Transportation Bill Clears House Committee

A five-year transportation bill has advanced in the House, but it has a long way to go before Americans should expect to see a final federal transportation policy emerge from Congress.

June 24, 2020, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


The Seat of Government

Dave Hosford / Flickr

"Democrats on a House committee voted late Thursday to send a far-reaching transportation bill to the full House, a key milestone in a process that faces an uncertain future," reports Michael Laris.

The five-year, nearly $500 billion funding bill, called the Invest in America Act, moves from the House Transportation Committee after two days of debate, according to Laris. 

Transportation Committee Chairman Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.) is touting the bill as progress toward a more environmentally-friendly approach to transportation planning and investment in the United States. According to Laris's explanation, the bill "puts more importance on maintaining failing roads and bridges than on building new highway capacity, and has as a central goal of reducing transportation-related pollution, the nation’s top source of greenhouse gases causing climate change."

Republicans on the committee oppose the new direction reflected in the bill, calling it the "My Way or the Highway Bill." 

Advocates like Yonah Freemark, on the other hand, have criticized the bill for spending far more on highways than on public transit, making it a climate bill in soundbites only. The New Urban Mobility alliance (NUMO), a coalition joining Lime, Lyft, the North American Bikeshare Association, Spin, Transit app, TransitScreen, Transportation for America, Uber and Via, sent to a letter to Congress before the bill passed committee asking for the five-year bill to do more in ensuring safe, equitable access to public transit and micomobility.

As noted by Laris, the House version of the bill is likely to undergo some significant changes to reconcile with any bill likely to pass in the Senate.

Saturday, June 20, 2020 in The Washington Post

Indian Trail, North Carolina

Four ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ Zoning Reforms

An excerpt from the latest book on zoning argues for four approaches to reform that can immediately improve land use regulation in the United States.

June 26, 2022 - M. Nolan Gray

Car Traffic

San Francisco Just Ended Single-Family Zoning

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to Tuesday to eliminate single-family zoning, but pro-development advocates say additional changes are needed to unleash a wave of construction.

June 29, 2022 - San Francisco Chronicle

Rent

U.S. Rental Market Crosses a New Threshold of Affordability

In a first for the country's rental market, most U.S. apartments are asking for more than $2,000 to rent, according to data recently published by Redfin.

June 21, 2022 - Redfin

New Jersey Power Plant

Supreme Court Guts the U.S. EPA’s Ability to Limit Carbon Emissions

The consequences of this ruling have long been foretold. With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency now officially barred from the fight against climate change, Congress will have to act to reduce carbon emissions.

June 30 - Yahoo News

Central Los Angeles

California Approves Revised Los Angeles Housing Element

State officials officially approved the city’s housing plan, which was initially rejected for not doing enough to enhance housing equity.

June 30 - Urbanize LA

A fly fisher casts on a fog-covered river.

Lawsuit Could Open Public Access to Colorado Rivers

Colorado is one of few U.S. states that has decided that private property owners supersede the public when it comes to access to rivers and streams.

June 30 - High Country News

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

International Real Estate Strategies and Deal Negotiation

Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education

Affordable Housing: Principles for Changing Domestic and Global Markets

Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.