Category: Transportation for America

Join Transportation for America next week for a kickoff event

For the past five years, Transportation for America has worked with advocates, allies and supporters to urge Congress to make smarter investments in America’s transportation system.

Next week, Transportation for America is starting something new: An alliance of business, elected and civic leaders from cities, towns and suburbs across the nation. These community leaders know how critical it is to invest in a robust transportation network that can support local economies. And we know stronger local economies build a stronger America.

You are invited to the kick-off event. On November 19, hear these leaders discuss why their local economies need better transportation investments, and the actions Congress must take in the coming year. Visit Transportation for America’s website to watch a live webcast of the event, and join the conversation on Twitter at @T4America.

Local Economies, National Prosperity
WHAT: Community leaders make the economic case for federal investment in transportation
WHEN: Tuesday, November 19, 2013
8:30 AM—1:00 PM EST

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A Joint Announcement from Reconnecting America and Smart Growth America

Reconnecting America and Smart Growth America boards and staff have recently completed a joint strategic planning process to evaluate how to have the most impact in advancing shared goals related to federal transportation policy reform. To that end, the boards of each organization have agreed to the full transfer of the Transportation for America Campaign, which has been jointly hosted by Reconnecting America and Smart Growth America, to Smart Growth America with the goal of consolidating the transportation policy advocacy work into one organization.

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Smart Growth America staff, partners, developers, local leaders and allies discuss implementing transit in Middle Tennessee

From right: Smart Growth America’s Geoff Anderson with Ken Rose, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Mitchell Silver, American Planning Association; and Arthur Guzzetti, American Public Transportation Association. Photo courtesy of the Nashville Area MPO.  

In 2010 Middle Tennessee’s mayors agreed on a milestone, ten-county vision for transit. Last month, leaders in the region met to talk about how to make those plans a reality.

More than 250 political leaders, transportation and land use planners, transit agency partners, developers, architects, engineers, academics, and non-profit advocates came together on October 25 and 26, 2012 in downtown Nashville to discuss the first steps of implementing the region’s innovative transit plan. The event was organized by the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee, and sponsored by Transportation for America, a joint project of Smart Growth America and Reconnecting America.

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Compromise on Transportation Reauthorization Fails to Advance Critical Transportation Reform


Compromise on Transportation Reauthorization Fails to Advance Critical Transportation Reform
Conference report does not represent major improvement to existing law, lacks significant “fix-it-first” and bike-pedestrian safety measures

WASHINGTON DC — After weeks of negotiations to resolve differences between the House and Senate, the two bodies’ conferees have released a transportation reauthorization. That conference report, now moving toward a vote in Congress, represents a significant downgrade to existing services and fails to provide the kind of visionary, gamechanging transportation reform America deserves.

“The conference report is a disappointment,” says Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoffrey Anderson. “It compromises safety, it doesn’t do anything to ensure that roads and bridges are repaired and maintained, and it bypasses the kinds of innovative transportation solutions that we should expect out of a new transportation reauthorization.”

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The House and Senate are debating transportation today. What will they decide?

Right now, a small group of House and Senate leaders are negotiating their proposed transportation bills, and plan to bring a final bill before Congress in the coming weeks. Their decisions today have the potential to shape our communities for decades to come.

Can you take a moment to call your Senators and Representative? Let them know you want the conference committee to preserve the strong, bipartisan provisions contained in the Senate’s transportation bill MAP-21.

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Speak out for Main Streets in the Senate transportation bill

Last week, the House of Representatives introduced their surface transportation reauthorization bill. Their proposal, H.R. 7, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, threatens to derail federal funding for public transportation, and we’re still fighting to change their proposed bill. If you were one of the many supporters who spoke out against H.R. 7, thank you.

This week, the Senate has begun working on its version of the bill and we need your help to make it as strong as possible.

A bipartisan amendment to the Senate bill sponsored by Senator Cardin of Maryland and Senator Cochran of Mississippi would give local governments a larger say over a share of state transportation dollars. This change to the current bill would give local leaders a greater voice and more direct access to money for projects like main street revitalization.

Will you speak out for Main Streets in the Senate transportation bill? Click here to send a letter to your Senators.

As it’s currently written, the Senate bill would take the limited funds once dedicated to improving safety and conditions for people on foot and bike, and transfer them to state departments of transportation for expensive highway construction instead.

The Senate vote could happen as soon as this week, and this amendment is one of the most important that we’ll see. By setting money aside, the Cardin-Cochran amendment would ensure local communities can get the money they need for the projects they want.

Take one minute to send a message to your Senators: Ask them to support the Cardin-Cochran amendment today.

If you think our transportation bill should give communities the resources they need to build Main Streets that are attractive to businesses, pedestrian friendly and safer for everyone using them, tell your Senator to sponsor this amendment.

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Call your Representatives to oppose a House transportation bill so “uniquely bad” it “defies belief”

Today, thousands of people from across the country are calling their representatives in the House to urge them to vote “NO” vote on HR 7, the House transportation bill. The House bill would eliminate dedicated funding for public transportation – a crucial component of smart growth development – and negatively impact business expansion and job creation when America needs them most. The bill would also eliminate the tiny amount of funding that helps make dangerous streets and roads safer for pedestrians, cyclsts and drivers alike. The bill fails to go far enough to fix the country’s bridges and roads, and also fails to create more options for getting around.

America needs an updated federal transportation bill, but this proposal is not it. Join the fight to improve this bill by calling your Representative today.

Today, Smart Growth America and Transportation for America are part of a massive national call-in day rallying opposition to this bill from an unbelievably broad set of groups. Environmental activists, business leaders, labor union members, transit riders and transit workers, elected officials – the list keeps growing, and we all agree that the House bill makes two steps backward for every step forward.

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Smart Growth America stands with Transportation for America in opposition to House energy and transportation bill

Last week, the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, along with a companion measure eliminating dedicated funding for public transportation. James Corless, Director of Transportation for America, released the following statement:

“For more than three years, our coalition has worked hard for an updated federal transportation program that meets our needs in the 21st century; that creates jobs and lays the foundation for a rejuvenated economy; that balances the need to keep our highway system strong while augmenting it with other options. We still remain urgently committed to that goal.

“It is with deep disappointment, therefore, that we in the Transportation for America coalition find ourselves compelled to oppose the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act as advanced by House leadership. While we commend Chairman Mica (R-FL) for doing what he can to move a long-term transportation bill forward, the full legislation that is now heading to the floor of the House has significant fatal flaws.

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