Now, many people know that Rep. Buchanan has said he thinks the Obama Administration's economic stimulus hasn't worked, but no one should be surprised that he and I would appear together. As he said yesterday, "My goal is to get people working together." That is something we agree on.
One of the ideas I mentioned yesterday was something we learned from the stimulus, that the DOT can get money out the door both responsively and responsibly. So, one of our priorities going forward with transportation reform will be streamlining regulations associated with federal money so local projects can be supported more quickly.
That seems to be a goal of the leaders we met yesterday, as well as of many planners and officials I've met around the country.
Others told me they want more bikeways and walking paths, high-speed rail, and more transit options. By now, readers of this blog should know that this Administration strongly advocates these livability elements in future transportation policy.
I want to thank the folks in attendance yesterday for sharing their concerns with me. And, I particularly want to thank my host, Rep. Vern Buchanan, for his generosity and collegiality. I hope we all learned a bit about each other, and I look forward to working together as we move forward on transportation reform.