Well ain’t that a something something

By far the best head vs wall picture available.

By far the best head vs wall picture available.

Remember that stimulus bill that came out of Washington not too long ago? Yeah, that one. A big chunk of the change therein was earmarked for transportation projects. Awesome, right? Smart transportation here we come. Right?

Well, turns out not so much. According to an analysis by the New York Times (those guys…), the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the country – which means Tacoma, and Vancouver, and Bellevue, and Everett, and Fife, and Issaquah, and Battle Ground, and yes, Seattle – received less than half of the stimulus money earmarked for transportation.

Those metro areas are home to over two-thirds of the US’s population and three-quarters of national economic production. And they’re receiving less than half of the funding. The result? More money into roads, less investment into transit and compact growth, and a cementing of environmentally problematic transportation patterns and habits.

From a governmental process outlook, this shouldn’t be so surprising. The nature of a bicameral legislative system means that less populous areas have an overly-amplified voice, relative to their size. That’s sort of the whole point. Still though, the difference between need and allocation in this case is eyebrow-raising, at best.


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