To search for model legislation, research, reports, and more, type your area of interest into the search bar above. You can filter your search by state, level of government, document type, and policy area to match the info you need to your unique community’s progressive goals.
Bicycling is on the rise across the U.S. Adults are capitalizing on the health and economic benefits of active transportation, while an increasing number of young people are forgoing drivers' licenses to save money and embrace more walkable, bikeable lifestyles. The new majority that elected a president - youth, women and people of color - is playing a key role in pedaling the country toward a more Bicycle Friendly America. These diverse communities are embracing bicycling at a high rate, redefining the face and trajectory of the bicycle movement and the way the nation addresses transportation. An increasingly powerful and growing constituency, previously underrepresented groups are cultivating new campaigns and bike cultures that address the needs, serve the safety and improve the health of all residents who ride - or want to ride. These new riders, leaders and organizations are making biking accessible and inviting to all Americans - while making the case for a safer and more equitable transportation system in communities nationwide.
This report contends that creating and preserving diverse transit-oriented neighborhoods is sound public policy that would favorably impact households and regions on multiple fronts, resulting in: a broader range of housing opportunities, greater transportation choice, better environmental outcomes and stronger family and neighborhood economies. There is no single silver bullet for creating and preserving such neighborhoods, however. Promoting and preserving diverse transit oriented neighborhoods requires policies that address housing, land use and transportation, experienced practitioners in several sectors, tools geared to promote transportation-oriented development (TOD )and affordability, and flexible financing.
Fort Wayne was not alone in emphasizing auto travel for the past half century. But as Fort Wayne competes in the 21st Century economy and as household change in size and composition, Fort Wayne needs to offer a broader range of choices for travel and for living locally. The Housing + Transportation Affordability Index is a new tool for illustrating how different housing locations result in different household transportation budgets. It clearly shows that Fort Wayne is at a disadvantage in competing with other regions, because so much discretionary income is tied up in housing and transportation costs. Housing is generally affordable in the region, but transportation costs are unusually high.
Transportation is the linchpin that allows us to function in our daily lives. Whether we move by foot, bicycle, car, bus, skateboard, or wheelchair, we all need to travel to meet everyday needs. We use transportation to buy food, find housing, get to school and work, access recreational opportunities, visit friends and family, and obtain health care and government services - as well as get to literally everything else we do outside our homes. But our society suffers from considerable inequity, and transportation is no exception. Low-income people and people of color in the United States face transportation hurdles that can mean that just accessing basic needs is time consuming, dangerous, and sometimes almost impossible. Instead of travel time allowing people to safely and conveniently get the physical activity they need while accomplishing daily objectives, travel is instead a source of stress that undermines health. Without safe and convenient transportation, low-income families can remain trapped in poverty, unable to access the employment and educational opportunities necessary to succeed. Healthy food, safe playgrounds, high-quality schools, health care, and other services - our transportation system allows some to access these with ease, but creates significant impediments for others.
Diversity created the city. But diversity has never been easy. American urbanism has been a process through which communities-diverse in ideology, in interest, in income, in ethnic background and in racial identification-have negotiated space. Some of this evolution has been brutal. Today's cities are, among other things, the result of generations of racism and classism and struggles in the face of those discriminations. As decades and centuries have gone by, racial boundaries in the United States have shifted; discrimination has remained. Transportation has been near the heart of that struggle from the start. From housing choice to bus frequency to freeway routing to sidewalk quality, cities have often failed to equitably distribute the costs and benefits of mobility. Today, U.S. cities are using a new tool to help make bike transportation a mainstream part of urban American life: protected bike lanes. As this investment has taken place, city leaders and community activists have asked us for advice on how to make sure their decisions about this infrastructure don't continue the cycle of oppression.
Transit defines the vibrancy of downtowns in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Metra and CTA stations, and the development they support, help commuters get to jobs and run errands on their way home, all with little or no driving. Residents come together in these downtown station areas to eat, drink, socialize, borrow library books, shop, and see their neighbors. These activity centers are the brand, lifeblood, and drivers of economic development in these communities. Rail transit anchors downtowns and neighborhoods in many communities throughout Chicago’s northern suburbs and across the region. Municipalities have used these transit-oriented developments, (TODs), to create a sense of place, add retail and housing, and enhance their tax bases. In doing so, TOD helps reduce driving, increase access to transit, and improve the local economy.
The movement of jobs away from historic transportation hubs has made highways the best, in some cases the only, way for employees to get to work. Over the last decade, the number of jobs within a 10-minute walk of rail stations dropped. Between 2002 and 2008, the seven-county region of north-eastern Illinois—including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties—added a net 110,314 jobs. Yet the number of total jobs within one-half mile of transit declined by 5,555. Low and moderate income workers, already burdened by the cost of driving, felt this drop most acutely. The number of jobs paying less than $40,000 per year located within a half-mile of transit declined 16 percent. This gave fewer working households a choice between car and public transportation options.
A system for evaluating public investment in transportation that adopts a comprehensive understanding of economic benefits. This comprehensive assessment can be localized using the report\\\\\\\'s scorecard management matrix and used to guide public investment in transportation.
Reconnecting Fort Wayne: Transportation is a six part report designed to promote sustainable transportation planning in Fort Wayne. The first five reports, published in December of 2007, are innovative approaches or tools for analyzing current conditions and offering more transportation choice and lower household transportation cost. This report explores how the city of Fort Wayne could increase transportation equity by including streetcars in their transit-oriented development (TOD) plan.
The general public has been excluded for too long from transportation decisions in Northeastern Illinois. Given the opportunity, the citizenry would fundamentally reform transportation planning to accomplish broader regional goals. The overall vision the public prefers would provide more transportation choice; include the public in transportation decision-making; re-invest in existing communities; invest to enhance land use and quality of life goals; provide a safe travel environment with improved accessibility for all; create a cleaner environment and preserve open space; and equalize the distribution of resources.