John Robert Smith, President and CEO of Reconnecting America and Co-Chair of Transportation for America, was a guest at today's (Aug. 31, 2011) remarks by President Obama in the Rose Garden. President Obama urged Congress to pass an extension of the Surface Transportation Extension Act, which is set to expire Sept. 30. In particular, the president said Congress needs to save American jobs by passing a clean extension, at current funding levels, with no cuts or riders attached. The president called on Congress to "place country before party." In response, Smith released the following statement:
The second in a series of webinars designed to assist rural communities in submitting strong applications for the latest round of Department of Transportation TIGER grants will be held Aug. 31 at 2pm EDT. The webinar will build on the overview provided by the first webinar in this series, by exploring in-depth the various aspects of the TIGER application process.Among the participants will be Reconnecting America President and CEO John Robert Smith, the former mayor of Meridian, Miss. Click here to register.
The demand for transit across the US is growing, and more and more transit corridors are being built every year. In 2010, 106 regions had proposed over 600 transit projects, with estimated costs for two-thirds of those projects totaling $233 billion. This growing demand for transit has increased the need to understand how planning a transit corridor can result in not only successful transportation outcomes but also successful land use and equity outcomes.
A team led by Reconnecting America has won a competitive grant to assist communities that have received Sustainable Communities Grants. The Reconnecting America team was one of eight chosen by the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help existing federal grantees work together to solve common problems.
Reconnecting America today released a series of reports that explore the opportunity for New Orleans and Baton Rouge to develop an integrated, regional transportation network that supports strong communities and improves opportunity for the residents and businesses of southern Louisiana. In the briefs, Reconnecting America makes the case for regional and "super regional" coordination on transportation and land use issues, arguing that when neighboring jurisdictions compete for jobs and new development or plan transportation systems that aren't complimentary, they perpetuate a cycle of regional congestion and wasteful spending. According to the reports, three key ingredients are needed to build a sustainable super region in greater Baton Rouge and New Orleans: new commuter rail service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans; improved local and regional transit within each of those regions, and; coordinated local investments and policies that support affordable, walkable transit-oriented…
The first of two webinars designed to help rural communities take advantage of the Department of Transportation's TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grants was held Aug. 3. The outreach effort to support rural communities in submitting strong applications for this funding is supported by a number of organizations, including Reconnecting America, the American Public Transportation Association, the National Association of Development Organizations, the National League of Cities, PolicyLink, Rural Assembly, Smart Growth America, and Transportation for America.