Community Outreach

Outreach and Public Involvement Shape 2050 Plan’s Success

In accordance with the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, OKI is committed to the goal of securing active and representative participation from all segments of the community in its transportation planning and decision making process.

We view comprehensive, strategic stakeholder outreach and public involvement essential to the success of the 2050 Metropolitan Plan. As such, the Public Involvement Plan (PIP) detailed on this page was developed at the on-set and implemented over the course of the yearlong 2050 Plan update process. Though this PIP acts as a roadmap for the efforts to be undertaken, adjustments are made along the way to adapt to public and staff needs as the Plan evolves.

Public Involvement Objectives

Objectives for the 2050 Plan’s outreach and public involvement efforts include:

  • Providing multiple opportunities for stakeholders and the public to review plan-related information and obtain updates on the progress being made by the plan to identify projects to address regional goals.
  • Providing stakeholders and the public with multiple opportunities through which they can provide feedback to OKI staff and the plan’s development.
  • Tying in the plan to OKI’s overall work activities and mission to communicate a clear, coordinated and comprehensive public message.
  • Updating community members who participated in the previous update, performed in 2016, while identifying and reaching out to new, previously untapped community members and stakeholders.

Environmental Justice Outreach

In 2003, OKI adopted a Policy for Environmental Justice (EJ), which has since been incorporated into the OKI Public Participation Plan (PPP). This policy defines the agency’s commitment to fairly and without discrimination include representative involvement from all segments of the community in the transportation planning process. The PPP was updated in January 2018 and serves as guide for EJ coordination for the OKI 2050 Plan.

  • Specific contacts for the organizations that serve or represent EJ populations will be identified as part of the Stakeholder Database development task. EJ contacts will be provided with project updates, meeting notices and other pertinent information as it becomes available. As the plan’s EJ analysis and project outreach efforts progress, the Public Involvement Specialist will update the EJ organization list as needed.
  • Direct communications to members of the OKI Environmental Justice Advisory Committee.
  • Community meetings with Community Councils in the densely urban areas of the region to disseminate information about OKI including the 2050 Plan Update.

Public involvement and outreach efforts will also follow applicable procedures outlined in the PPP. To the extent possible and practical, measures to be implemented include, but are not limited to:

  • Tailor communications to meet the varying abilities of the public to access and review project-related information.
  • Use multiple communications channels to reach a broad and diverse audience.
  • Keep representatives of organizations that serve and/or represent EJ populations in the project area informed about the plan, its progress and public involvement opportunities.
  • Choose times and days for public meetings that are generally convenient for most people (typically, weekday evening hours).
  • Choose public meeting locations that are geographically convenient to the majority of interested and impacted stakeholders, accessible to public transit (if available), and in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Placing public notices in general circulating newspapers at least 14 days in advance of public meetings.
  • Posting notices on oki.org at least 14 days in advance of meetings; notifying EJ organizations and media targeting EJ populations about meeting dates, times and locations.

2050 Plan Stakeholders

Stakeholders are individuals, businesses, civic organizations, government officials, public agencies and others who have an interest in the outcome of the plan, and to whom outreach efforts will be targeted. In addition, stakeholders provide an additional way of reaching the region’s diverse public-at-large. The degree and frequency to which each audience will be communicated with will vary depending on their needs and level of interest. Staff will review the stakeholders list regularly to ensure that it appropriately reflects the key, diverse audiences.
In accordance with The Fast Act, OKI consulted with officials responsible for other types of planning activities listed below during the development of this plan.

  • Bicycle and pedestrian representatives
  • Chambers of Commerce and tourism
  • Cincinnati Area Community Council Presidents
  • OKI Board of Directors
  • OKI Environmental Justice Advisory Committee Members
  • OKI Inter-Agency Consultation Group (IAC)
  • OKI Intermodal Coordinating Committee Members
  • OKI private freight-related contacts
  • OKI Unified Planning Work Program contacts
  • Private and not-for-profit transportation providers
  • Transit agencies

Public Messaging

Key messages set the tone for a project and when used regularly by staff, work to consistently communicate important information regardless of the time, place or person speaking or writing. Below are the key messages to be used during the Plan’s update. Other messages may be developed as the Plan progresses to provide more detailed information to the public as it becomes available.

  • As the region grows, additional demands are placed on the existing transportation system. The Plan identifies the improvements our region will need to have for a healthy and strong future.
  • The Plan guides how your tax dollars are re-invested in our region in an equitable fashion to improve the mobility of people and goods. The Plan is a prerequisite for every Federal dollar our region receives to make transportation improvements.
  • Public input is integral to the Plan’s success. Public feedback will inform staff and help shape the vision for the region’s future.

Strategies and Tactics

Strategies and tactics are the core of a public involvement plan. While strategies express in general terms what staff is going to do, tactics state very specifically what will be done, who will do it and when. The success of efforts to engage the public to participate in transportation planning efforts depends upon the methods employed to publicize opportunities for participation; access to information for education or comment; type and format of information provided; timing of participation in terms of frequency and correlation to final decision making; opportunities for dialogue and comment; consideration given to public comments and discussion; and incorporation of public participation. All of these elements have been considered in the drafting of the following 2050 Plan strategies and tactics for public involvement.

Strategies

Develop and reiterate key messages to stakeholders and the public regularly and consistently through multiple communications channels.

  • Integrate formal public involvement efforts with targeted communications activities in order to effectively communicate with the Plan’s diverse stakeholders and audiences.
  • Use media outreach and existing communications platforms (includes oki.org, Constant Contact, Facebook, Twitter along with other county/community-based websites and printed publications) to disseminate Plan-related information to stakeholders as updates occur and are relevant.

Tactics

Tactics that will be used to achieve the objectives of the 2050 Plan, the parties responsible for implementation and anticipated timing are outlined below. Updates will be made as needed to keep tactics in line with the plan’s development to ensure public involvement.

Stakeholder Database

(October 2019)

OKI staff developed and managed a stakeholder database for the plan’s update. Maintained in Constant Contact and Outlook, the database included contact information for individuals representing key stakeholder groups, Environmental Justice organizations as well as other business and civic organizations. This included citizens-at-large that have participated in past OKI plans and studies as interested members of the public.

OKI Member Presentations

(June 2019 through June 2020)

Various modes of communication were used to update OKI members. This included monthly presentations on the Plan’s status to the ICC and Executive Committee and Board.

Social Media

(Ongoing)

OKI staff prepared and posted project information and updates through OKI social media channels (Facebook and Twitter).

Media Relations

(Ongoing)

OKI’s communications specialist coordinated media relations efforts to convey information about the 2040 Plan as it progressed. Media relations efforts will include:

  • Providing project background information to reporters at key media outlets.
  • Developing and distributing releases at key stages in the Plan’s development.
  • Sharing the dates, times and locations of public involvement meetings,
  • Including legal ads publicizing public meetings were distributed at least 14 days prior to meeting dates.
  • Coordinating interviews between project representatives and key media outlets as needed.

Public Survey

(January 2020 through February 2020)

A survey was created to learn from the public their greatest transportation needs and concerns. The survey was accessible online at oki.org, OKI’s Facebook page, our Twitter feed and in paper format. OKI engaged the PublicInput platform to build and disseminate the survey. Staff promoted the survey across a variety of channels to engage stakeholders to complete the survey.

Over 2,700 surveys were submitted and staff considered along with the Planning Assumptions data and input from OKI members, to develop the draft project list.

Environmental Consultations

(October 2019 through March 2020)

OKI Staff engaged state and local officials involved with environmental protection about how best to avoid the potential environmental impacts of transportation planning. Learn more about the Environmental Consultations.

Staff met with the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce

(September 2019)

Staff met with Chamber leadership to discuss the plan in order for the Chamber to share an update with its members. Timeline, process, purpose and a detailed discussion on demographic data was provided.

Public Involvement Meetings and/or Events

(May 2020)

Due to concerns regarding COVID-19, public meeting opportunities were significantly altered. We were scheduled to participate in the annual Neighborhood Summit held at the Cintas Center on March 14, 2020. However, due to health concerns related to the COVID-19 virus, the event was cancelled by organizers.
Regardless, OKI staff continued to engage the public with the following activities:

  • Messages and updates sent via email to stakeholders, EJ organizations and other interested parties
  • Meeting/event notices posted on 2050.oki.org
  • Facebook and Twitter posts

Modified Public Hearing

(June 8, 2020)

In accordance with the OKI Participation Plan, a public hearing will be held prior to adoption of the Plan by the OKI Board. Due to concerns regarding COVID-19, a modified Public Hearing containing a narrated PowerPoint presentation for the OKI 2050 Regional Transportation Plan will be available here at 5 p.m. (EST) Monday, June 8, 2020. OKI encourages and is accepting public comments until Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at noon.

The 2050 Plan documents are available at 2050.oki.org at least fourteen days prior to the virtual public hearing which coincided with the placement of the legal notice. In addition, a link to the OKI 2050 Metropolitan Transportation Plan was placed at each of the following main libraries’ websites in the OKI region for additional public access.

 

OKI’s Organization Structure

Independent of OKI’s Public Participation Plan (PPP), the public is involved in decision making through provisions in OKI’s organizational structure. OKI was established as a public, non-profit organization under the Ohio Revised Code. Agency structure, responsibilities and authority are described in the OKI Articles of Agreement. The structure of OKI includes four standing committees that involve public officials and others in the development of plans, programs and policy adoption. The 2050 Plan will provide updates and engage the members of the following, standing OKI committees throughout the Update:

  • Board of Directors
  • Executive Committee
  • Intermodal Coordinating Committee (ICC)
  • EJ Advisory Committee

2050 OKI Plan – OKI Staff

The 2050 Regional Transportation Plan is an agency-wide effort with many contributions from our staff. The project manager is deputy director, Robert Koehler with Suzanne Parkey as lead web designer and developer. Communications specialist Jim Pickering along with CEO Mark R. Policinski led the editing process.

Following is a list of contributing staff: (Contact information for individual staff members can be found here OKI Staff Listing).

Robyn Bancroft Strategic Initiatives Manager
Regina Fields Project Administrator
Brandon Flessner GIS Developer
Summer Jones Transportation Alternatives Coordinator
Robert Koehler Deputy Executive Director, 2050 Project Manager
Tim Maltry GIS Technician
Andy Meyer Senior Planner
Travis Miller Regional Planning Manager
Margaret Minzner Environmental Senior Planner
Florence Parker Environmental Justice/Public Involvement Specialist
Suzanne Parkey Sr. Digital Communications Coordinator
Jim Pickering Communications Specialist

Lorrie Platt Communications & Legislative Affairs Manager
Mark Policinski Chief Executive Officer
Brett Porter Senior Transportation Planner
Andy Reser Transportation Programming Manager
Brandon Rudd Senior Planner/Demographer
David Rutter Senior Planner
David Shuey GIS Manager
Jenn Spreckelmeier Board Assistant/Project Administrator
Gabriela Waesch GIS Analyst
Hui Xie Senior Engineer/Senior Planner
Liren Zhou Transportation Modeling Manager
Nathan Ziegler Transportation Planner
Ting Zuo Transportation Analyst & Programmer

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