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"Livability means being able to take your kids to school, go to work, see a doctor, drop by the grocery or post office, go out to dinner and a movie, and play with your kids at the park, all without having to get into your car. Livability means building the communities that help Americans live the lives they want to live - whether those communities are urban centers, small towns, or rural areas."
-Secretary Ray LaHood: United States Department of Transportation
Livability in transportation is about using the quality, location, and type of transportation facilities and services available to help achieve broader community goals such as access to good jobs, affordable housing, quality schools, and safe streets. This includes addressing road safety and mode choice through better planning and design, maximizing and expanding new technologies, and using travel demand management (TDM) approaches.
In 2009 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed to work together to ensure that the goals of gaining better access to affordable housing, more transportation options, and lower transportation costs are met while simultaneously protecting the environment, promoting equitable development, and helping to address the challenges of climate change. DOT, HUD and EPA have created a high-level interagency partnership to better coordinate Federal transportation, environmental protection, housing investments, and to identify strategies that promote and put into action the following Livability Principles from FHWA:
- Provide more transportation choices.
- Promote equitable, affordable housing.
- Enhance economic competitiveness.
- Support existing communities.
- Coordinate and leverage Federal policies and investment.
- Value communities and neighborhoods.
Safe Routes to School
The Massachusetts Safe Routes to School program promotes healthy alternatives for children and parents in their travel to and from school. It educates students, parents and community members on the value of walking and bicycling for travel. Learn more about the program through MassRIDES - Schools.
A Complete Street accomodates all users and is safe, comfortable and convenient for travel via automobile, foot, bicycle and transit. Examples may include sidewalks, bike lanes, median islands, accessible pedestrian signs; curb extensions, roundabout and frequent and safe crossing opportunities. Benefits fromComplete Streets include reducing congestion and costs, safety improvements, connectivity with transit while promoting healthy transportation options. Learn more about Complete Streets through MassDOT's Project Development and Design Guide.