Public Outreach and Roundabout Implementation: Overcoming Challenges
It’s a fact that modern roundabouts produce challenges for implementation related to controversy. Factors include misconceptions, the inherent fear of the unknown, and other concerns regarding effects on business and economic growth. These issues can come from agencies, stakeholders, the business community, decision makers, or the general public.
Therefore, an open and collaborative relationship between agencies, residents, stakeholders, and elected officials is critical to successful implementation of high profile roundabout projects. This can be achieved through a variety of methods. Community workshops and other events build consensus regarding the vision and subsequent design for your project.
Keys to successful public outreach:
- Involve key stakeholders in a systematic approach
School boards, affected property owners, business groups, elected officials, homeowners associations, citizen groups, media
- Roundabout as a solution to a problem
Feasibility study necessary
- Work with key stakeholders
- Make it their project
Transparency – Communication throughout the process builds trust and ownership
MTJ Roundabout Engineering’s Mark Johnson has 20 years of experience communicating technical information about roundabouts in an easily understood manner. This has proven very effective for successful project implementation and educational workshops. Mark’s visually rich and easily understood presentation materials and teaching methods address the concerns associated with modern roundabout projects through understanding, transparency, and sharing of knowledge.
Featured below are two MTJ public events – a workshop and design charrette that included an afternoon of site visits in the Burlington, Vermont community; and a keynote presentation at the 2015 Region Transportation Summit in Toledo, Ohio.
Effective One-Day Workshop in Vermont
The one-day workshop, titled “Embrace the Roundabout,” was held March 31st at the University of Vermont in Burlington. The event drew decision makers from city government, engineers, and interested citizens. Mark Johnson led a tour of local intersections and discussed opportunities and challenges of roundabouts in those locations. Read in-depth coverage of this successful workshop by the reporter who attended the workshop here. As a result, the City of Burlington is taking the “next steps” and is beginning a planning process for several of its intersections.
Presentation at the Transportation Summit in Toledo
Mark Johnson was the keynote speaker at the 2015 Region Transportation Summit, hosted by the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments on March 20th. Mark’s presentation provided a comprehensive look at roundabouts – where they work, how they work, and how to build public support for them. The annual Region Transportation Summit provides a forum for discussing the transportation needs of northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan region.