Smarter Stimulus Spending

So how can states best spend their stimulus money? How can livable streets advocates keep it from going to useless highway widening and other sprawl-inducing projects?

Smart Growth America, a key partner in the Transportation for America campaign, has some ideas, which are detailed in a report called Spending the Stimulus (you can find the full report here). They’re compiling a library of online resources to help advocates make sure the recovery plan doesn’t turn into a highway boondoggle:

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Smart Growth America is launching an immediate, six-month campaign to support our state partners in shaping stimulus spending and state DOT budget decisions. The need and opportunity are clear. States and DOTs, asked to develop lists of “ready to go” projects, have developed lists that consist almost entirely of road and other conventional projects. Without this campaign, the stimulus money will likely fund destructive road expansion projects rather than providing a down payment on a clean, green transportation infrastructure for the 21st Century.

This campaign aims to:

  1. Influence how state DOTs and governors spend the substantial amounts of money they receive from the federal government,
  2. Hold the state DOTs and governors accountable on the stimulus spending; and
  3. Increase the capacity of state advocacy groups for subsequent state, local, and federal campaign work.

Click around the site a bit. There’s a lot there, and more being added all the time.

Elsewhere on the network, Savannah Bicycle Campaign highlights some good local news coverage of a hit-and-run crash in which a cyclist was (thankfully not gravely) injured; Bike Portland gets ready for DOT Secretary Ray LaHood’s appearance at the National Bicycle Summit; and Joe Urban looks at the developing proposals for high-speed rail between Minneapolis-St.Paul and Chicago. Which one of the Twin Cities will get the station?

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