Where They Stand: Obama and McCain on Transportation

2887816920_248097e966_o.jpgWith a few hours to go until what will be the season’s first presidential debate, we’re looking over a report from the Brookings Institution, which outlines each candidate’s positions on transportation.

The six-page report [PDF] holds few if any surprises for Streetsbloggers, but it nicely highlights respective statements from McCain and Obama on topics like federal spending, road pricing and public transportation, with links to source materials.

One category in particular caught our attention: "Smart Growth Considerations," from page five.

"Obama will build upon his efforts in the Senate to ensure that more Metropolitan Planning Organizations create policies to incentivize greater bicycle and pedestrian usage of roads and sidewalks. As president, Obama will work to provide states and local governments with the resources they need to address sprawl and create more livable communities." –BarackObama.com

"McCain hasn’t released a formal policy identified as targeting urban issues." –WSJ.com

While it’s true that much of "heartland" America still couldn’t care less about bike lanes and sidewalks, as we’ve seen, livable streets issues are pushing further into the mainstream. Whether those issues, and the often starkly differing views held by the candidates, will emerge as part of the national discussion over the next five weeks remains to be seen.

As confirmed in many respects by the Brookings breakdown, one thing is a near certainty: the composition of next year’s federal funding package will vary dramatically based on who takes the White House.

Photo: Chesi – Fotos CC/Flickr

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