The roadways, railways, and waterways that crisscross America create the backbone of our nation. I believe that it is imperative to maintain and improve these thoroughfares in order to both increase safety and efficiency, and help get our economy back on track. Investing in infrastructure projects is also a proven job creator. And making those projects green projects, and creating more options for alternatives to auto travel, will reduce congestion on California's roads, reduce air pollution, and contribute to a more sustainable future.
In addressing Sacramento’s transportation needs, I am committed to the alliance of federal, state, and local agencies that have come together to build and grow our region’s infrastructure. The Sacramento Region Blueprint, put forth by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), is helping to make the Sacramento region’s streets an example for the nation.
In Washington, I have used Sacramento’s Blueprint plan as a model as I advocate for a Federal Complete Streets plan that would ensure our roadways are designed with all users in mind – including bicyclists and pedestrians, children, seniors, and the disabled. I have introduced H.R. 1780, the Safe and Complete Streets Act, in the 112th Congress, which would require state and metropolitan planning agencies to instate a complete streets initiative and to develop projects accordingly. This plan has been endorsed by AARP, the National Complete Streets Coalition, SACOG, the City of Sacramento, WALKSacramento, and many others.
I am also continuing to work with all levels of government to address Sacramento’s ongoing transportation priorities, including intermodal. In April 2011, I helped break ground to relocate the downtown rail tracks, which will improve efficiency and safety and allow for a regional intermodal station to be built. This intermodal station will help connect downtown Sacramento will provide user-friendly connections between nearly all modes of transportation – from bicycle to bus, light rail to car, train to sidewalks.
Additionally, I have been an advocate for California’s High Speed Rail project. This project is an opportunity to invest in our state’s infrastructure, create new jobs, boost American manufacturing, and work towards a greener future. And the federal funding allocated for California’s high speed rail line and our intercity passenger rail system are creating important momentum in Sacramento and the rest of the state. These investments will help us reduce our dependence on foreign oil, ease the congestion on our roads, and offer more transportation options for residents.
Investing in our region and our state’s transportation and infrastructure is a sure way to continue to create today’s jobs while planning for tomorrow.