Saturday, November 06, 2004

Tea-21 Reauthorization

Tea-21 is the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. It is the major highway & public transit bill that guides federal funding. This is a massive spending bill that will have immense impact on how metropolitan areas develop transportation projects for the next 6 years or so.

Tea-21 expired in Sept. 2003 and has been living on through periodic extensions over the past 13 months. Both the Senate and House of Representatives passed versions of the reauthorization bill earlier this year; but due to discrepancies between the two bills and President Bush's insistence that it not be too generous, Congress has pretty much avoided dealing with it until after the election.

Well, the election is over and The Pottsdown Mercury reports that Congress will be taking up the bill in the veto session.

This is far from certain since it is an immense pork-barrel bill & many new members may want to get a piece of the federal funding pie.

The outcome of this bill will be significant for cities and suburbs as many infrastructure projects involve acquiring these federal matching funds. Powerful members of Congress can also push through pet projects that can have a significant impact on the metropolitan form.

We will be following Congressional action on this bill in the coming months.

Here is another article showing how Westville, NJ is having to put the breaks on downtown redevelopment because of Congressional inaction.