May 9, 2021
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One impact state departments of transportation are feeling from COVID-19 pandemic is the temporary cessation of “traditional” face-to-face public meetings to discuss upcoming transportation projects – with most of such gatherings going virtual.

[Above photo by the Arizona DOT.]

Steve Olmsted

In this podcast, Steve Olmsted – senior program manager at the Arizona Department of Transportation – discusses how his agency is handling the challenge of engaging the public and moving forward transportation projects during a time of social distancing.

“We call them virtual call-in public hearings,” he explained on the podcast.

“The meeting was presented by phone only and callers could verbally submit comments … with a court reporter transcribing the comments,” Olmsted noted.

“The meeting was also simultaneously broadcast on free public radio stations – that is a novel thing for us and credit goes to our community relations team for that,” he added.

To hear more about the “lessons learned” by the Arizona DOT from this process, click here

editor@aashto.org

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