Better Transportation Plans, Better Communities

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has a chance in the Obama administration’s final months to lift metropolitan and state transportation plans to a new level of performance. I’m glad to know that planners support the logical but potentially revolutionary idea he has proposed — performance standards that link the long-range plans to build and maintain transportation systems to the carbon pollution the vehicles that use them create. As I wrote in April, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) posed the question of whether and how it should include a standard for tracking greenhouse gases in plans in a notice of proposed rulemaking that covers traffic congestion and air quality issues. A couple of weeks ago, after the four-month-long comment period came to an end, I bookended that blog entry with one assessing the volume and quality of comments filed supporting this proposal and providing ample advice to FHWA. The upshot is that more than 80,000 favorable comments were filed, including dozens of technical memos with ample advice for Secretary Foxx and his team.

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