At what was considered one of the most important Washington Council of Governments (COG) meetings of the year, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, (D -VA-11), urged local elected officials to keep pushing for big changes in local transportation issues.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 30, 2013
Regional Leaders Meet at National Press Club to Discuss Transportation and Growth Challenges
Frederick, MD -- At what was considered one of the most important Washington Council of Governments (COG) meetings of the year, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, (D -VA-11), urged local elected officials to keep pushing for big changes in local transportation issues. Introduced at the September 27th session by Chairwoman of the Councils on Government Board of Directors and Frederick City Alderman Karen Young, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly urged local elected officials and community groups to continue working to win more federal support for the local Transit system and identified Activity Centers. Also attending Friday’s COG meeting was Maryland Transportation Planning Board member and Frederick City Alderman Carol Krimm.
President Pro Tem of the City Board of Aldermen, Karen Young stated, "The recommendations that came from Friday's meeting will shape a regional action plan for two areas that are critical to our growth - the transportation system and the Activity Centers located in every jurisdiction. Many constructive ideas about how they work together and how we should proceed with our plans for them surfaced from this five hour interactive session. This exercise takes Region Forward, the Council's overall vision for the region, and Economy Forward, our near-term recommendations for improving the region's economic growth and competitiveness, to the next level. It is extremely important that we transition policy into action plans and this meeting of regional leaders kicked off that effort."
A goal of COG Chairwoman and City Alderman Karen Young is to advance COG’s Economy Forward plan to strengthen the region’s competitiveness. Key priorities include identifying sustainable funding strategies for the region’s roads and transit as well as guiding more efficient investments in mixed-use activity centers, which help attract and retain businesses and workers. The Regional Activity Centers and Clusters was developed by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Metropolitan Development Policy Committee as a tool to guide land use and transportation planning decision. The Washington Council of Governments (COG), in its Regional Forward Plan, has identified four key Regional Activity Centers in The City of Frederick: Downtown Frederick, the Golden Mile, East Frederick and Fort Detrick.
Alderwoman Krimm who serves on MWCOG Transportation Planning Board and the Governor's Task Force on Transportation Funding stated, “The Economy Forward event highlighted the need to work as a region to address the challenges of growth. Local government decisions impact the region on issues of transportation infrastructure, workforce housing, and air quality to name a few. It is important we connect planning and policy especially in areas of transportation and connectivity to Activity Centers. All government levels need to be partners as we define short term goals and long term goals to attract business and jobs to the region.”
The September 27th event, “Economy Forward: Help Shape the Future of the Region,” was a facilitated, interactive discussion sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, that engaged more than 100 area leaders on the issue of how to align economic growth with the development of Activity Centers and the transportation system. This fall, the Council will unveil an Activity Centers Strategic Development plan and the Transportation Planning Board at COG will release its Regional Transportation Priorities Plan. Both plans are identified as top priorities in COG’s Economy Forward plan, which was released last year.
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) is an independent, nonprofit association that brings area leaders together to address major regional issues in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia. COG’s membership is comprised of 300 elected officials from 22 local governments, the Maryland and Virginia state legislatures, and U.S. Congress.