Dave Demerjian writing in Wired says the Obama administration will face a long list of daunting transportation issues – crumbling bridges, congested roads, etc. – so the nation needs a transportation secretary with vision. Among potential candidates who gets a thumbs up is Minnesota’s Rep. James Oberstar, chair of the House Transportation Committee, because he moved quickly to secure funding to rebuild the I-35W bridge after it collapsed last year.
But who gets the big rave? Demerjian writes: “[T]he best guy for the job may well be R.T. Rybak, the forward-thinking mayor of Minneapolis. He’s made sensible and sustainable transportation policy a hallmark of his tenure…. His progressive transportation policies have nearly doubled the number of cyclists and, more impressive, made downtown Minneapolis one of the few urban areas to return to the population levels it saw before the flight to the suburbs that followed World War II.
“His is exactly the kind of proactive, big-picture thinking we need if we are to address our nation’s infrastructure problems and begin moving us toward smarter growth.”