Transportation symposium taking place this week

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Students with questions about transportation issues will have the chance this week to voice their concerns and learn more about local issues.

BYU EcoResponse is hosting a transportation symposium. It started Tuesday and is continuing today and Friday. Its purpose is to inform students about transportation issues and to encourage community involvement.

The free symposium will feature speakers from the Provo City Sustainability Committee, the Provo Transportation Committee and the Provo Bicycle Committee along with Provo Mayor John Curtis. Meetings will be in the Maeser Building and Martin Building this evening and Friday morning.

Justin Hyatt, a senior double majoring in English and mechanical engineering, is vice president of issue education for BYU EcoResponse. He said they have two goals for the symposium.

“We’re hoping to get students informed about transportation issues, transportation in the valley and new transportation plans,” Hyatt said. “We also want to get students more involved in the community while they’re in college.”

Hyatt said things like construction and the bus rapid transit system have a large impact on students, but they don’t do much about any issues.

“Currently, students are very uninvolved in the planning and decision making in the things that will affect them,” Hyatt said.

Tuesday’s meeting, featured speaker Don Jarvis of the Provo City Sustainability Committee; Shawn Seager, a senior transportation planner for Mountainland Association of Governments; and Steven Call, Utah USDOT’s program development leader. Topics included bicycling and Provo’s no idling campaign.

Tonight’s meeting, 6-8 p.m. in Room 321 of the Martin Building, will feature Curtis, a proponent of sustainable transportation. Also speaking will be Hugh Johnson, Utah Valley regional manager of UTA; Zac Whitmore, chair of the Provo Bicycle Committee; and Sterling Beck, Provo City councilman and chair of the Provo Transportation Committee.

Friday’s meeting, 11 a.m.-noon in Room 455 of the Maeser Building, will close the symposium with keynote speaker John Njord, Utah executive director of transportation and member of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s cabinet.

After each speaker there will be a Q-and-A session where students and other attendees can bring questions or concerns.

BYU EcoResponse is raising awareness of environmental issues on campus and encouraging BYU to implement more environmentally sustainable practices.

The symposium schedule is available at byuEcoRepsonse.com. The entire proceedings of last year’s symposium are online at youtube.com/TransportSymposium.

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