DOT Awards Funding to Fight Traffic Congestion

Yesterday, the Department of Transportation announced the winners of an eight-month nationwide competition to select a handful of communities from among 26 applicants wishing to join the department's Urban Partnership program, which is aimed at reducing traffic congestion using approaches like congestion pricing, transit, tolling, and teleworking.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters has selected five metropolitan areas across the country that will received funding to implement their traffic-fighting plans, they are: Miami, $62.9 million; the Minneapolis area, $133.3 million; New York City, $354.5 million; San Francisco, $158.7 million; and the Seattle area (King County), $138.7 million.

According to Peters, each of the Urban Partners has developed a total transportation solution.

"These communities have committed to fighting congestion now," she said. "Our commitment was to allocate the federal contribution in a lump sum, not in bits and pieces over several years--an approach meant to get these projects off the drawing board and into action."

Every Urban Partner has proposed some form of congestion pricing, Peters added. Additionally, Peters said, proposals for improved and expanded bus and ferry service will make it easier for commuters in Urban Partnership communities to leave their cars at home. The plans also take advantage of new technologies to keep traffic moving, along with flexible work schedules and telecommuting to ease traditional rush hours.

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