Complete Streets News — July 2016

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Register for Street Lights — Join the National Complete Streets Coalition at Street Lights: Illuminating Implementation and Equity in Complete Streets, our first-ever Complete Streets conference, taking place on November 15, 2016 in Sacramento, CA. This day-long conference will be a chance for transportation planners and engineers, community, equity, and health advocates, local officials, and Complete Streets practitioners to share ideas, brainstorm solutions, and celebrate the success of the Complete Streets movement nationwide together. Conference registration is $150 for National Complete Streets Coalition Partners and $195 for non-Partners. Become a Partner today and one complimentary registration is included!

A proposed rule at USDOT could support safer streets. Will it? — This April, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) proposed new requirements for how states and metro areas will have to measure traffic congestion—the first time the agency has ever proposed such a requirement. Measuring what America’s transportation dollars actually buy us is a great move. But the rule as it’s currently written would measure success in outdated ways, prioritizing fast driving speeds over all other modes of transportation and their associated benefits. Not every street should be designed for fast-moving cars. Sign the petition to tell USDOT to change their proposed rule.

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A full list of the walkable neighborhoods included in “Foot Traffic Ahead”

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Last month we released Foot Traffic Ahead 2016, new research from our LOCUS program in conjunction with the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at The George Washington University’s School of Business that looks at walkable urban development in the nation’s largest metro areas.

The report examined 619 regionally significant walkable urban places—or WalkUPs—in the country’s 30 largest metro areas, and ranked which metros are making the most of their current development, which are positioned to be most walkable in the future, and which rank best for social equity.

Since the release we’ve received many requests for the full list of WalkUP neighborhoods. Today, we’re pleased to release the full list of WalkUPs analyzed in the report.

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In wake of Senate action, Representatives Pallone and Tonko introduce House version of Brownfields authorization bill

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EPA Brownfields funds helped transform the site of a former tin manufacturing and can factory into a mixed-use office and retail hub in Canton, Baltimore, MD. Photo via EPA.

Earlier this month, the Senate passed a bill to authorize and improve the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields program. Now the House of Representatives is moving to do the same.

Last week Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6) and Paul D. Tonko (NY-20) introduced the Brownfields Authorization Increase Act of 2016 (H.R. 5782). The legislation would amend the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act to enhance EPA’s Brownfields program and include it as a formal part of the federal budget.

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A new program to help rural places use smart growth strategies

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by The Hon. John Robert Smith

Many rural communities have seen farmland eroded by encroaching development, or are losing young residents to places with more amenities and greater opportunities. Whether drained by sprawl or struggling to compete, how can rural communities address these challenges while remaining true to their unique character?

Smart Growth America’s new Rural Development program, launching today, is designed to help local leaders strengthen rural economies through a smart growth approach to development. The new program will give rural residents and leaders better information about the financial and economic impacts of development choices.

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Join Smart Growth America at Smart Cities Week in Washington DC this fall

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There’s lots of talk these days about how new technology can help cities meet their pressing transportation challenges. Where should cities start on this? And how can city leaders ever get up to speed on this quickly changing industry?

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Introducing the new TODresources.org

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In December, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a new initiative to help communities across the country advance transit-oriented development (TOD) projects to grow their economies, achieve their social equity goals, and improve quality of life for everyone.

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Senate passes bill to help communities redevelop brownfield sites, urges House of Representatives to do the same

quik-trip-greenvilleEPA Brownfields funds helped transform the site of a former auto body repair shop into a neighborhood market in an underserved community in Greenville, SC. Photo via.

With sweeping bipartisan support, last week the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation to help communities across the country clean up and redevelop contaminated land. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), one of the champions of the bill, urged his Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives to do the same.

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Recorded webinar: “Amazing Place” kickoff discussion

amazing-place-webinar-iconBoise, Denver, Greenville, Minneapolis, Nashville, and Pittsburgh are six of the many cities using a new strategy for economic development. Rather than offering tax breaks to lure companies, these cities are creating walkable, vibrant, inclusive neighborhoods that are attracting residents and employers, supporting existing businesses, and fostering entrepreneurs.

We talk about this new approach in our most recent report, Amazing Place: Six Cities Using the New Recipe for Economic Development. The report takes an in-depth look at the development strategies at work in these six cities, and is designed to show communities everywhere how to create diverse and durable local economies that last beyond the lifecycle of any one employer.

As part of Tuesday’s kickoff for the new report, we hosted an online conversation about creating these amazing places. Participants heard an overview of the guide as well as a detailed discussion about development in Denver, Greenville, and Pittsburgh. A recorded version of the webinar is now available.

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How Massachusetts is encouraging communities to take action on Complete Streets

webinar-massachusetts-complete-streetsStates and local governments have eagerly adopted new policies for Complete Streets, a design approach to make streets safe and convenient for all users. However, some states and municipalities have been slow to put these policies into practice.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is taking action to encourage more Complete Streets projects across the state through its Complete Streets Funding Program. Local municipalities that attend trainings and adopt Complete Street policy best practices become eligible for state funding to plan and rebuild local streets.

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Get the recap: Speaker presentations from the 2016 LOCUS Leadership Summit

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The 2016 LOCUS Leadership Summit featured an exceptional lineup of real estate developers, investors, local elected officials, and transportation professionals, who came together to discuss a range of topics affecting walkable, urban communities.

The Summit’s speakers talked about cutting-edge ideas for the next American century, the future of investing, 21st century mobility opportunities, and more. If you are interested in a recap of what got discussed, all of this year’s presentations are below.

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