Wednesday’s Headlines Add Some Perspective

  • Americans have been debating infrastructure spending since the Erie Canal 200 years ago, mainly because some Americans have always resisted change. (Politico)
  • Far from being a bipartisan issue, Republicans’ hostility toward cities could kill any hope of an infrastructure package. (Governing)
  • Even with federal funding filling budget holes, transit agencies still need to lure back riders to meet climate-change goals and ramp up routes to better serve low-income riders. (Associated Press)
  • Amtrak is used to merely fending off budget cuts, but under the Biden administration it’s going on the offensive for the first time, pitching an expansion plan that would bring service to 166 new cities. (Georgia Recorder)
  • Waiting for some pie-in-the-sky technology is pointless when we could be investing in buses instead. (New Republic)
  • California high-speed rail has been delayed and scaled back since the 2009 stimulus, but President Biden’s $2-trillion infrastructure plan could change all that. (U.S. News & World Report)
  • Andrew Yang, the frontrunner for mayor of New York City, wants to take over the state-run subway system, but experts say that’s a bad idea because the city doesn’t have the means to pay for it. (Politico)
  • Portland’s KATU interviewed Rep. Earl Blumenauer about light rail on a new I-5 bridge to Washington. Meanwhile, City Observatory says the Columbia River Crossing is more than just a bridge — it’s a 12-lane freeway that just happens to cross a river.
  • The Minneapolis Star Tribune says demands for more affordable housing shouldn’t stand in the way of transit-oriented development.
  • St. Paul’s Gold Line is already responsible for $200 million in planned new construction three years before the bus rapid transit line opens. (Pioneer Press)
  • St. Louis residents are pushing to turn abandoned streetcar tracks into a greenway. (St. Louis Public Radio)
  • Washington, D.C. is raising the fee for on-street parking for the first time in 10 years, but it’s still only $50 for some really valuable public real estate. (WUSA)
  • Apparently Atlanta Braves pitchers are sick of seeing hitters drive the ball, so while in town to play the Nationals, they decided to take a bike tour of the capital. (Twitter)


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Just over a year into his mayoralty, Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel continues to show impressive leadership on transportation issues. His latest initiative is a $7 billion infrastructure plan that includes funds for everything from sewers to surface transit to parks. While urban leaders around the country have been sounding the alarm about underfunding infrastructure, Emanuel is sending a […]

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Last week, a House panel envisioned some big cuts to next year’s transportation budget. TIGER and high-speed rail would get nothing, Amtrak would get slashed, and ixnay on all that green “livability” crap. (And that’s practically a quote.) The Senate Appropriations Committee voted this morning on the budget its own transportation subcommittee put together, and the end […]