B1: Transit and Public Engagement

APA North Carolina Chapter


Wednesday, April 24, 2019
3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. EDT

CM | 1.50

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This session will detail three diverse public involvement strategies tailored to three different types of transportation projects that were both well received by the public and influential in shaping project outcomes.  The speaker will provide a brief overview of each transportation project and discuss a noteworthy public involvement strategy that contributed to the project’s success.  

Projects and strategies include:

• I-485 express lanes – using social media, geofencing, and PublicInput.com to reach thousands of drivers using the corridor

• US 64-276/NC 280 intersection in Brevard – using an interactive roundabout demonstration to illustrate proposed improvements

• 2045 CRTPO MTP – using a board game to engage youth in the planning process

The Wake County Transit Plan is a comprehensive transit improvement effort serving a County of over one million people, with a multitude of races, cultures, backgrounds, education levels, transit needs, and interests. Local transit agencies and jurisdictions, along with stakeholders, and a team of consultants, began implementing this Plan and its complex set of initiatives in 2016. GoTriangle leads a large team of partners in the public outreach efforts for the Plan’s implementation, working to create materials and messaging that breaks down the complex technical components of the multi-year plan for the public. A strategic messaging campaign showing how the county’s individual transit plan ties into a much larger, interconnected regional vision, 3 outreach phases, surveys (from simple comment requests to complex route mapping and questions), web-based and paper materials (English and Spanish), comprehensive media outreach in English and Spanish, tracking and analyzing engagement success through web-based applications and presenting feedback to stakeholders and decision-makers, and developing relationships with community groups were important. 

Using one central online engagement tool for public feedback was crucial in supporting better decision making throughout the public outreach effort. Surveys that embed seamlessly into existing websites, circulating online with accompanying custom graphics, support the regional campaign and keep the message consistent. When presenting to public officials and stakeholders, these tools allow each stakeholder to query and cross tabulate the information of interest to them.

A clear, consistent messaging campaign across the region helps residents understand the role they play in shaping their community investment in transit. Other take-aways from implementing such a large-scale public outreach effort include:

• Keep materials simple 

• Create consistent, positive, and attractive marketing materials in English and Spanish 

• Participate in a variety of events to reach more people in their daily life Provide a variety of avenues for public input allows for the participation of residents with a range of understanding of 
   the plan while building community trust

• Keep it fun – transit agencies provided giveaway items for the public, branded in the regional campaign message, and brought buses to events

• Be flexible – a public involvement plan is dynamic and things change – adjust to what is working



Jenny Noonkester

Jenny serves as a Transportation Planner for RS&H's Transportation-Infrastructure Practice. She has 13 years of experience in managing a range of NEPA studies, including environmental assessments, categorical exclusions, community impact assessments, and indirect and cumulative effects assessments. She has also served as project planner/task manager for environmental ... Read More

Candice Andre, AICP

Candice Andre, AICP, graduate of North Carolina State University and Michigan State University, led the consultant team that supported GoTriangle with the public outreach efforts for implementation of the Wake County Transit Plan. She is a Senior Project Planner with VHB, with a focus on environmental compliance, community studies, and ... Read More

Elizabeth Raskopf

Elisabeth (Liz) Raskopf, graduate of Vassar College, is a Public Engagement Specialist at GoTriangle, the agency leading the public outreach efforts for implementation of the Wake County Transit Plan. She is an experienced project manager connecting the public with transit planning processes in the Triangle region. Liz led the extensive ... Read More

Juan Carlos Erickson

Juan Carlos Erickson, graduate of University of North Carolina at Greensboro, is the Community Engagement Manager at GoTriangle, the agency leading the public outreach efforts for implementation of the Wake County Transit Plan. After living, working and studying in various countries, he is fully bilingual (English/Spanish). He has a ... Read More

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is a Senior Planner at Centralina COG and has been with the organization since 2008. She designs and implements public engagement processes in communities of all sizes across the 9-county greater Charlotte region. Her strengths include cross-jurisdictional convening and coordination, public engagement process design, group and program management ... Read More

Jason Wager

Jason Wager is a Principal Planner at the Centralina Council of Governments (CCOG) and serves as Coordinator for the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition, a US DOE Clean Cities affiliate. Jason’s work includes projects that employ land use planning principles and public input/engagement processes where he is regularly involved ... Read More

Jason Lawrence

Jason Lawrence joined the Charlotte Area Transit System in 2000. For the past 18 years he has been the lead Transportation Planner for transit corridors in the 2030 Transit System Plan. He has also performed bus service planning, demographic analysis, implemented the Sprinter Airport Enhanced Bus service and was a ... Read More

Contact Info

Neil Burke, nburke@ci.charlotte.nc.us