The Center for Neighborhood Technology, Smart Growth America, and USPIRG recently released “What We Learned from the Stimulus,” an analysis of stimulus spending data provided by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that found transit projects created and sustained more jobs than highway projects. The report found that “in the 10 months since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was signed into law by President Obama, investing in public transportation produced twice as many jobs per dollar than investing in roads.”

With landscape architects leading the way in planning and designing transportation corridors that include multimodal systems, ARRA projects that focus on public transportation can lead to important opportunities for the profession. The FTA New Starts program, for example, dedicates $742 million to new transit projects and extensions to existing networks. Projected to produce 20,000 direct and indirect jobs, New Starts is an opportunity for members to help shape the next generation of public transit projects across the country.

This year, Congress will continue its work on the reauthorization of the surface transportation bill. A comprehensive transportation measure that includes aComplete Streets policy that calls on states and localities to adequately focus on alternative modes of transportation, including transit, pedestrian walkways, bike lanes, and paths, will not only provide transportation choices for Americans, but, as this report points out, will also yield important economic gains. ASLA is continuing its efforts to help shape the upcoming surface transportation bill, which could provide additional public transportation-related opportunities for landscape architects and help grow the economy, improve public transit access, and make our communities safer and more sustainable

ASLA created a resource guide, Economic Stimulus Opportunities for Landscape Architects, that includes possible ARRA prospects for landscape architects in transit projects and beyond. Although some deadlines have expired, opportunities to participate still remain. If you have participated in any federal, state, or local programs funded by the ARRA stimulus program or know of any ARRA stimulus opportunities for landscape architects, ASLA’s Government Affairs team would appreciate hearing from you.  Article posted in LANDonline.