Where we’re going, we DO need roads — and Congress can make them safer, smarter, and closer to transit

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We might not have trash-powered flying cars yet, but we CAN invest in a transportation system of tomorrow. Congress is considering the next federal transportation bill this week — tell them to make it a forward-looking one.

The U.S. House of Representatives introduced their proposal for a new federal transportation bill last week, and Representatives will mark up and vote on the bill in committee tomorrow.

This gives us a small window of time to improve the bill as it stands, and we need your help. Tell your Representative to make the next transportation bill a forward-looking one.

A great transportation bill would keep people safe on America’s streets, give more control of transportation investments to local communities, and provide new ways to finance transit-oriented development projects. Three amendments to the House’s current bill would do just that.

The Safe Streets amendment, introduced by Representatives Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Dina Titus (D-NV), would require states and metropolitan planning organizations to plan and design for the safety needs of all users—regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation—in all federally-funded projects. Too often pedestrian deaths occur due to streets that are designed and operated for speeding traffic; the Safe Streets amendment would certify better street design that promotes safety for everyone.

An amendment from Representatives Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Dina Titus (D-NV) would direct more money to America’s towns and cities and improve the transparency in how local projects are funded. If included, the Davis-Titus amendment would significantly increase transportation funding at the local level by giving local communities control over or access to approximately $1.9 billion more per year than under current law.

Finally, an amendment to expand federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) financing eligibility to transit-oriented development (TOD) projects. Demand for living near transit is projected to double over the next 20 years to over 15 million households and to meet this demand, significant new development near transit stations will be needed. This kind of amendment would make TOD projects easier by making them eligible for TIFIA financing.

Today is a critical opportunity to speak out and make tangible improvements before the bill is marked up and goes to vote tomorrow. Tell your Representative you want a transportation bill of tomorrow — not yesterday.

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