Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
(a) Establishment.--In cooperation with appropriate State, regional, and local governments, the Secretary shall establish a comprehensive initiative to investigate and address the relationships between transportation and community and system preservation and identify private sector-based initiatives.
(1) In general.--In cooperation with appropriate Federal agencies, State, regional, and local governments, and other entities eligible for assistance under subsection (d), the Secretary shall carry out a comprehensive research program to investigate the relationships between transportation, community preservation, and the environment and the role of the private sector in shaping such relationships.
(2) Required elements.--The program shall provide for monitoring and analysis of projects carried out with funds made available to carry out subsections (c) and (d).
(1) In general.--The Secretary shall allocate funds made available to carry out this subsection to States, metropolitan planning organizations, and local governments to plan, develop, and implement strategies to integrate transportation and community and system preservation plans and practices.
(2) Purposes.--The purposes of the allocations shall be--
(A) to improve the efficiency of the transportation system;
(B) to reduce the impacts of transportation on the environment;
(C) to reduce the need for costly future investments in public infrastructure;
(D) to provide efficient access to jobs, services, and centers of trade; and
(E) to examine development patterns and identify strategies to encourage private sector development patterns which achieve the goals identified in subparagraphs (A) through (D).
(3) Criteria.--In allocating funds made available to carry out this subsection, the Secretary shall give priority to applicants that--
(A) propose projects for funding that address the purposes described in paragraph (2); and
(B) demonstrate a commitment of non-Federal resources to the proposed projects.
(4) Additional criteria.--In addition, the Secretary shall give consideration to applicants that demonstrate a commitment to public and private involvement, including involvement of nontraditional partners in the project team.
(d) Allocation of Funds for Implementation.--
(1) In general.--The Secretary shall allocate funds made available to carry out this subsection to States, metropolitan planning organizations, and local governments to carry out projects to address transportation efficiency and community and system preservation.
(2) Criteria.--In allocating funds made available to carry out this subsection, the Secretary shall give priority to applicants that--
(A) have instituted preservation or development plans and programs that--
(i) meet the requirements of title 23 and chapter 53 of title 49, United States Code; and
(ii) (I) are coordinated with State and local adopted preservation or development plans;
(II) are intended to promote cost-effective and strategic investments in transportation infrastructure that minimize adverse impacts on the environment; or
(III) are intended to promote innovative private sector strategies.
(B) have instituted other policies to integrate transportation and community and system preservation practices, such as--
(i) spending policies that direct funds to high-growth areas;
(ii) urban growth boundaries to guide metropolitan expansion;
(iii) ``green corridors'' programs that provide access to major highway corridors for areas targeted for efficient and compact development; or
(iv) other similar programs or policies as determined by the Secretary;
(C) have preservation or development policies that include a mechanism for reducing potential impacts of transportation activities on the environment;
(D) examine ways to encourage private sector investments that address the purposes of this section; and
(E) propose projects for funding that address the purposes described in subsection (c)(2).
(3) Equitable distribution.--In allocating funds to carry out this subsection, the Secretary shall ensure the equitable distribution of funds to a diversity of populations and geographic regions.
(4) Use of allocated funds.--
(A) In general.--An allocation of funds made available to carry out this subsection shall be used by the recipient to implement the projects proposed in the application to the Secretary.
(B) Types of projects.--The allocation of funds shall be available for obligation for--
(i) any project eligible for funding under title 23 or chapter 53 of title 49, United States Code; or
(ii) any other activity relating to transportation and community and system preservation that the Secretary determines to be appropriate, including corridor preservation activities that are necessary to implement--
(I) transit-oriented development plans;
(II) traffic calming measures; or (III) other coordinated transportation and community and system preservation practices.
(1) In general.--There is authorized to be appropriated from the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account) to carry out this section $20,000,000 for fiscal year 1999 and $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2000 through 2003.
(2) Contract authority.--Funds authorized under this subsection shall be available for obligation in the same manner as if the funds were apportioned under chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code.