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John Petro

New York City Secures $18 Million in Federal Funding for 34th Street Transitway

The 34th Street Transitway—a plan to significantly increase mobility along the congested corridor—just got a $18 million boost today from the federal government. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the winners of the Urban Circulator Grant program, which distributed a total of $293 million to cities across the country.

The grant program builds upon the Obama administration’s focus on issues of livability in inner-city neighborhoods. Transportation Secretary called the program, “A significant effort to promote livable communities, improve the quality of life for more Americans and create more transportation choices that serve the needs of individual communities.”

Yonah Freemark at the Transport Politic notes that the program is different from many other federal transportation programs in that it emphasizes “convenience over speed.” In urban environments access is often more important than travel speeds, and the Circulator Grant program recognizes this fact. The program gives priority to “projects that connect destinations and foster the redevelopment of communities into walkable, mixed use, high-density environments.”

While grants are generally small—only up to $25 million--these are the types of projects that will foster redevelopment in our downtowns and inner-city neighborhoods. They have the potential to increase residents’ access to jobs and thereby increase economic opportunity. Business owners benefit when more customers are brought to their doors.

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Posted at 6:14 PM, Jul 08, 2010 in Urban Affairs
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