Riverside, California

The Project
Managing transportation systems in California’s fourth most populous county, the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) issued a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in 2013 that proposed realigning State Route 79 through the area to address long-standing traffic issues. The Draft EIS resulted in several project refinements and prompted a Supplemental EIR in the Summer of 2015. Wanting to ensure maximum efficiency and transparency throughout the Supplemental EIR process, the project team approached SmartComment to provide public comment management and support.

What We Did

  • Created an Internet portal linked to the SR-79 project website to accept electronic comments from the public, agencies, and other interested parties.
  • Built a customized comment database to organize, manage and respond to comments.
  • Seamlessly imported 450 previously submitted comments (emailed and written) from the initial Draft EIS two years before.
  • Acted as a team-oriented partner to coordinate with agency staff, while working closely throughout the comment response process with the project’s environmental consultant, CH2M.
  • Assisted at one public hearing, providing a laptop comment-submission station and assistance from SmartComment staff.

The Results
After creating a fully customized comment management interface, SmartComment’s platform received 600 comments, including letters from other agencies, public hearing transcripts, emails, written comments, and comments submitted via the project website. Using SmartComment’s SmartBracket™ app, the project team was able to efficiently bracket each submission into individual comments and organize them according to topic categories created specifically for the project. The consultant and agencies were then organized into teams via a multi-layered comment response environment that allowed each comment response to flow gracefully from inital response, through the QA/QC process and on to final approval.

What The Client Said
“SmartComment is on the forefront of public outreach.”
Carlos Montez, CH2M