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12 transportation policies states should consider in 2016 to stay economically competitive

To remain economically competitive, states must invest in infrastructure, but state legislatures have a critical choice ahead of them: continue pumping scarce dollars into a complex and opaque system based on outdated policies out of sync with today’s needs, or follow the lead of the states highlighted in Transportation for America’s new report, Twelve Innovations in Transportation Policy States Should Consider in 2016.

State legislatures, as incubators of innovation and more flexible than Congress when it comes to enacting new transportation policies, have a golden opportunity in 2016 to reform their transportation programs to expand transparency and accountability, boost state and local economies, invest in innovation across the state, save the state money and improve safety for the traveling public.

Why this focus on state transportation policy?

Similar to Congress’s action in 2015 with the passage of the FAST Act, most of the 23 states that increased their own transportation funding revenue since 2012 have failed to update the underlying policies governing the spending of those new funds. The distribution formulas for those funds are often relics of decades-old priorities that are out-of-touch with the new needs of increasingly diverse economies and demographics.

T4America’s new report outlines 12 transportation policy solutions recently passed legislatively or instituted through administrative action in states, many of which are being pursued by Transportation for America’s START network members and other key policymakers in 2016.

These dozen policy proposals have shown the ability to:

  • increase accountability and transparency to build taxpayer confidence;
  • make states economically competitive and empower locals to do the same;
  • invest in innovation and reward the smartest projects;
  • maximize savings through better project development; and
  • improve safety through better street design

Considering the fact that the federal program is still largely a block grant given to and controlled by the states, state leadership on transportation issues will be more important than ever in the years to come.

The START Network

T4America supports efforts to produce and pass state legislation to increase transportation funding, advance innovation and policy reform, empower local leaders and ensure accountability and transparency. We do this through our State Transportation Advocacy, Research & Training (START) Network of state and local elected officials, advocates and civic leaders, providing our members easily accessible resources that arm decision makers and advocates with template policies, research and case studies from leaders nationwide. Join the START network today, and share with us any bills in your state legislature that you feel we should be tracking here.

State-level reform will be essential for advancing creative and innovative transportation funding and policy reforms to make the most of limited infrastructure dollars. Get engaged by joining the START Network and get your free copy of the report today.

1 Comment

  1. Clive Durdle

    2 years ago

    Are there related initiatives in Europe ? May I copy your thinking?