Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Please, sir, can I have some transportation? 178 groups ask Congress

March 14, 2012 - 12:37 PM
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(Photo: flickr/masoner)

Amalgamated Local 689 isn't the only organization seeking more money for transportation. The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials has joined with 177 other groups, including the Amalgamated Transit Union, to send a letter to members of the House and Senate appropriations committee to ask for more funds.

"We urge you to increase the 302(b) allocation to the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) to the highest possible level in fiscal year (FY) 2013," the organizations write. "The THUD allocation was cut deeply in FY 2012 and is expected to result in lost jobs and halted development projects amongst other detrimental impacts. Merely sustaining the FY 2012 THUD 302(b) allocation level would generate little overall savings for the federal government and would have harmful consequences at the local level."

Transportation, as we know, is expensive and costs billions. The studies alone amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. But proper investment also appears to pay off in huge ways, and with soaring gas prices and congested roads, proper development is paramount.

Among the signatories are Amtrak, the Alliance for Biking and Walking, the American Public Transportation Association America Bikes, the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy, the National Association of City Transportation Officials, the National Association of Railroad Passengers, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Smart Growth America, the Urban Land Institute, and Transportation for America, among many others. Other public agencies have also co-signed the sentiments. These include the Portland Bureau of Transportation, the Chicago Transit Authority, the L.A. Department of Transportation, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, and mayors from Salt Lake City, Madison, and Tucson.

Little directly refers to Washington, D.C.'s needs but many of these organizations have a strong presence within the nation's capital and advocate for much of our infrastructure that could be called livable and walkable. These groups produce many of the national reports that calculate our transportation habits. And perhaps no region better than the D.C. metro understands the struggle to secure funding, as we fight for federal cash without representation in the District and coordinate funding through multiple local jurisdictions for transit like WMATA.

See the letter, sent on March 12, here.

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