WBEZ | Ray Lahood http://www.wbez.org/tags/ray-lahood Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en From the archives: LaHood says 'no stopping' high speed rail http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/archives-lahood-says-no-stopping-high-speed-rail-105724 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/high%20speed%20rail%20quinn%20lahood%20AP%20small.jpg" style="height: 460px; width: 620px;" title="Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, left, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, on a high speed rail test run in October of 2012. (AP/Charles Rex Arbogast, file)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F77461272&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that he would <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/transportation-secretary-ray-lahood-leave-administration-105193">leave his post in the Obama administration</a> earlier this week. &quot;I have had a good run,&rdquo; the former Illinois Congressman and Peoria native told the Associated Press. &ldquo;I&#39;m one of these people who believe that you should go out while they&#39;re applauding.&rdquo;</p><p>During his tenure in Washington, LaHood struggled with Congress to pass funding for major infrastructure projects, and eventually compromised with them on a two-year plan, dubbed <a href="http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/">MAP 21</a>, that gave states more flexibility in spending federal dollars. He also brought greater attention to hazards like <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ray-lahood/distracted-driving-a-dead_b_555810.html">distracted driving</a>, and tried to put <a href="http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/03/lahood-policy-statement/">pedestrians and cyclists on equal footing with drivers</a>, earning him accolades from many alternative transportation advocates.</p><p>But one of LaHood&rsquo;s biggest efforts was his promotion of high speed rail. At an urban policy forum held in Chicago in December, LaHood told the audience that &ldquo;every generation does something big for the next generation,&rdquo; and that high speed rail would be our generation&rsquo;s gift to the next.</p><p>In <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/29/ray-lahood-interview-high-speed-rail_n_2576995.html">an exit interview with the <em>Huffington Post</em></a>, LaHood admitted that he felt behind on this quest, but insisted that he and his administration had still &ldquo;come a long way.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;As long as President Obama is in the White House, whoever sits in this chair will have high-speed rail as one of their top priorities,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>You can take a closer listen to LaHood&rsquo;s earlier remarks on high speed rail &ndash; and his insistence at its inevitability &ndash; in the audio above.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range</a></em>&nbsp;<em>showcases hidden gems unearthed from </em><em><a href="https://soundcloud.com/chicago-amplified/a-conversation-with-u-s"><em>Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s</em></a></em><em> vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Ray LaHood spoke at an event presented at the UIC Urban Forum in December of 2012. He was interviewed by Steve Schlickman, Executive Director of the UIC Urban Transportation Center. Click</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="https://soundcloud.com/chicago-amplified/a-conversation-with-u-s">here</a>&nbsp;to hear the event in its entirety.</em></p></p> Mon, 25 Feb 2013 10:12:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/archives-lahood-says-no-stopping-high-speed-rail-105724 From the archives: LaHood says 'no stopping' high speed rail http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/archives-lahood-says-no-stopping-high-speed-rail-105308 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/high%20speed%20rail%20quinn%20lahood%20AP%20small.jpg" style="height: 460px; width: 620px;" title="Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, left, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, on a high speed rail test run in October of 2012. (AP/Charles Rex Arbogast, file)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F77461272&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that he would <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/transportation-secretary-ray-lahood-leave-administration-105193">leave his post in the Obama administration</a> earlier this week. &quot;I have had a good run,&rdquo; the former Illinois Congressman and Peoria native told the Associated Press. &ldquo;I&#39;m one of these people who believe that you should go out while they&#39;re applauding.&rdquo;</p><p>During his tenure in Washington, LaHood struggled with Congress to pass funding for major infrastructure projects, and eventually compromised with them on a two-year plan, dubbed <a href="http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/">MAP 21</a>, that gave states more flexibility in spending federal dollars. He also brought greater attention to hazards like <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ray-lahood/distracted-driving-a-dead_b_555810.html">distracted driving</a>, and tried to put <a href="http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/03/lahood-policy-statement/">pedestrians and cyclists on equal footing with drivers</a>, earning him accolades from many alternative transportation advocates.</p><p>But one of LaHood&rsquo;s biggest efforts was his promotion of high speed rail. At an urban policy forum held in Chicago in December, LaHood told the audience that &ldquo;every generation does something big for the next generation,&rdquo; and that high speed rail would be our generation&rsquo;s gift to the next.</p><p>In <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/29/ray-lahood-interview-high-speed-rail_n_2576995.html">an exit interview with the <em>Huffington Post</em></a>, LaHood admitted that he felt behind on this quest, but insisted that he and his administration had still &ldquo;come a long way.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;As long as President Obama is in the White House, whoever sits in this chair will have high-speed rail as one of their top priorities,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>You can take a closer listen to LaHood&rsquo;s earlier remarks on high speed rail &ndash; and his insistence at its inevitability &ndash; in the audio above.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range</a></em>&nbsp;<em>showcases hidden gems unearthed from </em><em><a href="https://soundcloud.com/chicago-amplified/a-conversation-with-u-s"><em>Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s</em></a></em><em> vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Ray LaHood spoke at an event presented at the UIC Urban Forum in December of 2012. He was interviewed by Steve Schlickman, Executive Director of the UIC Urban Transportation Center. Click</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="https://soundcloud.com/chicago-amplified/a-conversation-with-u-s">here</a>&nbsp;to hear the event in its entirety.</em></p></p> Sat, 02 Feb 2013 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/archives-lahood-says-no-stopping-high-speed-rail-105308 Transportation secretary Ray LaHood to leave administration http://www.wbez.org/news/transportation-secretary-ray-lahood-leave-administration-105193 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 9.28.24 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p>WASHINGTON &mdash; Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who lifted the profile of distracted driving as a national safety concern, is stepping down, presenting President Barack Obama with another Cabinet vacancy at the start of his second term.</p><p>The former congressman from Illinois and one of only two Republicans who served in Obama&#39;s Cabinet, LaHood worked for more safety in the air and on the ground and pushed for improvements of roads and bridges. Under his watch, the department demanded tougher fuel efficiency requirements for automakers and took steps to address airline pilot fatigue.</p><p>Obama, who at one point served with LaHood in the Illinois congressional delegation, said they were &quot;drawn together by a shared belief that those of us in public service owe an allegiance not to party or faction, but to the people we were elected to represent. And Ray has never wavered in that belief.&quot;</p><p>LaHood, 67, said in an interview with The Associated Press that he told Obama a week after the November election that he needed to move on. But he also said he was still &quot;conflicted&quot; by his decision because he liked working for the president and considered it the &quot;best job I&#39;ve ever had in public service.&quot;</p><p>He said he plans to remain at the department until his successor is confirmed by the Senate, which he expects in about two months. The only other Republican who was in Obama&#39;s first-term Cabinet was Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who stepped aside and was replaced by Democrat Leon Panetta earlier.</p><p>LaHood, who once considered likely to run for governor in his home state, said he would not seek public office and indicated he didn&#39;t have any specific plans.</p><p>&quot;I have had a good run. I&#39;m one of these people who believe that you should go out while they&#39;re applauding,&quot; he said. LaHood said he was content to watch from the sidelines as his oldest son, Darin, serves in the Illinois state senate.</p><p>His move continues an exodus that will give Obama&#39;s team a new look in his second term. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Panetta and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are departing and in addition to LaHood, the heads of the Interior and Labor departments also have announced their resignations. Obama has nominated former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican, to serve as defense secretary to succeed Panetta.</p><p>Possible replacements for LaHood include Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has pushed for increased rail service in Los Angeles and served as chairman of last year&#39;s Democratic National Convention, and Debbie Hersman, the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. The name of former Rep. Jim Oberstar of Minnesota, who led the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has also been mentioned.</p><p>LaHood served seven terms in Congress representing a central Illinois district that includes his hometown of Peoria, Ill., before he was chosen by Obama for the post. He traveled widely, visiting 49 states, 210 cities and 18 countries promoting Obama&#39;s agenda. He made trips that allowed him to ride some of the world&#39;s fastest trains and inspect the latest vehicles at auto shows.</p><p>In Washington, he would occasionally don a bicycle helmet and peddle around the District to promote bike lanes.</p><p>At the start of the new administration, LaHood spearheaded efforts to stimulate the economy through transportation construction projects and promoted the administration&#39;s vision of a nation connected by high-speed trains. But the high-speed rail program, which was supposed to be one of the president&#39;s signature projects, has been on life-support since Republicans regained control of the House in the 2010 election.</p><p>The department struggled with how to pay for the repair and improvement of the nation&#39;s aging transportation network and eventually reached a compromise with Congress last year on a more limited, scaled-back 2-year plan that gives states more flexibility in how they spend federal money.</p><p>Perhaps LaHood&#39;s most passionate work involved distracted driving, which he called a &quot;national epidemic.&quot; He launched a national media campaign to end texting and cellphone use by drivers, an awareness campaign that drew comparisons to efforts to promote seat belt use more than a generation ago. He buttonholed auto executives to help reduce driver distraction and would even yell at other drivers on occasion to put down their cellphones.</p><p>&quot;Every time someone takes their focus off the road &mdash; even if it&#39;s just for a moment &mdash; they put their lives and the lives of others in danger,&quot; he said in 2010.</p><p>During his tenure he slapped Toyota Motor Co. with record fines for delaying safety recalls and failing to promptly report problems to federal regulators. And he recently ordered United Airlines to ground its Boeing 787 Dreamliner following mishaps with the aircraft&#39;s batteries.</p></p> Tue, 29 Jan 2013 09:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/transportation-secretary-ray-lahood-leave-administration-105193 Durbin calls Egypt's trial of LaHood's son 'an outrage' http://www.wbez.org/story/durbin-calls-egypts-trial-lahoods-son-outrage-96154 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-February/2012-02-06/AP Photo Transportation Department, File.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin warned Egypt to stop pursuing trials against 19 Americans working there. Among the workers is Peoria native Sam LaHood. He's the son of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.</p><p>Egypt alleges pro-democracy groups<a href="http://www.iri.org/"> like the one LaHood works for</a> are funding and supporting anti-Egyptian government protests.</p><p>Durbin was emotional when asked about LaHood by reporters at an unrelated press conference Monday.</p><p>He said, "It is an outrage that a country that receives more foreign aid than any other country in the world, is arresting the representatives of our government and threatening to throw them in jail for doing something that is very public, very open and not inconsistent with their future!"</p><p>Durbin said Egypt has no case against the workers, and pursuing the matter further will put its relationship with the United States on the line.</p><p>Prosecutors said Sam LaHood and five other Americans remain in Egypt, while the others have left. Egypt has banned LaHood from leaving the country.</p></p> Mon, 06 Feb 2012 19:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/durbin-calls-egypts-trial-lahoods-son-outrage-96154 Illinois to receive influx of money for high-speed rail projects http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-receive-influx-money-high-speed-rail-projects-90143 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/High Speed Rail_Getty _ File.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The State of Illinois is getting a boost of funds for its high-speed rail projects. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced that Illinois is one of five states receiving more than $336 million to buy next-generation trains.</p><p>Guy Trigdell, spokesman with the Illinois Department of Transportation, said it hasn't been announced yet how much of the money will go to Illinois.</p><p>"We're one of the states that will be expanding high-speed rail. We are the hub of the midwest for a system of trains that will be radiating out of Chicago," said Trigdell. "Our signature line is Chicago to St. Louis."</p><p>According to Trigdell, the money will go to purchase seven new trains with 48 cars. He said the Chicago to St. Louis line is expected to be up and running by 2014.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Additionally, "States will be working together to identify a uniformed set of standards and develop some consistent specifications for all passenger trains that will be used," said Trigdell.&nbsp;</p><p>Transportation officials say President Barack Obama's administration has kicked in more than $10 billion to lay the groundwork for Illinois and other states to develop higher speed rail networks.</p></p> Thu, 04 Aug 2011 20:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-receive-influx-money-high-speed-rail-projects-90143 Photos of Rahm Emanuel's inauguration as Mayor of Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-05-16/photos-rahm-emanuels-inauguration-mayor-chicago-86621 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-16/IMG_4646.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago welcomed a new mayor into office on Monday for the first time in 22 years.&nbsp; Thousands gathered at Millennium Park in downtown Chicago to witness the swearing in of Rahm Emanuel as leader of America's third largest city.</p><p>Among those on hand was our WBEZ colleague Adnan Rashid, one of 14 Pakistani journalists selected to participate in a U.S.-Pakistan journalist exchange program through the International Center for Journalists.</p><p>This marks his first visit to the United States, and his first encounter with American political pomp and circumstance.</p><p>Here are his images of the festivities:&nbsp;</p><div>&nbsp;</div><div class="daylife_smartgalleries_container" style="border: medium none; margin: 0pt; padding: 0pt; overflow: hidden; height: 375px; width: 500px;"><iframe class="daylife_smartgalleries_frame" src="http://galleries.wbez.org/gallery_slideshow/1305584225053?width=500&amp;disable_link_to_hosted_page=0&amp;height=375&amp;show_related=1" style="border: medium none; margin: 0pt; padding: 0pt; overflow: hidden; height: 100%; width: 100%;" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></div></p> Mon, 16 May 2011 23:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-05-16/photos-rahm-emanuels-inauguration-mayor-chicago-86621 Chicago, airlines strike deal to continue expanding O'Hare http://www.wbez.org/story/expansion/chicago-airlines-strike-deal-continue-expanding-ohare <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-14/IMG_0130.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>After a long and bitter debate, a partial deal has been reached to continue expansion of O'Hare International Airport.</p><p>It took the federal government to mediate negotiations between the City of Chicago and United and American Airlines, the biggest carriers at O'Hare. For now, the newly announced $1.17 billion dollar agreement funds parts of the O'Hare Modernization Program, including rerouting roads and installing a runway on the airport's South Side.</p><p>The airlines had long said that O'Hare isn't busy enough to warrant an expansion, but United CEO Jeff Smisek says U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood helped changed his mind.</p><p>&quot;Do we need this runway today? Of course not. But we do believe that with time, we will and we're willing to help fund our portion,&quot;&nbsp;Smisek said.</p><p>When asked what the city gave up to move negotiations forward, Mayor Richard Daley would only say, &quot;I'm not gonna mention it.&quot;</p><p>Negotiations over the rest of the expansion are expected to resume in two years.<br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 14 Mar 2011 19:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/expansion/chicago-airlines-strike-deal-continue-expanding-ohare LaHood talks high-speed rail in Indiana http://www.wbez.org/story/high-speed-rail/lahood-talks-high-speed-rail-indiana <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/High Speed Rail_Getty _ File.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--></p><p class="MsoNormal">United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said Northwest Indiana is poised to be a major player in the development of high-speed rail.</p> <p>LaHood said enthusiasm is high in Indiana for high-speed rail projects because it can bring jobs and money to the state. A line between Chicago and Detroit could have a stop in Northwest Indiana.</p> <p>But in Indiana, Republicans control the Statehouse and the governor&rsquo;s office. Republican governors in other states have turned away billions of dollars&nbsp; from the federal government for high-speed rail projects.</p> <p>LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Illinois, said he doesn&rsquo;t anticipate a problem like that in Indiana.</p> <p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of enthusiasm and energy and support for transportation not only in Northwest Indiana but all over the state,&rdquo; LaHood said at a Thursday luncheon at the Sand Creek Country Club in Chesterton, Indiana. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m sure those voices will be heard.&rdquo;</p> <p>Some states such as Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida have turned away billions in federal money for high speed rail projects. <br />LaHood says those funds now have to be distributed elsewhere and some of it could end up in Illinois. That&rsquo;s because Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has committed to provide matching funds for high-speed rail projects.</p> <p>LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Illinois 18th district, said the funds might as well go to his home state which is committed to high speed rail.</p> <p>&ldquo;Right now the dominate player, to be honest with you, and I&rsquo;m obviously is very happy about this, is my home state of Illinois because the governor there [Quinn] has stepped up,&rdquo; LaHood said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s why they&rsquo;ve gotten over a billion dollars.&rdquo;</p> <p>LaHood was invited to speak before the pro-business group, the Northwest Indiana Forum. Mark Maassel, president of the Forum, said a high-speed rail stop would work perfectly at the Gary-Chicago International Airport.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think it would be an opportunity to really enhance the flexibility for our transportation system and allow people to move easily,&rdquo; Maassel said.</p> <p>LaHood was joined at the event by U.S. Rep. Peter Visclosky, a Democrat from Northwest Indiana. Visclosky said the federal government&rsquo;s role is to promote job growth. Promoting high speed rail, he said, falls into that.</p> <p>&ldquo;You have to make an investment in transportation. There is a fundamental role of government to create jobs,&rdquo; Visclosky said.&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 25 Feb 2011 01:19:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/high-speed-rail/lahood-talks-high-speed-rail-indiana LaHood calls for national ban on cell phones while driving http://www.wbez.org/story/cell-phone/lahood-calls-national-ban-cell-phones-while-driving <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/73433730.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The U.S. Secretary of Transportation has a couple of priorities he wants the new Congress to work on when it convenes next year. Ray LaHood said getting a transportation bill passed by the August recess is at the top of his agenda. The current one has been extended for two years.</p><p>The Peoria, Illinois native and former congressman said there are a lot of unmet transportation needs across the country.</p><p>&quot;If it were up to me, I would outlaw cell phone use while driving. I just think it's just dangerous,&quot;&nbsp;LaHood said. &quot;You don't have both hands on the wheel, you don't have both eyes on the road and you can't drive carefully when you got a cell phone in your ear. You're not only distracted by the fact you don't have both hands on the wheel, you're distracted by the conversation. You lose track of what's around you while you're driving a 5,000 pound car.&quot;</p><p>LaHood said he also wants to work with lawmakers to approve a nationwide texting ban. Thirty states have already passed anti-texting legislation. LaHood said 5,500 people died last year as a result of distracted driving while more than 450,000 were injured.</p></p> Tue, 28 Dec 2010 12:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/cell-phone/lahood-calls-national-ban-cell-phones-while-driving Durbin says talks have changed about a third Chicago airport http://www.wbez.org/story/airport/durbin-says-talks-have-changed-about-third-chicago-airport <p><p>Federal dollars are on the way for the design of a new air traffic control tower at O'Hare International Airport. But nothing is in the pipeline for a third airport that's been long-proposed for the Chicago area.<br /><br />Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said the recession has slowed down that discussion. &quot;It's changed because the expansion of communities and residences toward the south have slowed down. It slowed down because the state of the economy and the state of the real estate market,&quot; said Durbin.</p><p>He said that makes getting private funding to build a third airport more challenging.<br /><br />U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the priority for Illinois lawmakers has been high speed rail, roads, bridges and O'Hare. He said no one has talked to him about a third airport. <br />&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 16 Nov 2010 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/airport/durbin-says-talks-have-changed-about-third-chicago-airport