Author Archives: Transportation for America

USDOT faces widespread opposition to proposed congestion rule

Nearly 5,000 individuals and 150 organizations — including dozens of local chambers of commerce and elected officials — joined with Smart Growth America to oppose USDOT’s flawed proposal for measuring traffic congestion and urge them to rethink their approach.

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Capital Ideas: Raising Money for Transportation through Innovative State Legislation

With Congress finally wrapping up their five-year transportation bill in late 2015, the focus is fully on states when it comes to policy and funding for transportation. Our transportation initiative, Transportation for America, is bringing its second Capital Ideas conference to Sacramento, CA this November.

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Buses Mean Business: New Evidence Supporting Economic Benefits of Bus Rapid Transit in the U.S.

For those of you in the DC area next week (including those of you planning to attend the Transportation Research Board conference), join us on Tuesday for the national release of a new academic study on the economic benefits resulting …

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USDOT proposes to remove restrictive design guidelines that make safer streets more difficult to build

incomplete-street

Crossposted from Transportation for America.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) took an encouraging and surprising step this week to make it dramatically easier for cities and communities of all sizes to design and build complete streets that are safer for everyone by easing federally-mandated design standards on many roads.

Currently, FHWA has a long list of design criteria that local communities and states must adhere to when building or reconstructing certain roads, unless they choose to go through an arduous process of requesting an exception to do things like line a downtown street with street trees, reduce the width of lanes to add a bike lane, or curve a street slightly to slow traffic and make it safer for people in cars and on foot.

In this new proposed rule, FHWA decided after a thorough review to scrap 11 of 13 current design criteria for certain roads because they decided these criteria have “minimal influence on the safety or operation on our urban streets” and has a stronger connection for rural roads, freeways and higher speed urban arterials.

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New report from Transportation for America ranks deficient bridges by metro areas

Crossposted from Transportation for America, a campaign of Smart Growth America.

A new look at structurally deficient bridges in metropolitan areas finds that just a quarter of U.S. bridges, located in our largest metropolitan areas, carry 75 percent of all traffic crossing a deficient bridge each day.

On the heels of the sudden closure of a major commuting bridge in Louisville, KY, a new report shows that more than 18,000 of the nation’s busiest bridges, clustered in the nation’s metro areas, are rated as “structurally deficient,” according to this new report from Transportation for America.

In Los Angeles, for example, an average 396 drivers cross a deficient bridge every second, the study found. The Fix We’re In For: The State of Our Nation’s Busiest Bridges, ranks 102 metro areas in three population categories based on the percentage of deficient bridges.

The report found that Pittsburgh, PA had the highest percentage of deficient bridges (30.4 percent) for a metro area with a population of over 2 million (and overall). Oklahoma City, OK (19.8 percent) topped the chart for metro areas between 1-2 million, as did Tulsa, OK (27.5 percent) for metro areas between 500,000-1 million.

At the other end of the spectrum, the metro areas that had the smallest percentage of deficient bridges are: Orlando, FL (0.60 percent) for the largest metro areas; Las Vegas (0.20 percent) for mid-sized metro areas; and Fort Myers, FL (0.30 percent) for smaller metro areas.

“There are more deficient bridges in our metropolitan areas than there are McDonald’s restaurants in the entire country,” said James Corless, director of Transportation for America, 18,239 versus roughly 14,000 McDonald’s. “These metropolitan-area bridges are most costly and difficult to fix, but they also are the most urgent, because they carry such a large share of the nation’s people and goods.”

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