King of Prussia - GVF, a not-for-profit organization committed to reducing congestion, improving the environment and quality of life for all, hosted its last signature event of the year, its Advancing Mobility Summit on Monday, November 5th.
Through the Advancing Mobility Summit attendees heard about local, regional and state-wide initiatives and projects, as well as networking among executives.
The 2018 summit featured three dynamic keynote speakers and three panel sessions with local and regional speakers.
David Thornburgh, President and CEO for Committee of Seventy
Committee of Seventy is a nonpartisan civic leadership organization that advances representative, ethical and effective government in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania through citizen engagement and public policy advocacy. David spoke on the midterm elections and new initiatives the committee is working on.
Committee of Seventy new initiatives:
‘Draw the Lines’ a contest involving the general public for the best ideas in re-drawing of the district lines. This initiative is a way to engage all parts of the population in the discussion, with a $5000 prize.
Open primaries: to include independent voters in the primary process
PA Election security: instead of keeping up with cyber innovations, elections should have an electronic AND paper vote. Governor. Wolf has signed this initiative and it will take effect next year.
Working on an app: ‘WeVote’ which stores all information on elections right on your phone and can be brought into the polls with you.
Tim Haahs, President and CEO, TimHaahs and Mira Kim, Special Project Coordinator, TimHaahs
TimHaahs is a multi-disciplined engineering and architectural design firm, providing planning and design services to create parking and mixed-use facilities.
Tim Haahs and Mira Kim spoke of how the advancements in mobility has a significant role in the management of a comprehensive parking and transportation network. They discussed how technology is driving mobility through autonomous vehicles, Lyft and Uber, but has not decreased our need for efficient parking structures and transportation networks.
Ken Lawrence, Vice Chair, Commissioner, Montgomery County
Commissioner Lawrence provided several updates, including trail extensions, infrastructure projects and an update on the King of Prussia Rail project.
King of Prussia Rail
The King of Prussia Rail project is a proposed 5-mile extension of the Norristown High Speed Line that, when complete will provide direct passenger rail service to the largest commercial and employment center in the suburban Philadelphia region: King of Prussia
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is completed and the final Environmental Impact Study is underway
Preliminary Engineering to begin soon
A New King of Prussia Rail Coalition has been formed – made up of residents who support the project and its next steps
Lafayette Street Extension Project – downtown Norristown
The Lafayette Street Extension Project is an effort to improve highway access and mobility into downtown Norristown and Plymouth Township. The County is in its final phase of the $90M project, 20% paid by the County.
Michelle Kichline, Chair, Commissioner Chester County
Commissioner Kichline provided an update on the numerous initiatives within the County, including Landscapes3. Landscapes3 is Chester Counties comprehensive land development document. The plan's primary importance is the preservation of open space and transportation planning within Chester County.
Below are a few of Chester Counties transportation initiatives:
A focus on roadway network connection. Extended transportation service is lacking to many parts of the County. Coatesville currently has no SEPTA service and is an economically disadvantaged area that needs attention
Through Transportation and Community Development Initiatives (TCDI) grants the county wants to reach the 73 municipalities, to help draft ordinances that address active transportation issues
Warner Spur: Bike and pedestrian connection from Vanguard to the Atwater residential development near the PTC near Cedar Hollow
Ken McClain, District Executive, PennDOT District 6-0
Ken presented on PennDOT’s district wide Roundabout Program.
A study looked at 11 roundabouts in existence for at least three years and found fatalities were reduced by 100%, serious injuries from accidents were reduced by 100% and minor injuries from accidents were reduced by 95%
The reason for this success: decreases in speed, constant movement of traffic through a crossing, and reduced need for signalization that compounds congestion.
Jeff Knueppel, General Manager, SEPTA
Jeff presented on several of SEPTA’s key focus areas. SEPTA saw a population increase of 50,000 in both the City of Philadelphia and the suburbs from 2010-2017.
Focusing on the customer experience, long range planning to merge technology for apps to provide both real-time service information and fare collection to customers.
Continue to address and work towards a solution for problems with homeless population and Opioid crisis impacting transit/rail.
Upgrades to infrastructure.
Provide larger, more frequent service for regional rail
Market-Frankford Line capacity improvements
King of Prussia Rail project
Barry Seymour, Executive Director, DVRPC
There are 6.4 million people in the nine counties of Greater Philadelphia. Barry Seymour discussed DVRPC’s Connections 2045 Long-Range Plan for Greater Philadelphia.
Barry conducted an interactive ‘poll’ of the audience to see what the primary emphasis should be when prioritizing transportation projects for the region. The results showed reducing congestion to be the highest priority over economic development, air/environmental quality, and economic equality.
Liz Ferry, Vice President, State Legislative Affairs, Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia
Liz Ferry spoke about Grow PA. Grow PA is a grassroots movement to assemble people and organizations throughout the Commonwealth to establish a modern economic growth agenda that transforms post-secondary education, modernizes all areas of our infrastructure and accelerates the development of innovation in healthcare technology and delivery in Pennsylvania.
Mike Parker, Americas Infrastructure Leader, US Infrastructure Advisory Leader, Ernst & Young
Mike Parker addressed that many of the US’s iconic infrastructure facilities require reinvestment and, in some cases, re imagining how we approach funding transportation projects in an era of declining federal money.
Mike identified a need to come up with creative ways of coming together to prioritize investments, by showing seed money coming from the local and regional level, in order to attract larger funding and investing in infrastructure together.
“Thank you again to our speakers, sponsors and attendees. Mobility across the world, our country and our region is in flux and our Advancing Mobility Summit was a great place to learn and discuss those changes. GVF will continue to lead the discussion as we move forward with our collective future,” Rob Henry, Executive Director, GVF.
GVF would like to thank the following sponsors:
2018 Annual Event Sponsors:
Platinum: Boles Smyth, Brandywine Realty Trust, Kaplin Stewart, McMahon Associates, Pennoni, RK&K, Suburban Transit Network, Urban Engineers, Vanguard
Gold: Bikesport, King of Prussia Mall, McMahon Associates, WSP
Silver: AECOM, Comcast, DVRPC, Enterprise, Gannett Fleming, HDR, HNTB, Michael Baker International, SEPTA, STV, Traffic Planning and Design, T.Y. Lin International, Volkert, Well+Associates
Advancing Mobility Summit Event Sponsors:
Platinum: Jacobs, TD Bank
Gold: CH Planning, JBC Associates, RETTEW, TimHaahs