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TMACOG Transportation Summit:
The Role of Transportation in Regional Revitalization

The keynote speaker at the 2014 Transportation Summit said that a successful new public transit program is not dependent on a growing community or on a particularly dense population. He cited extensive community involvement and public and private support as essential to successful projects. Richard Simonetta, a Senior Manager at
The Burns Group, has extensive experience with public transit projects in diverse settings.

At the Transportation Summit, Simonetta described projects in Phoenix, Ann Arbor,
and Grand Rapids, Michigan that created economic energy in those cities far beyond planners’ projections. Bus and light rail projects are very challenging, said Simonetta, because they always involve multiple public agencies and many units of government, they always require new funding, and can only succeed with citizen involvement.
Summit presentations including Richard Simonetta’s keynote presentation are posted
on tmacog.org.

More than 200 regional stakeholders and community leaders attended the April 11 TMACOG Transportation Summit. Attendees participated in workshops, took part in a
live interactive survey about the region’s long range transportation plan, and heard from local and national speakers on the role of transportation in economic revitalization.

Dave Dysard of the City of Toledo discussed the city’s plan for multiuse paths, trails,
and signed bicycle lanes on roads. He described how integrating bicycle and pedestrian traffic in all transportation plans will create a city that keeps younger people and attracts new industry. He cited the value of a Complete Streets policy recently adopted by TMACOG and included in the City of Toledo planning program.

A second workshop was a detailed look at the complex world of public transit and public transit financing in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan with a panel that included
Jim Gee of TARTA, Colette Cordova of the Area Office on Aging in Northwestern Ohio, and Robin Richter of WSOS Community Action. They described the need for coordinating transit noting that more than 80 state and federal programs are involved.

Thank you to the 2014 presenting partners who provided essential support for
the Transportation Summit:

DGL Consulting Engineers
DLZ
The Mannik & Smith Group
Transportation Advocacy Group of Northwest Ohio (TAGNO)
Tetra Tech

 


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