Conversation on Transportation

CALS and Metroplan invite you to join the conversation around the future of central Arkansas’s transportation system. The Connecting Central Arkansas Public Outreach Initiative kicks off Metroplan’s upcoming Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). The MTP provides a roadmap of a sustainable, wide-reaching vision for how central Arkansas will prepare, build, maintain, and partner for improved mobility over the next 20 years. 

Panelists include Tab Townsell, Executive Director of Metroplan; Daniel Holland, Transportation Planner/Program Manager at Metroplan; and La’Kesha Stewart, Planner/Public Outreach Coordinator. 

Because the plan impacts the entire region and how its people and goods move, Connecting Central Arkansas is committed to region-wide outreach to understand the public’s transportation needs. This panel will give participants the opportunity to not only engage with panelists but also provide vital feedback that will help in the overall development of central Arkansas’s transportation future as it determines the critical transportation needs of those who live, work, and play in our region. 

A zoom discussion will take place Monday, May 24, at 6:30 p.m., registration is required. 

About the Panelists:  

Tab Townsell – Executive Director   

Tab Townsell joined Metroplan as the Executive Director in 2017. Ensuring central Arkansas is more livable, accessible, and connected, Townsell is leading the efforts in multimodal network investments by creating a multi-use regional trail system. While he has been in his role for five years, he understands that a successful regional transportation system starts locally. From 1999 to 2016, Townsell served as the Mayor of Conway, Arkansas. Under his leadership, the city experienced approximately 40 percent growth. During his time in office, Townsell focused on urban planning, transportation improvements, and community and economic development. Townsell holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Central Arkansas and a master’s in Business Administration from Texas Christian University. 

Daniel Holland – Transportation Planner/ Program Manager  

Daniel Holland is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, holding a master’s in Community and Economic Development and a bachelor’s in Geography. With eight years at Metroplan, he oversees the Long-Range Metropolitan Transportation Plan, assists cities with comprehensive planning issues, and acts as Project Manager for the Transportation Improvement Program, the Jump Start initiative, and several planning projects that enhance multimodal connections around the region. Holland is active with the Arkansas Planning Association and has sat on several committees such as Healthy Active Arkansas, Ozone Action Days, as well as the US Bike routes and Hub Communities committees. 

La’Kesha Stewart – Planner/ Public Outreach Coordinator 

La’Kesha Stewart heads the public engagement, Title VI coordination, and Ozone Action Days program. Stewart also assists in the development of planning documents as well as the technical assistance to member jurisdictions. A native of Mississippi, Stewart moved to Little Rock while obtaining her master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Alabama A&M University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Rust College. With an outgoing personality and love for communities, she quickly found herself involved in several local organizations. Stewart also sits on the Keep Little Rock Beautiful Board as well as the Arkansas PRSA Board. 

About Metroplan: 

Originally formed as the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission of Pulaski County in 1955, Metroplan has served as the area’s federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) since 1972. Its function as an MPO is to work with local governments, the state department of transportation, and local transit providers to determine transportation needs and funding priorities for federal transportation investments.