PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PLAN - DRAFT 2021 - Southwestern Pennsylvania ...

 
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PLAN - DRAFT 2021 - Southwestern Pennsylvania ...
PUBLIC
         PARTICIPATION PLAN
          DRAFT - 2021

                                                   
Two Chatham Center     comments@spcregion.org   Voice 412.391.5590
Suite 500              spcregion.org            Fax 412.391.9160
112 Washington Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PLAN - DRAFT 2021 - Southwestern Pennsylvania ...
Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission

                                                   2021
Officers
  Chairman: Rich Fitzgerald
  Vice Chairman: Leslie A. Osche
  Secretary-Treasurer: Pat Fabian

  Executive Director: Vincent Valdes

Allegheny County          Armstrong County           Beaver County               Butler County
Rich Fitzgerald           Darin Alviano              Tony Amadio                 Kevin Boozel
Lynn Heckman              Pat Fabian                 Daniel Camp                 Kim Geyer
Clifford Levine           Donald K. Myers            Kelly Gray                  Mark Gordon
Robert J. Macey           Jason L. Renshaw           Charles Jones               Richard Hadley
                          Kelli Wingard              Jack Manning                Leslie A. Osche

Fayette County           Greene County               Indiana County              Lawrence County
Scott Dunn               Mike Belding                Robin Gorman                Morgan Boyd
Joe Grata                Rich Cleveland              Sherene Hess                Loretta Spielvogel
Fred Junko               Jeff Marshall               Mark Hilliard               James Gagliano
Dave Lohr                Betsy McClure               Mike Keith                  Amy McKinney
Vincent A. Vicites       Blair Zimmerman             Byron G. Stauffer, Jr.      Daniel J. Vogler

Washington County        Westmoreland County         City of Pittsburgh          Pennsylvania Department
Larry Maggi              Tom Ceraso                  Scott Bricker               of Transportation (2 Votes)
Scott Putnam             Gina Cerilli                Rev. Ricky Burgess          Brian Allen
Nick Sherman             Douglas Chew                William Peduto              William Kovach
Diana Irey Vaughan       Sean Kertes                 Mavis Rainey                Kevin McCullough
Christopher Wheat        Robert Regola               Aurora Sharrard             Cheryl Moon-Sirianni
                                                                                 Larry Shifflet

Governor's Office        Pennsylvania Department     Port Authority of           Transit Operators Committee
Jessica Walls-Lavelle    of Community &              Allegheny County (1 Vote)   Sheila Gombita
                         Economic Development        Katharine Kelleman
                         Johnna Pro                  Ed Typanski

Federal Highway          Federal Transit              U.S. Environmental         Federal Aviation
Administration*          Administration*              Protection Agency*         Administration*
Alicia Nolan             Theresa Garcia-Crews         Laura Mohollen

U. S. Economic
Development
Administration*

*Nonvoting Members
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PLAN - DRAFT 2021 - Southwestern Pennsylvania ...
This document is available in alternate formats    ਵਧੇਰੇ ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ ਲਈ ਵਕਰਪਾ ਕਰਕੇ SPC ਨੂੂੰ
upon request. SPC will provide translation and
interpretation services upon request at no         (412) 391-5590 ‘ਤੇ ਕਾਲ ਕਰੋ।
charge. Please call SPC at (412) 391-5590 for
more information.                                  Sinhalese:
Italiano                                           ඉල්ලීම මත මමම මල්ලඛනය විකල්ලප
Questo documento è disponibile in formati          ආකෘතිවලින් ලබාගත හැකිය.
alternativi su richiesta. SPC fornirà servizi di   SPC විසින් කිසිදු ගාස්තුවක් අය කිරීමකින්
traduzione e interpretazione su richiesta senza    මතාරව භාෂා පරිවර්තන හා භාෂණ පරිවර්තන
alcun costo. Per piacere, chiami SPC al numero
(412) 391-5590 per maggiori informazioni.
                                                   මස්තවාවන් ස්පයනු ඇත.
Espanol                                            කරුණාකර වැඩි දුර විස්තතර ස්ඳහා (412) 391-
El presente documento está disponible en           5590 ඔස්තමස්ත SPC අමතන්න.
formatos alternativos bajo solicitud. SPC ofrece   Marathi:
                                                   हा दस्तऐवज ववनंतीनुसार ियाुयी स्वरूिांमध्ये
servicios de traducción e interpretación gratis
bajo solicitud. Comuníquese con SPC al (412)
391-5590 para obtener más información.             उिलब्ध आहे . ववनंतीनुसार SPC भाषांतर आणि
中文
本文件可根據要求以其他格式提供。                                   अथुवववरि सेवा ववनामूपय प्रदान करे ल. अगधक
SPC將根據要求提供免費筆譯和口譯服務。詳情
                                                   माहहतीसाठी कृिया SPC ला (412) 391-5590
請致電(412)391-5590與SPC聯系。
Nepali:                                            येथे कॉल करा.
                                                   Bengali:
यो फाराम अनुरोध गररएमा वैकल्पिक
                                                   অনুর োধ জোনোরে এই ডকুরেন্টটি
ढााँचाहरूमा उिलब्ध छन ्। अनुरोध गरे मा बिना
                                                   অনযোনয ফ েযোরিও পোওয়ো যোয়।
शुपक SPC ले अनुवादन र दोभाषे सेवा उिलब्ध           অনুর োধ জোনোরে SPC ককোনও চোজজ
गराउाँ छ।                                          ছোড়োই অনুবোদ এবং বযোখ্যো ক ো
थि जानकारीको लागग SPC (412) 391-5590               পর রেবো প্রদোন ক রব।
मा फोन गनह
Gujarati: ु ोस ्।                                  আ ও তরযয জনয অনুগ্রহ কর (412)
આ દસ્તાવેજ વવનંતી પર વૈકલ્પપક
                                                   391-5590 নম্বর SPC কক কফোন করুন।
ફોર્મેટ્સર્માં ઉપલબ્ધ હોય છે . SPC કોઈપણ           Hindi:
                                                   यह दस्तावेज़ अनुरोध िर वैकल्पिक फॉरमेट में
શુપક લીધા વવના વવનંતી પર અનુવાદ અને
                                                   उिलब्ध है ।
અર્થઘટન સેવાઓ પ ૂરી પાડશે. વધુ ર્માહહતી            एस िी सी (SPC) अनुवाद और व्याख्या सेवाएं
ર્માટે કૃપા કરી (412) 391-5590 પર SPCને            अनरु ोध िर बिना शुपक उिलब्ध कराएगी।
                                                   कृिया अगधक जानकारी के ललए (412) 391-5590
કૉલ કરો.
                                                   िर एस िी सी (SPC) को कॉल करें ।
Oriya:                                             Sindhi:
ଏହି ଡକ୍ୟ ୁମେଣ୍ଟର ଅନୟ ମରୋଧମର ମ କ୍
                              ୈ ଳ୍ପିକ୍ ଫେମୋଟମର         ‫درخواست جي صورت ۾ هي دستاويز متبادل ٻولي ۾‬
ଉପଲବ୍ଧ। ମକ୍ୌଣସି ଚୋର୍ମ ଛଡ଼ୋ ଏସପିସି ଅନୟ ୋଦ ଏ ଂ                                               .‫دستياب آهي‬
                                                        ‫ ترجمي ۽ ترجماني‬SPC ‫درخواست جي صورت ۾‬
 ୁୋଖ୍ୁୋ ମସ ୋ ପ୍ରଦୋନ କ୍ରି ।                                               .‫جون مفت خدمتوڻ فراهم ڪندي‬
ଦୟୋକ୍ରି ଅଧିକ୍ ସୂଚନୋ ପୋଇଁ ଏସପିସି (412) 391-              (412) 391- ِ‫مهرباني ڪري وڌيڪ معلومات الء‬
5590 ମର କ୍ଲ କ୍ରନ୍ତୟ।                                                   .‫ کي ڪال ڪريو‬SPC ‫ تي‬5590
Punjabi:
ਇਹ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਕਰਨ ‘ਤੇ ਵਵਕਲਪਕ ਰੂਪਾਂ                                                       :Urdu
                                                    ‫يہ دستاويز درخواست کيے جانے پر متبادل اشکال ميں‬
ਵਵਿੱ ਚ ਉਪਲਬਧ ਹੈ।      SPC ਵਬਨਾਂ ਵਕਸੇ ਖਰਚ 'ਤੇ                                              ‫دستياب ہے۔‬
                                                     ‫ درخواست کيے جانے پر ترجمہ اور ترجمانی‬SPC
ਬੇਨਤੀ ‘ਤੇ ਅਨੁਵਾਦ ਅਤੇ ਦੁਭਾਸੀਆ ਸੇਵਾਵਾਂ ਪਰਦਾਨ
                                                                         ‫کی خدمات مفت فراہم کرے گا۔‬
ਕਰੇਗਾ।                                              ‫( پر‬412) 391-5590 ‫ کو‬SPC ‫مزيد معلومات کيلئے‬
                                                                                           ‫کال کريں۔‬
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PLAN - DRAFT 2021 - Southwestern Pennsylvania ...
The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC)
hereby gives public notice that it is the policy of the
Commission to assure full compliance with Title VI of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Restoration
Act of 1987, Executive Order 12898 on Environmental
Justice, and related statutes and regulations in all
programs and activities. Title VI and other related
statutes require that no person in the United States
of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, sex,
national origin, age, or disability, be excluded from
the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or
be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any
program or activity for which SPC receives federal
financial assistance. Any person who believes they
have been aggrieved by an unlawful discriminatory
practice by SPC under Title VI has a right to file a
formal complaint with the Commission. Any such
complaint must be in writing and filed with SPC’s
Title VI Coordinator within one hundred eighty (180)
days following the date of the alleged discriminatory
occurrence. For more information, or to obtain a Title
VI Discrimination Complaint Form, please see our
website at: spcregion.org or call 412-391-5590.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PLAN - DRAFT 2021 - Southwestern Pennsylvania ...
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
      SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION
      ............................................................................................................................

            1.1 ABOUT US                                                                                                             1
            1.2 HOW CAN I CONTACT SPC?                                                                                               3
            1.3 WHAT IS THE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PLAN?                                                                               4
            1.4 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION GOALS                                                                                           5

      SECTION 2: FEDERAL GUIDANCE AND CONSULTATION
      ............................................................................................................................
            2.1 FEDERAL GUIDANCE                                                                                                     9
            2.2 CONSULTATION                                                                                                         10

      SECTION 3: ACCESS AND INFORMATION FOR ALL
      ............................................................................................................................

            3.1 ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE                                                                                                12
            3.2 LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY                                                                                          13
            3.3 AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)/
               SECTION 504/508 COMPLIANCE                                                                                            15
            3.4 TRIBAL CONSULTATION                                                                                                  15
            3.5 ELDERLY, NON-CAR HOUSEHOLDS,
               AND OTHER TRADITIONALLY UNDERSERVED                                                                                   16
            3.6 TITLE VI DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINTS                                                                                   17

      SECTION 4: HOW TO PARTICIPATE
      ............................................................................................................................

            4.1 INFORMATION SHARING, NOTIFICATIONS AND REQUESTS                                                                      19
            4.2 PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES                                                                                      24
            4.3 PROVIDING PUBLIC COMMENT                                                                                             35

      SECTION 5: EVALUATING OUR STRATEGIES
            ....................................................................................................................     37

      APPENDICES
            A. DEFINITIONS
            B. DOCUMENT REVIEW NETWORK
            C. LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY RESOURCES
            D. TRIBAL LIAISONS
             E. TITLE VI DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT PROCEDURES
             F. EVALUATION FORM
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PLAN - DRAFT 2021 - Southwestern Pennsylvania ...
SECTION 1

INTRODUCTION
The Southwestern Pennsylvania
Commission (SPC) is the designated
Metropolitan Planning Organization
(MPO) for the ten-county Southwestern
Pennsylvania region.

Read About Us >

                             2021 Public Participation Plan | 3
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PLAN - DRAFT 2021 - Southwestern Pennsylvania ...
SECTION 1

       SECTION 1
       INTRODUCTION
       1.1 About Us
       The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) is the designated
       Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the ten-county
       Southwestern Pennsylvania region. As the official MPO, we are
       responsible for regional transportation planning activities. As
       such, we direct the use of state and federal transportation funds —
       approximately $23 billion through 2045. We don’t do this alone. We
       work with interested parties to ensure our planning and programming
       efforts represent the needs of the entire region. How we do that is
       documented in this plan, the Public Participation Plan.

Interested parties include citizens,            Transportation planning and
affected public agencies, representatives       programming consider all transportation
of public transportation employees,             modes important to you and the regional
freight shippers, providers of freight          system. Transportation planning sets goals and
transportation services, private providers      evaluates transportation needs for the entire
of transportation, representatives of users     region. Transportation programming chooses
of public transportation, representatives of    and allocates funds to projects that meet the
users of pedestrian walkways and bicycle        identified needs of the region.
transportation facilities, representatives of
the disabled, and other interested parties.

                                                                   2021 Public Participation Plan | 1
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PLAN - DRAFT 2021 - Southwestern Pennsylvania ...
SECTION 1

                                 Our commitment to these
                                 activities is reflected in our
                                 Mission Statement:
                                 The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission
   Visit us at:                  is the cooperative forum for regional
  spcregion.org                  collaboration, planning, and public decision-
                                 making. The Commission develops plans
                                 and programs for public investments;
                                 fulfills federal and state requirements for
                                 transportation, economic development, and
                                 local government assistance programs; and
                                 operates with public involvement and trust.

Lawrence
               Butler
                             Armstrong

Beaver
                                            Indiana

           Allegheny

                          Westmoreland                   Our ten-county region
                                                         includes the City of
 Washington                                              Pittsburgh and the
                                                         counties of Allegheny,
                                                         Armstrong, Beaver, Butler,
                                                         Fayette, Greene, Indiana,
                                                         Lawrence, Washington,
                        Faye�e                           and Westmoreland.
  Greene

                                                            2021 Public Participation Plan | 2
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PLAN - DRAFT 2021 - Southwestern Pennsylvania ...
SECTION 1

                    1.2 How Can I
                    Contact SPC?

    You can contact our Public Involvement Specialist for
    more information on this Public Participation Plan or our
    regional transportation planning activities:

    Public Involvement Specialist


    Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission
    Two Chatham Center, Suite 500
    112 Washington Place
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219-3451

    Telephone: (412) 391-5590
   Fax: (412) 391-9160

   Email: comments@spcregion.org
    Website: spcregion.org

                                                        2021 Public Participation Plan | 3
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PLAN - DRAFT 2021 - Southwestern Pennsylvania ...
SECTION 1

1.3 What is the Public                         Activities outlined in this Public Participation
                                               Plan are also coordinated with statewide
Participation Plan?                            transportation planning and participation
                                               efforts (Statewide Public Participation Plan).
This document provides an outline of the
tools and techniques we use to inform
                                               The effectiveness of the Public Participation
and engage the public throughout our
                                               Plan is regularly evaluated. When necessary,
transportation planning and programming
                                               the plan is updated, made available for
processes. The plan must comply with
                                               public comment, and adopted. See Section
federal participation plan regulations and
                                               4.2D for more details.
guidelines for metropolitan transportation
planning and programs (See Section
2.1). This guidance helps to ensure that
our Public Participation Plan provides
opportunities and access for all individuals
to provide input on key transportation
planning, policy and investment decisions.           This guidance helps to ensure
The document can be referenced at any                that our Public Participation
time by the public and other planning                Plan provides opportunities
agencies to learn how to participate, see
our methods for sharing information, and
                                                     and access for all individuals
identify opportunities to provide input.             to provide input on key
                                                     transportation planning, policy
                                                     and investment decisions.

                                                                        2021 Public Participation Plan | 4
SECTION 1

1.4 Public Participation Goals

Our overall public participation goal is to educate and communicate
with our region’s residents. We accomplish this overall goal by
executing the five goals outlined below.

Goal 1:                                           Goal 2:
Inform and Educate the Public                     Reach Out and Build
We provide accessible information to the          Connections
public and provide timely public notice.          We continue to reach out and connect with
We provide clear, accurate, and relevant          the traditionally underserved portions of
information using varied communication            the population to invite them to participate.
tools. In addition to informing, we also          The traditionally underserved includes
educate the public about the planning             minority, non-English speaking, and low-
process and provide supportive policy,            income groups. We continue to prioritize
program, and technical information. Finally,      diversity in engagement by building new
we enhance the public’s understanding             relationships with organizations and
with tools that help them visualize and           communities that serve these populations.
relate to our various planning activities. This
allows the public to provide more informed
feedback.                                         Goal 3:
                                                  Engage the Public and
                                                  Encourage Continued
                                                  Participation
                                                  We continuously engage with the public to
                                                  encourage meaningful participation. This
                                                  process includes:
                       The Public                  • Providing various ways to engage and
                       refers to all                 communicate with the public
                       individuals or              • Responding to comments and
                       groups in the                 questions in a timely manner
                       SPC region.                 • Using our network of partners for help
                                                     with responses as needed

                                                                          2021 Public Participation Plan | 5
We inform the public of the decision-making
                                      processes each time we request public
                                      comment on a planning activity.

                                      We present this to the public at the beginning of each planning
                                      activity and throughout the engagement process. We document
                                      all public input.

Communicating with the public is a key             assists our staff and committees as they
element to developing our planning goals           consider comments. We then use the
and outcomes. We encourage input,                  documented comments to help develop
respond in a reasonable and timely manner,         transportation plans and programs.
and include comments as feedback to                Our process of incorporating public
decision-makers to shape the planning              input into the transportation planning
process. It is important to note that our          process is transparent and consistent
regular meetings are open to the public and        with the provisions outlined in this Public
feature a public comment opportunity.              Participation Plan.

Goal 4:                                            Goal 5:
Use Public Input to Shape                          Evaluate Public Participation
Policies, Plans, and Programs                      Strategies
We inform the public of the decision-              We continually monitor the public
making processes each time we request              engagement process to sustain best
public comment on a planning activity. We          practices in public participation. We use an
present this to the public at the beginning        outline for evaluating and improving this
of each planning activity and throughout           document and the strategies that guide how
the engagement process. We document                we engage the public.
all public input. This documentation
provides a record of all comments and

                Our process of incorporating public input into the transportation planning
                 process is transparent and consistent.

                                                                           2021 Public Participation Plan | 6
   Goal 1: Inform and Educate
    the Public

   Goal 2: Reach Out and
    Build Connections

    Goal 3: Engage the Public and

   Encourage Continued Participation

    Goal 4: Use Public Input to Shape
   Policies, Plans, and Programs

   Goal 5: Evaluate Public
    Participation Strategies
SECTION 2

            FEDERAL
            GUIDANCE AND
            CONSULTATION
            Our Public Participation Plan must
            comply with federal guidance
            associated with transportation
            planning and programming.

            See How >

2021 Public Participation Plan | 8
SECTION 2

SECTION 2
FEDERAL GUIDANCE
AND CONSULTATION
Our Public Participation Plan must comply with federal guidance
associated with transportation planning and programming. We also
consult with interested parties to gather feedback before the plan
is adopted.
2.1 FEDERAL GUIDANCE                            Below is an excerpt from SAFETEA-LU:

Consideration for public participation          The MPO shall develop and use
in the transportation planning and              a documented participation plan
programming process was included in             that defines a process for providing
legislation as early as 1991 with the passage   citizens, affected public agencies,
of the Intermodal Surface Transportation        representatives of public transportation
Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and its successor, the   employees, freight shippers, providers
Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st      of freight transportation services,
Century (TEA-21). The requirement for           private providers of transportation,
MPOs to establish a Public Participation        representatives of users of public
Plan was identified in 2005 with the passage    transportation, representatives of users
of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient   of pedestrian walkways and bicycle
                                                transportation facilities, representatives
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for
                                                of the disabled, and other interested
Users (SAFETEA-LU).
                                                parties with reasonable opportunities
                                                to be involved in the metropolitan
                                                planning process. (§ 450.316(a) Interested
                                                parties, participation, and consultation)

                                                Recent legislation including the Moving
                                                Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century
                                                (MAP-21); and the current Fixing America’s
                                                Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act)
                                                have further refined and expanded
                                                the requirements of MPOs in planning
                                                processes and public participation. SPC
                                                regularly monitors all state and federal
                                                guidance related to MPOs and adjusts
                                                processes and policies accordingly.

                                                                        2021 Public Participation Plan | 9
SECTION 2

2.2 Consultation                                   These interested parties include:
                                                     • The Public
In 2007, we developed the first Public
Participation Plan with help from a wide             • Affected Public Agencies
range of interested parties. We developed            • Representatives of Public
the first draft to begin the dialog, using             Transportation Employees
guidance from SAFETEA-LU legislation and
                                                     • Freight Shippers
training sponsored by the National Transit
Institute (NTI).                                     • Providers of Freight Transportation
                                                       Services
The Public Participation Plan is a dynamic           • Private Providers of Transportation
document, and periodic updates ensure                • Representatives of Users of Public
that the Plan reflects current conditions and          Transportation
practices. For subsequent updates in 2011,
                                                     • Representatives of Users of Pedestrian
2012, 2015 and 2021, interested parties
                                                       Walkways and Bicycle Transportation
were consulted in updating the Public
                                                       Facilities
Participation Plan.
                                                     • Representatives of the Disabled
                                                     • Other Interested Parties

We used feedback and suggestions from these interested parties to update the final draft Public
Participation Plan. Then we presented it for formal public review and comment as described in
Section 4.

                We used feedback and suggestions from these interested parties to update
                 the final draft Public Participation Plan.
                                                                          2021 Public Participation Plan | 10
SECTION 3

            ACCESS AND
            INFORMATION
            FOR ALL
            We seek to increase the number of
            participants and meaningful input
            throughout the planning process.

            See How >

2021 Public Participation Plan | 11
SECTION 3

SECTION 3:
ACCESS AND
INFORMATION FOR ALL
We seek to increase the number of participants and meaningful
input throughout the planning process. This includes traditionally
underserved populations. Our priority is to build new relationships
with community organizations to increase the diversity and number of
participants who engage in activities.

3.1 Environmental Justice                       This Public Participation Plan outlines the
                                                planning process that we use to identify,
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and    seek out, and engage Environmental Justice
the 1994 President’s Executive Order on         populations. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of
Environmental Justice #12898 state that         1964 states the foundation of these efforts:
no person or group shall be excluded from       “No person in the United States shall,
participation in, or denied the benefits of,    on the basis of race, color, or national
any program or activity utilizing federal       origin be excluded from participation
funds. Federal law requires each federal        in, be denied the benefits of, or be
agency or organization receiving federal        subjected to discrimination under any
funds to identify any disproportionately        program receiving Federal financial
high and adverse health or environmental        assistance.”
                                                --Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
effects of its programs on minority and
                                                (42 U.S.C. 2000)
low-income populations. This means we
must evaluate our plans and programs
for Environmental Justice sensitivity. This     The President’s 1994 Executive Order on
includes expanding our outreach efforts         Environmental Justice states:
to low-income, minority, and other              “Each Federal agency shall make
disadvantaged populations.                      achieving environmental justice
                                                part of its mission by identifying
Environmental Justice (EJ) refers to the fair   and addressing, as appropriate,
treatment and meaningful involvement            disproportionately high and adverse
of all people regardless of race, ethnicity,    human health or environmental effects
income, national origin, or educational         of its programs, policies, and activities
level with respect to the development,          on minority populations and low-
implementation, and enforcement of              income populations.”
environmental laws, regulations,                --Executive Order 12898, Federal Actions to
                                                Address Environmental Justice in Minority
and policies.                                   Populations & Low-Income Populations, 1994

                                                                           2021 Public Participation Plan | 12
SECTION 3

A. Targeted Outreach Areas                     regardless of their proficiency in another
Our public outreach process includes Public    language. People who are multi-lingual, or
Participation Panels in each of the region’s   those that speak one or more languages in
ten counties (see Section 4.2.A). The Panels   addition to being proficient in English, are
reflect the diversity of the region and its    not LEP.
population to ensure broad participation
and input throughout the planning process.     A. LEP Assessment
                                               As a recipient of federal financial assistance,
The following pages describe our public
                                               we must reduce language barriers that can
participation and outreach strategies
                                               prevent meaningful access to our programs,
related to Environmental Justice/Limited
                                               information, and services by LEP individuals.
English Proficiency. To provide additional
                                               As part of this effort we complete a “Limited
Environmental Justice/Limited English
                                               English Proficiency Self-Assessment” or
Proficiency information every two-years we
                                               LEP Assessment, designed to balance four
prepare a Report on Environmental Justice.
                                               factors:
You can view the Report on Environmental
Justice on our website at spcregion.org, at    1. Demography: number and/or proportion
our offices, or by calling (412) 391-5590.        of LEP persons served and languages
                                                  spoken in service area.
We use the Report on Environmental             2. Frequency: rate of contact with service
Justice to evaluate access to public              or program.
participation opportunities. Our staff
                                               3. Importance: nature and importance of
carefully analyzes the relationship between
                                                  program/service/plan to people’s lives.
the region’s populations and its regional
investments, plans, and programs. We           4. Resources: available resources,
identify environmental justice communities        including language assistance services.
and target outreach to these areas                The number and/or proportion of LEP
through geographic analysis. For example,         persons served and languages spoken in
we use geographic analysis of targeted            the service area.
outreach areas to be sure we hold public       We reviewed US Census Bureau 2010‐2014
meetings at accessible locations within our    American Community Survey (ACS) 5‐year
communities. Additionally, we reach out to     estimates and found four language groups
organizations that target these communities    in our region that meet Department of
and distribute information to them.            Justice “safe harbor” thresholds.

3.2 Limited English                            Regional LEP Estimates:
                                                • 7,495 Spanish or Creole LEP persons
Proficiency
                                                • 5201 Chinese LEP persons
“Limited English Proficient” or “LEP”
persons are those with a limited ability to     • 3,238 Italian LEP persons
read, speak, write, or understand English.      • 2,068 Indic Languages LEP persons
LEP persons are not able to communicate
effectively in the English language,

                                                                       2021 Public Participation Plan | 13
SECTION 3

You can view a more detailed analysis          • Send meeting announcements,
showing LEP populations by county and            press releases, and public notices to
municipality (Limited English Proficiency        organizations that serve LEP and
Report) on our website spcregion.org, at our     non-English-speaking persons
offices, or by calling (412) 391-5590.           (included for reference in Appendix C
                                                 and on our website at spcregion.org).
B. Meaningful Access for                       • State in notices that we provide
LEP Persons                                      assistance related to sight, language, or
We strive to provide LEP individuals with        hearing with 72 hours advanced notice
meaningful access to key transportation          for public involvement activities
planning decisions and opportunities to          (see Section 4.1J).
become involved in the regional planning
                                               • State in all vital documents that
processes. We use one or more of the
                                                 translation is available in Spanish,
following tools to reasonably accommodate
                                                 Italian, Traditional Chinese and
LEP individuals:
                                                 Indic. Translations are free of charge
                                                 upon request. We contract with
 • Provide translated copies of materials        interpretation and translation providers
   in Spanish or Creole, Chinese, Italian,       for these services without cost to the
   Indic Languages and others                    requesting individual.
   if requested.
                                               • We can satisfy most service requests
 • Work with a third party to provide            within ten business days for translation
   interpretation and translation during         services requested after a completed
   public meetings upon request with 72          planning activity.
   hours advanced notice. If you request
   assistance with less than 72 hours’
   notice, we will attempt to resolve
   the request with the best available
   resources and accommodations.

                                                                    2021 Public Participation Plan | 14
SECTION 3

3.3 Americans with                                • Provide sign language interpreters
                                                    with advanced notice
Disabilities Act (ADA)/                           • Record materials to audio/visual media
Section 504/508                                   • Verbalize information provided
Compliance                                          through visual presentations or
We select locations and provide meeting             written materials
materials that do not limit or prohibit           • Structure seating to provide visibility
individuals from taking part in the                 for participants who lip-read
process to provide a positive participation         upon request
experience for all individuals.                   • Mount microphones at
                                                    wheelchair height
A. Meaningful Access for
                                                  • Provide hand-held microphones
Persons with Disabilities
                                                    to participants
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973 states that no qualified handicapped         • Present meetings through video
person shall, solely by reason of his               or teleconferencing to allow off
handicap, be excluded from participation in,        site participation
be denied the benefits of, or be subjected        • Assess accessibility of information
to discrimination under any program or              posted on SPC websites
activity that receive or benefits from federal
financial assistance. Section 508 extends        For more information, please see SPC’s
accessibility protections to information and     Title VI Program.
communications technology. To comply
with Section 504/508, we may use one or
more of the following tools to reasonably        3.4 Tribal Consultation
accommodate people with disabilities:            We consult tribes with ancestral homelands
                                                 within our region regarding decisions
 • Use locations that maximize
                                                 that may affect tribal rights and interests
   accessibility to transit and van service
                                                 regarding transportation planning. We are
 • Use locations with the latest in              committed to government-to-government
   mobility, perception, and access              consultation with tribes on actions that
   according to ADA standards                    affect identified tribal rights and issues.
 • Provide copies of materials in 14-point       Consultation means respectfully and
   or larger type with advanced notice           effectively communicating in a cooperative
 • Provide Braille or raised-print notices       process before deciding or acting. Our goal
   and materials with advanced notice            is to achieve mutually beneficial priorities,
                                                 programs, and interests.

                We select locations and provide meeting materials that do not limit or
                 prohibit individuals from taking part in the process.

                                                                        2021 Public Participation Plan | 15
SECTION 3

This consultation may include one or more         3.5 Elderly, Non-Car
of the following:
 • Inform all Tribal Liaisons regarding
                                                  Households, and other
   transportation plan documents                  Traditionally Underserved
   and updates                                    We seek to attract new audiences to our
 • Provide documentation, information,            meetings—especially low-income, non-
   maps, and other visual aids to the             car, disabled, and elderly populations.
   Tribal Liaisons                                These groups are considered “traditionally
                                                  underserved.” Common barriers to
 • Accommodate requests for further
                                                  traditionally underserved communities are
   detail or information in a reasonable
                                                  largely related to accessibility. When we
   and timely manner
                                                  notify these communities about upcoming
                                                  meetings, it may be difficult for them to
You can find a complete list of Tribal Liaisons
                                                  attend due to time and transportation
with interests in our region in Appendix D of
                                                  constraints. Many members of these
this document.
                                                  communities do not have access to a
                                                  car. In addition, our elderly population is
                                                  one of the largest concentrations in the
                                                  United States. Therefore, outreach efforts
                                                  to the elderly community are even more
                                                  important.

                                                  We recognize these challenges and try to
                                                  involve and inform members of a broad and
                                                  diverse community with proactive outreach
                                                  methods. Our Public Involvement Specialist:
                                                   • Actively seeks out community
                                                     groups with members of traditionally
                                                     underserved communities
                                                   • Participates in their community
                                                     meetings
                                                   • Helps to provide information
                                                     and resources through in-person
                                                     participation

                                                  Upon request, we provide reasonable
                                                  accommodation regarding requests for
                                                  documentation, maps, and resource
                                                  materials for members of the public.

                                                                         2021 Public Participation Plan | 16
Upon request, we provide reasonable
                                        accommodation regarding requests for
                                        documentation, maps, and resource materials
                                        for members of the public.

                                        Our CommuteInfo Program can provide information on available
                                        transportation resources to those who need assistance to travel
                                        to public meetings upon request. To find more information
                                        regarding transportation options for public meetings, please
                                        contact us at 1-888-819-6110 or visit commuteinfo.org.

3.6 Title VI Discrimination                          Additional statutes include, but are
                                                     not limited to, Section 504/508 of the
Complaints                                           Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Civil Rights
Our Title VI Complaint Procedure explains            Restoration Act of 1987, and the Americans
the process we use to investigate                    with Disabilities Act of 1990.
complaints, while treating all complainants
and respondents fairly. This procedure               These procedures are part of an
applies to all external complaints relating to       administrative process that does not
any program or activity administered by:             provide punitive damages or compensation
 • SPC or our subrecipients, consultants,            for the Complainant. The law prohibits
   and contractors                                   intimidation or retaliation of any kind.
   and                                               Please see Appendix E for our Title VI
                                                     Discrimination Complaint Procedure,
 • Filed under Title VI of the Civil
                                                     including details on how and where to
   Rights Act of 1964 (including its
                                                     submit a complaint.
   Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
   and Equal Employment Opportunity
   components), as well as other related
   laws that prohibit discrimination on the
   basis of race, color, disability, sex, age,
   low income, national origin or Limited
   English Proficiency

                 We seek to attract new audiences to our meetings—especially low-income,
                  non-car, disabled, and elderly populations. These groups are considered
                  “traditionally underserved.”

                                                                            2021 Public Participation Plan | 17
SECTION 4

            HOW TO
            PARTICIPATE
            We use a wide range of communication
            tools and engagement techniques to
            obtain meaningful participation.

            See tools and techniques >

2021 Public Participation Plan | 18
SECTION 4

SECTION 4:
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
We use a wide range of communication tools and engagement
techniques to obtain meaningful participation. Our Public Participation
Plan outlines these tools and techniques and assists members of the
public, stakeholders, and other interested parties to find the necessary
information to participate in the planning process.

4.1 Information Sharing,                      B. Interested Parties
                                              To create and implement transportation
Notifications and                             plans with long lasting benefits, we identify
Requests                                      appropriate stakeholders. An interested
                                              party or stakeholder is any person or
A. Public Involvement Specialist              group affected by a transportation plan,
To better serve the needs of a diverse        program, or project. In accordance with
regional community and its corresponding      the FAST Act, interested parties will include
stakeholders, we have a Public Involvement    “citizens, affected public agencies and staff,
Specialist on staff. The Public Involvement   representatives of public transportation
Specialist:                                   employees, providers of freight
 • Communicates activities to parties         transportation services, private providers
   interested in the transportation           of transportation services, representatives
   planning process                           of users of public transportation,
                                              representatives of bicycle and pedestrian
 • Provides resources and educates the
                                              walkways facilities, representatives of the
   public in a specific and timely manner
                                              disabled, and other interested parties.
 • Acts as a contact for the public           Citizens include the general public;
 • Responds to comments and inquiries         environmental health, neighborhood,
   regarding SPC’s programs and policies      and civic organizations; and traditionally
                                              underserved communities such as people
 • Represents SPC at transportation-based
                                              with disabilities, and/or low-income,
   activities in the community
                                              minority, elderly, and Limited English
 • Looks for specific opportunities to        Proficiency.”
   engage a wide variety of individuals,
   groups, and interested parties,
   including the disabled, elderly, low-
   income, minority, and Limited English
   Proficiency populations

                                                                      2021 Public Participation Plan | 19
SECTION 4

C. SPC Website spcregion.org                     F. Communications Channels
We utilize our organization’s website to         Our communications department provides
regularly update the public with the latest      frequent updates to engage the public. We
information regarding our planning efforts       use multiple forms of media to increase
and the status of specific plans and projects.   public involvement and the following
You can view transportation plans, activities,   methods to provide information to those
and archives through our website in              looking for it:
conjunction with additional resources.            • Create and maintain new forms of
                                                    technology and media
D. Contact Lists                                    We use social media platforms such
We maintain up-to-date contact information          as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to
for individuals, stakeholders, the media, and       quickly and easily reach our community
interested organizations and groups. As new         members. These methods enhance
parties become involved in our planning             outreach and we update them as more
and outreach efforts, we expand our lists. To       members of the community access
collect this valuable information, we use the       social media.
following techniques:
                                                  • Produce and Distribute Brochures/Fact
  • Mail and email list registration at
                                                    Sheets/Videos
     public meetings
                                                    We use brochures, fact sheets and
 • Mail and email list registration on              videos to inform interested parties
   website or via email                             about SPC and our planning process.
 • Working with existing stakeholders               You can access current materials at
   and professional, civic and community            public meetings, by written request,
   organizations to suggest potential               or on our website. We provide non-
   participants or encourage their                  English language or special format
   members to participate                           versions upon request.
                                                  • Conduct Surveys and Focus Groups
E. Speakers Network                                 We collect feedback directly from
SPC is happy to provide speakers on the             the public through surveys. We also
regional transportation planning process            obtain feedback on specific topics
and transportation plans at the request of          or transportation plans during focus
civic groups, professional organizations,           groups. We provide non-English
neighborhood associations, and other                language or special format versions
groups. Our Speakers Network includes
                                                    upon request.
our staff, with assistance from PennDOT,
regional transit agencies, member planning
agencies, and bicycle/pedestrian and
freight communities.

           For more information on SPC’s EJ program, please see
               spcregion.org for the most current EJ reports.

                                                                      2021 Public Participation Plan | 20
SECTION 4

G. Regional Document Review                     We identify opportunities and strategies
                                                that will provide these communities greater
Network
                                                access to the transportation planning
We provide local access to our documents
                                                process. Efforts to involve these groups may
and plans using the following methods:
                                                include, but are not limited to the following:
 • We maintain a Regional Document
                                                 • Identifying areas in our region with
   Review Network of libraries located
                                                   concentrations of low-income, minority,
   throughout our 10-county region. We
                                                   and other potentially disadvantaged
   provide notification on how to access
                                                   populations
   materials for public review during our
   public comment periods. We maintain           • Identifying organizations that work
   an up-to-date listing of recognized             directly with these communities
   libraries in the SPC region using             • Posting notification of meetings,
   educationbug.org.                               public hearings, and open houses
 • We also provide notification to our             in newspapers, on our website, in
   county planning and development                 newsletters, through contact lists, and
   offices in each of our 10 counties, as          our partners’ communication networks
   well as the City of Pittsburgh. You can       • Publishing notification of meetings,
   find a list of these locations in Appendix      public hearings, public comment
   B of this document.                             periods, and open houses in LEP
 • We provide documents for public                 languages (see Section 3.2)
   review online at our website                  • Issuing guidance to our member
   (spcregion.org).                                governments and providing Census
                                                   data for use in ensuring their Public
H. Reaching Minority, Low-                         Participation Panel appointments are
Income and Other Potentially                       reflective of the demographic profile of
Disadvantaged Populations                          their jurisdictions
SPC ensures that low-income, minority, and       • Regularly updating our EJ analysis
other potentially disadvantaged populations        to ensure that low-income, minority
are correctly identified and subsequently          and other potentially disadvantaged
engaged in each step of the transportation         populations are correctly identified
planning process. This allows SPC and           These steps help to build relationships
its planning partners to appropriately          with key leaders and organizations and
weigh the effects of transportation plans       ensures the plan/program proposed does
and programs on the populations they            not unjustly burden any group. For more
serve. Input from the public and relevant       information, please see spcregion.org for
organizations is incorporated at each stage     the most current EJ reports.
of the transportation planning process, from
the assessment of regional needs to the
production of the final plan report.

                                                                       2021 Public Participation Plan | 21
SECTION 4

       I. Provide Visual Tools                        J. Publicize SPC Activities
       The world is an increasingly more visual       We advertise our activities using
       place, especially in terms of education        various media and social outlets. These
       and information. We recognize this and         advertisements may include distributing
       adapt methods to help citizens understand      press releases to the media, posting on
       different proposals, impacts, and possible     social media, sending meeting invitations,
       outcomes related to regional transportation    and posting public involvement activities
       programs and plans. Visualization              on our website. We develop appropriate
       techniques used to illustrate these concepts   strategies for the scope and timeframe of
       may include:                                   the specific project or plan.
        • Static and interactive mapping with
                                                      Public Notice Policies
          a variety of base layers (aerial, street
                                                      Reaching out to 2.6 million citizens in 10
          map, topographic, etc.) to portray
                                                      counties, in a direct, yet cost-effective
          various transportation, demographic
                                                      manner requires a multi-faceted approach.
          and socioeconomic information
                                                      To ensure that the public has plenty of
        • Photographs, sketches, artist               opportunity to participate in the regional
          renderings, images, diagrams, charts,       planning process, we provide timely
          and other graphics                          notification, complete information, and full
        • Scenario planning exercises                 public access to key decisions.
        • Web broadcasts
                                                      We publish formal public notices to
        • Interactive kiosks
                                                      announce the following types of events and
        • Interactive data visualization tools such   participation opportunities:
          as Tableau and ArcGIS Story Maps
                                                       • Our annual meeting schedule—
                                                         advertised annually
                                                       • Special or rescheduled Commission
                                                         meetings—advertised 24 hours
                                                         in advance
                                                       • Comment periods—advertised at
Major Decisions include the adoption                     least 30 days prior to the date the
or major amendment of the Long-Range                     Commission schedules a formal act on
Transportation Plan (regional plan),                     any major decisions (see Section 4.2C)
Transportation Improvement Program (TIP),              • Meetings related to Public Comment
Air Quality Conformity Determination, or other           periods—advertised at least 7 days in
significant transportation plan or program.              advance (see Section 4.2C)

                                                                             2021 Public Participation Plan | 22
SECTION 4

We share the public notices for these events    • Offer to provide accommodations
using the methods listed below:                   for people with Limited English
 • We use paid legal and/or display               Proficiency, people with disabilities,
   advertisements. We place one paid              and accommodations related to sight,
   advertisement in a newspaper of                language or hearing
   general circulation and one in a             • Statement that the public process
   newspaper with circulation targeted            satisfies the Program of Projects
   to minority communities (included for          requirements of the Federal Transit
   reference in Appendix C and on SPC’s           Administration requirements for the
   website at spcregion.org).                     transit agencies within the SPC region
 • We also distribute public notices to
   other media outlets or organizations
                                               K. Response to Special Requests
                                               We periodically receive special requests to
   that serve targeted outreach groups
                                               perform an analysis that isn’t considered
   identified in our Environmental
                                               as part of the planning process, or other
   Justice and Limited English Proficiency
                                               special data or information. We determine
   analyses (included in Appendix C and
                                               the reasonableness of each request by the
   on SPC’s website at spcregion.org).
                                               preparation time, costs to respond, and the
 • We post the notice on the agency’s          relevancy to the transportation planning
   website at spcregion.org.                   process and the agency mission. Then
 • We post the notice at SPC’s offices.        we respond to all special requests on an
                                               individual basis.
Public notices provide the following
information (where applicable):
 • Type or event or activity                      Reasonableness (as used in this document)
 • Subject of event or activity                   parameters will evolve around the preparation
 • Date, time, and location of event              time and costs to respond, as well as the
   or activity                                    relevancy to the transportation planning
                                                  process and the agency mission.
 • Start and end dates for public
   comment periods
 • Contact information (Address,
                                               L. Right to Know Law Requests
                                               The Pennsylvania Right to Know Law,
   Telephone Number, email address and/
                                               65 P.S. §67.101 et seq. establishes the
   or website)
                                               standards for the provision of access to
 • Brief summary of the proposed action,       public information held by Commonwealth,
   plan, program, or amendment                 Local, Legislative, and Judicial agencies
 • How to access the draft plan                in Pennsylvania. Our Right to Know Law
   or materials                                Policy sets forth the guidelines, process,
 • Instructions to provide formal              and procedures with respect to requests
   public comments                             made for access to our records. You can find
                                               the Right to Know Law Policy on the SPC
                                               website or by calling SPC at (412) 391-5590.
                                                                     2021 Public Participation Plan | 23
SECTION 4

4.2 Public Engagement                           Panel Roles
                                                Panel members have multiple roles,
Opportunities                                   including to:
We encourage public participation through        • Provide input on the regional
a meaningful engagement process. This              transportation planning process and
process includes providing various ways to         the Commission’s major decisions
engage and communicate with the public
                                                 • Develop community contacts
during:
                                                   and partnerships
 • Public Participation Panel Meetings
                                                 • Provide two-way information flow with
 • Planning Decision Points                        the public
 • SPC Meetings and Public Meetings              • Provide local perspectives on impacts
 • Commission Meetings                             of transportation issues affecting
                                                   their communities
Traditionally, we have conducted these           • Recommend venues and topics for
activities in-person; however, we use              public meetings
virtual/online options to accommodate
unforeseen health and safety issues (i.e.,      The Panels also assist in the formal public
COVID-19 pandemic) and/or provide               review and comment periods on major
alternative options for participants. The       transportation decisions. The Panel(s) most
following pages outline the methods we use      affected by the decision(s) meet to discuss
to gather public input and how the public       the decision or issue. They may hold in-
can take a more active role in transportation   person or virtual community meetings for
planning.                                       the general public to give broader public
                                                input to major decisions.
A. Public Participation Panels
Public Participation Panels are a key part
                                                Unless there is an emergency requiring the
of our outreach program. Each county in
                                                Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission
our region has a Panel with a minimum of
                                                to act within a shorter period, we give the
15 members. Together, the Panels include
                                                Panels a minimum of 30 days to review and
more than 300 members throughout
                                                comment on documents and/or information
Southwestern Pennsylvania. County
                                                concerning major decisions. During the 30-
Commissioners appoint Panel members,
                                                day timeframe, the affected Panel(s) hold
intended to reflect the diversity of their
                                                a public meeting to gather local input. Our
area. We work in partnership with the
                                                staff and planning partners are available as
Panels to provide the public with direct,
                                                resources to assist the Panel members.
ongoing access to the regional planning and
                                                The Public Participation Panels Guidebook is
decision‐making processes.
                                                available to all Panel members and outlines
                                                the roles and responsibilities of the Panels
                                                and Panel members.

                                                                      2021 Public Participation Plan | 24
SECTION 4

Public
Engagement
Opportunities

Public
Participation           Planning
Panel                   Decision
Meetings                Points                  SPC
Each county in our      Before acting on        Meetings                       Commission
region has a Public     major transportation    and Public                     Meetings
Participation Panel     planning decisions,
with a minimum          SPC provides at least   Meetings                       We hold Commission
                                                                               Meetings quarterly
of 15 members           30 days for public      Our regular SPC
                                                                               that are open to the
appointed by County     review and comment.     meetings and Public
                                                                               public for comment.
Commissioners. Panel    Information on how      Meetings always
                                                                               If a person is unable
meetings are held for   to access documents     include opportunities
                                                                               to comment during
them to provide input   is provided on our      for public comment.
                                                                               a scheduled meeting
on transportation       website and via our     You can find an online
                                                                               time, they can submit
planning processes      Document Review         calendar of upcoming
                                                                               their comments in
and major decisions.    Network.                public meetings on our
                                                                               written, verbal, or
                                                website: spcregion.
                                                                               electronic form.
                                                org/events/.

                                                                         2021 Public Participation Plan | 25
SECTION 4

Membership                                      • Each county chooses to appoint either
Every two years, county commissioners (in         Co-Chairpersons or Chairpersons
Allegheny County, the County Executive            and Vice- Chairpersons, collectively
and the Mayor of Pittsburgh) appoint Panel        called “Chairpersons”. Each Panel will
members using the general guidance for            approve selections.
Panel composition stated below.                 • Persons interested in serving on a
General guidance for Panel composition:           Panel should contact their County
 • Panel members represent the diverse            Commissioners (in Allegheny County,
   population and interests in each               the County Executive and the Mayor
   county. The appointing bodies consider         of Pittsburgh). For more information,
   the federal guidance on Environmental          please call our office at (412) 391-5590.
   Justice when appointing members.
   These demographic profiles are             Chairpersons maintain their Panel’s
   available on SPC’s website at              organization, plan and run meetings, and
   spcregion.org or by calling                address Panel member issues. They work
   (412) 391-5590.                            with our staff to organize formal input
                                              and inform the Commission of the Panel’s
 • Each Panel includes a minimum of
                                              comments.
   fifteen members.
 • Members serve two-year terms,              As needed, we hold regional workshops
   corresponding with the TIP                 for all Panel Chairpersons to discuss issues,
   update cycle.                              educate members, encourage consistency,
 •                                            and continuously improve.

               The Public Participation Panels Guidebook is available to all Panel members.
                                                                      2021 Public Participation Plan | 26
SECTION 4

      Panel Meetings & Informational                 B. Planning Decision Points
      Workshops                                      We value the effort of stakeholders and the
      We ensure that Panel meetings comply           public to participate in the regional planning
      with accessibility and notice standards as     process. We provide at least 30 days for
      detailed in Section 4.1J.                      public review and comment (45 days in
                                                     the case of the Public Participation Plan)
      In addition to regular Panel meetings, we      before acting on major decisions. The Public
      may hold information workshops to:             Participation Plan defines a major decision
                                                     as the official adoption of:
        • Provide the Panel(s) with information
          regarding the transportation                • Regional Long Range
          planning process                              Transportation Plan
        • Provide further information about a         • Transportation Improvement
          plan prior to a public meeting                Program (TIP)
        • Discuss Panel(s) organization and           • Major Amendment to the regional
          direction of the Panel(s)                     plan or TIP
      These forums or workshops are informal          • Air Quality Conformity Determination
      and allow the panel members to engage
                                                      • Public Participation Plan
      with subject matter in a relaxed format.
      These workshops and Panel meetings may
                                                     See page 33 for more details on our plans
      be held virtually to provide additional
                                                     and processes.
      opportunities for public participation.

      Panel Work Groups                              C. Public Review and Comment
      We may assemble topical work groups from       Period Requirements
      among Panel members. These work groups         We follow the Public Notice Procedures
      may focus on specific transportation-related   described in Section 4.1J to inform the
      topics (i.e., bike/ped safety, transit or      public and interested parties of public
      tourism) and include representatives from      review and comment periods.
      across the 10-county region.                   We provide notice at least 30 days before
                                                     the scheduled Commission adoption of
                                                     a major amendment to a regional long
                                                     range transportation plan, Transportation
                                                     Improvement Program (TIP), or Air Quality
                                                     Conformity Determination. Similarly, we
A Major Amendment is any amendment                   provide public notice at least 45 days prior
to a long‐range transportation plan or               to the scheduled Commission adoption of
Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).            an updated Public Participation Plan.

                                                     We provide notification on how to access
                                                     materials for public review during our
                                                     public comment periods. We maintain an
                                                     up-to-date listing of recognized libraries

                                                                            2021 Public Participation Plan | 27
SECTION 4

in the SPC region using educationbug.org.        The Regional Long-Range
We also provide notification on how to           Transportation Plan
access documents to our county planning          The Regional Long-Range Transportation
and development offices in each of our 10        Plan (regional plan) is a long range (20+
counties, as well as the City of Pittsburgh.     years) strategy and capital improvement
You can find a list of these locations in        plan. It guides the investment of public
Appendix B of this document. We also             funds in multimodal transportation facilities
provide documents for public review online       in the context of the regional vision, goals
at our website (spcregion.org). Information      and strategies. The regional plan also
on where and how to access public                helps develop the region’s Transportation
comment documents is in the Public Notices       Improvement Program (TIP), a short-
(see Section 4.1J).                              range capital improvement program
                                                 for implementing the highest priority
We hold a minimum of one public meeting          transportation projects over a four-year
before the Commission acts on any major          period. We update the regional plan, at a
decision. This public meeting may be part        minimum, every four years with input from
of a regular Commission meeting or as a          interested parties.
separate public meeting. We include the
time and location of all public meetings on
major decisions in the public notice.

D. Additional Public Review and
Comment Periods
If the draft Regional Long Range
Transportation Plan, Transportation
Improvement Program (TIP), Air Quality
Conformity Determination, or major
amendment changes significantly during
the initial public review and comment
period, we hold an additional 30-day public
review and comment period before the
Commission acts.

If the draft Public Participation Plan changes
significantly during the initial public review
and comment period, we hold an additional
45-day public review and comment period
before the Commission acts.

We conduct additional public review and
comment periods with the same procedures
for regular public comment periods listed in
this section.
                                                                        2021 Public Participation Plan | 28
SECTION 4

Our public participation process for the       in additional languages as requested
regional plan typically follows these steps:   and in accordance with procedures for
Step 1: Public Participation Panels            accommodating Limited English Proficient
gather initial input (when update cycles       persons and persons with disabilities (see
correspond, this can occur with the            Section 3.2 and 3.3 for details). Section 4.1J
TIP update).                                   describes public notices detailing how to
                                               access the materials and submit comments.
Step 2: We compile the initial input and use
it to design the next phase of outreach and
                                               You can find the regional planning
participation, such as workshops and other
                                               documents on our website at
public meetings.
                                               spcregion.org, at our offices, or by calling
Step 3: We use ongoing input to develop        (412) 391-5590. We will provide hard copies
draft regional plan materials with help from   upon request. We provide vital regional plan
interested parties.                            documents in languages other than English
Step 4: We provide notification on how to      and in alternative formats upon request
access draft regional plan materials for       (see Section 3.2).
review and comment by the public and
interested parties. This process includes
a 30-day public comment period on the
draft regional plan materials, utilizing the
procedures noted in Section 4.2C.
Step 5: We document all comments and the
response to comments and then provide
them to the Commission for review.
Step 6: We revise draft documents, as
needed, to reflect comments received from
the public.
Step 7: The Commission reviews and votes       The Transportation Improvement
on the regional plan.                          Program (TIP)
Step 8: We develop a Public Participation      The Transportation Improvement Program
Report to document all comments received,      (TIP) represents the first four years of the
the responses to comments, and the public      regional Long Range Transportation Plan
participation and outreach activities.         (20+ year plan). The TIP identifies:
Step 9: We will produce the adopted and        • The region’s highest priority
approved regional plan document and make           transportation projects, including
it available to the public.                        roadway, bridge, transit, active
                                                   transportation, freight and
Throughout the process, long range plan            safety projects
materials will be available on our website,    • A four year program of implementation
spcregion.org and at our offices. We           • Available federal and non-federal
will provide long range plan materials             funding for the identified projects

                                                                       2021 Public Participation Plan | 29
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