Five-Year Transportation Bill Has a Ways to Go

House and Senate versions of the five-year surface transportation reauthorization bill are on different tracks, headed in different directions.

June 10, 2021, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

North Dakota

Bob Pool / Shutterstock

"Funding for public transportation is one of the sticking points as Congress considers reauthorizing the nation's surface transportation legislation," writes Chris Teale.

And there's clearly some middle ground yet to be found between House and Senate versions of the bill.

House Democrats recently "introduced the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act, a $547 billion, five-year reauthorization bill."

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted in May to advance the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021. While the Senate's version of the bill attracted criticism from transit advocates, the House Democrats' version of the bill is proving much more popular.

"There’s a lot of great, some good, a few things that could use further refinement, and a couple of missed opportunities; but nothing that falls into the category of 'bad,' much less 'ugly,'" according to a post by Stephen Lee Davis for Transportation for America.

As for the details, Teale provides the following: "Included in the bill, which Democrats first introduced last year, is $109 billion for transit, which committee leaders called 'record investments.' The purpose of the money is to increase routes and reduce public transportation’s maintenance backlog, which previous estimates have indicated will cost around $90 billion."

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 in Smart Cities Dive

Los Angeles Skyline

New Study Ranks the Urban Heat Island Effect in U.S. Cities

A new analysis by Climate Central evaluates the intensity of urban heat islands in cities around the United States—New Orleans tops the list.

July 15, 2021 - WBUR

Adams Morgan pedestrian zone during COVID-19 pandemic

The Most Complete Map of U.S. Pedestrian Risk Yet

New research published by the Journal of Transport and Land Use analyzes tens of thousands of pedestrian fatalities over 16 years in the United States.

July 20, 2021 - Streetsblog USA

Dallas Freeway Removal

The Freeway Removal Cause Gains Momentum—But Don't Forget Gentrification and Displacement

The case for freeway in urban areas isn't as unequivocal as it might seem. Plans to undo the damage of the legacies of past freeway planning need to ensure an inclusive future.

July 14, 2021 - Los Angeles Times

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.