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ODOT invites all Ohioans to Join the “Transportation Conversation”

Industry experts, state leaders named to
Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force

COLUMBUS (April 14, 2008) –  Inviting all Ohioans to join in a first-of-its-kind “Transportation Conversation” to determine the type of transportation system the state needs for the future, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) officially launched the Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force by naming the diverse mix of industry experts and state leaders who will lead the historic endeavor.

“Unlike past statewide planning efforts, the Transportation Priorities Task Force will explore a broader spectrum of issues facing the state,” said ODOT Director James Beasley. “We need to prioritize how the state balances the movement of people and freight, promotes safety and reduces congestion, creates jobs and encourages responsible growth, helps to build sustainable communities, and links all modes of transportation - connecting highways to rail, aviation, water ports, and transit.”

The task force will also identify the fairest ways to finance Ohio’s future transportation system, finding new funding tools for state and local governments, and innovative ways to partner with the private sector.

Leading the task force will be Chairman Ty Marsh, president of the Columbus Chamber, Vice-Chair Frank Jackson, mayor of Cleveland, and Vice-Chair Deborah Lieberman, commissioner for Montgomery County. The statewide conversations will be led by individual steering committees centered on three key issues: promoting a multi-modal system, maximizing public investment, and generating economic development.

Also serving on working committees will be experts from both private and governmental sectors, with backgrounds ranging from business and industry, shipping and logistics, finance and development, urban planning and agriculture, education and health care, transportation, and state and local government.

In addition to gathering public input and information at a series of open meetings across the state, the task force is encouraging all Ohioans to join the conversation by submitting their ideas and opinions online at TransportationForTomorrow.ohio.gov.

“The opportunity for a statewide dialogue of this scale is rare,” added Assistant Director Jolene Molitoris, who expects a final report from the Task Force this Fall. “Through a consensus around these important issues, Ohio can have one voice on it transportation needs as we enter debate on the state’s next biennium budget and the authorization of a new federal transportation bill.”

Last month, Director Beasley appointed Molitoris to Assistant Director, assigning her to lead several new transportation initiatives at the department, including work with the task force. The task force will also include input by state legislators, serving as ex officio members, and a multi-state agency support team.

The Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force will convene its inaugural meeting May 7 at ODOT’s Central Office in Columbus. Details about the meeting, the complete list of task force members, and updates on meeting times and locations can also be found at TransportationForTomorrow.ohio.gov.

The Ohio 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force chairs and steering committee members are:

Ty Marsh, Columbus Chamber


Mayor Frank Jackson, city of Cleveland
County Commissioner Deborah Lieberman, Montgomery County


Promoting a Multi-modal System:
Art Arnold, Ohio Rail Road Association
Larry Davis, Ohio Trucking Association
Rose Ann DeLeon, Cleveland Port Authority
Don Mader, American Council of Engineering Companies of Ohio
Tony Reams, Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments
Elaine Roberts, Columbus Regional Airport Authority
Patrick Sink, International Union of Operating Engineers


Generating Economic Development:
Jane Brautigam, city of Dublin
Mayor Dean DePiero, city of Parma
Joe Hamrock, American Electric Power of Ohio
Kenny Holland, Laborers’ International Union
Ben Houser, private attorney in Brown County
Bill Lhota, Central Ohio Transit Authority
John Pepper, Walt Disney Companies
Albert Ratner, Forest City Enterprises
Kay Townsend, United Parcel Service


Maximizing Public Investment:
Robert Brown, Transportation Review Advisory Council
Treasurer Richard Cordray, State of Ohio
Chester Jourdan, Mid Ohio Regional Planning Comm.
Dick Moreno, Ohio & Vicinity Regional Council of Carpenters
Ron Pizzuti, the Pizzuti Companies
Roxanne Qualls, Cincinnati City Councilmember
Chris Runyan, Ohio Contractors Association
Christine J. Vineis, Capital Partnerships


For more information contact
Scott Varner (Central Office Communications) at 614-644-8640

Additional information can also be found at http://TransportationForTomorrow.ohio.gov
Please note: the website does not contain the typical www prior to the address