Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Sustainable transportation being screwed on the federal transportation bill

I suppose it makes sense that if you are completely unwilling to raise the federal gasoline excise tax, which hasn't been raised in about 20 years (since 1993, and inflation adjusted the rate should be 27 cents/gallon, and it is still 18.4 cents/gallon), that the dollar requirements for the maintenance and upgrading of the current mobility system are greater than the amount raised by the gas tax currently, and if you are mostly an industry focused on road building (the Department of Transportation was created in 1967 and previously road building occurred through the "Bureau of Public Roads"), then it makes sense to eliminate requirements for biking and walking infrastructure (Streetsblog) and transit (article from Bloomberg Businessweek) from the Federal "Transportation" Legislation.

Just call it the Federal Highways Act.

1) Will the bill get funded by oil-drilling revenue?

2) How much oversight will new highway projects get? (will there be elimination of certain environmental review requirements, which can add years to the development process)

3) Will the bill help or hurt public transportation?

4) Will bigger trucks be allowed to roam the highways?

5) Are pedestrians and cyclists getting screwed?

Bonus! 6) Is the bill big enough?


P.S. Yes it does make a difference on who gets elected and who controls Congress, and yes President Obama screwed up big time by not renewing this bill after the 2008 election and before the 2010 election. (Then again, warding off a Depression took up quite a bit of his time back then...)
Poster highlighting the creation of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and celebratory events on the National Mall, 4/1/1967

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