At its January 18 meeting, the TPB approved the newly appointed members to its Citizens Advisory Committee for 2017. The CAC’s two main charges are to promote public involvement in transportation planning for the region and to provide independent, region-oriented citizen advice to the TPB on transportation plans and issues.
In all, the CAC is made up of 15 voting members—five each from Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia—and nine non-voting alternate members, from each of the three state-level jurisdictions.
Those who will serve on the committee this year provide a wide range of perspectives from all over the region. Some are transportation professionals who want to connect with and inform their communities about the transportation planning process. Others are interested in bringing forward transportation-access issues like mobility for people with disabilities or older adults. All of them place a high value on public participation and want to ensure that they represent their communities and provide important advice and input to the TPB.
One new CAC member for 2017 is Veronica Lowe, from Frederick, Maryland. Lowe said she was honored to join the committee. “The public can add real-life experiences to the concerns, obstacles, and challenges of the transportation planning process,” she said. “I’m most excited about being able to be a voice for the public and an advocate for the transportation needs of citizens,” she added.
Other CAC members share similar enthusiasm. Paul Angelone, an alternate member from the District of Columbia, said he’s looking forward to working with others to make a difference. “I am excited for the opportunity to build relationships with my fellow 2017 CAC members as well as those who serve on and staff the TPB.”
Lorena Rios, who is a returning member from Virginia, said that public input can help address potential concerns at early stages in the process. “Public involvement is important to help the public understand how decisions will affect them” she said. “They do have a stake in the process.”
The CAC has a successful track record of advising the TPB from a regional citizen perspective. In the past, it has pushed for more attention to walking, biking, and transit, and led the effort to launch the TPB’s Transportation/Land-Use Connections (TLC) program. In 2012, the CAC urged the TPB to adopt a regional policy endorsing “Complete Streets” and the TPB worked with its members to develop and adopt such a policy. This past year, the CAC advocated for a detailed plan for involving the public in the development of a new “unconstrained” long-range transportation plan for the region.
2017 Citizens Advisory Committee Members and Alternates
Jeremy Martin (Maryland)
Randall Keith Benjamin, II
Meredith L. Howell
Paul Angelone (alternate)
Anna Ray (alternate)
Jessica G. Smith (alternate)
Ronit Aviva Dancis (alternate)
Veronica D. Lowe (alternate)
Evan Matthew Papp (alternate)
Robert H Jackson
Mary "Molly" O'Connell
Stephen E. Still
Daniel Papiernik (alternate)
Jeffrey Parnes (alternate)
The 2017 CAC meets for the first time on February 9.