Saturday, June 21, 2008

Metrobama

There's chattering on the Metropolitan Policy of Barack Obama. He gave a speech to the US Conference of Mayors and here's what people are saying. I think the best part is a person in the cabinet who would be in charge of metropolitan policy. That's something we really need, considering HUD and DOT don't really talk to each other when they should.

Ezra Klein -
It's worth noting that Obama's promise to fill the coffers of the Federal Highway Fund comes before his promise to build a "a world-class transit system." He does, however, say, "I don’t want to see the fastest train in the world built halfway around the world in Shanghai, I want to see it built right here in the United States of America." I'd sort of like to see that too, so Gobama!
Yglesias -
To seize the possibility of this moment, we need to promote strong cities as the backbone of regional growth. And yet, Washington remains trapped in an earlier era, wedded to an outdated “urban” agenda that focuses exclusively on the problems in our cities, and ignores our growing metro areas; an agenda that confuses anti-poverty policy with a metropolitan strategy, and ends up hurting both.

This is a point that urban policy people have been trying to push into the mainstream for a while. The fact that Obama's saying this means, among other things, that his team is paying attention to the right people. But we have poor people who don't live in cities, and cities are facing issues besides poverty -- among other things, we have the question of how to make it affordable for non-rich people to live in nice urban areas. Other highlights:

Here's obviously this is my favorite part:
It’s time to stop spending $10 billion a month in Iraq and start investing that money in Phoenix, Nashville, Seattle, and metro areas across this country. Let’s invest that money in a world-class transit system. Let’s re-commit federal dollars to strengthen mass transit and reform our tax code to give folks a reason to take the bus instead of driving to work – because investing in mass transit helps make metro areas more livable and can help our regional economies grow.

And while we’re at it, we’ll partner with our mayors to invest in green energy technology and ensure that your buses and buildings are energy efficient. And we’ll also invest in our ports, roads, and high-speed rails – because I don’t want to see the fastest train in the world built halfway around the world in Shanghai, I want to see it built right here in the United States of America.
As many of you know I don't think Maglev is really worth it. You can go almost as fast with HSR which is proven technology. But I like the fighting spirit.

1 comment:

jonboy200 said...

One of many things that makes me love Obama is he is an urban dweller. How great will that be to have some one in the Whitehouse that understand and believes in urban life.