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Also, Bloomberg.com reports that road projects seem to be stepping to the front of the line for stimulus funding.
Dec. 24 (Bloomberg) — Missouri’s plan to spend $750 million in federal money on highways and nothing on mass transit in St. Louis doesn’t square with President-elect Barack Obama’s vision for a revolutionary re-engineering of the nation’s infrastructure.
Utah would pour 87 percent of the funds it may receive in a new economic stimulus bill into new road capacity. Arizona would spend $869 million of its $1.2 billion wish list on highways.
While many states are keeping their project lists secret, plans that have surfaced show why environmentalists and some development experts say much of the stimulus spending may promote urban sprawl while scrimping on more green-friendly rail and mass transit.
Trains need lobbyists.
All of that highway funding is beyond disappointing… We need to start thinking about what we can all do to pressure government to support mass transit.
While thee quote is disappointing, you have to remember who we’re dealing with here: Arizona and Missouri, two of the most sprawl intensive, anti-urban states in the country. This is also a perfect illustration of why the stimulus money is going to be lent primarily to cities and towns rather than state governments. As per the article, state governments rarely if ever care about urban development and progress, because frankly it doesn’t fill their coffers in the short term the way that millions of new suburban houses and strip malls, each paying taxes, will do. Unfortunately this philosophy doesn’t take into account the fact that sprawl is actually much more expensive to maintain in the long term, i.e. the primary reason that the entire global economy has been sent into a downward spiral. But hey, governors have term limits, so there are no consequences for being short sighted.