Last Monday, after our KBT Board of Directors Meeting, Mr. Cal Grayson asked for a few minutes of my time. It is always a pleasure talking with Cal - he loves transportation and he loves KBT.
On Monday - he presented me with a formula. I think all of you know - I'm not a mathematician and when I see formulas that are more complicated that the motor fuels tax formula - my heart rate increases a bit.
But Mr. Grayson's formula was different - and it was quite simple really. It is a simple definition of transportation that looks like this:
For those of us who discuss transportation issues every day, this seems like the most obvious statement ever made.
But for those people who don't design and plan the roads, bridges, airports, rail crossings, or transit routes - this is a secondary thought - if that.
As I travel around the state and talk to groups I'm regularly reminded of this.
When I speak, I often ask the attendees about things that are happening in the community. Are there new factories? Are the local factories leaving? Are there new housing developments? Do they have a hospital? Is it a bedroom community? What do they make, do, or supply? Are there road projects? Are their airport improvements, port improvements or rail improvements? How is their transit system - do they know that they have one?
I ask all that before I speak, so I can help my listeners connect their local successes (multiple employment opportunities, growth in the county) to the increased mobility of their people and freight, which increases the access to anything for everyone, which equals development opportunities for their county.
We - as people who support transportation - take it for granted that everyone understands that an interconnected transportation network provides access from their local area to the rest of the entire country - if not the world.
I encourage you - after the holidays - to remind your neighbor, your Chamber, your Rotary Club, or your Kiwanis Club - what Cal Grayson says. Transportation is the foundation of development in Kentucky - both the development we are currently enjoying and the development we hope to achieve in the future.