Monday, April 27, 2009

Federal transportation funding explained

As Congress works on the reauthorization of the federal transportation funding bill this summer, Streetsblog will feature a series of articles about the process. The first article, What's Wrong With SAFETEA-LU—and Why the Next Bill Must Be Better, is a good description of the current process under SAFETEA-LU.
What’s more, SAFETEA-LU made it easy for states to build roads and hard for them to build transit projects. While funds for new roads were simply distributed to states based on a formula, new transit lines had to undergo the rigorous New Starts process — competing with other projects from all over the country — before winning a share of federal dollars. There was no such required audit for road projects.

A diverse coalition of groups that see the benefits of transit use and improved bike and pedestrian infrastructure — including public health advocates, developers, senior citizens, real estate agents and chambers of commerce — is demanding a place at the table along with the traditionally more influential highway lobby. Over the next few months, that coalition will be fighting for a federal transportation program that provides a stable source of revenue for a balanced selection of mobility options.


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