Category: Press releases

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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Smart Growth America statement on new Senate transportation reauthorization bill

Yesterday, the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee released the MAP-21 Reauthorization Act (S. 2322), a bipartisan bill that reauthorizes the Federal transportation program through 2020. Geoff Anderson, President & CEO of Smart Growth America, issued the following statement in response.

“I applaud Senator Boxer and Senator Vitter for advancing this bill to provide immediate and stable funding for America’s transportation networks. How we build our nation’s infrastructure has tremendous implications for neighborhood development and the economic resilience of our communities. The proposed bill includes provisions that will help local communities grow in smarter, stronger ways.

“We strongly applaud the inclusion of a provision to provide financing support to help communities create economic development along transit corridors. We are thankful for the strong leadership demonstrated by Sen. Schatz (HI), as well as Sens. Markey (MA), Gillibrand (NY), and Merkley (OR) in highlighting the growing need to support reinvestment in our communities. This measure will allow communities to better realize the potential of their transit systems, grow their economies, provide families with more housing and transportation choices while giving both the private and public sectors the financial tools to help make it happen. We are also pleased that the bill takes key steps to improve safety for all users of the transportation system, specifically adding safety performance measures for both motorized and non-motorized travelers.

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Smart Growth America congratulates Senator Carper on his appointment as chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, has announced the appointment of Senator Thomas R. Carper (D-DE), as chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee. Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America, issued this statement in response:

“We are pleased to hear of Senator Carper’s appointment as chairman of a key subcommittee helping to write the next version of our nation’s transportation law. Senator Carper brings a pragmatic approach that is coupled with a bold vision for a 21st century transportation system that will benefit communities across the country. Smart Growth America and our alliance of local elected officials, real estate developers and coalition of non-profits look forward to working with him on the upcoming transportation reauthorization, and helping him push for a bill that will allow our communities to make the investments that will improve the nation’s economic competitiveness.”


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Statement in response to President Obama’s call for homeownership support in the 2014 State of the Union address

Responding to President Obama’s call to keep “the dream of homeownership alive for future generations of Americans,” Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoff Anderson issued the following statement:

President Obama is doing the nation a great service by bringing attention to the urgent need to help American families invest in their first home. As he said last night, even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working hard just to get by—let alone get ahead.

Homeownership can help families build wealth and plays a significant role in the economic security of America’s middle class, but the federal government could do more to help families reach this goal.


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Christopher Zimmerman to join Smart Growth America full time

Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoff Anderson today announced that Chris Zimmerman will join the staff of Smart Growth America full time as Vice President for Economic Development. To assume the post, Zimmerman will leave his current position as Arlington County Board Member at the end of January 2014.

“It has been a great privilege and opportunity to serve on the Arlington County Board for the past 18 years,” said Zimmerman. “Arlington has flourished during that time and smart development strategies played an instrumental role in that growth. I look forward to bringing the lessons I’ve learned in Arlington to communities across the country.”

“Arlington, VA is one of the best examples of smart growth development in the country,” said Anderson. “Chris has seen first hand the kind of development that generates economic growth and that experience gives him a valuable perspective on the development process. We’ve very excited to have him join our work.”

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Houston, TX to host public workshop on implementing Complete Streets

Houston, TX —Houston officials and local residents will meet with representatives from Smart Growth America on April 17 and 18, 2013 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshops will aim to give Houston the tools to develop a Complete Streets policy in their Museum Park Neighborhood, which will lay the foundation for future Complete Streets policies in other Houston neighborhoods.

“Museum Park, in partnership with the City of Houston’s Office of Sustainability anticipates that the Complete Streets workshop will take Houston a step closer to achieving a few of Mayor Parker’s stated goals for her second term, such as “sustainable development, public safety, infrastructure and quality of life,” said Kathleen O’Reilly, Vice President of the Museum Park Super Neighborhood. “Museum Park, with its mix of 14 museums, Hermann Park, 3,000 homes, schools, health care, churches and more offers the ideal mix to craft the highest standards for transit and quality of life in Houston. As we launch ReBuild Houston, the timing of this exciting collaborative effort couldn’t be better.”

Houston residents are invited to join the workshop’s first day for an introductory presentation that will feature a broad overview of Complete Streets. The event will be held Wednesday, April 17, 2013 from 6:00–7:30 PM at the Clayton Library, 5300 Caroline St, Houston, TX, 77004.

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Smart Growth America statement on President Obama’s FY 2014 budget proposal

In response to President Obama’s proposed FY 2014 budget released today, Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoff Anderson released the following statement:

“Building strong communities is a key part of America’s economic growth, and I applaud the President for investing in programs that do just that in his FY 2014 budget.

“Investments in infrastructure and “fix it first” projects will help businesses compete in the 21st century economy and will help working Americans get where they need to go more easily and more efficiently.

“This budget’s commitment to investing in—and encouraging private investment in—chronically distressed communities will help whole regions become more prosperous. Strategies like this, that reinvest in existing neighborhoods, also help communities build in ways that are more economically resilient.

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