Click to learn more about the report
Governors and state departments of transportation around the country are burning the midnight oil to prepare lists of transportation projects that could be funded under President Obama’s economic stimulus package, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
As they develop these lists of transportation projects to be funded under the stimulus, Smart Growth America has partnered with state and local groups across the country to release a report today showing the many ways the money can be used in each state to address their citizens’ transportation priorities and get the biggest bang for the buck.
While early news reports described most of the money as highway dollars, the reality, as this report makes clear, is that states have wide latitude to apply the funds to meet growing transit demand, restore our roads and bridges, and maximize the number of jobs created.
According to a poll released in January by the National Association of Realtors, an overwhelming 80 percent of Americans believe it is more important that the stimulus funding include efforts to repair existing highways and public transit rather than to build new highways. The poll clearly shows that the vast majority of Americans believe restoring existing roads and bridges and expanding transportation options should take precedence over building new roads. Repair projects have also been shown to create 16% more jobs, and to do so faster, than those that build new highway capacity.
This report, Spending the Stimulus, lays out 20 ways that state officials can and should spend the federal funding on ready-to-go projects that will address long-neglected transportation priorities while providing speedy and robust job creation and economic recovery.
Some high-priority, job creating project types identified in the report include investments that:
- Repair roads, bridges, transit facilities, buses, rail tracks and stations.
- Build complete streets that help everyone get around; support cars, buses, bikes and pedestrians; and expand safe routes to school.
- Support public transportation to meet increased demand.
- Ease road congestion by providing more routing choices and diffusing traffic.
- Support efforts to plan and coordinate transportation and development
Download the full report and learn more about the project at http://stimulus.smartgrowthamerica.org, where you can also see a list of example ready-to-go projects in the report’s Appendix.