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Profiles from the Recession: [REPORT] Rail Politics: The choice — build or save our way out of Recession

After making headlines for weeks, yesterday New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made it official: He's killing the commuter rail tunnel between Manhattan and New Jersey. The project is too expensive, he says, and his state doesn't have the money to cover its share of the costs. The demise of the largest public works project in decades illustrates the stark political choice many voters will make next week: either spend our way out of the Recession with big projects like high-speed trains and tunnels or save our way out with good old fashioned belt-tightening.

Oct 28th, 2010

Profiles from the Recession: [VIDEO] Stretched To The Limits: Still driving to qualify after the housing crisis

As they post-mortem the housing crisis, policy makers are increasingly putting transportation costs under the microscope. Blueprint America visits the car -dependent suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, to learn about how transportation costs are making it harder for families to hold on to the American Dream.

Oct 22nd, 2010

[THE DIG] Putting Americans To Work.. Or Not

The Economist reports that all that infrastructure talk in Washington since the stimulus bill passed in Feb. 2009 was, in fact, talk. The magazine said, "Infrastructure is still in need of investment; unemployment in the construction sector was 17.2% in September. Barack Obama is touting a new $50 billion infrastructure proposal, but as the mid-terms loom, it is probably too late..."

The bad news for infrastructure continues as the Associated Press reports that while Americans want the nation's aging highways, bridges, and rail systems improved, they really don't want to pay for it. And local officials across the country have noticed with plans to shut down or postpone huge public works projects (especially with the Nov. 2 election looming).

And with the World Series just a win away for the Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants, a report from Bloomberg takes note that while professional sports stadiums may be green in terms having a bus stop, most are turning their backs on pricey solar panels.

Oct 22nd, 2010

Profiles from the Recession: [MAP] Housing + Transportation Affordability Index

If there's a positive from the recession, it's been the fact that U.S. households are lowering their debts and getting their finances back in order. What hasn't changed is that the majority of a family's income still goes to covering housing costs, and the affordability of where you live doesn't always equal the amount you pay in rent or on your mortgage -- it's often times higher, meaning the cost of housing is even more of a majority.

Oct 21st, 2010

The No. 13 Line
Gridlock Sam: The Tea Party’s Bridge to Beyond Nowhere

It’s so easy to get on the bandwagon: lower my taxes, smaller and more efficient government, don’t touch my liberties, throw the bums out, etc. But what if that bandwagon has to cross a bridge? And what if that bridge hasn’t been maintained in years? An Op-Ed from Gridlock Sam.

Oct 18th, 2010

Profiles from the Recession: [VIDEO] Riding The Bus In Natchez, Miss.

A new and improved public transit system --funded with stimulus dollars -- helps the poor get to work in rural Mississippi.

Oct 1st, 2010

Profiles from the Recession: [VIDEO] HUD Secretary Donovan: In recession, housing + transportation costs add up

The average family in America today spends 52 percent of its income on housing and transportation. In this Blueprint America interview, John Larson talks with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan about how transportation adds to the true cost of housing.

Sep 28th, 2010

Reshaping Suburbia: The fight against childhood obesity

Seventeen percent of American kids are obese. Not a little chubby, but actually obese. Many American cities are also unhealthy by design: The infrastructure we've built keeps us in our cars longer and discourages us from walking or biking. A report from Somerville, MA, on the reshaping of suburbia.

Sep 28th, 2010

Blueprint Denver: Helmets and Handsignals: Kids on the Road

With fall in the air and back-to-school commercials in full swing, here at Blueprint America we were reminded by our colleagues at Rocky Mountain PBS in Colorado about the potential of a kids program picking up pace across the country: “Safe Routes to School.”

Sep 22nd, 2010

Stop bellyaching cities! Follow L.A.’s example on building for the future

For too many years cities have been paying for transportation projects with their hands out to Congress, lobbying for dollars even as funding bills grow moss stuck in the sluggish legislative process. It’s time to stop all the bellyaching!

Sep 20th, 2010

Profiles from the Recession: [VIDEO] High Times: In downturn, building parks for economic stability

A new report has found that, in spite of the recession, cities are investing in urban parks. A tour of one such park -- an old elevated rail line in New York City.

Sep 17th, 2010

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