Two encouraging moves made by the Federal Highways Administration in the last week clear the way for states, metro areas and local communities to use their federal dollars to design safer, more complete streets.
Last week, USDOT issued a draft rule that will govern how states and metro areas will have to measure and address congestion, along with other metrics like freight movement and emissions. However, the rule as it is currently written would measure success in outdated ways. Old measures leads to old “solutions,” like prioritizing fast driving speeds above all other modes of transportation and their associated benefits.
For the first time, USDOT has released new requirements for how states and metro areas will have to measure traffic congestion. While the new rule marks a continued, necessary shift to assessing what our federal transportation dollars actually accomplish, this proposal as introduced doubles down on outdated measures of congestion that will push local communities to spend billions of dollars in vain attempts to build their way out of it.
A new federal proposal governing how states and metro areas will be required to measure congestion was just released early today. Our brief analysis finds that though there’s potential for improvement with how the rule is worded, it would still push local communities to waste time and money attempting to build their way out of congestion by using a measure of traffic congestion that’s narrow, limited and woefully out of date.
Smart Growth America and Transportation for America are pleased to announce today the hiring of Lynn Peterson, former chief executive officer of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), as senior transportation policy advisor for Smart Growth America. Learn more about Lynn’s experience in Washington and what she hopes to do in her new position in a short Q&A below.
USDOT is on the cusp of releasing crucial directions for how states and metro areas will have to measure traffic congestion. The new rule could push local communities to try in vain to build their way out of congestion, or mark a shift toward smarter approaches like shortening trip times, rewarding communities that provide more options or better accounting for other travel modes and telecommuting.
With Congress finally wrapping up their five-year transportation bill in late 2015, the focus is fully on states when it comes to policy and funding for transportation. Our second Capital Ideas conference focused on state transportation funding and policy is coming to Sacramento, CA this November 16-17, so mark your calendars, save the date and sign up to be the first notified when registration opens.
After an up-and-down last few years when it comes to transportation funding, the Georgia state legislature successfully passed a pared-back bill last night that will allow voters in the City of Atlanta to decide whether or not to raise new funds for expanded transit service throughout the city, in addition to other transportation investments in the city.
Though not selected as finalists, other Smart Cities Challenge applicants still hopeful to make their plans a reality
Though 77 cities will leave USDOT’s Smart Cities competition empty-handed later this summer, T4America is looking to help many of those cities advance the great ideas still deserving of help.
Smart Growth America — along with our signature transportation program Transportation for America — is pleased to announce today the hiring of Ben Stone as director of arts and culture, a new position designed to lead the organization’s broad efforts to help communities across the country better integrate arts, culture and creative placemaking into neighborhood revitalization, equitable development and transportation planning efforts. Get to know Ben and hear more about arts and culture in the short Q&A below.