T4America Blog

News, press releases and other updates

Posts Tagged "usdot"

Four ways states and the Biden administration can curb transportation pollution

Traffic Backup on I-95 North at the Intersection with the Downtown Expressway in Richmond

Last month, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) proposed a new rule that will require states to measure and set goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with highways. Here are four ways the administration and the states can lead the way in realizing its full potential.

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The infrastructure law wasn’t perfect, but now it’s reality

Pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders navigate a busy street

Focusing on whether the infrastructure law was “good” or “bad” will fail to shape how its historic cash is spent over the next five years. That’s precisely why T4America is pressing on to enable USDOT, states, metro areas, and local communities to maximize the potential of this flawed legislation.

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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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FHWA Complete Streets report lays out an actionable path for transforming street design to prevent unnecessary deaths and injuries

press release

After the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and USDOT issued a report to Congress this week about Complete Streets, Beth Osborne, Vice President of Transportation at Smart Growth America—the home of the National Complete Streets Coalition—issued this statement.

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Our advice to USDOT and Congress: Make no little plans

3 Mar 2022 | Posted by | 1 Comment | , , , ,
Senator Capito uses visual aids at the EPW hearing

A Senate committee called Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to testify about implementing the new infrastructure law, but much of the day was spent criticizing or defending FHWA’s nonbinding memo encouraging states to prioritize state of good repair, safety, and climate mitigation—displaying a deep confusion in some members of Congress about the limits of USDOT’s authority.

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USDOT road safety strategy finally acknowledges the importance of design on speeds and roadway deaths

press release

On the release of the new Roadway Safety Strategy by the U.S. Department of Transportation, T4America director Beth Osborne issued this statement

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USDOT controls $200+ billion in competitive grants for states and metros

Bag of money

While the bulk of the $643 billion for surface transportation in the infrastructure bill goes out to state DOTs, more than $200 billion stays with USDOT to be awarded via competitive grants to states, metro areas, and tribal governments—through dozens of newly created, updated, and existing competitive grant programs.

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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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Transit funds could crack under the pressure of the budget deadline

entrance to the USDOT headquarters

The upcoming continuing resolution to fund the government and avert a shutdown won’t include transportation spending, piling on the pressure to pass the infrastructure deal and budget reconciliation. Congress could end up gutting the reconciliation package to make a deal.

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Hey #TeamPete, here’s how you can advance sustainable and equitable transportation policy

22 Feb 2021 | Posted by | 2 Comments | ,

Former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s appointment as Secretary of Transportation has brought some much-needed attention to this important department— especially from Pete’s former presidential campaign supporters. Here’s a primer for anyone new to transportation policy on how it works, how it’s broken, and what you can do to help fix it.

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Meet the new leaders of the U.S. Department of Transportation

26 Jan 2021 | Posted by | 10 Comments | ,

A new presidential administration means a brand new set of political appointees. Luckily, the Biden administration’s picks for top jobs in the U.S. Department of Transportation give us reasons to be optimistic. Here are our thoughts on the appointees, and a reminder that we can’t rest easy: we need to seize this historic opportunity in our fight for transportation that actually connects Americans to the places they need.

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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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Transportation for America’s statement on Pete Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary nominee

15 Dec 2020 | Posted by | 5 Comments | , ,
press release

Former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg has just been picked as President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Transportation. Here is a statement from our director, Beth Osborne, on his selection.

“We are very excited to hear that Pete Buttigieg has been nominated to be Secretary of Transportation,” said Beth Osborne, director of Transportation for America. “As mayor of South Bend, he showed great commitment to the safety of all road users through Complete Streets and that Complete Streets were about economic development because they better serve local residents and businesses. For example, our sister organization, the National Complete Streets Coalition, worked directly with South Bend on a Complete Streets demonstration project focused on reducing speeding on a neighborhood street. As a candidate for president, he proposed a fix-it-first approach to highway funding, a national Vision Zero strategy, and measures to organize the federal transportation program around improving access to jobs and essential services for drivers and non-drivers alike. We look forward to working with him in his new post at USDOT.”

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Congrats USDOT, for a job poorly done

Congress required USDOT to spend its 2018 transit funds by the end of this year, and USDOT was poised to fail. But at the last minute, Congress bailed them out by easing the requirement. As the deadline approaches, USDOT is still sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars in grants that it refuses to award, unnecessarily delaying critical new transit projects.

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Trump’s USDOT BUILDs even more roads

26 Nov 2019 | Posted by | 1 Comment | , , ,

Federal grants for multimodal projects announced this month are decidedly not multimodal. As our research has shown previously, the Trump administration has dramatically undermined this grant program by funding traditional road projects that could otherwise already be funded by states, siphoning resources from other, harder to fund projects—the original intent of the program. But the U.S. House has adopted some policy changes to try and salvage some of what made the BUILD program so popular under the Obama administration.

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Connecting people to jobs and services week: The legislative path to make access the goal of transportation investments

Measuring access—not vehicle speed—is smart policy. But local governments, states, and metropolitan planning organizations need support from the federal government to make this happen. It’s high time for Congress to make robust travel data and analysis tools available to transportation agencies.

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USDOT touts major investment in infrastructure, but it all goes to highways

4 Sep 2019 | Posted by | 0 Comments | , ,

The INFRA grant program was intended to repair our crumbling infrastructure. So why is half of the money going toward expanding highways?  The Trump administration recently announced $855 million in infrastructure grants through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary competitive grant program. INFRA grants have been touted by this administration as a major way […]

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Voters love Phoenix light rail. Does USDOT?

On Tuesday, voters in Phoenix resoundingly voted to reaffirm their support for the city’s transit expansion plans. But while the city can now move beyond this threat to its transit ambitions, the region joins scores of others still waiting on the Trump administration for federal transit funding.

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House committee grills USDOT on transit funding delays

Bird's eye view of construction on a wide road in Los Angeles.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held an oversight hearing to question the Federal Transit Administration about its ongoing failure to release billions of congressionally-appropriated funds for local transit projects in a timely fashion through the transit Capital Investment Grant program.

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