Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pres. Obama: "Sprawl is Dead"

Said today at an appearance in Ft. Myers, FL:


"We get a D in infrastructure all across the country. We saw what happened in Minneapolis. A bridge collapsed and resulted in tragedy. And not only do we need to rebuild our roads and our bridges, our dams and our levees, but we also have to plan for the future...this is the same example of turning crises into opportunity. This should be a wake up call for us. You go to Shanghai, China right now and they've go high speed rail that puts our railroads to shame. They've got ports that are state of the art. Their airports, compared the airports we've got, you go to Beijing Airport and you compare that to Miami Airport (laughter, scattered applause). Now look, this is America (applause). We always had the best infrastructure, we were always willing to invest in the future. Governor Chris mentioned Abraham Lincoln, in the middle of the Civil War, in the midst of all this danger and peril, what did he do? He helped move the intercontinental railroad. He helped to start land grant colleges. He understood that even when you are in the middle of crises, youve got to keep your eye on the future, so transportation, when it is not fixing our old transportation systems, it is also imagining new transportation systems. Id like to see high speed rail, where it can be constructed. Id like for us to invest in mass transit, because potentially thats energy efficient. I think people are a lot more open now to thinking regionally. The days when we were just building sprawl forever, those days are over. I think that Republicans, Democrats, that that is not a smart way to design communities, so that we should be using this money to help spur this kind of innovative thinking when it comes to transportation, thatll make a big difference."