Also today: When trains beat out planes, and “the resistance requires a coin.”
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What We’re Following
Groundhog Day is long gone, but now that we see a plan, it looks like we’ve got many Infrastructure Weeks to come. CityLab’s Laura Bliss sorts out what’s new and what feels like déjà vu:
On Monday, the White House released its $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill, more than a year after Trump’s presidential campaign started talking about one. Make no mistake: This is not a spending plan, but a financing plan.
The gist is to dole out $100 billion in federal grants to local and state governments, which would need to pay for at least 80 percent of their own project costs. The vast majority of the funds— $1.3 trillion—would be generated by state and local governments, many of which are still fiscally strained from the Recession. All told, only $200 billion in federal spending is called for—and not really, since the money would come from cuts to other infrastructure programs.
This plan may be a non-starter in Congress. Read my story here.
Culture corner: Today, Kriston Capps is on the scene at the Smithsonian’s portrait unveiling for Barack and Michelle Obama.
More on CityLab
Chart of the Day
For a long-term perspective on today’s infrastructure plan, Lydia DePillis over at CNNMoney shares this chart via Twitter from a 2017 RAND study. In recent years, the federal government’s share of infrastructure spending has shrunk, leaving state and local governments to pick up the slack.
What We’re Reading
How Black Lives Matter breathed new life into unions (The Guardian)
Why transit nerds are so jealous of Seattle (Curbed)
In Chicago, black entrepreneurs seeking venture capital face discrimination (Belt Magazine)
The electric glide: how e-bikes are destined for something bigger (Slate)
Copenhagen’s healthy and happy city secrets (The Guardian)
A new housing-rights movement has the real-estate industry running scared (The Nation)