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The Stimulus Bill: Time to Start Following the Money

Now that the president has signed the stimulus bill, members of the Streetsblog Network have thrown themselves into the task of trying to figure out where all that money is going.

Picture_2.pngTo that end, we’re featuring Transportation for America‘s
"Full Summary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009", a
handy roundup of the act’s transportation funding provisions. T4A is calling
the act "a significant departure from the status quo [that] ought to
represent the leading edge of a major new thrust in our national
infrastructure policy."

They also offers an a peek at US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood’s statement about the act:

[H]e’s
saying many of the right things. Of course, the true test will come
when the states start deciding where to spend the flexible
transportation dollars in the stimulus package.

As many around the network reported yesterday, tracking that spending is supposed to be made easier by the launch of Recovery.gov, the administration’s newest website:

Recovery.gov
is a website that lets you, the taxpayer, figure out where
the money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is going…
This is your money. You have a right to know where it’s going and how
it’s being spent. Learn what steps we’re taking to ensure you can track
our progress every step of the way.

The Transport Politic has a brief analysis of the site.

We’ll
be taking a closer look at Recovery.gov in the days to come, but we’re
interested in hearing your reaction in the comments. Do you think such
a website has a chance of delivering the "transparency and
accountability" it promises?

From elsewhere in the network, grim news as the reality of cuts in transit operating budgets — which were pointedly left out of the recovery bill — kick in. Seattle Transit Blog
reports on the possibility of 20 percent cuts in that city’s system,
despite strong voter support for increased service in the 2007
election. And at PBS’s Blueprint America‘s blog, you’ll find an excellent report on the nation’s mass transit crisis that aired yesterday on The Take Away.