The purpose of the Public Participation Plan is to provide a forum for input from all segments of the community so that all concerns can be known to the Macon Area Transportation Study (MATS) Policy Committee before making formal determinations and decisions. The public involvement process for the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is used to satisfy the Georgia Department of Transportation public participation process for the Program of Projects (POP).
The requirements for the Public Participation Plan were established by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). This act set regulations for Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) relating to public participation in the transportation planning process.
The contents of the participation plan should be developed in conjunction with all interested parties who have reasonable opportunities for comment. The Participation Plan defines the process for providing a broad cross section of input into the transportation planning process for the MATS. This includes citizens from all segments of the public including, but not limited to, users of pedestrian and bicycle facilities, representatives of the disabled, the poor, and minority communities. This also includes public agencies, providers of public transportation, providers of non-emergency transportation services, providers of freight transportation services, entities responsible for safety and security operations including fire and police, and other interested parties.
One of the goals of the Participation Plan is that input into the transportation planning process should be accessible and reasonable to those willing to participate. Furthermore, the public should be involved early in the participation and decision making process. Participants should be provided with the information they need to participate in a productive and beneficial manner. Measures should be developed to provide information to those groups who are traditionally undeserved such as low income and minority groups. The input and the concerns of the public should be considered and included in the final outcome. Based on these goals, the objectives for the Participation Plan have been developed as shown below.