Ray LaHood Won’t Stay at USDOT Past 2012

LaHood stood behind NYC Transpo Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan at a bicycling event today in DC. Photo: Darren Flusche, League of American Bicyclists

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told the LA Times today that he’s a one-term secretary. Don’t expect him to serve during President Obama’s second term, if there is one, or to run for any other public office in the future.

Todd Zwillich of Transportation Nation suggests that partisan gridlock may be to blame. “A lot has changed in this town since I arrived more than 35 years ago,” LaHood told an audience at the National Press Club today, “but nothing changed more than the evolution of a culture in which elected officials are rewarded for intransigence… For too many, compromise has become a dirty word — for many, compromise isn’t even in their dictionary.”

As we mentioned yesterday, LaHood’s support for bicycling has continued to blossom as his tenure as secretary has gone on. From the tabletop speech to his declaration of “the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized” to last weekend’s affirmation of rail-trails as good health care policy, LaHood has been the darling of the biking community. He’s also been a high-profile advocate for the TIGER program and high-speed rail, as well as countless active transportation initiatives like Walk to School Day, and bike sharing.

In his comments to the LA Times, LaHood specifically denied that he would run for Illinois governor and said he plans to head back to the private sector.

  • NO! first Jay Walder, then Chris Ward, now Ray LaHood is on the way out?!  More and more, we’re being left with patients (drivers) running the asylum that is our nation’s transit.

  • Jeff

    Feels similar to Walder’s departure–in both cases, we had intelligent men who were beholden to the screaming and whining of a bunch of children.  If I were either of these men, I, too, would move on to work in an environment where my talents could actually be put to use, rather than obstructed.

  • Will we still see that national bike network he spoke of?

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  • Microbert3

    Don’t GO Mr. Lahood!!!!!

  • Soapy Johnson

    LaHood is no doubt fleeing in advance of the investigation into his involvement with the Chevrolet Volt 400 … http://placeitonluckydan.com/2011/05/nascar-pulls-plug-on-chevrolet-volt-400/

  • Anonymous

    Huge bummer. This guy is one of the few Republicans who I truly respect. This is a big loss for everyone.

  • Chris Loos

    There’s only one proper replacement for LaHood at USDOT, and her initials are JSK.

  • Andrew E Guthrie

    We can only hope Jim Oberstar is missing Washington by the time LaHood goes…