Category: Vermont

Registration now open for the 2015 LOCUS New England Developers Summit

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On March 11, 2015, join LOCUS for our first-ever regional leadership summit—hosted in Boston, MA. The 2015 LOCUS New England Leadership Summit: Closing the Next [Smart Growth] Deal will convene responsible real estate developers and investors to network, hear from business and real estate industry experts, and tell policymakers what their businesses need to build the region’s next great walkable places.

Modeled after the national LOCUS Leadership Summit, the 2015 LOCUS New England Summit will bring together top local elected officials and real estate developers for networking and dealmaking.

Posted in Connecticut, Events, LOCUS, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Hear the recap: Repair Priorities 2014 online discussion

Yesterday we unveiled Repair Priorities 2014: Transportation spending strategies to save taxpayer dollars and improve roads. The release featured an online discussion with leaders from Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense, as well as state transportation department representatives from Vermont, Michigan and Tennessee. Panelists shared insights and strategies for how states are managing their road repair needs in a time of constrained budgets by using tools like asset management practices; focusing repair investments on the most heavily used roads; setting aggressive targets for pavement conditions; and using cost-benefit analysis to prioritize road investments.

If you were not able to join us for yesterday’s event, an archived recording is now available.

Watch the archived webinar
Download the presentation (PDF)

Joining yesterday’s event were Roger Millar, Vice President, Smart Growth America; Steve Ellis, Vice President, Taxpayers for Common Sense; Rich Tetreault, Director of Program Development, Vermont Agency on Transportation, Polly Kent, Administer, Intermodal Policy Division, Michigan Department of Transportation; and Steve Allen, Strategic Transportation Investments Director, Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Thank you to everyone who participated. The event provided valuable insights for how states can improve road conditions for drivers and the financial outlook of America’s DOTs at the same time.

Posted in Michigan, Reports, Tennessee, Vermont, Webinars | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 of 2013: Helping state DOTs innovate and excel

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This month we’re looking back at some of Smart Growth America’s brightest moments and greatest accomplishments from 2013. Today’s highlight: Our work helping state departments of transportation innovate and excel.

States across the country are facing the same challenges. Revenues are falling and budgets are shrinking. Yet state transportation officials have ambitious goals: improve safety, enhance economic opportunity, improve reliability, preserve system assets, accelerate project delivery, and help to create healthier, more livable neighborhoods, just to name a few.

Posted in Michigan, States, Technical assistance, Tennessee, Vermont | Tagged | Leave a comment

Spotlight on Sustainability: Burlington, VT gets creative with its comprehensive plan

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Downtown Burlington, VT.

Burlington, VT’s new comprehensive plan, PlanBTV, looks more like a magazine than a technical planning document. Based on extensive community input, the plan establishes a clear and comprehensive vision for how Burlington’s downtown and core neighborhoods should continue to evolve.

Burlington is located at the heart of the largest urbanized area in Vermont, and is the region’s principal economic and cultural engine. It is home to the University of Vermont and major employers including Burton Snowboards and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. When City leaders began considering how and where the city should grow in coming years, they knew they would need a plan to make sure that growth benefitted the community as much as possible.

Posted in HUD, Partnership and Main, Vermont | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Partnership in the News: EPA grant for Brattleboro, VT looks to incorporate smart growth

The town of Brattleboro, Vermont has received a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Building Blocks Sustainable Communities grant to aid in incorporating smart growth principles into local codes. Brattleboro is among 43 communities nationwide to receive a grant, and one of nine grants to focus on Sustainable Strategies for Small Cities and Rural Areas.

Posted in EPA, Partnership and Main, Vermont | Leave a comment

The seven most innovative development projects – and policies – in the country


The BLVD in Lancaster, California is one of seven communities being honored this year by the EPA. Photo by Charlie Essers via Flickr.

What do a boulevard in California, a Denver neighborhood, new zoning ordinances in Virginia and an organic food co-op in Vermont all have in common?

They are all being honored with the 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Office of Sustainable Communities. The seven winning communities – including four winners and three honorable mentions – were announced this morning.

Posted in California, Colorado, EPA, Featured Content, Vermont, Virginia | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Partnership in the News: Healthy & strong, Two-county effort takes its first step

A hundred people attended a public meeting held by the Northwest Regional Planning Commission in Vermont. The meeting was an informational session about the Healthy People, Strong Communities initiative, funded by a HUD Regional Planning grant.

The initiative is a regional effort by 20 counties in the region to produce a stronger, more economically viable region. The meeting was the first step towards accomplishing this goal. Planners opened the meeting with questions to the audience intended to get them thinking about what they wanted from the initiative and to form preliminary ideas of future directions for the region.

Posted in HUD, Partnership, Vermont | Leave a comment

Repair Priorities: Transportation spending strategies to save taxpayer dollars and improve roads

Decades of underinvestment in regular repair have left many states’ roads in poor condition, and the cost of repairing these roads is rising faster than many states can address them. These liabilities are outlined in a new report by Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense, released today, which examines road conditions and spending priorities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report recommends changes at both the state and federal level that can reduce future liabilities, benefit taxpayers and create a better transportation system.

Repair Priorities: Transportation spending strategies to save taxpayer dollars and improve roads found that between 2004 and 2008 states spent 43 percent of total road construction and preservation funds on repair of existing roads, while the remaining 57 percent of funds went to new construction. That means 57 percent of these funds was spent on only 1 percent of the nation’s roads, while only 43 percent was dedicated to preserving the 99 percent of the system that already existed. As a result of these spending decisions, road conditions in many states are getting worse and costs for taxpayers are going up.

“Federal taxpayers have an enormous stake in seeing that our roads are kept in good condition,” said Erich W. Zimmermann of Taxpayers for Common Sense at a briefing earlier today. “Billions of precious tax dollars were spent to build our highway system, and neglecting repair squanders that investment. Keeping our roads in good condition reduces taxpayers’ future liabilities.”

“Spending too little on repair and allowing roads to fall apart exposes states and the federal government to huge financial liabilities,” said Roger Millar of Smart Growth America. “Our findings show that in order to bring their roads into good condition and maintain them that way, states would collectively have to spend $43 billion every year for the next 20 years – more than they currently spend on all repair, preservation and new capacity combined. As this figure illustrates, state have drifted too far from regular preservation and repair and in so doing have created a deficit that is going to take decades to reverse.”

The high cost of poor conditions
According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, every $1 spent to keep a road in good condition avoids $6-14 needed later to rebuild the same road once it has deteriorated significantly. Investing too little on road repair increases these future liabilities, and with every dollar spent on new construction many states add to a system they are already failing to keep in good condition.

State and federal leaders can do more to see that highway funds are spent in ways that benefits driver and taxpayers. More information about the high cost of delaying road repair, how states invest their transportation dollars and what leaders can do to address these concerns is available in the full report.

Click here to read the full report, state-specific data and view the interactive map.

Posted in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Featured Content, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Members and Main, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Reports, Resources, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, States, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments