A community’s infrastructure and transportation networks often don’t get the same attention as other urban issues, but they are critical to both families and the local economy. Residents expect their roads to be in good condition and their utility services to be well maintained, with the providers accountable to the public. Workers also need affordable and reliable transportation to their jobs.
The infrastructure needs on the economic development front are even broader, encompassing not only water, electricity and sewer but also: developable land combined with easy access to rail, roads and bridges, and the Mississippi River.
As the founder and owner of three companies, JW Gibson understands the importance of reliable and affordable utility services to both existing businesses and startups. Additionally, as an employer and a developer of affordable housing, he has seen firsthand how transportation to work is critical in a family’s ability to gain and maintain financial stability.
JW believes that investments in infrastructure are critical to the community’s ability to increase the number of high quality jobs and increase the workforce’s ability to access them. These investments should not only expand and strengthen current systems, but prepare to meet the needs of the future through innovation and collaboration with other sectors and stakeholders.
“Creating access for our citizens to jobs, schools and the ultimately the world with access to broadband internet is a key priority.”
- JW Gibson
Here is a partial list of JW Gibson’s priorities in meeting the community's infrastructure needs:
Increase development opportunities within the City of Memphis on new and existing sites
Conduct an inventory of available development sites in Memphis and the costs to provide infrastructure to them, and pursue funding to support those efforts.
Increase the amount of land available for industrial development by supporting existing plans to expand the President’s Island industrial park and provide additional rail service there. Doing so will increase access to needed waterfront sites and provide more industrial jobs in the City.
Create a development corporation for the airport area with the mission and authority to acquire property and incentivize development on high-opportunity parcels that were identified during recent planning processes.
Expand transportation options to better connect workers and employers
Work with MATA on its efforts to secure funding for the Transit Vision Plan, which if implemented will increase the number of jobs accessible by transit by 39 percent.
Collaborate with stakeholders to explore transit options from Memphis to Blue Oval City, making those jobs more accessible and convenient for Memphians.
Support MATA’s efforts to bring more rapid transit options to Memphis, including the development of a second Bus Rapid Transit line (BRT) along the Cleveland corridor.
Join our State Legislative Body and other stakeholders in the creation of express choice lanes on highways, to reduce congestion and raise additional funds for road maintenance.
Invest in technology upgrades to Memphis’ power grid to better serve residents and support economic development
Work with MLGW to plan and fund electrical system upgrades that will make residential service more reliable
Encourage the development of more electric car charging stations in an equitable fashion that serves all areas of the city.
Support the development of renewable energy sources, such as solar and hydropower
Expand broadband access to underserved areas through public-private partnerships.