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California Institute for Local Government Resources

Funded in part by the California State Association of Counties and the League of California Cities, the Institute for Local Government‘s mission is to “promote good government at the local level by promoting well-informed, ethical, inclusive, effective and responsive local government in California through innovative resources, tools and programs.

Recent Publications Include:

    Categories
    Public Transit Transportation Funding US DOT US HUD

    2011 Appropriations Process Starts This Week; TIGER III Included

    Last week the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation marked up the draft appropriations bill for 2011 –also known as “Transportation Housing and Urban Development” or “THUD”

    The following are key points summarized from an article in Transportation Weekly:

    • Highway funding increased by ten percent
    • Transit funding increased (if additional spending authority is provided by the authorizing committees)
    • Transfers $200 million of formula bridge and highway funding to a new discretionary liveable community grant programs;
    • Creates a TIGER III program at $400 million ($200 million less than this year);
    • Provides $1.4 billion for High Speed and Intercity Rail Grants (also less than last year); and
    • Provides $145,980,000 in Highway and Transit earmarks for California.

    Earmarks account for roughly $17.8 million through Federal Highways Administration and $128.2 through Federal Transit Administration

    Categories
    Federal Policy GHG Reduction Local Government Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash Transportation Funding US DOT US HUD

    $748 Million in Federal Grants Available for Sustainable Communities

    The Federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities integrates efforts across US DOT, EPA and HUD — including the release of a Notice of Funding Availability for cities, counties, MPOs, and transportation agencies to apply for sustainable community planning grants emphasizing performance outcomes from integrated land use and transportation plans.  Grant proposals are due on July 26 and August 23 and applicant registration must be submitted by July 16.

    Read more and view the Federal Grant Flow Chart and Matrix at the links below:

    Policy in Motion is offering a “Sustainable Community Grant Navigation” package to assist local governments in optimizing successful grant submissions for both the five federal grant opportunities totaling $748 million, and the California Proposition 84 grant awards totaling $22 million this cycle.

    Consultancy services for the Navigation package include:

    1. overview of how federal and California policy direction ties into the scoring criteria for federal and California planning grants, and
    2. custom consultation for applicant on which grants to pursue and how to prepare grant materials through strategic planning submissions.

    For more information contact Lauren Michele at lauren.michele@policyinmotion.com.  Lauren Michele is also an editor for Fehr and Peers’ climate change blog, CoolConnections.org, and recently posted an article detailing four federal grant opportunities for sustainable communities planning.

      Categories
      Federal Policy Public Transit Transportation Funding US DOT

      US DOT: New Transit Solutions Promise Jobs Now, Livability Gains for Years to Come

      This morning, as part of President Obama’s livability initiative, Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff and I announced over $290 million in new transit funding for projects that will enhance the quality of life in communities across America. The 53 grants will fund new streetcars, buses, and transit facilities from Manchester, NH, to Albuquerque, NM, through FTA’s Urban Circulator and Bus Livability programs.

      Administrator Rogoff summarized the benefits of this funding perfectly: “These projects mean jobs now and major transit improvements that will last for years to come.”

      Portland_streetcar
      With these grants, six more US communities will soon have streetcars like Portland

      I am thrilled about these awards because the jobs and the economic development and the mobility choices this livability funding sets in motion demonstrate so clearly the progress the Obama Administration has made possible in just 18 months.

      Communities around the US have been enthusiastic partners, looking for opportunities to advance good projects that have solid ridership expectations, that create opportunities for economic development, that have demonstrable environmental benefits, and that increase access for transit-dependent people.

      DenveTransit

      For $130 million in urban circulator grants, we received more than $1 billion in applications. And for the $160 million in bus grants, we received over $2 billion in applications.

      That’s a sign that America is ready for better connectivity, more transportation choices, and greater livability.

      And streetcars have become a very popular way to achieve those outcomes. In Charlotte, for example, the streetcar will provide an east-west transit spine connecting people to the 10,000 jobs and array of top-flight medical services at Presbyterian Hospital. It will also connect to Central Piedmont Community College, whose students are all commuters. And it will connect to the Charlotte Transportation Center for access to the Charlotte Area Transit System’s many bus lines and Lynx light rail system.

      Minneapolis-streetcar

      Cincinnati is another example of a promising streetcar through an urban core. Mayor Mark Mallory and the Cincinnati City Council realize that streetcars are a great engine to improve livability and drive economic development in Cincinnati’s downtown. Cincinnati’s residents and visitors don’t want to wrestle for scarce parking spaces; they don’t want to fight roadway congestion. They want to get to jobs, services, and retail stores without a hassle.

      Alameda County transit
      Alameda County, CA, is already greening its fleet with hybrids and  zero-emission vehicles

      With 47 projects, bus transit is also a huge part of these awards. The 34th Street Transitway in New York City will create a distinct bus lane, isolated from automobiles, and make 34th Street safer for pedestrians. A grant for more efficient buses will allow Manchester to provide better service in communities with smaller roadways–allowing elderly residents access to medical care while reducing transit operating costs and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

      In San Francisco, the Phelan Loop Bus Facility project offers a model of the gains our Partnership for Sustainable Communities with HUD and EPA can achieve. That project includes plans to maintain and create affordable housing, relocate a bus turnaround that dates back to the 1930s, and introduce service by Zero-Emission Vehicles. Walking access from affordable housing to a major transit center that is served by a green fleet–that is livability.

      Look, in the end, our goal is to provide cleaner, safer, and more efficient ways to get around in communities that want those alternatives. And today’s grants are a huge step in that direction.

      Categories
      California Policy GHG Reduction Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash SB 375

      CA Air Resources Board Releases Draft SB 375 GHG Targets for MPOs

      ARB staff has released its draft regional greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for automobiles and light trucks pursuant to Senate Bill 375.

      Full report can be found here.

      The table below is a Policy in Motion synthesis of both MPOs’ and ARB’s proposed GHG reduction targets presented over the past month.  More synthesis available at the “California MPOs Reveal Results of SB 375 Soul-Searching” post linked here.