After more than a decade of working to build safer streets, strong Complete Streets legislation has finally been introduced in Congress. The Complete Streets Act of 2019 could catalyze the adoptions of thousands of local Complete Streets policies across the country, based on experience in Massachusetts.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 28, 2012
Conference report does not represent major improvement to existing law, lacks significant “fix-it-first” and bike-pedestrian safety measures
WASHINGTON DC — After weeks of negotiations to resolve differences between the House and Senate, the two bodies’ conferees have released a transportation reauthorization. That conference report, now moving toward a vote in Congress, represents a significant downgrade to existing services and fails to provide the kind of visionary, gamechanging transportation reform America deserves.
“The conference report is a disappointment,” says Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoffrey Anderson. “It compromises safety, it doesn’t do anything to ensure that roads and bridges are repaired and maintained, and it bypasses the kinds of innovative transportation solutions that we should expect out of a new transportation reauthorization.”
Crossposted from Transportation for America.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released a draft of the transportation bill late Friday. The EPW committee’s portion of the bill covers what’s known as the “highway” title. (The Banking Committee is responsible for writing the “transit” title and the Commerce Committee covers rail and safety. Those sections of the bill have not been released yet.)
We’ve prepared a short few pages on what MAP-21 means for the federal transportation program. This top-line analysis is a bit on the wonky side, but hopefully it’ll be helpful if you’ve been trying to summarize the 600 pages of bill text.
One of the most visible changes MAP-21 makes is to restructure seven core highway programs and 13+ formula programs into just five core highway programs. This graphic below illustrates those changes. Read on for the full summary, which you can also download here. (PDF)
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) yesterday introduced legislation to prioritize spending on highway repair and preservation for the benefit of America’s drivers, state budgets and the federal funds that support the country’s major roads. The “Preservation and Renewal of Federal-Aid Highways Act” will ensure adequate and consistent investments in the country’s existing transportation infrastructure, a strategy in line with Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense’s recent report Repair Priorities: Transportation spending strategies to save taxpayer dollars and improve roads.
Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America and co-chair of the Transportation for America campaign, issued the following statement:
“With this legislation Senator Cardin has proposed an approach to highway spending that is fiscally responsible for both states and the federal government, and Smart Growth America applauds him for taking action in the face of the significant financial threat posed by decades of neglected road repair.
“Roads in many states are falling in to disrepair and these declining conditions cost taxpayers billions of dollars in preventable expenses. Even worse, many states continue to expand their road networks at the cost of regular repair, and with each dollar spent on expansion states add to a road system they are already failing to maintain.
“Senator Cardin’s proposal incorporates many of Smart Growth America’s recent recommendations, including establishing national standards for state-of-good-repair, encouraging states to invest proportionately more of their transportation dollars in repair, rather than expansion, and taking proactive steps to addressing the country’s backlog of road repair needs. As the Senator said in his statement about the proposed bill, investing in repair makes good fiscal sense, good safety sense, and good business sense for our country and we look forward to supporting this bill as it moves through Congress.”
See current state condition standards along with spending priorities and road conditions at www.smartgrowthamerica.org/repair-priorities.