Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New NCSL report: strategies for 21st century transportation solutions

A couple of weeks ago the National Conference of State Legislatures issued an excellent new study on strategies for 21st century transportation solutions.  While the focus is on state strategies, many of the options are applicable at the local level.   For example, the chapter on "giving people choices" addresses bike/ped safety, complete streets, and TOD.  The last chapter looks at how to link transportation and public health policies.  Click here for the report introduction, and here for the full report. Below is an excerpt from NCSL's report introduction.

 On the Move: State Strategies for 21st Century Transportation Solutions

Transportation policy and funding are at a critical juncture in the United States. Faced with budget shortfalls and a host of other challenges, state legislatures are exploring and enacting a number of innovative policies to ensure that the future mobility needs of all Americans are met in a manner that is fiscally sound and supports a broad range of policy goals.

A new NCSL report, On the Move: State Strategies for 21st Century Transportation Solutions, explores a wide array of innovative surface transportation reform laws, policies and programs that policymakers are considering or pursuing to take the nation’s transportation system well into the 21st century.

Particular focus is placed on policies that promote fiscal and environmental sustainability; facilitate affordable, safe and accessible transportation choices; and achieve shared benefits such as improved public health and economic development.

Every effort was taken in this report to assemble a broad cross-section of approaches and diverse voices, to represent as fully as possible the exciting transportation reform developments occurring in state legislatures across the country. This report is organized into four sections, each of which explores the shifting trends underlying a number of recent and proposed policy developments across the states.
  • Taking the Long View examines policies that exemplify a forward-thinking, sustainable approach to providing surface transportation infrastructure and services over the long term. This includes provision of sustainable transportation funding and consideration of life-cycle costs in transportation decision-making.
  • Using What You Have explores effective and cost-efficient approaches that help make the most of existing infrastructure, such as fix-it-first and asset management, operations and management, and commute trip reduction.
  • Giving People Choices highlights a variety of viable, accessible and affordable transportation options that fit citizens’ needs and also synchronize with larger policy goals. Policies reviewed in this section include bicycle and pedestrian safety and travel initiatives, complete streets policies, carsharing and bikesharing, transit-oriented development and human service transportation coordination.
  • Achieving Multiple Benefits looks at how transportation decisions can successfully achieve diverse public benefits. The section includes a discussion of the use of comprehensive performance management and examples of how transportation activities have been linked with environmental and public health planning and goals.

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