Monthly Archives: July 2012

Multitude of Unfunded TIGER Grant Applications Points to Need for Continued Funding

The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, provides a unique opportunity for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to invest in road, rail, transit, and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives. Now in its fourth round, the program remains critically underfunded. DOT received 703 applications, totaling $10.2 billion in requests. Out of those, 47 projects were selected to receive a total of close to $500 million.



Smart growth stories: Mayor Tom Hanel on making best use of public resources in Billings, MT

Every city has limits, even in the big state of Montana. And just as roads have their cutoff points, city budgets only stretch so far, too.

Mayor Tom Hanel of Billings, Montana, knows this well. As a long-time city employee, Hanel has plenty of experience crunching the numbers behind the scenes. Hanel realized that if Billings was to keep its books in order, the city would needs to make well-planned and well-informed decisions about development.


Smart growth news – July 31, 2012

Top stories

Google Move Buoys Chicago Tech Hub
Wall Street Journal – July 26, 2012
Christopher Leinberger, professor at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, said Chicago is also getting a boost from a trend in which offices and corporations are relocating from the suburbs to walkable urban areas. “The companies moved out to the suburbs because that’s where the boomers wanted to be and now they’re moving back [downtown] because that’s where their kids want to be,” he said.

Mayor, governor team up for final T-SPLOST push
Creative Loafing Atlanta (GA) – July 30, 2012
Less than 24 hours before metro Atlanta voters decide whether to tax themselves to pay for more than $8 billion in new roads and transit projects, Mayor Kasim Reed and Gov. Nathan Deal stood alongside dozens of local, state, and federal elected officials to once again urge voters to pass the T-SPLOST.

What cities are best for seniors? Try Provo, Sioux Falls
USA Today – July 31, 2012
While recreation and community engagement are a plus, the best cities for aging offer quality health care, educational and employment opportunities, and transportation and an economy that work for seniors, according to a national index released today by the Milken Institute, a non-profit think tank based in Santa Monica, Calif. The institute found the best large cities for successful aging helped keep seniors over 65 working, learning and healthy.


Smart Growth News – July 30, 2012

Top Stories:

FUNDING: TIFIA program a plus, but not a universal option

Press Enterprise (CA) – July 28, 2012
To the applause of many Southern California transportation officials and onlookers the new federal transportation bill radically expands a loan program aimed at paying for some of the nation’s biggest road and rail projects.

A Satellite View of City Growth, in GIFs

Atlantic Cities – July 26, 2012
NASA’s Landsat satellite system has been orbiting and taking pictures of the earth since 1972. In honor of its 40th birthday, NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey have released a cool set of images showing how 11 world cities have changed over that time.

Tax opponents offer ‘Plan B’ for transportation

Atlanta Journal Constitution (GA) – July 27, 2012
Two staunch opponents of a proposed 1-cent sales tax for transportation announced a “Plan B” Friday if voters defeat the tax in Tuesday’s primary.


Partnership in the News: The Buzz Around TIGER 2012 – Part II

The TIGER grant program provides a unique opportunity for DOT to invest in road, rail, transit, and port projects that promise to achieve critical national objectives. Now in its 4th round, the TIGER 2012 grants are attracting media attention nation wide. Read Part I of this coverage.


New Resource: USDA Releases Guide to Federal Programs for Rural Communities

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently published Federal Resources for Sustainable Rural Communities; a guide to programs available to help rural areas promote economic development and enhance quality of life.

The publication, a joint effort of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities,

Compiles all of the federal resources that can support rural communities in their efforts to promote economic competitiveness, protect healthy environments, modernize infrastructure, and provide services to residents. The guide has key information on funding and technical assistance opportunities available from the four agencies, as well as examples of how rural communities across the country have benefitted from federal resources.



Smart Growth News – July 27, 2012

Top Stories:

LaHood to make ‘major announcement’ about TIFIA loans

The Hill – July 26, 2012
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will make a “major announcement” on Friday about loans that were included in the $105-billion transportation bill that was approved last month by lawmakers.

Coming to a Walkable Place Near You: More Efficient Housing

Streetsblog – July 26, 2012
In-demand metros like New York and San Francisco are starting to put forward some innovative solutions to their housing challenges.

NAACP, Tea Party Oppose Atlanta Transportation Sales Tax

Oregon Live – July 26, 2012
Atlanta area political and business leaders have a solution to traffic that’s ranked among the worst in the United States: Ask voters to approve a sales tax increase to raise $8.5 billion over a decade for roads and public transportation.


New report from GAO details bus rapid transit’s contributions to local economic development


An summary of bus rapid transit features. Image from the Government Accountability Office.

In a new report released this week, the Government Accountability Office explores bus rapid transit (BRT) as a less costly way for communities to meet their transit needs and spur economic development.

“Bus Rapid Transit Projects Improve Transit Service and Can Contribute to Economic Development” surveyed 20 BRT projects regarding their features, design, performance, ridership, cost, and effect on the community. Faster than regular bus service and cheaper to create than street cars or subways, BRT can improve transportation choices at a relatively low cost.


Smart Growth News – July 26, 2012

Top Stories:

20 suburbs are ‘transit-friendliest,’ study finds

Chicago Tribune (IL) – July 26, 2012
La Grange, Wilmette and Arlington Heights were ranked at the top of a list of Chicago’s “transit-friendliest” suburbs, based on convenience for commuters to walk to train stations, the frequency of Metra trains and nearby amenities, according to a study released Wednesday.

Retailers’ Idea: Think Smaller in Urban Push

New York Times – July 25, 2012
As young Americans move to cities, retailers that grew up in the suburbs are following them. And unlike previous efforts, they are doing it the cities’ way.

Portland at forefront of decline in car ownership

Portland Press Herald (ME) – July 26, 2012
After steadily increasing every year since the end of WWII, car ownership in the United States declined for the first time in 2009 and again in 2010, the most recent year for which federal data is available.