Game-Changers? "Complete Streets" and Fuel Efficiency Standards

14th street
A pedestrian waits at 14th and U St. NW, Washington, D.C. Photo by M.V. Jantzen.

Two stories you need to know about sustainable transportation in the United States this week:

Vehicle Emission Rules to Tighten
Washington Post
May 19, 2009

The Obama administration today plans to propose tough standards for tailpipe emissions from new automobiles, establishing the first nationwide regulation for greenhouse gases.

It will also raise fuel efficiency targets to 35.5 miles per gallon for new passenger vehicles and light trucks by 2016, four years earlier than required under the 2007 energy bill, sources close to the administration said.

Congressional Climate Bill Includes ‘Complete Streets’ But Not CLEAN TEA
May 18, 2009

Henry Waxman (D-CA), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has just struck a deal on his long-awaited climate change bill — and though the agreement makes a number of concessions to polluters, it also takes a step forward towards popularizing the cause of “complete streets”.

The House climate bill requires every state and metropolitan area with more than 200,000 residents to devise plans for reducing transportation-related carbon emissions. The bill directs states and localities to draft plans that “consider transportation and land use strategies” that encourage transit use, walking and bike riding, as well as equal access by all users.

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