PD&E Study Experience
We are a team of skilled and qualified public involvement professionals with a depth of experience working on Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Studies. We confidently guide each client from the initial project conception stage through the public hearing process within the latest National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Guidelines.
The MRG team involves members of affected communities throughout the PD&E process and develops proactive strategies for consensus building. We develop a Public Involvement Plan (PIP) that outlines a detailed strategy of public outreach tailored to each project. We plan all public information meetings and workshops. We also prepare and design all collateral materials, including multilingual fact sheets, newsletters, comment sheets and agendas, and develop websites. The MRG staff schedules and facilitates briefings with elected officials and local agencies. Comments obtained during those meetings are incorporated into the project record. During the PD&E process, MRG serves as the liaison between the public and the project team. It is important to have a thorough record of the PD&E process from start to finish and our project public involvement record system is the best way to accomplish a smooth transition into the design phase.
We help clients smoothly transition a project from a PD&E Study to the design phase by ensuring all public outreach requirements are met. MRG staff works with the engineering consultant and client to identify impacted stakeholders and address issues so they do not become costly construction delays when the project moves forward. MRG includes the public in all decision-making processes by facilitating public meetings and elected official briefings to update and obtain feedback. The MRG team coordinates and staffs formal team presentations to homeowners' associations. A final record of commitments made by the study team to affected communities is developed prior to the construction phase to ensure all questions and concerns are addressed before the project moves forward.
We ensure design-build projects are executed in an organized, structured and efficient manner, similar to the procedures employed during independent design and construction phases but on a more compressed schedule. As the design-build phase moves forward, MRG works with the project team and affected communities to establish a strong consensus. The MRG team uses public meetings and workshops as a forum to inform the public on design plans, construction activities and landmark occurrences. MRG's most important role is to keep the project moving during an aggressive schedule.
We support our clients throughout the life of a project, including the critical construction period. During this phase, members of our team work on-site with the engineers and construction companies. We ensure the day-to-day needs of affected stakeholders are met and are available 24/7 to address emergencies.
Prior to construction, the MRG team thoroughly reviews all public involvements efforts completed during the design phase to determine the appropriate course of action. MRG meets with affected stakeholders prior to construction to inform them of upcoming activities and build a relationship that will last the duration of the project. This information is used to develop a comprehensive Community Awareness Plan (CAP), which serves as the guide for public information activities. Through previous experience, MRG has learned it is important to identify a trusted point of contact within the community who can disseminate information. MRG coordinates and executes a public meeting prior to the start of construction that provides stakeholders the opportunity to view plans, speak with project staff and provide comments. Throughout the construction process, the MRG team works with the project engineers, inspectors and contractors to stay ahead of the schedule and identify possible issues.
Intelligent Transportation Systems Experience
We have a unique and diverse range of experience working with Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) used to monitor traffic conditions in South Florida, specifically within FDOT Districts One, Four, Five, Six and Seven. The MRG team leads the way with ground-breaking ITS-related projects, like the introduction of 95 Express and Ramp Signaling, as we continue assisting our clients with the implementation of award-winning public involvement strategies and programs in South Florida. MRG believes in the importance of a well-functioning ITS and the positive impact one can have on a community. It is exciting to work with these innovative systems by stationing employees at local TMCs as value-added in-house Community Outreach Specialists (COS) who arrange special media events and share news with the public. Constant public feedback creates better service results and are especially helpful on complex projects. ITS-related projects have a direct & real-time impact on motorists. Our ITS staff are proven effective conduits between the public and staff, while handling media inquiries, conducting public presentations and implementing crisis communications skills, which result in overall improved operations.
Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) Experience
The MRG team’s transportation planning and design expertise spans multiple counties, with significant experience garnered from working with both South Florida TPO’s within Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, on various transportation projects. Specifically, MRG has served as a liaison between the public and the TPO in reaching decisions that benefit the community. Simplifying complicated subjects and making them easy to communicate to the public, forms the core of MRG’s business practice. We pride ourselves in preparing full content and visual strategies that emphasizes plain spoken, meaningful written content and promote visually stunning infographics that make data easier to understand. In working with the TPO, MRG has facilitated many public outreach meetings where people are invited to comment on the proposed projects for incorporation into a Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and learn valuable information about upcoming plans. Aside from coordinating and staffing public meetings, MRG has also participated in more unorthodox methods of outreach, including the management of a telephone hotline where people were able to call with an LRTP-related question and be directed to the proper source of information. We find that different communities and demographics require different outreach strategies, and it is imperative to consider these factors when developing any public involvement campaign on behalf of a TPO. Giving these communities a seat at the table is critical in forming and funding transportation improvements and MRG excels at lowering the barriers between the public and government using technology and innovative digital strategies, all to help the public connect with the planning process. Additionally, MRG has worked one-on-one with TPO Board members as a conduit between the TPO and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), ensuring that any member with a question or issue regarding an FDOT project is brought to the person best suited to address it. Through its successful working relationships over the years and to extend its services on a statewide and national level, MRG contracts its services with the Lee County MPO on its e 2040 LRTP and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), where it currently holds an open-ended contract with that federal agency.
As part of a successful municipal outreach strategy, MRG chooses to employ strong grassroots tactics that target a community head-on. In order to develop a plan that works, it is critical to know the inner-workings of the particular community, to develop strong relationships with local elected and appointed officials, and to establish a sense of trust among those to be affected. MRG has worked with various municipalities within all counties MRG serves, and we have significant experience in tailoring outreach campaigns to fit individual needs. The MRG team strongly believes in such strategies as hand-delivering fliers along a corridor in order to gain a better understanding of the affected community, arranging informal meetings among elected officials and constituents, and utilizing local media as a resource to reach a target audience.