Advocates for a different approach to transportation planning haven’t been delirious about the reluctance of the feds and DOTs to depart from business as usual when it comes to investing stimulus money. But there’s another chance.
Transportation for America, a coalition of SmartGrowth-oriented organizations, is proposing a forward-looking agenda for the upcoming debate on reauthorizing the Transportation Act. T4 America’s “Blueprint” calls for Congress to:
- Articulate a National Vision, Objectives, and Performance Targets for the national transportation program and hold state and local transportation agencies accountable for demonstrable progress toward goals including safety, efficiency, environment, health and equity.
- Restructure and consolidate federal programs for greater modal integration, with a focus on completing the second half of the national transportation system, providing more transportation options for all Americans and creating seamless transportation systems that meet the unique needs and connect metropolitan regions, small towns, and rural areas.
- Empower states, regions, and cities with direct transportation funding and greater flexibility to select projects, using carrots and sticks to incentivize wise transportation investments and in return require demonstrated performance on meeting national objectives.
- Reform how we pay for the transportation system and create a Unified Transportation Trust Fund that would achieve balanced allocations of federal funds in a portfolio of rail, freight, highway, public transportation, and non-motorized transportation investments.
– Ben Brown