Tampa, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina, the cities where the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention are being held, are rolling out the “green” carpet for visitors to see how “smart growth” benefits everyone.
Smart Growth America reveals how the city of “Tampa’s riverfront revitalization has been made possible, in part, by a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The $10.9 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant awarded just last month will help the City connect three gaps in the Riverwalk and complete the [2.6 mile] contiguous trail. DOT’s TIGER program is part of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities.” That works out to nearly 4.2 million dollars per mile! For over twenty years Tampa has been trying to get people to come downtown and walk along the river. It does not seem to be something that the people have wanted to do, despite local government advocacy.
The Partnership for Sustainable Communities brings together the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in “a collaboration between the three federal agencies to help improve access to affordable housing, create more transportation options and lower Americans’ transportation costs while protecting the environment in communities nationwide.”
Six livability principles guide the work of the PSC: 1) Provide more transportation choices, 2) Provide equitable, affordable housing, 3) Enhance economic competitiveness, 4) Support existing communities, 5) Coordinate and leverage federal policies and investment, and 6) Value communities and neighborhoods.
The true goal of the PSC is transit oriented development; multi-modal communities where walking, bicycling and mass transportation services such as light rail and buses are readily available. Building low- or high-rise apartment buildings in blighted areas of cities has been ongoing, kind of an “if you build it they will come” ideal. The federal government would love for everyone to move into these apartment buildings and be able to live, work, play, shop and go to school, without ever leaving their neighborhood. People who are aware of Agenda 21 and its goals of social engineering refer to this as “stack and pack”.
This is a massive overreach of federal government into our state and local governments, and unfortunately, the millions and billions of dollars being dangled is just too irresistible for our legislators and local officials. Crony capitalists have their hands out for these goodies, as these projects bring in business for developers, bankers, attorneys, engineers and builders; you know, the movers and shakers in a city. In a free market, this might be a good economic stimulator. Unfortunately, what is happening is that government officials are playing favorites with those who support their political careers with contracts and tax breaks. The attempts to draw populations out of their “urban sprawl” neighborhoods has not been successful, and will never be successful. Americans work hard to be able to purchase and enjoy their private properties and single family homes, and generally do not consider their commute to work to be an issue.
The voice of the American citizen has been ignored, as government continues to pursue its agenda of social engineering. It is time to return government to We the People and break apart this unholy alliance of career politicians and crony capitalists.
Americans understand how out of control the spending has become at every level of government. At a time when revenue is tight, and the federal government is borrowing forty cents of every dollar it spends, should we, the tax payers, be paying 4.2 million dollars a mile for a sidewalk?
Cross-posted on examiner.com