T4America Blog

News, press releases and other updates

What happened to U.S. passenger rail?

An empty black-and-white train track disappears into the fog

Almost a century ago, the railroads were the economic engine of the country, spurring the transportation of both goods and people over long distances. Now, the American railroad system is merely a specter of its former self. How did the United States devolve from an expanded passenger rail network to the system we have today?

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Does your community have too much parking? Here’s how to find out.

21 May 2024 | Posted by | 0 Comments | ,
A parking lot hosts three cars and dozens of empty spaces

Many communities are either “overparked” (meaning they have too much parking) or are inefficiently allocating their existing parking resources. By understanding how communities’ parking assets are being used and regulated we can ensure that all modes’ access to jobs, services and amenities is supported.

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Rays of hope: National City, CA’s Community Connectors story

A group of people representing a range of ages, genders, and ethnicities, stands in a circle beneath a highway overpass, with the sun rising in the background

After many decades of being divided by highways, community members in National City, CA are building capacity to reconnect their community in a project that will also acknowledge their community’s heritage and future.

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Two years in, progress still needed for reconnecting communities

Black and white aerial image of a highway separating a neighborhood from a row of businesses

In March 2024, the Office of the Secretary at USDOT announced awards for the Reconnecting Communities Program. This program is intended to improve access to daily needs and repair past harms by removing or mitigating divisive infrastructure, particularly in disadvantaged communities. This year, funding was expanded from last year’s awards, but will these funds meet the program’s goals?

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“Short-term action, long-term change”: How quick builds are bringing innovation to safe streets implementation

Two children wheel materials down a closed street as multiple generations work together to install small barriers to protect road users.

Quick-build projects prioritize affordable, rapid, and temporary solutions to inaccessible and unsafe streetscape conditions. Through this approach to project implementation, communities are able to set an example that establishes the need and precedent for continued change in their urban environment.

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Congressional briefing emphasizes electrification and public transit to meet climate goals

The sun rises behind the U.S. Capitol, casting the dome in a golden glow

54 years since the first Earth Day, the US is still focusing on highway expansion. In light of increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, due in part to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Transportation for America and its partners engaged the Future of Transportation Caucus to brief Congress on transportation decarbonization. We explained that to truly decrease emissions we need to electrify transportation systems and replace car trips with other modes of transportation.

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There’s a climate cost to America’s freeways, and it’s not paid equally

A freeway laces through Seattle as smog descends on the city's skyline

The environmental impacts of the Interstate Highway System continue to harm communities of color through health hazards, pollution, and displacement.

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Powering up communities: New grant to accelerate electrification & smart growth

electric bikes line up at a docking station on a wide sidewalk in madison, wisconsin

Across the country, municipalities and transit agencies are beginning to embrace electrification in local transportation. They’re showing that the future of transportation does not have to be just electrified cars. And thanks to the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, there’s a new funding opportunity to help local communities go electric.

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New survey: Accessible Streetscapes for the Disability Community

10 Apr 2024 | Posted by | 0 Comments |
A young child in a wheelchair travels down a bike lane on a narrow, calm street

A new survey created in collaboration with Smart Growth America, the International Parking and Mobility Institute, and Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund aims to collect the experiences of people with disabilities navigating our streets. This information will contribute to best practice guidelines illustrated in our upcoming Accessible Streetscapes Design Guide.

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Progress for passenger rail in the South and beyond

A shiny passenger train chugs down the track in a southern town

Two recent developments at the federal level can help propel passenger rail expansion in the South and across the country.

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Webinar: Transportation electrification and smart growth in the U.S.

A parking space painted green with a symbol indicating the space is dedicated for EVs

On Tuesday, May 14 from 2 – 3 p.m., we’re partnering with the International Parking & Mobility Institute to offer a free webinar exploring smart growth strategies.

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Building back better: Reflections on the state of infrastructure repair in the U.S.

A long bridge over a river stops abruptly halfway across, with a quarter-long section lying crumped in the river below

Despite substantial federal funding available to address “crumbling roads and bridges,” our infrastructure’s state of repair is an ongoing issue, and climate change is only adding to the problem.

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FTA helps deliver more buses for less

The Federal Transit Administration is working hard to ensure that the next rounds of the Low or No Emissions Grant Program and Buses and Bus Facilities Program do the most for riders—and the climate. Here’s how.

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Rethinking the intersection to prioritize safety over speed

A cyclist crosses an intersection with the aid of a green bicycle crossing signal

The rising rate of pedestrian fatalities is a consequence of deadly design decisions that prioritize driver speed and convenience over the safety of all other road users. Today, we dig into one example: crosswalk signals.

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Celebrating 20 years of Complete Streets

A calm tree-lined street in Brooklyn, NY hosts one lane of car traffic, a bike lane, street parking, and a median to shorten the crosswalk distance for pedestrians.

The term “Complete Streets” was coined two decades ago, and while a lot of progress has been made, the fight for safe streets is far from over. To commemorate 20 years of the Complete Streets movement, we’ve rounded up some resources that can help you keep up the fight.

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It’s nearly impossible to understand how our tax dollars are spent on transportation

Highways overlap over a desert landscape in Arizona

T4America used artificial intelligence to find out how states are spending money from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Two findings are clear: More money alone will still fail to produce change, and it’s far too complicated to figure out where our transportation dollars are going.

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Demand a greener future for transportation. Tell your senator to support the GREEN Streets Act.

A hazy orange sunset descends over rows and rows of cars traveling down a highway

New legislation introduced by Senator Markey, the GREEN Streets Act, seeks to establish goals for emissions reduction and resilience in our transportation system, marking a pivotal step in alleviating the climate crisis on our roadways. Tell your senator to cosponsor this legislation.

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The IIJA is a climate time bomb. Will states defuse it?

28 Feb 2024 | Posted by | 0 Comments | , , ,
A highway dotted with cars cuts through the natural landscape, creating a scar that mirrors the environmental harm of ever-increasing highway expansions

Despite the transportation sector being the biggest emitter of U.S. greenhouse gasses, our AI-powered analysis of over 57,000 infrastructure law-funded state projects shows that over a quarter of the law’s formula dollars are funding highway expansion projects that will drastically increase emissions. Will states reverse course with the last two fiscal years of funding? 

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Restoring Buffalo’s “Emerald Necklace”

A park extends down the center of two narrow streets

Humboldt Parkway, once home to vibrant public space, was destroyed by the Kensington Highway, displacing over 600 families and leaving a concrete gash through Buffalo’s network of city parks. With federal support, the Kensington Expressway Project aims to reconnect the community.

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Tell your senator, now is the time for Complete Streets!

Close-up of Capitol building

Two new bills introduced to Congress by Senators Ed Markey and John Fetterman make Complete Streets a minimum design mandate, redefining our road design standards and ensuring funding for the implementation of Complete Streets projects. Let Congress know these bills can’t wait!

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