Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Say "wow" to VOWS?

The Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) has launched a new program for soliciting public input. It's called Voice of Washington State (VOWS) and it takes advantage of new web-based techololgy. Read about it here:

The program includes:
  1. seven regional Online Discussion Forums to publicly voice opinions, post ideas, and interact with other citizens
  2. online Survey Panel to participate in occasional online surveys

Jefferson County is in the Western Washington Forum.

Anyone is welcome to participate in the discussion forums and survey panel. One must create an account using an email address and password in order to participate.

According to the WSTC news release dated June 28, 2012:

The ultimate goal is to gather public input on Washington state transportation policy and funding, and to inform the statewide discussion and decision-making process. Topics for discussion will focus on all things transportation: highways, mass transit, freight and high-speed rail, ferries, barges and aviation. The governor and Legislature will be briefed on the ideas and data generated through the online discussion forums and surveys.

The combination of the online survey and the regional online discussion forums is a new outreach strategy for the WSTC. While the Commission has conducted successful phone and email surveys through the Ferry Riders Opinion Group for a few years, the primary community input tool has been public meetings. The online tools remove the distance and travel barriers inherent to public meetings; this increases the opportunity for everyone – no matter where they live – to participate and share their views.


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