Community Engagement

It’s challenging for the TPO to attract and hold people’s interest, show that involvement is worthwhile, and provide opportunities for direct impact on decisions.

The transportation planning process is complex. There are acronyms and jargon that are hard for people to understand and projects often take 10 – 30 years to go from idea to construction. And the TPO is responsible for distributing funding but doesn’t manage projects (projects are managed by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and city and county governments).

Outreach Goals

  • Increase and improve opportunities to include the public in the planning process.
  • Increase the accessibility and transparency of information.
  • Increase the efficiency of the outreach process.
  • Provide more ways to be heard in the transportation planning process.
  • Make transportation decisions that meet the needs of all people in our region.
  • Enhance the environmental justice process.

The TPO prioritizes working with the public to develop transportation plans and programs. Significant public outreach results in greater community support for plans that help achieve the region’s goals for the future. The TPO’s Outreach Plan serves as a working tool for TPO staff to refer to with each new plan to ensure that adequate public notice is given and the community is engaged throughout the project. General policies guide how outreach is approached for all plans and programs while guidelines for individual plans allow the TPO to go above and beyond the general policies. This is done through measures such as outreach to specific target populations, public notice in newspapers or other media outlets in addition to those used regularly, pop-up meetings at events or locations where the target audience can be found, and other similar efforts.

Outreach Plan

Public participation is integral to good transportation policies, programs, and projects. Meaningful community engagement is central to good decision-making.

The Outreach Plan fulfills federal requirements and serves as a working tool for TPO staff to refer to with each new plan or project.

Within this plan, general policies are based on regulations and requirements which guide outreach and engagement for all plans and programs. It also includes customization for specific plans and projects that allows the TPO to be flexible and conduct outreach that works best for a specific topic or study area.

The Outreach Plan was adopted by the TPO Executive Board on October 27, 2021.

2021 TPO Outreach Plan  |  2021 TPO Outreach Plan Appendices

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