Howard Jennings is Managing Director of Mobility Lab. He is a 20-year veteran of mobility management, former Executive Director of Ridefinders in Richmond, Virginia; Account Supervisor for Siddall Mateus and Coughter Advertising of Richmond; and is a member of the Association of Commuter Transportation’s Public Policy Council and the Transportation Demand Management Committee of the Transportation Research Board.
Mobility Lab is a source of research and best practices for advocates to increase awareness and education about more and advanced transportation options for people. Mobility Lab is funded by Arlington County (Virginia) Commuter Services, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.
People are Finally Waking up to the Crisis
The basic infrastructure is something that people find pretty easy to take for granted, and it creeps up on them and they don’t realize that it’s getting worse and worse and worse. And so we at Mobility Lab are trying to put the emphasis back on helping people recognize that their quality of life is eroding and their ability to spend time with their family, the stress of their day-to-day lives and all these things are a result of our collective failure to invest in infrastructure…
Local Governments Can’t Afford to Pass the Buck
With the diminished federal role we’ve seen a great many more state and local funding issues, sales tax referenda and things like that, to try to fund specific improvements that they want in their areas and the great majority of those ballot initiatives are passing, and in fact transportation initiatives are passing at the rate of about 75% which is much higher than schools — or anything else, really. The local governments and the people in the localities recognize they have needs and so they’re willing to pay for them…
Investing Now to Ensure the Future
There’s no free lunch. Our children and grandchildren are going to suffer and our economy is going to suffer if we don’t step up to the plate and make good business investments in what drives our economy and our quality of life. It’s those kinds of messages that I think we collectively need to hammer home better.