Tag: Federal transportation bill

LOCUS Applauds Inclusion of TOD Financing in Draft Senate Transportation Bill

Yesterday, Senate EPW Chairman Barbara Boxer (CA) and Ranking Member David Vitter (LA) released a draft bipartisan six-year, transportation reauthorization.

For the first time, the bill includes a transit-oriented development (TOD) financing provision that LOCUS has strongly supported. As proposed, the TOD financing provisions provide local communities the tools needed to leverage greater private sector investment and economic development around public transportation through the highly successful TIFIA program.

Posted in Blog, LOCUS | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What the GROW AMERICA Act would mean for smart growth and community development

Yesterday the Obama Administration sent Congress its proposal for a four-year federal transportation bill—the GROW AMERICA Act. The current bill, MAP-21, is set to expire at the end of September, and the new bill has implications for highway and rail construction as well as economic development programs like TIGER grants. How would these proposals impact community development and smart growth?

The good news
The bill includes several promising policies for smart growth advocates.

First and foremost, it would require cities and states to consider all modes of travel when designing federally funded roads, provisions very similar to those proposed in the Safe Streets Act. This strategy gets the most out of federally funded projects, makes sure a given project best meets a community’s needs, and supports neighborhoods with a wide range of transportation choices—all things that Smart Growth America supports.

Posted in Complete Streets, Congress, DOT, Federal, LOCUS, White House | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Smart growth news – July 2, 2012

Congress passes two-year transportation bill
Washington Post 2chambers blog – June 29, 2012
On the eve of the Fourth of July travel rush, Congress agreed Friday to a two-year plan to fund the nation’s transportation projects, as part of a broader package that included resolution of other long-simmering issues.

Transit bill ‘kicks can down the road’
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) – July 2, 2012
“This is a step backwards,” said James Corless, director of Transportation for America, a broad-based coalition that favors major reforms in transportation spending, in a conference call with reporters last week.

Partnership for Sustainable Communities Marks Three Years Helping Communities Build a Foundation for Prosperity
FastLave via the White House blog – June 29, 2012
Building strong, resilient communities starts with having a great team. In 2009, President Obama challenged us to improve how our agencies work together to help communities around the country better meet their housing, transportation, and environmental goals, laying the groundwork for an economy that provides good jobs now and creates a strong foundation for long-term prosperity.

Posted in SGA News Clips | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Smart growth news – June 29, 2012

Conservative groups rev up opposition to highway bill
The Hill – June 29, 2012
Pressure from groups like the Heritage Foundation’s political arm and the anti-tax Club for Growth raises the possibility that conservatives in the House will put up a roadblock to the long-sought bicameral transportation agreement — and in the process put the brakes on a painstakingly negotiated compromise with the Democratically controlled Senate.

Senate adjourns awaiting House vote on highway bill
The Hill – June 28, 2012
The Senate adjourned Thursday evening without voting on three major pieces of legislation with fast approaching deadlines.

Complete Streets Provision Eliminated From Final Transpo Bill
Streetsblog DC – June 28, 2012
Transportation for America, the big-tent coalition for transportation reform, tends to be careful about the statements it puts out. Its folks are diplomatic, since they work with both sides on the Hill and a wide variety of coalition members. Yesterday, as details of the conference report were leaking out, they wanted to read the whole bill before weighing in publicly. Now that they’ve absorbed it all, they’ve come out swinging. “Senate Capitulates to House Demands,” today’s statement reads, “Eliminates Critical Provisions in Transportation Bill.”

Posted in Congress, SGA News Clips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Compromise on Transportation Reauthorization Fails to Advance Critical Transportation Reform

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 28, 2012

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.”

Posted in Congress, Press releases, Transportation for America | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Smart growth news – June 28, 2012

Cities grow more than suburbs, first time in 100 years
MSNBC – June 28, 2012
For the first time in a century, most of America’s largest cities are growing at a faster rate than their surrounding suburbs as young adults seeking a foothold in the weak job market shun home-buying and stay put in bustling urban centers.

Cities Outpace Suburbs in Growth
Wall Street Journal – June 28, 2012
Home builders are betting that there is a longer-term shift under way. Many builders that previously worked entirely on single-family homes in the suburbs have refocused to keep up with what they say is a change in demand. Three of the largest publicly traded U.S. home-building companies—Toll Brothers Inc., TOL Lennar Corp. and Hovnanian Enterprises Inc.—have in recent years built mid-rise and high-rise condominium towers in urban areas such as New York City, Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia and Irvine, Calif., looking to capitalize on consumers’ rising distaste for long commute times and interest in housing that is closer to cities’ cultural and job centers.

Highway bill conference report released
The Hill – June 28, 2012
The bicameral agreement on a new surface transportation bill has been released early Thursday morning by the House Rules Committee.

Posted in SGA News Clips | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Stop the House assault on walkable neighborhoods

Safe sidewalks and bikeable streets are both key parts of creating a great, walkable neighborhood, and towns across the country have used these tools to create places people want to live and visit.

Over the past month, members of Congress have been negotiating details of the federal transportation bill. Now, members of the House of Representatives have proposed allowing states to opt out of a program that would let communities make it safer to walk to public transportation, revitalize a Main Street or create bike trails for families.

Stand up for walkable streets: click here to send a letter to your members of Congress.

The House proposal would eliminate the small amount of money going directly to metropolitan areas, and would let state-level leaders decide whether communities ever see a dime of this funding. The move is slap in the face of city councils, mayors, and county leaders from across the country on both sides of the aisle who are creating the great neighborhoods so many Americans already know and love.

Posted in Action, Congress | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Senate transportation bill includes strong support for smart growth strategies

The Senate voted today on its version of the federal surface transportation bill, passing the measure 74-22. The two-year, $109 billion bill includes several key provisions Smart Growth America supports:

  • The bill invests in repair for aging transportation infrastructure. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials most recently gave the U.S. an embarassingly low “D” for its infrastructure. Constructed decades ago to help connect a growing economy, our infrastructure is now holding us back. Investing in repair is also a wise financial decision: as Smart Growth America’s report Repair Priorities explained, investing in road preservation and repair makes the most of existing resources and limits future liabilities.
  • The bill will help communities improve their Main Streets through funding opportunities for revitalization projects. Simple things like streetscape improvements can support local businesses and town centers across the country.
  • The bill will give communities the choice to create safe and low cost transportation options, like sidewalks and bike paths. This provision is particularly important as gas prices continue to climb.
  • The bill encourages states to develop complete streets polices, that make streets safer and more convenient for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike.
  • The bill takes critical steps toward a performance-based system that will make our transportation system more efficient and effective, and help make sure our national investments are sound.


Posted in Congress | Tagged , , | Leave a comment