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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
Karen Skelton; General Council, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, D.C.
Roy Kienitz; Executive Director, Surface Transportation Policy Project, Washington, D.C.
"Where we are"
There is growing interest in the concept of sustainable development. New development due to economic growth has highlighted the need for sustainable living and preservation of existing communities. The quality of life in a community is determined by issues involving the environment, crime, schools, and transportation. These issues must be addressed in order to create a sustainable development. The Clinton Admin- station and the U.S. Department of Transportation have made Livable Communities a high priority. Besides promoting Administration's goals, the TSCP program enjoys substantial support at the local level as well. Interest in the concept of Livable Communities is present at the grass-roots level, as shown by the high number of local initiatives for managing growth passed during the 1998 elections. Many people are beginning to realize the costs of sprawl, and no longer see the suburbs as automatically supporting a high quality of life. For example, businesses are becoming interested in sustainable growth, as development patterns affect employee quality of life and, ultimately, productivity. The Federal Government's role in this movement is to promote more choices that increase the freedom of communities to pursue local quality of life goals.
"TCSP in Context: How It Came To Be, and Where It Can Take Us."
The concepts of livable communities and sustainable development have been discussed for years. Now that the Interstate Highway System is complete, the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) wants to focus on finding ways that transportation can better serve communities. Specific goals toward this end include greater environmental awareness, more public involvement in transportation decision making, greater attention to non-motorized modes, preservation of existing systems, a greater level of local control, and coordinated land use and transportation. The link between land use and transportation should be recognized to a greater extent under Transportation Enhancement (TEA-21) Provisions TEA-21 than in was under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA). A good example of how this can work is the Portland Land-Use, Transportation and Air Quality (LUtrAQ) project. LUtrAQ can serve as a model for other localities that are interested in land use and transportation planning. STPP was a strong supporter for the creation of the TCSP program, and is pleased with the way it has been implemented.