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Public Participation Plan
The Adirondack / Glens Falls Transportation Council (A/GFTC) is the designated Metropolitan
Planning Organization (MPO) for the Planning and Programming Area that includes all of
Warren County, all of Washington County, and the Town of Moreau and Village of South Glens
Falls in northern Saratoga County. A/GFTC is responsible for facilitating a regional
transportation planning and programming process that is continuing, cooperative and
comprehensive for all area projects and activities eligible for funding through the Federal
Highway and Federal Transit Administrations. The active participation of the public and
community as a whole, in addition to area elected officials and municipal professionals, is
necessary in order for the transportation planning process to be effective.
A/GFTC is committed to facilitating meaningful public participation. This document will outline
a standard policy for encouraging public input and ensuring access to major A/GFTC activities
A. Meetings, Appearances and Access to Staff
A/GFTC holds meetings that allow frequent access to the planning process, including Technical
Advisory Committee meetings (generally every six to eight weeks) and two to three Policy
Committee meetings annually. These meetings are open to the public and always held in
accessible locations. Hearing ‐ or sight ‐impaired or limited English‐ speaking individuals will be
assistance if A/GFTC is given timely advance notification. All meetings are
announced at least one week prior to the event and are open to the public. Time is allotted on
all Technical Advisory and Policy Committee meeting agendas for visitors issues. Although rare,
any special meetings of these committees outside of those that are regularly scheduled will beadvertised and conducted under the same set of procedures.
Aside from regular committee meetings, the Council periodically engages in specific planning
studies that require involvement of individuals that may have a direct personal or professional
stake in the outcome of the study. Public input is critical during these studies to ensure that a
wide variety of issues and alternatives are identified and addressed. Outreach efforts need to
be appropriately tailored to community interests in order to generate involvement. In the past,
A/GFTC has advertised local planning initiatives in smaller local print publications and by
posting notices at community gathering points such as banks, churches, restaurants, stores, and
recreational facilities. The Council also strives to hold public meetings at locations and times
that are accessible and convenient to local stakeholders, often in conjunction with recurring
municipal meetings to maximize outreach. Non ‐traditional meeting venues will also be
considered provided that those locations are universally accessible.
Public appearances do not necessarily have to be tied to a specific project or initiative. A/GFTC
staff has been and will continue to be present at different locations throughout the year such as
local commercial centers, recreational areas, libraries, community expos and other locations or
functions that could generate interaction between staff and the public. Informational materials,
draft documents and comment forms are provided to encourage feedback and to communicate
the significance of local involvement in the planning process. Public appearances are
announced in advance with information on dates, times, and locations.
The A/GFTC office is located in downtown Glens Falls within the handicap ‐accessible Empire
Theater Plaza, near many other services and destinations and accessible by public transit. Staff
members are available to discuss issues and concerns with members of the public. Response to
public requests and inquiries is given a high priority.
B. Access to Planning Documents
The core documents produced by A/GFTC that serve to govern the Council’s programs and
policies in accordance with the Final Metropolitan Planning Rule are the Long Range Plan , the
Transportation Improvement Program , and the Unified Planning Work Program .
The Long Range Plan (LRP) establishes a program of both short ‐
and long‐term goals and recommendations for a planning horizon of 20 ‐25 years, and is designed to facilitate the
development of an integrated and efficient intermodal transportation system. The LRP is
updated once every four years; the current LRP for A/GFTC is 2035 Ahead.
The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a listing of capital surface
transportation projects that are selected and programmed to receive federal funding.
The TIP is updated every two years and represents a prioritized listing of projects
intended to address the challenges and opportunities listed in the LRP.
The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) is the annual work program
the transportation planning and programming activities that are to be undertaken by
the staff in support of the Council during the current State Fiscal Year(s). The UPWP
coordinates annual tasks that the MPO hopes to accomplish in support of the LRP
through the use of FHWA and FTA funding in addition to local and
Figure 1 illustrates the relationship between the major products of the MPO process and the
development of capital projects, as well as the numerous opportunities for public involvement
that are available throughout that process.
In addition to the core documents, A/GFTC will typically enga
ge in 1‐3 individual projects per
year that are listed in that year’s UPWP as distinct tasks. The reports that result from the
execution of those tasks are considered to be major planning studies.
(cities, towns, and villages) Federal and State
Adirondack / Glens Falls Transportation Council
Issue and Project Identification
prioritization and selection
Improvement Program (TIP)
Figure 1 ‐ Public Involvement Opportunities in the MPO Process
The following requirements have been established by A/GFTC and will be followed during the
production of the Long Range Plan, TIP, UPWP, and major planning studies:
1. Core documents and major planning studies are developed in consultation with the
public and affected local, State, and municipal planning, economic development, and
2. Draft versions of all MPO core documents and major planning studies will be made
available to the public for review and comment for a period of at least thirty days.
3. Legal notices will accompany public comment periods for draft core documents. Copies
of those draft core documents are to be made available at loca
l municipal offices and public libraries. Those locations are listed on the A/GFTC website when the documents
4. Copies of documents will be made available to individuals with disabilities upon request
by mail or direct consultation by appointment as is reasonable and warranted.
5. All draft documents are available on A/GFTC’s website. The site features links to
comment modules for each document.
6. All public comments received are documented and considered by A/GFTC staff and the
TAC for incorporation into each final document as is warranted and appropriate prior to
the adoption of final documents by the Policy Committee.
7. Major comments that generate significant revisions between publically ‐distributed
draft documents and final documents will be summarized and included as appendices to
Throughout any given program year, A/GFTC staff utilizes consultant contracts to facilitate
smaller‐ scale planning and engineering assistance to participating memb
These efforts are typically less time intensive than conventional planning studies and are
targeted towards addressing a local, rather than a regional issue, transportation issue. The
resulting reports are generally not adopted by Policy Committee. A process similar to the one
noted above for core documents and major planning studies will be followed for these technical
assistance contracts and other A/GFTC activities that result in a written report, hereby
referenced collectively as technical reports.
1. Technical reports
are developed in consultation with the public and affected local,
State, and municipal planning, economic development, and environmental
2. Prior to finalizing the documents, draft versions
of technical reports will be posted
online at the A/GFTC website for public review for a period of fourteen days.
3. Copies of draft documents will be made available to individuals with disabilities upon
request by mail or direct consultation by appointment as is reasonable and warranted.
4. All public comments received are documented and
considered by A/GFTC staff and the
TAC for incorporation into each final document as is warranted and appropriate.
Major comments that generate significant revisions between publically ‐distributed draft
documents and final documents will be summarized and included as appendices to
The A/GFTC website ( www.agftc.org
) was developed in 2001 with the goal of facilitating public
involvement as a high priority. Draft documents, final publications, meeting announcements,
agendas and meeting minutes are all available for review and comment. A/GFTC requires
consultants to provide electronic copies of all documents produced for the Council to facilitate
online viewing by and email distribution to interested parties. A separate link to contact staff
directly is easily accessed from the home page, and all draft documents include an electronic
comment form that generates an e ‐mail message to A/GFTC staff at the request of the user (the
site also contains phone, fax, and mailing contact information for A/GFTC staff). The webs
has become the principal mode for the sharing and distribution of documents. Although the site
is an effective tool for posting news on recent staff activities and publishing documents and
announcements, utilization of the site by the public to submit comments and suggestions is
A/GFTC has a dedicated organizational Facebook page and Twitter account that can used to
distribute project development updates and
meeting announcements and to post draft
documents. The inherent advantages of these platforms is that they allow for immediate public
interaction and entail minimal staff effort. However, the effective range is limited to enrollees
their online connections. Staff will continue to use these platforms as a supplement to the
website, monitor emerging online interaction platform trends and adjust outreach activities
Conventional media (mailing, print, radio, and television)
Given the widespread availability and usage of online information and social interaction sites,
A/GFTC has become less reliant upon conventional media. Staff
has determined that mass
circulation of printed materials is generally costly, consumptive, and inefficient. Printed
materials are still deployed on a limited basis and are individually available upon request.
A/GFTC periodically conducts targeted mailings and surveys via conventional mail, and mail
remains the primary means to communicate funding and programming opportunities to
A/GFTC member municipalities.
media coverage of A/GFTC activities from daily and weekly publications has been poor.
Press releases often do not generate the desired responses; many A/GFTC planning activities,
regardless of scale, go largely unreported. Advertising in print media has also been determined
by staff to be of high cost and low yield. A/GFTC will continue to purchase legal notices to
announce public comment periods
for draft core documents. Staff will also continue to send
out press releases regarding ongoing planning efforts and related public workshops
Utilization of local radio stations has proven to yield mixed results for A/GFTC. Targeted
communications to local stations regarding specific ongoing planning studies have generated
favorable responses and occasional on ‐air interview opportunities. However, radio advertising
has not proven to be a cost ‐effective means of notification regarding A/GFTC activities.
Television coverage opportunities for A/GFTC are limited. The A/GFTC area is generally
considered to be part of the larger Albany ‐Schene
ctady ‐Troy media market; most network
coverage is centered around the greater Capital District. Coverage from Look TV, an
independent station, and YNN, a 24 ‐hour cable local news network, has been fair, with
occasional responses to press releases resulting in on ‐air interview opportunities as well as
televised meeting reports. Staff
has invested no money directed towards TV advertising, but
will continue to notify TV stations of ongoing events via press release.
D. Summary of Action Items
Public involvement is critical to the transportation planning process for several reasons,
including broadening the array of issues that can be identified to maximize responsiveness to
public issues and concerns, increasing the sense of ownership and influence on a project or
initiative, facilitating public consensus, and enhanced public awareness. Providing avenues for
public access to the planning process at every practical opportunity is essential,
participating public must also know their comments and suggestions will be taken seriously.
A/GFTC will continue to implement the following procedures to maximize meaningful and
ongoing public participation:
Meetings, Appearances and Access to Staff
A. All A/GFTC Technical Advisory Committee and Policy Committee meetings are open to
the public and held in accessible locations.
B. Advance notification will be given for planned public appearances.
C. A/GFTC will continue to staff a professional office in an accessible location.
D. Staff is available to the public during office hours or by appointment if necessary.
E. Responsiveness to public inquiries will be given top priority.
Access to Planning Documents
A. Core documents and major planning studies will be:
1. produced in consultation with the public as well as affected public and regional
2. made available in draft form online and individually upon request for a public
comment period of no less than 30 days, with public comment periods
advertised in local media. Copies of draft core
documents will also be made
available at local municipal offices and libraries during the public comment
3. finalized via adoption by the Policy Committee after consideration and
documentation of any substantive public comments submitted and received
during the public comment periods.
Technical reports will be:
1. produced in consultation with the public as well as affected public and regional
2. made available in draft form online for a period of 14 days.
3. finalized by the Technical Advisory Committee after consideration and
documentation of any substantive public comments submitted and received
the public comment periods.
A. The A/GFTC website will be the primary means of outgoing communication. Draft and
final documents, meeting announcements and updates of ongoing staff and consultant
activities will continue to be posted.
B. Social media sites will be maintained and used to supplement website postings. Postings
on these sites are to:
1. provide public notification of scheduled meetings and
2. provide public notification of the availability of draft documents and public
3. provide alternative means for public comment and questions.
C. Legal notices will be purchased to announce public comment periods for and the
availability of draft core documents.
D. Press releases will be used to announce:
1. public meet
ings associated with major planning studies.
2. public comment periods for and the availability of draft core documents.
E. Targeted surveys, mailings, and public postings will be used to publicize and generate
public comment on ongoing major planning studies and technical reports as is
warranted by the scale of the effort.
A/GFTC will continue to monitor meeting attendance,
public comments, web inquiries, and
general feedback as a means of improving the Council’s outreach efforts.