With transportation taxing and spending authority set to expire on Friday night, President Obama used an auto-pen to sign the extension on a plane to Malaysia. Both chambers must agree to the bill that emerges from the conference committee by Dec. 4.
The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015, Part II, auto-signed on November 20, is the 36th extension since a six-year transportation bill, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) expired on September 30, 2009.
AASHTO Journal indicates that the bill authorizes the Highway Transportation Fund through December 4. "This is the last extension – let me put an exclamation point on that," said House Transportation Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.).
The House-Senate Conference Committee, convened after the House passed their six-year transportation reauthorization bill on November 5, will now need to complete its negotiations over differences between the House- and Senate-passed DRIVE Act, present it to both chambers which must agree on a final version before the extension expires—not leaving much leeway.
If the conference committee's schedule slips as members negotiate, the panel would need to file a final report no later than Dec. 2 to avoid yet another extension past Dec. 4. House procedures require that members have 48 hours to view legislation before voting on it.
While the final bill will be the first six-year transportation since 2005, it will only have funding for three years.
"The Congressional Budget Office has estimated it will take about $100 billion, in addition to the annual gas tax revenue, to pay for a six-year transportation funding bill," writes Keith Laing in his article on the auto-signing of the transportation extension.
Indiana Once Again Considering Ban on Dedicated Transit Lanes
The proposed legislation would impact the construction of planned IndyGo Blue Line, the third phase of the city’s bus rapid transit system.
4 Ways to Use AI in Urban Planning and City Design
With the ability to predict trends, engage citizens, enhance resource allocation, and guide decision-making, artificial intelligence has the potential to serve as planners’ very own multi-tool.
LA’s ‘Spongy’ Infrastructure Captured Almost 9 Billion Gallons of Water
The city is turning away from stormwater management practices that shuttle water to the ocean, building infrastructure that collects and directs it underground instead.
Video: How Tall Should Buildings Be?
Is there an ideal height — or should buildings be as tall as they need to be to fulfill housing needs?
How Federal Policy Can Encourage TOD
Tying transit and land acquisition funding together could help produce more housing near transit hubs.
Small Cities at Disadvantage to Win Federal Safe Street Grants
Funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law aimed at making streets safer is being awarded through a competitive grant program, but it’s not going to the communities that need it most, an investigation shows.
City of Grand Forks, North Dakota
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Harvard GSD Executive Education
City of Laramie, Wyoming
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
Lassen County Planning and Building Services
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.