T4A Calls for Smarter Jobs Policy

In yesterday’s post about the Streetsblog Network‘s first birthday, I should have mentioned the crucial role that Transportation for America played in the network’s conception and inception. We couldn’t have done it without them.

T4A’s vision of a national coalition of groups and individuals who can influence transportation policy at the federal level was key to the network’s formation — as was their funding support.

6054169_4110887870.jpgLet’s put people to work building a sustainable future. (Photo: wools via Flickr)

In the months after the network’s launch, we partnered with T4A to keep our members abreast of opportunities to speak out on transportation in the stimulus package. And we’re going to continue that kind of work as the Congress moves forward, albeit slowly, on a new transportation funding bill — as well as any jobs creation legislation that’s on the horizon.

Today, T4A’s campaign blog has a post on a letter that they’ve sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about just that subject. It calls on the Speaker to stay focused on long-term goals for a sustainable transportation system when crafting short-term jobs proposals:

If we’re going to fund infrastructure investments to put people back
to work, it’s imperative that we get the most out of our precious
dollars — and stay on track for passing the long-term transportation
bill we so desperately need to get America moving again.

Any plan to create jobs through transportation spending should:

  1. Create the greatest number of jobs in the quickest time possible by
    prioritizing rehabilitation and operation of existing infrastructure
    and target new workforce development opportunities for people most in
    need of employment. (i.e., “Fix-it-first.”)
  2. Chart a new 21st century direction in transportation policy.
  3. Be limited to no more than a year and not replace the long term authorization of the transportation bill.

More from around the network: Cyclelicious has some sweet numbers on the rise in biking in Marin County, California. The DC Bicycle Transportation Examiner digs into the growing backlash against bikers in Philadelphia. And The Urbanophile admires some fantasy transit maps from Columbus, Ohio.

  • JK

    We’re back to “Hire a Construction Worker, Fire a Bus Driver” again. New York State just cut $157 million in transit operating aid, including $140 million from the MTA. This statewide cut is in addition to local funding cuts to county bus systems across the state. (See Suffolk for instance.)

    It’s important to keep existing transit jobs and not just fixate on new jobs building capital intensive projects. Robust local transit is the backbone of urban redevelopment, and it’s getting starved just as it’s needed most.

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