Tag: Transportation

President Obama Calls on Congress to Save Highway Trust Fund

Yesterday afternoon in Washington, DC, President Obama called on Congress to adopt a long-term transportation bill on the scale of his recently proposed four-year, $302 billion program. In a speech in front of the Key Bridge in Georgetown, the president also appealed to Congress to save the Highway Trust Fund from pending insolvency, which would threaten jobs and the progress of vital transportation projects nationwide.

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Partnership in the news: Smart Growth in the Military

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In 2010 the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) was awarded $640,000 for the Planning for Livable Military Communities project to provide improved transportation and housing conditions for families in the US armed forces. The award comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Challenge Grant, which is an initiative of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.
North Central Texas is home to Naval Air Station Fort Worth, Joint Reserve Base. Many of the military families live off base, in surrounding communities including Fort Worth, White Settlement, Westworth Village and River Oaks. Planners intend to use the community challenge grant in a number of studies aimed at integrating smart growth strategies in the surrounding communities.

The NCTCOG will conduct a number studies that will create short- and long-term recommendations to improve transportation options, establish a model building code for greater energy efficiency, and update the City’s zoning, ordinances and comprehensive plan.

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New tool reveals combined costs of housing and transportation in regions across the country

Housing and transportation costs nationwide

How much does housing and transportation cost your family each month? These two items are typically a family’s largest expenses. Together they take up almost half of the average household’s budget, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). How does your family’s housing and transportation costs compare to the rest of the region? And how would living in a different neighborhood or commuting in different ways affect your monthly budget? A new tool is designed to help you find out.

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Applications close Friday for Smart Growth America’s 2014 free technical assistance workshops

coolplanningboulder
The City of Boulder, CO created this poster following their February workshop on cool planning.

The application window for Smart Growth America’s 2014 free technical assistance workshops is closing soon! If your community is considering applying for one or more of these workshops, applications are due by this Friday, December 6, 2013 at 5:00 PM EST.

In 2013, 22 communities were awarded these free workshops, including small towns like Blue Springs, MO and Campbell, NY and major cities like Houston, TX. These communities have used what they learned at our workshops to inform new projects, new plans—and even posters!

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Video: Dan Burden on creating walkable communities

Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council sat down with Dan Burden, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute to learn about what makes for a “walkable” neighborhood and what communities can do to become more walkable.

“A walkable neighborhood is a right-scale neighborhood where you can walk, you have good street connectivity…streets that are reasonably quiet and peaceful, that relate to the people living there, shopping there, and enjoying their neighborhood,” says Burden.

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Houston, TX, announces plans to adopt city-wide Complete Streets policy

A Complete Streets approach in Houston
Bagby Street in Houston, TX used a Complete Streets approach, which will now be a new standard for the city. Photo courtesy of the City of Houston.

The city of Houston, TX, cast its vote for safer, more vibrant streets yesterday when Mayor Annise Parker announced her intention to sign an executive order creating a city-wide Complete Streets policy.

The mayor’s Complete Streets and Transportation Plan will make Houston’s streets safer, more accessible and more convenient for motorists, public transit riders, pedestrians, people of all abilities and bicyclists. The new policy, detailed in a draft executive order from the mayor, will be implemented over time as improvements to existing roadways and redevelopment occur.

Posted in Coalition, Complete Streets, Complete Streets Local, Complete Streets News, Complete Streets Policy, Featured Content, Local Leaders Council, Texas | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Upcoming Webinars: October 2013

Want to learn about new, innovative strategies for creating great places? Several upcoming webinars provide ideas and inspiration for local leaders.

Brownfields Policy Update from Capitol Hill

Thu, Oct 3, 2013 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

Join NALGEP and its Brownfield Communities Network for a webinar where the nation’s leading brownfields policy experts will bring you up to speed on the latest Congressional activities related to brownfields. Speakers will include Evans Paull of the National Brownfields Coalition, Judy Sheahan from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and NALGEP Executive Director Ken Brown. The webinar will cover the key matters before Congress affecting brownfields revitalization, including brownfields reauthorization legislation, the outlook for FY 2014 appropriations for brownfields at EPA and other agencies, and efforts to reinstate the brownfields tax incentive. There will be ample time for questions and discussion.

Click here to register.

Montana Rural Health Initiative: Building Active Communities Upcoming Webinars

Transportation Engineering and Public Involvement
Monday, October 7th, 12-1:30 PM
*Registration information coming soon!

Making the Case for Active Communities
Wednesday, October 23rd, 12-1:30 PM
*Registration information coming soon!

For more information on the Building Active Communities Webinars visit http://healthinfo.montana.edu/RHI%20Webinars.html 

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Transportation in the City event highlights the changing the face of transit in DC

TranspoInTheCityCrowd

On Wednesday, September 25, Smart Growth America’s Transportation in the City event brought together a panel of transportation and startup experts, representatives from innovative transportation services operating in DC, and Washington residents to discuss the growth of transportation options over the past few years – and the challenges that lay ahead.

The panel included Donna Harris, Co-founder, 1776; Sita Vasan, Executive Director, SwitchPitch; Martin Di Caro, Transportation Reporter, WAMU; and Tom Fairchild, Director, Mobility Lab. Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director, Coalition for Smarter Growth made the opening remarks and the panel was moderated by Smart Growth America Vice President and Chief of Staff Ilana Preuss.

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Councilmember Eric Olson works to ensure Prince George’s County’s legacy neighborhoods stay well connected

Olson speaks with Governor Martin O'Malley at the announcement of new state offices near New Carrollton station. Photo via Flickr.
Prince George’s County Councilmember Eric Olson (right) speaks with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (left) at the announcement of new state offices near New Carrollton station. Photo via Flickr.

Prince George’s County, MD has no lack of ways to get around or places nearby to go. The largely suburban county just outside of Washington, DC contains fifteen Metro stations and is served by two MARC commuter rail lines, among other transit routes. But regulatory red tape has made it difficult for developers to build near stations and as a result, many stations are most easily identified by the parking lots that surround them.

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City Councilmember Kristin Palmer on smart growth and resilience in New Orleans, LA

Kristin Palmer had long been interested in smart growth strategies, but smart growth really became a focal point of her first term on City Council in 2010, as New Orleans still struggled to rebuild five years after Hurricane Katrina.

“When you’re trying to rebuild from nothing, from ground zero, what are the things that make sense when you come back and rebuild? Access to public transportation and economic corridors was really part of that success,” says Palmer. “If you had access to grocery stores and you had a walkable community, and you could get to the resources you needed, those are the communities that rebuilt faster and better.”

Posted in Blog, Local Leaders Council, Louisiana, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment