Introducing Tanya Snyder, Streetsblog’s New National Reporter

You may have noticed a new byline popping up on Streetsblog lately, and it’s time to finally make it official: We’re pleased to announce the arrival of Tanya Snyder as our new reporter tracking the national transportation policy beat.

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Before joining Streetsblog, Tanya covered Congress for Pacifica Radio’s Washington Bureau and for public radio stations around the country. She worked as a reporter and editor for WTOP, the Washington area’s most listened-to radio station, and pioneered some changes to their transportation coverage, weaving in bike and pedestrian issues on the same station bringing readers traffic updates “on the 8′s.” When Tanya first approached me about the national reporter position, she said that livable cities are no abstract issue for her — as a bike commuter who’s never owned a car, her own safety and mobility depend on complete streets.

With the Obama administration finally getting serious about a long-term re-authorization of the national transportation bill, Tanya and Streetsblog’s national team will be covering developments on Capitol Hill and also — this is critical — why reforming the current highway-centric system matters.

In addition to introducing Tanya, a warm welcome is way overdue for Angie Schmitt, who’s been bringing you daily updates from the Streetsblog Network, the national coalition of bloggers and advocates dedicated to sustainable transportation and livable streets that’s now more than 400 members strong. Angie is an urban planner and journalist who reported for the Toledo Blade for three years. She’s also a founder of Network member Rust Wire.

Our ongoing national coverage at Streetsblog Capitol Hill and the Streetsblog Network is possible thanks to a grant from the Surdna Foundation and support from Transportation for America.

In the next few months, we’ll be trying out some new things with Streetsblog’s national beat. We’re going to need your help, so here’s what we’re thinking.

The legislative stories unfolding inside the Beltway have a very real impact on the local fights for transit funding and safer streets that Streetsblog Network members write about every day. But sometimes it can be hard to connect the dots. To bring home what’s at stake in the transportation re-authorization, Streetsblog is going to plumb the ins and outs of local transportation reform stories. Transit funding in Seattle. Smart growth in northeast Ohio. Potential highway teardowns in New Orleans and St. Louis. All over the country, people are fighting for a greener, more equitable transportation system on their home turf. We’ll make state and federal policy more engaging by linking it to these local opportunities for reforming our transportation system.

Add that to the Beltway beat, and it’s a lot of ground for one reporter to cover. We’re plotting out the best way to do it, so stay tuned, but there’s no doubt we’ll be asking Streetsblog readers and Streetsblog Network members to pitch in. For now, if you have a transportation reform story you’d like to see tackled on Streetsblog, drop Tanya a line at tanya [at] streetsblog [dot] org.

You can also get in on the ground floor of Tanya’s Streetsblog Twitter feed: Follow her @StreetsblogDC.