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Columbus beats out Portland and others for federal Smart City Challenge

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on June 21st, 2016 at 12:33 pm

columbus skyline
Downtown Columbus.
(Photo: Sean Denney)

Well, it’s a nice week to be an Ohioan.

Two days after the NBA Championship, the Buckeye State’s capital has apparently scored a $40 million federal grant that’ll be matched by $100 million in private investment to create a model of a future tech-connected city.

Columbus beat out Portland, San Francisco, Austin, Denver, Pittsburgh and Kansas City for the Smart City Challenge victory, an initiative of U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

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US DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx on the end of favoring cars

by on May 20th, 2016 at 12:44 pm

DOT Sec Foxx.jpg

Six years ago former US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood surprised everyone at the closing reception of the 2010 National Bike Summit when he climbed up on a table and made a short but sweet speech.

“I’ve been all over America,” LaHood proclaimed, arms outstretched over 700 bike advocates. “People do want alternatives. They want out of their cars; they want out of congestion; they want to live in livable neighborhoods.”

The next morning he followed that up with a policy document that he said marked “the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.”

Fast forward to Wednesday when current DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx came to Portland. He struck resonant chords about America’s failure to diversify our transportation system, but as evidenced by the FAST Act that passed under his watch, federal transportation funding and policy shows no signs of ending its long romance with the automobile.

So when I got the unexpected opportunity to ask Secretary Foxx a question, the first thing that popped into my head was that indelible image of Ray LaHood standing on a tabletop in that Senate ballroom on Capitol Hill. I wondered if Secretary Foxx had any insights into how we might usher in this era LaHood once spoke of.
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US DOT Secretary in Portland for ‘Smart City’ pitch, shares his views on transportation

by on May 19th, 2016 at 12:48 pm

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US Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in Portland yesterday.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s a united front of support for a transportation project the likes of which we’ve never seen. And hopefully U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was just as impressed as we were.

Yesterday the Portland Bureau of Transportation hosted over 50 notable leaders and elected officials from a variety of backgrounds to sit in on a roundtable with Foxx as part of their massive effort to win the $40 million “Smart City Challenge” prize. Portland is one of seven finalists for the grant award and Foxx is currently touring each city before making a final decision in June.
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Gamification and ‘ubiquitous mobility’: Inside Portland’s $50 million ‘Smart City’ grant pitch

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on February 10th, 2016 at 9:36 am

mobile girls
The city’s plan includes a “Marketplace” mobile app that would let you plan and buy trips by every mode.
(Photo: M.Andersen)

Portland is one of 77 cities around the country that have put in for a one-time federal ‘Smart City’ grant that’s looking to promote big ideas about urban mobility.

An award is a long shot — only one city will get the $50 million prize — but the city’s application (which wraps together a wide variety of concepts for improving and integrating digital transportation data) is an education in itself, offering various details about the city’s vision that we haven’t seen publicly until now.

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USDOT Sec. Foxx unveils ‘Grow America Act’, says biking is part of solution

by on April 29th, 2014 at 9:20 am

Sec. Foxx at the National Bike Summit in March.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

US Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has sent his new transportation bill to Congress. The “Grow America Act” is the latest sign that Congress and the Obama Administration are getting serious about addressing our nation’s infrastructure problems as the Highway Trust Fund edges closer to bankruptcy this summer.

In a statement released today, Sec. Foxx said, “I visited eight states and 13 cities as part of my Invest in America, Commit to the Future bus tour this month and everywhere I went, I heard the same thing – people want more transportation options and better roads and bridges to get them where they need to go. Failing to act before the Highway Trust Fund runs out is unacceptable – and unaffordable.”

The four-year, $302 billion bill would address infrastructure maintenance, improve safety programs and investment, boost rail transit, and more. To pay for the investments, the bill relies on “pro-growth business tax reforms.” (more…)

USDOT Sec. Foxx focuses on safety, politics and economics at Summit speech

by on March 4th, 2014 at 11:05 am

USDOT Sec Foxx at Bike Summit-2
US DOT Sec. Anthony Foxx at the
National Bike Summit.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

—BikePortland’s coverage from Washington D.C. is made possible by Planet Bike.

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx made his National Bike Summit debut today. The man that used to hold his job, Ray LaHood, was a crowd favorite for many years and had endeared himself with advocates for his pro-bike proclamations (sometimes delivered via tabletop).

Sec. Foxx was well aware of LaHood’s legacy and began his speech today by saying, “I have big shoes to fill.” Looking to bolster his cycling cred, Foxx showed a photo of himself riding one of Charlotte, North Carolina’s bikeshare bikes. Foxx oversaw the launch of bike share during his time as mayor of Charlotte.

After joking that the photo was of him competing in a stage of the Tour de France, Foxx said: “The truth is, I’m a huge fan of biking and my family is as well.” (more…)

Obama picks Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx for USDOT Secretary – UPDATED

by on April 28th, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Anthony Foxx could be
our next DOT Secretary.
(Photo: Anthony Foxx Facebook Page)

News has broken this evening that President Obama will pick Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx as the next US Department of Transportation Secretary. Foxx, 41, would replace Ray LaHood, who Obama appointed in December 2008.

Foxx has been mayor of Charlotte for almost four years and just recently announced he would not seek re-election. He’s a former lawyer who has spent most of his professional life in politics. From what I’ve seen reported so far, it appears Foxx does not have much transportation experience. He’s pushed for highway widening projects, he’s started a streetcar revival in Charlotte and he’s a big proponent of rail transit in general.

Here’s more on the selection of Foxx from Slate’s Matthew Yglesias: (more…)