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.
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.
A proposed rule from USDOT rule would measure success in outdated ways and prioritize fast driving speeds over all other modes of transportation and their associated benefits.
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.
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.
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.
Crossposted from Transportation for America.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) took an encouraging and surprising step this week to make it dramatically easier for cities and communities of all sizes to design and build complete streets that are safer for everyone by easing federally-mandated design standards on many roads.
Currently, FHWA has a long list of design criteria that local communities and states must adhere to when building or reconstructing certain roads, unless they choose to go through an arduous process of requesting an exception to do things like line a downtown street with street trees, reduce the width of lanes to add a bike lane, or curve a street slightly to slow traffic and make it safer for people in cars and on foot.
In this new proposed rule, FHWA decided after a thorough review to scrap 11 of 13 current design criteria for certain roads because they decided these criteria have “minimal influence on the safety or operation on our urban streets” and has a stronger connection for rural roads, freeways and higher speed urban arterials.