T4PA Report Back from One-Day HSR Summit

Transportation for Pennsylvania’s blog yesterday featured a report back from Monday’s summit in Washington, D.C., entitled Rebuilding the Corridors of Prosperity: High Speed Rail and Transportation Investment in the Northeast and Midwest. The summit was put on by the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition, in coordination with the Northeast Midwest Institute, 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, and Smart Growth America. The purpose of the meeting was to bring high-speed rail advocates together from the Northeast and Midwest states as a means of determining which steps will have to be taken to bring rail into these areas (as part of an interconnected network). Here is an excerpt from the T4PA blog:

Judy Schwank, President of 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania described why this effort is important for Pennsylvania. “Pennsylvania has the important and strategic distinction of straddling two mega-regions, the Northeast and the Great Lakes. Linking to these markets is a critical component for the state’s economic prosperity. Investment in rail systems, both passenger and freight, has been and will be important to the cities and towns of Pennsylvania. As we determine the next federal transportation authorization we need to ensure that investments support communities and integrate with existing networks.”

Karen Rae, Deputy Administrator of the Federal Rail Administration, and Roy Kienitz, Under Secretary for Policy at the US Department of Transportation, talked about the role of rail to create more transportation alternatives across the country.

“There needs to be an intersection between rail planning and activities occurring on the ground. Having city to city connections will drive ridership,” Karen Rae added. She emphasized that creating an integrated high speed rail system is a challenging project; however, a step by step approach is needed to build the will and momentum to make it a reality.

To continue the momentum of the event, 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania plans to identify and convene key leaders in critical transportation corridors within Pennsylvania that connect the Great Lakes and the Northeast. The organization will continue to educate and build awareness and support for advancing a federal transportation reauthorization that links regions and builds better communities.

To read more about this effort, visit the T4PA blog, and check out the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition website.

What are your thoughts on channeling rail development into these states? How should the government (or any other decision-making body) prioritize which corridors should be first in line for receiving funding for high-speed rail development?

About Beata Bujalska

Beata Bujalska is the former Campaign Coordinator for Renew Lehigh Valley. She currently lives in Panama, a place that fascinates her due to (among other reasons) its recent development boom.

Posted on October 29, 2009, in Public Infrastructure, Transportation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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