New Report on Rural Transportation, Economic Development and Quality of Life

The Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) has released a new policy brief, Rethinking Federal Investments in Rural Transportation: Rural Considerations Regarding Reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Act (PDF), which shows that America’s rural areas, small towns, and small cities require more flexibility in choosing among transportation investment options to maintain strong economies and quality of life.  The report explores the symbiotic relationships between transportation, economic development and quality of life in rural America, and describes how a variety of transportation investments — including transit, vanpools, walking and biking paths and roads and highways — are critical to the economic development and well-being of our nation’s smaller communities and rural areas.  The brief outlines a set of policy goals that should frame a “rural regional innovation” approach to transportation planning and resource allocation across rural America.  The full report is available for download here: (PDF).


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Joe McKinney serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). Headquartered in Washington DC, NADO provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s 500+ regional planning and development organizations.

Joe has thirty-one years of experience having served in city, county, regional, national association, and government management since 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

McKinney has provided congressional testimony on numerous occasions regarding the importance of regional development organizations in helping shape the nation’s economic growth. He is nationally recognized for promoting innovative solutions in areas such as planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, and aging services.

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