Wednesday, May 8, 2013

New Off The Lot: Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

On Monday April 29th President Obama nominated Anthony Foxx, the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina as his new transportation secretary.  What does this selection mean for transportation policy around the country?  First, a note about the position of transportation secretary; Mr. Foxx has been nominated to be head of the Department of Transportation, and will oversee eleven different government agencies relating to transportation, including the FHWA, FAA, NHTSA, and FTA. 
He holds a law degree from New York University’s School of Law, and was an attorney before his time as mayor.  As mayor, Foxx has pushed many transportation oriented initiatives forward such as expanding light rail, and adding street car lines in Charlotte, as well as adding two lanes to the six lane interstate highway, and a new runway at Charlotte-Douglas Airport.  Mr. Fox is an interesting choice because he does not have a background in transportation, his predecessor, Ray LaHood, was a US representative, serving on the House transportation and infrastructure committee for five years.  One interesting piece to all of this is that as transportation secretary Mr. Fox is in a position to help along some of his projects he pushed for as mayor by sending funding to those areas.  That said, it is not as simple as just pushing money into those projects, however it was noted that Illinois fared well under LaHood, who is from that state.  It is certainly true that Fox has pushed forward a great number of transportation initiatives, but American’s will have to wait to see if he will be able to continue this focus on the national level. 

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