Tuesdays at APA–DC

Rethinking Federal Transportation Policy or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love General Fund Revenues

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 • 5:30 p.m. ET

The federal transportation program, which provides 40 percent of capital funding for highways and mass transit in the U.S., lacks direction, purpose, and financial stability. Since 2008 it has limped along without any clear direction or purpose, while at the same time starving for cash. The net effect is that as a nation we tend to make poor investment decisions in transportation relative to potential national goals such as economic growth, environmental improvements, mobility, or safety. We are underinvesting in operational improvements, system preservation, metropolitan regions and freight, and spending too much on capital, new facilities, new areas for development, and perceived local needs.

How can we hope to change this? Even a non-existent policy, like the one we have now, represents a policy direction. We must seize that direction, codify it, and make it into something worthwhile and effective.

CM | 1.0

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Peter KatzJoshua L. Schank is President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation, a nonprofit foundation with the mission of improving transportation policy and leadership. Before joining Eno, he directed the National Transportation Policy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center. He was transportation policy advisor to Sen. Hillary Clinton during the development of the previous surface transportation authorization bill (SAFETEA-LU). Schank's work in transportation policy and planning is well documented in his publications, including All Roads Lead to Congress: The $300 Billion Fight Over Highway Funding, co-authored with Costas Panagopoulos. He holds a Ph.D. in urban planning from Columbia University, a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.A. in urban studies from Columbia University.

Tuesdays at APA–DC

Join APA in Washington, D.C., each month for this after-work lecture and discussion series. Practicing planners, researchers, and professionals from allied fields discuss innovative ideas and concepts or present their latest projects.

The events are free and open to APA members and nonmembers. If you can't join us in person, check out the podcast. Podcasts of many of the programs are posted on the event archive page approximately one week after the live event.


APA's Washington Office
1030 15th St., NW
Suite 750W
Washington, DC 20005

APA's Washington, D.C., office is located on the corner of 15th and L Streets NW. Please use the entrance on 15th Street. Let security know you are there to attend an event at the American Planning Association and they will direct you to the elevator to the 7th floor.

Several public transportation lines are close by, including the red (Farragut North station) and orange (McPherson Square station) lines. Several Capital Bikeshare stations are also nearby (17th & K; Thomas Circle). Additionally, several paid parking garages are available nearby.

Would You Like to Be a Speaker?

Contact Ryan Scherzinger at rscherzinger@planning.org.

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