Public Meetings and Hearings
Citizens have numerous opportunities to voice their opinions on Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) projects. You may voice your suggestions on a specific project at District Pre-Allocation Hearings and at Tentative Allocation Hearings before a project starts.
Your views affect VDOT’s decision on whether or not to proceed with a project and help establish project priorities.
Local governments also offer opportunities for citizen input.
For projects with major impact or public interest, VDOT’s solicits views through informal Citizen Participation Meetings, and through household and business surveys conducted through the agency’s Environmental and Engineering sections.
These views influence the course of preliminary studies.
After sufficient data has been gathered and evaluated to allow development of feasible alternatives, an opportunity for a public hearing is provided.
Depending on the magnitude of the project, there may be comprehensive advertising of meetings and displays of proposals in several locations prior to the hearing. In some instances, simple public notices will be posted and plans will be available at local VDOT offices.
On major projects, citizens often have two formal opportunities for input – prior to deciding the location of a route, and again prior to a commitment to specific design features.
Here are the various public meetings held by VDOT:
Citizen Informational Meeting:
- An opportunity for the public to review, in an informal setting, the ongoing development of project information.
Citizens Participation Meeting/Workshop:
- Community-based planning session
- Collaborative effort between governments and the communities
- Identifies problems and involves all elements of the community
- Searches for solutions to transportation issues
- Well-publicized opportunity for VDOT to present its studies and polices
- VDOT receives and documents comments from the public on each proposal
Location Public Hearing
- Held before VDOT commits to a specific route
- Allows community to be included when there are alternatives for project locations
- Final determination on need for hearing determined by state location and design engineer
- Held when preliminary engineering studies indicate relative cost differences between alternatives, and the feasibility of their construction based on environmental studies and general engineering practices
Design Public Hearing
- Held after the Commonwealth Transportation Board approves a route location or for projects that do not require extensive relocation before VDOT commits to a specific design
- Also held for projects being developed on existing alignment
- Held after a project field inspection is held and plans are completed and major design features are delineated on plans and identified clearly
- Alternate proposals on major design features may be presented
Combined Location and Design Hearing
- Held for projects determined not to have feasible alternative solutions for the general location, type of necesary facility and transportation mode and where there is no major concern about the need for the project
- Project plans are normally at the same stage of completion as for a Design Public Hearing
- Alternative design features may be presented