Road Lobbyists Take Hit From Livability Movement

The concept of "livability" seems to be catching on -- both at a local level and up in the federal government. This is especially true in the Department of Transportation. That could mean bad news for the road building lobby.

This piece from The Center for Public Integrity looks at how shifting priorities could pose a problem for roadbuilders in the U.S.

"If you compare what Florida received under the stimulus law and what legislators in Tallahassee propose to take away again on top of last year, it's nearly a wash, Schafer says.

All that makes federal transportation spending as important to the road building industry as ever. But the road lobby is no longer the only one in the driver's seat when it comes to setting transportation funding priorities. The Obama administration is determined to make its own mark on transportation policy by completing and repairing the current highway system while adopting an increasingly diverse menu of investments in mass transit, bike paths, and pedestrian walkways for neighborhood residents who don't own a car."

Full Story: The Road Gang



Michael Lewyn's picture


The road gang is still more powerful than environmental groups, and will more powerful still after the Democrats get crushed in November. So it seems to me that rather than fighting the road gang, the "alternative transportation lobby" (for lack of a better phrase) needs to find win-win solutions that would allow these groups to work together.

For example- is there a way to make more balanced street design profitable for the road gang? I don't know the answer, but whoever finds a way for the answer to be "yes" will revolutionize transportation policy.

Livability catching on

Livability is certainly catching on. Walkable communities are becoming prioritized in far reaching rural and suburban communities. Therefore, it is ironic that so many Americans are making one hour plus commutes regularly!

Citizen organizing is also important to achieve good planning, including road design. There is a grassroots non-profit here that is focused mainly on good road policy in the region.

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