Reason to worry about the stimulus bill:
Missouri’s plan to spend $750 million in federal money on highways and nothing on mass transit in St. Louis doesn’t square with President-elect Barack Obama’s vision for a revolutionary re-engineering of the nation’s infrastructure.
Utah would pour 87 percent of the funds it may receive in a new economic stimulus bill into new road capacity. Arizona would spend $869 million of its $1.2 billion wish list on highways.
While many states are keeping their project lists secret, plans that have surfaced show why environmentalists and some development experts say much of the stimulus spending may promote urban sprawl while scrimping on more green-friendly rail and mass transit.
“It’s a lot of more of the same,” said Robert Puentes, a metropolitan growth and development expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington who is tracking the legislation. “You build a lot of new highways, continue to decentralize” urban and suburban communities and “pull resources away from transit.”
If we screw this up it’s going to deserve a special place in the annals of missed opportunities.