A Reader’s Guide to Transportation Issues in the Presidential Campaign

An excellent, comprehensive reader’s guide to transportation issues in the Presidential election was just published by The Council of State Governments.

Here are the topics covered; I don’t want to steal their thunder so you’ll have to visit their website for the complete story and links: 2012 Election: Presidential Race, Transportation & the States – A Reading Guide.

Sean Sloan begins the story by noting:

“Transportation has been a mostly neglected issue on the presidential campaign trail this year. That has left media organizations and political and transportation analysts to try to fill the void in differentiating where President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney stand on transportation issues and what the election of one or the other might mean for state governments.”

Sloane then recaps the following stories and provides the links:

  • The Associated Press’ recent “Why It Matters” series looked at where the candidates stand on a number of issues, including infrastructure.
  • Politico’s Kathryn A. Wolfe wrote recently about Romney’s transportation advisers, which include many Bush administration officials.
  • President Obama had a couple of interesting things to say about transportation in his recent interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board (the one the Administration initially wanted to make off-the-record).
  • Infrastructure was also an issue that came up during President Obama and Gov. Romney’s recent interviews with The Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland.
  • The party platforms adopted at the Democratic and Republican conventions this summer address infrastructure to varying degrees.
  • In a recent op-ed for The Baltimore Sun, former Maryland Governor (and 2002 CSG President) Parris Glendening and Deron Lovaas of the Natural Resources Defense Council wrote that Romney’s sustainable development and smart growth policies as Massachusetts Governor differed significantly from those he has supported as a presidential candidate.
  • Back in September, Larry Ehl on the Transportation Issues Daily blog had an analysis of Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan’s record on transportation issues.
  • The Washington Post had an article in August looking at “What Romney’s run with the Big Dig tells us about how he’d manage America.”
  • And then there is this from Clifford Lynch, principal of Memphis-based C.F. Lynch & Associates, a provider of logistics management advisory services: “The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that we need to spend an additional $20 billion annually just to maintain the current, inadequate (transportation) system. That sounds like a staggering sum until you consider the alternative. The American Society of Civil Engineers has estimated that failing to invest in the country’s bridges and roads will cost us $3.1 trillion in lost GDP growth by 2020 …What no one seems to grasp is the importance of a seamless, well-functioning national transportation infrastructure. Abraham Lincoln understood it when he encouraged the building of the first transcontinental railroad. Dwight Eisenhower got it when he envisioned the interstate highway system. But given Congress’s apparent inability to make sense out of this issue, whoever our new president is, I’m a little pessimistic about this problem being resolved any time soon. I simply don’t think either party has a good handle on the issue.”

We’ve published a few stories as well: