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Stressed transit operating budgets need special attention.
The stimulus plan notion of investing in "alternative" transportation fuels while at the same time building more roads for us to use with our gas guzzlers is absurd. Europe and Asia use less energy with energy efficient electric rail transit. That should be first priority of the stimulus package.
This isn't Europe. Oh, and another note - It never will be.
For those of you who yearn for European philosophy, the door is open and you are welcome to move there.
Two things to note. First, the only way major road projects, including widening and new roads, would meet the criteria as currently proposed (i.e. able to be bid within 90-180 days) is if the project in question has completed environmental documentation (which generally takes 2 years), final design (upwards of a year), and right-of-way purchase (generally 1-2 years). There aren't very many new roads or road widenings that fit that category...the only one in the Metro I can think of is part of 610. Second, the concerns about transit and transit funding are better addressed in the transportation reauthorization bill later this year, NOT in a stimulus bill.
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