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Public Participation Plan

MTC's 2015 Public Participation Plan

Draft MTC Public Participation Plan Slated for Final Approval February 25

MTC’s Planning Committee on February 13 voted to forward a Final Draft Public Participation Plan (PPP) to the full Commission with a recommendation for approval. The Planning Committee met jointly with ABAG’s Administrative Committee, which also endorsed the document. The Final Draft PPP includes a framework for public outreach and involvement for the update to Plan Bay Area, included as Appendix A. MTC will consider the Final Draft PPP on February 25, 2015 at its regular meeting, slated to begin at 9:35 a.m.

MTC received nearly 100 comments from individuals and organizations during a 66-day public comment period on the Draft PPP. Several themes emerged from the public comments, including the need to show the public more specifically how their comments will be considered by decision-makers, the need for improved access to public workshops, the importance of involving low-income communities and communities of color in public engagement activities and the need to localize presentations for different communities. The Final Draft PPP includes revisions that were made in response to some of the comments and suggestions. See sidebar for comment letters, as well as a memo offering responses to all comments.

Background

State and federal statutes require metropolitan planning organizations such as MTC to adopt participation plans to provide the public with opportunities to be involved in the transportation planning process. MTC’s current PPP was adopted in 2010. This document informs interested residents on how to engage in the range of MTC’s planning work and funding allocations, and includes as a primary focus public engagement opportunities for Plan Bay Area — the region’s long-range transportation and land use blueprint. Specific information about the 2017 Plan Bay Area update is included as Appendix A to the Draft 2015 Public Participation Plan.

Approach to the 2015 Update

MTC held a public meeting on October 8, 2014, to hear comments and suggestions for improving public engagement. Likewise staff has sought ideas from MTC’s Policy Advisory Council, the Regional Advisory Working Group, and Congestion Management Agency Planning Directors. We also launched an online survey and comment forum, and surveyed the public at numerous community events. A compilation of comments and suggestions can be viewed here.

What’s Different?

Based on comments heard, Appendix A of the Draft PPP has been retooled to focus on the Plan Bay Area 2017 update. Many expressed a need to explain the technical and decision-making process. In response, we have added information to specify:

  • the significance and impact of key planning milestones;
  • opportunities for public input for each planning milestone;
  • which agency or agencies are making decisions;
  • the role of various advisory committees; and
  • how MTC and ABAG will partner with local government on public outreach.

Draft Public Participation Plan Schedule

Dates have been extended since initially presented to provide additional time for public comment. Key dates leading up to adoption of the Draft 2015 PPP include:

11/7/14

Release Draft PPP for public comment period

11/14/14

Legislation Committee: Presentation and discussion on Draft PPP

1/12/15

Close of public comment period

2/13/15

Joint meeting of MTC Planning and ABAG Administrative committees: Present summary of comments and any recommended changes (if there are significant changes, release for a second comment period)

2/25/15

Final Commission action on Draft PPP