California Department of Transportation

Project Development Workflow Tasks (PDWT)

Part 3 - Identify Project Need and Project Initiation Document

II. Project Initiation Document

B. Develop Initial Alternatives (150.10) - Obtain Public Input (WBS 150.10.05)

P31. Obtain Public/Local Agency Input

Input from the local agencies and the community is required in the earliest stages of the project development process in order to balance the community values with transportation needs. Public representatives typically include individuals, residents, businesses, and associations such as real estate or bicycle and pedestrian associations. Local agency representatives typically include city and count officials, the RTPA, MPO, PublicUBLIC Works office, Public Transit Authority, Emergency Services, local boards and commissions. Meetings during the PID phase with the public and local entities are for the purpose of sharing information regarding initial project proposals and for receiving input from the various stakeholders of the community. Meetings with local agencies and the community are not considered Project Delivery Team (PDT) meetings but these meetings should be coordinated through the project manager and Planning since they usually have the latest information regarding the primary stakeholders.

Every project must have a well-defined, well-established and well-justified purpose and need. Reasonable consideration of all stakeholder concerns must be identified. Meetings may also address scoping, funding, specific project features, community concerns and the delivery expectations. During the PID phase, reasonable (not exhaustive) effort must be made by the Department to inform those who will be affected of a proposed project's impact on them.

Consistent with Context Sensitive Solution (CSS) principles, stakeholders concerns need to be actively sought out per Director’s Policy #22. CSS is a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that involves all stakeholders to develop a transportation facility that fits its physical setting and preserves scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources, while maintaining safety and mobility. Without this input early in the process, changes in scope, cost, and schedule may occur.

The project manager and the project engineer should plan to have meetings with the public and with local agencies for STIP projects. For SHOPP, Minor Program, Capital Preventive Maintenance (CAPM), Highway Planting and other projects having minimal impact to the local community, the project engineer may hold limited public and local agency meetings as needed. The Environmental Generalist assigned to the project can assist the project engineer in determining the level of public involvement that should take place. However, the project engineer should keep in mind that small and seemingly simple projects could have significant impacts. For instance, a simple SHOPP project that involves one-day closures to grind and repave freeway off and on-ramps has no significant impacts to the environment and does not require any right of way. However, to the adjacent businesses that rely on motorists using the ramps, there is a significant impact to their business. The project engineer should therefore have meetings with the affected businesses to discuss the proposed project and to work out the best possible solution. The solution might be as simple as scheduling the construction work on the least busy business day of the week or at nighttime, thus the impact although unavoidable, is minimized.

As with all meetings, a summary of the discussion and action items should be documented, distributed to team members in a timely manner, and filed.

In addition to convening meetings on a regular basis, the project manager or engineer may opt to inform interested parties in the form of a newsletter. The project engineer should maintain a list of interested parties.

Time Constraint:

Obtaining input from outside agencies and other stakeholders can be time consuming. Time should be allotted to allow for multiple meetings and discussions. Local agencies and other stakeholders should be contacted at the earliest possible time. This effort can take one to two months.


PDPM, (Chapter 1, Section 5, “Project Development Philosophy”)

PDPM, (Chapter 22, “Community Involvement”)

Caltrans, Division of Design, Context Sensitive Solutions website

Directors Policy #22 Context Sensitive Solutions

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This page last updated July 20, 2010