New report highlights laws, policies and program ideas for state transportation officials

The National Conference of State Legislatures has released a new report, On the Move: State Strategies for 21st Century Transportation Solutions. The report is intended to serve as a guide for state legislators, and is filled with policies that promote fiscal and environmental sustainability; facilitate affordable, safe and accessible transportation choices; and achieve shared benefits such as improved public health and economic development.

The new report is broken into four sections, each taking a look at a different aspect of effective policy:

  • Taking the Long View examines policies that exemplify a forward-thinking, sustainable approach to providing surface transportation infrastructure and services over the long term. This includes provision of sustainable transportation funding and consideration of life-cycle costs in transportation decision-making.
  • Using What You Have explores effective and cost-efficient approaches that help make the most of existing infrastructure, such as fix-it-first and asset management, operations and management, and commute trip reduction.
  • Giving People Choices highlights a variety of viable, accessible and affordable transportation options that fit citizens’ needs and also synchronize with larger policy goals. Policies reviewed in this section include bicycle and pedestrian safety and travel initiatives, complete streets policies, carsharing and bikesharing, transit-oriented development and human service transportation coordination.
  • Achieving Multiple Benefits looks at how transportation decisions can successfully achieve diverse public benefits. The section includes a discussion of the use of comprehensive performance management and examples of how transportation activities have been linked with environmental and public health planning and goals.

The new report highlights many of the same policies outlined in Smart Growth America’s 2012 handbook The Innovative DOT: A handbook of policy and practice. The Innovative DOT outlines 31 recommendations transportation officials can use as they position their agencies for success in the new economy, and documents many of the innovative approaches state leaders are using to make systems more efficient, government more effective and constituents better satisfied.

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