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.
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.
Nearly every seat was taken during this morning's League Capital Conference breakout session, "Economic Development Tools for the 21st Century," as local government leaders expressed passionate support for state tax credits for economic development. Community officials characterized brownfield and historic preservation credits as "make or break" for saving downtowns. Representative Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City), Chair of the House Commerce Committee, spoke with the group about his strong support for those state incentives. He expressed concern that the Governor's proposal to replace credits with grant would not provide sufficient support for redevelopment and revitalization projects in our commerce centers, but he did express an expectation that the Legislature will make some significant changes to the programs.
Michael McGee of Miller Canfield also provided an update on the possibilities created last year by the Legislature through the Next Michigan Development Act, Public Acts 273-277. It allows certain large cities and Public Act 7 intergovernmental entities to form a Next Michigan Development Corporation. Those Corporations, which must meet a number of conditions, will have access to crucial economic development incentives like Renaissance Zones, Public 198 tax abatements and tax-increment financing to encourage job development in businesses oriented towards shipping, supply chain logistics, multi-modal transportation and light manufacturing. Wayne and Washtenaw Counties and seven local governments already have taken advantage of this act to form the Detroit Region Aerotropolis.
Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator for the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him at 734-669-6323 or firstname.lastname@example.org.