It usually seems that most people who are disrupted by construction
projects would be less upset if they had some warning that a project was
about to happen. Early notification of disruptions can lead to route
changes by commuters, later departure times or just the common
acceptance of noise. So the normal question that comes after all of this
is, “How do you notify the public about what is soon to happen?
One method that is very effective is the mailing of letters to each
resident in and around the construction zone warning them of the work
that is about to take place. Although this may be the preferred method,
there are other options that can help get the word out. For the City of
Park Ridge they decided it would also be beneficial to capture the
resident’s attention by publicizing these projects in the form of a map
and make it accessible via a link on the home page of the city’s
website. This map would be generated in-house using the Geographic
Information System (GIS) software and would be completed by an
Engineering Department employee. Who better to create this map then a
person who is well versed in the projects that are planned for the year?
This map was designed to be simple so not to confuse the residents and
would be color coded by project type. And since the majority of these
projects were to start in the spring, the city decided to publish this
map in February so that the residents would have time to prepare for
what was about to come.
Not every resident uses the internet but since the trend is leaning
towards more users than less, it is safe to say that the method
described above is an efficient way to get information from the city’s
desk and into the minds of the public.