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So, it looks like we’re going to get a stimulus package from Congress to pay for infrastructure and get people back to work. Hooray for that! But I hope that the folks deciding things will look past the usual projects and set some smart priorities about how that money should be spent.

For example, how about we spend some of the infrastructure stimulus on maintenance projects? Seems to me that road “maintenance” jobs are just as good as “new freeway” jobs. With the whole “bridges falling down into the Mississippi” thing, it seems like one of our priorities should be fixing the infrastructure we’ve already got. I know San Diego could sorely use another couple million dollars for road and bike path repaving and bridge refurbishment.

I’ve got a list of streets that could use a little tender loving care, like Harbor Drive, Kearny Villa Road, Washington Street, and Hotel Circle North, to name just a few. If you drive or ride a bike in this town, I’m sure you’ve got a few favorites of your own.

And how about spending some of those dollars on green infrastructure?

Instead of using the money to build more freeways, let’s build more parks, bike paths, sidewalks, and transit infrastructure. Let’s spend some of the money on bus and trolley operators. How about installing more storm drain filters? More recycled water pipelines? Let’s set some criteria on the infrastructure money so that it helps rather than hurts our environmental and global warming problems.

So let’s talk. Tell me what infrastructure projects you think we should be on the big list in Washington. Or should Washington just send the money straight to the states and cities and let local leaders decide how to spend it?

— KATHY KEEHAN

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