Our Thursday’s Headlines are No Joke

  • President Biden’s recovery package includes $621 billion for transportation, including $20 billion for road safety, $85 billion to modernize and expand transit, and $80 billion for Amtrak. (CNN)
  • Biden is steering clear of both gas and mileage taxes to pay for his infrastructure plan (USA Today). Some believe that’s for the best — a VMT would hit low-income rural communities the hardest (Grist). Instead, Biden wants to tax corporations and the wealthy (Reuters).
  • Infrastructure Week? Try Infrastructure Year. The bill will likely take months to pass. (Politico)
  • The U.S. DOT has released $30 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan to transit agencies. (RT&S)
  • Regulations mandating too-wide streets and too-high speed limits that encourage drivers to go fast are to blame for the recent spike in pedestrian deaths. (City Lab)
  • Biking or walking instead of driving reduces your carbon footprint by tenfold compared to driving an electric car and 30 times more than driving a gas one. (The Conversation)
  • Pacific Northwest leaders envision whole new cities sprouting up along a high-speed rail line connecting Portland, Seattle and Vancouver. (Seattle Met)
  • Officials in the Washington, D.C. area are pushing for fare-free transit (NBC Washington). Chicago transit agencies are also considering reduced or no fares to lure back riders lost during the pandemic (Sun-Times).
  • The Utah Transit Authority is shifting its focus away from COVID-19 and toward restoring ridership, which fell by half during the pandemic. (Standard-Examiner)
  • Harris County, Texas, is analyzing high-crash corridors as its Vision Zero initiative gets underway. (Houston Chronicle)
  • Detroit’s QLINE streetcar is coming back a year after halting service due to the pandemic. (Free Press)
  • Following Virginia, California is the latest state to consider decriminalizing jaywalking. (San Francisco News)
  • San Antonio is taking public input on how to spend $300 million in federal transportation funds. (KSAT)
  • A 75-year-old Florida man was training for a 500-mile bike ride when a driver hit and killed him. (Palm Beach Post)
  • Atlanta Magazine runs down all the bike lane and greenway projects going on in the ATL.
  • Lyft says it will add the option of taking an autonomous electric car to its app in 2023 (SlashGear). Someday, too, a robot might bring you your Chipotle burrito (Fast Company)
  • A Quebec newspaper wrote about Streetsblog’s ugly bus contest … in French! (Journal de Quebec)


Key House Republicans Aren’t Buying Administration HSR Proposal

Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement of a $53 billion infusion for high-speed rail has fallen like a lead balloon on the ears of some key GOP leaders. House Transportation Committee Chair John L. Mica (R-FL) and Railroads Subcommittee Chair Bill Shuster (R-PA) expressed “extreme reservations” about the plan. “This is like giving Bernie Madoff another […]

Big Oil Lobbies to Keep Its Tax Breaks Off the Table in Debt Talks

Deron Lovaas is the federal transportation policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. This story is cross-posted on his blog. As debt negotiations continue in Congress, President Obama appears to be sticking to his guns on repealing the enormous tax breaks enjoyed by the oil and gas industry. The industry takes advantage of tax […]

What to Look For in President Obama’s Budget Request on Monday

On Valentine’s Day, President Obama’s heart-shaped box of chocolates to Congress will come in the form of his budget request for 2012. It will include the president’s proposal for a six-year transportation reauthorization. The FY2012 budget request comes as Congress is still wrangling over the budget for the rest of FY2011 (which, by the way, […]

Fmr. Comptroller General: We Can’t Solve Our Problems With Spending Cuts

In an op-ed in this morning’s New York Times, Laura D’Andrea Tyson argues for increased investment in infrastructure, pointing out that the nation’s infrastructure will deteriorate quickly if spending is not increased. Tyson chaired the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton and currently serves on President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. “Infrastructure spending, […]