Trump administration has effectively halted the pipeline of new transit projects


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.

Transportation

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

The House introduced its FY2018 THUD spending bill. Here’s what’s in it.

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.

Advocacy LOCUS

Join us for a crash course on federal TOD financing programs

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.

Economic development LOCUS

Welcome to USDOT, Secretary Chao

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.

Advocacy Complete Streets

Elaine Chao’s confirmation hearing is tomorrow. Tell the Senate to press her on pedestrian safety.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has the ability and responsibility to address this epidemic. And tomorrow, January 11, Congress is scheduled to hold the confirmation hearing for Elaine Chao, Trump’s nominee for the next transportation secretary. That makes this week a unique opportunity to shine a spotlight on pedestrian deaths.

Advocacy Complete Streets

Ask USDOT to #MakeMeCount this Bike to Work Day

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Don and his co-pilot asked USDOT to #MakeMeCount last week. Photo by @KostelecPlan.

This Friday, thousands of people across the country will put on their helmets and take to the streets for National Bike to Work Day, an annual event promoting active commuting options and safer streets.

Will you be joining the event? If so, make your ride even more impactful by telling USDOT to #MakeMeCount when it comes to measuring how well a street works.

Complete Streets

Feds get out of the way of communities that want to design safer, more complete streets

The Federal Highway Administration made two big moves this last week to clear the way for states, metro areas, and local communities to use federal dollars to design safer, more complete streets.

Both of these updates are great news for anyone advocating for streets that better meet the needs of everyone that uses them, as well as better serving the goals of the surrounding community. FHWA deserves a big round of applause for making these changes.

If you are working on a local transportation project and your DOT or some other agency cites vague federal rules when refusing to build a safe and complete street, show them the FHWA memo below. Their guidance makes it extremely clear: there’s wide latitude to design streets to best suit local needs, and old regulations that treat all roads like highways have been rolled back.

Complete Streets

Tell USDOT that #WeAllCount

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If someone takes the bus to work, and no one is around to count them, do they still matter?

We say yes, but the U.S. Department of Transportation seems to disagree.

Last week, USDOT issued a draft rule that will govern how states and metro areas will have to measure and address congestion, along with freight movement and emissions. These new requirements will help measure what America’s transportation dollars are actually buying us—which is great. 

However, the rule as it is currently written would measure success in outdated ways. Using old measures will lead to the continued use of outdated strategies, such as prioritizing fast driving speeds above all other modes of transportation and their associated benefits.

Complete Streets