Reconnecting America's Policy Director Sarah Kline released the following update, which covers the president's upcoming budget, TOD and Livable Communities legislation, the Sustainable Communities Partnership and the New Starts changes.
There has been a significant amount of federal activity related to transportation and TOD in the last several weeks. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate are expected to vote on surface transportation reauthorization bills the week of February 13, and the President’s FY2013 budget request will be released that week as well. Major bills have been introduced in the Senate on TOD and Livable Communities. The Federal Transit Administration has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to change the way that New Starts projects are evaluated. All of this is occurring against the backdrop of the 2012 elections, which can heighten partisanship in an already contentious Congress.
Surface Transportation Reauthorization
The previous surface…
The Center For Transit-Oriented Development held a webinar on "Making Joint Development Work: Perspectives from the Federal, Transit Agency and Business Roles." The webinar was co-sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration and the American Public Transportation Association.
February 2, 2012
Dear Chairman Camp and Ranking Member Levin:
On behalf of the nation’s local elected officials and public transportation leaders, we are writing to express our strong opposition to H.R. 3864, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Financing Act of 2012, which includes a provision that would jeopardize the future of public transportation. Specifically, the proposal to redirect federal gas tax revenues away from public transportation would undermine years of investment in our nation’s transportation infrastructure and could prevent local governments and transportation providers from entering into multi-year construction contracts, jeopardizing jobs that are urgently needed.
America is home to 7,700 public transportation systems, which range from three-van systems serving isolated seniors in rural communities to large urban systems serving millions of passengers each day. Taken together, these systems provide 400,000 direct jobs for American workers. Public…
“This week the U.S. Congress has taken major steps toward building stronger communities through investment in public transportation and transit-oriented development,” said John Robert Smith, President and CEO of Reconnecting America. “We thank the leaders of the Senate Banking Committee and the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee for their tireless efforts to move legislation forward that will continue the federal government’s strong partnership with local transit providers.”
This webinar presented research from the Center for Transit-Oriented Development analyzing the potential of TOD to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Planning scenarios for four regions were examined to contrast the GHG reduction potential of compact urban development near transit stations vs. business as usual development. Also, Mike McKeever of Sacramento Area Council of Governments and Tina Hodges at the Federal Transit Administration shared their experience on GHG reduction through transportation and land use planning.
The past two years have been an exciting time as large and small communities, representing all corners of the country, have worked on developing collaborative planning processes that will address the unique conditions in their region and which will improve the quality of life for the diverse people that live, work and play there.
Reconnecting America commends the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) announcement of nearly $96 million in Sustainable Communities grants that will help 29 regions and 27 communities plan for better coordination of housing, land use, economic and workforce development, transportation, infrastructure and other elements that that create strong, healthy and economically competitive places.