Washington, D.C., September 12, 2011 -- The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) applauds President Barack Obama for his agenda to put people back to work while re-building our nation’s transportation infrastructure.
“Our current transportation infrastructure is crumbling, outdated, and does not fit the needs of today’s American families. However, any efforts to re-build our transportation networks must include projects for all modes of transportation, including walking and bicycling paths and trails,” said ASLA CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA.
As Congress and the Administration begin to move on President Obama’s job creating proposals, ASLA urges them to include a robust Transportation Enhancements program in these policies. For nearly 20 years, the Transportation Enhancements program has successfully helped communities provide much-needed transportation choices for their residents, while also helping to jumpstart economic development and create local jobs. The Transportation Enhancements program is the primary source of funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects, many of which create critical arterials that allow people to safely and efficiently get to work, school, shopping, and other daily destinations without relying on an automobile.
The Transportation Enhancements program is only 1.5 percent of the overall transportation program, yet yields tremendous results, including creating much-needed jobs. A recent study by the Political Economy Research Institute found that for each $1 million spent on bicycle projects, approximately 14 jobs are created compared to only 7 jobs generated by road repair work. In fact, thousands of landscape architects, many of whom are part of small businesses, access Transportation Enhancement funding to plan and design critical transportation projects around the country. Cutting or reducing the TE program would directly impact these small landscape architecture firms and the myriad of other small businesses throughout the supply chain.
The members of the American Society of Landscape Architects share President Obama’s commitment to rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, while creating important jobs. We urge Congress to continue to provide important policies tools that will allow landscape architects and other design professionals to continue to create well-planned and well–designed communities with efficient transportation corridors.