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Public Outreach Plan

ExpressLanes Public Outreach And Communications Plan

Los Angeles County Congestion Reduction Demonstration Project
Metro Approved 1/27/09

SB 1422 SEC 2 (4) and (5) The LACMTA shall implement a public outreach and communications plan in order to solicit public input into the development of the demonstration program. In implementing the program, the LACMTA shall identify the affected communities in the respective corridors and work with those communities to identify impacts and develop mitigation measures.

Background

In July 24, 2008 Caltrans District 7 and Metro (Metro) as its partner agency entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to qualify for a $210 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). This grant is predicated on meeting certain requirements that include the conversion of HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes to HOT (high occupancy toll) lanes in two corridors.

The initial corridors to be evaluated are the I-10 from the I-605 to Alameda St. (Union Station) and the I-110 between Adams Blvd. and 182nd St./Artesia Transit Center, 24 and 33 lane miles, respectively. The grant will provide needed financial assistance to fund the conversion of the HOV lanes, the purchase of vehicles to expand transit services and capacity along these corridors, improvements to transit stations, and expanded park and ride facilities in the corridors. The target date for implementation of this demonstration project is late 2012 for the I-110 and early 2013 for the I-10.

For the duration of the project, Metro will be seeking feedback from the communities in these corridors as the partner agencies explore the concept, opportunities, impacts and advantages that would occur with implementation of conversion.

Metro has assembled a consultant team of experts on public outreach as well as the technical expertise required to evaluate, model, and plan options for the HOT lane conversion. The quality of the response accumulated from public participation is the essential building block for evaluating the nexus of value pricing/congestion management with improved transit and with toll revenues to be invested in local jurisdictions for HOV and transit improvements.

Purpose

The purpose of the Plan is to offer a systematic and strategic approach for reaching diverse groups of people and interests throughout the I-10 and I-110 Corridors. This Plan provides a structure that allows for the scheduling, documentation and evaluation of each step of the public involvement process and engagement efforts. The concerns, issues, creative ideas and needs of community members will inform the outreach effort throughout the course of the demonstration project.

The purpose of this public outreach effort is threefold:

(1) To provide the public multiple opportunities to review the proposed options, the implications of the options, and alternative implementation approaches for the Demonstration Project;

(2) To create and distribute public information packages using a multi-media approach that is user friendly and culturally sensitive to the communities affected by the program;

(3) To provide policy makers with information about the public’s opinion about the options.

The Plan incorporates a number of strategies aimed at encouraging community participation. These strategies include proactive engagement of business, civic and other stakeholder groups, including elected officials; regularly scheduled project open houses and community briefings that allow interested stakeholders to receive current, accurate information; maintenance of an interactive project website; regular media updates; and an ongoing presence at community events, fairs and street festivals. These forums provide multiple ways for Metro to receive input from the public.

Goals

The goals of the Plan reflect the steps that are required to solicit the input of the public and build awareness of the project throughout diverse communities. Public information on the Demonstration Project will be straightforward, factual, and designed to be appreciated by non-technical audiences. Finally, the Plan will have measurable objectives tied to the milestones that are required for the successful conclusion of the project. The goals of this Plan are as follows:

Communicate effectively with the diverse communities and stakeholders, as reflected by the demographics of the I-10 and I-110 Corridors Create public forums and collateral materials that provide a clear, concise and easy-to understand information to enable the public to make informed decisions about the project

Develop a strong list of public and regional benefits that the project will generate

Respond to public and stakeholder feedback on the Demonstration Project in an accurate, consistent and timely manner

Provide accurate, timely and comprehensive documentation on the public involvement process

Publish and distribute the draft environmental documents for review and also notify the public, elected officials and other stakeholders of upcoming community meetings and public hearings

Create and implement a meaningful public involvement process, and Evaluate the public involvement process on a regular basis

The Plan

The Public Outreach and Communications Plan for the Congestion Reduction Demonstration Project is comprised of the following primary elements:

(1) Establishment of Corridor Advisory Groups and Coordination with Technical Advisory Group

(2) Facilitation of Community Participation within CAGs and with community organizations (including Community Workshops) and Legislative Briefings

(3) Issues Identification and Management

(4) Marketing Communications

(5) Ongoing Monitoring and Review

(1) Corridor Advisory Groups (CAGs) and Technical Advisory Group (TAG)

The Education and Outreach Program will be organized principally around Corridor Advisory Groups comprised of stakeholders along the I-110 and I-10/210 Corridors. The primary role of the CAGs is to:

  • Provide consultation to the project team on key community issues.
  • Help identify impacts and develop mitigation measures.

The TAG is comprised of agency representatives with technical expertise relative to the congestion reduction demonstration project, including Metro, Caltrans, SCAG, LADOT, Metrolink, FTA, FHWA, Los Angeles County Public Works, Foothill, Gardena and Torrance Municipal Transit, San Gabriel Valley COG, South Bay Cities COG, Gateway Cities COG, and the LAEDC. Others may be added over the course of the study.

The TAG’s role is to vet all of the technical aspects of the program and be available to the CAGs for consultation.

(2) Facilitation of Community Participation

(a) Develop database of all stakeholders (community groups, residents, local and regional business owners, labor, environmental organizations, employers, employees, academia, cultural and entertainment attractions, emergency responders, media, surface transportation industry, policy leaders, other institutions, etc.) Track interested individuals and groups, their areas of interest, communication with them, and other pertinent information for the duration of the program.

(b) Organize agenda, meeting participants and all logistics for quarterly meetings of each CAG.

(c) Conduct legislative briefings and community briefings on an ongoing basis.

(3) Meeting Coordination and Facilitation

(a) Develop facilitation plan to include schedule of CAG and community group meetings/workshops, locations, meeting formats, speakers/presenters, and content of presentation material.

(b) Document all meetings (agendas, notices, ads, website, meeting materials, summaries, notes and minutes, public comment log).

(c) Include “New” media in outreach (virtual meetings, blogs, electronic news outlets, discussion boards, etc.). Monitor these forums and incorporate findings into issues analyses.

(4) Issues Identification and Management (including residential and business impacts re: equity, mobility, commute times, general purpose lanes, surface streets, carpoolers, van poolers, mitigations, toll signage, transponder distribution, other)

(a) Determine how various aspects of the project impact stakeholders and other constituency groups.

(5) Marketing and Education Communications

(a) Identify target audiences (commuters, transit providers, residents, businesses, employers, employees, labor, environmental, policy leaders, government agencies, etc.) and develop corollary key messages that are consistent with the goals and objectives of the demonstration project.

(b) Conduct market research to assess attitudes and perceptions among target audiences, and identify barriers, advantages and levels of support. The market research will assess perceptions and attitudes among elected officials, general public, low income commuters, car poolers, and transit.

(c) Implement Media Relations and Public Affairs Strategy (community based marketing, media planning).

(d) Implement Marketing Plan (surveys, multi-media advertising).

(e) Develop Collateral Educational Materials (bi-lingual website, brochure, poster, newsletters, fact sheets, FAQs, Take Ones, video, etc.).

(f) Create a series of special purpose documents related to issues that the public is sensitive to and that can be shared with key stakeholders and policy makers. These issues may include community benefits, economic development impacts, job opportunities, neighborhood economic development, project funding/costs, public process, station development and others as they may develop.

(g) Refine Marketing Plan for Demonstration Project implementation.

(6) Ongoing Monitoring and Review

Quarterly Progress Reports will be prepared to document and evaluate progress on Plan goals. Develop evaluation criteria to determine that goals have been met after every phase of Public Involvement activity.

Dates, Target Audiences, and Project Milestones for Public Outreach

Dates* Target Audiences Project Milestone for Outreach Activity
August 16, 18, 20 & 23
September 12 & 20
November 13, 2008
General Public Community Workshops (introduce project for I-10 and I-110)
November 5, 6 & 8, 2008 CAGs Review Public Outreach Plan
February 2, 3 & 5, 2009 CAGs, General Public Concept of Operations
June 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 20 & 22, 2009 CAGs, General Public Draft Toll Policy, Draft Performance Measures, and Draft Toll Rates
March 2, 9 & 10, 2010 CAGs, General Public Draft Environmental Documents and Draft Low Income Commuter Assessment
June 6, 8 & 9, 2011 CAGs, General Public Construction Overview and Transponder Distribution Plan

* Actual.

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