Public hearings are formal, federally required meetings. Hearings must be documented, require an official transcript to be produced, and are subject to other specific requirements. Hearings are held to help with decision making during the project development phase.
Public meetings can be held at any time, for any purpose, and at INDOT’s discretion. In general, public meetings and hearings both feature formal presentations, a public comment session, and a project display area where project officials explain details in an informal setting.
INDOT hosts open houses to solicit public comment on proposed projects before the projects are programmed and funded. Open houses are a part of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), a federally mandated four-year planning document. Open-house events include a brief presentation about project ideas, and provide time for stakeholders to have one-on-one conversations with program officials from INDOT.