Talking Headways Podcast: A Tombstone for NEPA

This week we return to Rail~Volution for a talk with Diana Mendes, who leads the transit and rail practice at HNTB. Diana tells us about meeting the author of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), what needs to change about environmental planning, the early use of GIS, and the environmental planning process for the Lower Manhattan Recovery after 9/11.

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Environmental Reviews: Helpful (and Hurtful) to Many Ideologies

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Writing at the Heritage Foundation’s blog, Nick Loris says that the White House’s pending decision on whether to consider climate change in federal environmental reviews amounts to "more green tape." San Francisco’s newest bike lanes: made $1 million pricier by environmental reviews. (Photo: Streetsblog SF) Citing Republican senators’ concerns that existing National Environmental Policy Act […]

Senate Requires Environmental Approval For Stimulus Projects

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NEPA oversight should prevent the Garden State Parkway from being widened using stimulus funds. The final draft of the Senate’s economic recovery bill will require all projects funded by the stimulus to have approval under the National Environmental Protection Act, or NEPA. Sponsored by Barbara Boxer, the NEPA amendment (full text after the jump) was […]

How Safety Rules and Enviro Regs Work to the Detriment of American Rail

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America’s convoluted regulation of passenger rail helps explain why the U.S. is so far behind other developed nations when it comes to rail travel. For instance, Federal Railroad Administration safety regulations perversely make us less safe by ignoring global best practices and instead forcing operators to use heavy, outdated equipment. Not only do we have safety rules that are no good for […]

Civil Rights Groups Rally Against Threat to Environmental Review

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A coalition of civil rights and environmental groups is crying foul over proposed changes to an important environmental protection as lawmakers attempt to hammer out a last minute deal on the transportation bill. The weakening of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, would disproportionately harm minority groups, according to a statement from The Leadership […]

Talking Headways Podcast: What Is the Structure of Your City?

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At last month’s Rail~Volution conference I caught up with Houston Metro board member Christof Spieler. Hear from Christof about the progress on Houston’s bus reimagining and his tips for public engagement and transit system planning. We also discuss route alignments for bus and rail lines and the importance of good data when making decisions about transit systems.