Best Practices for Inclusive and Intentional Public Engagement Initiative (BPIIPE)
Through extensive research and collaboration, the Public Involvement Section of TxDOT’s Transportation Planning and Programming Division is working to establish guidance and best practices for engaging all members of the public to support the agency’s project teams at both the state and district level.
The BPIIPE initiative honors TxDOT’s commitment to involving all of Texas’ many and diverse communities in the planning and implementation of transportation projects and programs, and supports the agency’s Public Involvement policy.
TxDOT is using a variety of techniques to develop a suite of best practices for staff, including:
- Forming an internal working group to provide feedback on all components of the research approach.
- Completing desktop research to identify common barriers to public participation and techniques to overcome those barriers.
- Conducting a survey with transportation agencies across the country to understand how other states approach these same issues, in both internal policy and external practices.
- Conducting focus groups and developing an online public survey, in partnership with the Institute for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research (IDSER) at the University of Texas, San Antonio. The focus groups and survey will provide vital insight into how Texans—particularly those in underserved communities—prefer to receive information, share feedback, and participate in engagement events. For the initial effort, TxDOT worked with the IDSER to target Texas’ top three largest minority populations based on 2020 census data (Asian, African American/Black, and Hispanic), as well as Limited English Proficiency (LEP), Environmental Justice (EJ) and People with Disabilities populations.
This wide range of information collected will be used to create a best practices toolkit to be made available to division and district project teams. Components of this toolkit will range from reports and summaries of what was learned, to fact sheets and checklists to effectively apply that knowledge in public involvement planning and implementation. This will enable TxDOT to better reach all populations and engage them via outreach strategies, materials and events that respect the state’s remarkable diversity and that are accessible, appropriate, and convenient to all.
Research is underway; the TPP PI Section is in process of analyzing survey results and working on conducting focus groups. The goal to finalize the initiative and to develop a best practices toolkit is set for mid-2023.