Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.
Happy property tax day, Source readers!
The cracks in the nation’s foundation (N.Y. Times)
This strong editorial pleas with Congress to get off its duff and fix the nation’s ailing infrastructure. Excerpts:
The need for investment in public works, never more urgent, has become a casualty of Washington’s ideological wars. Republicans were once reliable partners in this kind of necessary spending. But since President Obama spent about 12 percent of the 2009 stimulus on transportation, energy and other infrastructure programs, Republicans have made it a policy to demonize these kinds of investments.
When the president asked recently for a modest $50 billion for transportation improvements in the “fiscal cliff” talks, Republicans literally laughed out loud. There will be no stimulus in any deal, said Representative Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, the incoming chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. (snip)
The president’s $50 billion proposal for highways, rail, mass transit and aviation, hard as it will be to achieve, is only a slim down payment on the real job. (He proposed the same package last year as part of the American Jobs Act, which Republicans ignored.) Most estimates put the cost of basic repairs at more than $2 trillion, and that does not even include long-range upgrades to the electrical grid, storm protection and mass transit.
Around the country, ridership on transit has grown significantly since the 1990s, but federal investments have fallen far short. The Transportation Department says that if $18 billion were spent every year — 40 percent more than is being spent now — transit systems might get to a state of good repair by 2028. But that does not include spending to improve service or keep up with growth, or to protect systems like New York’s from storm damage. (The city’s subway system needs $4.8 billion just to recover from Hurricane Sandy.)
Outgoing House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Florida) says he’ll try to torpedo some L.A. transit projects unless light rail is extended to LAX — sooner rather than later. The project is currently under study and scheduled to be complete in 2028 under Metro’s long-range plan. It would have been accelerated under Measure J, which fell .56 percentage points short at the polls. Of course, getting the project done will require help from Los Angeles World Airports, a city of Los Angeles agency that needs to environmentally clear the project and make a financial contribution.