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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.