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Senior Planner at GoTriangle, Raleigh-Durham
Year graduated from Carolina Planning: 2013
Specialization: Transportation Planning

Geoff is a transportation professional with a broad range of experience in the federal and state (North Carolina) transportation funding system, and has a special interest in the nexus of transportation and land use. Particular experience with Metropolitan Transportation Plan and Comprehensive Transportation Plan preparation; the state and federal TIP/MTIP/STIP planning process; North Carolina’s Strategic Transportation Infrastructure transportation funding system, including SPOT 5.0; scenario planning; data analysis and visualization, including analysis of census and transit ridership data; public involvement; and public presenting.

Why did I pursue a career in city planning?
I’ve always loved cities and was astounded to learn after moving to New York City to learn that you could get around places without relying on a car! I was in New York to attend law school, and after graduating I practiced law for several years. Being an attorney was never something I felt passionate about, so as after my wife completed medical school I took several years off and served as the primary caregiver for our newborn while my wife completed her medical training. One child became three, and after our family moved to Chapel Hill, and all three kids were ready to attend school, I around looked for a way to turn my interest in cities and transportation into a career, and learned about this profession called city planning. Fortunately, UNC had one of the nation’s top-rated programs and admitted me even though I’m a Duke grad, and here I am!
Where am I now?

I’m a senior planner at GoTriangle where I spend much of my time working on the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project, a 17-7 mile light rail line that will connect UNC, Duke, downtown Durham, North Carolina Central University, and other key destinations with frequent and reliable transit service. We collaborate closely with our partners at the City of Durham, Town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina Department of Transportation and other local and regional organizations as we work to bring this game-changing infrastructure investment to fruition.

I also get to represent GoTriangle on other long-range planning efforts such as the region’s long-range transportation plan and the US 15-501 Corridor Study, which is examining the future transportation needs along the main road connecting Durham and Chapel Hill.

What does the future hold?
This region became a growth center after the rise of the automobile, so most people in Durham and Chapel Hill drive to go everywhere through suburban sprawl. There are few places to live outside downtown Durham, downtown Chapel Hill, and downtown Raleigh where you can rely most of the time or even part of the time on transit or bicycling or walking. My mission is to help support communities like Durham and Chapel Hill that want to create these types of compact, sustainable, and walkable communities built around high-quality transit service. I’m hopeful that as the realities of climate change become more apparent, and the benefits of pedestrian-scale neighborhoods more well known, we can have more neighborhoods that are not oriented around the automobile.