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									IV.     General Public Involvement Activities

This section of the Public Involvement Plan addresses the public involvement activities that are
undertaken to publicize the general responsibilities and activities of the MPO. Many of these
activities shall be continued or enhanced throughout the development of the Pinellas County MPO’s
public involvement strategies.

      Advisory Committees

      The MPO has established a number of committees that provide guidance in the development and
      implementation of its programs and policies. These committees are composed of citizens as well
      as representatives from local, regional and state agencies. Listed below is a description of the
      various technical and/or citizen advisory committees that serve the MPO in the implementation
      of its planning programs. The MPO will continue to utilize these committees in the development,
      implementation and evaluation of its current and future planning programs and policies.

         Technical Coordinating Committee

         The Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) includes 27 members, mostly planners and
         engineers, representing local governments, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), the
         Pinellas Planning Council (PPC), Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC), Bay
         Area Commuter Services (BACS), Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), and the
         Pinellas County School Board. The TCC assists the MPO by reviewing transportation plans
         and programs and making recommendations based on their technical adequacy. This
         committee also provides technical staff with a forum to voice their concerns on the needs and
         desires of their respective communities. It is through this committee that these needs and
         goals are coordinated between local, regional and state agencies. The TCC plays a key role in
         the development of the Transportation Improvement Program and the prioritization of the
         improvements included therein. The TCC also has a significant role in the development of
         the Long Range Transportation Plan with particular emphasis on the data and analysis
         developed in support of the recommended transportation improvements. Corridor strategy
         plans implemented through the study area’s Congestion Management System are also
         reviewed by the TCC to ensure that recommended strategies resulting from these plans do
         not conflict with local issues.

         Citizen’s Advisory Committee

         The MPO has a 26-member Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) that meets monthly to
         review agenda items under consideration by the MPO and to provide comments on these and
         other items related to the MPO’s planning responsibilities. The CAC is comprised of a cross
         section of representatives of the community, including the elderly and handicapped. The
         CAC meetings are held in the evenings to accommodate the working community. Efforts are
         made to ensure that all geographic areas of the county are represented. The CAC assists the

Pinellas County MPO Public Involvement Plan                                                   Page 8
      MPO in understanding community needs as they pertain to transportation issues addressed in
      the development and implementation of programs and policies. The CAC also allows the
      MPO to facilitate a better public understanding of the transportation planning issues facing
      Pinellas County and the region. The CAC evaluates and proposes solutions and alternatives
      on major transportation proposals as well as critical transportation issues. The CAC also
      provides input on TIP funding priorities and the development of the LRTP.

      Joint Citizen’s Advisory Committee

      A Joint Citizen’s Advisory Committee comprised of members of the individual CACs from
      Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties was established several years ago to solicit citizen input
      on projects and plans affecting both counties and the Tampa Bay region. This committee
      meets on a quarterly basis, alternating meeting locations between Pinellas and Hillsborough
      Counties. Technical assistance and support for the Joint CAC is provided by the Pinellas
      County MPO, Hillsborough MPO and FDOT staff. Regional plans and projects, such as the
      regional component of the LRTP and the Regional Congestion Management System, are
      reviewed, and committee recommendations are directed to the respective MPOs, FDOT and
      the Chairs Coordinating Committee (CCC). The CCC is comprised of chairpersons, or their
      representatives, of all of the MPOs in FDOT District 7 as well as the Polk Transportation
      Management Organization and the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization. It
      is a goal of the Joint CAC to incorporate participation of representatives from other counties
      within the CCC boundaries, whether it is citizens from those counties or staff members from
      their respective MPOs. The Regional Public Involvement Plan was developed through
      coordination with the CCC and Joint CAC in order to develop strategies to gather public
      input on significant issues for the Tampa Bay area.

      Bicycle Advisory Committee

      The Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) was formed by the MPO in November of 1983 and
      has been a very effective guide to the MPO for planning bicycle and trail facilities. The 25
      appointed members of the BAC include technical representatives from various governmental
      agencies, law enforcement personnel and private citizens who are interested in bicycling
      issues. The duties and responsibilities of the BAC include assisting the MPO in the
      development of bicycle plans and policies, promoting bicycle use, enforcement of traffic
      laws pertaining to bicyclists, implementing bicycle safety programs and recommending
      bicycle facility design standards. In summary, the goals of the BAC are to safely incorporate
      bicycles into the countywide transportation system, encourage the use of bicycles for
      recreation and as a means of everyday transportation and to facilitate intergovernmental
      coordination in the bicycle planning process.

      Pedestrian Transportation Advisory Committee

      Established in July 1990, the Pedestrian Transportation Advisory Committee (PTAC)

Pinellas County MPO Public Involvement Plan                                                 Page 9
      consists of technical representatives from state, county and municipal governments, the AAA
      Auto Club, and the National Safety Council, as well as private citizens. A major
      responsibility of PTAC is to assist the MPO in the development and implementation of
      policies and initiatives necessary to create a network of pedestrian facilities throughout the
      county while encouraging pedestrian activity as a healthy recreational activity and as a means
      of everyday transportation. The PTAC also helps to facilitate intergovernmental coordination
      through its pedestrian planning activity.

      Local Coordinating Board

      The governing body of the MPO’s Transportation Disadvantaged (TD) Program is the Local
      Coordinating Board (LCB). The TD Program provides transportation assistance to
      economically and physically disadvantaged citizens of Pinellas County. The 15-member
      board was established in 1991. The LCB’s membership consists of an MPO board member
      and representatives of social service agencies, the PSTA, the Pinellas County School Board,
      private transportation providers, FDOT and private citizens who are customers of the
      Transportation Disadvantaged Program. The responsibilities of the LCB are defined by
      Chapter 427, Florida Statutes.

      Traffic Signal and Median Control Committee

      The Traffic Signal and Median Control Committee (TS&MCC) provides input and guidance
      to the MPO regarding the placement of traffic control devices, such as traffic signals and
      road medians, throughout the county. The TS&MCC also assists in the development and
      implementation of the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Plan for Pinellas County. The
      committee consists of local traffic operations engineers along with representatives from the
      MPO and FDOT District 7.

      School Transportation Safety Committee

      The School Transportation Safety Committee (STS) was established by the Pinellas County
      Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in 1998. The STS is made up by representation
      of the School Board, Board of County Commissioners and local municipalities. The STS
      was formed to consider transportation and safety matters that involve both the School Board
      and local jurisdictions. The representation on the STS has proven to be effective in
      addressing school related transportation safety concerns. In addition, the STS is involved in
      initiating transportation initiatives to further improve the safety of students and enhance the
      operation of the overall transportation system.

Pinellas County MPO Public Involvement Plan                                                Page 10
      Intelligent Transportation Systems Committee

      Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) were introduced in January 1996 by the United
      States DOT with a goal of saving every American up to 15 percent in travel time. In 2001 the
      Pinellas ITS Committee was founded to develop a countywide strategic ITS plan. The 38-
      member committee consists of law enforcement officers, emergency medical services
      representatives, convention and visitor representative, transit representatives, elected public
      officials, FDOT representatives and traffic engineers. The MPO created a website in 2001
      dedicated to the ITS program in Pinellas County.

      Pinellas Mobility Initiative Committee

      Formerly, the Major Investment Study Steering Committee, the Pinellas Mobility Initiative
      (PMI) Committee was formed in 2001 to assist the MPO in identifying a final corridor and a
      technology classification for further advancement towards implementation of a fixed
      guideway system in Pinellas County. The committee consists of nine elected officials, and
      CAC, TCC, FDOT and transit representatives. A website for the Pinellas Mobility Initiative
      is under development.

   Public Outreach Activities

   On an ongoing basis, the MPO relies on the distribution of printed materials, portable displays
   and staff presentations to keep the public informed about its activities and programs, including
   the Long Range Transportation Plan and related issues. The public outreach strategies utilized
   for the development of MPO programs and policies are described below.

      Annual Report

      In April of each year the MPO produces an annual report that is included as an insert in the
      St. Petersburg Times and the Pinellas Edition of the Tampa Tribune. The Annual Report
      features articles on various programs and activities being undertaken by the MPO.

      MPO Web Site

      The MPO published its web site in 1998 and has found it to be an invaluable tool in the
      MPO’s overall Public Involvement Program. The site promotes many public involvement
      activities such as MPO meetings, special events and workshops. It also provides a variety of
      information on future roadway projects, future transit service enhancements, planned bicycle
      and pedestrian facilities and PSTA activities. An online survey is featured on the site that
      enables interested parties to provide comments and suggestions concerning MPO activities
      such as the Long Range Transportation Plan update and/or related planning studies. Many
      MPO publications, such as bicycle safety brochures, the Public Involvement Plan and
      Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program, are available on-line. The web site also

Pinellas County MPO Public Involvement Plan                                                Page 11

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