Press-Republican

Columns

July 29, 2012

Transportation a key to success

This is a transportation region.

At the crossroads of a major North-South highway corridor that connects two of the largest economic regions in the largest trading partners in the world, Clinton County knows a lot about international transportation.

As a pioneer in automobile transportation at the former Lozier plant, where Georgia Pacific now resides, Plattsburgh knows cars.

Once the home of a major Strategic Air Command Air Force Base, primarily because of the large number of clear-sky days, Plattsburgh understands airports.

Years ago, Bombardier, a world leader in air and rail vehicles, recognized the quality of the Plattsburgh workforce and its proximity to the home office. They continue to expand and invest here, and have amassed orders worth billions of dollars for their rail cars made here. Plattsburgh knows mass transit.

More recently, Nova Bus came to town, and they too have amassed huge orders for their innovative and energy-efficient buses. Plattsburgh understands green.

And, Plattsburgh is here because of its strategic location where the Richelieu River in Quebec widens into Lake Champlain. For longer than there have been planes, trains and automobiles, Plattsburgh has been a major strategic port of call for the barges and boats that moved goods during our Gilded Age, and well before.

Transportation has changed a lot since pivotal naval battles off our shores that made our nation. However, transportation remains as essential to our region today as it was then. And, transportation touches each and every one of us.

This past week, the Vision2Action group once again sponsored a forum, this time on Clinton County transportation.

The open house and workshop, followed by a town forum and call-in show conducted by Mountain Lake PBS, let our residents know what transportation in Clinton County could look like by 2040. Indeed, many of these innovations are already occurring today.

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