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Transportation March 1, 2017: A roadmap for empowering citizens

Looking back, November 1997 was a tough time for transportation in Colorado. Guide the Ride was defeated, and the future of transportation funding looked bleak. A stronger coalition for transportation was needed to enhance regional consensus, coalition, education, and community support – and The Transit Alliance was founded.

In 2007, The Transit Alliance introduced its first Citizens’ Academy, which now has more than 800 alumni. Designed to educate, engage and empower, the Academy creates a roadmap for the community’s future by examining transportation, infrastructure, economic development, and preservation of neighborhoods with the introduction of investments in transit, biking and walking.

“The primary mission of the Transit Alliance is to empower citizens to lead the transformation of Colorado’s mobility future; and the Academy fulfills that mission by educating residents about regional transportation choices and how those choices effect health, equity, and sustainability,” said Transit Alliance Executive Director Kathleen Osher, in her Feb. 1 presentation.

The program has expanded to include unincorporated Adams County and Littleton Academies, as well as a rural Academy in partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation. On a broader scale, Maryland is using the Colorado Citizens’ Academy as a model for their Transportation 101.

Applications are being accepted through March 17 for The Transit Alliance’s spring 2017 Citizens’ Academy. The seven-week course is Wednesday nights, April 5-May 17 at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

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