Recommendations likely to include new approaches for implementing, managing and financing transportation projects, adapted from worldwide best practices
(Chicago) … When it comes
to transportation in
, there are more questions than
answers: when will the state finally identify a capital funding package for
roads, bridges and schools? What is the future of transit in the
region? Is it time
to move beyond traditional funding mechanisms and explore new ways to finance
and manage our transportation investments?
At “Moving the Region
in a New Direction: the Inaugural William O. Lipinski Symposium on
Transportation Policy,” on Monday, Oct. 15, at the W Hotel in downtown Chicago,
global, national and regional transportation experts presented an array of
possible answers to a crowd of regional and statewide transportation decision-makers.
At the day-long, invitation-only forum, co-sponsored by McCormick
Tribune Foundation, Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC),
University , the conference’s namesake
encouraged attendees to leave the symposium invigorated by new ideas for solving
the worsening ground transportation dilemma
“Often, the best ideas
come from far and wide. That is why we are holding this symposium: to bring
policymakers together with innovative thinkers and practitioners of best
practices to find ways to improve Chicago’s transportation network for the
benefit of not only the region, but the nation and the world,” said William O.
Lipinski, former U.S. representative and former ranking minority member of the
Aviation, Rail, and Highways subcommittees.
Keynote speaker U.S. Rep.
James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chair of the House Committee on Transportation &
Infrastructure, likewise urged participants to take a more global approach to
developing a sustainable, integrated, multi-modal transportation system in this
Congress moves toward the reauthorization of our federal surface transportation
programs, we face many challenges: aging bridges, crumbling road surfaces, a
lack of transportation alternatives ... complex problems requiring complex
solutions. Local and regional symposiums such as this tap the expertise of a
broad base of transportation professionals and academics, and can help us find
some of those complex solutions,” said Oberstar. “I am pleased and proud to be
part of this event, continuing the legacy of transportation leadership of my
good friend and former colleague Bill Lipinski.”
The majority of
the day’s presentations focused on new approaches
to implementing, managing
and financing transportation projects. Panelists also emphasized the importance
of selecting the right regionally significant projects to create a balanced
and sustainable transportation system. Guest speakers included Edward Hamberger,
president and CEO, Association of American Railroads; Todd Litman, founder
and executive director, Victoria Transport Policy Institute; Timothy J.
Lomax, research engineer, Texas Transportation Institute; Hani S. Mahmassani,
professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University; Daniel
Murray, vice president of research, American Transportation Research
Institute; Robert Puentes, scholar fellow, The Brookings Institution; and
Stockholm, Sweden’s Congestion Charging Program.
After hearing from these
transportation experts, Chicago-area transportation decision-makers closed the
day with a panel discussion on best approaches for
and the state.
Panelists were Ill. Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston), chair, House Mass Transit
Committee; Randy Blankenhorn, executive director, Chicago Metropolitan Agency
Ron Huberman, president,
Chicago Transit Authority; Robert Schillerstrom, chairman, DuPage County Board;
and Suzi Schmidt, chair, Lake County Board.
Technology Institute and The Transportation Center, along with MPC will compile
the presentations and concluding remarks, including audience questions and
comments, to shape recommendations for a near-term agenda to build more
attractive communities with a range of travel options, backed by state revenues.
conference injected much-needed fresh thinking about ways to move people and
goods, increase access, connect regional job centers, create more attractive
places, reduce commutes – and pay for it all with minimal financial support
from traditional government sources,”
Barrett , president, Metropolitan Planning Council. “The
next step is to identify the most feasible, high-impact ideas and test them on
the ground in