RELEASE: Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

For immediate release

May 12, 2020

Stewart Schwartz
703-599-6437 (cell)

CSG Released the Following Statement from Executive Director Stewart Schwartz

Senators Warner, Kaine, Cardin, Van Hollen Can Fix the Infrastructure Bill

“The bipartisan infrastructure bill would pour record amounts of money into transportation. But there are critical flaws which should be addressed. Fortunately, Senator Kaine and Senator Cardin are two of the Senators proposing critically needed amendments to ensure that the bill achieves our nation’s goal of fixing existing crumbling infrastructure, sets firm goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, and funds the reconnection of city neighborhoods torn apart by highways in the 1950s through 1970s.

We strongly support Senator Kaine’s “fix-it-first” amendment for highways and roads. The infrastructure bill has been sold to the public because of crumbling roads and bridges. While the bill does require aging bridges to be prioritized, and imposes strict fix-first requirements on transit, there is no similar requirement for roads. Senator Kaine’s amendment 2373 would address this and we applaud VDOT for supporting this.

We also strongly support Senator Cardin’s amendment 2465 to require states to set goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Transportation is the number one source of U.S. and DC regional emissions. Addressing this will take more than electric vehicles — it will also require reducing vehicle miles traveled through walkable, transit-oriented communities, transit, telecommuting and other demand reduction tools.

We also support Senator Klobuchar’s amendment 2301 to require states to reduce deaths on our roads, and Senator Warnock’s 2167 to invest more money into reconnecting and restoring city neighborhoods torn apart by highways, like those in DC, Baltimore, and Richmond.

While the package provides record amounts to intercity rail — an implicit endorsement of Virginia’s success with passenger rail, we are very concerned that the bill allocates less than 20% of the combined package to the transit upon which so much of our workforce depends. The transit share should be increased by at least $10 billion.

These are critically needed amendments if our nation and our region are going to truly fix its aging infrastructure, fight climate change, and create more sustainable communities.”