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Decoding Transportation Policy & Practice
  The State of the Nation's Intercity Rail
How Federal Investment will Improve Travel Choice and Relieve Traffic Congestion

A report released by STPP argues that dedicated federal investment in the nation’s rail infrastructure is critical to America’s mobility and economic growth due to two critical trends: growth in freight shipments and declining air service. Funding intercity rail as part of TEA-21 renewal would benefit freight and passenger mobility, potentially taking 15 million trucks per year off our highways and saving drivers nearly $20 billion per year in time and fuel costs by 2020.

To view the .pdf, click here.
To view the press release, click here.

 

  Setting the Record Straight
Transit, Fixing Roads and Bridges Offer
Greatest Jobs Gains

A report released by the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP), Setting the Record Straight: Transit, Fixing Roads and Bridges Offer Greatest Jobs Gains, found that investments in road and bridge repair create 9 percent more jobs per dollar than building new roads or bridges. In addition, for public transportation, job creation jumps to 19 percent more than the figure for new road and bridge projects.

To view the .pdf, click here.
To view the press release, click here.


 

Protecting Our National Treasures
Safeguarding America’s Precious Natural, Cultural
and Historic Resources from Bulldozers

Laws that protect national treasures are under attack in the current Congress. The history of the laws, commonly known as 4(f), and the historic sites they have protected are outlined.

To view the .pdf, click here.



Reform of federal transportation financing has led to an improvement in the condition of the nation’s roadways, though the nation’s street and road networks could have improved even more had a stronger emphasis been placed on repair and rehabilitation.

To view the .pdf, click here.
To view the slideshow, click here.



Despite the gains that have been made in traffic safety programs in the U.S. over the last several decades through a crackdown on drunk driving, increased seatbelt usage, and the more widespread use of airbags, traffic crashes are still the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 4 and 33. The reauthorization of the nation’s surface transportation funding bill, TEA-21 offers a significant new opportunity to improve traffic safety and save lives.

To view the .pdf, click here.
To view the slideshow, click here.



Nationwide, over the ten years of the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program, only 81% of the apportioned funds to the states have been obligated to CMAQ, a program which overall receives less than 6 cents of every TEA-21 dollar available to the states. Setting aside California and New York (the biggest recipients), the remaining 48 states and the District of Columbia had an average obligation rate of only 77.7 percent. 

To view the .pdf, click here.
To view the slideshow, click here.



The bridge program provides federal assistance to repair or replace aging bridge infrastructure. Even though over 80,000 bridges are still dangerously unsafe, bridge repair remains a low priority in many states, and billions of dollars in bridge program funding has been diverted to other uses.

To view the .pdf, click here.
To view the slideshow, click here.


Recent reports from the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials suggest that problems with transportation project delays will not be solved by diluting widely-supported environmental laws. Instead, the studies indicate that project delivery can best be “streamlined” by addressing intrinsic flaws in the transportation planning process. The most effective strategy to speed project delivery is one of the fundamental principles of the very environmental regulations under attack – involving stakeholders early, often and sub­stantively.

To view the .pdf file, click here.
To view the slideshow, click here.



The fifth installment in STPP's “Decoding Transportation Policy & Practice” series explains the process that allows states to under- and overfund federal programs. The newest release explores the implications of the growing loophole on how states are spending federal transportation dollars.

To view the .pdf file, click here.
To view the slideshow, click here.



National Census figures released last week show that Americans are enduring longer commutes, and fewer of them are able to use transit, walking, or other means to avoid the drive.  The average trip to work is up more than three minutes since 1990 to 25.5 minutes, and a higher portion of commuters are driving alone to work. In this decoder, we analyze the new data and explore travel behavior not covered by the Census. 

To view the .pdf file, click here.


The American love affair with the car seems to be slowing down, as transit ridership outpaced the growth in driving for the sixth year in a row. This new addition to the “Decoding Transportation Policy & Practice” series explores the upward trend in transit use first reported by STPP last month.

This analysis of information from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) shows that increased automobile use has failed to keep pace with population growth, while transit trip-making reached its highest level in 40 years.

To view the .pdf file, click here.


Highway interests often back up their calls for more road-building by citing the statistic that roadway capacity in the U.S. has grown by just 2 percent in the last ten years. This new decoder explains why that figure greatly misrepresents the capacity of our nation's surface transportation infrastructure.

To view the .pdf file, click here.
To view the slideshow, click here.


Our first issue examines the complexities of Revenue Aligned Budget Authority, or RABA, and why this means that federal transportation funding is projected to decline $9.1 billion next year. 

To view the .pdf file, click here.

 


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