Democratic candidate Barack Obama has not only jumped aboard the pro-pedestrian and public transit bus—he’s driving it. Obama’s campaign recently released a “fact sheet” that reveals his plans for "Strengthening America’s Transportation Infrastructure,” which relies largely on increasing pedestrian traffic and public transportation. As we have reported, cycling organizations are clinging to Obama as the only Democratic candidate who has explicitly encouraged bicycle transportation during the lead-up to the election.
By StreetsBlog’s estimation, “…Obama appears to be the first major party presidential candidate to outline a national transportation platform that explicitly seeks to ‘create policies that incentivize greater bicycle and pedestrian usage of sidewalks and roads’…”
Here are some highlights from Obama’s pro-ped, pro-transit plan:
- support Amtrak funding
- support the development of a high-speed freight and passenger rail
- cut traffic congestion and dependency on cars with more efficient urban planning
- stop sprawl and create more livable, walkable communities
- improve public transportation, particularly in poor, underserved areas.
- safeguard mass public transit against terrorism
Hillary, on the other hand, has made improving roadways her priority. Her press release does express support for telecommuting, a light rail, increasing federal funding for public transit, maximizing of transit usage, and decreasing congestion. All of these are dandy, but appear to dangle at the tail end of Clinton’s list like afterthoughts. For Clinton, it seems, cars come first.