Hal Morse spoke at our February 1st meeting.
He is the Executive Director of the Metro Planning Organization. (MPO) He focused some of the presentation on major regional issues and emerging opportunities, and related big picture transportation projects. Also the regular transportation improvement process and how projects get developed and implemented.

Hal Morse is from Greater Buffalo/Niagara Regional Transportation Council.  Hal has been Executive Director there since 2000.  The function of this council is to develop long range plans for surface transportation, establish near term priorities for transportation project funding and conduct area wide and local surface transportation studies.  Their planning looks to 20 years into the future, and the transportation needs associated.  They basically put together a list of prioritized projects.

Part of the problems locally are a shrinking population, which means less tax base, aging infrastructure, and greater reliance on state funds.

Buffalo/Niagara are in the middle of a huge fast growing region including Toronto, Hamilton, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Rochester.  In all it's an area composed of nine million people and growing.  A big part of the council's efforts is to make the water ports and airports in all the cities of the region work better together.  The council's plans provides a framework for the future growth of the region.  In all, 102 projects were started in 2009.

                                                                                   By Jim Pawlicki