Rural areas and small communities are facing many environmental, demographic, and economic changes--challenges that are the inevitable byproducts of growing travel demand, increased sprawl, and dispersed destinations. The challenge is to maintain the vitality of these rural areas and small communities while preserving and protecting the natural, historic, scenic, and cultural environment. The USDOT has a wide range of programs directed specifically toward protecting and enhancing communities and the natural environment, both of which can be impacted by transportation. These programs are significant tools in preserving the quality of life and environment in rural
Transportation and Community and System Preservation Pilot Program
The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century established the Transportation and Community and System Preservation Pilot Program (TCSP) in response to the increasing interest in “smart growth” policies that encourage investments in maintenance of existing infrastructure over new construction, investment in high-growth corridors, and efficient access to jobs and services. The key purpose of this pilot program is to devise neighborhood, local, metropolitan, state, or regional strategies that improve the efficiency of the transportation system, minimize environmental impacts, and reduce the need for costly public infrastructure investments.
The purpose is to fund transportation-related activities designed to strengthen cultural, aesthetic, and environmental aspects of the Nation's transportation system.
National Scenic Byways Program
The purpose of The National Scenic Byway Program is to provide national recognition of roads that represent outstanding examples of scenic, historic, cultural, recreational, and natural qualities as well as to provide technical and financial assistance.
Recreational Trails Program
The purpose is to provide and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and non-motorized recreational trail uses.
Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways
The purpose is to promote the increased use and safety of bicycling and walking as transportation modes.
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program
The purpose of this program is to fund projects for areas that do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (no attainment areas) and former no attainment areas that are now in compliance (maintenance areas) for ozone, carbon monoxide, and small particulate matter. Funding is to help meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act.
Intelligent Transportation Systems
The ITS program provides for the research, development, and operational testing of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) aimed at solving congestion and safety problems, improving operating efficiencies in transit and commercial vehicles, and reducing the environmental impact of growing travel demand. Proven technologies that are technically feasible and highly cost effective will be deployed nationwide as a component of the surface transportation systems of the
. United States