Smart Growth America: Twenty Ways to Spend the Stimulus
Smart Growth America, an ally of CNU in the fight for creating a sustainable infrastructure, recently released a document outlining the twenty ways to address our nation’s transportation woes that will cultivate new jobs and promote economic recovery. “Spending the Stimulus” responds to the nearly $50 billion dollars allotted to transportation infrastructure in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, addressing the potential uses of the money that was left generally unrestricted in the act passed last month. The project types, as outlined in the report, are as follows:
Investment Type: Fix It First
1. Repair roads, bridges, transit facilities, buses, and passenger rail tracks and stations
2. Maintain federal and state highways to save money and prevent future problems.
Investment Type: Upgrade and Expand Public Transit
3. Support transit service to meet increased demand
4. Increase road-based transit in urban centers by investing in express busways, bus rapid-transit, and restoring streetcar service where tracks are in place
5. Build more trains and lay more track via Small Starts and New Starts Programs
6. Start building next generation of high speed rail
7. Increase commuter rail service in metropolitan areas
8. Retrain the DOT workforce
Investment Type: Support Active Options for Getting Around
9. Create streets that help everyone get around: support cars, buses, bikes and pedestrians, and expand safe routes to school
10. Increase pedestrian and bicycle routes
11. Build trail systems on disused rail and canal corridors and along utility corridors
Investment Type: Make Commuting and Freight Movement Easier, Safer and More Efficient
12. Provide more routing choices and diffuse road traffic through the system.
13. Implement congestion management programs
14. Improve traffic signal operations and fund programs to reduce single occupancy vehicle travel
15. Improve freight connections among trains, boats, and planes in commercial areas
16. Reduce road-related sewer and stormwater overflows
Investment Type: Strengthen Communities and Enhance the Quality of Life
17. Enable mixed-use, mixed-income communities near transit stations
18. Bring communities into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
19. Fund planning in metro areas that connects transportation to land use
20. Expand wildlife habitat by increasing wildlife crossings in areas with old highways
As explained in the report, a good amount of the money allocated to transportation in the Stimulus was routed through the Surface Transportation Program (STP), which is responsible for funding everything from transit to roads and sidewalks. As you can imagine, this will be particularly useful in pushing for intelligent and sustainable transportation modes as a tool for meeting today’s travel needs.
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