Tag: Transportation

Mayor Murphy McMillin on preserving small town USA

Jena, LA
From left: Oak Street in downtown Jena; participants in one of the city’s visioning sessions; an excerpt from Jena’s Vision, the town plan.

When a proposed highway project threatened Jena, LA’s historic downtown, Mayor Murphy McMillin worked with residents and fellow city officials to come up with alternatives to the construction. What ensued was a long-term vision incorporating smart growth strategies that not only found a solution to the highway project, but will also help guide development and protect Jena’s natural assets for years to come.

Jena has a simple tag line—“A nice place to call home.” Mayor McMillin, a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, describes the town as a close-knit community of 3,000 residents located between the larger metropolitan areas of Alexandria and Monroe, and residents are fond and protective of their town’s rural character and identity.

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DOT’s fifth round of TIGER grants support 52 economic development projects in 37 states

Kansas City Streetcar
Kansas City’s streetcar is one of the 52 projects to receive a 2013 TIGER grant. Image via PlanningKC.

Yesterday, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the fifth round of DOT’s Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants. The 2013 grants award a total of $474 million to 52 projects in 37 states, with 25 projects specifically for rural communities. A total of 568 applications were submitted for the grants, for projects in all 50 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa.

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Join us for a conversation about innovative transportation services in DC and beyond

Capital Bikeshare
Capital Bikeshare is one of the many innovative transportation options now available in the DC area. Photo by James Schwartz via Flickr.

DC-area residents have more choices about how to get around today than ever before. Car sharing, bike sharing and ride sharing—and the apps that make these services possible—are revolutionizing transportation as we know it. DC is a hotbed of transportation innovation that the rest of the nation is watching.

Join transportation entrepreneurs for Transportation in the City, a discussion about new ways to get around and the future of transportation in Washington, DC and beyond. We’ll discuss what’s working and why, market and demographic trends that make these services succeed, the role of public policy in this field and how startup innovations are making a difference.

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Councilmember Hans Riemer on the challenge of creating attractive urban areas in Montgomery County, MD

Rockville Town Square
Rockville Town Square, in Councilmember Riemer’s district of Montgomery County, MD. Photo by Dan Reed via Flickr.

Councilmember Hans Riemer has a problem. Residents of the greater Washington, DC metro area increasingly want to live in attractive, high quality, urban neighborhoods—but there aren’t enough of those neighborhoods in his home district of Montgomery County, MD, to meet the demand.

“Cities are reviving and becoming incredibly attractive places to live,” says Riemer, a charter member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council. “We’re seeing the impacts of that in Montgomery County. Where people used to prefer the suburbs, they now want to live in cities.”

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Building region-wide support for new development along Arizona’s Valley Metro light rail line

tempe-az
New development along the Valley Metro light rail line in Tempe, AZ. Photo of the Hub on Campus building via Facebook.

The City of Phoenix, AZ, is working to encourage development along the Valley Metro light rail line, and it’s getting some help from a region-wide effort that’s working to link Phoenix’s investments to others throughout the region.

The Sustainable Communities Collaborative (SCC) is a unique non-profit partnership working to catalyze development along the Valley Metro light rail in Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa. Started in 2011 with a $20 million private investment from Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Raza Development Fund, SCC aims to create “vibrant urban environments and transit-oriented communities that have it all”: a mix of housing starts, new community health care centers, entrepreneurial start-ups, pedestrian and bicycle friendly neighborhoods, eclectic retail and restaurants, and artistic centered community development connected to the 20-mile light rail line.

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Boulder, CO targets carbon reduction through transportation at smart growth strategy workshop


The Boulder Civic Area is a visionary “community driven” project to rethink and evolve the downtown’s most expansive public space. Image via Bouldercolorado.gov on Flickr.

Boulder, CO officials and local residents will meet with representatives from Smart Growth America on March 4 and 5, 2013 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshops aim to find innovative travel and mobility strategies that will give Boulder the tools to achieve the next level of the city’s ambitious carbon-reduction goals.

Boulder residents are invited to join the workshops first day for an open house on the city’s 2013 Transportation Master Plan Update (from 4:30 to 6 p.m.) and a presentation by Smart Growth America (from 6 to 8 p.m.). The event will be held Monday, March 4, 2013 at the Hotel Boulderado Conference Center, 2115 13th Street, Boulder, CO.

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Partnership in the News: Ames Intermodal Facility creates transportation connections in Iowa

The Ames Intermodal Facility in Ames, Iowa, a transportation hub that will bring together parking, transit access, public and private transportation providers, and the Iowa State University and Ames communities, opened its doors last week. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff and U.S. Senator Tom Harkin as well as the mayor of Ames and the president of Iowa State.

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Smart growth news – February 10, 2012

National News:

Editorial: Designing a Fix for Housing
New York Times – February 9, 2012

RECENT efforts to fix the housing market — including Thursday’s $26 billion settlement with five of the nation’s biggest banks — have focused purely on the financial aspects of the slump. A permanent solution, however, must go further than money to address issues that have been at the core of the crisis but have been wholly ignored: design and urban planning.

Highway Bill Tests Boehner’s Leadership
Wall Street Journal – February 10, 2012

The measure’s failure would be a blow to Mr. Boehner’s leadership, and he is scrambling to win support. The bill contains no earmarks, which adheres to Republican campaign themes, but the debate surrounding the measure shows how that promise, along with others to oppose big spending bills, can make it harder to govern.

Boehner uncertain on passage of $260B transportation bill
The Hill – February 9, 2012

Speaking Thursday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C., Boehner said he was not sure what would happen when the transportation bill comes to the floor of the House.

White House backs $109B Senate transportation bill
The Hill – February 9, 2012

The White House is backing the Senate’s $109 billion surface transportation bill, eschewing a $260 billion measure from the Republican-led House that GOP leaders have offered as their counter to President Obama’s call for a jobs bill.

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Smart growth news – January 25, 2012

SGA in the News:

Anderson: Address the Housing Crisis’s Underlying Issues
Roll Call – January 25, 2012

In rebuilding our economy, lawmakers and the administration must take a concerted look at where America is going, with market demand and community support as the key indicators. Comprehensive housing and real estate finance policy change is the only solution that will promote economic recovery and enable the creation of great neighborhoods nationwide.

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Smart growth news – January 19, 2012

National News

U.S. mayors call for infrastructure spending and protection of grant programs
Orlando Sentinel – January 18, 2012

“The economic recovery is too slow, and it is a direct result of the inaction of this Congress in 2011,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “If we gave the 112th Congress a mid-term report card, the grade would be clear. Congress would get an ‘F.’”

Federal-State Meeting Planned to Rally for Foreclosure Accord
Bloomberg Business Week – January 19, 2012

State attorneys general are being invited to meet with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and a Justice Department official to rally support for a proposed settlement with banks over foreclosure practices, said the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.

Local News

Planning workshop brings circus atmosphere to Marin
Marin Independent Journal – January 19, 2012

The video’s narrator concluded with a call to action: “Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and work together to plan how the Bay Area might grow over the next 25 years?” “No,” a chorus of audience members shouted as private security guards and sheriff’s deputies stood by.

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