Ray LaHood Takes on New Role

From Republican congressman from Ill. to President Obama's first Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood now takes on a new role as a co-chair of the bipartisan coalition, Building America's Future, to advocate for increased infrastructure investment.

2 minute read

January 15, 2014, 10:00 AM PST

By Irvin Dawid

After serving four years as an outspoken Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Ray LaHood is now free to speak on issues he couldn't under President Obama such as raising the gas tax and implementing mileage fees in his new capacity as a co-chair of Building America's Future.

"LaHood will reinforce BAF's message calling for strong support for "critical transportation infrastructure investments" and finding a way to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent," writes the AASJTO Journal editor.

"While there is widespread agreement that our nation's aging roads, bridges, transit and aviation systems are woefully inadequate, Washington has failed to show leadership in making the tough decisions to increase revenue to fund these critical investments. With the Highway Trust Fund just months away from insolvency, it is time for action," LaHood said in a statement.

LaHood took to the media to announce his new position and what he intends to do in his new capacity. He made the rounds at MSNBC (via You Tube), Fox News with Neil Cavuto (via You Tube) who questioned the need to raise the gas taxes and argued that transportation revenues weren't being accounted for, and the PBS Newshour.

Speaking with Judy Woodruff of PBS, LaHood and BAF co-chair Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania raise the need to increase funding for the infrastructure investment that their group advocates.

We have to do something about the gas tax or a vehicle miles travel tax. And we have got to be realistic about that. We have got to create an infrastructure bank that can do credit enhancements that will allow more money to flow into the system. We have got to do it all, [states Rendell].

Friday, January 10, 2014 in AASHTO Journal

Chicago Intercity Rail

Amtrak Ramping Up Infrastructure Projects

Thanks to federal funding from the 2021 infrastructure act, the agency plans to triple its investment in infrastructure improvements and new routes in the next two years.

September 25, 2023 - Smart Cities Dive

Google maps street view of San Francisco alleyway.

Ending Downtown San Francisco’s ‘Doom Loop’

A new public space project offers an ambitious vision—so why is the city implementing it at such a small scale?

September 26, 2023 - Fast Company

Google street view of yellow "End Freeway 1/4 mile" sign on 90 freeway in Los Angeles, California.

Proposal Would Transform L.A.’s ‘Freeway to Nowhere’ Into Park, Housing

A never-completed freeway segment could see new life as a mixed-use development with housing, commercial space, and one of the county’s largest parks.

September 26, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

Traffic on the 405 interstate freeway through the Sepulveda Pass at Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California

Report: Bike Lanes Can't Make up for New Roads

If California wants to meet its climate goals, the state must stop funding its myriad road construction and expansion projects.

September 29 - Streetsblog California

Late evening view of downtown Minneapolis skyline with stone bridge in foreground

Minneapolis Affordable Housing Project Largest in 20 Years

The city opened its first large multifamily affordable housing complex in decades, but a recent court ruling against the Minneapolis 2040 rezoning plan could jeopardize future projects.

September 29 - Minnesota Public Radio

Close-up of vertical PARK sign on multistory urban parking garage.

NYC Mayor Proposes Eliminating Parking Minimums

Mayor Adams wants to stop requiring off-site parking for new buildings to reduce the costs of construction as part of the ‘City of Yes’ package of zoning reforms.

September 29 - StreetsBlog NYC

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.