Friday, April 08, 2011

Study: Rural transport means more than roads

Rural areas need more flexibility in choosing options for investment in transportation infrastructure, in order to maintain strong economies and quality of life, says a new study from the Rural Policy Research Institute. "The report shows that a variety of transportation investments, including transit, vanpools, walking and biking paths and roads and highways, are critical to the economic development and well-being of our nation's smaller communities and rural areas," RUPRI says in a news release.

The report includes several recommendations for Congress to consider before reauthorizing the federal surface transportation bill: support local engagement in planning and decision making, encourage innovation and integration, shift resources to address most pressing rural needs, create integrated regional transportation planning and implementation and support greater attention to rural "place making," through quality-of-life investments.

"Transportation investments are critical to the future of America's small towns and cities, and the rural regions surrounding them," RUPRI President and CEO Charles W. Fluharty said in the release. "With public resources growing ever scarcer, federal policy must now give these regions the same latitude to set their own priorities, and build collaborative and innovative approaches to achieve them, that our nation's metropolitan regions have long benefited from." (Read more)

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