Local partnerships advance statewide transportation goals, according to a panel of state DOT and local government executives, convened during the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 2022 Spring Meeting.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the leading organization for state transportation and highway leaders, convened its spring conference earlier this month, and tackled many topics relating to transportation infrastructure. One message, hitting close to home for Maryland: local transportation priorities are part of the best path forward for state-level transportation decision-makers.
“Transportation projects offer us an opportunity to rebuild local streets, multi-use trails, and reconnect neighborhoods to downtown areas,” noted Monique Boulet, CEO of Louisiana’s Acadiana Planning Commission.
“Local partnerships help connect projects better with local communities – letting us walk through the tough questions and listen to what really matters to residents,” she explained. “It means using ‘non-traditional’ approaches to gather community input, holding events at churches and working with local pastors. We spend a lot of one-on-one time with them; they are critical to effective communications with affected constituencies. Finding such ‘trust spots’ is critical.”
Nancy Daubenberger, interim commissioner and chief engineer with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, noted that such “local connections’ encompass more than just transportation construction concerns.
Highway User Revenues has been a local government priority for years, since this share of state transportation revenues was dramatically diverted in 2009. For more background on the important step forward accomplished during the 2022 session, see prior Conduit Street coverage: