Washington County is the second most populous and the most culturally diverse county in Oregon. As the county has grown rapidly in the past several decades, the Department of Land Use & Transportation (LUT) has worked to improve our transportation infrastructure. We have become a leader among Oregon's public agencies in the delivery of major transportation capital projects. This is a direct result of the county's innovative transportation funding system, a high degree of cooperation among the county and its cities, and the continued support of our residents and businesses. While we have made remarkable progress, much more work remains to achieve our collective transportation goals as defined in the county's Transportation System Plan (TSP).
Public input helps transportation decision makers understand communities' perspectives on the issues being considered. Along with technical data, analysis, and professional expertise, community input is an important consideration in helping decision makers to reach informed decisions. LUT is committed to providing access to information and meaningful public participation opportunities in our transportation planning, programs and projects.
LUT Public Involvement Guidelines for Transportation Planning, Programs and Projects
We are wrapping up the process of updating our Public Involvement Guidelines for Transportation Planning, Programs and Projects. In January 2014, we issued a draft version and initiated a 45-day public comment period.
We received two letters of comment. A summary of the comments received and responses to the comments can be found here.
To obtain a hardcopy of the guidelines or submit comments, contact LUT Communications Coordinator Stephen Roberts at 503-846-4963, firstname.lastname@example.org or at 155 N First Avenue, Suite 350-16, Hillsboro, Oregon 97124.
- LUT's public involvement objectives
- background information about the county's transportation programs, decision making processes and opportunities to get involved
- public involvement tools, techniques and strategies LUT uses
- best practices for developing public involvement plans that encourage participation by all members of our diverse communities
Anticipated next steps:
- Board adoption of the public involvement guidelines (late September 2014)
Opportunities to get involved
The Rural Roads Operations and Maintenance Advisory Committee (RROMAC) works with county staff and advises the Board of Commissioners on issues related to rural roads. RROMAC had a voice in the most recent update of the county's Transportation Plan, and was instrumental in development of the current gravel road upgrades program.
The Urban Road Maintenance District Advisory Committee (URMDAC) works with county staff and advises the Board of Commissioners on issues related to road maintenance and safety improvements provided by the Urban Road Maintenance District (URMD). URMDAC reviews and makes recommendations regarding service levels and annual work programs, assists in evaluating the cost effectiveness and efficiency of URMD, and advises on continuation of URMD and/or other long-range funding opportunities for road maintenance.
The Minor Betterment Program Selection Committee considers and recommends Minor Betterment Program projects for construction. The committee consists of county staff representing the Department of Land Use and Transportation and citizens representing the Rural Roads Operations and Maintenance Advisory Committee, the Urban Road Maintenance District Advisory Committee, and the Committee for Citizen Involvement.
For certain large or complex transportation capital improvement projects, advisory committees made up of agency staff, project stakeholders and community members may be utilized. These committees often make recommendations concerning project design features, community impacts, and mitigation measures.
If you'd rather help in a more outdoors, hands-on way, consider adopting a road to pick up litter or to maintain roadway landscaping. Adopt-A-Road is LUT's largest volunteer program. During Fiscal Year 2012-13, 138 linear road miles were adopted for litter pick-up by 102 Adopt-A-Road volunteer groups who performed a total of 113 cleanups. Seven active Adopt-A-Landscape volunteer groups pulled weeds and kept shrubs pruned along seven urban roadways. Call Adopt-A-Road at 503-846-7623.
One way to stay informed and have an impact on land use and transportation decisions is to get involved in your local Citizen Participation Organization (CPO). There are 17 CPOs in Washington County, organized geographically. The CPO program is supported by Oregon State University's Washington County Extension Office through an intergovernmental agreement with Washington County. Visit www.co.washington.or.us/cpo or call 503-821-1128 to be added to the newsletter mailing list so you can stay abreast of timely and relevant information in your community. For more information about CPOs and local issues, e-mail email@example.com or call 503-821-1128 and ask to speak with a CPO Coordinator.