Skip to Content
Streetsblog San Francisco home
Streetsblog San Francisco home
Log In

Oberstar’s Call to “Rebuild America,” and Other Stimulus Notes

Editor's Note: Streetsblog San Francisco will regularly post updates from the Streetsblog Network, a compendium of blogs and news websites dedicated to covering the crescendo of support across the country for sustainable tranportation, smart growth, and livable streets.

Today on the Streetsblog Network, we're featuring a post from The Transport Politic
that analyzes Rep. James Oberstar's recent speech on transportation in
the stimulus bill to the House Democratic Steering and Policy
Committee. Oberstar spoke on his own "Rebuild America" proposal:

160px_Oberstarj.jpgRep. James Oberstar, D-MN

Importantly, unlike Mr. Obama thus far, Mr. Oberstar is willing to discuss providing funding for projects that are not yet ready for construction, but which are almostthere. In other words, while much of the talk on the economic stimulushas revolved around getting projects started within 90 days, this billwill provide for projects that will begin construction in 90 days or 1 year.This is a significant factor in improving the climate for transit,because while many road projects literally could begin constructiontomorrow (highway resurfacing is the most prominent example), there arefar fewer transit projects that ready — but given a timeline extensionof just a few months, they would be.… Such funding, for instance, couldpay for renovation of dozens of New York City subway stations, indesperate need of repair, but which are not ready for construction inthe 90-day timetable.

Other network members are dissecting the stimulus proposals emerging from their own communities. In New Jersey, WalkBikeJersey laments:

There are 151 projects on this list. Where are the bicycle projects?There are none. Pedestrian projects? About a half dozen. Most of theprojects are legitimate rehabilitation and transit projects but someroad widening projects are in there, including some mega intersectionwidening that makes bicycling and walking very difficult.

Over at the National Journal's Transportation "Expert Blog," they're asking,"Does Earmark-Free Mean Pork-Free? Or Worthwhile?" Transit Miami has this to say on the subject: "Let’s hope Obama can tell the difference between the lechon and the pork."

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter