The TPB’s Long-Range Plan Task Force met again June 21 to continue the daunting work of narrowing down a long list of potential projects, programs, or policies to recommend to the TPB for further analysis as to their long-term benefits to the region. The TPB established the task force earlier this year to identify a limited set of regionally significant initiatives above and beyond the region’s current plans that could help make significantly greater progress toward achieving regional transportation goals.
The daunting work began after a series of brainstorming sessions yielded more than 80 potential initiatives to consider. By the end of May, after a few more meetings, the group had winnowed the list down to 49. At its June 7 meeting, the task force sorted through groupings or “bundles” of related or mutually supportive initiatives and narrowed them down to 14. By July, the group is due to identify ten such bundles to recommend for further analysis.
To help the task force in its latest deliberations, TPB staff provided a list of guiding principles for selecting bundles, among them a reminder that projects must not already be included in the CLRP. Task force chairman Jay Fisette reiterated this point. “This task force was formed to think a little differently, to broaden the discussion, to create some regional long-range goals and help drive them,” he said.
Another of the principles highlighted the need to “go big.” TPB Chairman Bridget Newton, who is also a task force member, told the group: “The goal was to come up with six to ten projects that would be game-changers for the region, to figure out what would make a difference and then let the political discussions arise.”
Newton reminded the group to “think regionally” and move beyond their personal preferences. “If the analysis comes back and it doesn’t make a difference, ‘Boom, it’s off the list,’” she said.
The task force next meets on July 5. At that meeting, the group will continue working to narrow down their list of ideas to ten. Those ten will go on to be analyzed to see how they would make a difference in the region.