Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) released final data for 2021 revealing that drivers of motor vehicles struck and killed 7,341 people while walking that year. This massive 12.4 percent increase over 2020 is both higher than predicted and illustrative of the urgent need for a better approach to gathering and collecting this data. We can’t say we care about a crisis that we are failing to measure well.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently issued a report to Congress outlining the agency’s commitment to using Complete Streets as its default approach to funding and designing roadways, as well as the agency’s ongoing challenges and opportunities in advancing safety and reducing traffic injuries and fatalities. This is an important step forward, especially when combined with a newly established Complete Streets hub and additional roadway design guidance.
After the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and USDOT issued a report to Congress this week about Complete Streets, Beth Osborne, Vice President of Transportation at Smart Growth America—the home of the National Complete Streets Coalition— issued a statement.
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 The incident highlights one way outdated federal guidelines prevent communities from making their streets safer and more pleasant with art and culture.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.