Killing the Myth of the ‘More Shovel-Ready’ Road Stimulus, Part II

has become one of the most enduring anecdotes surrounding the Obama
administration’s $787 billion economic stimulus law: Democrats’
contention that White House adviser Larry Summers sliced transit aid by
more than half, to $8.4 billion, out of concerns that projects were not "shovel-ready" enough.

Shovel_ready.jpg(Photo: DMI Blog)

Has Summers been vindicated by the data? Streetsblog Capitol Hill reported
last month that as of August 31, transit stimulus money was getting
spent at a higher rate than the $27.5 billion in highway stimulus cash.
Even when factoring in transportation projects that were out for bid
but not yet begun, state-level reports to Congress found that transit
and highways were on the same footing.

Okay … but things could have changed in September, right? The
House transportation committee released updated stimulus spending
reports yesterday, as it happens, and they show that transit stimulus
spending is still outpacing highway stimulus.

Capitol Hill’s analysis found $627.7 million in transit aid spent by
the states, or 7.5 percent of the total pot. Highway stimulus spending
totaled $1.64 billion, or 6 percent of the entire fund for roads and

We’ll continue crunching the monthly numbers as they
are released — or until Summers issues an unlikely mea culpa. In the
meantime, check out video of Rep. Pete DeFazio’s (D-OR) no-holds-barred
take on this issue after the jump.


Killing the Myth of the ‘More Shovel-Ready’ Road Stimulus

During debate over the White House’s $787 billion economic stimulus law, transit advocates watched as their projects were shortchanged and more "shovel-ready" road projects got the lion’s share of the transport pot — about $8.4 billion, compared with $26.5 billion for highways and bridges. (Photo: DMI Blog) But transit money is getting put to use […]

CALPIRG, Smart Growth America Slam State Stimulus Spending

With the passage of the stimulus bill last spring, states had a 120 day deadline to obligate at least half of the transportation funding allocated to them. To mark that federal deadline, CALPIRG and Smart Growth America released a report today detailing how California is spending its stimulus money. The news isn’t good.  Despite all […]

AASHTO Stimulus Report Omits Jobs Data Comparing Transit With Roads

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the trade group representing state DOTs in Washington, yesterday unveiled a website and report billed as a one-year "progress report" on the White House’s $34.3 billion in formula-based transportation stimulus spending. (Photo: WBEZ) AASHTO’s report, citing data furnished to Congress, noted that 77 percent of […]

Two Action Alerts to Improve Stimulus Package for Transit Today

Which one gets the stimulus money? NACTO Action Alert We’ve all been disappointed with the tiny margin of transit funding in the $825 billion Obama stimulus package, what amounts to only 1% of the total, despite the fact that 80% of us live in metropolitan regions and transit ridership is booming.  Meanwhile highway expansion and […]