Getting Involved in the Process
How do you fit into the transportation planning process?
A resident's role in the transportation planning process is important. State and local governments cannot have a true understanding of a community's needs without input from its residents. While transportation officials can get much of the necessary information independently, local input is still a vital part of the process. As a resident, your knowledge of the area is extensive, and your input crucial to the planning process.
The GVMC is federally required to maintain a Public Participation Plan that explains how public comment is sought and incorporated into the planning process. To view this document please click the link below.
The GVMC also maintains and abides by a Title VI Plan. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the overarching civil rights law prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in any program, service or activity that receives federal assistance. Our Title VI Plan spells out the policies, assurances, procedures, and structure for oversight and compliance with Title VI. To view this document please click the link below.
On August 11, 2000, President William J. Clinton signed Executive Order 13166: Improving Access to Service for Persons with Limited English Proficiency to clarify Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Its purpose was to ensure accessibility to programs and services to otherwise eligible persons who are not proficient in the English language.
This executive order stated that individuals who do not speak English well and who have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English are entitled to language assistance under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with respect to a particular type of service, benefit, or encounter. These individuals are referred to as being limited in their ability to speak, read, write, or understand English, hence the designation, “LEP,” or Limited English Proficient.
GVMC also maintans a LEP Plan which documents how GVMC will accommodate LEP individuals. To view this document please click the link below.
The transportation planning process is ongoing and can take several years. By being involved in the process you can make sure that transportation planners are aware of your needs and concerns. To get involved in the planning process, you can:
- Put your name on GVMC's Interested Citizen/Agency List.
The best way to remain up-to-date on public involvement opportunities is to request to be added to GVMC's Interested Citizen/Agency List. You'll receive updates, meeting invitations, and other information from the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council Transportation Division. If you wish to be added to this list, please email your contact information (including full name and mailing address) to GVMC staff, or call Andrea Faber at (616) 776.7603 to give your contact information over the phone.
- Attend MPO meetings.
The GVMC Transportation Division generally has two major Committee meetings per month that are open to the public and during which public comment is solicited. Committee meeting agendas and minutes are posted online.
Technical Committee – meets at 9:30 a.m. the 1st Wednesday of the month at the Kent County Road Commission – 1500 Scribner Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Policy Committee – meets at 9:30 a.m. the 3rd Wednesday of the month at the Kent County Road Commission – 1500 Scribner Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
During the development of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan and the Transportation Improvement Program, the GVMC Transportation division holds a series of public meeting opportunities, and likewise, public comment is encouraged when these two documents are modified or amended. Also, special studies such as the Kent County Transit Needs Assessment often have public meetings and public comment periods associated with them.
- Provide your input on the transportation plans in your region.
The two most important transportation planning documents that the GVMC produces, the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) and Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), are updated every four years and public input is an important component in their development. Please check the main GVMC webpage or keep an eye out for newsprint postings in the Advance, Grand Rapids Press, Grand Rapids Times, and El Vocero Hispano for MTP and TIP public meeting opportunities.
- Ask a transportation official to attend a meeting or event with your neighborhood association, Rotary club, school, agency, or other civic organization and explain the transportation planning process.
GVMC staff is always happy to help the public navigate the transportation planning process and help the citizens of Kent and Eastern Ottawa Counties find the information they need to stay informed and active participants in this process. Please feel free to call 616- 776-3876 or email Abed Itani or Andrea Faber with any questions or concerns you have.
To be notified of upcoming public meetings, please email us your contact information. Make sure to include your full name and mailing address.
Banner photo by Natekal23 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons