Today, the mayors of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami spoke at the Conference of Mayors om Washington today to lobby the Federal Government for what they call, "ready-to-go" infrastructure projects that would provide critical city improvements and jobs.
"Over the last eight years, there's been ... an absence of investment in cities, whether it's the infrastructure, public transportation, bridges, highways, schools, hospitals," Los Angeles, California, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a news conference on Capitol Hill. "We are here not for a bailout, but to present a recovery plan."
The news conference coincided with the Conference of Mayors' release of a list of 11,391 "ready-to-go" infrastructure projects that would cost $73.1 billion. The report surveyed 427 cities across the country and includes roads, bridges, schools, city halls and other public works projects. The report says that those projects would create 847,641 jobs.
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As someone who lives on the east coast of the U.S., I am biased for the Feds to help cities "recover" the infrastructure funding. Anyone who lives in a city on eastern seaboard or in a rustbelt city can tell you that parts of the infrastructure in these cities are old and outdated and would cost billions of dollars to repair. Now I don't need to remind everybody of the calamity that could happen if these repairs don't happen like with the levy walls in New Orleans or the bridge collapse in Minneapolis but fixing these problems now will cost a lot cheap then waiting for the infrastructure to eventually fail.
If the Federal Government were to seriously fund public transportation upgrades and infrastructure it would not only help reduce sprawl and energy but also revitalize cities and create jobs as more people are now more willing to live in cities or closer to cities.