Obama Falls Prey to Ribbon-Cutting Syndrome

obama_construction_workers_300x194.jpgObama greets construction workers at a DC photo op. Photo: AFP via Infrastructurist.

At a press event in DC yesterday, President Obama touted the two thousandth transportation project to receive federal stimulus funds.
I’m speculating a bit here, but the White House probably had some
discretion when choosing which item to highlight for this milestone. So
did they pick a refurbished transit station? A new bike route? Perhaps
a bridge repair project to signal that we’re not going to repeat the mistakes that led to the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis?

None of the above. The same president who proclaimed the days of building sprawl to be over boasted about the widening of a highway interchange near Portage, Michigan
from four lanes to six. Obama, apparently, isn’t immune to
ribbon-cutting syndrome: Like many other elected officials, he can’t
resist associating himself with a hefty road expansion project.

In
this case, the president didn’t have the interchange itself as a
backdrop, but he did surround himself with construction workers for the
cameras. I’m still looking forward to the day when bus drivers get to serve as stage props too.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

STREETSBLOG USA

Obama’s Last Budget Lays Out a Smart Vision for American Transportation

|
The White House released its 2017 budget [PDF] this morning, which includes more detail about the exciting but politically doomed transportation proposal President Obama outlined last week. Obama’s plan doesn’t have a chance in the current Congress, but it shows what national transportation policy centered on reducing greenhouse gas emissions might look like. Last week’s release sketched out a $10 per barrel tax on […]