Transportation professionals comprise a very diverse group of individuals that not only represent multiple disciplines, but also expertise on multiple modes of transportation and phases of transportation decision-making (policy, planning, programming, environmental studies, design, construction, operations, and maintenance). In short, there are many professionals involved in the “life of a transportation project.” This guide speaks to all these professionals as “transportation practitioners” charged with helping provide mobility options to all citizens to support a good quality of life.
The focus of this guide is to help the practitioner build collaborative relationships; understand citizen values, interests, and needs; and produce effective and efficient decisions. There are several reasons why this is important, as presented in Section 1.1. The concept of “walking in another person's shoes” is an appropriate metaphor to explain the purpose of this guide. The overarching goal of this guide is to help practitioners find common ground with citizens by listening to them and understanding how transportation affects their quality of life. This guide is a companion to the Citizen's Guide, which is focused on helping citizens understand the life of a transportation project, including their own roles in the process and the professional expertise and responsibilities of practitioners. The key message being conveyed by both guides is that practitioners and citizens share responsibility for solving transportation problems. However, this also implies that each group must work hard to understand and embrace the other's perspective and co-create shared solutions.