Today is Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Time for Wilson Co. to join discussion on regional transit

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By JULIUS JOHNSON and JOHN McDEARMAN          On Wednesday, May 27, business, governmental and community leaders from Wilson County will join their colleagues from throughout Middle Tennessee to focus the development of a regional transportation system. Cumberland Region Tomorrow, the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization will harness the “Power of Ten” – the 10 counties that comprise our region – at the annual “Convening the Region” Summit. The development, funding and operation of a Regional Transit System will enhance economic development and growth in every county in our region. By coming together now to discuss ways to work together we will ensure that Wilson County needs are represented. The issue of regional transportation is critical to our entire region’s future economic competitiveness, growth and standard of living. While each county in the region can take small steps forward in this area, by working together, we can accomplish so much more.

Coming together as a region will enable us to address the many challenges and opportunities presented by a Regional Transit System. At the upcoming summit, our discussions will cover traffic, congestion and gridlock; mass transit options, environmental concerns and connectivity between transportation modes. We will also take a look at how similar regions around Austin, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; and Denver, Colo. are making regional transit work for them.

Every county in Middle Tennessee shares common concerns and common goals in the area of regional transportation. It makes sense that we would seek a common solution and develop a joint plan of action on this critical topic. By harnessing the “Power of Ten,” we can develop a system to bring future growth and sustainability to Wilson County and our entire region.

The Cumberland Region Tomorrow (CRT) annual “Convening the Region” Summit will be held on Wednesday, May 27 from 12:30-5:30 p.m. at War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville. To register, visit www.10power.org.  Editor’s Note: Julius Johnson is the chief administrative officer of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation and the co-chairman of Cumberland Region Tomorrow.  John McDearman is executive vice president at Wilson Bank & Trust and represents Wilson County on the Board of Directors of Cumberland Region Tomorrow.

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