Planning Staff Attend TPB Community Leadership Institute

October 17th, 2013


Accommodating future household and employment growth exercise

This past spring Metro planners participated in the latest session of the Transportation Planning Board‘s (TPB) Community Leadership Institute (CLI). 

The CLI is an educational program put on by the TPB that brings together community leaders and educates them on the regional issues as well as how the transportation decision making process works for this region.  The program takes place over the course of three workshops.

The CLI is an excellent way to meet new people in the region who are interested in transportation issues, as well as a way to learn about the challenges that the region currently faces.  The latter was especially brought out in the two presentations on ‘What if the Washington Region Grew Differently? – Regional Challenges & Exploring Options’.  The group exercise for this portion of the Institute included having to work with other members of your assigned team to decide where household and employment growth was going to occur throughout the region, and where the transportation improvements should be located to accommodate this growth. That was easy enough. However, right after that, all the groups were told that they would have to pay for the transportation improvements they had asked for earlier and that’s when people realized how expensive transportation improvements are and how difficult it can be to work with people who have different transportation priorities.


Group members discussing how they’re going to pay for the transportation options they want

Many of the participants in this CLI session came from similar backgrounds, so in that regard, most participants advocated for transit and alternative methods of transportation, and were generally less likely to prioritize road and private vehicle-related improvements.  However, in one exercise related to transportation project development, each  participant was assigned a a different role (for example, there was a local restaurant owner, a non profit worker, a Sierra Club member, a PTA president, etc.)   for a neighborhood project. The conflicting interests brought to the table by the participants necessitated heavy negotiating, which probably more closely resembles reality.

All in all, the CLI is a beneficial experience for anyone interested in transportation planning in the metropolitan Washington area. The best takeaway, of course, perhaps is the network that you join being an alum.  If anyone’s ever interested in this program, the next session begins November 14, but applications are due tomorrow, October 18.


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