President Joe Biden today unveiled his $2 trillion infrastructure bill, labelling it as the American Jobs Plan. He said it was a “once-in-a-generation investment in America unlike anything we have seen or done since we built the Interstate Highway System and won the Space Race decades ago.”
He added: “It’s big. It’s bold. And we can get it done.”
“President Biden’s [infrastructure] plan is the most visionary proposal for the nation’s transportation network since the dawn of the interstate highway system,” agreed Janette Sadik-Khan, chair of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO).
Speaking from Pittsburgh, the U.S. president pledged to double transit spending, upgrade 20,000 miles of roads in a $20 billion plan to make them safer for all users—including those not in motor vehicles—and spend an additional $20 billion reconnecting neighborhoods cut off by highways; these have historically been neighborhoods where the majority of the residents have been Black.
The plan will also boost existing road safety programs and see the creation of a new Safe Streets for All program to fund state and local “vision zero” schemes which aim to reduce fatalities, especially among cyclists and pedestrians.
“The administration is laying the transformational groundwork to rebuild the streets that we have to prioritize people, safety and climate—and going all-in on transit as the first mobility option for America’s future,” added Sadik-Khan, who was New York City’s transport commissioner during part of the Bloomberg administration.
The plan calls for $621 billion for fixing infrastructure like roads and bridges. $174 billion will aim to stimulate the electric vehicle market. There will also be $111 billion for clean drinking water, $100 billion for expanding broadband and $100 billion for power infrastructure such as the electric grid.