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Public Participation Process

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PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS

Federal Legislation emphasizes the need to provide citizens with an opportunity to comment on proposed regional and State TIPs. The Commonwealth’s STIP process is an adjunct to the regions’ specific outreach processes, but also follows the Commonwealth’s commitment to transparency and civic engagement in government.

MassDOT encourages its constituents to stay informed on all its activities, including but not limited to the State TIP, through the use of various social media tools including Twitter; YouTube; the Commonwealth’s transportation blog; Flickr; and RSS feeds.

Since the STIP is a compilation of all projects - both state and regional - the public outreach program in each region includes the STIP by reference. The Commonwealth requests that all RPAs and RTAs place the notice of the STIP’s availability on their respective web sites, newsletters, and other public communications. Additionally, the Commonwealth places notice of the availability of the draft State TIP in local papers.

In many instances the draft STIP’s 30-day comment period will coincide or overlap individual regions’ 30-day public comment period. These agencies make the draft project listings in the STIP available for public comment and review during their regular business hours. They also use this time to ensure that the listings encompass all the projects found in their own regional TIPs, which have undergone their own public review as required by federal statute. If discrepancies exist between the two documents, the MPO, the state, and other affected parties work together to guarantee consistency. For the 2013-2016 STIP, the formal public comment period began on June 4, 2012 and ended on July 3, 2012. The comments received can be viewed in Appendix I of this document.

Legal notices, announcing the availability of the document on the Commonwealth’s web site, were faxed to the following newspapers: Cape Cod Times, the Martha’s Vineyard Times, the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror, the Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise, the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, the Lowell Sun, the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, the Brockton Enterprise, the New Bedford Standard Times, the Boston Globe, the Berkshire Eagle, the Greenfield Recorder, and the Springfield Republican.

Selected samples of the STIP’s outreach were included with the printed report and include a copy of this web page; the web page from the Montachusett regional planning agency;and the web page from the Cape Cod Commission; the web page from the Worcester regional transit authority; a legal advertisement in the Springfield Republican; an email received from the Old Colony Metropolitan Planning Organization; and the twice-monthly Monitor of the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office.

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