Tell us what you think: Complete a survey to
contribute ideas for improving our area. Also feel free to call, e-mail,
or write us regarding broad transportation issues or
specific project questions or ideas.
Stay informed: Sign up for e-mail notifications
of the NTRPDC newsletter, which provides an overview of
transportation and other community development activities in
the Northern Tier.
Seize the power of good timing:Understanding
state and regional planning and programming cycles and proposing
ideas or showing support for a project at the right time makes
it possible for those projects to be considered sooner.
Consider the big picture: Becoming familiar
with state and regional long-range transportation plans helps
you understand what broad issues and opportunities transportation
leaders are working to address, and helps you make the case for
why your proposed project is important in fulfilling the plans’ goals.
Even better, become involved in developing the plans themselves.
Attend public meetings: Open houses and other project
meetings are a great opportunity to learn more about specific
projects, interact one-on-one with project managers, and provide
feedback. You're also welcome to attend an RTAC meeting.
You can just observe the meeting or speak up during the public
Voice your support: Help prioritize projects
by expressing your support for those you think should be pursued
soonest. Local, regional, and state officials are representatives
working for the public. Projects with significant public support
tend to move toward the top of the list.
Speak up early: If you have concerns about
a proposed project or ideas on how to develop a better solution,
don't wait! The sooner you speak up, the more influence
you can have on the outcome.
Commit local resources: When local money or
labor can be added to the mix, much more can be accomplished
much sooner. For example, if a municipality is trying to advance
a highway expansion, they might agree to conduct the traffic
studies, secure right-of-way, support environmental studies,
or pay for a portion of the total project cost. A project with
local momentum that is ready to go in terms of environmental
or other requirements will tend to be funded before a project
that may encounter delays and tie up already limited funds.
Build partnerships: With so much at stake
and finite funding, the transportation development process can
become contentious or turn into a tug-of-war between communities. Really,
though, we're all trying to do what is best for our community,
region, and state. We can accomplish much more by finding common
ground and working together than we can individually.
Be patient: There is just so much money to
go around, so not every good project can be started immediately.
Also, making smart, balanced choices and building quality infrastructure—while
adhering to state and federal requirements—takes time.