There are many arguments for and advantages to collaboration and consensus building and advantages to taking a multi-disciplinary approach to transportation projects.
Environmental Justice and Transportation Equity
The FHWA and the FTA have been working with their state and local transportation partners to make sure that the principles of environmental justice are integrated into every aspect of their transportation mission. Collaboration with under-served and minority communities is key to meeting this federal mandate.
"Each Federal Agency shall make achieving environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations."
Executive Order 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations, 1994
Environmental Justice and Transportation: Building Model Partnerships Community Workshop Proceedings
Clark Atlanta University
"All projects with any possible impacts to the local community require a balanced and sensitive approach to planning, design, and construction. The WSDOT, the FHWA, tribes, local agencies, and/or other partners need to understand and implement collaborative approaches that allow all stakeholders to participate equally in the vision, design, and construction of the project. At the same time, joint projects need to be implemented in a way that enables those stakeholders to achieve multiple project goals.
A new model for joint projects requires a new way of thinking, a new approach to projects, and a new willingness to craft innovative ways to meet both community and WS DOT priorities. This kind of approach, which relies on early, good communication and partnership, goes a long way toward preventing the "rework" cycle - that is, the need to go back and completely redesign the project because not all of the players have been on board from the beginning."
Washington State DOT
Building Projects that Build Communities: Recommended Best Practices
"To view transportation corridors as catalysts for strengthening community life necessitates.... a more holistic approach, where highway engineers, transit operators, traffic engineers, residents, merchants, property owners, city agencies, planner, architects, an developers as well as community and faith-based organizations, demonstrate that through partnerships they can bring together the traditional safety and mobility goals of transportation agencies and the livability goals of communities."
"While collaborative projects may take longer to plan, approvals are streamlined because the goals of the project are clearer, which facilitates permitting and inspection processes, and communities see the benefit to their quality of life and can articulate their support for the project."
Project for Public Spaces
with American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
How Transportation and Community Partnerships are Shaping America: Part I: Transit Stops and Stations