Project Prioritization: Rural Transportation Leadership

Some organizations have committees that address rural transportation planning.  The most common are technical committees (55 percent) and policy committees (53 percent).  Other common committees include public transportation or human services transportation (transit) committees (30 percent),  and bicycle/pedestrian or trails committees (21 percent).  About half of respondents (51 percent) reported that the regional development organization’s governing board also serves as the policy entity or governing board for the rural transportation program.

The size of policy committees varies greatly across organizations.  Among respondents, the smallest policy committees have five members, and the largest has 82 total voting and non-voting members.  Twenty-one percent of policy committees have 1 – 10 members, 30 percent have 11 – 20 members, 21 percent have between 21 – 30 members, and 26 percent have 31 or more members.

Individuals representing a wide range of interests sit on rural transportation policy committees.  The most common representatives on rural transportation policy committees include municipal elected officials, county commissioners, state DOT officials, city/county managers, members of the public, transit officials, business leaders, and local economic development officials.

The size of technical committees also varies greatly, from five members to 93 total voting and non-voting members.  Nearly 20 percent of organizations have 1 – 10 members, 43 percent have 11 – 20, 19 percent have 21 – 30 members, and almost 15 percent have 31 or more members. As with policy committees, individuals representing a wide range of interests sit on technical committees.  The most common representatives on rural transportation technical committees include state DOT officials, local planners, transit representatives, county engineers, city/county managers, and public works professionals.

The nature of RPO committees and the variety of representatives who serve on them is often influenced by the presence of facilities such as ports or rail lines in the region, as well as priority issues identified in their regional vision or other plans, which could include distribution or tourism as economic strategies with an impact on transportation.  Other types of organizations and individuals represented on RPO policy and technical committees included representatives of modal interests, such as aviation, bike/ped, ports, rail, and trucking, as well as educational institutions, human service agencies, the tourism sector, and environmental and civic groups.

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2023 Impact Awards

The primary applicant must be a NADO member. Project partners, both NADO and non-members, can be recognized under "Project Partners" below.

Primary Project Contact:
This person will be the designated point of contact for all future awards-related correspondence and will receive the printed award certificates and other hardcopy materials should the project win an award.

Organization Address

Project Location (if different from Organization Address)

Executive Director

Additional Organizational Information
Please upload your organization's logo which will be included on the winning project award certificate.

Project Information
This title will be printed on the award certificate for winning projects and in all 2022 NADO Impact Award materials and cannot be changed.

Project Summary & Questions
Please craft clear, thoughtful, and engaging responses to the following questions. Use the following sections to tell us how your project has made an impact, such as its use of creative funding mechanisms, efforts to create efficiencies or reduce costs, unique partnership models, and emphasis on building resilience and/or enhancing your region's quality of life.

For award-winning projects, the information provided below may be used verbatim to inform project descriptions that will be published in the 2023 NADO Impact Awards materials and included on the NADO website.

Please submit at least one photo showing your project in action. Please keep file size to a minimum (<2Mb) and use JPEG format. If uploading multiple files, ZIP files prior to submitting. If you have trouble uploading images they can be directly emailed to Brett Schwartz at [email protected] Include the project title they correspond to in the subject line of your email.

Note: Submitted photos may be used in NADO Impact Awards materials and in other NADO published materials with credit to your organization. Please also consider submitting photos for NADO's 2023 Photo Contest, which will be held this summer.

Your application is not submitted until you are directed to a confirmation page. If you have any questions or are unsure if your application has been submitted, please contact Brett Schwartz at [email protected]

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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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