What the new, short-term federal budget means for smart growth

Today, President Trump signed into law a $1.1 trillion budget to continue funding the government for the rest of Fiscal Year 2017, which runs through the end of September.

This legislation overall maintains funding for key federal programs critical to rebuilding neighborhoods and providing attainable housing and affordable transportation options. Here’s what the bill contains for smart growth-related programs

Advocacy

New CDC recommendations combine transportation and land use strategies to promote physical activity

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released new recommendations to promote physical activity by implementing a combination of transportation and land use interventions. The recommendations stem from the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF), an independent panel of 15 public health and medical experts appointed by the CDC Director with the objective of identifying evidence-based interventions to improve health and quality of life. The panel includes distinguished doctors, professors, and researchers with expertise in health promotion and disease prevention. They conducted a comprehensive review of 90 studies examining the relationship between the built environment and physical activity to determine how best to promote exercise. Their new recommendations are an important step forward to understanding the linkages between health-related behavior and how we build our towns and cities.

Complete Streets

A recap of the 2017 LOCUS Leadership Summit

The 2017 LOCUS National Leadership Summit took place at the historic National Press Club in Washington, DC, bringing together responsible real estate developers, investors, transportation professionals, and local leaders from across the country to talk about obstacles and opportunities in building walkable neighborhoods served by transit.

Local Leaders Council LOCUS

Announcing the winners of the 2017 LOCUS Leadership Awards

For the past five years, LOCUS has presented our annual LOCUS Leadership Awards to developers and investors who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to public leadership, smart growth development, and who have furthered our mission of advocating for sustainable, walkable urban development. We received an unprecedented number of nominations this year and are pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 LOCUS Leadership Awards.

LOCUS

“Integrating Complete Streets, Vision Zero, and Transportation Equity” webinar recap

Last week we hosted the third installment in our monthly webinar series, Implementation & Equity 201: The Path Forward to Complete Streets. The webinar focused on “Integrating Complete Streets, Vision Zero, and Transportation Equity” and featured speakers from Memphis, Tennessee. Watch the full video recording of the webinar above, or download the PDF of the presentation.

A discussion recap

Emiko Atherton, Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, kicked off the webinar by highlighting the opportunity for Complete Streets and Vision Zero to work together in pursuit of transportation equity. She presented findings from Dangerous by Design 2016, including that 46,149 people were struck and killed by cars while walking between 2005 and 2014, and that people of color and people age 65 or older are overrepresented among those deaths. Byron Rushing, President of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals and Bicycle & Pedestrian Planner at the Atlanta Regional Commission, emphasized the importance of planning for both safety and equity simultaneously by combining Complete Streets strategies with a Vision Zero approach.

Complete Streets

A Tennessee trio wins our first Complete Streets Consortium award



A green lane for bicyclists in Knoxville, TN. Photo via the Knoxville Mercury.

Building a connected network of streets that is safe for everyone, no matter how they travel, takes region-wide collaboration. Our newest technical assistance award is designed to help three agencies in Tennessee do just that.

Smart Growth America and our program the National Complete Streets Coalition are proud to announce that a partnership of agencies in Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville, TN is the winner of our first-ever Complete Streets Consortium technical assistance.

Complete Streets Technical assistance

How is the FAST Act being implemented? Complete Streets are among its successes.

At the end of 2015, Congress passed a five-year $305 billion federal transportation bill — The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. It was the first transportation bill to ever include Complete Streets language, and the first law enacted in more than 10 years to provide long-term funding certainty for surface transportation.

The Complete Streets provisions in the FAST Act represent a great step forward in the effort to make streets across the country safer for everyone who uses them. Notably, the bill requires National Highway System roadway designs to take into account access for all modes of transportation. It also makes NACTO’s Urban Design Guide one of the standards for when the U.S. Department of Transportation designs roads, and it permits local governments to use their own adopted design guide if they are the lead project sponsor, even if it differs from state guidelines.

Complete Streets