Trump administration undercuts multimodal funding

Under President Trump, the USDOT has effectively turned the formerly innovative BUILD program—created to advance complex, hard-to-fund, multimodal projects—into little more than a rural roads program, dramatically undercutting both its intent and utility. A new analysis illuminates how the program has changed and what Congress can do about it.

Transportation

Local officials took the First & Main message to their representatives during Rebuild America’s Communities Week


During a special week in September we called Rebuild America’s Communities Week, elected local leaders in the First & Main coalition from small and mid-sized towns and cities across the country carried a clear and unified message to their representatives who were at home for recess: “We need reliable federal partners to support our homegrown efforts to rebuild our downtowns, restore our economies, and improve opportunity for everyone.”

Advocacy Local Leaders Council

TIGER grants focus on rural areas, recognize the value of complete streets, and ignore transit


Just a month after the Trump administration proposed a budget that would eliminate the competitive TIGER grant program entirely next year, the US Department of Transportation announced the winners of this year’s awards. This year’s winners show a clear shift in priorities—this round is decidedly rural or small town in nature and nearly devoid of transit projects. However, the winners also show that this administration recognizes how smaller-scale complete streets projects bring tremendous value to local communities.

Complete Streets Transportation

2014 TIGER grants will help create Complete Streets and great neighborhoods

dahlonega-gaDahlonega, GA will use its TIGER grant to make streets safer and more accessible. Photo via the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau.

Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the winners of the 2014 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants.

With an emphasis on getting the highest bang-for-the-buck and solid partnerships, it’s not surprising that many of the winning street projects and plans are those that take a Complete Streets approach. Here are some of our favorites.

Complete Streets

DOT's fifth round of TIGER grants support 52 economic development projects in 37 states

Kansas City Streetcar
Kansas City’s streetcar is one of the 52 projects to receive a 2013 TIGER grant. Image via PlanningKC.

Yesterday, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the fifth round of DOT’s Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants. The 2013 grants award a total of $474 million to 52 projects in 37 states, with 25 projects specifically for rural communities. A total of 568 applications were submitted for the grants, for projects in all 50 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa.

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HUD announces 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants awards

A detail from St. Charles Parish, Lousiana’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan. St. Charles Parish is one of the communities selected to receive one of HUD’s 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants, announced today. Photo from the St. Charles Parish of Planning and Zoning.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today its 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants, which aim to improve the economic competitiveness of communities by linking housing with good jobs, quality schools, and transportation. The grants are part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which helps urban, suburban and rural communities create jobs and improve housing, transportation, and the economy.

The grants announced today will invest $96 million in 27 communities for Community Challenge grants and 29 areas for Regional Planning grants. Community Challenge Grants help reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. Regional Planning Grants encourage grantees to support regional planning efforts that integrate housing, land-use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure developments to empowers regions to consider how all of these factors work together to create more jobs and economic opportunities.

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HUD launches development of a national Housing and Transportation Affordability Index

Crossposted from our coalition partner Center for Neighborhood Technology.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) just announced that it has awarded a two-year contract to Manhattan Strategies Group (MSG) and subcontractor Center for Neighborhood Technology to create a national housing and transportation affordability index.

“Affordability is much more than just paying the mortgage, it involves other costs like transportation, gas, and utilities,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan in a press release. “The availability of a national affordability index will provide consumers better information about the true costs of a home by accounting for that housing’s proximity to jobs, schools and other services. Our goal with the creation of this housing and transportation index is to provide American families with a tool that can help them save money and have a better understanding of their expenses and household budget.”

As a subcontractor, CNT will use its years of experience in creating the Housing + Transportation (H+T®) Affordability Index (and Abogo®) to assist MSG and HUD in exploring how the agency can incorporate this sort of metric into its work.

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Smart growth news – July 1, 2011

Mapping Home-Value Drops by Zip Code
Wall Street Journal Developments blog, June 28, 2011
Zillow’s maps show that poorer center-city neighborhoods and far-flung suburbs tended to fare worse even as trendy urban neighborhoods or established suburbs managed to either weather the storm with limited damage or see losses half that of other zip codes with 50% or 60% declines.

Transportation: Collapse of a Big Tent?
Roll Call, June 16, 2011
They could have battled among themselves for slices of the federal transportation budget. Instead, they have always pressed for a bigger pie — and bigger slices for everyone. The big-tent approach has largely worked. The past three highway bills (1991, 1998 and 2005) were enacted with broad support from all corners of the transportation lobby, with overwhelming bipartisan backing and with more money for everyone.

U.S. opens new round of transportation grants
Reuters, June 30, 2011
States, cities and local governments can now compete for $527 million in transportation grants, the federal government said on Thursday. The budget passed in April provided money for another round of the popular TIGER program created in the 2009 economic stimulus plan to grant money for road, bridge, rail and public transportation projects as well as streetcars and bicycle and pedestrian paths.

Residents and officials seek reforms to fund local public transportation
WAMC (N.Y.), June 30, 2011
“These efficiencies will impact existing routes by adjusting their runs to reflect the times of higher utilization by the public. We are looking to minimize impact on individuals by adjusting routes with route deviation where possible. Our goal is to streamline our times or our services, not so much to change service.”

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