U.S. DOT budget bringing 'infrastructure of tomorrow' to region - Metropolitan Planning Council

Skip to main content

U.S. DOT budget bringing 'infrastructure of tomorrow' to region

Laurence Pearlman

In keeping with President Obama’s State of the Union pledge “to build the infrastructure of tomorrow,” the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (U.S. DOT) released its budget for FY2011, which includes $2.2 billion for Illinois and $1.2 billion for Indiana for construction and improvements to our roads, highways, and airports.

Despite remaining largely flat from FY2010, the $78.8 billion budget does increase investment in the administration’s three key transportation priorities: improving safety, investing for the future, and promoting livable communities. The budget funds several major initiatives in each of these areas, as well as plans to deliver transportation investments based on performance measurement.

Budget highlights:

  • $4 billion to seed the National Infrastructure Innovation and Finance Fund, which will invest in projects of regional or national significance
  • An additional $1 billion for high-speed rail, on top of the $8 billion in ARRA funds recently awarded to 31 states
  • $530 million to help state and local governments support initiatives that increase transportation choice and integrate housing and land use into transportation decisions, a goal of the President’s Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities
  • $30 million to establish a new Federal Transit Safety program, which will institute national safety standards for subways and light rail systems, in the wake of recent deadly accidents in Boston, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

Despite the Obama administration’s proposed freeze on discretionary spending, U.S. DOT has managed to do more with less by crafting a budget that will advance innovative multi-modal projects. Also, we can look forward to better access to affordable housing, more transportation options, and lower transportation costs thanks to the coordination of the U.S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. DOT. Although the current framework for financing and distributing surface transportation investments is not financially sustainable, this budget is commendable for stressing the need to work toward key reforms to achieve smarter investments, and ultimately to identify a more sustainable source of revenue.

What sustainable transportation projects do you think U.S. DOT should fund?


No comments

More posts by Jackie

All posts by Jackie »

MPC on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter »

Stay in the loop!

MPC's Regionalist newsletter keeps you up to date with our work and our upcoming events.?

Subscribe to Regionalist

Most popular news

Browse by date »

This page can be found online at http://www.metroplanning.org/news/5759

Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
312 922 5616 info@metroplanning.org

Sign up for newsletter and alerts »

Shaping a better, bolder, more equitable future for everyone

For more than 85 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has partnered with communities, businesses, and governments to unleash the greatness of the Chicago region. We believe that every neighborhood has promise, every community should be heard, and every person can thrive. To tackle the toughest urban planning and development challenges, we create collaborations that change perceptions, conversations—and the status quo. Read more about our work »

Donate »