Monday, October 11, 2010

Taking a look at how we move

One Chamber program series that is wrapping up for the year is our Forecast Series, held in four segments throughout the year at the Townsend Hotel. Our last installment is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Thursday and focuses on regional transportation issues facing the region. The event includes a delicious lunch and a dynamic speaker panel of local transit experts.

Sharing their thoughts on why adopting a regional transportation plan for our area has proven so elusive and other issues will be John Hertel, general manager of the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART); Megan Owens, executive director of Transit Riders United (TRU); and Birmingham's own Robin Boyle, professor of urban planning and chair of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning for Wayne State University.

The issue of regional mass transit has been a sticky wicket in the region for decades. Even coordinating a public bus system between the city and suburbs was a long, nasty fight for years that did nothing to improve relations in the region and in fact was popular political punching bag for previous elected leaders. Despite our moniker as the “Motor City,” efficient mass transit is key to the region's future growth, whether it be for economic, social or environmental reasons.

That is why programs like this Transportation Forecast luncheon are important to keep moving the dialogue, and issue, forward.For more details on Thursdays program and to register, visit the Chamber Web site at or call (248) 644-1700.

Joe Bauman is president of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber. He welcomes feedback at