Here is something that just came to my attention. Senators DODD, MENENDEZ, MERKLEY, BENNET, AKAKA, and SCHUMER) have introduced a bill in the senate that is intended to stop and reverse urban sprawl and create more sustainable communities. SB 1619 was introduced on August 6th, and has been voted out of committee for consideration on the floor. The name of the bill is “The Livable Communities Act”. Complete text of the bill can be found here: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s111-1619
According to the bill, purpose of this act is as follows:
(1) to facilitate and improve the coordination of housing, community development, transportation, energy, and environmental policy in the United States;
(2) to coordinate Federal policies and investments to promote sustainable development;
(3) to encourage regional planning for livable communities and the adoption of sustainable development techniques, including transit-oriented development;
(4) to provide a variety of safe, reliable transportation choices, with special emphasis on public transportation and complete streets, in order to reduce traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and dependence on foreign oil;
(5) to provide affordable, energy-efficient, and location-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities, and to make the combined costs of housing and transportation more affordable to families;
(6) to support, revitalize, and encourage growth in existing communities, in order to maximize the cost effectiveness of existing infrastructure and preserve undeveloped lands;
(7) to promote economic development and competitiveness by connecting the housing and employment locations of workers, reducing traffic congestion, and providing families with access to essential services;
(8) to preserve the environment and natural resources, including agricultural and rural land and green spaces; and
(9) to support public health and improve quality of life for the residents of and workers in communities by promoting healthy, walkable neighborhoods, access to green space, and the mobility to pursue greater opportunities.
I will be reading this bill and let you know how they intend to achieve these goals. While they sound great on the surface, I wonder, while regional planing is not effectively well done in Alabama, do we really want the Federal government pushing this on us from Washington? I will report the details and let you decide.