Saturday, June 2, 2007

RTC Fails to Comply with Federal SAFTEA-LU Public Participation Law

Message sent to Cynthia White, Chair of the NCTCOG RTC on May 29, 2007 by Faith Chatham

Is the RTC deliberately attempting to minimize participation and to violate SAFTE-LU and its own Public Participation Plan? By scheduling only 3 hearings on Revisions to the TIP and Funding, RTC fails to implement its PPP. The RTC has betrayed the trust of the people by shutting most of the citizens of this area out from these hearings. Three sites in a 12,800 sq. mi. area is insufficient access for citizens from all over the region. It is appalling that transportation planners selected these times and sites!

Hearings after work should be scheduled on Transit Lines in both Dallas and Fort Worth. There should be well-publicized shuttle service from Centerport Trinity Rail to the NCTCOG office for the Arlington meeting. To "PROACTIVELY SEEK PUBLIC PARTICIPATION" you must communicate with the GENERAL PUBLIC Requiring the public to drive to adjoining counties for public hearings eliminates economically challenged and infirm people from the process.

There has been no coverage in the main stream media. Sending 6000 postcards (mainly to elected officials, planners and contractors) is insufficient to communicate with 6.5 million citizens. Burying meeting notices 3 tiers down on your website does not give public meetings visibility. To rectify this situation, I urge you to BLITZ the main stream media to publicize these hearings, announcing additional meeting sites and times. Tell the public HOW the TIP and FUNDING directly impacts them.

More sites and times are necessary to accommodate transportation deprived, handicapped, economically challenged and working citizens throughout the region. Failing to schedule meetings after work in Tarrant, Dallas and Denton counties is unacceptable!

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