Public education and participation are key to understanding our local communities' concerns and making effective decisions on their behalf.

With that in mind, HATS' Public Participation Plan accomplishes the following:

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  • encourages citizens and groups to participate and influence decisions in the development of regional planning processes such as the RTP and the four-year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP);

  • assists Limited English Proficiency (LEP) individuals as well as other underrepresented and underserved communities;

  • maintains a list of agencies that work with traditionally underserved populations so they can be included in all outreach activities (HATS utilized the outreach work performed by the State Transportation Commission [STC] as part of the 2019 Twelve Year Program [TYP]. These results helped to identify an array of transportation issues that exist across the Tri-County region.);

  • provides an ongoing, proactive approach to public involvement and outreach.

Amish buggy in Blain, Perry County

Amish buggy in Blain, Perry County

Recognizing there is a growing Amish and Mennonite community in the region, HATS has initiated an effort to actively engage members of these communities. With the RTP as the focus, meetings have been held in all three of the region’s counties. Discussion topics included horse-and-buggy, bicycle and pedestrian incidents; road and highway conditions; facilities repair and replacement; detours; and other topics.


Flyers were distributed to the region’s municipalities and non-profit organizations the week of January 8, 2018 to make these entities aware of the transportation planning process and seek their assistance in the outreach effort.

Public review of the draft plan began in May 2018, as did information sessions conducted by HATS staff. A summary of the public meetings held throughout the year is provided below with the number of attendees provided in parentheses.


  • 5/7: Perry County Commissioners (15)

  • 5/23: Strawberry Square Public Outreach (27)

  • 5/30: Mid-Atlantic Section Institute of Transportation Engineers Luncheon (29)

  • 5/31: CAT Board Meeting (20)

  • 6/4: Dauphin County Planning Commission (10)

  • 6/5: Cumberland County Eastern Outreach (20)

  • 6/5: South Hanover Township Planning Commission (12)

  • 6/18: Capital Area Council of Governments (20)

  • 6/19: Cumberland County Western Outreach (16)

  • 6/21: Upper Dauphin Council of Governments (13)

  • 6/26: Bike/Ped Task Force (9)

  • 7/11: Harrisburg Chamber Transportation Subcommittee (15)

  • 7/26: Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (8)

  • 8/1: Lower Paxton Township Planning Commission (17)

  • 8/21: Ickesburg Fire Department (33)

  • 9/1 – 9/3: Kipona Festival (123)

  • 9/13: Cumberland County Local Emergency Planning Committee (24)

  • 9/26: Dauphin County Municipal Managers (27)

  • 10/2: Cumberland County Outreach (20)

  • 10/15: Capital Region Council of Governments (19)

  • 10/17: Perry County Local Emergency Planning Committee (13)

  • 10/17: Cumberland County Outreach (20)

  • 10/18: I-83 Public Meeting (36)

  • 10/18: Upper Dauphin COG (12)

  • 11/7: Strawberry Square Public Meeting (30)



In addition to the public information sessions, notifications were also sent via email that included as attachments the RTP brochure and an overview of the updated Project Development process. Emails were sent to the following entities throughout the HATS region:

  • Municipalities and County Commissioners

  • RTP Advisory Committee members

  • Non-profit organizations with transportation or community development missions

  • Environmental Justice groups

  • Entities listed in the HATS Public Participation Plan (p. 9 – Targeted Outreach Strategies)

  • HATS stakeholders/interested parties

  • HATS Coordinating and Technical Committee members

  • Bicycle/Pedestrian Task Force members

  • Adjoining MPOs sharing urbanized areas (York, Lebanon)


The online format used for the RTP has enabled HATS to supplement the direct outreach measures summarized above through the website and other online approaches to significantly increase awareness to the public and transportation stakeholders. A summary of the online outreach activities conducted through the May-November 2018 public outreach period is provided below. Online access to the RTP continued throughout the planning period.

ANALYTICS (May-November 2018):

  • Visitors: 6,787

  • Sessions: 9,729

  • Page Views: 36,260

  • Average sessions per user: 1.4 (nearly half of users visited more than once)

  • Majority of visitors from Tri-County region.

  • Other PA cities represented: Allentown, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, State College, Reading, Scranton, York, etc.

  • Other U.S. cities represented: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Washington, DC, etc.

  • Foreign visitors, totaling nearly 10% of all users, were from Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Ireland, Peru, Poland, South Korea, Ukraine, United Kingdom, etc.


Comments received through the various outreach methods outlined above prior to October 19, 2018 were incorporated into the draft RTP, as appropriate. A formal public review and comment period was then publicly advertised as occurring between October 19 and November 19, 2018. A summary of the comments received during this time frame has been developed along with responses for each comment and is available here.