Taking the High Road: A Metropolitan Agenda for Transportation Reform (James A. Johnson Metro Series) / Edition 1

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Since the early 1990s, federal transportation laws have slowly started to level the playing field between highway and alternative transportation strategies, as well as between older and newer communities. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century made substantial changes in transportation practices. These laws devolved greater responsibility for planning and implementation to urban development organizations and introduced more flexibility in the spending of federal highway and transit funds. They also created a series of special programs to carry out important national objectives, and they tightened the linkages between transportation spending and issues such as metropolitan air quality.

Taking the High Road examines the most pressing transportation challenges facing American cities, suburbs, and metropolitan areas. The authors focus on the central issues in the ongoing debate and deliberations about the nation's transportation policy. They go beyond the federal debate, however, to lay out an agenda for reform that responds directly to those responsible for putting these policies into practice —leaders at the state, metropolitan, and local levels.

This book presents public officials with options for reform. Hoping to build upon the progress and momentum of earlier transportation laws, it ensures a better understanding of the problems and provides policymakers, journalists, and the public with a comprehensive guide to the numerous issues that must be addressed. Topics include

• A wide-ranging policy framework that addresses the reauthorization debate

• An examination of transportation finance and how it affects cities and suburbs

• An analysis of metropolitan decisionmaking in transportation

• The challenges of transportation access for working families and the elderly

• The problems of increasing traffic congestion and the lack of adequate alternatives

Contributors include Scott Bernstein (Center for Neighborhood Technology), Edward Biemborn (University of Wisconsin), Evelyn Blumenberg (UCLA), John Brennan (Cleveland State University), Anthony Downs (Brookings), Billie K. Geyer (Cleveland State), Edward W. Hill (Cleveland State), Arnold Howitt (Harvard University), Kevin E. O'Brien (Cleveland State), Ryan Prince (Brookings), Claudette Robey (Cleveland State), Sandra Rosenbloom (University of Arizona), Thomas Sanchez (Virginia Tech), Martin Wachs (University of California, Berkeley), and Margy Waller (Brookings).

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Taking the High Road provides an excellent primer for understanding the current state of metropolitan transportation planning, how this policy area has taken center stage in metropolitan issues, and reforms that would facilitate more effective metropolitan governance." —Thomas W. Sanchez & James Wolf, Public Administration Review, 1/1/2007

"This very important, readable volume is designed to influence US federal transportation legislation away from building large highways between and around cities, to serving central cities and metropolitan areas with a variety of appropriate transportation modes....Excellent, fact-filled chapters by distinguished experts cover current federal transportation funding programs with their geographic and modal inequities; meeting the unmet mobility needs of older Americans and the working poor; the unfair stringency of transit planning requirements compared to highways; and antiterrorism measures in transportation....Highly recommended" —D. Brand, formerly, Harvard University, CHOICE, 2/1/2006

"Well-argued, databased case for wresting control of federal and state highway tax revenues away from traditionalists who favor rural and suburban counties over cities." — Future Survey, 12/1/2005

"the book covers a wide array of metropolitan transportation problems. It is well researched, informative, and full of reasonable recommendations for improvement." —Alan Black, Journal of the American Planning Association, 9/1/2006

"The essays that comprise this book are well written and present fact-based and insightful arguments for contributing to efforts to reassess and reshape transportation policies in 21st century America. They make the book fully deserving of inclusion on the reading lists of persons directly involved in the transportation policy-making process as well as on the assigned text lists of college and university courses in the transportation and urban studies field." —Joe B. Hanna, Transportation Journal, 4/1/2007

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815748274
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Series: James A. Johnson Metro Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 331
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce Katz is vice president, director of the Metropolitan Policy Program, and Adeline M. and Alfred I. Johnson Chair in Urban and Metropolitan Policy at the Brookings Institution. Robert Puentes is a fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution.

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