Volpe Center Highlights
U.S. Rep. Kilpatrick Visits Volpe
On January 20, 2000, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick and four members of her staff (Messrs. Gene Fisher, Peter Bernard, Derrick Miller, and Greg Roberts) visited the Volpe Center to learn more about how the Center can serve as a catalyst for innovation in transportation on the local level. Rep. Kilpatrick represents Michigan's 15th Congressional district, which is centered in Detroit.
Rep. Kilpatrick hopes to organize a forum in Detroit that brings together key stakeholders to propose solutions to problems that hinder the city from achieving economic health and quality of life. Urban sprawl and access to transportation are just a few of the problems that Detroit faces. Dr. Richard R. John, Director of the Volpe Center, and several Volpe staff members met with Rep. Kilpatrick at a round-table meeting to discuss the forum and the role of the Center in helping local authorities make informed transportation decisions.
Mr. William Lyons of the Service Assessment Division discussed how major cities are using transportation planning to confront regional problems, including how to reduce congestion and air pollution while encouraging economic development. Insights were drawn from 23 Volpe studies performed for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on how major metropolitan areas are responding to the transportation planning expectations of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).
Mr. Lyons provided examples on how elected officials in areas such as Northern New Jersey turn to the transportation planning process to build political and public support for major investments. Ms. Cheryl Little of the Economic Analysis Division elaborated on the high priority that DOT places on environmental justice in local transportation decision making.
Other topics of the round-table discussion included transportation and urban development, sustainable and livable communities, highway/transit/airport/seaport interconnectivity, partnerships and processes for effective system development, and accessible communities and welfare-to-work initiatives. In addition to the round-table discussion, Rep. Kilpatrick's visit also included a tour of the Multi-Media Operations Center (MMOC) where she viewed project demonstrations of the Enhanced Traffic Management System (ETMS) and the Panama Canal Communications, Traffic Management, and Navigation (CTAN) System.