Streetsblog.net

Onward to the Senate

Yesterday was a good day on Capitol Hill for the Streetsblog Network, as an amendment to the stimulus bill allocating $3 billion for public transit was passed by a voice vote on the floor of the House. Transbay Blog reminds us, though, that it's no time to rest on our laurels:

DSCN0993_1.jpgOne chamber down, one to go. Photo by Sarah Goodyear.
Winning that extra $3 billion for transit in the House package is an important victory, but it serves equally as a reminder of how much more we will need to invest in our nation’s transit networks to improve them robustly — in the way that we know we must to curb climate change and transform our cities into denser, healthier, more walkable places. $3 billion is hardly sufficient to address critical needs within individual metropolitan areas, let alone the entire nation.So while the amended House stimulus package is a victory, it is only a beginning of what must ultimately be a paradigm shift in how this country thinks about mobility and funding mobility improvements.

As Transbay points out, the next opportunity for action will be in the Senate, which is currently negotiating its own version of the recovery bill. Transportation for America has issued a new action alert, a letter that you can use to tell your senators you want "a cleaner, greener transportation system for the 21st Century."

Also on the network today: LightRail AZ on the unlikely plan to transport prisoners via the new light rail system in Phoenix, Wisconsin's The Political Environment on air pollution and freeway expansion in that state, and Bike Portland on efforts to improve the bike-commute tax benefit.