PBS: Reauthorization 2009: The Year of Transportation
This is our year. Infrastructure is no longer just a word thrown about by policy wonks and engineers. The public, and more importantly politicians, have made public works, especially transportation, a front and center issue. The White House brings a fresh outlook on transportation policy and land use decisions – US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has recently announced his “2-foot NM” rule which would require all business trips by US DOT workers of less than two miles to be made on two feet. Already, President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (known to most as the Stimulus Package) provided approximately $46 billion directly to transportation and much of that to green transportation. And, just as we’re beginning to put that money to use, we’re also beginning to launch into high gear on the reauthorization of the Federal Transportation Bill. The reauthorization will provide a longer-term strategy for building up an innovative, sustainable transportation policy.
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that direct well-targeted government spending of $185 billion a year on infrastructure would generate economic and social benefits that would exceed the cost.