T4America Blog

News, press releases and other updates

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When gas prices rise, choice matters

Chevron gas station with gas prices ranging from $6.39 to $6.69

High gas prices put pressure on many Americans’ finances. Unfortunately, the cost of gas depends on a variety of factors, and there’s no silver bullet. Focusing on ineffective short-term solutions can often distract from the long-term problem: when the places we live are designed only for car travel (and longer trips), Americans are forced to pay the cost.

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To deliver on Equity Action Plan, USDOT, states, and local decision makers must take real action

10 Jun 2022 | Posted by | 0 Comments | , ,
Cyclist on highway

Though the USDOT’s Equity Action Plan (EAP) describes the new infrastructure law as “a historic investment in transportation equity,” the final verdict will depend on the administration’s next steps, how they distribute competitive grants, and other choices far outside of their control, such as how states and metro areas invest federal funds.

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Justice40 “benefits” could mean more emissions, worse health outcomes in disadvantaged communities

A biker cruises in the sidewalk along a busy street

In President Biden’s first weeks in office, he established an environmental justice initiative called Justice40, which aims to direct benefits from federal investments to disadvantaged communities. Today, the administration is working on more specific guidance on how Justice40 should be applied, which will determine how effective this effort will be.

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WATCH: Safety and vehicle speed are fundamentally opposed

speed limit 20 mph

Sometimes we have to see it to believe it. How would street design really look if we prioritized the safety of all road users? Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition’s latest video illustrates that when streets are designed to move as many cars as possible as quickly as possible, other road users pay the price.

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Bad faith arguments continue: Another look at the #SoNotBusy Gulf Coast Corridor

Over a month ago, we explained why freight railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern (NS) were trying to halt the return of passenger rail service on the Gulf Coast—an effort that could hinder passenger rail service across the country. Well, CSX is still at it, and their easily-disputed claims are proof that freight railroads have had free rein to stand in the path of passenger rail for far too long.

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Developing a workforce to get the most out of the infrastructure bill

An Amtrak employee interacts with passengers on the train

Workforce recruitment and retention issues that plagued the transportation industry long before the pandemic now threaten the industry’s ability to implement and get the most out of the 2021 infrastructure bill. Though there are workforce development programs in the infrastructure bill, the administration still needs to take action to make these programs a reality.

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Pro-tip: Invest in the solution, not in the problem

comic illustration

Congress and states love to create small, discrete programs to solve big transportation problems. They do not like to stop the types of investments that are causing the problems, even when far more money is perpetuating the issues those new programs are meant to solve. With historic amounts of infrastructure funding headed into states’ hands even as streets are growing more dangerous and we urgently need environmental solutions, it’s time to change that strategy.

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VIDEO: Beth Osborne explains our broken approach to setting speed limits with WSJ

Cars going at different speeds on a road with a 35 mph speed limit

T4America director Beth Osborne joined Wall Street Journal correspondent George Downs to explain why one controversial method for setting speed limits results in higher and higher speeds.

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Longer trips, faster speeds, fewer options: What’s really valued in the “value of time”?

A pedestrian walks along the edge of a road filled with cars.

Despite its name, the federal “value of time” guidance doesn’t actually value travelers’ time at all. Instead, this arcane but influential measure focuses on one thing: vehicle speed. The result is more dangerous, less convenient travel for everyone.

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One year in, how is the Biden team really doing on transportation?

President Biden wears a mask as he signs executive orders

A year in, the Biden administration helped pass historic investments in infrastructure and spoke out about safety, repair, and equity, but a lot of potential improvements have been left on the table.  Congress passes the laws but the administration has to implement them. Here’s our update on their progress and the opportunities still left on the table for them to advance their stated goals. 

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A blueprint for healthier, safer streets: Complete Streets videos from Pittsburgh, PA, Louisville, KY, and Tucson, AZ

three cyclists ride their bikes down a tucson street

Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition, with partnership and support from CityHealth, produced a series of videos telling the story of Complete Streets policies in three U.S. cities. These videos provide insight into what Complete Streets policies can accomplish, what makes for an effective policy, and strategies for complete streets implementation.

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Don’t blame the snow, blame our roads: Why it’s so difficult to travel in winter weather

Pedestrians attempt to cross the street next to a pile of snow blocking a one-way lane

Every year, winter storms highlight the failings of our car-first approach to infrastructure. And as climate change worsens, the need for change intensifies. Cities and states must do more to make sure people are able to access the goods and services they need regardless of weather conditions.

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TransportationCamp DC ’22 in the rearview

Last weekend, we hit “Leave Meeting” on another virtual TransportationCamp DC, the annual unconference that brings together advocates, planners, engineers, students, and everyone else passionate about transportation to share ideas and chart a path for the year ahead. To help you get a sense of what it was like, we’ve compiled reflections from staff and volunteers, plus some of our favorite tweets from the day.

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The bipartisan infrastructure deal’s passage: More money for more of the same

Yesterday the Senate passed the bipartisan infrastructure deal, which incorporates the Senate transportation reauthorization in all its good and all its flaws. We outline what’s in it and where to go from here.

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