MnDOT conducted extensive public outreach throughout the MnSHIP process. While public input was one of several factors that informed the content of the plan, it was instrumental to the plan-making process as it helped calibrate the investment priorities and strategies developed in the document. MnDOT gathered public input through an innovative outreach process that took place over the course of three main phases:
- Fall 2012,
- Spring 2013, and
- July 2013 (the official public comment period).
Summaries of the Fall and Spring outreach phases can be found in Appendix G; results of the public comment period are shown in Appendix J.
Fall 2012 outreach covered the months of October and November, during which public input was gathered through a number of different venues. The primary input venues were:
- Nine Stakeholder Engagement Meetings;
- An online interactive scenario tool;
- MnSHIP Partnership Advisory Committee (PAC); and
- Comments submitted through the mail, email, or on the web.
The MnSHIP public outreach process offered an opportunity for Minnesotans from diverse backgrounds to provide feedback on how the agency should invest in the state highway system. This process centered on three alternative investment approaches. Each approach represented a different way of allocating available resources across the ten investment categories.
The Fall 2012 outreach activities resulted in nearly 900 participants, 565 of whom gave input through the Online Interactive Scenario Tool. The Online Interactive Scenario Tool was a new engagement method that MnDOT used to solicit public input on MnSHIP’s investment priorities and strategies. This tool allowed those who could not attend a Stakeholder Engagement Meeting to review information similar to that presented at the meetings, but through an online platform. Users of the online tool were able to indicate their priorities for the state highway system by choosing among three alternative investment approaches.
MnDOT also provided the public with information about MnSHIP through a variety of online resources and smaller stakeholder meetings. These included:
- A plan website;
- Social media and e-mail updates;
- Four live and recorded webinars; and
- Investment category folios.
Spring outreach covered the months of May and June in 2013. This phase included eight meetings across the state and two webinars to report on the results of Fall 2012 outreach and gauge participants’ understanding and acceptance of the content and outcomes of key messages of the draft plan. The public comment period held over the month of July 2013 allowed even more public input on the draft plan, yielding 185 comments from key partners, businesses, and individuals.
Public Outreach Documents