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Use your local resources to collaborate for transportation success, even in a tight economy.

The Forum will explore examples from Tompkins County and across Upstate New York to inspire your next partnership.  Municipalities, institutions, transportation and economic development agencies, businesses and others at local, regional, and state levels will bring home new ideas and action steps.  Register now for only $60 ($35 for students)

To see the Event Agenda and Session Descriptions scroll down, or click here to download a PDF.


Dawn Bricen LaMorte
Conference Planner
607- 379-1844 

or Ithaca Carshare at 607-277-3210


Thursday September 22, 2011 at 8:00 AM EDT
Friday September 23, 2011 at 5:00 PM EDT

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Holiday Inn 
222 South Cayuga Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

Driving Directions 

Lodging is available at the downtown Ithaca Holiday Inn. (
There are also many other lodging options available at

Don't miss the keynote luncheon with presentation by Susan Zielinksi, Managing Director of SMARTSue Zielinski Photo (Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research & Transformation), a project of UMTRI (University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute) and TCAUP (Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Click here to read more about Sue!


Session topics at the Upstate Transportation Forum will include:

  • Carsharing Basics: Make it Happen
  • Get the Gorilla to Work for You: Collaborating with Large Employers
  • Transforming Community Habits: Approaching your Resources Differently
  • Solutions on a Shoestring: Using your Local Talent and Resources
  • Show Off Your Unique Place with a Community Partnership
  • Sharing the Space: Making Room for Active Transportation
  • Communicating to the Public, Policy Makers, and Funders
  • Land Use Impacts on Resource Use and Transportation

The conference fee is only $60 ($35 for students). Register now!  Scholarships may be available. Contact us for sliding scale or volunteer trades.

Extend your stay in Ithaca by adding one of the following Friday afternoon tours or field trips during your registration process:

-Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) Facility Tour
-Bike to Buttermilk Falls (includes tips for riding on-street for transportation)
-Walking Tour of Downtown Waterfalls

This conference is RTAP-eligible for reimbursement of costs for NYS rural counties. Please submit a request to William Telovsky, NYSDOT, or call 518-457-6279 for more information.

Lodging is available at the downtown Ithaca Holiday Inn. (
There are also many other lodging options available at

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Film Festival

Download a PDF flyer about the film festival here!

The Livable Streets Film Festival is a free public event in downtown Ithaca presenting twenty-one short films showing how people can live and be mobile in the 21st Century by creating alternatives to conventional car culture. Drawing on examples from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine and places beyond, 21 short films provide an off-beat and humorous take on creating sustainable mobility and great urban neighborhoods. A local jury selected films that represent ideas that can be adapted to Upstate New York. Other films were chosen on the principle of “you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it”. The primary sources of films are and the Filmed by Bike Film Festival.

  • StreetFilms produces short films that show how smart transportation design and policies can result in better places to live, work and play. They package complex concepts into easy to understand and accessible videos.  
  • Filmed By Bike is a bike-themed movie festival held annually in Portland, Oregon. Drawing on submissions from all over the world, the films display bike culture in its great diversity.

Attendees will leave with inspiring new ideas for creating livable streets in their own communities.

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The Livable Streets Film Festival will be held on Thursday September 22nd at Cinemapolis, 120 East Green Street, Ithaca Commons.  Doors open at 7:45pm, and the program begins at 8:00 pm. Admission is free and there will be door prizes.  



This is a public event sponsored by the Upstate Transportation Forum being held in Ithaca on September 22-23, Porter & Curtis Insurance, Ithaca Carshare, NYSERDA and NYSDOT. 

Transportation Forum Event Agenda and Session Descriptions - CONFERENCE AT A GLANCE - 

To download a PDF of the Forum Program, click here.



9:00am – 11:00am            Mobility Managers Gathering at Cinemapolis
(Contact Dwight Mengel at

 10:00am – 12:30pm         Registration at Holiday Inn

 11:30am – 1:00pm           Lunch and Opening Keynote Address  at Holiday Inn
Welcome by Mayor Carolyn Peterson
Susan Zielinski, SMART UMichigan, delivers the keynote address: “Sustainable Transportation 4.0: Unveiling the New Mobility Grid and Revitalizing Local and Global Economies While We’re At It – Stories from Near and Far”

 12:30pm – 5:00pm           Registration at Cinemapolis (for those not registered prior at Holiday Inn)

1:15pm – 2:30pm             Session 1 (Cinemapolis)
Solutions On A Shoestring: Using Your Local Talent & Resources
Show Off Your Unique Place With A Community Partnership

 2:45pm – 4:00pm             Session 2 (Cinemapolis)
Communicating To The Public, Policy Makers, And Funders
Carsharing Basics: Make It Happen

 4:15pm – 5:00pm             Popcorn Session at Cinemapolis – Enjoy some popcorn while discussing key concerns and challenges during a moderated open dialogue

 5:30pm – 6:30pm             Wine Reception at Finger Lakes Wine Center

6:45pm                               Dine-Around (must sign-up at registration, dinner is at your own expense)

 8:00pm – 10:30pm           LIVABLE STREETS Film Festival at Cinemapolis, open to forum attendees AND public (free of charge)



8:00am – 9:00am              Registration at Cinemapolis (for those not registered prior day)

 8:45am – 10:00am            Session 3 (Cinemapolis)
Getting The Gorilla To Work For You: Collaborating With Large Employers
Sharing The Space: Making Room For Active Transportation

 10:00am – 10:30am         Coffee Break at Cinemapolis

 10:30am – 11:45am         Session 4 (Cinemapolis)
Land Use Impacts On Resource Use And Transportation
Transforming Community Habits: Approaching Your Resources Differently

 12:00pm – 1:15pm           Table Topics Luncheon and Closing Keynote Address at Tompkins Public Library, Borg Warner Room

Jeff Olson, Alta Planning, delivers the closing keynote: “Transforming Communities: Transportation, Recreation and Innovation”

 Friday afternoon                Field Trips


THURSDAY (1:15-2:30)
When local resources seem stretched thinly, where can you find what you need to excel? Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) General Manager Joe Turcotte describes TCAT’s route to excellence in all areas, leading to the 2011 APTA Best Transit Property Award (for under 4 million rides per year), and how it was supported with strong community partnerships, including launch of a new, cost-effective fare box system. NYSDOT contractor Katie Rooney, with ICF International, shares the in-progress Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Statewide Framework, intended to encourage local agencies of all types to go beyond current practices to move more travel out of single-occupant vehicles (SOV) and toward more efficient and cost-effective modes. NYSDOT’s Jim Davis also shares the educational and technological initiative of the new 5-1-1 (transportation information) system, which primarily serves downstate, but is built on an open-source platform for replication elsewhere. Nicole Tedesco, TCAT Service Analyst and Project Manager for TCAT’s fare box development with BlackBox Computer Consultants, moderates.

Sometimes the most successful joint efforts are right under our noses but no one notices or takes advantage of the possibility. Tom West, City Engineer for the City of Ithaca, recounts the serendipity that led to restaurants, public works, and tourism agencies working together on a reconfiguration of a downtown street and culminated in a memorable street party, complete with live music in the middle of a (temporarily closed) state highway! Looking toward the future, Gary Ferguson with the Downtown Ithaca Alliance outlines the outward focus of that organization’s strategic 2020 plan, building on connections with adjoining areas of the community and institutions. Rick Manning shares the latest on the Cayuga Waterfront Trail’s long-standing partnership with the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, among other agencies. Phyllisa DeSarno, Economic Development Director for the City of Ithaca, moderates.

THURSDAY (2:45-4:00)
How do you “sell” your great initiative to those who need to be on board to create success? And how do you get the word out to the general public about the services you already offer? 2-1-1 Tompkins’ Ed Swayze and Way2Go’s Chrisophia Somerfeldt share their experiences setting up and growing public education programs. Doug Melnick, Director of Planning for the City of Albany, describes the legislative and marketing successes of their electric vehicle public charging study. Dwight Mengel, Transportation Planner with Tompkins County, moderates.

In small and large urban areas, carsharing is a form of collaborative consumption that can have dramatic positive environmental, land use, and economic effects. Jennifer Dotson, with Ithaca Carshare, shares the story of this home-grown organization’s first three years of growth to a 15 car fleet serving over 1000 local residents. Creighton Randall, of Buffalo CarShare, describes the unique role carsharing can play in a community where many residents have very little economic power. Travis Brooks, Program Director for the Greater Ithaca Activities Center, highlights the partnership that is growing with Ithaca Carshare to serve residents of all incomes and demographics, and the challenges inherent in crossing historic lines of community identities. Bill Curtis, of insurance firm Porter & Curtis, covers the basics of insuring the carsharing model for clients from individuals to social service agencies to retail businesses. Cornell University Transportation's David Lieb moderates.

FRIDAY (8:45-10:00)

There’s a lot of common ground in the transportation goals of large institutions, municipalities, public agencies, and community groups. How can you capitalize on the shared targets without letting other factors get in the way? Ithaca College Sustainability’s Marian Brown and Cornell University Transportation’s David Lieb describe several successful initiatives they’ve collaborated on with other community partners in Tompkins County. Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council’s Fernando de Aragon discusses the ongoing multi-county transit initiative this metropolitan planning organization is working on with Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit. Creighton Randall of Buffalo CarShare will cover that organization’s partnership with the Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus, and VPSI’s Jesse Kafka highlights the way vanpool programs can be a great way to start a partnership. Fernando de Aragon moderates this session.

Conflicts are unavoidable when disparate modes like pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, vehicles, trucks, and skateboarders all want to travel similar routes. How can safety be improved at the same time that access to services and areas is maintained? Cornell Local Roads Program’s Lois Chaplin presents lessons learned from her decades of experience on best practices toward this goal. Tompkins County Planning Department’s Tom Knipe and Cornell City and Regional Planning Masters’ candidate Karim Beers share the latest in an ongoing innovative Neighborhood Greenways project to increase livability and access by prioritizing non-motorized transportation modes without excluding necessary services in Ithaca neighborhoods. City of Ithaca Transportation Engineer Tim Logue completes the context with recent history on bicycle and pedestrian facility improvements on major arterials and other routes, everything from new sidewalks in auto-oriented commercial districts, new bike lanes on narrow old state routes, and new research on “sharrow” markings. New York Bicycle Coalition’s Brian Kehoe moderates.

FRIDAY (10:30-11:45)
Putting sidewalks in is easy to consider, but will people use them? What’s the biggest factor in our choice of travel modes? The length of the trip is often even more important than the facilities provided. Tompkins County Planning and Public Works Director Ed Marx outlines how the Tompkins County Comprehensive plan tackled this issue, and the challenges and tensions when local municipalities work with, and in opposition to, commercial developers on implementation. Design professional and City of Ithaca Board of Public Works member Rob Morache transforms the impacts of different land use choices into compelling visuals, representing several different contexts, small urban, suburban, and more rural. Cornell City and Regional Planning Masters’ candidate (and Buffalo CarShare co-founder) Adam Blair translates this into real, household economic impacts by mapping transportation and housing costs countywide and beyond. David Kay, past President of the New York Planning Federation, and Cornell Community and Rural Development Institute (CaRDI) Senior Extension Associate, moderates.

A problem. A service or solution (or maybe another problem). Are they related? Could they become a successful partnership solution? Tompkins County Health Planning Council’s Jeanne Leccese presents on the new Creating Healthy Places project, designed to improve several community health measures, including personal activity through use of active transportation modes. Recycle Ithaca’s Bicycles’ Mustafaa “Seven” Ali shares the successes this program of the SouthSide Community Center has seen working with Opportunities, Alternatives and Resources of Tompkins County (formerly Offender Aid and Restoration) to match tangible transportation resources (bikes) with people re-entering the workforce and in need of transportation. John Zimmer outlines (via Skype) how a community can couple social networking technology with carpooling for a simple step to better utilize car trips most of us take daily, with a partnership like Zimride Tompkins. Jeanne Leccese moderates.

This conference is hosted by    Ithaca Car Share Logo in partnership with:
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