democratic candidates transportation policy

I was trying to find out what the Democratic candidates views were on transportation policy. All I found was that Barack was my new bicycle and this picture of him on a tricycle.


Actually, there was some thought on the topic in Planetizen, Smart Growth Online, and StreetsBlog. Lots of comments and feedback from readers, although there is little content in the way of political plans to draw on. I’ll have to read more and comment once I’ve digested it all.

A one-sided article for Barack Obama in the Oregonian drawn mainly from a quote reproduced below:

As president, Barack Obama will re-evaluate the transportation funding process to ensure that smart growth considerations are taken into account. Obama will build upon his efforts in the Senate to ensure that more Metropolitan Planning Organizations create policies to incentivize greater bicycle and pedestrian usage of roads and sidewalks, and he will also re-commit federal resources to public mass transportation projects across the country. Building more livable and sustainable communities will not only reduce the amount of time individuals spent commuting, but will also have significant benefits to air quality, public health and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

These concepts are further flushed out in a longer series of Barack website statements reproduced in the Transportationist blog.

Hillary Clinton’s website provides a similar story, but with much more detail:

Increase federal funding for public transit by $1.5 billion per year. Increased public transit usage is arguably the best strategy for ameliorating the energy and environmental costs of transportation. As energy costs rise, more people will rely on public transportation. Today, only 5% of Americans commute by public transit, but doubling that figure could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25%. Public transit is also critically important to people who live in urban areas and rely on buses and trains for travel to work and school. Moreover, as the population ages, an increasing number of people will need public transit as their ability to drive diminishes. Hillary will increase federal investment in public transit by $1.5 billion per year to ensure needed capacity expansions and service level improvements.

Link federal public transit funds to local land use policies that encourage residential developments that maximize public transit usage. Over the next 25 years, a large percentage of the buildings we live, work, and shop in will be rebuilt or newly built. This presents a significant opportunity for the federal government to encourage sensible residential and commercial development that are linked to, and encourage, public transit usage. Local areas seeking large federal investments in public transit are already required to have land-use plans and policies that make investing in a high-density transit system worthwhile. Today, these requirements are focused mainly on commercial developments and not enough on residential considerations. Hillary will encourage the sort of dense residential concentrations needed to support public transit systems by better linking public transit funding with residential land-use policies. This will help to discourage sprawl and fight congestion.

Invest an additional $1 billion in intercity passenger rail systems. In the 21st Century, intercity passenger rail should be a viewed as a critical component of the nation’s transportation system. It is an environmentally efficient alternative to highway driving and short flights; it relieves congestion on roads and airports; reduces the emission of automotive pollutants; and it stimulates economic growth by linking metropolitan areas. States have been left to pursue intercity rail projects with only modest federal support. Hillary believes that greater federal involvement is needed to maximize the potential of this transportation mode. She will increase federal investment in intercity passenger rail by $1 billion over 5 years in order to help finance capital projects. These investments are in addition to those made in Amtrak.

In my last attempt I google imaged the candidates with search term “Barack Obama bicycle” and “Hillary Clinton bicycle.”  The only current image that came up was Bush Jr. holding up a brand new mtb.  Still looking for a politician in North America that rides to work!



One response to “democratic candidates transportation policy

  1. i bet that bike bush is holding up would feed alot of families!

    i think both obama and clinton are pretty progressive on transpo in their statements. although i wonder how much of a priority this plank will be once one of them takes office.

    also, clinton pledges 1.5 billion for federal financing? if you add up all the places in the US that could use some federal funding for transpo intitiatives, isn’t that a small sum? philly is merely renovating a 20-block stretch of its El line, and that alone cost over a billion. seems like that money might dry up quickly.

    thanks for posting this.

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