Over the next few months, we are highlighting state transportation officials that are using new approaches and innovative ideas to help solve their states’ transportation challenges. To follow these updates and other news from our work around the country, be sure to sign up for the Smart Growth America newsletter.
When John Schroer was appointed Commissioner of Transportation for the state of Tennessee in 2011, he immediately took a hands-on approach to helping local leaders find solutions to their transportation challenges across the state while helping to save taxpayer money at the same time.
Within weeks of his appointment in 2011, Schroer initiated a “top to bottom” review of TDOT, including its organization, processes and leadership. “We’ve basically broken down the department and built it back up,” said Schroer in a recent conversation with Smart Growth America. “We looked at everything we did and analyzed it from a production and financial standpoint.”
In 2012, Schroer partnered with Smart Growth America and his TDOT leaders to find ways the department could use its resources more efficiently, create better outcomes and save taxpayer money. The resulting guide, Transportation Process Alternatives for Tennessee – Removing Barriers to Smarter Transportation Investments, was the product of months of collaboration between Smart Growth America experts, TDOT management, regional and community representatives, and transportation advocates. According to Schroer, the project is “intended to serve as a guide for our department’s program activities as we continue to evaluate our transportation needs and priorities with the goals of better stimulating our economy, protecting our environment and building our communities.”