Obama has selected a new Secretary for Transportation to replace Ray LaHood, who is retiring. This time, the President has selected a Democrat, and it’s Anthony Foxx, Mayor of Charlotte, NC! Mr Foxx, pictured above, had his nomination confirmed last week by a rare unanimous vote of the Senate. At the age of 42, he has already got a law degree from NYU; practiced law in private practice, for the Department of Justice, and for the House Judiciary Committee; served on Charlotte City Council; and been elected Mayor of Charlotte.
Foxx has developed a great record in promoting alternative transportation. Above, you can see him launching Charlotte B-cycle, a bike-sharing system similar to that which drew howls of protest from opponents in New York. Mayor Foxx also supported a ‘Complete Streets‘ policy, and gave positive answers on supporting cycling during his confirmation hearing. He also worked to expand an electric streetcar project, and provide infrastructure for charging electric vehicles. With the exception of an [unimplemented] Complete Streets policy, Princeton has none of that good stuff. Streetsblog described Charlotte as having “recently experienced a quantum leap in livability infrastructure”.
It’s important to have somebody who ‘gets it’ in this key position in Washington. Federal policy on transportation affects every community, including Princeton. Our ability to add the infrastructure that we need to make our streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists often depends on policy and funding decisions that are made at State and Federal level. When policy is overwhelmingly geared toward expanding the road network, which has essentially been the case since 1945, then that has negative impacts on our town. Let’s hope that Mr Foxx will help to make a positive change for alternative transportation. He certainly seems to have the credentials to do so.
What goals do you think the next Secretary for Transportation should have? Leave a comment below…