Illinois Department of Transportation, Ann L. Schneider, Secretary
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Patrick J. Quinn, Governor
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An Outline of CSS Policy for IDOT

In 2003, legislation was passed instructing the Illinois Department of Transportation to adopt CSS principles in its planning and design of major projects.

For more than a year, IDOT has been carefully researching and developing a set of guidelines and an approach to CSS that will work for our unique transportation circumstances.

In accordance with the legislation, IDOT has issued a report to the Governor and Legislature about the CSS approach.  To view it, click here.

As a specific matter of policy, IDOT is looking to implement a standard process of stakeholder involvement that is:
Applied to more projects. Currently, IDOT uses extensive stakeholder involvement on very large and/or complex projects. The goal would be to use CSS principles on "standard" and smaller projects. However, budgetary concerns may limit the amount of projects that can use the CSS approach fully, at least for the near future.
Flexible and modular. The amount and kind of stakeholder involvement should be modifiable based on the size, complexity, nature and location of the project. A large suburban project is probably going to involve more CSS work than a small rural project. Likewise, a project located through the center of a town is going to involve different issues than one that is located in a scenic landscape.
Create as few "new rules" as possible, to avoid adding a new layer of process to an already burdened planning and design schedule. There is much that IDOT does already that uses the principles of CSS and stakeholder involvement. As much as possible, guidelines for using stakeholder involvement for projects should incorporate current IDOT rules and practices into one centrally-located and easy-to-use manual. Of course, any guidelines that need to be added to create a coherent policy should be used.
As part of a new emphasis on stakeholder involvement, IDOT personnel and contractors will have required training in these topics. This is to give IDOT personnel the appropriate "tools" to conduct productive stakeholder involvement, including:

General instruction regarding the public involvement guidelines, when to use them, and what they require.
Training on identifying appropriate stakeholders, how to contact them, and at what point they should be brought into the planning process, in order to ensure that they provide the most helpful information.
A set of techniques for public outreach and involvement, to be used in the appropriate occasions, to ensure that meetings between IDOT and stakeholders are productive.

 

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