HRTPO Receives National Excellence Award

September 26, 2016
HRTPO Receives National Excellence Award

The Heartland Regional Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) has been awarded a 2016 Excellence in Regional Transportation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for the Heartland Regional Transportation Planning Organization Public Participation Plan. The Excellence in Regional Transportation Awards showcase organizations for noteworthy projects and practices in rural and small metropolitan transportation planning, program delivery, and special initiatives. Award winners received national recognition at the 2016 National Regional Transportation Conference, held June 13-15 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The Public Participation Plan (PPP) was developed and adopted on August 26, 2015. The PPP provides the guidelines that were used by the HRTPO to inform and gather input from residents, communities, and interest groups throughout the six counties in order to expand the information available for planning and the development of the Long Range Transportation Plan for 2040. The PPP also outlines the TPO’s organizational structure and work products, describes HRTPO public communication tools, prescribes public comment periods, and offers opportunities for public involvement.

Since the adoption of the plan, the organization has had over 8,560 website visits, hosted two workshops on transportation needs in the Heartland with 44 participants from 9 zip codes, reached over 13,500 through their Facebook page, engaged with 48 focus group participants in three counties, and formed both the 24-member Technical Advisory Committee and 14-member Citizen Advisory Committee.

According to NADO President Jeffrey Kiely, Executive Director of the Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments in Gallup, New Mexico: “The Excellence in Regional Transportation Awards highlight the important results of programs and projects like Heartland Regional Transportation Planning Organization Public Participation Plan.  Such initiatives are central to fostering quality of place and facilitating economic vitality in our nation’s communities by promoting effective transportation planning and networks.”

Designated on November 17, 2014 by Governor Rick Scott of Florida, the HRTPO will assist in preparing the region for increasing urbanization and infrastructure investment through the continuing development of a twenty-year Long Range Transportation Plan and a five-year Transportation Improvement Program among other transportation planning activities.

For more information, contact Marybeth Soderstrom, Community Engagement Manager by email, mail to 555 East Church Street, Bartow, FL 33830, or call (863) 534-7130 x 134.