Gibbs Transportation Summit Highlights Local Priorities
CANTON, OH – U.S. Representative Bob Gibbs (R-OH) hosted a Transportation Summit with community leaders in the transportation industry today at Malone University in Canton, Ohio. The goal of the summit was to hear directly from the businesses, public officials, and transportation organizations about their transportation priorities and the challenges they face on a daily basis.
“The summit was extremely helpful for me to get a grasp on the wide array of transportation issues in Northeast Ohio,” Gibbs said. “While information from national organizations and nation-wide studies is beneficial, I’ve always found hearing directly from the local community on their issues and priorities to be the most valuable.”
The summit featured participation from nearly every facet of Ohio’s transportation industry, including the trucking industry, railroads, maritime, aviation interests, mass transit, logistics experts, the business community, county engineers, and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). The overarching theme that resonated is that improving Ohio’s transportation system requires involvement and coordination amongst every mode of transportation and each level of government.
The general consensus was that more often than not, the federal government is causing more problems than it is solving. Individual policies and regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) were all cited as sources of concern by the business community. For example, EPA regulations pertaining to the Clean Air Act (CAA) were singled out as particularly burdensome and costly for the rail and trucking industries.
“After hearing from business and community leaders today, it is clear that they want to do the right thing for the environment,” Gibbs said. “However, many of these seemingly well-intentioned regulations have a real-world effect that is undermining America’s competitiveness and hurting job growth in Northeast Ohio.”
Gibbs plans to continue outreach to Ohio’s transportation interests, particularly as Congress begins work on the next Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). WRDA will provide policy reforms and funding for water-related infrastructure, including harbor maintenance dredging and construction of locks and dams.
Today’s attendees are hopeful that additional meetings like today’s summit will lead to greater coordination and ultimately progress and job growth for the region. Gibbs is planning to continue outreach as the House Transportation Committee crafts the WRDA legislation and the next Surface Transportation Reauthorization.
Today’s attendees were:
Joe Bachman, Tuscarawas County Engineer
Barb Bennett, Hammontree & Associates
Keith Bennett, Stark County Engineer
Bruce Blaise, Kenan Advantage Group
Chris Bott, Con-way Freight Inc/Ohio Trucking Association
Kevin Burwell, Northeast Ohio Regional Center
Bill Callison, Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway
Ryan Dean, Chesapeake Energy
Ron DeBarr, NEOTEC
Jeff Dotson, Stark County Regional Planning
Bill Downey, Kenan Advantage Group
Tracy Drake, Columbiana County Port Authority
Jacob Duritsky, Team NEO
Mike Forbes, Kenan Advantage Group
William Friedman, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority
Keith Fuller, Chesapeake Energy
Dave Gutheil, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority
Bill Hanlon, People’s Services
Alec Jarvis, Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway
Bob Lapp, The Timken Company
Katherine Mannin, SARTA
Rick McQueen, Akron-Canton Airport
Steve Paquette, Stark Development Board
Doug Siliba, People’s Services
Mark Sterling, Beaver Excavating
Perry Trunick, World Trade Magazine
Anthony Urankar, ODOT
Christina Wagner, ODOT
Sherri Warner, Ohio Trucking Association
Paul Williams, Wooster Motor Ways/Ohio Trucking Association
Craig Young, Young Truck Sales