An Outline of CSS Policy for IDOT
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
In accordance with the legislation, IDOT has
issued a report to the Governor and Legislature
about the CSS approach. To view it, click
|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
||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:
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.