Critical Questions on the Long-Range Transportation Plan

I’m in the process of reviewing this document from the Forks MPO (although it’s not very recent, I finally have a little more time now) and the fourth slide made me want to slow down and think.  I’ll frame these as questions, some of which I have an inkling about answering, and some of which are designed to lubricate the mind.

Providing more transportation choices
What could they be?

What are people choosing for transportation now?
Why are choices better?
Expanding access to affordable housing, particularly housing close to transit
Why is affordable housing better?
If affordable housing is better, why is affordable housing near transit even better?
In Grand Forks/East Grand Forks, what constitutes “transit,” and could there be more forms of transit?
If affordable housing helps people save money, are we hoping people can save money on transportation as well?  What do we want them to do with this extra money?
Enhancing economic competitiveness
What does this have to do with transportation?  Is it about transit competitiveness, or transportation choice competitiveness?
If we’re talking about competition among transportation choices, in what ways (technological, policy, other) could we increase competitiveness?
Is “competitiveness” a code word for making the economics behind transportation choices more equal?
Targeting federal funds toward existing communities to spur revitalization and protect rural landscapes
Only federal funds?
Which communities–within GF/EGF, or are we talking about Thompson, Arvilla, etc.?
What makes a community in need of revitalization?
Does this mean stopping/reducing/slowing down urban/suburban development on prime farmland?
Increasing collaboration among federal, state, and local governments to better target investments and improve accountability
Whose investments?
Whose accountability?
Valuing the unique qualities of all communities–whether urban, suburban, or rural
Whose value judgement?
Obviously, I have a lot of questions.  As I read through this document I will see if the answers become apparent and report back.

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