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).


Joe McKinney has served as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations since 2012. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Land of Sky Regional Council in Asheville, North Carolina from 2003 to 2012. Under his leadership, Land of Sky became recognized nationally for its innovation in program areas including planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, aging services, volunteer services, and geographic information systems. Joe has also held various other roles in city, county, association, and government management. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

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