Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rahn Invited to be National Journal Contributor

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Department of Transportation Director Pete Rahn has joined an impressive list of transportation experts invited by National Journal to participate in a weekly blog on transportation issues. The blog is located at
National Journal is a Washington, D.C.-based, nonpartisan weekly magazine on public policy and politics. In his first posting, Rahn gave his opinion on how federal economic stimulus funding should be spent on transportation infrastructure.

"Congress and the Obama administration should commit at least $50 billion of a stimulus package to highway and bridge improvements - $25 billion a year for two years," Rahn wrote. "The first-year funds should be redistributed if not under contract within 180 days. The second-year funds should be directed to projects of more substance, but those projects should also be under contract by the end of fiscal year 2009. An additional $20 billion should be committed to multimodal transportation."

National Journal launched the transportation blog Dec. 1 citing the increasing importance of transportation on the Washington agenda. The magazine also offers expert blogs on health care, the economy, and energy and the environment. They can be found at

Others participating in the transportation blog include California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Transportation, Secretary Mary Peters, former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, former Department of Transportation Inspector General Kenneth Mead, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, Teamsters President James Hoffa and American Transportation and Road Builders Association President Pete Ruane.

"This is a great opportunity to provide state input into national issues affecting transportation," Rahn said. "I'm honored to be asked to contribute."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pete's comment on spending stimulus money is here:

While getting projects under way is important, it's also essential to choose projects wisely.

The post-recession economy will be very different from the pre-recession economy. New capacity projects that looked good a few years ago, based on projected traffic growth or anticipated future economic development, may no longer be prudent in an era of concern about climate change, and rising costs of fuel and other resources.

Projects that add highway capacity -- and thereby encourage more urban sprawl and make us more dependent on "auto"-mobility -- make no sense. Missouri's use of stimulus money should concentrate on "fix-it-first" projects, plus transit and rail investments that will prove to be far more important in our future economy.

--Ron McLinden, Kansas City