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Finally, a bill to give locals more access to their federal transportation dollars

Normal, Illinois' Uptown Station project represents what can happen when the local leaders behind an ambitious vision are able gain access to the resources needed to bring that vision to life.

Normal, Illinois’ Uptown Station project represents what can happen when the local leaders behind an ambitious vision are able gain access to the resources needed to bring that vision to life.

Most taxpayers would agree that the level of government closest to the people should have more control over how transportation dollars get spent in their local communities.  Yet local cities, towns and counties control less than 15 percent of all federal transportation dollars.  

If you think that needs to change, then stop what you’re doing and ask your representatives to cosponsor this critical, bipartisan bill. It would give local communities more access to federal transportation funds that they can invest in homegrown transportation plans and projects that they control.

(You can read more in-depth about Representative Davis’ bill on our blog here or check out the Congress.gov page for H.R. 4726 here.)

Local leaders are the ones who feel the heat when crumbling infrastructure stalls traffic, when workers can’t connect to jobs, streets are unsafe or goods get stuck in congestion. But they lack the access to federal funds that could help them fix those problems and boost their economies, and they have little say in how their state’s federal allocation gets spent.

We have a golden opportunity to change that. 

Thanks to the leadership of a bipartisan group of Representatives and Senators, this terrific proposal would set aside a small portion of each state’s federal allotment to create a grant program especially for local communities. The grants would be awarded on merit by a panel with representatives from state and local jurisdictions, ensuring that funds go to well-conceived projects with the most local support.

This program would make a tremendous impact by requiring that more transportation dollars flow to communities — a great way to make good on Congress’s promise of more local control in MAP-21, the current transportation law.

The grants could fund a wide variety of surface transportation projects — such as bridge repair or improvement, highway projects, freight movement, bike and pedestrian safety and transit, to name a few.

This bill represents one of the best opportunities we’ve had in some time to ensure that more transportation dollars get down to where they’re needed most, to be spent on the very best projects that communities need.

Please, send a letter to your representatives and urge them to support this important bill.

Did you already send your letters? Then help spread the word! Use the links to share on Twitter and Facebook below, OR, cut and paste the message in the box to send a message to your friends via email.

 Shouldn’t the level of government closest to the people have more control over how transportation dollars get spent in their local communities? And shouldn’t they have more access to federal transportation funds?

I think so, and I asked my representatives to cosponsor this bipartisan bill that would give local communities more access to federal transportation funds that they can invest in homegrown transportation plans and projects, and more control over how those dollars get spent.

Will you join me and send a letter? It only takes a moment.

http://action.smartgrowthamerica.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=18521

2 Comments

  1. Sharon

    7 months ago

    Get the Feds out of the way and support the Transportation Empowerment Act HR 3486 and S 1702 and devolve our federal gas taxes back to the States. The Feds have bankrupted the HTF and states should be able to KEEP their tax revenue and not send it to the DC filter and receive back less. The States know their transportation needs best. Municipalities are chartered and governed under the states. Cities and counties have no Constitutional relationship with the Federal gov’t.

  2. Pingback: House Bill Would Give Cities and Towns More Say Over Transpo Spending | Streetsblog USA