Good news from USDOT!



Good news from USDOT!

Thanks to our friends at Greater City Providence for alerting us to this…

USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood is making his mark, and the result will be better opportunities for active transportation projects.  Check out this press release.

In a nutshell, the criteria used to evaluate projects for funding are expanding.  Instead of simply looking at cost of project vs. cut in commuter time (a formula that benefits road widening), the new formula will also consider environmental benefits and economic opportunities that could be realized by the project.

This new rule, acknowledging the need for livable communities, should be applauded.  Public transit projects will be the big winners with these new rules, but bike and ped projects should also get a leg up.  We will keep you apprised of any further news on this subject.


  • Labann
    Jan 22, 2010 at 7:45 am

    I already appreciate LaHood over Bush appointee former Secretary Peters, who dismissed bicycles as "not part of transportation". LaHood is being especially proactive on recent issues.

    Here's his press release on distracted driving…

    Currently a dozen or more states have no restrictions on cell phoning and texting whatsoever.

    Only a half dozen restrict all forms: cell calling while driving, bus drivers or teens using, or hands on, or texting only.

  • barry
    Jan 24, 2010 at 10:37 am

    The new rules are an improvement in process, but note there is no new $$ – without increasing transportation revenues there will be little chance to expand the bike infrastructure any faster. But politicians are understandably afraid to enhance revenues, and so the Federal gas tax has not been raised at all since 1993, and even Governor Caricieri who is not even running for re-election backed away from his own business-oriented 'blue ribbon commission" recommendations to increase transportation funding. How can this impasse that undermines our infrstructure be broken??

  • Labann
    Jan 26, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Good question, Barry. Perhaps first set a precedent and fire/incarcerate the slackjaws who were supposed to steam clean the bridges annually for a decade but were criminally negligent in this duty. What did they think would happen? Then investigate the $BILLION spent in last 3 years on 4.5 miles of road we didn't need (IWay and Quonset) and turned out worse than what was there. Allegedly, we inherited the personnel of The Big Dig and they went to work ripping us off as they did Boston. You will find it wasn't the construction crews who wound up with the bulk of the money. Annually, nationally, asphalt layers and bed graders constitute only 4% of construction pay. So let's not make a scapegoat of the guy leaning on his shovel, unless they truly are to blame.

    The George Redman span might get done in our lifetime, probably after we're no longer able to pedal, though.