Thursday, December 18, 2008

Obama's New Transportation Secretary

Barack Obama has picked outgoing Illinois Republican Congressman Ray LaHood. And while the first reaction for many including commenters on Streetsblog have been skeptical, our colleagues in Chicago and Springfield are singing his praises.

League of Illinois Bicyclists Director Ed Barsotti probably is in the best position to judge the accomplishments of LaHood "In summary, he’s been great for us! He is an active supporter of bicycling and trails, and he has very visibly gone against the wishes of his party leaders on our issues"

LaHood also was a key vote against the threat to Transportation Enhancements in 2003 for the bill that became SAFETEA-LU.

On the flip side of all this is an environmental record that is clearly spotty and Peoria based Caterpillar is his largest political contributor. But all this may be a moot point as the highway lobby is clearly trying to hijack the stimulus package. Even David Brooks questions the haste on roadbuilding.