MetroNorth Chamber to host transportation luncheon

On Wednesday, Aug. 6 the MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce will host a forum entitled “What’s Coming Down the Road: Transportation and Your Business.”

The first presenter is Randal O’Toole, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute and author of five books, including “Gridlock: Why We’re Stuck in Traffic and What to Do About It.” Before working for Cato, O’Toole taught environmental economics at Yale, UC Berkeley and Utah State University.

The second presenter is MnDOT Commissioner Charles Zelle, who came to MnDOT from Jefferson Lines, an intercity bus company with routes in 13 heartland states. Zelle received a BA from Bates College and a MBA from the Yale School of Management.

“There are some impressive statistics when it comes to the north metro and infrastructure,” said Lori Higgins, MetroNorth Chamber President. “Anoka County has over 330,000 residents and over 400 square miles of land. That includes 55 bridges; four Interstates; two US Highways; and four State Highways. We also have two important freight rail lines, commuter rail and other public transit options. It is fair to say that infrastructure issues are of vital importance for north metro residents and businesses.”

Higgins continues, “Transportation issues are very difficult and laden with controversy. Maintaining, improving and enhancing current systems, adding new systems, safety, access, mobility … there’s a lot of surrounding challenges. So how do we address these issues? That is the million, or billion, dollar question and one of the reasons we’re holding this important and timely forum.”

All are invited to be a part of this national, state and local conversation at the Harvest Grill Coon Rapids. Registration begins at 11:15 a.m. with the program and lunch at 11:45 am. The cost is $32 for general admission, $25 MetroNorth member rate. Register via or 763-783-3553. The MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to strengthen business and stimulate economic prosperity.

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