Difference between revisions of "121.2 The Planning Framework for Transportation Decision-Making"

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Missouri has significantly more transportation needs than money available. MoDOT works with its planning partners, transportation stakeholders and the general public in deciding the highest priority needs and improvements that should receive available funding.
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|'''For Additional Information'''
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|[http://www.modot.mo.gov/plansandprojects/long-range_plan/documents/rpcmpo08-06.pdf Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs)]
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|[http://www.modot.mo.gov/plansandprojects/planning_projects/documents/PG_march102504.pdf Practitioner’s Guide]
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|[http://www.modot.mo.gov/plansandprojects/documents/Map_000.pdf 2007 Long-Range Transportation Plan]
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The transportation planning process can take up to 20 years for a project to go from [[:Category:138 Project Development Chronology|needs identification through project development to construction]]. The planning process, as illustrated in the Figure 1, is an iterative process, a continuous cycle and at any given time there are multiple needs or projects at each step in the process. The four outer arrows represent steps that are part of the process. The texts between the arrows are the key products of these steps. All steps require continuous participation from local officials and the public.  
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This process, referred to as the Planning Framework, relies on the right people being involved in discussing and evaluating needs and then making decisions on which ones should move forward. We are committed to working with local officials, citizens and stakeholders to help determine the right transportation solutions for their communities. MoDOT recognizes that a transparent, inclusive and flexible process provides the best results.
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|'''Freight Development'''
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|[[image:121.2 plan.jpg|right|570px]]
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|[http://library.modot.mo.gov/RDT/reports/UnNumbrd/ss08004.pdf Summary 2008]
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|'''See also:''' [http://www.modot.gov/services/OR/byDate.htm Innovation Library]
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==121.2.1 Transportation Planning Partners and Stakeholders==
  
===121.2.1 Long-Range Transportation Plan===
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MoDOT focuses on involvement by local officials. These officials, who are elected by the general public, join to form regional boards of directors of metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and regional planning commissions (RPCs). MPOs represent urbanized areas with populations of more than 50,000. They are responsible for transportation planning within their areas. RPCs represent multi-county rural regions and coordinate regional local governments in transportation planning.
 
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MoDOT, [http://www.modot.mo.gov/plansandprojects/long-range_plan/workingtogethermetropolitanplanning.htm Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs)], [http://www.modot.org/plansandprojects/long-range_plan/workingtogetherregionalplanningcommissions.htm Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs)], public officials, special interest groups and citizens set and refine Missouri’s transportation vision in the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The vision is Missouri’s ideal transportation system; however, Missouri cannot afford all the components of this ideal system. The LRTP also includes policies and goals and a fiscally constrained strategy for achieving the highest-priority components of the transportation vision within an agreed upon timeframe. This requires working with MPOs and RPCs to determine where Missouri’s transportation dollars should be spent.  
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|'''[http://www.modot.mo.gov/plansandprojects/documents/Map_000.pdf 2007 Long-Range Transportation Plan]'''
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MPO LRTPs include policy development, fiscally constrained needs identification, public involvement and conformity with air quality regulations. The content of these MPO plans is similar to the statewide long-range transportation plan. MPO plans include public outreach and require approval of the MPO board of directors, which is comprised of the region’s local officials. In general, items in MPO and state LRTPs are consistent. Resources will be allocated only to the needs and projects agreed upon by both the MPO and MoDOT.
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LRTP public involvement concentrates on developing Missouri’s shared transportation vision and captures public opinion on transportation issues and needs. The plan targets all levels of public involvement including MPOs, RPCs, local officials, legislators, interest groups and the public. MoDOT gages Missourians’ expectations of the transportation system and the relative priority of each expectation.
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[[image:121.2.1 Transportation Planning Process.gif|center|575px|thumb|<center>'''Fig. 121.2.1  Transportation Planning Process'''</center>]]
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===121.2.2 Identify Needs===
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[[image:121.2.2.jpg|right|275px|thumb|<center>'''Redesigning an intersection'''</center>]]
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There are various needs on Missouri’s transportation system. Identifying these needs is a continuous process and crucial for successful planning. For example, one need might be redesigning a high-accident intersection; another need might be a location improvement that helps a new business move products more efficiently.  Proper identification of these needs involves evaluating the same type of information from all parts of Missouri.
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The two levels of needs identification, regional and statewide, are further classified into two groups:  physical system condition needs that target the state of road and bridge repair and functional needs that target how well the transportation system is operating.
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Statewide needs are formally identified through the LRTP step and public outreach is done with the LRTP development. These needs typically cross several county lines and involve interstates and U.S. highways.
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MoDOT districts and their planning partners identify regional transportation needs.
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===121.2.3 Prioritize Needs===
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Needs prioritization is based on the goals in Missouri’s LRTP. MoDOT districts and planning partners annually prioritize regional needs. Statewide needs will be prioritized when MoDOT’s LRTP is updated; however, emerging needs can be added to the needs priority list between updates. Both regional and statewide needs will be prioritized primarily on objective data.  
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====<center>''Table 121.2.3.1 Prioritization Process - Physical System Condition Needs''</center>====
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{| border="1" class="wikitable" style="margin: 1em auto 1em auto"
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|+
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! style="background:#6633FF" colspan="2"|This process applies to all areas of the state
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|-
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! style="background:#BEBEBE" colspan="2"|Taking Care of the System
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Roadway
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|-
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|Pavement Smoothness|| align="center"| 30 pts
+
|-
+
|Pavement Condition|| align="center"|  20 pts
+
|-
+
|Functional Classification|| align="center"| 10 pts
+
|-
+
|Daily Usage (all vehicles) || align="center"|10 pts
+
|-
+
|Truck Usage ||align="center"|10 pts
+
|-
+
|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 20 pts
+
|-
+
|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
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! colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|-OR-
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Bridge
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|-
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| Bridge Condition || align="center"|50 pts
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|-
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|Functional Classification|| align="center"| 10 pts
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|-
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|Daily Usage (all vehicles) || align="center"| 10 pts
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|-
+
|Truck Usage|| align="center"| 10 pts
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|-
+
|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 20 pts
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|-
+
| Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
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| colspan="2"|[[121.5 Prioritization Factors|Prioritization Factors]] explains what each factor is.
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|-
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| colspan="2"|There is no flexibility among investment goals in this prioritization process because other goals do not have a direct effect on measuring the physical system condition needs on the transportation system.
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|-
 
|-
| colspan="2"|Flexibility lies in “district factors/flexible points” that can be used to capture unique conditions important to individual regions or can be allocated among existing factors.
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|[[image:121.2 map.jpg|center|900px]]
 
|}
 
|}
  
====<center>''Table 121.2.3.2 Prioritization Process – Functional Needs''</center>====
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==121.2.2 Public Involvement==
  
{| border="1" class="wikitable" style="margin: 1em auto 1em auto"
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Missourians have a say in how transportation dollars are spent. The most common way for citizens to be involved is through public meetings that MoDOT, metropolitan planning organizations (MPO) and regional planning commissions (RPC) hold throughout the planning and project development processes. These meetings are held in communities around the state specifically to gather input from the general public. Missourians are also involved by electing the local officials who comprise the RPC and MPO boards of directors and/or through direct contact with MoDOT, MPOs, RPCs or local officials.  
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! style="background:#6666FF" colspan="2"|This process does not apply to Transportation Management Areas (TMA) areas
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|-
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! colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Access to Opportunity
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Weight:  5% minimum – 30% maximum
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|-
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|Vehicle Ownership|| align="center"| 50 pts
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|-
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|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"|  50 pts
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|-
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| Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
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! colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Congestion Relief
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Weight:  5% minimum – 30% maximum
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|-
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|Level of Service|| align="center"| 25 pts
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|-
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|Daily Usage (all vehicles) || align="center"|25 pts
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|-
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|Functional Classification ||align="center"|25 pts
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|-
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|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 25 pts
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|-
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|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
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!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Economic Competitiveness
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Weight:  5% minimum – 30% maximum
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|-
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|Level of Economic Distress|| align="center"| 30 pts
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|-
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|Supports Regional Economic Development Plans || align="center"|20 pts
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|-
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|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 50 pts
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|-
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|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
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!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Efficient Movement of Freight
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Weight:  5% minimum – 30% maximum
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|-
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|Truck Volume|| align="center"| 50 pts
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|-
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|Freight Bottlenecks || align="center"|20 pts
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|-
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|Intermodal Freight Connectivity|| align="center"| 10 pts
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|-
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|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 20 pts
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|-
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|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
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!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Quality of Communities
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Weight:  5% minimum – 30% maximum
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|-
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|Connectivity|| align="center"| 40 pts
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|-
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|Complies with Regional or Local Transportation Plans || align="center"|30 pts
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|-
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|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 30 pts
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|-
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|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
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!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Environmental Protection
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Weight:  0% minimum – 30% maximum
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|-
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|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 100 pts
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|-
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|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
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!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Safety
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Weight:  20% minimum – 50% maximum
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|-
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|Safety Index|| align="center"| 85 pts
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|-
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|Safety Concern || align="center"|5 pts
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|-
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|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 10 pts
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|-
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|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
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!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Taking Care of the System
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Weight:  5% minimum – 30% manximum
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|-
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|Substandard Roadway Features '''OR''' Substandard Bridge Features|| align="center"| 75 pts
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|-
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|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 20 pts
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|-
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|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
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| colspan="2"|[[121.5 Prioritization Factors|Prioritization Factors]] explains what each factor is.
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|-
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| colspan="2"|MoDOT districts allocate 50% of the weight among investment goals.
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|-
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| colspan="2"|“District factors/flexible points” may be used to capture unique conditions important to individual regions or can be allocated among existing factors.
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|-
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| colspan="2"|MPOs designated as TMAs may develop their own functional needs prioritization process, subject to certification by MoDOT.
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|-
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| colspan="2"|The total weight of all investment goals must equal 100% while meeting minimum and maximum percentages.
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|}
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While all the public is invited to participate in our process, particular care is paid to contacting property owners adjacent to the specific solutions, public officials, elected representatives, law enforcement, schools and emergency services regarding needs and proposed improvements. Innovative methods to involve minority and economically disadvantaged sectors of the community, as well as other groups (senior citizens, economic development interests, and historical and environmental groups) are also used.
  
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The development of quality transportation improvements depends on early, often and continuous involvement of the public in decisions. Public involvement allows MoDOT to gather real, valid input on transportation needs and to work with customers to refine solutions that meet those needs.
  
Using the results of the prioritization process as a starting point, MoDOT districts and planning partners divide needs into three categories:
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==121.2.3 Data==
  
* High Priority – Resources address these needs first by selecting them for preliminary engineering.  
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The Planning Framework is a mix of objective and subjective data and criteria used to help prioritize regional needs. The objective data can include items like traffic volumes, accident statistics, travel times and condition reports for the transportation system. Subjective data can include local safety concerns, local perceptions for economic development opportunities, cost and resource sharing and other items.  
  
* Medium Priority– These needs may be addressed as additional resources become available.  
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==121.2.4 Establish Vision and Identify Needs==
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MoDOT, MPOs, RPCs, public officials, special interest groups and citizens set and refine Missouri’s transportation vision in the Long-Range Transportation Planning process (LRTP). The vision is Missouri’s ideal transportation system based on feedback from Missourians. The LRTP process provides information, guidance and direction to MoDOT and its planning partners and stakeholders to help identify the needs and determine where Missouri’s transportation dollars should be spent.  
  
* Low Priority– No work for these needs at this time.  
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In addition to the statewide LRTP, MPOs develop regional LRTPs that include policy development, fiscally constrained needs identification, public involvement and conformity with air quality regulations. In general, items in MPO and state LRTPs are consistent. Resources will be allocated to the needs and projects agreed upon by both the MPO and MoDOT.
  
The high priority needs list is fiscally constrained and is not a commitment to design or construct projects. Each time needs are prioritized, existing needs will be re-evaluated. Some high priority needs may never be designed or constructed due to prohibitive costs, changing priorities or other reasons. Needs from the high priority list will be selected for project scoping.  
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Once a draft LRTP is developed and presented to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission (MHTC), MoDOT accepts public comments during a 30-day period prior to submission of a final LRTP for approval by the MHTC.  
  
===121.2.4 Design and Develop Projects (Project Scoping)===
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==121.2.5 Prioritize Needs ==
  
Project scoping analyzes transportation needs and selects the best overall solutions. It involves:
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Needs prioritization is based on the goals in Missouri’s LRTP. MoDOT districts and planning partners annually prioritize regional needs. Many regions divide the needs into three categories:  
  
1) Determining the root causes of the transportation problems;
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:* High Priority – Resources address these needs first by selecting them to develop/design specific solutions.
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:* Medium Priority – These needs may be addressed as additional resources become available.
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:* Low Priority – No work for these needs at this time.
  
2) Developing a range of possible solutions for the problems;
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Each time needs are prioritized, existing needs will be re-evaluated. Some high priority needs may never be designed or constructed due to prohibitive costs, changing priorities or other reasons.
  
3) Reviewing the social, economic, energy and environmental impacts;
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==121.2.6 Develop Specific Improvements==
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The developing, or scoping, process analyzes transportation needs and selects the best overall transportation improvements. It involves:
  
4) Evaluating and choosing the best solutions;  
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:* Determining the root causes of the transportation problem, issue or concern;
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:* Developing a range of possible improvements;
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:* Reviewing the social, economic, energy and environmental impacts;
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:* Evaluating and choosing the best improvement;  
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:* Setting the improvement’s physical limits;
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:* Accurately estimating the improvement’s cost; and
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:* Forecasting the improvement’s delivery schedule.
  
5) Setting the projects’ physical limits;
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The scoping process helps determine the most complete, cost-effective improvements early in project development. Public involvement in defining the needs and determining the appropriate improvement can take several forms. The public may actually initiate the investigation of needs by contacting MoDOT or its other planning partners. The public, through local officials, is represented in the scoping process. After viable improvements have been identified for high-priority needs, the needs move on to the improvement prioritization process.
  
6) Accurately estimating the projects’ cost; and
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==121.2.7 Prioritize Improvements to Match Available Funding==
  
7) Forecasting the projects’ delivery schedule.  
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Annually, MoDOT works with its planning partners to establish a prioritized list of transportation improvements, using a prioritization process determined by each region. The improvement prioritization is fiscally constrained based on each region’s available funding.  
  
The scoping process helps determine the most complete, cost-effective solutions early in project development.  
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Each time improvements are prioritized; existing improvements not yet scheduled for delivery will be re-evaluated. Some high priority improvements may never be delivered due to prohibitive costs, changing priorities or other reasons. If MoDOT and its planning partners unanimously agree that an improvement no longer addresses a valid need, it will be removed from the priority list, freeing resources for other improvements.  
  
Public involvement in defining the needs and determining the appropriate solution can take several forms. The public may actually initiate the investigation of needs by contacting MoDOT or its other planning partners. The public, through local officials, is represented in the scoping process.  
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==121.2.8 Deliver Improvements==
  
After viable solutions have been identified for high-priority needs, the needs move on to the project prioritization process.
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MoDOT, MPOs and RPCs determine which high priority transportation improvements should be funded. The improvements that are selected for funding are included in MoDOT’s five-year Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), and also in each MPO’s Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs), where applicable. The STIP and TIPs set forth the specific transportation system improvements that will be completed during a four- to five-year period. STIPs and TIPs are rolling plans; as one year is completed, another year is added.
  
===121.2.5 Project Prioritization===
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Each year, the Draft STIP is presented to the MHTC in May, followed by a 30-day public comment period. A final STIP is taken to the MHTC for approval each July.
  
Project prioritization is based primarily on data and is a starting place for determining the best candidates for funding. There are separate project prioritization processes for each category in MoDOT’s funding distribution method.  
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Once an improvement is added to MoDOT’s STIP, it is a commitment and will be delivered.
  
Project prioritization places projects into these categories:
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==121.2.9 Consultation with Non-Metropolitan Planning Agencies and Local Officials==
  
* Safety (joint regional/district decision)  
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Regulations require the state to provide for non-metropolitan local official participation in the development of the long-range transportation plan (LRTP) and the statewide transportation improvement program (STIP), and to develop a documented process for consulting with non-metropolitan local officials.
  
* Taking care of the system (joint regional/district decision)  
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MoDOT consults with metropolitan and non-metropolitan planning agencies on substantive changes to the LRTP and other statewide transportation plans and programs as required by 23 CFR 450.120(b).
  
* Regional and emerging needs (joint regional/district decision)
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==121.2.10 Partner Satisfaction Survey==
  
* Major projects – system expansion (regional input for statewide decision)
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MoDOT conducts an annual partner survey to collect satisfaction data from transportation planning partners. These surveys are sent across the state including but not limited to MPO, RPC, elected officials and municipal employees. MoDOT encourages its planning partners to give open and honest feedback in order to find ways to continually improve partnerships and processes. The results of the survey are compiled into a comprehensive report that measures the overall satisfaction and feedback received from all survey respondents.
  
* Interstates (regional input for statewide decision)
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The survey, administered online, is open for a 30-day period.
  
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==121.2.11 Engage the Traditionally Underserved==
  
====<center>''Table 121.2.5.1 Prioritization Process – Taking Care of the System Projects''</center>====
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Limited transportation access, childcare necessities, work schedules and language barriers are just some of the hurdles that keep traditionally underserved populations from attending workshops and focus groups.
  
{| border="1" class="wikitable" style="margin: 1em auto 1em auto"
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MoDOT plans to provide meaningful public involvement opportunities to minority and low-income populations.
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! style="background:#9933FF" colspan="2"|This process applies to all areas of the state
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|-
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! colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Access to Opportunity
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Weight:  0% minimum – 20% maximum
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|-
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| Eliminate Bike/Ped Barriers (ADA)|| align="center"| 25 pts
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|-
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|Vehicle Ownership|| align="center"| 25 pts
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|-
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|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"|  50 pts
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|-
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| Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
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! colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Congestion Relief
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Weight:  0% minimum – 20% maximum
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|-
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|Level of Service|| align="center"| 75 pts
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|-
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|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 25 pts
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|-
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|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
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!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Economic Competitiveness
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Weight:  0% minimum – 20% maximum
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|-
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|Strategic Economic Corridor || align="center"|30 pts
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|-
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|Level of Economic Distress|| align="center"| 20 pts
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|-
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|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 50 pts
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|-
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|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
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!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Efficient Movement of Freight
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Weight:  0% minimum – 20% maximum
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|-
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|Truck Volume|| align="center"| 90 pts
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|-
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|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 10 pts
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|-
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|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
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!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Quality of Communities
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Weight:  0% minimum – 20% maximum
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|-
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|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 100 pts
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|-
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|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
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!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Environmental Protection
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Weight:  0% minimum – 20% maximum
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|-
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|Environmental Index || align="center"|50 pts
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|-
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|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 50 pts
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|-
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|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
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!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Safety
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Weight:  5% minimum – 25% maximum
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|-
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|Safety Index|| align="center"| 70 pts
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|-
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|Safety Concern || align="center"|10 pts
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|-
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|Safety Enhancements || align="center"|10 pts
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|-
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|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 10 pts
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|-
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|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
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!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Taking Care of the System
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Weight:  75% minimum – 95% manximum
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Roadway
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|-
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|Pavement Smoothness|| align="center"| 30 pts
+
|-
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|Pavement Condition|| align="center"|  20 pts
+
|-
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|Functional Classification|| align="center"| 10 pts
+
|-
+
|Daily Usage (all vehicles) || align="center"|10 pts
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|-
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|Truck Usage ||align="center"|10 pts
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|-
+
|Substandard Roadway Features ||align="center"|10 pts
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|-
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|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 10 pts
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|-
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|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
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! colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|-OR-
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|-
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! colspan="2"|Bridge
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|-
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| Bridge Condition || align="center"|40 pts
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|-
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|Exceptional Bridge ||align="center"|10 pts
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|-
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|Functional Classification|| align="center"| 10 pts
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|-
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|Daily Usage (all vehicles) || align="center"| 10 pts
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|-
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|Truck Usage|| align="center"| 10 pts
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|-
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|Substandard Bridge ||align="center"|10 pts
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|-
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|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 10 pts
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|-
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| Total|| align="center"|100 pts
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|-
+
| colspan="2"|[[121.5 Prioritization Factors|Prioritization Factors]] explains what each factor is.
+
|-
+
| colspan="2"|MoDOT districts allocate 20% of the weight among investment goals.
+
|-
+
| colspan="2"|“District factors/flexible points” may be used to capture unique conditions important to individual regions or can be allocated among existing factors.
+
|-
+
| colspan="2"|The total weight of all investment goals must equal 100% while meeting minimum and maximum percentages.
+
|}
+
  
 +
Effective strategies aimed at minority and low-income communities include actively engaging members at community gathering places, advertising in ethnic media, providing outreach materials at transit facilities and communicating through trusted community leaders.
  
 +
In all cases, we must clearly show how the LRTP and the STIP are relevant to minorities and low-income populations.
  
====<center>''Table 121.2.5.2 Prioritization Process – Safety Projects''</center>====
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Another approach toward reaching traditionally underserved groups is to build upon existing MoDOT outreach efforts.
  
{| border="1" class="wikitable" style="margin: 1em auto 1em auto"
+
==121.2.12 Use Diverse Outreach Tools==
|+
+
{|style="padding: 0.3em; margin-left:15px; border:2px solid #a9a9a9; text-align:left; font-size: 95%; background:#f5f5f5" width="220px" align="right"  
! style="background:#FF0000" colspan="2"|This process applies to all areas of the state
+
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Access to Opportunity
+
|align=center|'''Public Outreach Toolbox'''
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="2"|Weight:  0%
+
|• Dynamic website
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Congestion Relief
+
|• Email blasts
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="2"|Weight:  10%
+
|• Social media
 
|-
 
|-
|Daily Usage|| align="center"| 90 pts
+
|• Focus Groups
 
|-
 
|-
|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 10 pts
+
|• Regional Workshops
 
|-
 
|-
|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|• Stakeholder and community group presentations
 
|-
 
|-
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Economic Competitiveness
+
|• Connecting with trusted community leaders
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="2"|Weight:  0%
+
|• Mainstream and ethnic media outreach
 
|-
 
|-
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Efficient Movement of Freight
+
|• Newsletters
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="2"|Weight:  0%
+
|• Surveys
 
|-
 
|-
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Quality of Communities
+
|• Online Public Meetings
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight:  0%
+
|-
+
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Environmental Protection
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight:  0%
+
|-
+
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Safety
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight:  90%
+
|-
+
|Safety Index|| align="center"| 40 pts
+
|-
+
|Accident Severity|| align="center"| 25 pts
+
|-
+
|Accident Rate|| align="center"| 20 pts
+
|-
+
|Safety Concern || align="center"|5 pts
+
|-
+
|Safety Enhancements || align="center"|5 pts
+
|-
+
|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 5 pts
+
|-
+
|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Taking Care of the System
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight:  0%
+
|-
+
| colspan="2"|[[121.5 Prioritization Factors|Prioritization Factors]] explains what each factor is.
+
|-
+
| colspan="2"|Since this process is more data intensive and requires a higher degree of statewide consistency, the investment factors are fixed.
+
|-
+
| colspan="2"|“District factors/flexible points” may be used to capture unique conditions important to individual regions or can be allocated among existing factors.
+
 
|}
 
|}
 +
MoDOT recognizes that to reach a broad spectrum of the public, we must employ a wide range of outreach techniques.
  
 +
The public outreach toolbox detailed here, lists some of the many tools that we have used to engage the public.
  
====<center>''Table 121.2.5.3 Prioritization Process – Regional and Emerging Needs Projects''</center>====
+
In addition to these tools, on an as-needed basis, we also will provide language assistance to participants whose first language is other than English, provide documents in alternate formats to those with sensory disabilities, and provide disability assistance at workshops/public meetings.
  
{| border="1" class="wikitable" style="margin: 1em auto 1em auto"
+
We also strive to make workshops and focus groups as open to as many people as possible by choosing easily accessible locations and accommodating nontraditional work schedules.
|+
+
! style="background:#99FF00" colspan="2"| This process does not apply to Transportation Management Areas (TMA) areas
+
|-
+
! colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Access to Opportunity
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight:  5% minimum – 30% maximum
+
|-
+
| Eliminate Bike/Ped Barriers (ADA)|| align="center"| 25 pts
+
|-
+
|Vehicle Ownership|| align="center"| 25 pts
+
|-
+
|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"|  50 pts
+
|-
+
| Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
! colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Congestion Relief
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight:  5% minimum – 50% maximum
+
|-
+
|Level of Service|| align="center"| 20 pts
+
|-
+
|Daily Usage|| align="center"| 20 pts
+
|-
+
|Functional Classification|| align="center"| 20 pts
+
|-
+
|System Efficiency (without expansion)|| align="center"| 20 pts
+
|-
+
|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 20 pts
+
|-
+
|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Economic Competitiveness
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight:  5% minimum – 30% maximum
+
|-
+
|Supports a Strategic Economic Corridor || align="center"|20 pts
+
|-
+
|Level of Economic Distress|| align="center"| 20 pts
+
|-
+
|Supports Regional Economic Development Plans|| align="center"| 20 pts
+
|-
+
|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 40 pts
+
|-
+
|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Efficient Movement of Freight
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight:  5% minimum – 30% maximum
+
|-
+
|Truck Volume|| align="center"| 50 pts
+
|-
+
|Freight Bottlenecks|| align="center"| 25 pts
+
|-
+
|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 25 pts
+
|-
+
|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Quality of Communities
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight:  5% minimum – 30% maximum
+
|-
+
|Complies with Local/Regional Land-Use Plans|| align="center"| 25 pts
+
|-
+
|Connectivity|| align="center"| 25 pts
+
|-
+
|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 50 pts
+
|-
+
|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Environmental Protection
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight:  5% minimum – 30% maximum
+
|-
+
|Environmental Index || align="center"|50 pts
+
|-
+
|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 50 pts
+
|-
+
|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Safety
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight:  15% minimum – 40% maximum
+
|-
+
|Safety Index|| align="center"| 50 pts
+
|-
+
|Safety Concern || align="center"|25 pts
+
|-
+
|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 25 pts
+
|-
+
|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Taking Care of the System
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight:  5% minimum – 30% manximum
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Roadway
+
|-
+
| Bridge Condition (of bridge to be replaced) ‘‘’OR’’’ Pavement Condition (of lanes to be replaced)|| align="center"|25 pts
+
|-
+
|Substandard Roadway ‘’’OR’’’ Substandard Bridge Features ||align="center"|25 pts
+
|-
+
|District Factors/Flexible Points|| align="center"| 50 pts
+
|-
+
|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
| colspan="2"|[[121.5 Prioritization Factors|Prioritization Factors]] explains what each factor is.
+
|-
+
| colspan="2"|MoDOT districts allocate 50% of the weight among investment goals.  Also, “district factors/flexible points” may be used to capture unique conditions important to individual regions or can be allocated among existing factors.
+
|-
+
| colspan="2"|All investment goals must meet the minimum and maximum percentages.  But the point values for each factor are recommendations and may be changed at the district’s discretion.
+
|-
+
| colspan="2"|The total weight of all investment goals must equal 100%.
+
|-
+
| colspan="2"|MPOs designated as TMAs may develop their own functional needs prioritization process, subject to certification by MoDOT.
+
|}
+
  
 +
The following techniques are potential outreach methods that may be used during the LRTP and STIP public participation process. Actual outreach methods for a particular LRTP and STIP public involvement activity will be determined based on available resources, time constraints and applicability. As the public engagement process progresses, a schedule of public participation activities will be posted on the MoDOT website.
  
 +
===Website===
 +
We have found that a high-quality presence on the MoDOT website is a popular repository for LRTP and STIP related information.  A high-quality design helps generate interest in statewide engagement efforts. The following features should be considered for inclusion:
  
====<center>''Table 121.2.5.4 Prioritization Process – System Expansion Major Projects''</center>====
+
:* User-friendly and attractive
 
+
:* A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page
{| border="1" class="wikitable" style="margin: 1em auto 1em auto"
+
:* Information on statewide, regional and local transportation planning and how they all fit together
|+
+
:* Public comment forms, with responses delivered in a timely manner
! style="background:#FF9900" colspan="2"| New major roadway, new bridge and roadway expansion projects.  This process does not apply to Transportation Management Areas (TMA) areas.
+
:* Timelines
|-
+
:* Next steps
! colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Access to Opportunity
+
:* Signup forms for further information and updates via email
|-
+
:* 408 compliant
! colspan="2"|Weight:  5%
+
:* The offer of an alternative format (for instance, a printed and mailed version of the website material)
|-
+
:* Videos
|Vehicle Ownership|| align="center"| 75 pts
+
:* Social networking tools
|-
+
:* Surveys
| Eliminate Bike/Ped Barriers (ADA)|| align="center"| 25 pts
+
|-
+
| Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
! colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Congestion Relief
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight: 30%
+
|-
+
|Level of Service|| align="center"| 40 pts
+
|-
+
|Daily Usage|| align="center"| 30 pts
+
|-
+
|Functional Classification|| align="center"| 30 pts
+
|-
+
|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Economic Competitiveness
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight:  15%
+
|-
+
|Strategic Economic Corridor || align="center"|40 pts
+
|-
+
|Level of Economic Distress|| align="center"| 30 pts
+
|-
+
|Supports Regional Economic Development Plans|| align="center"| 30 pts
+
|-
+
|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Efficient Movement of Freight
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight:  5%
+
|-
+
|Truck Volume|| align="center"| 60 pts
+
|-
+
|Freight Bottleneck|| align="center"| 20 pts
+
|-
+
|Intermodal Freight Connectivity|| align="center"| 20 pts
+
|-
+
|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Quality of Communities
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight:  5%
+
|-
+
| Complies with Local/Regional Land-Use Plans|| align="center"| 50 pts
+
|-
+
|Connectivity between cities/regions|| align="center"| 50 pts
+
|-
+
|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Environmental Protection
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight: 5%
+
|-
+
|Environmental Impact || align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Safety
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight: 30%
+
|-
+
|Safety Index|| align="center"| 80 pts
+
|-
+
|Safety Concern || align="center"|20 pts
+
|-
+
|Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
!  colspan="2" style="background:#BEBEBE"|Taking Care of the System
+
|-
+
! colspan="2"|Weight:  5%
+
|-
+
| Bridge Condition (of bridge(s) to be replaced/rehabbed) || align="center"|40 pts
+
|-
+
|Pavement Condition (of lanes to be replaced/rehabbed) ||align="center"|40 pts
+
|-
+
|Substandard Roadway Features|| align="center"| 20 pts
+
|-
+
| Total|| align="center"|100 pts
+
|-
+
| colspan="2"|[[121.5 Prioritization Factors|Prioritization Factors]] explains what each factor is.
+
|-
+
| colspan="2"| Since this process requires statewide consistency, the investment goal weights are fixed.
+
|}
+
 
+
Starting with the needs prioritization results, MoDOT, MPOs and RPCs divide projects into three categories.
+
  
* High Priority – These projects are the first to be selected for commitment to right of way purchases and construction.  
+
===Focus Groups===
 +
Stakeholder and general public focus groups are an effective method for gathering attitudes, opinions and ideas to help formulate transportation policies and plans. Focus groups can be established by affiliation, ethnicity, income, mode of travel, age group, traveling conditions and other specific categories.
  
* Medium Priority – These projects may be addressed as additional resources become available.  
+
===Comprehensive Database of Stakeholder Groups===
 +
For ease in updating, a stakeholder database will be focused on statewide or district-level groups, whenever possible. Using this strategy leverages the power of the Internet by creating a “web-tree” of partner organizations that are willing to pass along information and invitations to comment on the LRTP and STIP to their constituencies. Because it is often difficult to get the attention and comments from those who are traditionally underserved, such as minority and low-income groups, special efforts should be made to include a broad and diverse set of community-based organizations serving those populations.
  
* Low Priority – No work for these projects at this time.  
+
===Printed Materials and other Media===
 +
While web-based communication and social media have become commonplace, other media still holds a valuable role in public engagement. News releases, flyers and postcards can be used to publicize the public participation website, important planning milestones, workshops, etc. News releases can be widely distributed through newspaper ads, public notices, radio and television. Ethnic media provides an excellent forum for reaching those traditionally underserved in the planning process.
  
The high priority project list is fiscally constrained to five years of funding and is not a commitment for construction. Each time projects are prioritized, existing projects not yet programmed for construction will be re-evaluated. Some high priority projects may never be constructed due to prohibitive costs, changing priorities or other reasons. If MoDOT and its planning partners unanimously agree that a project no longer addresses a valid need, it will be removed from the priority project list, freeing resources for other projects.  
+
===Presentation to Local or Statewide Stakeholder Groups===
 +
For some groups, especially community-based and advocacy groups, presenting at established meetings is the best outreach approach.
  
MoDOT districts, local officials and planning partners review the project prioritization processes each year. Every completely scoped project will be prioritized and there is a steady flow of projects ready for prioritization each year. Only high priority projects are selected for the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), thus committing them for construction.  
+
===Innovative Outreach===
 +
Web-based technology has opened up a whole new range of techniques for reaching out to a large and geographically dispersed population. This is especially important to the LRTP and STIP outreach activities, because these programs face the challenge of engaging the public and stakeholder groups throughout the state. Podcasting, webcasting, blogging and web-posted videos are a few of the techniques that may be employed to channel the power of technology to reach a broad and diverse audience.
  
Refer to MoDOT’s [http://www.modot.mo.gov/plansandprojects/planning_projects/documents/PG_march102504.pdf Practitioner’s Guide] for further information on specific project prioritization processes.
 
  
[[image:121.2.jpg|center|775px]]
+
  
 
[[Category:121 Project Planning, Prioritization and STIP Commitments|121.02]]
 
[[Category:121 Project Planning, Prioritization and STIP Commitments|121.02]]

Latest revision as of 13:48, 4 January 2019

Missouri has significantly more transportation needs than money available. MoDOT works with its planning partners, transportation stakeholders and the general public in deciding the highest priority needs and improvements that should receive available funding.

This process, referred to as the Planning Framework, relies on the right people being involved in discussing and evaluating needs and then making decisions on which ones should move forward. We are committed to working with local officials, citizens and stakeholders to help determine the right transportation solutions for their communities. MoDOT recognizes that a transparent, inclusive and flexible process provides the best results.

121.2 plan.jpg

121.2.1 Transportation Planning Partners and Stakeholders

MoDOT focuses on involvement by local officials. These officials, who are elected by the general public, join to form regional boards of directors of metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and regional planning commissions (RPCs). MPOs represent urbanized areas with populations of more than 50,000. They are responsible for transportation planning within their areas. RPCs represent multi-county rural regions and coordinate regional local governments in transportation planning.

121.2 map.jpg

121.2.2 Public Involvement

Missourians have a say in how transportation dollars are spent. The most common way for citizens to be involved is through public meetings that MoDOT, metropolitan planning organizations (MPO) and regional planning commissions (RPC) hold throughout the planning and project development processes. These meetings are held in communities around the state specifically to gather input from the general public. Missourians are also involved by electing the local officials who comprise the RPC and MPO boards of directors and/or through direct contact with MoDOT, MPOs, RPCs or local officials.

While all the public is invited to participate in our process, particular care is paid to contacting property owners adjacent to the specific solutions, public officials, elected representatives, law enforcement, schools and emergency services regarding needs and proposed improvements. Innovative methods to involve minority and economically disadvantaged sectors of the community, as well as other groups (senior citizens, economic development interests, and historical and environmental groups) are also used.

The development of quality transportation improvements depends on early, often and continuous involvement of the public in decisions. Public involvement allows MoDOT to gather real, valid input on transportation needs and to work with customers to refine solutions that meet those needs.

121.2.3 Data

The Planning Framework is a mix of objective and subjective data and criteria used to help prioritize regional needs. The objective data can include items like traffic volumes, accident statistics, travel times and condition reports for the transportation system. Subjective data can include local safety concerns, local perceptions for economic development opportunities, cost and resource sharing and other items.

121.2.4 Establish Vision and Identify Needs

MoDOT, MPOs, RPCs, public officials, special interest groups and citizens set and refine Missouri’s transportation vision in the Long-Range Transportation Planning process (LRTP). The vision is Missouri’s ideal transportation system based on feedback from Missourians. The LRTP process provides information, guidance and direction to MoDOT and its planning partners and stakeholders to help identify the needs and determine where Missouri’s transportation dollars should be spent.

In addition to the statewide LRTP, MPOs develop regional LRTPs that include policy development, fiscally constrained needs identification, public involvement and conformity with air quality regulations. In general, items in MPO and state LRTPs are consistent. Resources will be allocated to the needs and projects agreed upon by both the MPO and MoDOT.

Once a draft LRTP is developed and presented to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission (MHTC), MoDOT accepts public comments during a 30-day period prior to submission of a final LRTP for approval by the MHTC.

121.2.5 Prioritize Needs

Needs prioritization is based on the goals in Missouri’s LRTP. MoDOT districts and planning partners annually prioritize regional needs. Many regions divide the needs into three categories:

  • High Priority – Resources address these needs first by selecting them to develop/design specific solutions.
  • Medium Priority – These needs may be addressed as additional resources become available.
  • Low Priority – No work for these needs at this time.

Each time needs are prioritized, existing needs will be re-evaluated. Some high priority needs may never be designed or constructed due to prohibitive costs, changing priorities or other reasons.

121.2.6 Develop Specific Improvements

The developing, or scoping, process analyzes transportation needs and selects the best overall transportation improvements. It involves:

  • Determining the root causes of the transportation problem, issue or concern;
  • Developing a range of possible improvements;
  • Reviewing the social, economic, energy and environmental impacts;
  • Evaluating and choosing the best improvement;
  • Setting the improvement’s physical limits;
  • Accurately estimating the improvement’s cost; and
  • Forecasting the improvement’s delivery schedule.

The scoping process helps determine the most complete, cost-effective improvements early in project development. Public involvement in defining the needs and determining the appropriate improvement can take several forms. The public may actually initiate the investigation of needs by contacting MoDOT or its other planning partners. The public, through local officials, is represented in the scoping process. After viable improvements have been identified for high-priority needs, the needs move on to the improvement prioritization process.

121.2.7 Prioritize Improvements to Match Available Funding

Annually, MoDOT works with its planning partners to establish a prioritized list of transportation improvements, using a prioritization process determined by each region. The improvement prioritization is fiscally constrained based on each region’s available funding.

Each time improvements are prioritized; existing improvements not yet scheduled for delivery will be re-evaluated. Some high priority improvements may never be delivered due to prohibitive costs, changing priorities or other reasons. If MoDOT and its planning partners unanimously agree that an improvement no longer addresses a valid need, it will be removed from the priority list, freeing resources for other improvements.

121.2.8 Deliver Improvements

MoDOT, MPOs and RPCs determine which high priority transportation improvements should be funded. The improvements that are selected for funding are included in MoDOT’s five-year Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), and also in each MPO’s Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs), where applicable. The STIP and TIPs set forth the specific transportation system improvements that will be completed during a four- to five-year period. STIPs and TIPs are rolling plans; as one year is completed, another year is added.

Each year, the Draft STIP is presented to the MHTC in May, followed by a 30-day public comment period. A final STIP is taken to the MHTC for approval each July.

Once an improvement is added to MoDOT’s STIP, it is a commitment and will be delivered.

121.2.9 Consultation with Non-Metropolitan Planning Agencies and Local Officials

Regulations require the state to provide for non-metropolitan local official participation in the development of the long-range transportation plan (LRTP) and the statewide transportation improvement program (STIP), and to develop a documented process for consulting with non-metropolitan local officials.

MoDOT consults with metropolitan and non-metropolitan planning agencies on substantive changes to the LRTP and other statewide transportation plans and programs as required by 23 CFR 450.120(b).

121.2.10 Partner Satisfaction Survey

MoDOT conducts an annual partner survey to collect satisfaction data from transportation planning partners. These surveys are sent across the state including but not limited to MPO, RPC, elected officials and municipal employees. MoDOT encourages its planning partners to give open and honest feedback in order to find ways to continually improve partnerships and processes. The results of the survey are compiled into a comprehensive report that measures the overall satisfaction and feedback received from all survey respondents.

The survey, administered online, is open for a 30-day period.

121.2.11 Engage the Traditionally Underserved

Limited transportation access, childcare necessities, work schedules and language barriers are just some of the hurdles that keep traditionally underserved populations from attending workshops and focus groups.

MoDOT plans to provide meaningful public involvement opportunities to minority and low-income populations.

Effective strategies aimed at minority and low-income communities include actively engaging members at community gathering places, advertising in ethnic media, providing outreach materials at transit facilities and communicating through trusted community leaders.

In all cases, we must clearly show how the LRTP and the STIP are relevant to minorities and low-income populations.

Another approach toward reaching traditionally underserved groups is to build upon existing MoDOT outreach efforts.

121.2.12 Use Diverse Outreach Tools

Public Outreach Toolbox
• Dynamic website
• Email blasts
• Social media
• Focus Groups
• Regional Workshops
• Stakeholder and community group presentations
• Connecting with trusted community leaders
• Mainstream and ethnic media outreach
• Newsletters
• Surveys
• Online Public Meetings

MoDOT recognizes that to reach a broad spectrum of the public, we must employ a wide range of outreach techniques.

The public outreach toolbox detailed here, lists some of the many tools that we have used to engage the public.

In addition to these tools, on an as-needed basis, we also will provide language assistance to participants whose first language is other than English, provide documents in alternate formats to those with sensory disabilities, and provide disability assistance at workshops/public meetings.

We also strive to make workshops and focus groups as open to as many people as possible by choosing easily accessible locations and accommodating nontraditional work schedules.

The following techniques are potential outreach methods that may be used during the LRTP and STIP public participation process. Actual outreach methods for a particular LRTP and STIP public involvement activity will be determined based on available resources, time constraints and applicability. As the public engagement process progresses, a schedule of public participation activities will be posted on the MoDOT website.

Website

We have found that a high-quality presence on the MoDOT website is a popular repository for LRTP and STIP related information. A high-quality design helps generate interest in statewide engagement efforts. The following features should be considered for inclusion:

  • User-friendly and attractive
  • A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page
  • Information on statewide, regional and local transportation planning and how they all fit together
  • Public comment forms, with responses delivered in a timely manner
  • Timelines
  • Next steps
  • Signup forms for further information and updates via email
  • 408 compliant
  • The offer of an alternative format (for instance, a printed and mailed version of the website material)
  • Videos
  • Social networking tools
  • Surveys

Focus Groups

Stakeholder and general public focus groups are an effective method for gathering attitudes, opinions and ideas to help formulate transportation policies and plans. Focus groups can be established by affiliation, ethnicity, income, mode of travel, age group, traveling conditions and other specific categories.

Comprehensive Database of Stakeholder Groups

For ease in updating, a stakeholder database will be focused on statewide or district-level groups, whenever possible. Using this strategy leverages the power of the Internet by creating a “web-tree” of partner organizations that are willing to pass along information and invitations to comment on the LRTP and STIP to their constituencies. Because it is often difficult to get the attention and comments from those who are traditionally underserved, such as minority and low-income groups, special efforts should be made to include a broad and diverse set of community-based organizations serving those populations.

Printed Materials and other Media

While web-based communication and social media have become commonplace, other media still holds a valuable role in public engagement. News releases, flyers and postcards can be used to publicize the public participation website, important planning milestones, workshops, etc. News releases can be widely distributed through newspaper ads, public notices, radio and television. Ethnic media provides an excellent forum for reaching those traditionally underserved in the planning process.

Presentation to Local or Statewide Stakeholder Groups

For some groups, especially community-based and advocacy groups, presenting at established meetings is the best outreach approach.

Innovative Outreach

Web-based technology has opened up a whole new range of techniques for reaching out to a large and geographically dispersed population. This is especially important to the LRTP and STIP outreach activities, because these programs face the challenge of engaging the public and stakeholder groups throughout the state. Podcasting, webcasting, blogging and web-posted videos are a few of the techniques that may be employed to channel the power of technology to reach a broad and diverse audience.