January 29, 2013

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Resigns

A Statement from American Planning Association CEO W. Paul Farmer, FAICP:

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today that he will not serve a second term. LaHood leaves behind a distinguished record as a strong advocate for innovative planning, transportation choice and sustainable communities.

Ray LaHoodI commend LaHood for his outstanding leadership as Transportation Secretary. Over the past four years, we have witnessed exciting policies that have had a profound impact on American communities. Truly a planner's secretary, LaHood was instrumental in creating the groundbreaking Partnership for Sustainable Communities along with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This effort has improved government programs and helped communities plan for a stronger and more resilient future. 

Secretary LaHood led the way in creating DOT's TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program. TIGER has enabled communities around the country to receive funding for critical transportation projects that further the national agenda of improving transportation infrastructure, diversifying transportation options, and reducing transportation's environmental impacts on communities. This program marks a new direction for federal funding that is more flexible, encourages local innovation, and promotes good planning.

Secretary LaHood was a strong champion for investments in transit, rail, bike and pedestrian investments. He also strongly supported design principles for transportation that build communities and our economy.  

He provided critical leadership during the debate and passage of MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act), the first multi-years transportation authorization since 2005. MAP-21 makes vital investments in our transportation system and begins to encourage new approaches to transportation planning. APA looks forward to working with Secretary LaHood's successor on effective implementation of the new law.

Innovative leaders that are not satisfied with status quo are important and necessary for America to remain vital and competitive in a global economy. LaHood has helped generate policies and programs that will have positive effects on urban and rural communities across the country for years to come. I expect that the next Transportation Secretary will continue on this trailblazing path that LaHood has started.


Roberta Rewers, APA Public Affairs; rrewers@planning.org
Jason Jordan, APA Policy; jjordan@planning.org