During planning process for Arterial Reconfiguration, staff recognized the urgent need to build trust among the residents to gain support for the project. A one-on-one approach was taken by hiring a Public Involvement contractor to assist wtih inroads into the community through personal contact. It was important for the contractor as well as staff to thoroughly understand the project pros and cons in order to answer residents’ questions, and further explain the process.
The support given by residents proved worth the time and energy spent in the community building personal relationships and trust. The program included middle school student volunteers who 'walked' the community with staff and members of the consultant team and assisted with translation of information.
This door-to-door, one-on-one contact, combined with public meetings as follow-up to this effort, provided much needed input for the project as well as ideas for future improvements.
The outreach efforts build local trust as well as understanding for the project, and although somewhat expensive, was extremely effective in generating public awareness and willingness to participate in future project planning for more than just 'the neighborhood'.