As families all over
ARRA offers a menu of economically beneficial transportation projects
Specifically, the summary is a guide to 10 types of projects that states and cities can fund right now to:
· Create jobs that advance a quick and lasting economic recovery, and
· Reduce household transportation costs, traffic congestion, oil dependency, greenhouse emissions, and vulnerability to gas prices.
This summary highlights the tremendous opportunity Connecticut has to fund projects that repair crumbling roadways and bridges, provide low cost transportation choices, retrofit streets for safe walking and biking, advance energy independence, and generally put thousands of Americans to work during today’s crisis and get started on creating a 21st century transportation system.
ARRA transportation funding can be spent on just about any surface transportation project—not just highways
Contrary to widespread misconceptions, no ARRA funding is specifically designated for new highway construction.
Funding under the largest ARRA transportation spending category, the “Surface Transportation Program” (STP), often misnamed the “highway” program, can be used in the many ways as indicated in this report. By sending the bulk of transportation stimulus spending through STP, the ARRA gives
Smart Growth America, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and ConnPIRG issued this summary in part because:
· Taxpayers and city and state leaders need to know what the stimulus money is actually eligible to be spent on.
· While early transportation spending lists from state DOTs around the country show plans for heavy spending on new highways, there are many options available to states that create more jobs, faster, than these choices.
· At a time when driving is falling, transit ridership is surging, and repair backlogs are large, heavy investment in new highways is unlikely to be the best investment in most places.
The street system is not complete everywhere, and new highways may be good investments in places. But a state decision-making process that excludes everything but highways by misunderstanding or mischaracterizing the law, and/or that leans on new highways before fixing the highways it is already responsible for, almost certainly guarantees that money will be wasted and community needs unmet.
The public agrees:
According to a poll released in January by the National Association of Realtors, an overwhelming 80 percent of Americans believe it is more important that the stimulus funding include efforts to repair existing highways and public transit rather than to build new highways. The poll clearly shows that the vast majority of Americans believe restoring existing roads and bridges and expanding transportation options should take precedence over building new roads.
ARRA can help
create jobs faster through repair Connecticut
For decades, state officials have neglected the backlog of highway and bridge repairs. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 33% of the bridges in
A fix-it-first approach is also the best job-creation policy. A 2009
ARRA can help
create more jobs by responding to demand for public transit Connecticut
At the same time,
Five of the ten projects in this summary illustrate ARRA-eligible ways to upgrade and expand the state’s public transit systems. As many as one out of every five of our transit vehicles are now out of service. Expanded and upgraded transit systems and bicycle and pedestrian routes would allow hundreds of thousands more people to get to work in the morning—and would also bring them home safely in time for dinner. The
This summary shows how Connecticut can take advantage of the special opportunity offered by ARRA funding not only to upgrade existing roads and bridges to 21st century status, but also to invest in public transit expansion, reduce congestion, and link transportation and community planning. With these projects in mind,
A January 2009 national opinion survey by the National Association of Realtors found that “80 percent believe it’s more important that a stimulus plan include efforts to repair existing highways and build public transit rather than build new highways.” (www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2009/01/smarter_transportation)
The ARRA funding can go a long way toward enabling Connecticut to move beyond its outdated, mid-20th century transportation system, but only if wise spending decisions are made by state and local officials in the coming weeks and months. It’s now up to them to make the transportation investments needed to complete a 21st century system. They can jump-start that process by spending the ARRA transportation funding on the twenty types of projects documented in Spending the Stimulus.
The following 10 projects exemplify how
1. Statewide—System wide bus replacement: $40,000,000
- Replacing or purchasing buses for CT Transit would be a good way to bolster the transit system in
- Dedicating funds to the West Haven Railroad Station construction would create jobs, promote rail use, ease road congestion and lift the burden off of neighboring stations already facing parking problems.
· These improvements include elevator and hydraulic system replacement to promote American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, replacing the bus berthing area, parking lot improvements for the
- Construction of additional weather protection upgrades
’s main terminal platform and the construction of 50 new bus shelters and replacement of 50 existing shelters will help make transit ridership more attractive. Bridgeport
- These improvements will prepare
to take advantage of the proposed New Haven-Springfield commuter rail line. Meriden
Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects:
- Maintaining the existing network will promote investment in
and encourage people to walk as a form of transportation Hartford
- Investments in bike and pedestrian infrastructure are good for the environment, economy and quality of life.
‘Fix-it-First’ Maintenance and Repair Projects:
1. Statewide—Line striping and pavement markings: $2,800,000
- Clearly delineating and repairing existing roadways will make for smoother and safer trips
2. Statewide—Overlay preventative maintenance: $11,000,000
’s roads are in dire need of repair and maintenance Connecticut
3. Wolcott—Town-wide paving: $2,840,000
’s roads are in need of maintenance and repair Connecticut
Summary of Links and Resources
Fix It First
◦ Outlining fix it first needs in your state: www.sierraclub.org/sprawl/fixitfirst/map.asp
◦ Condition of roads and bridges: www.tripnet.org
◦ American Public Works Association: www.apwa.net
◦ Tri-State Transportation Campaign: www.tstc.org/press/2007/CTspending_2007.pdf
Supporting Human-Powered Options
◦ Completing the Streets: www.completestreets.org
◦ Rails-to-Trails Conservancy: www.railtrails.org
◦ Bikes Belong: www.activetransportation.org
◦ Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Clearinghouse: www.bicyclinginfo.org/
◦ Transportation Enhancements Funding information: http://www.enhancements.org/.
Upgrading and Expanding Public Transit
◦ Local transit coalitions: www.cfte.org/directory/locallinks.asp
◦ Association for Commuter Transportation: www.actweb.org
◦ National Association of Rail Passengers (NARP): www.narprail.org
Making Commuting a Freight Movement Easier; Safer; More Efficient
◦ Intelligent Transportation Systems of
◦ The Institute for Traffic Engineers: www.ite.org
◦ Association of Metropolitan Planning Assocations (AMPO) at www.ampo.org
◦ Availability of federal congestion management funding: www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/tolling_pricing/value_pricing
◦ Intelligent Transportation Association of
Strengthening Communities and Enhancing Quality of Life:
◦ National Association of Clean Air Agencies at www.4cleanair.org