[Guest Contributor] Kristen Z., Transportation Planner – Coming Soon: Back to Basics Blog Series Preview

EcoInteractive is happy to introduce a new blog series we are calling: "Back to Basics" for Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and other planning organizations like...

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EcoInteractive is happy to introduce a new blog series we are calling: “Back to Basics” for Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and other planning organizations like Regional Councils and Councils of Governments. These organizations design and carry out planning processes to identify needs and prioritize investments in regional transportation systems and more. Pretty important stuff, especially since it involves local, state, and federal tax dollars!

In this series, we will address five basic principles that successful MPOs keep front and center. We are especially excited to have guest transportation planners and administrators from MPOs, Regional Councils, Councils of Governments, and State DOTs share their unique perspectives.

Back to Basics Blog Series will cover:

  • Keeper of the Process
    Effectively combining the three core components of a good MPO planning process – data, stakeholder will, and local politics – is a tricky and delicate matter. What’s the secret and what do you consider evidence of a good planning process?
  • Changing a Tire While Driving 80 MPH
    Every planning organization must balance tackling new priorities while maintaining routine work on schedule and budget, and effectively respond to daily “fires”. What are some best practices you find effective?
  • Who Knew Goldilocks was so Elusive?
    It’s easy to lose sight of why we started collecting, analyzing, and reporting data in the first place. What is the “right” amount of transportation data? Does it even exist?
  • Location, Location, Location: Not Just for Realtors!
    Since regional planning takes place in local communities, knowing the components and layout of the transportation system (e.g., political and economic dynamics, sacred cows in the region) is really important! How do you keep the pulse?
  • Staying in the Black
    Labor and consulting costs continue to rise while federal revenues are staying essentially static. How do regional planning organizations ensure their bottom line is in the black, while still providing high quality services and retaining talented employees?

Excited yet? Our upcoming (and first) contributor will be Shelby Powell, AICP – Shelby is Deputy Director at Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. We can’t wait for her to kick-off the new year with some thoughts on the topics above. So stay tuned!

In the meantime, we wish you all a Happy New Year – 2021 couldn’t come fast enough!

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