One of the newest committees of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials was among the featured luncheon topics at the 2018 National Bike Summit March 5-7 in Washington, D.C., allowing AASHTO to spread the word about its heightened focus on "active transportation."
Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, the National Bike Summit is a major bike advocacy event that this year focused on bicycle policy successes at the local level, learning how they happen and exploring ways to expand their reach.
Tennessee Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner Toks Omishakin, vice chairman of AASHTO's Council on Active Transportation, moderated a luncheon discussion March 6 that was titled "Thinking Holistically to Build More Equitable, Healthy and Resilient Communities."
Omishakin said AASHTO in 2016 created its Council on Active Transportation, which has a focus on pedestrian and bicycling issues – when the association completed a complete review of its committee structure – in order to help AASHTO be more responsive to rapidly changing transportation trends and to help it achieve a more multimodal policy focus.
That council shares equal representation within the new AASHTO Transportation Policy Forum with other modal committees targeting aviation, rail, water, and highways and streets.
Omishakin provided an overview of the council's strategic plan, which focuses on safety, data, new technologies, communication and increasing project delivery.
He also encouraged summit attendees to continue communicating with local, state and federal officials by championing policies, gaining officials' support for those policies and performing training to increase awareness.
Omishakin's appearance drew a number of favorable comments on Twitter that attendees posted during and immediately following his comments.
Among them, the Missouri Bicycle Federation tweeted: "New AASHTO Committee on Active Transportation - groundbreaking development in one of the most conservative and influential transportation organizations in the U.S. @aashtospeaks #NBS18."
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