Connect LivINgston planning project wins national award

Livingston County’s Transportation Connectivity Plan—Connect LivINgston— has received national recognition by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in the agencies’ 2015 Transportation Planning Excellence Awards (TPEA). The TPEA provides a unique opportunity to recognize and celebrate the outstanding transportation planning practices performed by planners and decision makers in communities across the country. This year’s national competition featured eight top award winners and eight honorable mentions from across the country. Connect LivINgston was awarded an honorable mention for Rural, Small, Regional, and Tribal Community Planning. Connect LivINgston is the only project from New York State to receive recognition; and Livingston County government is the only county government to be recognized nationally for its efforts.

Facilitated by a consultant team led by C&S Companies, Connect LivINgston is the first county-wide holistic transportation plan of its kind in New York State. Providing transportation choices in a large, rural county with 17 towns, 9 villages, and numerous hamlets with varied land uses is a challenge. The plan examined issues, opportunities and connections for walking, biking, car/truck, public transit, air, water and rail transportation at the county level. With the guiding vision to “Develop a transportation connectivity plan that fosters partnerships and connections for the purpose of supporting and promoting a vital and sustainable Livingston County for existing and future residents and visitors alike,” the plan ties the transportation system into continuing local, county and regional planning efforts. Recognizing that Livingston County’s quality of life, mobility, and economic vitality depend on improved integration of land use and transportation planning, the plan fosters partnerships and connections between government, private, non-profit, and educational agencies.

Upon receiving the recognition, Eric Gott, Chairman of the Livingston County Board of Supervisors, commented, “We are honored to be recognized on the national level for Connect LivINgston. Livingston County is a rural county, and we are using the strategies identified in Connect LivINgston to improve connectivity and efficiency in our transportation network for the benefit of our residents.”

U.S. Senator Charles E Schumer said, “Livingston County’s selection by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration for excellence in transportation planning is a welldeserved recognition of Livingston County’s emphasis on improving transportation options. Their work has now revealed ways to better link together roads, rails, transit, pathways, and more to knit together the County’s 26 Towns and Villages for the benefit of residents, businesses, and future development and I look forward to following Connect LivINgston’s strategy implementation.”

“Livingston County’s comprehensive transportation plan underscores the importance of the partnerships fostered at the local, regional and statewide level,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “The Connect LivINgston plan’s all-inclusive approach maintains safety, economic vitality and efficiency across 17 towns. Livingston County deserves this recognition by the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration for their innovative.”

To provide an example of how Connect LivINgston can be implemented at the local level, the Village of Geneseo was highlighted as a pilot project. Mayor Richard Hatheway of the Village of Geneseo remarked, “Connect LivINgston provided a framework for the Village to examine how we can improve the connections in our transportation network. We have already started implementing the recommendations in the plan, and we feel that any future grant applications for transportation improvements will be strengthened by the Village’s Connect LivINgston pilot plan.”

Implementation of Connect LivINgston strategies began soon after the plan was adopted. Livingston County has created a Transportation Advisory Council with three working groups – Public Transportation, Community Development & Environmental Work Groups— to consistently address implementation of recommendations and strategies in the plan.

Connect LivINgston received federal funding through the Genesee Transportation Council’s Unified Planning Work Program. James D. Hoffman, Chairman of the GTC, stated that “On behalf of the entire region, I would like to congratulate Livingston County on this recognition of its forward thinking, pragmatic approach to providing safe, reliable, and efficient transportation for people and freight as a means to improving quality of life and fostering economic development.”

Connect LivINgston and the Geneseo Pilot Plan can be found at http://www.livingstoncounty.us/connectlivingston.htm