Nation's mayors call for more federal transportation funding

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BOSTON (AP) — The nation's mayors are calling on Congress to increase transportation funding in order to keep roads and bridges in good repair.

The call came Monday during a task force meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Boston.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the city's record-breaking snowfall this winter — which topped 9 feet — shows the importance of maintaining transportation infrastructure in urban centers.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Congress needs to do more than just maintain existing funding for the bill, which he said has been stagnant for more than a dozen years.

De Blasio said cities would otherwise end up falling behind given inflation and increased demand on transportation systems.

During the meeting, the mayors held a closed-door session with Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who they said spoke about income inequality.

The mayors said they also heard from the U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez on prospects for the reauthorization of the federal surface transportation bill.

The mayors said the call for transportation funding is bipartisan because they all face similar kinds of infrastructure challenges and the need for federal assistance.

"Whether you're a Democratic mayor or a Republican mayor, the conversations are the same," said Walsh, a Democrat.

Walsh and de Blasio were joined at the meeting by other municipal leaders, including Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and mayors from around Massachusetts.