Project Description | Study Area Map | Alternatives | Goals and Objectives | Public Involvement | Public Meetings | Work Group Meeting Minutes | Community Advisory Work Group Meeting Minutes | Newsletters | Contact List | Slide Presentation | Summary of Corridor Improvement Study Recommendations
The SH 360 Corridor Improvement Study and Environmental Assessment is intended to develop a locally-preferred plan of action to solve transportation problems along the north-south corridor through Arlington, Fort Worth and Grand Prairie, Texas as outlined in the map at right. The study process follows federal procedures that call for collaborative development of transportation projects with local communities and all involved agencies. This paper provides an outline of the public involvement and agency coordination process proposed to be used during the course of the SH 360 Corridor Study.
A Corridor Improvement Study (CIS) is based on the format of what was formerly known as a Major Investment Study (MIS). An MIS was a transportation planning process established by the federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, which was required for all corridors where a major transportation investment was anticipated to have a regional impact, and where federal funds were potentially involved. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, known as TEA-21, no longer mandated a formal MIS, but continued the requirement for multi-modal advanced planning and public involvement. Based on the comprehensive, multi-modal nature of this study, we have termed it a "Corridor Improvement Study." Once a recommended plan of action is determined in the CIS, the formal environmental assessment (EA) will be completed. An environmental assessment requires early and continuous coordination and consultation among state and federal agencies on projects with potential federal funding, to assure thorough consideration of environmental protection concerns.
A combined CIS and EA process provides for continuous involvement of the different groups of stakeholders in the study area. Under the Corridor Improvement Study and Environmental Assessment, one agency takes the lead, but all potential implementing agencies and the public are involved, because the final outcome will typically require coordinated action by many agencies.
The SH 360 Corridor study is being managed by the Fort Worth District Office of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The study will proceed as a collaborative effort among the groups shown in the graphic below. The roles of these various groups and the participants in each are described in the remainder of this paper.
One of the goals of the SH 360 Corridor Improvement Study and Environmental Assessment is to provide a decision-making process built on consensus of the stakeholders. The stakeholders for this project include community interests (commuters, businesses, residents, freight carriers, environmental interests, and others), local elected officials, and involved agencies. While "consensus" does not mean a unanimous decision, every effort will be made to satisfy the concerns of all groups. A consensus approach does not give veto power to individuals, nor does it allow the concerns of a group to be swept aside by a simple majority of the participants. The goal is to formulate a plan of action which has broad acceptance from the community at-large, and which addresses and balances the legitimate concerns of the involved parties.
The public is encouraged to participate in the SH 360 Corridor Improvement Study and Environmental Assessment at any point in the process. The following is a list of the currently planned activities to provide outreach and opportunities for involvement to the general public. The study will remain flexible in the public involvement process, and will respond to the ideas and needs of the public as the study progresses.
There will be two public meetings and one public hearing held for this project. The first public meeting is tentatively scheduled for the spring/summer of 2001 and the second is tentatively scheduled for the fall/winter of 2001. The public hearing for the environmental assessment and schematic design of the recommended improvements is anticipated to be held mid-2002. Each meeting will provide an opportunity to interact with the study team, as well as opportunities for spoken or written comments from interested citizens. The public meetings and hearing will occur at key points in the study process, when significant information can be provided, and when public comments can serve to guide the advancement of the study and the selection of alternatives.
Newsletters and Mailing List
There are proposed to be four editions of a newsletter published during the course of this study. The newsletters are intended to keep the public and interested organizations informed of the study progress, and of the dates, times and locations of public meetings. A project mailing list is being developed and maintained to contact citizens expressing an interest in the study.
Texas Department of Transportation staff and the study team consultant are available to make presentations to organizations and groups throughout the study. Requests for presentations can be made to the Texas Department of Transportation Project Manager, Mr. Matthew Asalou at (817) 370-6852, or by fax at (817) 370-6759.
The Texas Department of Transportation maintains an Internet web site. This site contains basic information on the study, including corridor limits, study procedures and study team participants. The web site is located at http://www.dot.state.tx.us. After accessing TxDOTs web site, follow the link to Major Investment Studies.
Direct Contacts with TxDOT
The Fort Worth District Office has a hotline at (817) 370-6630 for recorded information. Citizens can write directly to the Texas Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 6868, Fort Worth, Texas, 76115. The Public Information Office at the District can be reached at (817) 370-6630, or by fax at (817) 370-6690.
The Community Advisory Work Group is proposed to be comprised of members of the community who volunteer their time to stay involved in the study through regular meetings and other activities. The represented groups on the Community Advisory Work Group will be nominated by the Project Coordination Work Group.
The Community Advisory Work Group is intended to provide broad-based representation of the community at-large. The primary role of the Community Advisory Work Group is to monitor the study process from the community perspective, and to provide input, ideas and concerns to the study team. The Community Advisory Work Group is expected to meet on a monthly basis during the alternatives analysis portion of the study. The group will be composed of representatives from the following sectors of the community:
Early in the project, the team will work with the local agencies to gather information on adjacent neighborhoods and their representative organizations. This will enable the Project Team to identify geographically separate neighborhood clusters in the corridor. Through telephone solicitation and referrals from community leaders, members of the community will be identified and asked to volunteer as their areas representative.
The identification of representatives for the other community sectors (business, environmental, and civic) will be done through direct contact with the target organizations. Each organization will be asked to appoint their own representative to the Community Advisory Work Group. The shaping of the Community Advisory Work Group will be closely coordinated with staff from impacted cities to ensure good representation.
Represented groups may also provide alternate members to attend in case
of the primary members absence. All meetings are to be open to the public.
The potential members of the Community Advisory Work Group are listed
in Appendix A.
The Project Coordination Work Group is the executive group for the study. It is comprised of representatives from local governments and agencies that could possibly have a role in funding, permitting and/or implementing any proposed transportation improvements in the SH 360 corridor. The responsibilities of the Project Coordination Work Group members are to:
The Project Coordination Work Group will meet on a monthly basis during the alternatives analysis portion of the study, and on a quarterly basis thereafter. The work group will be composed of the following organizations:
The possible members invited to be a part of the Project Coordination Work Group, and the agencies that they represent, are listed in Appendix B.
In addition to the agencies listed above, the work will be coordinated with the following agencies and organizations:
Keeping the local, state and federal elected officials with jurisdictions
within the study informed of the progress of the study is also important.
Those elected officials are listed in Appendix C. Each will be included on
the mailing list to receive announcements and newsletters during the course
of the study. The elected officials will also receive invitations to public
meetings and hearings. In the course of developing the Community Advisory
Work Group, an elected official from each of the cities of Arlington and
Grand Prairie will be invited to become co-chairpersons of the group.