The elections are just a week away. With over 100 seats in play
the results of this election are still unclear. However, one thing is certain- the new Congress will
have to develop a plan to pay for much needed infrastructure investments as well as reform and pass the federal transportation bill.
Over the past two months NYSTEA has been busy reaching out to Congressional candidates here in New York State to get a sense of their transportation agenda if elected to Congress.
NYSTEA Steering Committee: Empire State Future, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, UPROSE, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Federal Transportation Policy Updates
The current extension of the previous transportation bill (SAFETEA-LU) will expire on December 31st and the lame duck Congress is expected to extend the current law another 4-6 months.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has been stumping for $50 billion in up front transportation spending and also recently released a report on the benefits of infrastructure investments. In what was previously bi-partisan politics transportation policy is also now caught in the middle of election fervor and party politics.
|Future Sheridan Expressway? |
On a more positive note, USDOT last week announced $600 million of TIGER II grants. New York State received over $25 million from this program.
The Bronx community received a planning grant for the Sheridan Expressway and Hunts Point area. NYSTEA hopes that these funds will advance the vision of several environmental justice organizations that have called for the Sheridan Expressway, a highway to nowhere, into a park, green market and affordable housing. If successful their project will have national implications.
Also, Western New York was awarded $16 million to revitalize the Niagara Falls Customhouse which will soon be known as the Niagara Falls International Railway Station.NYSTEA is encouraged by these steps from the federal government and we will continue to educate the new Congress on the importance of the connections between public health, civil rights, environmental justice and community involvement in transportation policy. We hope you will join us!