Visualize the future: Public forums explore seven big transportation ideas for the region


Back in December and January, the TPB endorsed seven initiatives for a better transportation future. Now, we’re holding nine public forums across the region to get people talking about not only their opinions about the initiatives but also how they imagine the future of transportation in the region.

Where did the seven initiatives come from?

The TPB endorsed these ideas after working through a year-long process with its Long-Range Plan Task Force. The task force deliberated and considered 80 ideas before coming to consensus around five big initiatives. The TPB endorsed these ideas in December for future concerted action. In January, the TPB endorsed two other initiatives focused on bicycle and pedestrian travel and access to transit.

Together these seven ideas will be included in the aspirational or unfunded element of Visualize 2045, the TPB’s new long-range transportation plan.

Though some of these ideas are being implemented now—like Bus Rapid Transit or express toll lanes—most are concepts that could be expanded throughout the region. They can only come to fruition when local jurisdictions decide how they plan to implement projects, programs, or policies that will support these ideas. At the public forums, the region’s residents have a chance to start shaping those conversations.

Visualize the future at public forums throughout the region

We held two forums so far, in Frederick and College Park, and are planning seven more in April and May. At the forums, participants are provided with background information about the TPB and regional planning. This helps set the stage for folks to think regionally. Next, TPB staff walk participants through an interactive presentation explaining each of the seven initiatives.

Forum participants in College Park learning about the seven initiatives. The interactive presentation is available online. (TPB)

The presentation and accompanying brochure explain what each initiative is, and how to visualize a future that might include these concepts in our transportation system.

MORE: Explore the interactive presentation and learn about the seven initiatives

Once participants understand the ideas, they have their first chance to weigh in. To get the conversation started, forum participants answer some simple questions using their mobile phones.

Forum participants in Frederick. Participants were asked poll questions they could answer using their mobile phones. (TPB)

Next, they break into small groups and a facilitator leads a discussion about one of the initiatives. The facilitator asks the group what they like about the initiative and their concerns about it. The group is then encouraged to visualize the future and discuss how the initiatives might change the transportation system.

Participants in Frederick discussing the initiatives in small groups. (TPB)

Can’t make it to one of the forums and still want to weigh in? We hope you can share your ideas in-person, but in case you can’t, feel free to explore the interactive presentation. Learn about the seven initiatives on your own, then feel free to tell us what you think through our Visualize 2045 comment form. Any comments we receive from now until May 31 will become a part of our Visualize 2045 forum report.

Learn more, get the schedule, and check out the presentation at

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