When MoDOT started developing this document, it decided
public involvement would play a key role. MoDOT went to
great lengths to involve the public from the beginning.
When MoDOT asked the people what they expected of their
transportation system, it employed three different methods
to get information critical to developing this plan.
First, it held a series of Road Rallies where randomly
selected citizens and civic leaders in different parts of
the state were driven along a predetermined course on state
roads and bridges.As they rode along, they graded road conditions
based on factors such as pavement smoothness, lane and shoulder
width, striping, signage and others.
MoDOT already had driven the same routes and used engineering
standards to assess the conditions. Public input allowed
the department to apply scores, based on the engineering
standards, to what the people found acceptable. These scores
are the baseline against which MoDOT will measure its success
in meeting its objectives. For example, if an acceptable
score for pavement on the national highway system is 32,
MoDOT knows what percentage of the system currently meets
or exceeds that standard and can set goals to bring more
of the system up to that level.
In addition to the Road Rallies, MoDOT conducted statewide
public surveys of randomly selected citizens and civic leaders.
More than 2,400 Missourians helped MoDOT establish the top
priorities for all modes of transportation, including aviation,
bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, the highway and bridge
system, passenger rail and bus service between cities and
public transportation. As shown in Table
1, the top two priorities among those surveyed were
a safe transportation system and maintaining the existing
system. Maintaining the existing system is not meant to
imply no improvements will be made to the current system.
MoDOT's ultimate goal is to bring all aspects of the system
up to and acceptable level and maintain them there.
When asked to choose priorities among the modes of transportation,
both residents and civic leaders said highways were more
important than the other modes. They were asked to further
choose priorities within each mode. Whether they lived in
the major urban areas or elsewhere in the state, Missourians
overwhelmingly said taking care of the existing highway
system was more important than building new roads. See
Their more specific choices for the highway and bridge
system are illustrated in Table
Finally, MoDOT conducted a series of consensus-building
sessions in which randomly selected Missourians were asked
to consider the relative importance of the modes of transportation.
Small groups were asked to allocate a hypothetical $100
among five modes (aviation, bicycle and pedestrian accommodations,
highways and bridges, passenger rail and bus service between
cities, and public transportation).See
Table 3.Missourians devoted half the money to highways
and bridges, with $17 going to aviation and $16 to public
transportation, the other top finishers.Once they divided
the money among the modes, they were asked to subdivide
each mode's share between the top two priorities in each
mode. This helped MoDOT understand the transportation issues
most important to Missourians. It also educated the participants
about the challenges associated with planning improvements.
The information gathered in the early public involvement
sessions was invaluable. When combined with engineering
data, it set the direction for this document's development.
It told the department what Missourians consider important
in the transportation system and played a significant role
in establishing the transportation goals.