September 13, 2011 16:19 by kholda
Let’s Save Michigan and the League held the first "Twitter Talk" event this afternoon in Lansing. This hour-and-a-half session on Michigan’s vision for a new transportation system generated constant tweets from several organizations throughout the state. The dialogue continued long after the participants had left the physical event.
Questions came in both from people sitting around the table and from Twitter, making it easier to reach a broader audience in real time.
Here’s some of the conversation:
- One innovation is to link State infrastructure banks with public-private partnerships that go beyond just transportation #MiTransVision
- #MITransVision MI is home to a bi-national public bus system that uses the Detroit/Windsor tunnel. Should be connected to broader system.
- Rep. Doug Geiss pushing Highways 2.0 ideas that marry system and technology. #mitransvision
- Over 20,000 households in Detroit do not have a car or access to transit. Imagine waking up w no options to get to work. #mitransvision
Check out more of the conversation on Twitter. Search #MiTransVision and follow @letssavemich and @mmleague.
LANSING - The League held its first-ever Twitter Talk on transportation today at the Lansing office. Using new communication tools was a great way not only to spread the message, but to encourage participants to also think about the topic itself in new and innovative ways.
The dialogue was fast and furious, and was being echoed across the state in "real time" on Twitter. Much of the focus was on the need to develop a new dialogue that looks not only at how much we're spending, but on how and where we're spending it, at a time when people are re-designing their relationships to work and community.
Interesting fodder came from all the panelists, on topics like making sure public transit actually connects people to their jobs, and how safety and efficiency must be cornerstones to any successful transportation system. Some of the organizations tweeting and retweeting today included the Project for Public Spaces (an international nonprofit); Transport 4 America, a nationwide coalition focused on creating a national transportation program for the 21st century; Rustwire; Friends of Transit; and League of Michigan Bicyclists.
Hopefully the ripple effect will reach to the governor's office and beyond, showing that Michigan is engaged and energized on the subject of creating a new vision for Michigan's transportation system.
Read more about the Michigan's Transportation Vision: A Twitter Talk on Twitter @letsavemich and @mmleague and the hashtag #mitransvision and here on this website.
Let's face it. when the rest of the country and the world thinks of Michigan, they think of Detroit. So no matter all the great things going on in communities across our state, the Detroit story makes a difference. And, slowly but surely, the stories coming out of Detroit these days are encouraging and worthy of spreading.
Take for instance this Detroit news article on how young people are seeing Detroit as the place to be. Esepcially if you're in the arts. And businesses and foundations are picking up on it. As the article notes, "It celebrates the city's gritty appeal to youthful adults and the artistically inclined — think of Chrysler LLC's "Imported From Detroit" slogan that debuted in a Super Bowl commercial featuring Eminem — as the source of a raw creativity that makes Detroit unique."
Top that off with the recent announcement that the Woodward Avenue light rail project has taken a huge step forward, now that the city and federal governments have signed off on a final route for the service.
Embracing art and culture and transit as place-based economic development drivers, are two critical assets of any vibrant, 21st century city, as noted by the League through our "Center for 21st Century Communities" program.
So no matter where you're from in Michigan, the next time someone says that there is nothing going on in Detroit, make sure to tell them the truth... Detroit is once again a city on the move.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives and Federal Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail.
The League's 21c3 program has identified transit as a key asset of a vibrant 21st century communities transportation system, and a new report from the Brookings Institution explores the connection between public transit and getting people to work.
The report, "Missed Opportunity, Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America", is labeled as a first of a kind analysis showing how transit system links workers to jobs, or not. And noting do so, seems to be more prevalent conclusion.
The report looks at the 100 largest metro regions in the country, including Detroit and Grand Rapids, and provides a extensive analysis of transit routes and schedules, demographic data and employment information to reveal how well transit in each of these metro areas serves cities and suburbs and lower- and higher-income neighborhoods, as well as how effective transit is in helping workers in these communities reach jobs within their regions.
At a time when gas prices continue to climb, policy makers in Michigan and Washington must commit the resources necessary for renewed investment in our transportation network. Such information as found in the Brookings report could go a long way to determining where and how investments should be made.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director Strategic Initiatives and Federal Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail.