Strengthening Vermont’s Economy by Integrating Transportation and Smart Growth Policy

The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) and Smart Growth America partnered to demonstrate that policies and programs at VTrans that connect smart growth and transportation will strengthen the state’s economy and support the Agency’s vision for a safe, efficient, and multimodal transportation system. A Project Stakeholder Group, consisting of a broad spectrum of representatives from … Continued

New program will help Vermont communities coordinate land use decisions and transportation investments

A street sign in Vergennes, VT, one of the first participants in VTrans and ACCD’s Strong Communities, Better Connections program. Photo by The Selby.

In a new collaboration to support vibrant community centers and increase in town and regional transportation options, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development are pleased to announce the Strong Communities, Better Connections Pilot Grant Program has funded three projects that help align land use planning and community revitalization efforts with transportation investments.

Dangerous by Design 2014: Vermont

The National Complete Streets Coalition reports on the national epidemic of pedestrian fatalities, offering county-, metro-, and state-level data on traffic fatalities and an interactive map of each loss in the decade 2003 through 2012. This resource specific profiles the state of Vermont.

Hear the recap: Repair Priorities 2014 online discussion

Yesterday we unveiled Repair Priorities 2014: Transportation spending strategies to save taxpayer dollars and improve roads. The release featured an online discussion with leaders from Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense, as well as state transportation department representatives from Vermont, Michigan and Tennessee. Panelists shared insights and strategies for how states are managing their road repair needs in a time of constrained budgets by using tools like asset management practices; focusing repair investments on the most heavily used roads; setting aggressive targets for pavement conditions; and using cost-benefit analysis to prioritize road investments.

If you were not able to join us for yesterday’s event, an archived recording is now available.

Watch the archived webinar
Download the presentation (PDF)

Joining yesterday’s event were Roger Millar, Vice President, Smart Growth America; Steve Ellis, Vice President, Taxpayers for Common Sense; Rich Tetreault, Director of Program Development, Vermont Agency on Transportation, Polly Kent, Administer, Intermodal Policy Division, Michigan Department of Transportation; and Steve Allen, Strategic Transportation Investments Director, Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Thank you to everyone who participated. The event provided valuable insights for how states can improve road conditions for drivers and the financial outlook of America’s DOTs at the same time.

Top 10 of 2013: Helping state DOTs innovate and excel


This month we’re looking back at some of Smart Growth America’s brightest moments and greatest accomplishments from 2013. Today’s highlight: Our work helping state departments of transportation innovate and excel.

States across the country are facing the same challenges. Revenues are falling and budgets are shrinking. Yet state transportation officials have ambitious goals: improve safety, enhance economic opportunity, improve reliability, preserve system assets, accelerate project delivery, and help to create healthier, more livable neighborhoods, just to name a few.

Spotlight on Sustainability: Burlington, VT gets creative with its comprehensive plan

Downtown Burlington, VT.

Burlington, VT’s new comprehensive plan, PlanBTV, looks more like a magazine than a technical planning document. Based on extensive community input, the plan establishes a clear and comprehensive vision for how Burlington’s downtown and core neighborhoods should continue to evolve.

Burlington is located at the heart of the largest urbanized area in Vermont, and is the region’s principal economic and cultural engine. It is home to the University of Vermont and major employers including Burton Snowboards and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. When City leaders began considering how and where the city should grow in coming years, they knew they would need a plan to make sure that growth benefitted the community as much as possible.

Small places with big goals win national awards for smart growth achievement

Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America (left) with representatives from seven communities honored with the 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement.

On Wednesday evening in a hearing room on Capitol Hill, the winners of this year’s National Award for Smart Growth Achievement gathered to discuss how their projects are helping their communities become better places to live and work.

The awards this year went to projects that have improved streets, redeveloped historic buildings, built new homes and stores in the heart of downtown, created better transportation choices and more. And though the projects are all very different from one another, none would have been possible without community support and collaboration.

“That’s the word of the day, partnerships,” said Kenneth Chandler, former City Manager of the City of Portsmouth, VA. Portsmouth’s comprehensive overhaul of the city’s development and land use regulations won it the Programs and Policies award. Portsmouth’s new codes are already creating a more livable and pedestrian-friendly city with opportunities for economic development and reinvestment.

The seven most innovative development projects – and policies – in the country

The BLVD in Lancaster, California is one of seven communities being honored this year by the EPA. Photo by Charlie Essers via Flickr.

What do a boulevard in California, a Denver neighborhood, new zoning ordinances in Virginia and an organic food co-op in Vermont all have in common?

They are all being honored with the 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Office of Sustainable Communities. The seven winning communities – including four winners and three honorable mentions – were announced this morning.