Jump to content

Obama : "The days where we’re just building sprawl forever, those days are over"


ErickMontreal
 Share

Recommended Posts

Obama : "The days where we’re just building sprawl forever, those days are over"

 

President Obama was back on the road today to garner support for the economic stimulus package that passed the Senate early Tuesday morning. He was speaking today at a town hall forum in Ft. Myers, Florida, and near the end of his hour-long session, a city councilwoman asked him about transportation and infrastructure in the stimulus.

 

Here’s how he responded:

 

It’s imagining new transportation systems. I’d like to see high speed rail where it can be constructed. I would like for us to invest in mass transit because potentially that’s energy efficient. And I think people are a lot more open now to thinking regionally…

 

The days where we’re just building sprawl forever, those days are over. I think that Republicans, Democrats, everybody… recognizes that’s not a smart way to design communities. So we should be using this money to help spur this sort of innovative thinking when it comes to transportation.

That will make a big difference.

 

Watch the full session from C-SPAN here. The section begins at around the 55 minute mark. If we can track it down, check back with us later for a more detailed transcript.

 

One way to ensure that we’re not throwing stimulus money into something whose “days are over” would be to ensure that highway funding in the stimulus goes first to reduce the massive backlog of desperately needed maintenance and repair before building new roads and highways. Which would steer funding into projects that can be bid quickly, will create more jobs than new construction, and won’t come with the hidden cost of future maintenance like new construction does.

 

Another smart use of stimulus money would be making sure that the bill maintains the House’s funding level of $12 billion for public transportation.

 

Look back here in the next day or two for more detailed information on weighing in and taking action while the bill is in conference committee. We’ll have a full breakdown of the differences between the two bills and which areas in each version should be supported.

 

Click through to see the full transcript, albeit with possible inaccuracies until we get an official one. Thanks to Jay Blazek Crossley of Houston Tomorrow for sending it over.

 

Speaker: I am now an elected official myself. I serve on the City Council in ? Springs, Florida. My mayor is here as well.

 

Cities throughout Florida are having a difficult time because of the mortgage crisis. Growth has slowed. We fund our transportation infrastructure needs through impact fees. Now that we’re not getting that, we’re falling behind in our ability to keep up with road work, municipal water projects, being able to bring solar panels down here to an inland port. We need commuter rail. We need lots of things for infrastructure in this state. If we ran out of oil today, we would not be able to move in this state, to get around. And I hope that you turn that thing around in the Gulf, we don’t want to drill for oil in the Gulf. We’ve got a beautiful pristine state, so I am asking you, how will we get our state going again in transportation? I’m very worried about our dependence on foreign oil and I don’t want to drill in our Gulf. I want some commuter rail and I want to improve our transportation.

 

President Obama: Well, We have targeted billions of dollars at infrastructure spending and states all across the country are going through what Florida’s going through. there was a study done by the American Association of Engineers - that might not be the exact title, engineers from all across the country. We get a D for infrastructure all across the country.

 

We saw what happened in Minneapolis where a bridge collapsed and resulted in tragedy. Not only do we need to rebuild our roads, our bridges, our ports, our levies, our damns, but we also have to plan for the future. This is the same example of turning crisis into opportunity. This should be a wake up call for us. You go to Shanghai, China right now and they’ve got high speed rail that puts our rail to shame. They’ve got ports that are state of the art. Their airports are you know compared to the airports that we - you go through beijing airport and you compare that to miami airport?

 

Now, look, this is America. We always had the best infrastructure. We were always willing to invest in the future. Governor Crist mentioned Abraham Lincoln. In the middle of the Civil War, in the midst of all this danger and peril, what did he do? He helped move the intercontinental railroad. He helped start land grant colleges. He understood that even when you’re in the middle of crisis, you’ve got to keep your eye on the future. So transportation is not just fixing our old transportation systems but its also imaging new transportation systems.

 

That’s why I’d like to see high speed rail where it can be constructed. That’s why I would like to invest in mass transit because potentially that’s energy efficient and I think people are alot more open now to thinking regionally in terms of how we plan our transportation infrastructure. The days where we’re just building sprawl forever, those days are over. I think that Republicans, Democrats, everybody recognizes that that’s not a smart way to build communities. So we should be using this money to help spur this kind of innovative thinking when it comes to transportation. That will make a big difference.

 

http://t4america.org/blog/archives/661

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1m_k2dCj0M&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1m_k2dCj0M&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...