California, Los Angeles, and the Stimulus

1_9_09_obama.jpg

With news out of Washington that the Obama administration’s federal stimulus plan isn’t going to be passed anytime in the next couple of weeks, our state and local political leaders now have the time to re-think their stimulus lists while the political drama unfolds in Washington, D.C.

At the state level, CALPIRG took its shot at Caltrans’ project wish list in a report released just before the new year.  CALPIRG notes that while California’s list of projects awaiting federal stimulus money is better than those in many other states, a clear one-third of the requested funds go towards road capacity enhancement projects compared to 37% for transit projects.  CALPIRG urges Caltrans to revise its list to be more like Massachusetts which is only requesting highway funds for fix-it-first projects.

To read the full Caltrans’ stimulus list, click here.

The city’s list of projects for the stimulus has come under similar fire from local advocates who note that most of the local dollars would be spent on road repaving and very little on alternative transportation projects. 

To read the city’s list, click here.

Caltrans executives have stressed that any project lists that are made public should be taken with a grain of salt, because they are drafts and not final.  With the politics in Washington threatening to delay the stimulus package for another month, both Caltrans and city officials still have time to check their lists twice.

Of course, just because the city or state submit a project list, it
doesn’t mean those projects will ultimately be funded.  That’s why it’s
important to focus advocacy efforts on local, state and federal politicians.

Photo: Barack Obama/Flickr

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Metro (Sort Of) Decides on Its Stimulus List

|
Today, the Metro Board of Directors passed a list of projects which it will use to apply for stimulus funds as they become available.  Their list, available at the end of this document, is actually quite a bit greener than one might expect with pages of bicycle, pedestrian and transit projects dominating the document and […]

Calpirg, Smart Growth America Slam State Stimulus Spending

|
When the government passed the stimulus bill last spring, it set a 120 day deadline for states to allocate at least half of transportation funds in the bill. As that deadline passes today, CALPIRG and Smart Growth America released a report detailing how California is spending its stimulus dollars. The news isn’t good.  Despite pretty […]

Schwarzenegger Proposes Making the 405 a Double Decker Freeway

|
To the casual observer, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger seems like an environmental crusader.  He signs anti-sprawl legislation, he sues the federal government over emission standards for automobiles, he flies around the world to attend greenhouse gas conferences. But to those of us that live here and have been working to clean and green our transportation system; […]

CALPIRG: Don’t Waste the Stimulus on Highway Expansion

|
Winner of CALPIRG’s 2008 "Save Traffic" Contest Yesterday, the California Pubic Interest Research Group, aka CALPIRG, released Spending the Stimulus, How California Can Put Thousands Back to Work & Jumpstart a 21st Century Transportation System, a report urging Caltrans and Governor Schwarzenegger not to waste the $2.5 billion in stimulus funds on projects that would […]

City’s Measure R Plan a Test for Villaraigosa

|
Mayor Villaraigosa Mugs for the Cameras at Opening of Dodger Trolley Back when Metro was preparing its project list for the potential funds that would be generated by what now is known as Measure R, there was a grassroots effort to get the agency a small set aside of the billions that will be raised […]

Highway Projects Highlight Another Packed Metro Board Agenda

|
Panorama shot from the Sepulveda Pass trail head path. via Dan_Wuh/Flickr Support for two major highway projects are highlighting another packed Metro Board agenda. First, tucked away on the consent agenda is a motion to formally oppose AB 113, legislation by Assemblyman Portantino which would require Caltrans to sell state-owned property along the unconstructed areas […]