U.S. Senate Passes Transportation Bill

On March 14, the Senate passed MAP-21, its version of the federal surface transportation bill. The bill includes over half a dozen provisions that will give towns and cities across the country the opportunity to grow smarter.

If you called or wrote your Senator in support of this bill over the past few weeks, THANK YOU! Because of your action, the Senate’s bill is much improved over its original version and now includes several reforms we helped champion:

  • The bill invests in repair for aging transportation infrastructure. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials most recently gave the U.S. an embarassingly low “D” for its infrastructure. Constructed decades ago to help connect a growing economy, our infrastructure is now holding us back. Investing in repair is also a wise financial decision: as Smart Growth America’s report Repair Priorities explained, investing in road preservation and repair makes the most of existing resources and limits future liabilities.
  • The bill will help communities improve their Main Streets through funding opportunities for revitalization projects. Simple things like streetscape improvements can support local businesses and town centers across the country.
  • The bill will give communities the opportunity to create safe and low cost transportation options, like sidewalks and bike paths. This provision is particularly important as gas prices continue to climb.
  • The bill encourages states to develop complete streets polices, that make streets safer and more convenient for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike.
  • And the bill takes critical steps toward a performance-based system that will make our transportation system more efficient and effective, and help make sure our national investments are sound.

The House will take up the legislation in the coming weeks — stay tuned!