Who Should Be In Charge Of Transportation Decisions?

A new commentary by Robert Puentes blasts the nation's transportation system and policy as dysfunctional.
May 15, 2004, 9am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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Ugly fights in Congress about the next iteration of the TransportationEquity Act of the 21st Century (TEA-21) are all about pork, rather thanprinciple -- and that's bad news for disgruntled commuters and businesses,argues Rob Puentes in a new online commentary. Entitled "Cement and PorkDon't Mix," Puentes contends that Congress needs to get beyond argumentsabout the money and fundamentally reform the nation's dysfunctional transportation system. "...A growing body of research based on actual investments clearly shows that major highway projects do not necessarily create new jobs or spur economic growth so much as shift economic activity around a metropolitan area. The result is that cities and older suburbs frequently look on helplessly as commercial strips decline and infrastructure crumbles as growth follows new public investments out to the suburban fringe. That is why the extension and expansion of highways truly is what the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan called it: part of the federal government's 'hidden' urban policy."

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Monday, May 10, 2004 in The Brookings Institution
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