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Civic Action and Leadership Drive Recent Transportation Innovations

In the past decade, several cities have transformed their streets by adding bus and bike lanes, creating new pedestrian plazas and emphasizing the movement of people instead of cars—changes initiated by local-level advocacy, according to A People’s History of Recent Urban Transportation Innovation, a new report released by TransitCenter.

The report studied recent innovations in transportation practice in six major metropolitan areas in the U.S.—New York City, Portland, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Denver and Charlotte—and found that local advocacy and civic engagement were necessary for revitalizing urban transportation.

“Transformation happens at the local level, with civic organizations and transportation leaders who coordinate their actions and work together,” said David ­Bragdon, executive director of TransitCenter. “Municipal leaders should be bold in their attempts to innovate, and state and federal policy should encourage local-level innovation.”

Local transportation advocates and government officials have rebranded transportation reform as a quality of life issue, allowing them to galvanize higher levels of local support, the report states.

TransitCenter is a foundation that supports efforts to improve urban ­transportation. For details, click here and search on the report title.
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