Author Archives: Steve Davis

Geoff Anderson to testify before Congress today in favor of a crucial tool for redeveloping contaminated and abandoned land


Yards Park in Washington, DC was built on the site of a former brownfield. Photo via Flickr.

Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America, will testify before Congress this afternoon in favor of the BUILD Act, a bipartisan plan for helping communities clean up old brownfields (polluted former industrial sites) and abandoned land, and return them to productive use for communities across the country.

The testimony will be before the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee at 2:00 PM today, as part of a hearing titled “Cleaning Up and Restoring Communities for Economic Revitalization.” The hearing will likely be viewable online as a stream. for a link on the Committee’s website later this afternoon.

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Summary of the Senate MAP-21 transportation bill proposal

Crossposted from Transportation for America.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released a draft of the transportation bill late Friday. The EPW committee’s portion of the bill covers what’s known as the “highway” title. (The Banking Committee is responsible for writing the “transit” title and the Commerce Committee covers rail and safety. Those sections of the bill have not been released yet.)

We’ve prepared a short few pages on what MAP-21 means for the federal transportation program. This top-line analysis is a bit on the wonky side, but hopefully it’ll be helpful if you’ve been trying to summarize the 600 pages of bill text.

One of the most visible changes MAP-21 makes is to restructure seven core highway programs and 13+ formula programs into just five core highway programs. This graphic below illustrates those changes. Read on for the full summary, which you can also download here. (PDF)


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Transportation for America responds to House T&I authorization proposal

Crossposted from Transportation for America.

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Transportation and Infrastructure committee chairman John Mica (R-FL) released an outline of principles for a proposed six-year transportation bill. The $230 billion, six-year proposal represents a 35 percent spending reduction with potentially significant impacts on road and bridge repair and maintenance, as well as public transportation and safer walking and bicycling. James Corless, director of Transportation for America, had this to say in response to the Chairman’s proposal on state flexibility, transit funding and streamlining project delivery:

“We commend Chairman Mica and his fellow drafters on the push to get this long-stalled bill moving, and we appreciate the effort to consolidate programs, leverage non-federal resources and deliver projects more quickly. However, we are skeptical that investments at this level can meet the country’s infrastructure needs.

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Tell your story: 15.5 million seniors will have poor or non-existent transit access in 2015. How will it affect you?

Crossposted from Transportation for America

By 2015, more than 15.5 million Americans 65 and older will live in communities where public transportation service is poor or non-existent. That number will continue to grow rapidly as the baby boom generation “ages in place” in suburbs and exurbs with few mobility options for those who do not drive.

How will we address the shrinking mobility options of baby boomers who wish to stay in their homes and age in place? What happens when people in the largest generation in American history outlive their ability to drive for everything?

We want to know how the lack of transit access or other options affects you. Whether you’re a senior or have a parent or grandparent getting older in places with poor transportation options, we want to hear real stories of how this will affect real people in the coming years. We’re partnering with AARP to gather stories about how you or someone you know is or will be affected by the lack of transportation options.

Share your story with AARP today, which is joining with T4 America to gather compelling stories to share with Congress.

With Congress set to introduce a transportation bill that will determine how to spend our transportation money for the next 6 years, we need to make it clear to Congress how their decisions will impact real people.

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How we use land drives the demand for oil; better land use = less oil use

On a Friday where anyone can bring up a live video stream on their computer of oil still pouring from a broken well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, perhaps you, like a lot of Americans, feel a little powerless about it and aren’t sure what we can really do to prevent such a disaster in the future. While certainly not responsible for the spill itself, that well and thousands of others are there because we need quite a lot of oil every day.

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Biking and walking advocates thank Sec. of Transportation for making biking walking safer, more important

Some of us here at SGA, through our other work at Transportation for America and the National Complete Streets Coalition, joined with other advocates for biking and walking to ride to the US DOT last Friday to thank Sec. LaHood for recent policy changes to include the needs of bikers and walkers in transportation planning. Check out the video from the T4America youtube channel.

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EPA tweaks official water policy to invest in existing communities, save taxpayer money

Supported by encouragement and recommendations from Smart Growth America, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a new policy in late March to guide how billions in annual federal water funds should be used. The new guidance ensures that water facilities that communities depend on every day aren’t neglected in favor of running new systems out to undeveloped areas, saving taxpayer money in the process.

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Help SGA sponsor the American Makeover series

Remember the great video series we were promoting earlier this week? Help Smart Growth America become a sponsor of American Makeover. We’re trying to raise $500 by Saturday, May 8 to have the SGA logo and a brief message included in the opening credits of a future episode.

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Forget homes and plastic surgery, new online video series promotes an “American Makeover”

The makers of a viral sensation from last year (Built to Last) are back with a new video series that takes a hard look at America’s collective frustration with sprawl and the smarter alternatives for growth and development happening in …

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Forget home and plastic surgery makeovers, new online video series promotes an “American Makeover”

The makers of a viral sensation from last year (Built to Last) are back with a new video series that takes a hard look at America’s collective frustration with sprawl and the promises it failed to deliver on and the smarter alternatives for growth and development happening in communities across the country. [VIDEO]

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