A fact sheet from the administration indicates the proposal would increase dedicated funding for transit more than funding for highways.
The proposal would represent a 38 percent spending increase over the current $109 billion, 2-year law, known as MAP-21, and is the most concrete long-term transportation bill proposed by the Obama administration, which has never put forward a funding stream until now.
See also: → Whitehouse.gov: FACT SHEET: President Obama Lays Out Vision for 21st Century Transportation Infrastructure
→ The New York Times: When Pedestrians Get Mixed Signals
But the indication to walk never came. I was contemplating a four-lane dash when a man appeared who told me I had to press the “Walk” button. I did, and at the next signal change for cars, my signal appeared as well.
At first, I applauded this municipal beneficence, which I encountered during a visit while researching my book. Los Angeles is looking after its pedestrians! In New York City, by contrast, the once-functioning “Walk” buttons were left to go dormant, then largely removed. But in my subsequent visits to Los Angeles, my feelings have shifted.
The reason the buttons were rendered obsolete in New York is that there was no need for them. There were always pedestrians waiting to cross. In Los Angeles, the working button came to seem a rare and feeble plea: May I please cross the street?
In Providence I’m all the time seeing people push the wrong walk button. People press the one closest to them, but that is not the button for the street they are hoping to cross.
But the article is really about the misguided crack-down on “jaywalking” in some cities.
If tough love will not make pedestrians safer, what will? The answer is: better walking infrastructure, slower car speeds and more pedestrians. But it’s easier to write off the problem as one of jaywalkers.