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August 21, 2014
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Home > Transportation > Getting Involved

Getting Involved A Citizens Guide


The Washington region is facing serious transportation challenges that will affect us all in the near future. If current trends continue, congestion will get much worse. If we decide we want a better future, it is up to every citizen to become more informed in transportation issues - and take action.

How can you get involved?

There are many places and ways for citizens to become better informed and more involved, although it is often most effective to get involved early in the decision-making process. Here are some of the possibilities:

Get Involved in regional transportation issues at the Transportation Planning Board:

  • Express yourself for the record. Citizens have the opportunity to make statements and provide testimony at a number of venues, including formal public hearings and information-sharing meetings on projects and plans. In addition, most local governments and planning commissions, including the TPB, have public comment periods on their agendas.
  • Present your ideas during the TPB public comment period at the beginning of each board meeting. TPB meetings begin at 12 noon on the third Wednesday of each month (except August). To participate, call (202) 962-3315.

  • Put it in writing. Send a letter or submit a written statement to key decision makers. Addresses for key agencies is listed at the back of this guide.
  • You can submit a written statement to the TPB through our website at www.mwcog.org. You may also send your message by e-mail (TPBPublicComment@mwcog.org) or regular mail. Letters are made available to all TPB members and become part of the permanent record.

  • Volunteer to serve. Participate in an ad hoc advisory group for a local or regional transportation study. Or volunteer to serve as a member of a standing citizens committee, such as the TPB’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).
  • Volunteer as a member of the TPB’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). The CAC accepts applications for new membership every November. CAC members serve for one year, and are eligible for multiple terms.

For more information on the transportation planning process in the Washington region, download A Citizens Guide To Transportation Decision-Making in the Washington Region.

There are many other ways to become active in transportation decision-making. Many projects are formulated based on local needs. State agencies often determine which projects to pursue. The following represent several of the many ways citizens can have an impact on transportation challenges facing the region.

  • Get informed. Follow transportation issues in the media. Search the internet for information about projects and plans. Have your name placed on mailing or e-mail lists to receive newsletters or regular updates.
  • Contact local, regional and state transportation planning agencies to ask for information about projects in which you are interested. Find out how citizens are involved in these projects.

  • Get out there. Attend public meetings on projects or plans. These sessions are often advertised in local papers or posted on the Internet by local or state agencies.
  • Talk with decision makers. Contact elected officials or the staff at transportation agencies to request information about projects or plans. Find out how citizens can get involved.
  • Work with your neighbors. Contact your neighborhood or civic association to see if their members are interested in a particular transportation issue and if they plan to take any action.
  • Join a group. Join an organized group that is promoting a specific transportation project or is advocating broad policy changes regarding transportation investments in your community or across the region.

The project development process can be confusing in a region as large and as diverse as our own. This flowchart describes when decisions on transportation projects take place.


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