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Upcoming transportation conference explores role of transitways in maximizing our region's economic competitiveness

May 17, 2012

By 2030, the Minneapolis–St. Paul region is expected to have a network of 14 transitways. Will these lines spur economic growth, and where? How well will they connect jobs to workers? What impacts will the lines have on neighborhoods and social change?

Minnesota leaders and national experts will discuss how the region can maximize the return on transitway investments in terms of jobs and economic competitiveness during the opening session of the 23nd Annual Transportation Research Conference. Sponsored by the University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies, the conference takes place May 23-24 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, 175 West Kellogg Blvd, Saint Paul.

Opening-session speaker Yingling Fan, assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs, will discuss recent research that analyzed the labor supply in relation to "competitive clusters" of industries such as medical manufacturing and publishing. The research team, led by Fan, found that to improve job access by transit, it's more effective to centralize jobs than housing and encourage employers to locate near transit corridors. The study builds on previous work Fan conducted under the Transitway Impacts Research Program.

During the conference luncheon Wednesday, May 23, veteran journalist Earl Swift will share highlights from his book The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways. The book charts how the creation of the U.S. interstate system transformed America, and it brings to light the visionaries who created these essential highways as well as the critics and citizens who questioned their headlong expansion throughout the country.

The CTS Transportation Research Conference serves as a forum for researchers and practitioners from Minnesota and the Upper Midwest to share their research findings in a variety of transportation-related areas. The conference features leading scholars in the fields of transportation funding, transportation technology and land-use planning, as well as public officials and transportation professionals.

The conference includes discussions on a variety of topics, including:

  • What's behind the increase in motorcycle fatalities
;
  • Paying for roads with tolls and user fees;
  • Cheating death: traffic safety strategies and injury prevention;
  • Rivers and roads—from flooding to water quality
;
  • Public participation in transportation projects
;
  • Economic activity around NiceRide Minnesota bike-share stations.

The conference is sponsored by the U of M Center for Transportation Studies. For a full conference schedule, fees, and registration, see www.cts.umn.edu/events/conference.
 

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