The Work That Needs to Be Done

The first day of the Obama Administration is here at last. So it’s time to get down to work, right?

The Midwest High Speed Rail blog (we love their super-realistic slogan, "Improving Amtrak, Incrementally") has used some of the data collected by Transportation for America to put together a pretty nifty map showing rail projects ready to go within four months. Network member Gregor.us, meanwhile, has this to say about the allocation for rail projects in the provisional Obama stimulus plan: "Proposing to spend only 1.2% of the total 825 billion dollar package on rail is almost comical. In truth, it’s tragicomical."

216_NACTO_Press_Conf2.jpgJanette Sadik-Khan with Rep. James Oberstar at last fall’s announcement of the NACTO plan for the new transportation funding bill.

One organization that is pushing hard for improvements to the stimulus package is the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), whose president is NYC’s own Janette Sadik-Khan. In a letter sent to Obama last Friday, NACTO called upon the then president-elect to rethink his economic recovery plan "to better meet cities’ transportation needs by following these principles":

  • 1. Meet the Public’s Call for More and Better Transit
  • 2. Support the Nation’s Transit Systems During the Crisis Period
  • 3. Prioritize Maintenance and Repair
  • 4. Fund Large Cities Directly to Move Projects Faster
  • 5. Incorporate Bureaucratic Streamlining Measures
  • 6. Strengthen the Accountability Provision.

Download a PDF of the letter here. You can also download a PDF of NACTO’s full plan for the next US Transportation Bill, released last fall, here.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

In Obama Budget, a Glimpse of What Beefed-Up Transit Funding Could Do

|
The budget proposal released by President Obama yesterday fleshes out the transportation ideas put out by the White House last week and includes specific grants for transit upgrades and expansions in 2015, but many of them won’t be part of this budget unless Congress agrees to increase funding for transportation. The White House budget proposes $17.6 billion […]

Obama’s Last Budget Lays Out a Smart Vision for American Transportation

|
The White House released its 2017 budget [PDF] this morning, which includes more detail about the exciting but politically doomed transportation proposal President Obama outlined last week. Obama’s plan doesn’t have a chance in the current Congress, but it shows what national transportation policy centered on reducing greenhouse gas emissions might look like. Last week’s release sketched out a $10 per barrel tax on […]

Obama’s 2014 Transpo Budget Calls for Higher Spending, HSR

|
The Obama Administration has put forward an opening bid in what are sure to be contentious 2014 budget negotiations, issuing a solidly progressive transportation budget that calls for increased overall spending and continued investment in passenger rail. The $76 billion transportation budget would represent a 5.5 percent, or $4 billion, spending increase over 2012 levels. […]

Will Obama’s Transportation Jobs Plan Avoid Funding Sprawl?

|
USDOT has made public the breakdown of President Obama’s $50 billion plan to create jobs through transportation infrastructure investment. The administration says: “It will put people to work upgrading 150,000 miles of road, laying/maintaining 4,000 miles of train tracks, restoring 150 miles of runways, and putting in place a next-generation air-traffic control system that will […]