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Tell Congress: Don’t Waste Money on Highway Expansion
Posted By Ben Fried On January 7, 2009 @ 2:08 pm In Transportation for America,Transportation Policy | 2 Comments
U.S. PIRG just released  a great report [PDF ] outlining what's known so far (most states haven't even gone public with their requests). Here are some updates since the last time we checked in  on these wish lists:
The best state? Probably Massachusetts, which asked for more transit funding than road funding, absolutely no highway expansion money, and $18 million for bike and pedestrian projects. While one state proves that stimulus spending can signal a shift to more progressive priorities, the report leaves little doubt that the bill can't give all states a blank check.
Transportation for America has a new petition online  urging Congress to impose oversight on states and avoid throwing money down the sinkhole of new highway capacity. This is an important one to speak up on, with big implications for this year's huge transportation re-authorization package as well as the current stimulus bill. If you want to personalize your letter a bit, check after the jump for some inspiration from a Connecticut state legislator and U.S. PIRG.
From U.S. PIRG's press release  for their new report:
According to incoming Deputy Speaker of the Connecticut House, Representative David McCluskey, "We have an opportunity to use stimulus dollars to provide the people of Connecticut with the transportation alternatives they need for the future. We need to focus on regional and state-wide projects that will allow Connecticut to grow economically and in an environmentally conscientious manner. The new Congress and President need to put their foot down if they will deliver on the forward-looking Green recovery they’ve promised."
The report calls on Congress, the Obama Administration, and state leaders to apply the following principles to the writing and implementation of the next federal economic recovery legislation: (1) Highways should receive no more funds than the combined total for public transit, intercity rail, and bicycle and pedestrian projects; (2) Any road funds should go first to maintenance and repair of structurally deficient bridges and roads, not new highways or lanes; (3) Public transportation funds should include support for operations so agencies can accommodate rising demand. (4) Surface Transportation Program highway funds should be distributed as under current law so that a portion of resources flow directly to metropolitan areas that know best about which local projects are needed; (5) All states, cities, and agencies should publicly disclose the stimulus lists they have submitted; (6) Direct recipients of stimulus funds should report on how money was spent and any transportation spending that it displaced.
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URL to article: http://usa.streetsblog.org/2009/01/07/tell-congress-dont-waste-money-on-highway-expansion/
URLs in this post:
 heating up again: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5isOFwdbq0tsqatW6vJpkDRTI1gMgD95HRN1G1
 released: https://www.uspirg.org/news-releases/transportation-news/transportation-news/washington-d.c.-states-stimulus-plans-shortchange-crumbling-infrastructure-public-transportation-and-long-term-economic-vitality#Y0tAxVMjy8IQMc7Qn1ZGuw
 PDF: http://www.uspirg.org/uploads/Cl/mq/Clmqxt8LSedBAzvTOkkMZw/State-Stimulus-paper-FINAL-1-5-09US.pdf
 the last time we checked in: http://usa.streetsblog.org/2008/12/19/want-a-green-recovery-stimulate-green-transportation/
 a new petition online: http://action.smartgrowthamerica.org/t/3224/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=204
 U.S. PIRG's press release: https://www.uspirg.org/news-releases/transportation-news/transportation-news/washington-d.c.-states-stimulus-plans-shortchange-crumbling-infrastructure-public-transportation-and-long-term-economic-vitality
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