responses generated during the update will be made available to the public upon request. The final version of the STIP is posted on the STC website at www.TalkPATransportation.com.

The Public Participation Plan

This plan (the PPP) outlines PennDOT's methods for providing inclusive and accessible opportunities for meaningful public participation in the preparation of the LRTP, TYP, STIP, and in the complete update of this public information resource. The plan must be reviewed periodically and revised as appropriate to ensure that it is effective and provides full and open access to all interested parties (23 CFR 450.210 (ix)). PennDOT evaluates the PPP routinely and conducts a detailed assessment every five years.

What is its purpose?

This plan documents and characterizes PennDOT's commitment to providing opportunities for public participation in statewide transportation decision-making. PennDOT's statewide transportation planning and programming processes are collaborative and involve many organizations and individuals. PennDOT's approaches help to make sure the public's ideas and concerns are identified and addressed. This results in better transportation outcomes and satisfies federal requirements.

What is updated?

All of the content in the PPP is subject to change as needed. Minor revisions are made on a routine basis as needed without formal public notification. An example of a minor revision is the update or removal of references in the document. Major revisions are made as required and will include a public participation process for the update. A major revision includes a change that impacts the public's ability to participate in PennDOT's statewide planning processes. An example of a major revision is the removal of a comment period.

How do I get involved?

Public comment on how PennDOT can improve its public participation process in statewide planning is always welcome. You may provide your comments for consideration by contacting PennDOT's Bureau of Equal Opportunity at:

Formal public participation in the maintenance and update of this resource is initiated through an evaluation process. PennDOT conducts a detailed assessment of our PPP document every five years.

An evaluation form is used to help determine if revisions are necessary and if the revisions warrant a public comment period. A copy of PennDOT's evaluation form is provided in Appendix G. PennDOT makes minor revisions on a routine basis as needed without formal public notification.

If a major revision is required after a detailed assessment, a public participation process is initiated for the update. A Stakeholder Committee, organized by PennDOT's Bureau of Equal Opportunity (BEO), is formed to help with the review of the existing document content and the development of new content. PennDOT's BEO invites individuals and organizations representative of Pennsylvania's diverse population including the traditionally underserved, vulnerable, and social advocates or disenfranchised organizations or groups, to become members. The Stakeholder Committee meets as needed throughout the draft document development process.

Once PennDOT develops the draft updated PPP, a 45-day public comment period is held for you to review and provide your comments. The public comment period is communicated and coordinated through the use of several tools:

The details you need to participate in the comment period will be included as a part of the initial public notification. The notification includes where to access the draft document, how to submit comments, the start and end dates for the comment period, and who to contact if you have questions or need assistance.

PennDOT also asks the Stakeholder Committee to share the information about the plan, public comment period, and public participation opportunities with their networks, communities, and friends.

What happens after I get involved?

PennDOT documents and responds to comments and questions on the draft PPP. PennDOT organizes an internal Steering Committee to review and approve the final version of the document. Representatives from the FHWA, FTA, municipal officials, MPOs, RPOs, and other key stakeholders are invited to serve on the Steering Committee for concurrence on the final Plan. The final PPP is posted on PennDOT's Planning website, and the most recent version is available at https://www.penndot.gov/ProjectAndPrograms/Planning/Pages/default.aspx.

Members of the Stakeholder Committee will also be asked to:

  • Review a digital copy of the final plan
  • Provide feedback on the Stakeholder Committee Process

The BEO may also invite Stakeholder Group members to remain on the Committee for future major revisions of the PPP.

PennDOT has other statewide plans and programs that do not have to follow the guidelines in this document; however, as with the TYP, you may be invited to get involved during the updates. To learn more about these plans, programs, and their public involvement opportunities, please visit PennDOT's website.

What if I need help to get involved?

If you need help getting involved in statewide transportation planning and programming, please let PennDOT know. PennDOT is committed to offering full access to transportation planning processes for all who use its services and resources. This includes all people regardless of their disability, race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, income, or limited English proficiency (LEP).

PennDOT helps you get involved by providing inclusive resources. As noted previously, anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication, documents in alternative formats or languages, or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a program, service, or activity of PennDOT, should contact the Bureau of Equal Opportunity at (800) 468-4201. Other steps that PennDOT takes to support full public access to transportation planning processes include:

  • Holding public meetings in places that are ADA accessible
  • Holding public meetings that are accessible to public transportation whenever possible
  • Providing screen reader compliant website content
  • Providing easy to translate website content
  • Providing materials and announcements translated in other languages or braille upon request
  • Providing interpretation services upon request

PennDOT is also dedicated to providing involvement opportunities that follow:

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Title VI of the Civil Rights Act states that “No person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefit of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

    PennDOT's Title VI Program includes other federal and Commonwealth nondiscrimination authorities which prohibit discrimination based on age, sex, religious creed, disability, limited English proficiency (LEP), and low-income. The types of discrimination prohibited, includes those mentioned in 49 CFR 21.5. You may find more information in PennDOT's Title VI Policy, Title VI Compliance and Implementation Plan (Publication 478) and additional information through the Bureau of Equal Opportunity's Title VI website.

  • Executive Order on Environmental Justice (Executive Order 12898, February 11, 1994)

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines environmental justice as, “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies."

    This executive order makes environmental justice part of each federal agency's mission. PennDOT is committed to providing full access to public involvement for all people, including minority and low-income communities. You may find more information in PennDOT's Environmental Justice Plan entitled Every Voice Counts (Publication 737) and in our Project Level Environmental Justice Guidance (Publication 746).

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

    The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination against any person on the basis of a disability in everyday activities. PennDOT is committed to providing full access to public involvement programs and information for all people including people with disabilities. You may access additional information on ADA through the Bureau of Equal Opportunity's Title VI website.

  • Executive Order on Limited English Proficiency (Executive Order 13166, August 11, 2000)

    This executive order improves access to federally assisted programs and activities for people who, as a result of national origin, are limited in their English proficiency (LEP). The U.S. Department of Transportation published Policy Guidance Concerning Recipients' Responsibilities to LEP Persons in 2015. The guidance includes methods for transportation agencies to determine the need for translation and interpretation.

PennDOT is committed to providing full access to public involvement for all people including people with LEP. You may access PennDOT's Language Access Plan for LEP Individuals and find more information on its Bureau of Equal Opportunity's LEP website.

These mandates ensure that planning and public involvement activities are conducted fairly and in consideration of all people. It is important to PennDOT that all people have an equal voice and chance to share their needs and concerns of the transportation network.

PennDOT also works directly with its Bureau of Equal Opportunity to determine the best strategies for reaching traditionally underserved groups, such as low-income and minority households, so their needs can be considered. As part of that effort, representatives of social advocates or disenfranchised organizations or groups are invited to serve on the task forces or advisory committees that support planning efforts. PennDOT uses focus groups and workshops to engage representatives of economically disadvantaged persons, minorities, LEP populations, and other groups not traditionally represented in the planning process. These methods are supplemented with other approaches detailed in PennDOT's Publication 737, Every Voice Counts.

Although there are no areas in Pennsylvania under the jurisdiction of Indian Tribal governments, PennDOT considers federally-recognized Tribes to be interested parties. Therefore, PennDOT mails transportation planning and programming materials to representatives of the 15 federally recognized Tribes that have interests in Pennsylvania to provide opportunities for review and comment. Additional details on PennDOT's tribal consultation process is provided in PennDOT's Cultural Resources Handbook, Publication 689.

When PennDOT advertises public meetings, contact information is included for you to request assistance to participate. If you have other questions or challenges, please contact PennDOT's Bureau of Equal Opportunity to request help at:

Requests for assistance should be made as soon as possible, but no later than seven (7) days before scheduled events.

Complaints that a program, service, or activity provided by PennDOT or one of its member agencies is not accessible to persons with disabilities should also be reported at the telephone number or email address listed above, or submitted in writing through the US Postal Service to:
Title VI Program Specialist
400 North Street – 5 West
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0041

PennDOT will not place a surcharge on an individual with a disability or those with LEP to cover the costs of providing auxiliary aids/services or reasonable modifications of policy.

At a minimum, PennDOT's public participation plans for statewide transportation planning complies with 23 CFR 450.210 as it applies to the following specific statewide plans and public outreach criteria:

  1. Early and continuing public involvement opportunities that provide timely information about transportation issues and decision-making processes to individuals, affected public agencies, representatives of public transportation employees, public ports, freight shippers, private providers of transportation (including intercity bus operators) representatives of users of public transportation, pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities, representatives of the disabled, providers of freight transportation services and other interested parties;
  2. Provide reasonable public access to technical and policy information used in the development of the Statewide LRTP and the STIP;
  3. Provide adequate public notice of public involvement activities and time for public review and comment at key decision points, including a reasonable opportunity to comment on the proposed Statewide LRTP and STIP;
  4. To the maximum extent practicable, ensure that public meetings are held at convenient and accessible locations and times;
  5. To the maximum extent practicable, use visualization techniques to describe the proposed long-range statewide transportation plan and supporting studies;
  6. To the maximum extent practicable, make public information available in electronically accessible format and means, such as the World Wide Web, as appropriate to afford reasonable opportunity for consideration of public information;
  7. Demonstrate explicit consideration and response to public input during the development of the long-range statewide transportation plan and STIP;
  8. Include a process for seeking out and considering the needs of those traditionally underserved by existing transportation systems, such as low-income and minority households, who may face challenges accessing employment and other services; and
  9. Provide for the periodic review of the effectiveness of the public involvement process to ensure that the process provides full and open access to all interested parties and revise the process as appropriate.

Key Partners in Statewide Transportation Planning

Metropolitan and Rural Planning Organizations

MPOs and RPOs support statewide transportation planning and programming on a regional level. Regional transportation planning and programming was established in all metropolitan and rural areas throughout the commonwealth to comply with federal, state, and local transportation objectives. There is also one independent county – Wayne County who relies on PennDOT to conduct transportation planning activities.

The MPOs and RPOs are decision-making bodies comprised of state and local government officials, modal agencies, and transportation stakeholders. They are responsible for the development and periodic review of regional LRTPs and regional TIPs.

MPOs and RPOs revise their TIPs every two years, and then PennDOT combines the TIPs to form the STIP. The projects on the STIP are prioritized to become the first four years of the TYP. To ensure that reasonable opportunity is provided on the regional level, each MPO and RPO must also develop their own Public Participation Plan.

Non-Metropolitan Local Officials

PennDOT consults with non-metropolitan local officials on statewide plans and programs through the RPOs and one independent county. Pennsylvania has RPOs which cover the non-metropolitan regions with less than 50,000 in population. PennDOT provides support for and maintains continual communication with the RPOs which function similar to the MPOs. The RPOs provide staff support to Executive Committees. The Executive Committees serve as forums for local officials to participate in regional transportation decisions.

PennDOT staff are actively involved in transportation planning with the RPOs. RPOs engage in the development of guidance for Statewide Planning:

  • Financial Guidance for STIP update
  • General and Procedural Guidance for STIP update
  • Public Participation Plan Guidance for Statewide Planning

PennDOT will seek feedback from non-metropolitan local officials every five years on the effectiveness of this process during a 60-day comment period. Federal regulations require the consultation process to be reviewed every five years.

PennDOT has a history of successful collaboration with the RPOs in their process for consulting with non-metropolitan local officials on statewide plans and programs. The operation of the RPOs aligns with the purpose and role of the Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) as defined in Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) and in 23 CFR 450.210(d). Accordingly, PennDOT does not propose re-establishing the RPOs as RTPOs at this time.

Local Municipal and County Staff

PennDOT Connects is a commitment to engage with local municipal and county staff before a project is programmed on a regional TIP to improve the transportation system. PennDOT Connects is an example of better planning and communication statewide and across various government levels. It is focused on bettering transportation systems and improving communities through collaborative planning. It is also focused on project-level planning, however, ideas for other future projects that are identified through PennDOT Connects may be included on the Statewide LRTP, TYP, or STIP.


This document provides the outline for PennDOT's public participation processes. We define the details of each public participation program as each LRTP, TYP, STIP, and PPP update is scheduled. We choose the details based on the most current and applicable technologies, resources, and best practices that are available. We provide thoughtful planning for each public participation program to:

  • Maximize the return on resources
  • Engage an inclusive and diverse population
  • Generate useful feedback and data, and
  • Build public trust

Comments on how PennDOT may improve its public participation process are always welcome. You may provide your comments for consideration by contacting PennDOT's Bureau of Equal Opportunity to at:


Thank you for your time and attention. PennDOT looks forward to working with you as a stakeholder in the statewide transportation planning process!