Photo courtesy of the Ladies Fancywork Society
Patience, I hear, is a virtue. I wouldn’t know; I am an impatient person by nature. While parenthood and living for a year in a Mediterranean country have done wonders to temper this, impatience remains intrinsic to my DNA. Lately I’ve been thinking, though, that maybe patience is overrated. As I live and work in some of the Chicago neighborhoods hit hardest by economic recession, I see the effects of our collective patience every day.
I see it reflected in our “all or nothing” focus: public funding and systems of recognition – like grand openings and awards – go toward the full realization of a space. Up and down the streets of our neighborhoods, it is clear that we view the use of space in one of two ways: its highest and best use, or nothing at all.…
Photo via Flikr user Wesley Fryer
In the Atlanta region, revenues from gas taxes, the primary source of federal and state funding for transportation infrastructure, are declining as cars become more fuel efficient and inflation erodes its value. Seventy percent of the region’s transportation funding will be spent to simply maintain the existing system over the next 30 years, meaning little will be left to expand the network to alleviate congestion.
In June 2010, the Transportation Investment Act was signed into law, allowing voters to decide if they want to raise their own taxes to combat congestion. The law divides the state into 12 regions for the purpose of voting on a one percent sales tax to fund transportation projects in that region over 10 years. Elected officials in each region will develop a priority…
The Metropolitan Planning Council is a member of Transportation for America and joined others from around the country to push for needed amendments to the Senate transportation bill (MAP-21). We’re pleased that our collective efforts paid off and three key amendments are now on an agreed-upon list (the manager's ammendment). The Cardin-Cochran amendment in particular would continue the ability of local governments to access critical dollars for main street revitalization, rail station improvements and other additional activities through a competitive grant program. Read about the Cardin-Cochran amendment and others at the Transportation for America Blog.
Photo via Flickr user John Walker
In 2009, Congress wisely increased the maximum amount an individual can set aside pre-tax for mass transit expenses to $230, equal to the benefit received by those who drive to work and park. Originally set to expire at the end of 2010, the increased allowance was extended to Dec. 31, 2011, but unfortunately that extension was temporary. Because Congress failed to act, the transit portion was cut in half – from $230 a month to $125 – when the measure expired Jan. 1, 2012. Meanwhile, the parking benefit increased to $240 a month to account for inflation.
MPC thanks Illinois Reps. Hultgren, Biggert, Lipinski, Quigley, Dold and Rush for offering an amendment to H.R. 7, the transportation reauthorization currently being debated in the U.S. House, to restore pre-tax transit…