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Pedestrian safety advocates across the nation are celebrating, as a plan to create safer streets moves forward in Congress.
Dubbed Moving Forward Framework, the House Majority released its new transportation policy prioritizing saving people’s lives on our roadways, fixing crumbling infrastructure, cutting emissions in the transportation sector and connecting people to jobs and daily necessities. The plan boosts investment in cycling, walking and public transportation.
“This a big step forward in getting the Complete Streets Act incorporated in the next reauthorization,” commented Emiko Atherton, vice-president, Smart Growth America and director, National Complete Streets Coalition.
Smart Growth America and Transportation for America released a joint statement (see below) regarding the framework released by the House majority of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.
The House plan calls for investing $760 billion over five years in the nation’s roads, bridges, transit systems, railways, airports, ports, inland waterways, wastewater and drinking water systems, brownfields, and broadband. If the plan succeeds, it could help Central Floridians see years of infrastructure visions turned into a reality, including funding for Complete Streets and transit.
Following are the T4America’s Guiding Principals for Transportation Investment and the statement released by Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition and Transportation for America.
29 Jan 2020 |
The new transportation policy framework released today by the House majority and Chairman Peter DeFazio could finally represent a long-awaited step toward aligning the billions we spend on transportation with the outcomes people care about: fixing crumbling infrastructure, prioritizing saving people’s lives on our roadways, and connecting people to jobs and daily necessities. For the last 40 years, lawmakers have largely focused on pouring more money into a broken federal program that fails to hold states accountable for maintaining our infrastructure, produces more congestion, makes safety secondary, and fails to affordably and efficiently connect us to the things we need. It’s high time to stop spending billions on a broken system, and these principles would be a transformative guide as Congress crafts a transportation law to serve the country’s greatest needs.
These structural changes to core formula programs are the highest priority, particularly:
We are also happy to see a focus on retrofitting vulnerable infrastructure to prepare for inevitable natural disasters, funding public transportation and getting transit projects done more quickly, and putting real funding into the country’s passenger rail network. These changes, along with proposals to address safety and access for all users, would have a very positive impact on providing economic opportunity to more people and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.
As the proposal moves from an outline to full legislative draft, we will watch with interest to see how the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee chooses to craft the program to fund projects of regional and national significance to support community investments. We are also interested to learn whether the committee believes a 80/20 split between highways and transit is still warranted considering that nearly a third of the program is paid for with general funds instead of user fees.
As long-time advocates for structural reform to the transportation program, we’re cautiously optimistic that the House majority can translate this framework into policies that are tied to clear outcomes and will leave the status quo behind.