• Ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 discussion: how is the pandemic affecting your community, workplace, and wellness? 🦠

    Working from home? So are we. Come join us! Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing.

How to fight the Department of Transportation?


My mother lives in an old neighborhood on the urban fringe. It has been overrun by development in recent years. My mother has lived inthe same house all her life, and he parents lived there before she was born (but that is really not the point). The County Road Agency is planning a major expansion of her road - from 2 lanes to 4-6. The area is quite lovely still (despite all the McMansions), and the road will really distroy the community that is left. It is located right next to the largest lake in the area, and the plan is to tear down every bit of the commercial strip in the city (really). The people in the community will be forced to drive quite far to get to any store. (not to mention the fact that this huge road is literally located in my mom's front yard - hmmm, does that make me a NIMBYist)

She has gone to the public hearings and organized a (quite large) community group to speak out to the public officials. It does not look like they are having very much success. Nearly every resident in the city is opposed to the project. The city just spent 3 million $ on a large parcel of land for the road, and they already have funding from the fed. government.

How do citizens fight the DOT? These guys don't seem to care about any sort of community opinion. Any adeas what to do next?

mike gurnee

You can't fight a bunch of engineers with DOT. For all their lip service to public input, they do what they want. The only ploy is political--the city officials and state representatives. If there are enough voters objecting, you have a slim chance.