R102 | Exploring Berkshire County Transportation Challenges and Opportunities | Robert James

Postponed till Winter

Thursdays 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. | 6 Sessions - 9/21, 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26
Hybrid: Zoom and in-person at BCC
Limit: 22 in-person, none online

“Sometimes you can't get there from here.” Unfortunately, this colloquialism is a too apt description for the movement of people and goods in our county. We are highly dependent on our automobiles to get us from place to place. Those who aren't able to drive or who don't have access to dependable public transportation are truly disadvantaged. Moreover, deficits in the quality and availability of transportation infrastructure services limit future economic growth opportunities and the achievement of important safety, environmental, and social equity goals.

This course will explore the challenges and opportunities inherent in our mobility systems. Census and other data will help profile transportation use by mode (i.e., autos, public transit, trucks), user age, and income etc. It will highlight the agencies and firms that serve Berkshire transportation needs – and hopefully, through the participation of key stakeholders, enable a discussion and dialog between users and providers of essential services.

A primary focus will be on the struggles that public and para-transit services face in providing mass transit where the mass is small. It will also explore the benefits potential from biking, walking and hiking to community mobility and health, and look at potential for rail passenger and freight systems to better connect Berkshire County to the rest of the world.

Robert James, Esq., holds a JD from Boston College School of Law. He served as Senior Policy and Planning Aide for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the State of New Jersey, and is co-author of Portway, a major freight program for New Jersey supported by three of its governors. He is past president of the New York Transportation Research Forum.

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