The Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for maintaining and creating the United State's transportation systems and infrastructure. You may associate the DOT's work with highways on the edge of the city. However, its infrastructure may run through your neighborhoods and downtowns as well.
Take Lebanon, Ohio, for example: its downtown was once a destination, where business boomed and the patronage was frequent. Then, the DOT began "dumping millions of dollars," as explained this Strong Towns article, to construct a new bypass—a type of road intended to alleviate congestion—prompting a period of decline for downtown Lebanon.
These DOT interventions, especially road widenings, happen everywhere. That's why Strong Towns advocates often ask how they can discuss these projects with DOT leaders. It's an noble question. However, as you'll learn in this video, convincing the DOT to not widen a road requires more than an individual.
In this video, you'll learn:
- How the DOT is assembled.
- How the DOT responds to public engagement.
- Why locally elected officials are essential to challenging the DOT.