Incorporating Qualitative Data in the Planning Process

Improving Project Delivery and Outcomes

This report highlights emerging tools, techniques, and resources for gathering qualitative public and stakeholder input to inform the planning process, improve project outcomes, and contribute to streamlining project delivery.

by Federal Highway Administration

This document is intended to help practitioners better match public involvement tools and techniques to the appropriate phase(s) of a planning process so that input is mindfully gathered and effectively used to inform the process and deliver results.

These tools and techniques can be used to engage the public and stakeholders in an iterative planning process that keeps people informed, continuously improves the quality of “the plan”, and ensures the final recommendations accurately reflect the original vision and goals of the project.

In doing so, agencies can identify and provide higher quality local transportation benefits and better reflect community needs as part of their projects. This will help to reduce project delay and streamline project delivery.

About the Author


The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), part of the US Department of Transportation, provides expertise, resources, and information to improve the nation's highway system and its intermodal connections. The Federal-Aid Highway Program provides financial assistance to the States to construct and improve the National Highway System, other roads, bridges, and trails.

More articles by this author

More articles in this category

Benchmarking Bike Networks

posted Apr 17, 2024

This report summarizes guidance and best practices to create safer bicycle facilities and connect them into networks that allow more people to safely bike to more places within and throughout communities.

Setting Speed Limits for Health and Safety

posted Apr 17, 2024

This mini-report on setting speed limits shows the current framework for speed limit policies through a review of state laws that set speed limits.

Winter Recreation Planning

posted Nov 14, 2023

These case studies reveal a number of lessons learned that will be valuable in future winter travel management planning efforts.

TRAILS SAFE PASSING PLAN: STOP, SPEAK, and STAND BACK

posted Feb 14, 2023

Horses are prey animals and naturally can be afraid of unfamiliar people and objects. Horses have natural "flight“ survival instincts and prefer to move their feet towards an exit route. Therefore, people with horses should pass at a walk while other trail users remain STOPPED until passed.

321 views • posted 07/23/2020