Planning Conversations from Coast-to-Coast — cross country on U.S. 50 by day; blog updates by night

Do planners face the same issues in Maryland as they do in Colorado, in Ohio as in Kansas? That’s part of what Wayne Senville, editor of the national Planning Commissioners Journal will be finding out during a six-week cross-country trip along U.S. Route 50.

Between the Memorial Day weekend and July 10th, Senville will be meeting with planners and planning commissioners in more than two dozen communities in the 12 states (and the District of Columbia) that Route 50 crosses.

Why Route 50? As Senville puts it, “Route 50 goes through an amazingly varied mix of cities and towns. From the beach resort of Ocean City, Maryland through our nation’s capital, and then on through small cities in states like Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado, as well as the major hubs of Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Kansas City, Route 50 offers as good a reflection of the United States as can be found on any one roadway.”

Discussions along Route 50 will focus on the most challenging planning and development issues communities are working on, highlighting both obstacles and opportunities.

According to Senville: “In conversations I’ve had with planners in setting up this trip, I know I’ll be reporting on many critical issues facing cities and towns, from the revitalization of downtowns and urban riverfronts to dealing with the effects of explosive growth. I’ll also be covering a diverse range of concerns: tourism and its impacts; inner-city economics; neighborhood efforts to make it easier for residents to ‘age in place;’ how to promote citizen involvement in local planning; and much more.” And, adds Senville, “of course, I’ll also be talking with planners about the challenges they face in dealing with roads and highways.”

One of most innovative aspects of this trip — indeed as far as we know the first time it’s being done to report on coast-to-coast planning issues — is that Senville will be posting daily online reports on what he’s hearing. Through a combination of text, photos, video, and audio clips, visitors to the Route 50 blog site: will be able to follow Senville as he works his way West. Visitors to the blog are encouraged to leave comments on any of the postings.

The best place to find out more is by visiting the blog site. Again, that’s

About the Planning Commissioners Journal

Now in its 16th year, the Planning Commissioners Journal is the principal national publication for “citizen planners” — including members of town, city, county, and regional planning boards. With subscribers in all 50 states and across Canada, the quarterly “PCJ” — based in Burlington, Vermont — is independently owned and operated. For more on the PCJ:

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