America’s public policy and investment decisions in the twentieth century spurred growth, but also encouraged sprawl, increased driving and ultimately took a toll on community livability, energy security, and the environment.
From its inception, ITDP has sought to reverse these trends around the world by advancing global best practices that support more sustainable transportation. In the United States, in the 1980s, ITDP campaigned against war as an energy policy and organized the “Campaign for New Transportation Priorities,” which helped win reforms in the 1991 federal ISTEA surface transportation law. In the 1990s, ITDP worked with the Environmental Defense Fund and others to promote implementation of those reforms. ITDP and its partners won new express bus services into New York City, and spurred congestion pricing reforms and better public transportation, walking, and cycling.
Recently, ITDP pushed for more public transportation funding in federal economic recovery and climate change initiatives and creation of a Federal Infrastructure Bank. ITDP is also speaking up for a new Federal Transportation Bill that will get get America moving smarter and faster. You can read the summary of our February 2011 testimony to the US House of Representatives here or the full version here.
ITDP’s top US focus now is to advance Bus Rapid Transit and parking reforms. Both are well suited to meet today’s fiscal, political, and economic recovery challenges.
While several US cities have developed respectable BRT lines, none has a ‘full-featured’ world-class BRT network. Other transit systems have labeled minor bus improvements as “BRT,” tarnishing the BRT brand in the US. Increasingly, governments facing challenging budget issues are looking for the most cost-effective strategies to expand transit options, so BRT is gaining more attention. ITDP’s goal is to develop and implement optimal BRT solutions for US conditions in several cities by 2015, drawing on the best global practices.
Since 2008, ITDP has explored opportunities to advance full-featured BRT in the US. Outreach work in Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas, and New York City led to ITDP technical reviews of BRT plans in many of these cities. Washington, DC incorporated several ITDP-recommendations in a proposed busway design. ITDP trained many New York City transportation advocates about BRT.
A grant from The Rockefeller Foundation is enabling ITDP to develop a strategy to advance world-class BRT in the US where the opportunities for effective implementation are most promising in terms of political leadership, institutional capacity, financial viability, and prospects for full-featured network development. ITDP has documented a variety of factors that have inhibited the development of such BRT in the US and strategies to overcome these barriers. Building on ITDP’s successful efforts worldwide, we hope to target technical, communications, other support to help governments and leadership coalitions rapidly design and implement effective BRT.
ITDP presented its initial findings in January 2011; a full report is forthcoming in spring 2011.
The true cost of “free” parking in America exceeds half a trillion dollars a year – money that ultimately comes out of the wallets of ordinary citizens. By better managing parking, fiscally pressed local governments can secure needed new revenue from underperforming public assets and reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, global warming, and energy insecurity. ITDP has documented parking best practices in the US and Europe to show how smarter parking management can benefit consumers and businesses with time and money savings, while also leading to more livable, attractive communities. The reports as well as presentations and poster summaries are below.
For more information about the US, please contact:
Annie Weinstock, Program Manager
Michael Replogle, Global Policy Director and Founder