Citizen Participation in Public Hearings in Virginia

Report No: 70-R40

Published in 1971

About the report:

Thousands if not tens of thousands of public hearings are held each year in the United States of America. But how much do we really know about the citizens who attend highway hearings? It is rather remarkable that, in a country in which the public hearing is so much an integral part of governmental processes, the literature is so barren of systematic data concerning persons who attend public hearings. It was to apply such data that a series of studies were sponsored by the Virginia Highway Research Council. The series of studies reported here were specifically focused on public hearings in the highway process. Data were obtained between May 26 and July 15, 1970, at 25 hearings held throughout Virginia and covering urban, primary, and secondary road projects. Questionnaires were handed out to all who attended, and of the 1,1170 persons who did, 978 took the trouble to answer the 17 questions that were asked. The research was designed to achieve three major objectives: To compile descriptive or behavioral data on citizens attending highway hearings, to analyze their comments, and to develop a mode of operation for the conduct of future highway hearings. The results of the study are set forth in this final report comprising three separate parts as follows: A Profile of Citizens Attending Highway Hearings, Citizen Feedback at Highway Hearings, and A Proposed Strategy for Public Hearings.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

L. Ellis. Walton, Jerome R. Saroff 

Last updated: February 12, 2024

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