If you think the roadways are busy now, imagine what they will look like in 20 years when you’re sharing the road with driverless vehicles or overhead drones delivering packages? And will those roadways safely accommodate bicyclists?

Experts in the Florida Department of Transportation and private industry are already envisioning the future of transportation and want to share Southwest Florida’s 2045 long range transportation plan with local residents.

A panel of five “futurists” will describe what you can expect with future growth, economic development and transportation in Southwest Florida at a “TransForum” to be held Monday, Jan. 28.

The event, open to the public, will take place in the Venice Community Center, 326 Nokomis Ave. S., in Venice., from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and include lunch.

Speakers include:

• Alice Ancona, director of International Strategy and policy with Florida Chamber of Commerce will address future transportation plans, potential disruptions, transformation using new and improve traffic routes and future transportation needs.

• Florida Department of Transportation District 1 Secretary L.K. Nandam, will focus on “planes, trains and automobiles.”

• Mark Bontrager, vice president of Spaceport Operations with Space Florida will talk about airplanes, rockets and drones overhead.

• Ben Walker, director of Multi-Modal Planning with HNTB, an infrastructure solutions firm, will describe plans to accommodate autonomous travel and the future of electric vehicles.

• Dave Sanford, deputy executive director and COO of Port Manatee, will address the future of freight hauling, fuel consumption and food market transportation.

The Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization, a regional planning group that distributes road construction dollars, is sponsoring the event. Register at www.EventBrite.com/e/swfl-2045-transforum-tickets-54531045826.


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