Thursday, December 04, 2008


When people talk about infrastructure projects, they're generally thinking of big things like bridge repair and new SUPERTRAINS. Some such projects sit around in the file just waiting for the money to show up and this could get up and running pretty quickly. A bunch of other infrastructure projects are probably good ideas on the merits, could use some federal money, but are unlikely to really be able to get off the ground fast enough to really be a quality short run stimulus. But there's another category of stuff, low level things like street and sidewalk repair, demolition of abandoned buildings, etc... that there's pretty much an infinite demand for. They're the types of things you can defer for a long time, so local authorities do, but they're still worthwhile projects. More than that, they don't really take a lot of advance planning and studies, or have long approval processes. And these types of things are handled at the local level. Some money to state&local governments would of course be used to maintain staffing and service levels, but other money could be used for road repair, etc. Not as sexy as SUPERTRAINS, and not as important as bridge repair, but necessary, important enough, it can happen fast, and happens at the local level.