States and Transportation Stimulus



States and Transportation Stimulus

Here’s the link to a report by Smart Growth America on how states have allocated their transportation stimulus funding. While Rhode Island did well in spending 100 percent of its total road allocation to “system preservation;” i.e., taking care of existing roads, it only provided a dismal 7.5 percent to public transportation and non-motorized projects. While that puts us in the top 10 states, it’s pretty pathetic that we didn’t do better.


  • Jul 8, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Interesting. Just tonight, I noticed an article in the NYT discussing how the mere fact that the federal government left it up to states to decide how to spend the dollars, caused a disproportionate amount to be spent on rural areas. Perhaps this is good news for bicycle and pedestrian groups, as it will mean more traffic jams in the densely populated areas, perfect fodder for attracting new people to a better mode of transportation than the personal automobile.

  • Alan Barta
    Jul 8, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    ~$700 billion goes to support automotive infrastructure annually, nationally. For every $200,000 they spend on motor vehicles then only spend $1 for bicycling. True, cycling doesn't require expensive roads, not even pavement necessarily. But motoring has become totally unsustainable.

    Rural areas get attention because of housing starts. Cities, where almost all lots are developed, find it difficult to expand their tax basis, but urban sprawl out past the suburbs increases state tax rolls and gasoline use (which is heavily taxed, too), and means more projects where cash can be corruptly diverted.

    While this trend might be true in NY, in RI the largest projects in recent years are the I-way (nearly $700 million) and looming bridge restoration ($750 million), both of which are mainly urban. The 2.5-mile Quonset Connector at $200 million somewhat supports your observation, but it is distinctly suburban. There is still a surprising number of dirt roads in RI's rural community.