According to a post in usa.streetsblog.org, the USDOT is taking a page out of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx’s book. Interestingly, the DOT is not only reading the words, they are also acting upon the sentiments. Foxx is a big proponent of reversing the freeway construction blunders that have plagued US cities for decades. Many of these fast traveling roadways disrupted fragile black communities (think parts of Buffalo’s East Side).
Now the DOT has issued an Every Place Counts Design Challenge, which prompts cities to submit their highway redesign/removal proposals. Ultimately, four cities will be chosen that will undergo a series of workshops (2-day design session with DOT and experts in the field) designed to best remedy past urban renewal planning decisions that have been disrupting communities for decades.
The USDOT intends for the design sessions to inform, prepare, and enable recipients to better engage in federal transportation planning, programming, the National Environmental Policy Act process, and funding programs.
The types of projects that are eligible for application include:
- Highway projects eligible under Title 23, United States Code (including bicycle and pedestrian projects)
- Public transportation projects eligible under Chapter 53 of Title 49, United States Code
- Passenger and freight rail transportation projects
- Port infrastructure investments (including inland port infrastructure and land ports of entry)
- Intermodal projects
There are so many different angles that Buffalo could take on this one, that it’s hard to figure out where to start. The Belt Line comes to mind mostly because that would be a tremendous, all-encompassing boon for Buffalo. The Belt Line is also one of the most misunderstood high impact projects due to its relative obscurity in the big picture transportation conversations that are currently being discussed. It brings into focus numerous transportation issues in all corners of the city. Of course this is also a mega initiative… but maybe that’s what the DOT is looking for? If not, there are plenty of other transportation issues that face this city. Take your pick. Regardless of which project is submitted, Buffalo would be missing out on a big opportunity if nothing is done at all.
To learn more about the Belt Line, click here.
Type of Award: Up to Four Design Sessions with On-site Technical Assistance
Application Due Date: Applications Due by 6/03/2016 at 5:00 pm Eastern Time by email to ReconnectCommunities@dot.gov. Application notification is May 20.
Image: Belt Line on Facebook