Thursday, January 27, 2011

Regional Planning and Collaboration

National Association of Development Organization (NADO)
The NADO Research Foundation and RPO America are hosting a webinar on Feb. 15 showcasing the work of two award-winning organizations on rural and small metropolitan alternative transportation. One of the presentations will focus on rural travel demand management via a website and outreach materials that address transportation options throughout the region.

From RPO America's twitter feed: RPO America & NADO Guidelines and applications are now out for two National Endowment for the Arts initiatives that are available to support rural communities through community design and creative placemaking activities.

National Transit Institute (NTI)
NTI has upcoming classes in ADA paratransit eligibility, vehicle procurement and technology for rural transportation services. Information is available at

Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO)
AMPO posts its Fall Newletter, which, somehow, I missed previously. It has articles about sustainable performance measures for transportation, including regional metrics as well as measurement systems that include transit, walking and biking. Examples from Portland, Ore., and Northern New Jersey are multi-modal.

Not Reading the Tea Leaves - Yet

I have been avoiding paying too much attention to the occasional statements about when we are likely to see real movement with transportation reauthorization because, frankly, I want to pay attention when the meat is being discussed. However, my eyes opened wide when the President put himself out on a limb for long-distance public transportation in his State of the Union address and it is intriguing that Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood quoted the address in his blog to emphasize the President's commitment to high speed rail.
Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you to go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. For some trips, it will be faster than flying. As we speak, routes in California and the Midwest are already underway.
What are the prospects for such a bold transportation plan? What are the implications for reauthorization and for local public and human services transportation? Perhaps those tea leaves deserve some attention.

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