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Participants offered the following questions and responses during the workshop's sessions. Content shared in these responses may not reflect the opinions or policies of FHWA or FTA.
Together North Jersey / North Jersey Sustainable Communities Consortium Overview
1. What Would be the basic elements of the RPSD?
Topics will include land use, transportation planning, and asset-based economic development.
2. Will there be a collection of summaries of existing capital plans for entities that are involved in theTNJ? Many agencies, including State agencies, have existing capital plans that provide financial context for how this process can take place. Money may be committed.
TNJ is collecting and compiling existing planning documents, including comprehensive, regional, and economic development plans. TNJ is organizing a series of telephone calls to agencies that developed previous plans to interview them about the plans and their work. TNJ has developed a master list of goals and a working draft of strategies presented in previous plans, which will serve as the foundation of the RPSD. TNJ is also updating its RTP, which includes a financial update.
NJTPA's Approach to Scenario Planning
1. What is the timing for the workshops to be scheduled?
NJTPA is aiming for the first round of workshops to occur at the end of November/early December 2012.
1. To what extent is the private sector engaged in outreach events?
(Villotti) SPC's scenario planning effort was extensive. SPC worked with private sector partners as well as the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, which works to foster economic growth in southwestern Pennsylvania.
(Wies) It can be difficult to involve private sector representatives who are not already engaged in the agency's efforts. For CMAP, railroad entities were easier to engage because they are often run like government agencies and understood what would be involved in the scenario planning process.
2. Politics plays a huge role in New Jersey in attracting/retaining business. Where does the political process factor in? Scenario planning may be a local, home-rule process but State public policy makers have a large role in what is funded and what policies get adopted. What are the political factors needed to move scenario planning forward?
(Villotti). It is impossible to take politics out of the equation. During its scenario planning effort, SPC noted what it needed to make decisions in the political realm. SPC reviewed State plans, incentives, and rules to get an idea of what had been done previously and how to best suggest an implementation plan. If an agency takes politics out of the process, the resulting plan will not be implementable. It is important to work with elected officials throughout the scenario planning process to ensure that a plan can be implemented. Larger scenario planning workshops can send a message to elected officials that people are interested and engaged. Officials should consider the public's input and use this to inform their decisions.
3. (Audience Comment) CMAP is spot-on in terms of its outreach to youth in its scenario planning efforts. Youth often have amazing visions and insightful thoughts about what they want to see for their future. Including youth in scenario planning efforts can also help them learn about career paths. In a perfect world, youth would share the information that they learned with their families, which would help to spread awareness and education.
4. What issues does EU see to adjust its model to New Jersey's landscape?
(Epperson) EU would need to know more about New Jersey's region. Growth is a major issue to consider. If the region is growing quickly, then EU's chip game model can be used easily. If the region is not growing quickly, there are ways to adapt EU's process/model.