search menu flickr twitter phone angle-left angle-right angle-up angle-down file-pdf link-ext doc-inv sitemap location map calendar credit-card clock facebook-squared minus plus cancel ok instagramm download inkwell

NACTO Statement: Biden-Harris Administration Funds Billions in Visionary Transportation Projects to Reconnect Communities and Provide Access to Opportunity

Mar 14, 2024

Alana Brasier and Stefanie Seskin, Directors of Engagement and Policy and Practice for the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), issued the following statement today in response to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) announcement of $3.3 billion in federal transportation grants to reconnect communities:

Transportation infrastructure should be designed to connect us and provide access to opportunity, but decades of federally-funded projects instead divided communities from each other. Homes, businesses, and street grids were disrupted, and residents were left with challenging and dangerous places to walk, bike, or take transit. USDOT’s award yesterday of more than $3.3 billion to more than 100 communities to knit together communities is a visionary step toward creating a better future for all people in our country. 

These transformational grants will, among many other highlights: 

  • Build parks on top of, and sometimes below, highways–transforming imposing barriers into inviting places where people can walk, bike, get to the other side of town, or stop and get to know their neighbors in our increasing age of disconnection
  • Reinvigorate entire neighborhoods–returning car-only spaces to safer, walkable communities
  • Improve connections to transit–one of the most effective and equitable ways for people to access jobs, healthcare, and all of the opportunities in cities, and 
  • Redesign dangerous streets and boulevards–beginning to solve America’s traffic safety crisis. 

Some visionary grants include:

  • $157 million to reconnect downtown Atlanta with a major new park and affordable housing, along with more than $50 million to reconnect metro Atlanta’s southside neighborhoods to each other, 
  • $19 million to connect residents to high-quality, frequent transit in Honolulu,
  • $61 million to reconnect–through high-quality biking, walking, and transit infrastructure–historically disadvantaged communities cut in half by I-10 in New Orleans,  
  • $158 million to reconnect Philadelphia’s Chinatown–which for decades has cleaved a tight-knit community into two, separated by the Vine Street Expressway, 
  • $43 million to transform streets for thousands of residents in Houston, with sidewalks, improved drainage, and tree cover–not just reconnecting communities, but preparing them for the climate realities the city is increasingly facing today,
  • $36 million to transform a major artery in Milwaukee, transforming it from a deadly raceway to a multimodal corridor with space for walking, biking, and taking transit, and
  • $2.5 million to complete a bike boulevard in Tucson – showing that not all projects require huge funds to be transformational for their communities.

These projects support dozens of communities who are reimagining themselves as places where all residents can walk, bike, take transit, and connect with their neighbors and all the opportunities in their cities. 

Yet, the incredible breadth of projects awarded is just a fraction of the demand, and potential, for transportation improvements that can dramatically transform America’s cities. NACTO urges states across the country to use these projects as a blueprint for other infrastructure investments. These types of projects deserve a far higher proportion of the $300 billion in federal transportation funding allocated to states through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Creative approaches, from transforming highways into boulevards to building parks on top of what was previously acres of asphalt, can help strengthen communities and create a more equitable, prosperous future.

About the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)
NACTO is an association of 100 North American cities and transit agencies that exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. The organization’s mission is to build cities as places for people, with safe, sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation choices that support a strong economy and vibrant quality of life. To learn more, visit, sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on social media, including on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram

Press Contact
Alex Engel | alex  [a t )

For Immediate Release
March 14, 2024