The final report from the Lincoln Citizens’ Transportation Coalition says the City can close the estimated $33 million annual gap in transportation needs through innovation, cost savings and additional revenue. The 27-member coalition of community and business leaders was appointed by Mayor Chris Beutler in August and delivered its recommendations to the Mayor today. The report is available at lincolnonthemove.com.
After a technical, financial and policy review, the Coalition determined that three areas contribute to the annual gap between available funding and transportation network needs: $21 million in preservation and street maintenance; $7 million in optimization like signal upgrades and maximizing traffic flow; and $5 million in growth and new streets. Members agreed on a three-pronged approach:
· Deliver costs savings through regular maintenance, increasing contract flexibility, allowing street design flexibility and improving the impact fee system.
· Adopt 24 best practices, including streamlining the business processes, optimizing the existing system, looking for innovation and developing a citizen advisory panel.
· Add $20 to $28 million annually in revenue through local option sales tax instead of raising property or wheel taxes.
“Our ‘Blueprint for Progress’ has created growth and prosperity over the last ten years, by bringing all parties to the table and developing a shared vision,” said Mayor Beutler. “This Coalition has applied that approach to our transportation strategy. Its report will help guide us as we build an even better Lincoln. The coalition members represent a broad cross-section of the community. Now, we want to use that network to reach out, inform and educate Lincoln. I want to thank the members for being part of a continuing tradition of community involvement in tackling big issues.”
“We know that delaying improvements will cost us in dollars and lost opportunities, and it’s clear that the residents of Lincoln want better streets now,” said Bob Caldwell of NEBCO who co-chaired the Coalition with Miki Esposito, Director of the City Public Works and Utilities Department. “Now we are asking the public to be part of the process, to work with our Mayor and City Council to implement solutions in the near future.”
All meetings of the Coalition were open to the public. The Coalition includes six current elected officials – State Senators Adam Morfeld and Mike Hilgers, City Council members Cyndi Lamm and Carl Eskridge, County Commissioner Jennifer Brinkman, County Engineer Pam Dingman and Mike DeKalb, Lower Platte South NRD Board. (The full list follows this release.)
The public is encouraged to visit lincolnonthemove.com to view the full report, provide comments and ask questions about transportation issues.
LINCOLN CITIZENS’ TRANSPORTATION COALITION
· Bob Caldwell, Vice President, NEBCO, Inc., Co-Chair
· Carl Eskridge, Lincoln City Council
· Cyndi Lamm, Lincoln City Council
· Jennifer Brinkman, Lancaster County Commission
· Pam Dingman, Lancaster County Engineer
· Mike Hilgers, State Senator
· Adam Morfeld, State Senator
· Mike DeKalb, StarTran Advisory Board, Lower Platte South NRD Board
· Bruce Bohrer, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce
· Kathy Campbell, former State Senator and Lancaster County Commissioner
· Larry Dix, Executive Director, Nebraska Association of County Officials (NACO)
· Brad Hulse, Managing Broker, Lincoln First Realty
· Mark Hunzeker, Baylor, Evnen, Curtiss, Grimit & Witt, LLP / Lincoln Independent Business Association
· Tom Huston, Cline, Williams, Wright, Johnson & Oldfather
· Jeanne McClure, Executive Director, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
· Jordan Messerer, Campus Recreation, UNL
· Randy Peters, Professor of Engineering, UNL/former CEO of Nebraska Dept. of Transportation
· Dan Piatkowski, Assistant Professor, Community and Regional Planning, UNL
· Kim Russel, President and CEO, Bryan Health System
· Joe Schulz, Vice President, Schulz Transportation
· Leo Schumacher, President, Lincoln Federal Savings Bank
· Katie Wilson, Executive Director, Associated General Contractors (AGC)
· Rick Hoppe, Mayor’s Chief of Staff
· Jon Carlson, Mayor’s Aide
· Miki Esposito, Director, City Public Works and Utilities Dept., Co-Chair
· David Cary, Director, Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Department / Metropolitan Planning Organization Representative
Lonnie Burklund, Assistant Director, Transportation, City Public Works and U