Three states selected for the 2022 Complete Streets Leadership Academies

The National Complete Streets Coalition is pleased to announce the selection of California, Connecticut, and Tennessee for Complete Streets Leadership Academies. In these Academies, three local jurisdictions in each state will learn about Complete Streets, explore new ways to coordinate with their state DOTs, and then plan and implement “quick-build” temporary demonstration projects on state-owned roads.

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Seeking state DOTs and local communities for Complete Streets Leadership Academies 

Applications are now open for up to three state Complete Streets Leadership Academies. These free technical assistance programs are designed to help state DOTs and local communities work together to put Complete Streets into practice…

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Get to know Minnesota Department of Transportation’s new artist-in-residence Sarah Petersen

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) announced that Sarah Petersen will serve as as the Sustainability and Public Health fellow, an artist-in-residence position at the agency, in a program created by Smart Growth America. Sarah will be taking a fresh look at MnDOT’s goals to promote economic vitality, improve safety, support multimodal transportation systems, and create healthier communities.

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Looking back on the second year of MnDOT’s artist-in-residence program

Last week Smart Growth America’s  Arts & Culture team hosted a conversation recapping the second year of the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (MnDOT) innovative artist-in-residence (AiR) program. Transportation Equity Fellow, Marcus Young 楊墨 and MnDOT Strategic Partnerships Director, Jessica Oh shared their experiences, lessons learned, stories of navigating the pandemic, and goals for future programs.

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How bad land use and transportation decisions go hand-in-hand with “The Congestion Con”

In an expensive, decades-long effort to curb congestion in urban regions, our transportation agencies and elected leaders have overwhelmingly prioritized spending hundreds of billions of dollars to widen and build new highways. Yet this strategy has utterly failed to “solve” the problem at hand, and in many cases, has actually made it worse. The Congestion Con, a new report from our Transportation for America program, examines how and why, and in this post we look at how land use is right in the middle of it all.

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Washington State Department of Transportation announces the selection of two artists to serve in the country’s first statewide artist-in-residence program


With the announcement that Kelly Gregory and Mary Welcome have been selected to serve as artists-in-residence with WSDOT for a year, Washington becomes the first state to embed an artist in a statewide agency.

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How to build a better state DOT, the digest


State departments of transportation (DOTs) direct most of the transportation spending in the United States but they’re often focused on building highways and are ill-equipped to address the far more diverse mix of challenges they’re tasked with solving today. In a month-long series we just wrapped up, we examined how we got here, what state DOTs need to change, and how one state is putting its intentions into practice.

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How Tennessee DOT is turning Complete Streets policy into practice


State DOTs have a major role to play in reversing the nation’s epidemic of pedestrian deaths. But that can be hard to do when most DOTs are still set up to build roads that prioritize high-speed car travel, even if that jeopardizes the safety of some of the people using those roads. Tennessee DOT is working to change that through a comprehensive approach to Complete Streets.

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If that road feels out of place, that’s probably because it is


State DOTs often use guidance and a project selection process that leads to overbuilt projects that don’t fit their context and are ill tailored to the needs of the community. To build better projects that fit in the areas they serve, state DOTs need to acknowledge land use and context and update their project selection process to focus on outcomes.

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“Incorrect assumptions lie at the root of every failure.”


State DOTs founded to build highways are now in charge of building and operating a much broader array of transportation infrastructure and services than ever before. But to build more cost-effective projects that meet modern mobility challenges and broader economic and environmental goals, state agencies will have to reassess the assumptions that so often drive them in the wrong directions.

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