View the DRAFT 2020-2023 TIP under development here.
The 2020-2023 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a cooperative effort between federal, state, and local officials and serves as the final link in the planning process. Its primary purpose is to identify programs and projects to be funded with federal aid, in accordance with federal law and the regulations of the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration during the next four year period. Projects are selected based on several factors, including need, local initiative, and requirements of the federal government through federal transportation regulations. Other considerations for project selection include impact on air quality and availability of funds. A new TIP is produced every three years and amended frequently and includes a detailed list of projects which are funded and scheduled for the upcoming four year (fiscal years) period. The development of the TIP facilitates the required “3‑C” (Continuous, Comprehensive, and Cooperative) planning process. The TIP is a product of a continuous process on the part of local and state government to improve the regional transportation system. The TIP is comprehensive because it encompasses all modes of transportation. In addition, the TIP demonstrates a cooperative intergovernmental working relationship between local officials to mutually agree upon priorities and needs.
The 2020-2023 TIP was submitted to the Michigan Department of Transportation in June and will then be forwarded to the Federal Highway Administration for final federal approval.
The West Michigan Metropolitan Planning Organization (WestPlan) is committed to ensuring that citizen input will figure prominently throughout the planning processes and contribute to transportation problem identification through public comment periods, public meetings, open houses, and review of the draft TIP document. WestPlan, as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), is also federally required to explicitly set forth public participation policies. The standards for this process are found in Title 23 CFR 450.316 which requires that the public have reasonable opportunity to comment on transportation plans and programs. These policies are laid out in the Public Participation Plan in Transportation Decision Making.
The Public Participation Plan for the Transportation Decision Making document describes the public participation goals and requirements for WestPlan, including specific details regarding the development of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). These guidelines were followed by WestPlan throughout the development of the 2020-2023 TIP. The update involved a variety of public outreach tools, including an update of the Public Participation Plan in Transportation Decision Making in August 2018, announcements on social media, direct emails, public meetings, and an open house.
Public Participation Mailing List
WestPlan maintains an extensive public participation emailing list that is used to provide information and notice to the public regarding transportation planning activities. The Interested Citizen/Agency list includes many representatives. The list of interested cities and agencies broken down by type
includes businesses, chambers of commerce, community organizations (including non-profits, faithbased organizations, etc.), concerned citizens, educational organizations, elected officials, environmental organizations, government entities and organizations, media, organizations serving
the disabled, organizations serving senior citizens, transportation related organizations, and tribal organizations. This list is continually maintained and updated regularly and can be found in the Consultation Chapter of this document.
Public Participation Outreach
This TIP included a re-evaluation and update of the Public Participation Plan with input sought from the Technical and Policy Committees. Staff worked closely with the MPO representative from the Federal Highways Administration to incorporate suggested updates to the plan, reviewed past public participation practices used by WestPlan and also reviewed plans written and followed by other Michigan MPOs to understand which worked well and discover new practices which could improve WestPlan’s efforts. The updated Public Participation Plan in Transportation Decision Making was approved by the WestPlan Policy Committee in August 2018 after a 45 day public comment period regarding the Public Participation Plan was conducted and concluded. All comments made during the public review period were incorporated into the plan prior to WestPlan Policy Committee approval.
To provide the public with fast, easy access to all things related to the TIP update, staff continued to maintain the wmsrdc.org website throughout the planning process. This included posting announcements for all public participation opportunities, the Public Participation Plan, air quality conformity analysis documents, other relevant background information, past planning documents, and MPO Technical and Policy Committee meeting materials. The WMSRDC website, which was totally updated in 2015, also hosts streamlined menus, simple navigation, interactive project related mapping, and other information 24 hours a day.
In early April 2019, the draft 2020-2023 TIP project list, developed by the Technical and Policy Committees, was posted on the WMSRDC website along with a two page description of the TIP process including contact information, etc. An email including the same information was distributed to the Interested Citizen/Agency list. Press releases were sent to local media and notices were posted on social media.
Once the draft TIP document, environmental justice, and project list was complete, a 14-day public comment period was held from April 30, 2019 through May 14, 2019. Notices of the public comment period were posted on the WMSRDC website on April 30, 2019 and sent to all on the Interested Citizen/Agency List. Announcements were also made on social media. Throughout the 14 day public comment period, the draft document was made available for the public to view upon request at every local unit of government, the Muskegon and Ottawa County Road Commissions, the Muskegon Area Transit System, Harbor Transit, MDOT offices, as well as on the WMSRDC website. In addition, a hard copy of the Draft 2020-2023 TIP was available at the WMSRDC office with staff available to respond directly to any public questions or concerns.
On May 7, 2019 an open house regarding the draft 2020-2023 TIP was held at the WMSRDC office. The draft 2020-2023 TIP Project List, Environmental Justice, Environmental Mitigation Analysis results, and the complete draft of the 2020-2023 TIP were available at this meeting, as well as a staff PowerPoint presentation.
The open house was held from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the WMSRDC office. The WMSRDC office is located in an ADA accessible building, which is located along fixed-route bus service lines to increase ease of access. An announcement of the open house was sent to the Interested Citizen/Agency List on April 30, 2019. The announcement included information on how to access the document and other related materials. Concurrent with the meeting announcement mailing, the
meeting information, methods for making public comment, and a draft plan were posted on the WMSRDC website. A copy of that announcement appears at the end of this chapter. Topics discussed at the open house included questions about the continuation of M231 bypass, more funding needed for walking and bicycling facilities, transit routes, the meaning and purpose behind environmental justice, and shoreline access for the general public.
In addition to the public meetings, opportunities for public comment are available at monthly Technical Committee, Policy Committee, and WMSRDC board meetings. Agendas and minutes for these meetings are regularly posted on the wmsrdc.org website. No written public comments were received during the project list phase or during the official public comment period.
All documents, events, and public comment opportunities were published on the WMSRDC website throughout the TIP development process and were also made public through press releases to local media. Additionally, to provide ample time for staff to incorporate comments received, WestPlan Policy Committee approval took place on June 19, 2019 which was several weeks after the close of the public comment period.
Throughout the 2020-2023 TIP development, all pertinent public participation information was taken to the WestPlan Technical and Policy Committees for their review and consideration. This committee review aided staff during the process, helping to make decisions regarding the plan along the way.
All comments received were reviewed and incorporated into the TIP when and where appropriate. An evaluation of the 2020-2023 TIP public participation efforts will be made through the Public Participation Plan process to identify areas of success and areas that can be improved upon for future plan development.
Written Public Comment
No written public comment was receive