Smart Growth America

Compromise on Transportation Reauthorization Fails to Advance Critical Transportation Reform

After weeks of negotiations to resolve differences between the House and Senate, the two bodies’ conferees have released a transportation reauthorization. That conference report, now moving toward a vote in Congress, fails to provide the kind of visionary, game-changing transportation reform America deserves.

“The conference report is a disappointment,” says Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoffrey Anderson. “It compromises safety, it is a step backwards in how we take care of and repair our roads and bridges, and it bypasses the kinds of innovative transportation solutions that we should expect out of a new transportation reauthorization.”

“America needs a transportation bill – that much is a given. But we need that bill to be representative of the needs of our country. It must include critical safety and repair provisions. This bill does not improve upon existing law and does not provide necessary accountability for taxpayer dollars.”

“Comparatively, the Senate’s former transportation bill, passed with bipartisan support, was a major step forward in providing the kinds of multi-modal transportation and infrastructure investments that our country needs and that our citizens want. That bill not only guaranteed minimum levels of investment would go to maintaining our highway and bridge infrastructure, but also made dramatic improvements to how we address safety and national freight issues.”

“As written, we cannot support the transportation reauthorization before Congress. The country needs comprehensive transportation reform, not a stopgap measure. There was hope that we would achieve that in 2012, but this bill falls well short of expectations.”

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