State Departments of Transportation are conduits for the federal funds that typically pay for 50-80% of all road projects. They are also typically the channels for state road funds, and in most cases they are the source of statewide design standards and the arbiter of local discretion in road design. Thus the probability of your having to deal with your state DOT regarding the design and impact of a project in your community is very high.
The purpose of street and road planning has been to serve the so-called “motoring public”-those of us who drive, in our role as motorists, and specifically as motorists who are interested only in getting from Point A to Point B as fast as possible. However, the landscape that streets and roads traverse is, except in the countryside, full of people who are someplace rather than going someplace, and who have a right to go out on foot or by bicycle. Yet, with rare exceptions, transportation agencies do not recognize streets and roads as settings for private homes and businesses, as public places that give communities their character, or as transportation facilities for non-motorists.”
If communities have rights in transportation planning, they also have responsibilities. The principal responsibility is to have a vision for their community. If the community has spent the time planning for what kind of place it wants to be, it is prepared to respond constructively when a transportation agency proposes a project.