T4America Blog

News, press releases and other updates

Posts Tagged "equity"

Following through on the ADA: The All Stations Accessibility Program

23 Sep 2022 | Posted by | 0 Comments | , ,

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) released a notice of funding opportunity for the All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP) that allocates $343 million in fiscal year 2022 (FY22). This program offers competitive grants to localities for the upgrading of legacy stations so they meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

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Here’s what you need to know about the Inflation Reduction Act

A Black man crosses a street without a crosswalk carrying grocery bags

The Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act, a budget reconciliation package that includes some portions of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. This is the largest climate investment in U.S. history, and programs in it will help Americans save money and stay safe on our streets. Here’s what you need to know as the bill awaits a House vote (scheduled for 8/12).

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Reconnecting Communities: Initiating restorative transportation justice

Much of the work of smart transportation focuses on playing defense against divisive infrastructure projects that would make travel more difficult for drivers and nondrivers alike. Now, communities and advocates have a small but real opportunity to go on offense and remove or mitigate harmful stretches of transportation infrastructure.

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A decade of prioritizing speed over safety has led to 62 percent more deaths

Dangerous by Design 2022 from Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition

Smart Growth America’s new report Dangerous by Design 2022 uses more data than ever to understand how design impacts travel behavior. The findings confirm what we’ve always known: it’s impossible to prioritize both safety and keeping cars moving quickly. 

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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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Getting to equitable outcomes in the infrastructure law

A crowd of pedestrians in downtown Seattle

Despite the rhetoric, the infrastructure law falls well short of truly addressing the decades of harm our transportation system has inflicted on marginalized communities, and could even exacerbate existing inequities. However, it does provide some notable opportunities to restore and invest in these communities’ infrastructure needs.

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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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The infrastructure law and safety: Will it be able to move the needle?

The new infrastructure law authorizes around $650 billion to fund transportation infrastructure through formula and competitive grant programs, some of which have safety as a core emphasis. Here’s what you need to know about the new money and (modest) policy changes to the safety program, as well as how you can make them work for you.

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USDOT urges states to prioritize repair, safety, and climate with their influx of infrastructure bill cash

road sign that says "changed priorities ahead"

Although state DOTs have always been free to prioritize repair, safety, or improving access for everyone across the entire system, most have traditionally chosen to use that flexibility to build new highways instead. With state DOT coffers soon to be loaded with billions from the new infrastructure bill, USDOT is urging states via a new […]

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From policy to action: Six things USDOT should do yesterday to maximize the potential of the infrastructure deal

entrance to the USDOT headquarters

Because of the shortcomings in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)’s actual policy, an enormous amount of pressure now rests on USDOT and Secretary Buttigieg to deliver on the administration’s promises. But the good news is that there are scores of actions that USDOT can take to deliver positive outcomes for equity, climate, safety, state of repair, and enhancing community connections.

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Electric vehicles aren’t good for equity, but we should try

An electric Smart car charges at a curbside charging station in DC

Electric vehicles, while vital for reducing emissions and meeting our long-term emissions reduction goals, are not a good strategy for improving existing inequities in transportation. But there are specific things we can and should do to make this transition more equitable than it otherwise would be.

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Electric vehicles are good for emissions, bad for advancing equity

A Black man walks to a bus stop along a multi-lane highway

Climate funders, electric vehicle industry groups, and environmentalists are rightly confronting the question of how to address equity in the electric vehicle space. They may not like the answer.

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Strides towards Building Back Better the US transportation program

a full bus of commuters

The revised version of the Build Back Better Act preserves $40 billion in important additions that will advance racial equity, address climate change by lowering emissions, and foster community-oriented economic recovery. T4America is encouraged to see these inclusions, but they’ll be a drop in the bucket compared to the much larger infrastructure deal, which doubles down on our dangerous, disconnected, high speed vehicle-dominated status quo.

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A way to improve the infrastructure deal

We strongly urge you to support the transportation programs proposed for the budget reconciliation package, which will help fill the gaps left by the bipartisan infrastructure deal. 

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Three ways reconciliation can restore funds taken from transit and equity

Nancy Pelosi speaking into a microphone with Chuck Schumer on her right, AFGE behind her

With the bipartisan infrastructure deal approved by the Senate, opportunities to shift long-term transportation policy will shift to the House and to program implementation. The opportunity in the House is through targeted investments via the budget reconciliation bill that will accompany the House infrastructure bill vote.

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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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Nine ways the House’s transportation proposal starts to make a “paradigm shift”

With the House’s INVEST in America Act being considered in committee on Wednesday, it’s a good time to look at what else beyond our core three principles in the bill are worth praising and potentially even improving.

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Unsafe streets in marginalized communities lead to inequitable traffic enforcement

Equitable enforcement of traffic rules is a major national discussion. But under-discussed is the role dangerously-designed streets play in putting Black and brown people in a perilous position: break traffic law and risk interacting with police, or put themselves in harm’s way when navigating unsafe infrastructure. Here’s our recap on a recent House hearing on equitable enforcement of traffic rules.

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Everything we liked (and didn’t like) at Buttigieg’s Transportation Secretary confirmation hearing

Last Thursday, former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg faced the Senate for questioning on his nomination to be Secretary of Transportation. We liked almost all of his answers, and we weren’t alone: Senator Tester said Buttigieg’s testimony was “refreshing.” Here’s what T4America liked and didn’t like from Buttigieg’s confirmation hearing.

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