- Streetsblog USA - http://usa.streetsblog.org -

How the GROW AMERICA Act Could Modernize Federal Transportation Policy

Yesterday, U.S. DOT did something it hadn’t done for a decade: submit a surface transportation authorization bill to Congress [1].

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail is one of many game-changing, innovative projects that the TIGER grant program has helped create. Under U.S. DOT's bill, TIGER would become a permanently authorized program with $5 billion to spend over four years. Photo: ##http://www.urbanindy.com/2010/11/18/pedestrianizing-downtown-indianapolis/##UrbanIndy## [2]

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail is one of many game-changing, innovative projects that the TIGER grant program has helped create. Under U.S. DOT’s bill, TIGER would become a permanently authorized program with $5 billion to spend over four years. Photo: UrbanIndy [3]

And what a bill it is. The $302 billion, four-year GROW AMERICA Act has several major reforms that would shift federal policy in a more multi-modal direction. One big change that we’ve noted before is that transit would get a bigger slice of the pie [4], but there are several other new proposals worth a look.

Before our overview, a caveat: President Obama’s funding plan — although it may align with that of the head tax man in the Republican House [4] — has already been dismissed as a political non-starter. And Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer has indicated she’s not in the mood for major policy changes this go-round. So, take this bill for what it is: a blueprint of the administration’s vision and a menu of options that, in an ideal scenario, Congress would pick and choose from in crafting the bill.

Here’s some of the best of what the bill does:

The provisions above are exciting, but the bill leaves some things out, too:

What did we miss in our analysis? If there are major changes and notable provisions in the administration’s proposal that we missed, let us know in the comments.