Friday’s Headlines Are All About Infrastructure

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Vice President Joe Biden was in Cleveland Wednesday urging action on infrastructure. Photo: Angie Schmitt
  • The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is no new New Deal. The $550 billion in new spending will mostly go to a vast backlog of small projects and deferred maintenance because, for all the damage interstates did to cities, the highway revolts of the 1960s and ’70s had the pernicious side effect of tamping down any appetite for ambition or central planning. (City Lab)
  • Transportation data collection and a road-use charge pilot program are two overlooked provisions of the infrastructure package. (Governing)
  • The White House wants states to appoint “infrastructure czars” to oversee spending all the cash they’re about to receive. (Route Fifty)
  • The Federal Transit Administration is rolling out American Rescue Plan grants, including $6 billion to New York’s MTA (ABC 7), $1.6 billion to New Jersey Transit (Insider) and $1.2 billion to the L.A. Metro (NBC Los Angeles).
  • Transit advocates don’t want the L.A. Metro to resume collecting fares in March after two years of being fare-free. (KCRW)
  • Maryland’s Purple Line is now four years behind schedule and $1.4 billion over budget. (Washington Post)
  • The Memphis Area Transit Authority is exploring ways to extend transit to a nearby Ford plant that will employ 6,000 people. (Commercial Appeal)
  • Portland’s Biketown bike-share is expanding into new neighborhoods. (Oregon Public Radio)
  • Lime is launching new e-bikes in Washington, D.C. as part of a $50 million expansion. (The Verge)
  • Phoenix canceled plans to widen a downtown street and instead will install a protected bike lane after a drunk driver killed a cyclist there. (New Times)
  • The transit hub in St. Louis, Grand MetroLink Station, is disconnected from the surrounding community. (St. Louis NPR)
  • Ann Arbor officials want to take over state highways within they city because the Michigan DOT won’t let them make safety improvements. (MLive)
  • A Duluth, Minnesota, resident is fighting to turn 14-lane I-35 into a six-lane parkway. (Minnesota Public Radio)
  • What should Cincinnati do with its 100-year-old abandoned subway tunnels? Wine cellar? Nightclub? What about — hear me out now — mass transit? (The Drive)

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The White House is re-centering its message around economic and fiscal concerns ahead of tomorrow’s State of the Union address, with a new package of job-creation measures expected to vault to the top of the agenda and a three-year "spending freeze" pitched to deficit-wary conservative Democrats. Infrastructure: Democrats love it. But how will they fund […]