Here’s a transparency suggestion for President-elect Barack Obama’s team from Jan Strasma of Citizens against the Sprawlway. He points to this AP story about the list of 1,800 projects that Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle sent to the transition team; Doyle would like to see them funded, costing $3.8 billion in the short term and up to $10 billion over the long haul. Strasma asks whether all these lists will be shared online.
Strasma was absolutely instrumental in helping unravel then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s real estate dealings around the Prairie Parkway; he’s also an incredibly knowledgeable guy about transportation needs and transportation boondoggles in his neck of the woods. He’d like to see what the state of Illinois is requesting. I wouldn’t mind seeing what Virginia is asking for. Given how contentious some infrastructure projects can be and how it takes to set them in motion, it’s best to open the requests to public scrutiny early, so that proponents can make their cases and opponents rebut them, and the public can be engaged in deciding which ones to fund.