Ray LaHood, Known Unknown

lahood_1.jpgRay LaHood, holding plaque, in 2004 with members of the League of Illinois Bicyclists

Ray LaHood? Ray LaHood?

That was the rippling reaction on the Streetsblog Network yesterday and early today as the news about Obama’s pick for Transportation Secretary sank in. "Say it ain’t so, Barack," was the headline on the brand-new blog WalkBike CT (hat tip to Design New Haven for pointing us there).

David Alpert at Greater Greater Washington summed it up nicely: 

Many observers were very surprised; high-speed rail advocates are worried; some bicyclists are tentatively pleased.
Advocates, bloggers and journalists will have their hands full today
learning all about LaHood and divining what, exactly, this means for
Obama’s transportation policy.

Those bicyclists Alpert references are at the League of Illinois Bicyclists, and they posted a statement yesterday saying, "[LaHood] is an active supporter of bicycling and trails, and he has very
visibly gone against the wishes of his party leaders on our issues."

More positive spin comes from KC Light Rail, which says "moderate is the word to emphasize here," and Ryan Avent at The Bellows writes, "I’d say I remain cautiously optimistic. The people are important, but
how Obama uses the people is most important. And that variable remains
unknown so far."

In the meantime, hope springs eternal at the local level. Over at The Naked City, Mary Newsom posts an open letter to the President-Elect from Oregon street designer Michael Ronkin, about the potential of sidewalk construction for shovel-ready stimulus projects. And a post from Transportation from America showing the lamentable sidewalk conditions in Jackson, MS, demonstrates how much need exists for such projects in the nation’s cities.

  • Hold my plaque

    LaHood is a bicycling hero. Look at that plaque!

  • poncho

    ^
    so is paperboy

  • Max Rockatansky

    Not sure where to post this but have you thought about organizing the http://usa.streetsblog.org/ articles by region? It would be nice to look at a headline and know whether it was a regional or national issue, even better to know specific regions.

  • Sarah Goodyear

    Max,

    For now, the blogroll at http://usa.streetsblog.org is organized by region, and we plan to roll out a number of filtering options, including by region, in the future. We’ll let you know when that happens.

    In the meantime, in the site’s “Top Picks” section, regional blogs will show a dateline from where the blog originates; national and international blogs don’t have a dateline.

    Hope that helps.

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