Here’s a short list of key actions we are tracking that the Biden administration can take right now to move the needle on climate change, eliminating racial and economic disparities, and providing more homes, jobs and opportunity for all Americans.
Ames, Iowa made national headlines this fall for painting rainbow crosswalks and then ignoring a request from USDOT to remove them. The incident highlights one way outdated federal guidelines prevent communities from making their streets safer and more pleasant with art and culture. But there are other ways for communities to add some color to streets while improving safety without running afoul of the feds.
As 2018 comes to a close, we’re taking a look back at some of the most popular content from Smart Growth America and our various programs over the past year. If you’ve appreciated some of this work or our writing about it, make a tax-deductible end of year gift to help support our work in 2019!
Since Transportation for America launched their Stuck in the Station resource, local leaders, journalists, editorial boards, and members of Congress have been loudly critical of USDOT’s failure to fund and advance transit projects. Here’s some of the most recent updates.
Of the $2.3 billion that Congress has given USDOT for transit capital investments since Trump took office, USDOT has distributed a meager 20 percent to transit projects waiting for funding. These avoidable delays are costing local communities money and putting jobs at risk.
Last March, Congress provided the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) with about $1.4 billion to help build and expand transit systems across the country. 142 days later and counting, FTA has obligated almost none of these funds to new transit projects. Our resource—Stuck in the Station—will continue tracking exactly how long FTA has been declining to do their job, how much money has been committed, and which communities are paying a hefty price in avoidable delays.
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.
On July 10, the House Appropriations Committee introduced its version of the fiscal year 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development spending bill. The bill includes funding for the Department of Transportation (USDOT), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and other related agencies. In total, the bill reflects an allocation of $56.5 billion in discretionary spending — $1.1 billion below fiscal year 2017 levels and $8.6 billion above the President’s request.
Many transit-oriented development projects are made possible with the help of financing from federal government programs. The details of those programs, however, are tougher to understand. What programs might your development project be eligible for? What time of year do applications open, and when are awards announced? And what do some of the most popular programs look for in applications?
Join us on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 1:00 PM EDT for a free webinar that will answer all these questions and more. “A crash course on federal TOD financing programs” will provide an overview of programs available through USDOT, HUD, and EPA to help municipal leaders, real estate developers, and transit agency staff create more development near transit stations.
Yesterday, the Senate voted to confirm Elaine Chao as the next Secretary of Transportation.
To Secretary Chao we say congratulations. America’s transportation system is a key part of our economy and our communities, and in your new position you have a unique and valuable opportunity to improve this country.
Chao already has experience running a federal agency, and has made clear that safety will be a priority for her time as transportation secretary. We think that’s fantastic—especially if she means making streets safer for people walking and biking.