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U.S. DOT: We’re Looking to Build Communities

3:55 PM EDT on March 19, 2009

Earlier today, New York's transportation establishment got a feel for the livable streets vibe that's been emanating from Washington this week. Vice Admiral Thomas Barrett, Deputy Secretary at U.S. DOT, was on hand to deliver the keynote at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council's annual meeting. Here's one passage that stood out:

The one-size-fits-all transportation project is going to have to give way to one that’s more tailored to preserving and enhancing the qualities -- the sustainability, the environmental qualities, the community values -- that make each city, each county across this country special. We're looking to sustain and build communities -- reinforce them in ways that work.

After the meeting wrapped up, I spoke to Tri-State Transportation Campaign director Kate Slevin to get her take on Barrett's remarks. "Building communities is very different than building roads," she said. "It's more about creating places that attract people."

Kind of gets you wondering whether there's a secret backchannel between Ray LaHood and the fine folks at Project for Public Spaces.

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