National League of Cities Supports U.S. Department of Transportation’s Principles for Local Control over Transportation

WASHINGTON—At a time when much of the nation's transportation infrastructure is in dire need of maintenance, repair and replacement, cities call on the federal government to support local transportation projects that serve to expand equity and economic opportunity throughout America. Today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced three core principles that will guide federal transportation decision-making by recognizing and mobilizing its unique power to create pathways to opportunity for all Americans.

These principles, which help to reverse more than a half-century of transportation planning that too often ignored communities' local needs, come as a part of a broader effort by the administration to address 21st century transportation needs and challenges, including the USDOT Smart Cities Challenge and groundbreaking Beyond Traffic report.

"Too many American cities live with the tragic legacy of highways that bisected and divided our communities, rather than serving as pathways to connect residents to jobs, education, healthcare and other critical services," said National League of Cities (NLC) CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony. "America's transportation network is the lifeblood of our cities, and Secretary Foxx's actions today will help to create a transportation system that promotes equity and opportunity by striving to serve all our communities' residents."

The core principles guiding U.S. transportation policy are:

  1. Transportation connects people to opportunity and can invigorate opportunity within communities. To the greatest extent possible, we should support transportation projects that do both.
  2. While we cannot change the past, we can ensure that current and future transportation projects connect and strengthen communities, including areas that have, in the past, been on the wrong side of transportation decisions. 
  3. Transportation facilities should be built by, for and with the communities impacted by them. Development of transportation facilities should meaningfully reflect and incorporate the input of all the people and communities they touch.

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.