TIGER TIGER TIGER

For those of us in America always complaining about our roads and bridges being not done or broken up with potholes, or having a project of transportation concerns that might interfere with the roads, stop the badgering. The reason I say this because it was just a thought that every city and state needs their own separate account in concerning roads and bridges only. With that being said, I unleash another blog letter.

Dear U.S. Citizens and those who always complain about roads. Even if you’re a Milwaukee citizen:

It’s me Stephen.  You should know I’m this black blogger from the Midwest in Milwaukee.

STOP COMPLAINING!

Yeah, hear this. For about 5+ years I have heard about the ongoing ramble of the deterioration roads and bridges. And even Potholes. I get it. I’m sick and tired of the whiny complaining folks about roads and bridges. Look here, yes I drive on the same roads and bridges as you do. And no I don’t complain. Why? Morely the roads and or bridges will find a path to get fixed. Yes, I read about the stories about the deterioration of the streets especially from recent snow storms. Even here in Wisconsin it’s like religion. We get snow and it get plowed off the streets. But yes, we get those godawful potholes that we drive over with our vehicles and scream expletives for not getting it fixed up. Well folks of America and Wisconsin, expect that to happen and expect that to get fixed up as usual.

For the money side of things, just yesterday, President Obama had launched a new TIGER of things to help repair, fix and maintain our Infrastructure. This is for all the right wingers like Scott Walker always butting heads about roads and bridges. This is for anyone opposes who feels streetcars are just a waste. Even if your name is Milwaukee County Supervisor Deanna Alexander, (I’ll go on her in minute) and anyone who feels this strongly.  Read the remarks of the President while talking Roads and Bridges in his stay in Minnesota.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/02/26/remarks-president-jobs-american-infrastructure

For the outline of this, here is the rundown via The White House:

  • Supporting High-Value Transportation Projects Across the Country. The highly competitive TIGER program supports a range of projects, including roads, bridges, transit, rail, and ports, and offers one of the few Federal funding sources for game-changing projects that integrate different modes of transportation. The TIGER program invests in projects that will have a significant impact on the nation or a region, and Federal funds are used to make such projects possible and leverage additional funding from private sector partners, States, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations, and transit agencies.
  • Encouraging Improved Job Access and Increased Economic Opportunity. In an effort to expand economic opportunities for all Americans, the 2014 TIGER program will place an emphasis on projects that support reliable, safe, and affordable transportation options that improve connections for urban, suburban, and rural communities. While continuing to support projects of all types, a priority will be placed in this 6th round of applications on projects that make it easier for Americans to get to jobs, school, and other opportunities, promote neighborhood revitalization and business expansion, and reconnect neighborhoods that are unnaturally divided by physical barriers such as highways and railroads.
  • Prioritizing Transformative Projects. Successful projects in the highly competitive process will be those with the potential to improve economic competitiveness and create jobs, improve the condition of existing transportation systems, improve quality of life by increasing transportation options, improve energy efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and encourage resiliency, and/or improve the safety of our transportation systems.
  • $35 Million to Help Communities Design Economic Development Plans. In addition to supporting capital grants, Congress provided the U.S. Department of Transportation with the flexibility to use up to $35 million of the 2014 TIGER funds for planning grants for the first time since 2010. These funds can be used to support the planning of innovative transportation solutions, as well as regional transportation planning, freight and port planning, housing and land use development, and resiliency efforts that improve efficiency and sustainable community development.

Also The White House has additional info in regarding this option, and a proposal idea from the President:

  • Proposing a $302 billion, Four Year Transportation Reauthorization Bill, Providing States, Local Governments, and Construction Workers with Certainty. The President’s proposal for a $302 billion, four year transportation reauthorization will not only allow States and local units of government to effectively plan their project pipelines, supporting millions of good paying jobs over the next several years, but also will enable more transformative transportation projects that improve our global competitiveness.
    • $63 billion to fill the funding gap in the Highway Trust Fund. The proposal will meet our nation’s essential highway, bridge, and transit needs in the near term by providing $63 billion to address the insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund for four years. 
    • Prioritizing “Fix-it-First” investments. The proposal will include policies and reforms to prioritize investments for much needed repairs and to improve the safety of highways and bridges, subways and bus services, with particular attention to improving roads and bridges in rural and tribal areas.
  • Matching Transportation Infrastructure Investments to the Current and Future Needs of American Communities. Bringing a one-time infusion of investment into our transportation infrastructure programs would enable projects that address the diverse needs of American communities today.  
    • $206 billion to invest in our nation’s highway system and road safety. The proposal will increase the amount of highway funds by 22 percent annually, for a total of about $199 billion over the four years. The proposal would also provide more than $7 billion to improve safety for all users of our highways and roads.
    • $72 billion to invest in transit systems and expand transportation options. The proposal increases average transit spending by nearly 70 percent annually, for a total program of $72 billion over four years, which will enable the expansion of new projects (e.g., light rail, street cars, bus rapid transit, etc.) in suburbs, fast-growing cities, small towns, and aging rural communities, while still maintaining existing transit systems. 
    • $19 billion in dedicated funding for rail programs. The proposal also includes nearly $5 of billion annually for high performance and passenger rail programs with a focus on improving the connections between key regional city pairs and high traffic corridors throughout the country. 
    • $9 billion in competitive funding to spur innovation. The proposal will make permanent and provide $5 billion over four years, an increase of more than 100 percent, for the highly successfully TIGER competitive grant program and propose $4 billion of competitively awarded funding over four years to incentivize innovation and local policy reforms to encourage better performance, productivity, and cost-effectiveness in our transportation systems.
    • Encouraging coordination and local decision making. The proposal includes policy reforms to incentivize improved regional coordination and strengthen local decision making in allocating Federal funding so that local communities can better realize their vision for improved mobility.
  • Expanding Economic Growth, Jobs, and Opportunity. The President is dedicated to enhancing opportunity for all Americans and our businesses by investing in transportation projects that better connect communities to centers of employment, education, and services.
    • More than $2.6 billion and policy reforms to support the creation of ladders of opportunity. The proposal will include policy reforms to enhance existing highway and transit programs that help to create ladders of opportunity. Within the overall transit spending, the proposal provides $2.2 billion for a new bus rapid transit program for rapidly growing regions. It also includes $400 million to enhance the size, diversity, and skills of our nation’s construction workforce, while providing support for local hiring efforts and encouraging States to use their On-the-Job training funds more effectively.
    • $10 billion for a new freight program to strengthening America’s exports and trade. Recognizing the importance of efficient and reliable freight networks to support trade and economic growth, the President’s proposal will also create a new $10 billion multimodal freight grant program – in partnership with State and local officials and private sector and labor representatives – for rail, highway, and port projects that address the greatest needs for the efficient movement of goods across the country and abroad.
  • More Bang-for-the-Buck by Boosting Efficiency and Taxpayers Return on Our Transportation Investments. In a time of tight fiscal and budgetary constraints, the President’s proposal includes a number of measures to ensure that the American public is getting most out of Federal transportation infrastructure investments that lead to better outcomes for all Americans.
    • Improving project delivery and the Federal permitting and regulatory review process. The proposal will further advance and introduce new reforms to the project delivery system through a range of activities that institutionalize best practices and insights from the President’s previous Executive Orders and Presidential Memorandums to cut project timelines in half for major infrastructure projects by modernizing the Federal government’s infrastructure permitting and regulatory review process.
    • Building more resilient communities. Building on the Sandy Task Force recommendations, the proposal will also encourage more resilient designs for highway, transit, and rail infrastructure, and smarter transportation planning to reduce fuel use and conserve energy.
    • Encouraging and incentivizing cost effective investments. The proposal will strengthen the performance incentives to maintain safety and conditions of good repair, and expand research and technology activities in order to improve the productivity of our transportation systems, thereby increasing taxpayer return on investment.
    • $4 billion to attract private investment in transportation infrastructure. The proposal calls for continued funding of $1 billion in annual credit subsidy for the successful TIFIA loan program that, similar to other Administration proposals such as capitalizing a National Infrastructure Bank, creating American Fast Forward bonds, or enacting Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) reforms, will facilitate increased private investment in transportation infrastructure while protecting taxpayer interests.

    So in regarding this, I believe that this will help with the current affairs of the roads and bridges in which it would generate new jobs, keep the taxpayers money safe, provide new and upgrade means of transportation, and most of all getting a chance to upbeat our projected endeavors. Yes I know that there are those who might complain and whine, but hey, if you are on the Right Wing Squad, is this what you wanted? I’m just asking.  So the country could get a 302 Billion dollar deal which means each state would get about at least 6 million per say for this project each. Think 302 billion divided by 50 States. Roughly around in that price range.

Speaking of this, I had to get back to the local side of things: here in Milwaukee as usual we face alot of the potholes and crumbling roads. But one Supervisor had to cross the line of ideas in which its illegal: According the Urban Milwaukee Website, they interviewed Deanna Alexander a Milwaukee County Supervisor about the roads and not enough support of the ongoing idea of having a Milwaukee Streetcar.

Ald. Donovan is absolutely on the right track with his request to reallocate streetcar funding and use it for street repairs and transit,” said Alexander, a member of the County Board’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee and the Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee.

“The streetcar is lacking public support,” Alexander said.  “We would be much more pragmatic to forego a shiny new streetcar plan and instead support what would have a more meaningful impact for our residents: expanding bus transit taking workers to suburban jobs and repairing the roads that are already deteriorating.”

“With limited resources, we’d all be better off with buses that go jobs rather than a streetcar that goes nowhere,” Alexander continued.  “I’ll be happy to talk about a streetcar plan when Milwaukee isn’t busy carrying the burden of being the 3rd highest taxed city in the county and when its residents aren’t calling elected officials begging for access to just-out-of-reach suburban jobs.”

“We have far more urgent needs than a streetcar,” she said. “If it is possible under the law, I urge the Governor, the Mayor, County Executive, and anyone else who can stir this pot for some practical change to take action to give our residents what they want: jobs and  transportation to them, not toys.”

Note to Supervisor Alexander: If you’re reading this, you do realize this is illegal. According to the law of the money that the city currently has for the upcoming Streetcar Project, if you have not done your homework. The money is ONLY for the StreetCar Project. It cannot be allocated. If the city of Milwaukee per say gives away that money to another city or another state, that’s our loss. I’ve heard this many many times, and I have to agree with the Mayor and any other federal financial individual that it is ILLEGAL for this to happen! We have to remember about the proposed idea about having a High Speed Rail that would have linked Milwaukee and Madison. But the person you written to, Governor Scott Walker refused the money to build the line! We lost out on a great opportunity due to him and his fans who feel that no one would ride a rail system. And in increase of his 250,000 jobs.  This includes Ald. Bob Donovan. You say about Jobs, Transportation to them, and not toys. Sometimes you have watch what you say. Those “toys” can be viable solutions to getting those jobs and transportation things. I’ve seen them upclose. Don’t believe me, take a look around on how other cities are doing this and SUPPORTING THEM with ideas with jobs in hand.

Personally, I would like to express that yes I do support the idea of having a Streetcar. And I hope that it comes with one word: JOBS! Now here is something that no one is talking about. If the folks like Scott Walker, Deanna Alexander, Bob Donovan and many other feel that roads and bridges are factor of concern. And those in the city circle can keep the Streetcar Project flowing without any concern, use this for idea and I’m glad it’s on time: Set up an separate account for the financial portion of the City’s Infrastructure that can be used for roads and bridges only. What that means, make a separate account for roads/bridges and leave the streetcar money alone! You can still have infrastructure funding. But make it two. One for Streetcars, the other for bridgework and roadwork.  Can that be done? Plus that idea from Obama might come in at a good time.

Sincerely,

Stephen

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