Support Transportation for America’s Call for a Greener Stimulus

In case you missed it late last week, we wanted to reblog this important post from our friends over at Transportation for America. They’re calling on all of us who care about sustainable transportation and smart growth in this country to lobby our Congressional representatives for a smarter, greener stimulus plan. Here’s what they wrote on their blog last Friday:

As Congress works to craft an economic stimulus that can help get our economy out of a rut, state departments of transportation are busily submitting wish lists that look to be mostly about digging a deeper ditch.

Arkansas Road Widening

With commuters crowding into overburdened transit systems in record numbers and our elected leaders calling for green, 21st Century investments, one would hope we would prioritize investment in clean transportation – public transportation and safe walking and biking. After all, polls have shown that Americans favor that sort of spending over road building.

So far, however, the DOTs don’t seem to see it that way. Of the dozen project lists Transportation For America has reviewed, only a few strike a balance among the various modes. Nearly every list displays a heavy bias towards expensive new highway construction or expansion projects over simple maintenance and repair and a preference for roads over mass transit, rail, bike and pedestrian infrastructure. (Keep your eyes peeled as we update and add new states. Data from the states may change as well.)

This is not because road projects are “ready to go” and others are not. On the contrary, local governments and public transportation agencies have identified scores of transit, sidewalks and local road repairs. It appears that the DOTs often are simply leaving them off the list.

Sidewalk-less Highway

At least eight of the 12 states included on this list are seeking to spend only 10 percent or less on transit in the stimulus, according to current project lists. At least three of the lists, in their current state, would allocate no money whatsoever for public transit.

If taxpayers are going to foot the bill for a successful economic recovery, we need accountable and accessible lists from all 50 states that prioritize clean, green infrastructure of the future – not the grey infrastructure of the 20th century.

Our state governments need to do a better job of identifying the best projects for the stimulus. Be sure to urge your state officials and representatives in Congress to release their list of projects, address their crumbling roads and overburdened mass transit systems before building highways to nowhere, and help us craft the clean, green recovery our country needs to compete and thrive.

Using the economic stimulus package to write blank checks to the states with zero accountability would be a poor use of precious national resources: It won’t help the economy, and it certainly won’t help us meet our other pressing national goals for reducing oil dependence and cutting dangerous emissions.

All 12 tables below.

Alabama
Total: $877 million
Area Funds Requested Percentage of Total
Highways $877 Million 100%
Arizona
Total: $1.23 billion
Area Funds Requested Percentage of Total
Highway $869 million 70.4%
Aviation $356 million 28.8%
Transit $8.5 million 0.69%
Colorado
Total: $1.42 billion
Area Funds Requested Percentage of Total
Highway Maintenance & Repair $1.02 billion 71.8%
Highway Expansion $146.5 million 10.3%
Transit $144 million 10%
Other $113.1 million 8%
Florida
Total: $6.97 billion
Area Funds Requested Percentage of Total
Highway Expansion $5.4 billion 77%
Repair & Maintenance $1.529 billion 22%
Transit & Intermodal $73 million 1%
Idaho
Total: $804 million
Area Funds Requested Percentage of Total
Highway Expansion $420.5 million 52.3%
Repair & Maintenance $384.2 million 47.8%
Kansas
Total: $1.3 billion
Area Funds Requested Percentage of Total
Highway Expansion $982 million 75.6%
Repair & Maintenance $306 million 24.4%
Maine
Total: $325 million
Area Funds Requested Percentage of Total
Highways $222 million 68%
Transit $59 million 18%
Aviation $35 million 11%
Ferry, Bike & Pedestrian $9 million 3%
Massachusetts
Total: $782.6 million
Area Funds Requested Percentage of Total
Transit $368.8 million 47.1%
Highway Maintenance & Repair $207.9 million 26%
Other $204.3 million 25.6%
Bike & Pedestrian $5.5 million .7%
Missouri
Total: $800 million
Area Funds Requested Percentage of Total
Highway Expansion $517 million 64.6%
Highway Maintenance & Repair $233 million 29.1%
Transit $39 million 4.8%
Bike & Pedestrian $6 million 0.75%
Other $5 million 0.63%
South Carolina
Total: $862 million
Area Funds Requested Percentage of Total
Highway Maintenance & Repair $634 million 73.5%
Highway Expansion $206 million 23.9%
Transit $22 million 3%
Utah
Total: $10.8 billion
Area Funds Requested Percentage of Total
Highway Expansion $7.56 billion 70%
Intermodal (Mountain View Corridor) $3 billion 27.8%
Highway Maintenance & Repair $240 million 2.2%

Wisconsin

Total: $7.6 billion

Area

Funds Requested

Percentage of Total

Highways

$3.47 billion

45.7%

Transit

$3.30 billion

43.4%

Other

$830 million

10.9%