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Next Week’s Commuter Summit: Meet the SpeakersPrint

Thriving Communities | May 30, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

Transportation guru Jeffery Tumlin is the keynote speaker for next week's Getting Transportation to Work Commuter Summit.

Traverse City will welcome two special guests for next Tuesday’s Getting Transportation to Work Commuter Summit.

Mary Sell is the Commuter Services Specialist for GetDowntown Ann Arbor, which helps downtown Ann Arbor employers develop long-term strategies to encourage employees to carpool, bike, walk, and take the bus to work. We wrote about getDowntown back in 2011.

Mary will tell us stories of companies in Ann Arbor that have offered financial incentives to employees who bike to work. And she’ll talk about their hugely popular Go!Pass, which is a free bus pass for downtown employees and discounts on taxi rides, stores, and restaurants.

You can find more information about GetDowntown on their website.  It’s very similar to a program we’re launching here in this region called Local Motion.

Jeff Tumlin will be arriving from San Francisco.

I’ve seen Jeff speak a few times a various transportation events. He has a great message that I think may well apply to this area. He’s a witty and candid transportation engineer that helps communities understand how to manage traffic, how to measure transportation goals effectively, and the importance of investing in streets that allow people to bike and walk safely. He’s also a parking guru.

In this aptly-named Atlantic Cities article, Jeff explains how a city’s success can be measured by how well it manages its parking. He argues that parking rates should come very close to truly reflecting the market rate for a 9 by 20 foot piece of asphalt.

In light of recent Ticker stories, his message is timely.

At the Getting Transportation to Work Commuter Summit, these experts will focus on why investing in safer streets is important for growing cities, and they'll help our local employers think about ways in which they can encourage more Smart Commuting.

We look forward to seeing you there.

James Bruckbauer is the Michigan Land Use Institute’s transportation policy specialist. Follow him on Twitter at @jimbruckb. Reach him at