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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Jobs for Main Street or Sprawl Road?

Former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist published an op-ed in the Charlotte Observer that lays out the problems in the "Jobs for Main Street" bill that Congressional Democrats pushed through the House of Representatives. The bill is yet another instance where the Democratic Party has missed the boat on urban policy under the guise of helping cities and small towns. While the bill includes $8.4 billion for transit and $800 million for Amtrack, its biggest component is a $27.5 billion appropriation for highway construction!

According to Norquist:

The $27.5 billion isn't targeted to rebuild streets at the heart of older cities and towns. No, it will mostly go to the expansion of wide, motor-vehicle-only highways that go hand-in-hand with energy-wasting sprawl. This follows the earlier stimulus bill that favored massive highway projects, including a batch of expensive "highways to nowhere," which an examination by the Infrastructurist Web site concluded "make no sense."


Anonymous said...

The comments section to Norquist's piece- and St. Louis faces much the same challenge - show that no matter how much sense new urbanism makes, most people choose to live in suburbs. The tea baggers are taking over.

Anonymous said...

The largest investments made in the StL region in the last ten years: 1. $1 billion for a new runway at Lambert (virtually unused), 2. $655 million for an electric train to nowhere (major financial problems to come), and 3. MoDOT's $535 million to repair & widen an existing but poorly maintained highway.

Next? More TIFs, tax credits and other public subsidies to rebuild ONSL. The carpet baggers have taken over.

Doug Duckworth said...

Carpet baggers?