Ithaca Carshare Hosts Upstate Transportation Forum and Livable Streets Free Film Festival

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Tompkins Weekly 9/12/2011 By Jennifer Dotson

Livable Streets Film Festival
The Livable Streets Film Festival is a free showcase of short films on alternatives to car culture. 21 short films provide an off-beat and humorous take on sustainable mobility and great neighborhoods. A local jury selected some films on the you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it principle. Films are drawn from, Filmed-By-Bike Film Festival, and other sources. Get inspiring new ideas for creating livable streets in your neighborhood or village.

The Livable Streets Film Festival will be held Thursday September 22 at Cinemapolis on the Ithaca Commons.  Doors open at 7:45pm, with films at 8:00 pm. Admission is free and there will be door prizes.

Upstate Transportation Forum
Community advocates and others from across upstate converge on downtown Ithaca on September 22 and 23 for the Upstate Transportation Forum, hosted by Ithaca Carshare. Sessions focus on combining existing community assets into creative partnerships for innovative and productive results.

Transportation visionary Susan Zielinsky of SMART (Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research & Transformation) speaks Thursday on “Sustainable Transportation 4.0: Unveiling the New Mobility Grid and Revitalizing Local and Global Economies While We’re At It.” Friday, Jeff Olson of Alta Planning + Design covers “Transforming Communities: Transportation, Recreation, Innovation.”

Learn to capitalize on shared targets without letting other factors get in the way from presenters from Buffalo CarShare, working with Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus, as well as local examples where Cornell, Ithaca College, and local municipal and community partners have worked together for clear results.

Sometimes the most successful joint efforts are right under our noses. Hear about the concrete steps that created Aurora Street’s “Restaurant Row” as we know it now, and how this model could continue to support more expansive future plans.

How do you “sell” your great initiative to those who need to be on board to create success? How do you get the word out to the public? The City of Albany’s Doug Melnick talks about their recent electric vehicle charging project, with local presenters discussing business partnerships promoting the Cayuga Waterfront Trail and more.

In small and large cities, carsharing is creating dramatic positive environmental, land use, and economic effects. Ithaca Carshare and Buffalo CarShare share specific experiences, with insurance broker Bill Curtis demystifying insurance issues.

When resources are stretched thinly, where can you find what you need? Joe Turcotte describes TCAT’s route to the 2011 Best Transit Property Award, and their new, cost-effective farebox system. Other presentations include the Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Statewide Framework, and NYSDOT’s 5-1-1 (transportation information) system, built on an open-source platform.

Conflicts are unavoidable with pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, trucks, and skateboarders all on the same streets. How can safety and comfort be improved without blocking access? Local engineers and educators share the process that has resulted in new bike lanes and sharrows, and CCE’s Local Roads Program adds a regional perspective.

It’s easy to consider a new sidewalk, but will people walk? What’s the biggest factor in how we travel? The distance is often most important. See impacts of land use choices in compelling visuals of small urban, suburban, and rural contexts. Understand the household economic impacts through maps of transportation and housing costs countywide and beyond.

A problem. A service or solution (or maybe another problem). Are they related? Could they become a successful partnership? How do the Creating Healthy Places project, Recycle Ithaca’s Bicycles’ (RIBs) and Zimride Tompkins create solutions?

The Upstate Transportation Forum occurs Thursday September 22 and Friday September 23 at Cinemapolis and other downtown venues, and is made possible by the New York State Department of Transportation and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. For more information, visit

Jennifer Dotson is the Executive Director of Ithaca Car Share

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