TPO 2040 from North Florida TPO on Vimeo.

Hundreds of years ago, North Florida began as a hub for commerce and transportation. In fact, our region includes some of our nation’s first ports, cities and roads. This transportation system shaped our past. Now it is time for us to forge a path to our future. A path that fosters livable, sustainable communities and economic development. A path to mobility, accessibility and safety for all our citizens. A path that will address challenges we face today and meet the needs of generations to come.

Every five years, the North Florida TPO updates the region’s Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) to address road, transit, freight, bike and pedestrian needs over the next 20-25 years. Transportation projects must be included in the LRTP to receive federal funding.

The North Florida TPO is developing the Path Forward 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan through detailed technical analysis and collaboration among governments, transportation agencies, citizens, businesses, special needs stakeholders and other interested parties in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties. The plan will be completed fall 2014.

Transportation investments we plan today must reflect changing needs and trends in our communities, country and the world. By the year 2040 we will have nearly two million residents in North Florida. How will the region change and congestion grow? Will people want to live, work and shop where they do today? To what extent will fuel costs, air quality and reduced funding change the way we travel?

Join the TPO as they consider these questions and more. Visit www.pathforward2040.com to sign up for e-news and meeting announcements, share your needs and priorities by playing the asset allocation game, submit comments and ask questions. Check out the event calendar to learn about upcoming presentations and public workshops. You can view project documents and information from past meetings on the pathforward2040.com resources page. The TPO is also scheduling meetings with business and civic groups so please contact them at info@pathforward2040.com or call (904) 306-7500 to arrange a meeting with your organization.

You can also easily stay connected by following @NorthFloridaTPO on Twitter or liking their Facebook page, facebook.com/NorthFloridaTPO.

Since the North Florida TPO is planning for a 20-year time horizon, it’s important that future users and investors have the opportunity to provide input in developing the 2040 LRTP. Students from around the region are participating in our Transportation Tomorrow competition - writing essays, creating model cities and simulations, and producing videos representing their future visions for transportation in North Florida. Members of the Metro Jacksonville community are serving as mentors. Visit pathforward2040.com for updates on their progress.

Editorial by the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization