Environmental Review Toolkit
Planning and Environment Linkages

Linking Planning and NEPA Managers Workshop

Atlanta, Georgia

Draft Action Plan
July 15, 2004

Bring the improvements made in integrating planning and NEPA in Project Development (Project Analysis) to the Planning & Programming Process
Strengths of
Existing Process
Shortcomings of
Existing Process
Strategies/Actions Priority Benefits Responsible Person(s) Action Date
Many good processes and activities are being pursued to facilitate collaboration and seamlessness
  • Many agencies and other parts of the agency are not aware of them
  • Lack of understanding of other agencies'/departments' roles, responsibilities, processes and regulations/requirements
Develop a "technical exchange" program using techniques such "brown bag" seminars spacer spacer spacer spacer
spacer No ability to affect land use decisions affecting transportation performances/Investments Identify and scope out the types of tools that can provide the means to present consequences of incremental land use decisions to the land use and transportation decision makers spacer spacer spacer spacer
GDOT planning has a planning process in place that develops problem statements and initial alternatives and identifies viable projects for development/NEPA; screens out non-viable projects GDOT planning conducts smaller studies largely "in-house" with limited public and resource agency collaboration
  • Resources agencies to provide their goals/objectives and key issues to transportation planning/project development groups so these can be used/considered in planning level activities
  • Identify and scope out the types of tools to screen projects in key resources areas at the planning level:
  • Determine needs/uses
  • Explore what others have done
  • Identify available data bases/needed data bases
  • Establish functionally
Working group:
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  • Limited non-planning technical staff involvement in GDOT planning
  • GDOT Planning needs to be involved in more transitional activities in subsequent project phases; avoid loss of institutional knowledge & support of planning decisions;
  • Involvement of specialized services
  • Capture decisions made in planning (better hand off to subsequent departments)
  • Develop a better transition of knowledge from planning phase — especially the "findings" study
  • Develop a project/program knowledge management tool:
    • Project history
    • Findings
    • Status — current PM, funding, process stage
    • Location previous phase files/information
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spacer For complex/sensitive projects, no measure of effectiveness/sustainability of GDOT planning process/decision
  • Planning groups develop project status/change tracking mechanism
  • Continue support to ARC's Breaking Ground Report
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spacer Multimodal solution are not always appropriately considered No Action spacer spacer spacer spacer
spacer Changing politics affect project priorities, schedules and projects Develop project identification and selection process based on needs spacer spacer spacer spacer
ARC is incorporating environmental and other factors into planning Resource agencies are not "at the table" Transportation agencies provide regular updates to resource agencies on status of major projects spacer spacer spacer spacer
spacer Smaller MPOs do not have the resources for a more collaborative processes
  • Develop relationship with local groups (non-profit groups, local agencies, etc.) to participate in process
  • Include MPO in GDOT/resource agencies coordination meetings
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Reasonably robust public involvement program/plans Public comments not being advanced from one phase/agency to the next Develop clearinghouse for capturing/disseminating project files as it moves from one phase to next; Involve Office of Communications spacer spacer spacer spacer
spacer Public involvement process has discontinuities from one phase to the next/does not appear seamless to public Use project file clearinghouse spacer spacer spacer spacer
spacer Subsequent phases learning from earlier phases of the public involvement process (information/tools) Use clearinghouse spacer spacer spacer spacer
spacer Insufficient education/awareness of meaning/purpose of planning-level public involvement activities Develop some materials/tools to explain/educate public on involvement role in planning level activities
Training on effectively using tools/materials
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spacer Not hearing from full spectrum of interest spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer

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For questions or feedback on this subject matter content, please contact Jody McCullough or Marisel Lopez-Cruz.

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