Secretary LaHood and US DOT 2010 goals

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is back in Detroit today for the auto show.

He recently listed what the US DOT had in the works for this year, including (emphasis ours):

More safety: I am not about to lay down on this; whether it’s distracted driving, impaired driving, or driving unprotected by seat belts, expect to see more from us on making our roadways safer for everyone.

More livability, sustainability: …in 2010 the TIGER grants we award will include as criteria the project’s contribution to sustainability and livability. Also in 2010, the Obama Administration’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities of DOT-HUD-EPA will continue to align our efforts to promote the Three E’s of economic development, environmental protection, and equitable access to transportation.

Making roadways safe for all users… More livability… More sustainability… These goals all favor bike friendly transportation projects.

Now if only we could Metro Detroit state, county, and local governments working on the same. DOT’s emphasis on livability might force Metro Detroit governments to progress beyond post-WWII concepts of transportation and into the 21st century.

And in conjunction with this new federal emphasis, the House created the Livable Communities Task Force this past fall.

Every community in America — regardless of its size, geographic location, demographic composition, or economic base — aspires to become a place where families are safe, enjoy personal and environmental health, can select from a range of housing and transportation choices, and have access to educational and economic opportunities. These are the building blocks of livable communities.

The Livable Communities Task Force recognizes that federal policies — from transportation to tax incentives to environmental regulations and everything in between — have a profound effect on the livability of communities. This Task Force seeks to identify the ways in which the federal government can affect community livability and improve Americans’ quality of life. This includes reducing the nation’s dependence on oil, protecting the environment, improving public health and investing in housing and transportation projects that create jobs and give people more commuting choices.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer chairs the task force of 20 members, but unfortunately none are from Michigan.

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