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University of Iowa News Release

June 24, 2003

Forkenbrock To Conduct Sessions On Iowa Transportation Strategies

David Forkenbrock, director of the Public Policy Center at the University of Iowa, is collaborating with the Iowa Transportation Commission to develop future transportation investment strategies for the state. The commission is a seven-member body appointed by the governor to direct transportation policy across the state.

Starting June 24, Forkenbrock and the Transportation Commission will conduct focus groups in nine Iowa communities to gather ideas from the public to help the commission assess long-term transportation priorities.

The focus group sessions are open to the public. Interested individuals may observe the two-hour focus group discussion and offer comments during an open forum immediately following. The sessions continue this summer and fall. For a complete list, see http://www.dot.state.ia.us/06160301.html.

Topics to be discussed at the sessions include:
-How transportation investments intended to spur economic development must actually contribute to increased income for the state.
-How transportation investments can influence productive and efficient urban development, in tandem with land use policies and other investments.
-How transportation investments can improve the quality of life for Iowans.

"The objective of this effort is to consult with a broad spectrum of Iowans about how we can best use transportation as a lever to strengthen long-term prospects," Forkenbrock said. "During the focus groups, we will encourage participants to look at 'big picture' transportation policy issues facing Iowa, and not bog down in the specifics of a particular road project."

Forkenbrock's involvement in this outreach project began last spring when he was asked to prepare a research report that provides policy recommendations on how best to invest revenue from Road Use Tax Funds. The report was completed in Fall 2002; 1,000 copies have been distributed across the state.

STORY SOURCE: University News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 370, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

MEDIA CONTACT: George McCrory, University of Iowa News Services, 319-384-0012, george-mccrory@uiowa.edu

PROGRAM CONTACTS: David Forkenbrock, University of Iowa Public Policy Center, 319-335-6800 david-forkenbrock@uiowa.edu Stuart Anderson, Iowa Dept. of Transportation, Office of Systems Planning, 515-239-1312 stuart.anderson@dot.state.ia.us

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Iowa DOT's Web site at www.dot.state.ia.us/strategies.html, UI Public Policy Center, http://ppc.uiowa.edu/policystrategies.htm