The Transportation and Community and System Preservation Pilot (TCSP) Program provides funding over five years to State and local governments to develop innovative strategies that use transportation to build livable communities. Created by Section 1221 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), $120 million of funding is authorized to respond to the concerns of communities from across America that transportation investments should be used to achieve strong, sustainable economic growth while simultaneously ensuring a high quality of life. Access to jobs, traffic congestion, preservation of green space, and the need for a sense of community are just a few of the considerations that must be balanced as communities plan for their futures. Grants provided by TCSP support projects that improve linkages among transportation and community planning and system preservation practices.
With the first grants awarded in fiscal year 1999, the TCSP program has achieved immediate success. Interest in the program was immense, with over 520 requests received. Grants for the $13.1 million of funding available for the first year were awarded to governmental organizations in 27 States and the District of Columbia. The application process resulted in the development of many innovative ideas and the formation of new partnerships that might not otherwise have occurred. TCSP has encouraged new ways of thinking about and responding to the challenges inherent in making good decisions about the nation’s transportation system, our communities, and the environment. The results of the first year already are helping communities develop their own successful strategies to improve transportation efficiency; reduce infrastructure costs; ensure efficient access to jobs, services, and centers of trade; and encourage private-sector development patterns that achieve these goals. In future years, best practices and lessons learned from these initial projects will be shared, and additional grants will be made to demonstrate other ways of helping communities make more informed decisions to guide their futures.