Skip to content

Northern Region Blog

The Public Involvement Process Nov. 24, 2014

The department often receives questions about the public involvement process and how the department includes residents in project development. Below are four of the most common questions we receive and answers to them.

    1. “How does the department notify people about projects?”  The department strives to involve residents and community officials in the development of projects that affect them. For each project, staff must take careful consideration to reach out to all stakeholders of a project, such as local government officials, communities, tribal entities, local users, media and transportation providers.

      Because there is no one way to reach all affected and interested parties, the department utilizes a variety of outlets to reach as many people as it can. We regularly post information about projects and public involvement opportunities:
      • In ads in local newspapers, radio and TV;
      • On our social media accounts, which include Facebook and Twitter;
      • On our public involvement calendar;
      • On the project pages on our website;
      • Through emails to our GovDelivery subscribers; and
      • On the State of Alaska Online Public Notice website.

    2. “I submitted a comment, but my suggestion did not show up in the final project. Why?” We depend on input from citizens to help make informed decisions, but we must also consider many factors when developing projects. We need to balance public requests with sound engineering and data. Other factors such as available funding, time constraints and right-of-way also can hamper the feasibility of incorporating a suggestion into the final project.

      That being said, part of our job is to inform the public of the context surrounding a project and provide realistic expectations about what the department can or cannot do. That leads to more constructive suggestions that we can more realistically incorporate into a project.

    3. “What is the cutoff for submitting comments?” We always accept comments from the public. But to make it so staff has time to review and consider comments regarding a project, we have to assign a deadline for comments about a specific project during its various stages.

    4. “How do I submit a comment?” There are a few ways to submit a comment to us, such as:
      • Filling out a comment sheet or postcard from a public meeting;
      • Contacting project staff in the way outlined on a project’s webpage. (Project pages for Northern Region can be accessed here: http://dot.alaska.gov/nreg/projects/); and
      • Leaving a comment on our Facebook page or tweeting at the ADOT&PF Twitter account.
      • In addition to these outlets, anyone is free to contact our public information office from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 451-2240.

    A public meeting.