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In 2009, the current federal transportation funding act known as "SAFETEA-LU" will expire. For the six-year period that it has been in place, 2004-2009, $286 billion has been authorized for numerous surface transportation programs. With the upcoming expiration and a new federal administration, several wide ranging recommendations have been brought forward on not only how to fund our nation's highways, roads, bridges and transit systems but also on how such funding impacts other areas such as land use, economic development, housing and the environment. As an example, the U.S. Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency announced a new partnership , the Sustainable Communities Partnership, aimed at better coordinating policies related to transportation, community development, housing, the environment, and energy efficiency. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) has announced he is drafting legislation to create a competitive grant program to provide resources to local and state governments for the purpose of integrating transportation, land use, and community development planning.
To improve quality of life in Michigan’s communities, multi-modal transportation infrastructure and transit operations are essential and will ensure the safest, most cost-effective transportation system.
Transportation infrastructure is a strategic investment that is essential to strengthening Michigan’s economy. Long-term reliable transportation funding sources must be found to provide base line support for infrastructure improvements and transit operations.
Federal transportation policy can play a key role in the revitalization of our communities. The federal government must be a full partner in providing support for our nation’s transportation and infrastructure system.