Better Roads Staff
Administrator Mendez demands accountability and transparency in all aspects of our work. Our FHWA website is rich with information and our contributions to recovery.gov – the government’s web-site dedicated to the Recovery Act – include contract data, pictures and descriptions of projects, even interviews with workers.
It would be hard to find a federal agency that provides more information than we do.
Again, I can’t speak to events that may or may not have taken place nearly 10 years ago. What I can tell you is that the people of FHWA work tirelessly to enhance safety, improve our infrastructure, strengthen our economy and create jobs. Perhaps it’s time Mr. Landers stops holding onto 10-year-old encounters and starts focusing on 21st century transportation opportunities.
Cathy St. Denis
Associate Administrator for Public Affairs
Federal Highway Administration
Feds fund streetcar revival
The Obama Administration has provided $300 million to, as Secretary of Transpiration Ray LaHood puts it, expand the Administration’s livability initiative agenda, to fuel economic recovery for local communities
The funds, being made available through two competitive grant programs, the Urban Circulator Grant Program and the Bus and Bus Livability Grant, mean that “residents in dozens of communities nationwide will soon enjoy major transit improvements, including new streetcars, buses, and transit facilities.”
The investment, actually $293 million, is part of the Obama Administration’s livability initiative to better coordinate transportation, housing and commercial development investments to serve the people living in those communities, said the secretary.
“This investment by the Obama Administration in our nation’s communities will create jobs, boost economic development and recovery, and further reduce our dependence on oil,” Secretary LaHood said. “Our goals are to provide cleaner, safer, and more efficient ways to get around.”
Six new streetcar and bus rapid transit projects will be funded with $130 million from the Federal Transit Administration’s Urban Circulator Program, and 47 additional projects aimed at upgrading bus services and facilities are slated to receive more than $163 million from the Federal Transit Administration’s Bus and Bus Livability Program.
“Streetcars are making a comeback because cities across America are recognizing that they can restore economic development downtown – giving citizens the choice to move between home, shopping and entertainment without ever looking for a parking space,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “These streetcar and bus livability projects will not only create construction jobs now, they will aid our recovery by creating communities that are more prosperous and less congested.”
The six cities that submitted successful Urban Circulator proposals include Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas; Chicago, Ill.; St. Louis, Mo.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Cincinnati, Ohio. The six projects were selected from 65 applications totaling more than $1 billion in requests. Construction of bus facilities and new bus and bus-related purchases will move forward in the 31 states where 47 Bus and Bus Livability projects are located. These projects were selected from 281 applications totaling over $2 billion in funding requests.
The Obama Administration’s Livability Initiative is a joint venture of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Projects were eligible to receive up to 80 percent in federal funding, with a maximum of $25 million for Urban Circulator projects.
Fill ‘er up!
It seems like a fair question. If hybrids run on electricity (and only electricity, not the ones that also use gasoline) should owners contribute fuel taxes when they fill up? Especially when stimulus dollars are involved.
There are more than 200,000 electric hybrids on America’s roads relying on internal generators. A relative handful get their power by plugging into an electric outlet. [Should they be called hybrids if they are all electric?] In the fourth quarter of this year, with much fanfare, both Nissan and Chevy will roll out new plug-ins.
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