"Recovery Bill" Goes off the Rails

Paul Loeb and Deron Lovaas, Federal Transportation Policy Director for the Natural Resource Defense Council, pan the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" Bill for failing to adequately fund rail and road repairs.

"The recovery bill unveiled last week contains several important steps in...key environmental areas. But...its transportation provisions are a major retreat.

The bill...would cut $2 billion proposed by [House Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar to help transit agencies provide service for growing ridership. This follows a 6.5 percent increase in transit use from 2007, the biggest in 25 years...We already trail the rest of the developed world in public transportation of every kind. Europe now plans to build thousands of new miles of rail lines, and China is adding a high-speed rail link between Hong Kong and Beijing. After eight years of malign neglect during the Bush administration, we now risk falling even further behind, when this kind of infrastructure is critical to both our economic efficiency and our ability to tackle global climate change.

In a problem with both versions of the bill, the highway investment isn't explicitly targeted to repair and maintenance of crumbling roads and bridges. That's indefensible...For any money spent on highways, the commonsense approach is "fix it first." Most of the transportation money will likely be spent on new highways, with a far worse energy impact."

Full Story: Missing the Train on the Recovery Package

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month