Architect testifies about importance of comprehensive transportation legislation being passed this year
Amid a rapidly growing U.S. population, escalating oil and gas prices, and a crumbling national infrastructure, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) called on Congress to pass the Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009. The bill, currently before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, recognizes what the AIA reported to Congress in its 2008 study, Moving Communities Forward, that well planned and designed transportation projects create more prosperous, sustainable and livable communities.
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Pittsburgh-based architect, Rob Robinson, AIA, told a subcommittee of the House Committee on Small Business at a hearing today that passing a transportation bill will have a tremendous impact on job creation and retention. â€śWell-designed transportation projects help to create attractive and accessible business districts where small businesses can flourish. Transportation improvements that bring consumers off the interstate onto main streets also create a market for start-up businesses, and livable, walkable communities produce ideal locations for businesses to locate,â€ť Robinson testified.
Specific AIA recommendations: - Enact a comprehensive transportation legislation bill this year to ensure that job creation and infrastructure improvements can begin as soon as possible
- Include provisions in the bill that support the use of public participation processes Ensure that small architecture and engineering (A/E) firms have the ability to compete for contracts under the bill.
- Preserve and protect provisions in the current law requiring funds to be awarded to A/E firms through qualifications-based procedures
- Additionally, a 21st century transportation system will help expand job opportunities, reduce the congestion that is choking our communities and diminish greenhouse gas emissions.