Today’s New York Times profile for US Transportation Secretary is garnering a bit of attention from the blogosphere today. Particularly, Mr. Lahood’s self-recognition that he is not a transportation expert. However, Lahood is proving to be an admirable champion for a more balanced transportation approach, especially as it relates to high-speed rail and bicycle infrastructure.
For more on Mr. Lahood, you can read Hugeasscity’s conclusion that he has definitely drunk the Kool-Aid, or check out The Infrastructurist’s approval of Lahood’s performance to date. And if that doesn’t convince you that a Republican can get down with the pro-transit folks then read the quote below, lifted directly from a testimony Mr. Lahood gave on the future of surface transportation policy. Despite our initial bellyaching, it seems we transit advocates have a friend in Ray Lahood.
In the past, population and economic growth have always led to large increases in highway travel. This is because most communities’ have built transportation systems that only allow people and goods to move by road. This Administration believes that people should have options to get to work, school, the grocery or the doctor that do not rely solely on driving. We want to transform our transportation system into a truly multimodal system with strong alternatives to driving in order to maximize highway capacity, combat traffic congestion, reduce our reliance on oil and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
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