Today was an historic day for America in many ways. Whether you voted for President Obama or not, most Americans agree on one thing — our infrastructure could use a few upgrades. During his campaign, Obama expressed that one of his priorities would be to rebuild America’s aging schools, roads, and power grid. Today, in his first address as President, he restated this intention.
In his inaugural speech Obama made mention to laying a new foundation for growth. “We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together …We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.”
He seems serious about it to. Even before being sworn in Obama asked Congress to have the latest economic stimulus plan, or ‘recovery plan’ (take your pick), waiting for him on his desk. It is expected to exceed $700 billion. City and state governments across the country have already submitted their wish-lists. There’s even a new push to build a high-speed rail line across New York .
Reality is that most of this particular stimulus package will get swallowed up by thousands of small fix’em-up projects — repaving roads, renovating bridges and elevated highways, etc. — mostly in larger metropolitan areas. But longer term, what types of initiatives might we expect to hear about? Some have argued that a nationwide effort to create transportation corridors, bundling together highways, high-speed rail links, pipelines, and utility lines would be wise. I wouldn’t expect to see a light-rail line running along I-490’s median anytime soon, but I’ve thought about it.
And how about some new ideas? Will America finally invest in building a new hydrogen fuel infrastructure? What if we could build highways that turn auto traffic into energy ? How much do we invest in repairing the old, and how much do we spend on R&D for projects we haven’t even thought of yet? Every idea raises new questions and new possibilities.
So welcome, President Obama. RochesterSubway.com wishes you the best. Together, let’s build something great.
Tags: bridges, economic stimulus, economy, government spending, green energy, highspeed rail, highway, hydrogen fuel, I-490, infrastructure, light-rail, President Obama, Presidential inauguration, rebuilding America, recovery, roads, train, transportation, utilities
This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 at 10:34 pm and is filed under Opinion, Urban Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
UPDATE: In President Obama’s first weekly internet address, he lays out his long term plan for the nation. In it he says, “We will rebuild and retrofit America to meet the demands of the 21st century. That means repairing and modernizing thousands of miles of America’s roadways and providing new mass transit options for millions of Americans.” Watch the full address.