Reconnecting America and the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) today released a report that examines how smaller communities and rural regions are using transit and other mobility investments to revitalize their economies and connect residents to local and regional opportunities.
Los Angeles' massive transit infrastructure investment promises benefits across the city and the region over the next decade and beyond, but it could also have unfortunate side effects if efforts aren't made to preserve affordable housing in transit-rich neighborhoods, according to a report commissioned by the City of Los Angeles Housing Department and written by Reconnecting America. The report was funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, through the Awards for State & Local Housing Preservation Leaders of the Foundation's Window of Opportunity Initiative (WOI).
Recordings of the interview with John Robert Smith are available on The Infra Blog at InfrastructureUSA.org
Guest on THE INFRA BLOG
Conversation with Steve Anderson, Managing Director, InfrastructureUSA
The Current Transportation Bill: Slow, but Some Progress
Well, certainly, this is not a seismic shift in how we see transportation. It is notthe visionary, interconnected series of transportation investments and choices that I want to see play out during the life of my grandson. But I do think we have to recognize the gains that have been made, and especially within the political context and the economic environment that we operate in. I do think there have been important wins in this bill, and even though it's short term, I think it sets the stage for a much more robust visionary discussion, debate, authorization, and appropriation for…
Reconnecting America and its partners in Mile High Connects recently released the Denver Regional Equity Atlas, which maps how current and future transit service can connect people to opportunities throughout the region.
I am pleased there is now bipartisan action on transportation reauthorization by the House that can be conferenced with the Senate. While this six-month extension does not provide the certainty of a multi-year reauthorization, it will keep our transportation network functioning at current funding levels and allow for a conference to begin with the Senate on a longer-term transportation bill.
I look forward to working with the conference committee to ensure that the final version of the bill includes language to keep our existing transit systems operating and provides support for local communities to invest in new transit services, bicycle and pedestrian projects, and transit-oriented development. These items combined will offer more options for Americans in how they travel to meet their daily needs, reducing costs for families struggling with today’s high gas prices.
I commend the action taken today by the Senate Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee to pass a bipartisan bill that will fund critical housing and transportation programs. The investments called for in this bill in our transit, rail, and road networks and in neighborhoods and communities across the country will strengthen America’s economic outlook and improve the daily lives of millions of families.
Of particular importance is the funding provided for the HUD Sustainable Communities grants. This funding will support integrated regional and local planning for housing, transportation, and other infrastructure in urban and rural areas around the country. In fiscal years 2010 and 2011, 152 communities and regions in 48 states received grants from this program, and are now hard at work developing strategies, implementing plans, and leveraging funds to create strong local economies. The need for these programs is significant; in those two fiscal years HUD received…
Calling it a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the region,” an unprecedented local partnership of private, philanthropic and nonprofit leaders was joined by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to outline how a smart expansion of Denver’s transit system can greatly increase access to opportunity and strengthen quality of life for all local residents, including low-income communities.
Reconnecting America has compiled a Federal Funding Matrix, which provides a listing of possible funding sources for creating sustainable communities. The Funding Matrix displays funding opportunities for states, cities, local governments and organizations, among others, for planning, implementation, site acquisition, business development, development financing, and other eligible uses.
Reconnecting America has introduced a video section on their MITOD Action Guide website. The new section will feature video interviews of experts in the housing, transportation and community development fields. The videos will be linked to the various strategies andtools listed throughout the MITOD Action Guide. The videos will offer additional insight on tools and strategies used to create affordable housing near transit from people who work with these issues daily.