Practices for Online Public Involvement

This report summarizes current practices regarding online public participation strategies being used by state departments of transportation (DOTs), as well as summarizing the effectiveness of using these strategies and tools. Online public participation methods offer agencies the potential for expanded participation and also present new challenges and demand new thinking about the appropriate mix of techniques in a public participation program, communication protocols, staffing and skill requirements, and how best to integrate emerging online engagement tools with traditional face-to-face methods such as public meetings. This synthesis may serve as a resource for public participation practitioners in state DOTs seeking guidance on the variety of tools available. The information contained in this synthesis was obtained using three sources. First, a literature review. Second, a survey distributed to all state DOTs. Finally, a series of interviews that expanded the understanding of online public participation in both urban and rural areas. Results from the surveys and the interviews showed that DOTs cited public demand, transparency, and the desire to reach a broader audience as reasons for implementing OPI. The majority of DOTs use some form of a public involvement plan (PIP), and OPI is included in most agency-wide PIPs. Websites and social media are the most commonly used online tools, while electronic surveys, informational videos, and digital newsletters were also reported by a number of DOTs. DOTs most commonly cited technology issues—such as lack of internet access and poor connectivity for residents—as the biggest challenges to OPI, while staff inexperience and budget constraints also limit its implementation.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 164p
  • Serial:
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01711172
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309480413
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 49-11
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 9 2019 10:30AM