Author Archives: Smart Growth America

Now hiring: Transportation Program Manager

Smart Growth America is seeking a Transportation Program Manager to help communities across the country better coordinate land use and transportation policies. This person will deliver technical assistance to state agency staff, work with town and city leaders across the country, and advocate on transportation policy and program issues with members of Congress.

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Now hiring: Program Associate

Smart Growth America is seeking an enthusiastic candidate to support the work of many of our programs, including the Local Leaders Council, the National Complete Streets Coalition, LOCUS, our economic development practice, transportation programs, and community technical assistance programs.

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Now hiring: Economic Development/Community Development Specialist

Smart Growth America is hiring an Economic Development/Community Development Specialist to provide direct assistance on triple-bottom line community revitalization in urban and rural communities around the country, and to work on the associated local, state and federal policy issues surrounding revitalization. The Specialist will principally work with Smart Growth America’s Vice President for Economic Development, as well as across a number of programs including LOCUS, the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, and others. This is an opportunity to work at the intersection of policy and hands-on community level practice.

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Now hiring: Research Analyst

Smart Growth America seeks a skilled and versatile Research Analyst to support and conduct technical and quantitative analyses regarding a wide variety of issues associated with the built environment and transportation, including economics, real estate, social equity, and the environment.

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Now hiring: Communications Associate

Smart Growth America is hiring a Communications Associate to contribute to our blog, social media channels, and press efforts. The Communications Associate will join a small, dynamic team involved in much of Smart Growth America’s work promoting vibrant, walkable neighborhoods. This is an opportunity that features a great deal of responsibility, direct collaboration with our supporters, and valuable hands-on experience.

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Just the right size

IL Chicago Lawrence Ave Woman on bike credit Hanna Kite
A new bike lane on Lawrence Avenue in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago. Photo by Hanna Kite

This post is the fourth in a series of case studies about Complete Streets people, places, and projects. Follow the full series over the next several weeks.

A road diet, bicycle lanes, and a profusion of pedestrian improvements have subtly transformed a low-key Chicago neighborhood.

The Ravenswood neighborhood in Chicago, especially the northwest section along Lawrence Avenue, has a quiet, residential feel. Many people in the neighborhood have lived there for decades, and the area attracts families with young children. Six bus routes and two train lines serve the neighborhood, and ridership rates are high. Buildings in the neighborhood are at most only three or four stories high, and a pharmacy, grocery store, handful of boutiques, and cafes serve local residents. In general, Ravenswood is mostly free from the hustle and bustle of the more hip areas of Chicago.

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You told FHWA: Great street design should be standard

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When the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) proposed revisions to its rule governing design standards for the National Highway System (NHS), it offered minimal instruction for the development and integration of appropriate walking, bicycling, and transit facilities.

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Expect fewer delays

DC Washington construction ROW credit WABAAn open bicycle lane and clearly marked pedestrian walkway, such as this one in in D.C., are the exception, not the norm during construction projects. Keeping bicycle lanes free during short-term construction projects also help maintain the safety and efficiency of bicycle networks. Photo: Washington Area Bicycle Association

This post is the third in a series of case studies about Complete Streets people, places, and projects. Follow the full series over the next several weeks.

People on foot and bike are often pushed to the wayside during construction projects. New policies in Washington D.C. and Chicago could change that.

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Senate transportation bill expands financing for transit-oriented development

Senators Schatz, Markey and Merkley champion provision to support investment in neighborhoods near transit

The Senate passed its final six-year transportation reauthorization bill today, and included in the bill is a provision to expand the eligibility of transit-oriented development (TOD) projects for federal TIFIA financing. The provision would also expand financing for infrastructure projects that promote transit ridership, walkability, or increased private investment.

“If you took a bus or train to work today, you know how convenient it is to live and work near a transit stop,” said Christopher Coes, Director of LOCUS. “Transit-oriented development makes day-to-day life easier for millions of Americans. It’s also the backbone of regional economies across the country. The Senate’s bill will make creating new TOD projects easier, and will give more Americans the option to live and work near transit while also supporting economic growth nationwide.”

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Senate transportation bill includes landmark provision for safer streets

Senators Schatz, Heller, Franken, and Udall champion provision to address national epidemic of pedestrian fatalities

The Senate voted on its final six-year transportation reauthorization bill today, and included in the bill was a landmark provision to make streets across the country safer for everyone who uses them. The Safe Streets amendment 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.

“America is facing an epidemic of pedestrian deaths,” said Stefanie Seskin, Deputy Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition. “This bill will make a Complete Streets approach routine in federal projects. That means streets will be safer for Americans of all ages and abilities, no matter how they travel.”

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