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      American Institute of Architects Issues Statement on Transportation Bills in Both House and Senate

      Contact: John Schneidawind
      202-626-7457
      johnschneidawind@aia.org

      http://twitter.com/AIA_Media

      For immediate release:
      Washington, D.C.  – February 9, 2011 –
      The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today issued the following statement in response to the transportation re-authorization bills making their way through both the House and the Senate.

      The statement should be attributed to AIA President Jeff Potter, FAIA:

      “While we are gratified that both the House and the Senate are moving ahead on transportation bills, there are some provisions that would take our communities in the wrong direction,” said Potter.

      From the AIA’s perspective, here is a detailed look what’s good and what’s problematic in bills in transportation bills making their way through both the House and the Senate:

      • The AIA commends the Senate Banking Committee for approving on a unanimous bipartisan vote provisions that would help communities plan for mixed-use development around transit. This was a major finding of the AIA’s 2008 study, “Moving Communities Forward,” which found that communities that had inclusive planning processes that addressed transportation, sustainability and economic developing holistically ended up with more successful projects.
      • While legislation in the House also provides some support for such development, the AIA is concerned that provisions in bills that have passed House committees would hurt a community’s ability to plan. This is especially true for provisions in the Ways and Means bill that remove transit from the trust fund and provisions in the Transportation and Infrastructure committee’s bill that prevent communities from using funds for preservation and re-use of historic facilities.
      • Indeed, the recent AIA Home Trends survey shows that better planning is exactly what voters want. It found that “in recent years, there has been a definitive shift away from large residential subdivisions towards smaller scale infill development projects with a greater emphasis on affordability, access to public transportation, commercial opportunities and job centers.”

      “At a time when communities are struggling to get back on their feet, the ability to plan around transit, revitalize existing facilities, and coordinate infrastructure planning with struggling municipalities is the most effective recipe for economic recovery,” Potter said. “We urge Congress to continue working on a truly bipartisan bill that helps meet the design and construction industry goals: hold funding levels steady, support multiple modes of transportation, and account for the many enhancements that well-planned transportation projects can bring to communities throughout this great nation.”

      About The American Institute of Architects
      For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

 

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