Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent in the quest for free-flowing vehicular traffic. The result is wider highways, more sprawl, and more people stuck in congestion. But this week U.S. DOT took an important step to change course, releasing new standards to guide how transportation agencies measure their performance. Advocates for transit and walkability say the policy is a significant improvement.
On its page commemorating the 50th anniversary of President Eisenhower signing the Federal Aid Highway Act, the Federal Highway Administration offers a “Then and Now” chart showing how much America has changed since 1956. It’s a little corny, but in 1956 Chuck Berry was a chart-topper, hula hoops were the new craze, and Cold War tensions were very high. The […]
“Metropolitan Planning Organization” is the wonky name for an obscure but oh-so-important breed of public agency — the regional planning bodies charged with distributing federal transportation funds. MPOs can be powerful, transformative agencies that enhance economic growth, save people time, and improve public health. Or they can do the bare minimum required by law and […]
When it comes to transportation funding, cities and towns occupy the bottom of the totem pole. The vast majority of federal transportation money goes to states, to the exclusion of local governments. That means state DOTs get tens of billions to spend on highways each year, while mayors and local agencies have to scrounge for […]