San Diego Association of Governments
Cities of Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar and San Diego
The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and Caltrans worked with Southwest Strategies to develop a comprehensive public outreach program for the North Coast Corridor Program (NCC Program) aimed at building relationships along the I-5 corridor.
Project: North Coast Corridor Program
Expertise: Public Outreach
Location: Cities of Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar and San Diego
“Southwest Strategies has provided ongoing strategic counsel to the North Coast Corridor Program team and helped us develop a comprehensive outreach plan to communicate complex transportation issues to the public along a diverse 27-mile-long corridor.”
I-5/SR 76 Corridor Director, Caltrans
SANDAG is a regional planning entity that convenes critical regional dialogues about transportation improvements, infrastructure and quality of life issues. Located along 27 miles within the cities of Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar and San Diego, SANDAG’s NCC Program represents a $6 billion investment in the San Diego economy over the next few decades, including more than $250 million to preserve and enhance sensitive coastal habitat and improve coastal access. The NCC Program is a substantial, multifaceted infrastructure investment in the community that requires comprehensive community outreach to ensure residents understand the program’s importance and are informed about project milestones. In 2011, SANDAG and Caltrans hired us to continue and broaden the existing public outreach effort for the NCC Program throughout the planning, environmental review and construction phases.
Our team worked with SANDAG and Caltrans to develop a comprehensive public outreach program aimed at building relationships along the I-5 corridor and informing residents and interested stakeholders about the proposed NCC Program. This included developing a comprehensive stakeholder database and creating clear and informative program messages for use in all public information materials throughout the effort. We also created new branding, with a logo and tagline, to help build awareness about the NCC Program. Our team also developed project collateral materials, including a comprehensive program brochure, project newsletter, fact sheets, eblast series and PowerPoint presentations.
Recognizing the diverse communities within the NCC footprint, we helped SANDAG prepare comprehensive community outreach campaigns tailored to the unique needs of the communities and neighborhoods within the project area. These separate outreach plans are tailored to each milestone and have been developed collaboratively with the project team. Outreach activities have included briefings, mailings and other communications designed specifically to educate the community about technical aspects of the project improvements in a clear way. In addition, we have spearheaded the formation of an informal advisory group of roughly 10-20 community members, whose quarterly meetings serve as an additional venue to provide project status updates to the community.
Through our robust outreach program, we have successfully communicated with thousands of stakeholders along the I-5 corridor, generating greater awareness for this important regional project. Our working group has been so well received that the team is working to duplicate the effort in other communities to broaden our engagement. We continue to support SANDAG with outreach efforts as the first package of projects moves through construction.