DNC Head: Transit "Essential to Our Economic Success"

In the lull following a tumultuous election season, we’ve been keeping an eye on how the new political appointments shake out and what they mean for transit, walking, and biking. With the balance of power in Washington remaining split, it’s been a bit of a mixed bag.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz helped Fort Lauderdale secure TIGER funding for "The Wave" Streetcar coming in 2015. Photo: ##http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ADebbieWassermanSchultz_Iowa.JPG##Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons##

While the strongest transit supporters in the House of Representatives remain in the minority, one of them apparently occupies a key post within the Democratic Party. Today our friends at Transit Miami point to an encouraging speech from Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Florida), who was recently reappointed to head the Democratic National Committee. Transit Miami blogger and occasional Streetsblog contributor Kathryn Moore had this to say:

Just as the President was making this announcement, Gabriel Lopez-Bernal (founder of TM and now of TranSystems) and I were listening to a promising speech by the Congresswoman at the annual meeting of the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association, (the non-profit leadership behind the Sun Trolley). [Wasserman-Schultz] told a packed house of transportation officials, private consultants, lobbyists and parking policy wonks that public transit is not only at the center of national policy now, but it “is essential to our economic success.”

Wasserman-Schultz has been integral to the success of City of Fort Lauderdale in securing $18 million in TIGER grant money for ‘the Wave.’ She remarked that everyone should see what the streetcar has down for Portland, Oregon because that is what we should expect for Broward. The fiscal cliff and election cycles have left most of Washington, D.C. silent on the critical needs of our nation’s infrastructure, but Wasserman-Schultz named local bridges in need of repair and livable communities as priorities when she returns to the House Appropriations Committee next term. “We must increase our investment in public transit NOW,” she said.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Baltimore Spokes explains how some proposed legislation in Washington, D.C., would give cyclists greater civil recourse in the event of minor injuries caused by a collision. Urban Milwaukee explains how state tax law undermines Wisconsin’s cities. And Baltimore Velo displays plans for a “bike beltway” in the town of Towson.

  • Jeffdonn

    An improvement for cyclists that increases risks for pedestrians and makes their passgae across dangerous streets more difficult is not an improvement for the community.

  • …and how would the Wave increase risks for pedestrians?

  • Debbie Wasserman is a moron

  • Miles Bader

     … and what does it have to do with “improvements for cyclists” (it’s a streetcar…)?

  • Jeffdonn

    The immediate story is about transit (which I support), but the context of the story includes cycling.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

NC Head: Transit “Essential to Our Economic Success”

|
In the lull following a tumultuous election season, we’ve been keeping an eye on how the new political appointments shake out and what they mean for transit, walking, and biking. With the balance of power in Washington remaining split, it’s been a bit of a mixed bag. While the strongest transit supporters in the House […]

Miami-Dade Squanders Transit Tax on Roads, Thanks to Florida DOT

|
Only one of every five federal transportation dollars are set aside specifically for transit. So it’s infuriating when a local government plunders the small pool of transit funds and spends it on roads. Particularly when that place has some of the country’s most notoriously car-dominated and dangerous streets. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Miami-Dade County, Florida. […]

Pedestrian Overpasses: Hamster Tunnels for Walking and Biking

|
Skywalks, pedestrian overpasses, or, as our friends at Transit Miami like to call them, “hamster tunnels,” are an ugly symbol of the last century’s transportation sensibilities. In an effort to comfortably integrate pedestrians into the street fabric and boost sidewalk activity, some cities, including Cincinnati and Baltimore, have been tearing down their pedestrian bridges. But […]