June 30, 2014

Time: 9:00 – 10:30 AM
Location: Campaign Consultation, Inc. (1001 N. Calvert Street)


Robin Budish, Art Cohen, Paulo Gregory Harris, Bob Hellauer, Jeff LaNoue, Mac McComas, Klaus Philipsen, Jimmy Rouse, Sandy Sparks

Welcome and Introductions:

Robin Budish welcomed everyone and opened the meeting.

Grass Roots Strategy Update

  • Sandy Sparks and Paulo Gregory Harris reported on the grass roots committee meeting on June 25, 2014 to discuss and formulate a strategic plan. The discussion included the following:
    1. The committee agreed that a broad strategy needs to be developed in support of our initiatives and that the campaign needs to have a comprehensive plan.
    2. A timeline of what events are happening and what are the opportunities where we can have a presence to promote the work we are doing needs to be developed. Examples: intersection project at Druid Hill Park, St. Paul Street two-way study.
    3. It is important to create a broad stroke plan to build a staff infrastructure, build resources for a video and create a grass roots Marketing & PR campaign.
    4. Consider holding a transportation “Rally” type event in the future.
    5. The campaign strategy and execution will be a culture shift for the city.
Discussion Points:
  • Klaus Philipsen suggested that if we want to have a presence at a new intersection project, we should focus on the intersections we are planning for complete streets with the DOT. We should also be thinking about what are the “new fashion” ways to create public awareness. Booths at festivals for example, may be considered old school. It is essential that we illuminate what we are most likely about. Additionally, we should look for minimum effort which produces maximum results.
  • Jimmy Rouse asked about what role social media would play in the grass roots campaign. Mac McComas responded that we need to start conversations with certain groups and people via social media about what they want and what they need from us.
  • Paulo Gregory Harris reported that the Aspen Institute has done studies on coalition success which could be a valuable resource for us. The ultimate challenge for any coalition building is to keep the momentum alive.

TOD/Land Use around Transit

  • Jimmy Rouse reported on the full discussion about land use and the possibility of creating a separate land use sub-committee at the Transit Choices meeting on June 25, 2014. It was suggested that before creating a new sub-committee, we invite a guest speaker who has extensive land use experience to make a presentation to the group. It was also recommended that we have a second presentation on the role of successful community economic development.
  • Jimmy suggested that we create a separate land use committee and coordinate our efforts with The Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) who is also addressing this issue.
Discussion Points:
  • Paulo Gregory Harris stated that economic development is a key piece of the land use discussion. We should push a vision and introduce some basic concepts at the high-level quarterly meeting with the City, DOT, MTA and MDOT on July 17, 2014. Klaus Philipsen added that land use is the most effective transit tool that we have and we should ask the city at the quarterly meeting the status of the TOD working group.
  •  Klaus Philipsen suggested that we are clear about what we want covered in the Land Use presentation at the Transit Choices meeting regarding land use development. There are increasing requirements from the FTA for land use opportunities which should be addressed.
  • Art Cohen remarked that both Arlington, VA and Silver Spring, MD are brilliant examples of land use projects done right.
  • Bob Hellauer stated the issue regarding land use projects is who pays for it?

Funding for Streetcar Study (the study would look at possible routes, new technologies, cost per mile and funding sources)– Jimmy Rouse

  • MTA – Jimmy Rouse wrote a letter to Henry Kay requesting funding, waiting for a response
  • MDOT – Jimmy Rouse wrote a letter to Leif Dormsjo asking for funding as part of a contract the state has with Kittelson & Associates, waiting for a response
  • Rockefeller – Kelly Cross is pursuing
  • Deutsch Foundation – Declined our request
  Discussion Points:
  • Jeff LaNoue asked if the streetcar study will look at the difference between trams and streetcars given that streetcars run in the street with traffic and trams require a dedicated right-of-way. Trams are a good hybrid between light rail & streetcars. Klaus Philipsen responded that the study will create a system map that is plausible, looking at where streetcars could supplement other transit modes.
 Other Discussion Topics:
  • Bob Hellauer announced that the GBC held an initial regional transportation meeting. Several transportation entities (including Transit Choices) were invited to speak about the projects they are working on and to explore opportunities for collaboration. Jimmy Rouse added that it was a great opportunity for Transit Choices to be included in the discussion.
  •  Jimmy Rouse reported on a meeting with Billy Hwang and Curtis Johnson (MDOT), to discuss the priority projects for Transit Choices and what funding is necessary to implement the projects. Given that transit is the #1 priority for MDOT, this is a great opportunity for them to inform the new governor (January 2015) and local governments that they are advocates for transit and supportive of the work that Transit Choices is doing to improve mass transit.
  • Art Cohen suggested that we invite the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) to make a presentation on the North Avenue project to the full Transit Choices group.
Action Items:
  • Find successful examples of land use in other cities
  • Schedule a grass roots strategy meeting with Campaign Consultation, Inc.