Populist movements don't build themselves ...

... It doesn't matter what the "horse race" outcome of the campaign is, if we fight the campaign. Fighting it, we learn how to fight. Learning how to fight political battles, we become citizens again. Becoming citizens again, we reclaim the Republic that lies dormant beneath the bread and circuses of modern American society.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Taking the Old Road to Economic Stimulus

Elaborated from a comment at Agent Orange.

We need a moratorium on new roadwork built into the stimulus plan.

That does not mean, however, a moratorium on roadwork or bridge repair.

It does not even mean that no new transport capacity is added by the equipment that normally does roadwork. State Departments of Transport that are recommending road widening projects, connector road projects ... the same-old, same-old. But if we were to force the issue, they could certainly quickly whip up a wide range of "road technology" projects that would not dig us deeper into our Energy Dependence rut.

So, a moratorium on road widening, outer-belts outside the outer-belts outside the outer-belt, new I-state exits, new road bridges ... and fix what we got first. But take the widest possible view on what we have that is broken, because the broken bits of transport on and alongside our public rights of way are not restricted to cars and trucks by any means:
  • Bring existing bridges up to a state of good repair
  • Bring existing roads up to a state of good repair
  • Construct sidewalks and right of way crossings to guarantee safe walking conditions for all urban and suburban streets
  • Guarantee cycle access to all routes that should be shared right of way, by making bikes one of the design vehicles for any open right of way project receiving federal funding, focusing on safe cycling conditions on shared right of way and dedicated cycling routes to provide alternatives to and access routes across segregated motorways
  • Provide safe rail crossings wherever the road interfere with the rail network

There is a tremendous amount that can be done, and there is no better time than the present to start training state Departments of Transport into a new way of thinking.

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